Photo: Blackhorse Says Diné Tsiiyééł [Hair Bun] Is Power

Photo: Blackhorse Says Diné Tsiiyééł [Hair Bun] Is Power



According to Amanda Blackhorse, the traditional Diné [Navajo] hair bun—the tsiiyééł is as essential to the Diné as say, tobacco or eagle feathers to all Native people. She said that like many other indigenous tribes and communities, “our hair is a representation of not only our identity but also our intellect and our way of life.”

Blackhorse explained in a piece for ICTMN that the hair bun is sacred to the Diné, and that it is more than a tradition—it is a form of prayer and a spiritual practice. It is worn by men and women and there is meaning behind its creation and the way it sits on the person’s head.

On February 2, the Lady Eagles basketball team at Flagstaff High School decided to wear the tsiiyééł during a game, but were asked to remove them based on Arizona Interscholastic Association rules. They did, and won, but the AIA later apologized.

RELATED: Blackhorse: Diné Tsiiyééł [Hair Bun] Is Power

This image was featured in this week’s Indian Country Today Media Network newsletter.

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