True it is that the bandana identified us as slaves in the colonial era. Slave owners were mandated to provide uniforms for slaves which would better portray the mark of social separation between slaves and their owners.

Even though the dress codes for slaves were similar to that of European styles, slaves outfits (uniform) had to be made from the cheapest and most inferior material.

Though the mandate was dehumanising, from an economic perspective the theory conforms to the foundations of economic principles of ANY successful business today: Keep production cost at a minimal to enjoy maximum profit.

The harsh and inhumane treatment of slaves on plantations including the loss of lives and “forced labour” all made up the entire existence of our ancestors whose lives were equal to pigs and other farm animals.

This also provided backbone, courage and audacity within and among them which led to riots and revolutions. The “bandana wearers” fought against everything that opposed equal rights and justice, and today we all share in the legacy of freedom from colonial shackles.

While the bandana was a symbol of inhumanity and indignity throughout the colonial era, what is most important is that it identifies who we are as a people, it identifies our strength, our dauntlessness and the chutzpah we possess as African descendants and the living xerox of our ancestors.

Miss Lou nicest women that ever livedSolidarity and appreciation is reflected in the crucifix, the Pentagram, the Third-eye and most occults that we portray. Most recently the Tambourine Army adopted the Tambourine as their logo and symbol of a particular movement representing Women’s Right. Isn’t the tambourine coming from the same background as the bandana? The bandana was made in Europe and worn by slaves as uniforms. Forbidden to use backra’s drums, slaves found rhythms and music through the tambourine, bones and practically anything found around their huts.

In today’s world, the “dress code” practice still lingers throughout work environments throughout Jamaica and the world. Uniforms are worn by employees as representation of a brand. The bandana was not agreed upon my many but became accepted by most as the national fabric of culture in Jamaica. When you see someone wearing the bandana there is no communication error in the message. It represents A PEOPLE!

~Sophia Manning

The Bandana Movement

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True it is that the bandana identified us as slaves in the colonial era. Slave owners were mandated to provide uniforms for slaves which would better portray the mark of social separation between slaves and their owners.Even though the dress codes for slaves were similar to that of...

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