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Want to know how to crochet your hair or someone else’s hair? Well, look no further. Even if crochet is something taboo to you, today you learn something new. Firstly, I was inspired to create this game through listening to the appropriation lectures where I was introduced to how Dada artists were influenced by various African art like masks and Congolese statutes. This gave me a sense of familiarity because I grew up in a home where African pride and art were normal so seeing how my culture was the influence to world-renowned artists came as a nice surprise for me. I also loved the Afro-futurist section where I was reminded of today’s African-American artists like Sun Ra, Janelle Monae, and Angela Basset, and their contribution to what we now know today as African-American art. These in conjunction with the Games As Art lecture inspired me to create Crochet Before Anyone Else or Crochet B.A.E. for short. A tabletop game where one can learn how to create while also making a collage with easy onboarding and limited materials. I really enjoyed the process of creating this piece as well as the time that went into figuring out what would be a good representation of all that I learned in the semester. Crochet is something that is so integral to how I grew up; put simply Black hair has always been something that was important to me. I was taught to maintain my hair in order to feel good about myself and have adopted many hairstyles that I cycle through whenever I do my hair or get my hair done. In using weave as a medium, I felt this sense of “ah-ha” like something I do normally could be art if I just make it art. This expression I feel is underrepresented in games as I have not encountered a game with 3a-4c hair (curl patterns). And when I do it is mostly just a brown skin girl or boy with straight hair. This game board is the best game I have made and I say that because it is not only backed by many lectures on appropriation, score, intervention, and experience but also my personal life and an action that so many people in my culture have participated in. Crocheting is personal for the one doing it as well as the person getting it done. On the one hand, if you are crocheting into your own head you will feel the sensation many Black people feel which is their arms hurting from having it up so much. On the other, if you’re the one getting it done, there is this connection that is built with your hair stylist, one that leaves you feeling better about your appearance afterward.
It’s been real y’all. Happy crocheting!!
BTW: I did not mention this in the tutorial but we use a simple knot when tying the hair so that it is easy to take out when the client is ready for their hair to be taken out. Using a complex knot would mean you would have to cut the hair to take it out which can cause problems because people have new-growth or just hair that has grown and it can be hard to distinguish which is their natural hair and which is the crochet hair. xoxo