The Unique Amasunzu Hairstyle of the Rawandan People
In its heyday, Rwanda people wore the amasunzu in more than 30 different styles. It was a depiction of grace and elegance at that time.
This unique Amasunzu hairstyle represented various roles and stages in life of both women and men. When warriors wore it, it is symbolical of strength and bravery. Worn by women, it is either marital status or virginity. Young woman wore it prior to getting married. When a girl is already married, she would alter her hairstyle from amasunzu to something that left the hair to just grow freely (gutega urugori), signifying that she got married and would show respect for her husband and also their children.
This was considered as a way of beautifying the body, because Rwandan etiquette is usually based on the body’s nature. Moreover, wearing the hairstyle portrays class; donned by the powerful leaders, nobles and the rich.
However, the amasunzu has gone out of style in recent times, but it is currently experiencing a resurgence by popular interest.
Wearing it today, especially by the young men, amasunzu reflects self-realisation as well as the pride of embracing Rwandan culture.