Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ancient Rome's hairdo for vestal virgins re-created

A modern woman models the Roman vestal virgin hairstyle and headdress.

For the first time, the hairstyle of the Roman vestal virgins has been re-created on a modern head. 

The vestal virgins were priestesses who guarded the fire of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, among other sacred tasks. Chosen before puberty and sworn to celibacy, they were free from many of the social rules that limited women in the Roman era. Their braided hairstyle, the "sini crenes," symbolized chastity and was known in ancient texts as the oldest hairstyle in Rome. 

"These were the six most important women in Rome, with the possible exception of the emperor's wife," said Janet Stephens, the Baltimore hairdresser and amateur archaeologist who unraveled the secrets of the Vestals' trademark braids. [See Video of the Braiding Process]

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