What if we imagine the Buddha with afro-textured hair?
This is a teaser to an upcoming article I wrote, “The Buddha’s Woolly Hair”.
Here I compare the the tight curls of hair of black Africans in European Art to the those of the Buddha in Southeast Asian Art.
Some believe that the Buddha’s hair only appear to be afro-textured as an accident, or maybe there is an African influence behind this.
For more context, read my article, “The Buddha’s Woolly Hair”, to be published on 4/25/2014.
All images of the Buddha here are or will be posted under the “Outside of African Diaspora” or “OD”
All images of black Africans here are or will be posted under “Western Art” or “West”
Yeah this is “problematic”.
Why should we have to “imagine” him as black?
I don’t see anything wrong with Buddha being on your blog because him being depicted with curly hair but I think claiming he’s black is definitely cultural erasure. Buddha’s heritage is well known: he was nepali or Indian and of royal blood as was originally prince born into a high caste (kshatriya).
Now there may be/have been black buddhas or buddhas of afro-descent but claiming that Gautama is one is very questionable.
sylentsage, and so it begins…
I am not saying you have to imagine the Buddha as black, and judging from the rest of what you added you seem to not want to.
My article will not argue about what the Buddha really look like, instead it will explore why the hair on some Buddhist sculptures resemble afro-textured hair. My only concern is the hair and the Buddhist sculptures.
And besides why can’t the Buddha be Indian AND black, such things do exist, especially if you consider African diaspora and other indigenous peoples of South Asia.
Anyway, I believe it would be cultural erasure to say the Buddha was African in the cultural sense, not being black. I am not refuting his South Asian origin or taking away “credit from where credit is due”.
Also, I clearly added that I tag images of the Buddha “Outside of African Diaspora”.
But thank you for your concerns. I don’t disapprove of users “calling me out” if I go out of line. And I encourage you to read my article which will have full context of what I am talking about.