Illustration from Mark Campbell’s Self-Instructor in the Art of Hair Work depicting a work table with suspended bobbin used in braiding hair for jewelry. The work table, bobbins, and forms over which the braids are formed are all very similar to the ancient Japanese art of silk braiding known as Kumihimo and the ages old finger braiding done by the people of the Andes. In ancient Japan the braiding served as more than decoration. Storage containers for tea and other food items were closed with elaborate silk Kumihimo braids to prevent poisoning by rivals. Once opened, these knots could not easily be replicated and the owner would know if there had been any tampering with the contents.
All images courtesy Dr. Anthony J. Cavo and Nancy Schuring