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In a village situated in Karnataka is a community of tribals where men sport really long hair rivalling even their fairer counterparts’. These tribals have cherished an intimate bond with the forests over generations, roaming as hunter-gatherers until they were forced off the jungles and their community sedentarized. Their ancient wisdom of medicinal plants however stayed with them and came of use as an alternative livelihood. They created a concoction with the herbs sourced from the forests that they promise accelerates hair growth and cures baldness. They now produce this oil and sell at fairs and exhibitions across the country where they are increasingly becoming popular and gathering a large number of patrons. Few of the families involved in this trade also travel abroad to countries of Europe and the Middle East peddling this oil in new markets.

 

They spend a considerable amount of time tending to their manes, oiling them with their ‘elixir’ and nursing their tresses, and are willing to let it go for a hefty price when the wig companies come knocking at their doorsteps. The artist is interested in how a commerce can influence the disruption in gender roles.