The BLACKstory Behind Beyoncé’s Tidal X 10/15 Dress

October 17, 2016  |  

While Solange’s entire album has become the soundtrack for every woke Black person in America, nay the world. Her older sister Beyoncé has taken a more subtle approach in asserting the pride she also takes in being Black, with an homage to our African ancestors.

On the red—or in this case Black carpet for the Tidal 1015 concert, she wore a handmade, hand beaded black, Gattinoni dress.

The dress without the context of the inspiration is beautiful in and of itself. But when you get the backstory, you might appreciate it even more.

The pattern for the bead work came from this picture of an African woman’s back, which had been intricately and artistically scarred.

Source: Beyoncé.com

Source: Beyoncé.com

The picture below was posted on Beyoncé.com and later on the Instagram page Beylite, where there is a bit of debate about the authenticity of the story, likely because they didn’t realize the image was on the singer’s official page. But if you look at the two images side by side, it’s hard to ignore the similarities.

According to Wikipedia, scarifying or scarification involves the scratching, etching, burning or branding of the skin to permanently alter the body. There are several theories as to why the practice is used in many cultures. It’s believed to be as a rite of passage for both men and women in some areas, a hardening technique, or is associated with social or religious practices. These permanent markings, similar to the Western practice of tattooing are used to tell a person’s story.

Beyoncé’s red carpet look wasn’t the only African-inspired attire for the night. Her musicians wore face paint, East African beaded jewelry and her background singers, The Mamas, wore African print dresses from designer Reuben Reuel.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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