This regal braided style was inspired by Taytu Betul, one of the political strategists who helped craft the Ethiopian military in the Battle of Adwa, one of the fights for independence in Ethiopia.
This style was inspired by Empress Menen Asfaw. She was very influential in politics and was seen as a critical voice and advisor to her husband, Emperor Haile Selassie.
This photo was captured by an Italian soldier and used as a Christmas card to represent a “hyper sexualized” African woman. While many had this hairstyle at the time, the way it was represented doesn’t match the story of Ethiopian women.
While the afro was big in the 1920’s, it never really went out of style. Here is a fuller, more dramatic version.