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The Black Republic and Louisiana
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Louisiana State Museum. Gift of the Douglas Family [11943.54]

The Tignon Law

Afro-Creole culture, strengthened after the arrival of thousands of refugees from Haiti, flourished despite the restrictions imposed on the free black population. In New Orleans in 1786, Spanish governor Esteban Miró denounced the city's free women of color for their "mode of living." Miró threatened to punish any free black woman wearing feathers, jewels, or silks. The new proclamation prohibited all headdresses and required free women of color to wear their hair bound in a tignon (kerchief) as a sign of their degraded legal status.

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