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Today, we’re presenting a truly unique series of photographs by Irina Werning from Argentina. For 17 years, she has dedicated her work to capturing creative portraits of long-haired women. The project, titled "Dear Long Hair," showcases various images of children and adults who share one distinctive feature: extremely long hair.

The author told us more about the genesis of starting the project: “For indigenous communities, hair is the physical manifestation of our thoughts and an extension of ourselves, and the same is true with the thoughts of Mother Earth like plants growing and rivers flowing in nature. This relationship is based on a profound spiritual connection to Earth that guided indigenous communities to practice reverence, humility, and reciprocity.”

Scroll down to see a collection of unique images, and to discover more about the project and the photographer behind it.

More info: Instagram | irinawerning.com

#1

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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philiprutter avatar
Cosmikid
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, my golly moses. I have not seen this style of hair - weaving/braiding what is it called??

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Bored Panda contacted the photographer from Argentina to learn more about her series of photographs. We discovered some details about how the long-hair-themed project came about: “Since 2006, I've been searching and photographing women with long hair in Argentina. Back then, in the absence of social media, I would travel to mountain towns and stay there for months, putting up signs in markets and schools to find them even organizing long hair competitions. For the first ten years, I didn’t really know what I was doing or why. Sometimes you need to work many years on something to understand what you are working on.

After 10 years I started to discover that my project was an anthropological journey into the origins and cultural identity of Latin America today: a story of cultures mixing and old traditions bumping into new ones.”

#2

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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jskoehn2007 avatar
Jakoe
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is beautiful hair, but it kinda looks like a Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein character.

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#3

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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jaimedannie
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I see long hair like this I just think it's in desperate need of a trim.

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The Argentinian focused her work on photographing women from Latin America, however, she mentioned that other indigenous communities share some similarities across the world, like native Americans, for example. Irina added: “What makes Latin America distinct is the fusion of these indigenous traditions with the waves of immigration, creating a remarkably hybrid population.”

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Irina shared with us that the models posing for her photographs had a great understanding of the meaning of her work: “I think that the people I photograph understand more than anyone what I'm doing: honoring and celebrating their long hair, the patience and love and dedication of years of growing it.” She also said: “I like to collaborate with them and get to know them a bit so that there is something about them in the picture.”

#7

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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Lotekguy
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Pencil neck" is a derogatory term. "Pencil hair" looks pretty cool.

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The author of the “Dear Long Hair” series mentioned she's still planning to continue working on the project: “Photographically, it’s a huge challenge to have been working on a project for 17 years. I need to be creative to avoid repetition.”

Lastly, Werning said: “Next year I will make a book and close the project. Now I'm going back to the towns where it all started thanks to the Eugene Smith Grant and will focus on how this tradition is being affected by mainstream global culture.”

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#10

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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#15

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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#22

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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#24

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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#25

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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Lotekguy
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Long hair, strong winds and static electricity can create maintenance challenges.

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#26

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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Lotekguy
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All the local lads could be heard praying for strong wind gusts.

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#30

Argentine Photographer Has Been Photographing Women With Long Hair In Latin America For 17 Years

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Note: this post originally had 61 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.