Local Senior Citizen Vies for Place in Guinness World Records

Hiddekel Sara Burks, an Albuquerque resident and promoter for more than 45 years of “Art and History of Braiding,” will be featured in the museum starting Thursday, June 3, 2021 during regular hours (Wednesday – Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.). It is estimated that she will set the record during the fall.

The master braider/ethnic folk artist began working on the world’s longest hand-made textile braid last February; however, the attempt was placed on official pause due to the pandemic. After recovering from Covid-19 herself and now fully vaccinated, Hiddekel will resume her attempt to set a new Guinness World Record in the New Mexico Holocaust Museum this week. Her goal is to braid 6,000 feet (or 1828.8 meters). The installation will feature the actual braiding process to be witnessed by the public, as well as a portrait photo exhibit displaying braided hairstyles created by Hiddekel, founder of the National Braiders Guild and a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award for Outstanding Ethnic Folk Artist. In addition, the talented Hiddekel is a licensed cosmetology teacher, and retired nurse.

The World’s Longest Hand-Made Textile Braid is a tribute to The CROWN ACT SB #188, signed into law on July 3, 2019, in California. The Crown Act, drafted and sponsored by California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, bans discrimination against natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks (or locs). The Crown Act was also signed into law in Albuquerque by Mayor Tim Keller on January 15, 2021.

Every 100+ feet of braiding will be a special dedication to the many who have supported natural hairstyles including The Ancestors, All Grandmothers, All Mothers, Hattie McDaniel, Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Susan Taylor (former Editor-in-chief of Essence), Dr. Donda West (Kanye West’s mother), Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, musician Questlove, and others.

Help Hiddekel Reach Her Goal

Hiddekel has already braided over 3,500 feet but she needs your help to reach her target. Here are some ways you can contribute:

Donate yarn. Hiddekel is especially in need of black, royal blue, and red yarn. All remnants, colors, and types are gratefully accepted.

Donate time. Hiddekel needs assistance measuring, cutting, and racking yarn for each week of braiding. If you think you can help, please call the museum at 505.247.0606 Wednesday-Saturday, 12 p.m. -3 p.m.

Donate funding. In order to be considered for the Guinness World Record, Hiddekel must document all active braiding. To help cover the costs of a videographer and associated support, please click here to donate by credit card or ACH.

Together we can insure Hiddekel reaches her goal and draws attention to discrimination while building respect for natural hair.

READ MORE: Hiddekel and The New Mexico Holocaust Museum are included as one of the “12 Exhibitions Not to Miss in New Mexico in the Fall” by TravelMag.com. Click here for the full article on TravelMag.com.

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