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, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). It is estimated that she will set the record during the month of July.
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 until she reaches her goal of 6,000 feet (or 1828.8 meters) most likely sometime in July. 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 multi-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 which bans discrimination against natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks (or locs). The Crown (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act has been passed into law in states and cities across America, including New Mexico and Albuquerque. You can find out more about The Crown Act and its impact here.
Every 100+ feet of braiding will be a special dedication to the many who have supported natural hairstyles. These include 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.