The daily taming of hair is an act of civilization, battling the unruliness of the body. In this sense the rituals of daily existence, such as combing one’s hair, echo as objects the counsel of the Mirrors for Princes genre. Like the genre of medieval advice literature, grooming has also undergone an increased profanization in recent centuries. Once a sacred, ritual practice, today it is often a mere cosmetic transaction or at best a tribal, gendered belonging.
Bandari String Fingerling portrays the plucking of facial hair–which follows strictly gendered lines, acceptable for men, unacceptable for women–as a precious act of penitence.