In December 2019 I traveled to Egypt to do research for the Eye of Isis novels, set in Alexandria in the time of Cleopatra.
Below are photographs of tomb carvings at Al Qarnah, the artisans’ village. Cornrows are not a new thing in fashion.
Tetisheri put her hands on her hips and glared. “I thought you were a doctor, not a lady’s maid.”
“And I thought you were nearly twenty, not ten. Take if off so I can put this on.”
Bast, engaged in a thorough washing of her left hind leg, looked up and meowed in unmistakable agreement. Tetisheri transferred her glare. “Traitor!” Fuming, she fumbled at the back of her pendant and handed it over. Keren replaced it with the collar. “Excellent,” she said with satisfaction. “Now your bracelets.” In spite of Tetisheri’s inarticulate protest four narrow, highly polished gold bracelets were shoved inexorably over her hands, two above her elbows and two around her wrists. “Now the fillet. Oh gods, your hair!”
Tetisheri, peering into the silvered mirror on the wall, had to admit that it was rather a mess, and submitted to having a wide-toothed ivory comb dragged ruthlessly through it. When Keren was done Tetisheri’s eyes were watering but her hair was a shining black curtain that just touched her shoulders.
Standing behind her, Keren settled the thin gold fillet over her forehead. “Look.” Keren turned her to face the mirror again. “There,” she said with satisfaction. “You look a proper lady of the house.” — Death of an Eye, 2018
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