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Independence, Missouri

Leila's Hair Museum

A museum celebrating the Victorian obsession with hair art 

Leila Cohoon’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri displays 159 wreaths and more than 2,000 pieces of jewelry made out of human hair. Though turning hair into wreaths was something of a Victorian obsession, hair art actually dates back to at least the 1400s.

Some of the displays in Cohoon’s collection come from as far back as the 17th century. In an age before photography, collecting hair was a way of capturing the essence of a person at a point in time, and keeping the memory of a deceased love one near. “That is the only part of that human body that’s still here,” says Cohoon.

We explored Leila’s Hair Museum on Obscura Day - March 20th, 2010. Photos, stories and more here


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