The Ceramics Shop With a Cave Full of Women's Hair

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Oct. 16 2013 9:45 AM

Why There's a Cave Full of Women's Hair in This Turkish Ceramics Shop

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Avanos, a small town in the Cappodocian area of Turkey, has a history of ceramics and pottery dating back thousands of years. But visitors are increasingly interested in seeing a much newer attraction: a cave full of human hair.

In 1979, local potter Galip Korukcu was bidding farewell to a dear friend. When he asked for a memento to remember her by, she cut off a piece of her hair. Korukcu stuck it on one of the walls of his shop—located in a cave—and told the story to visitors and tourists who passed through. Not to be outdone, other women began to contribute their own locks of their hair.  

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The hair museum now crams an estimated 16,000 hair samples onto its walls. Female visitors are welcome to snip off a few strands of hair and attach them to a card with their contact details to add to the display. Pencils, paper, pins, and scissors are provided.

There is an added incentive for contributing to the collection: Twice a year, Korukcu asks a customer to choose 10 winning hair samples from the walls. The owners of the tresses receive a free week-long stay in the connected guest house and workshops with the master potter.

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen:


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