I’m including two links. One is the original article I read: How Cornrows Were Used by Slaves [sic] to Escape Slavery in South America, which details the idea that women braided escape maps into their hair as well as messages. The second article is from Snopes that doesn’t discredit this theory despite no tangible evidence. As been told, just because we don’t know if it happened, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. There are many ways that African Americans used to keep themselves safe in order to survive slavery and emancipation from slavery, including communicating with each other and traveling north to freedom. Whether mythology or history, it is important to know all aspects of the African American experience from their arrival on these shores, almost exclusively involuntarily.
An additional thing that I learned in regards to language is that in South America this type of hair braiding was known as “cane rows” as opposed to “corn rows” because the crop there was sugar cane.
How Cornrows Were Used by Slaves to Escape Slavery in South America
SNOPES: Did Braiding Maps in Cornrows Help Black Slaves Escape Slavery?
One more link on the history of braids: Roots of Braid