Lady Wrap Star: Kiva Rose!

We have a very special Lady Wrap Star for you today. She is a writer, clinical herbalist and botanical sanctuary caretaker, who has written us a beautiful piece about her journey with head-covering and how wrapping helps her connect with her maternal lineage. Tons of wrapping photos included!

Without further ado, we will now present to you… Kiva Rose:

photo-on-8-22-16-at-1-36-pm-2“I make my home in a riparian canyon in the wilderness of southern New Mexico where my family cares for a botanical sanctuary. Our cabin is perched atop a mesa that overlooks the San Francisco River. The colors of the cliffs, woodlands, and wildflowers are dramatically colorful, and certainly inspire many of my daily scarf choices! The flaming orange of the Globemallow flowers, the turquoise skies, and the earthy greens of the Pines all show up quite regularly in my wardrobe.

I’m a clinical herbalist, folklorist, and writer. Alongside my clinical work, I also co-direct an international herbal conference in the American Southwest, co-edit and publish Plant Healer Magazine, and write incessantly about flowers and fairy tales! Basically, my work revolves around helping people reconnect to wellness, nature, and story, and includes a great deal of emphasis on accessible healthcare.

I’ve been wrapping intermittently since I was a little girl, in part because my mom did. She worked for a Rabbi when we lived in south Florida and had lived in various parts of the world where covering was important, and then kept it up off and on over the years. Where I grew up it wasn’t uncommon for women to wear scarves when they went out in public, attended religious services, or got dressed up for any celebration, so I didn’t really understand it was an unusual choice until I was in my teens. The realization that wrapping was odd in most US communities didn’t change my feelings about the subject, and I continued to collect and wear my scarves. I frequently wore large printed wraps in college, and got called “Babushka” a whole lot.

photo-on-8-20-16-at-11-48-am-2More recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my family, ancestry, and how many traditions have been lost or eroded over the years. And about what I’m passing down to my daughter (and only child) who just turned sixteen this past month…. so I guess I’m very deeply pondering and reconsidering aspects of my religious/spiritual and cultural/social perspective in ways that have led me to feel that covering my hair is an important part of how I interface with people, the natural world, and G-d, if that makes sense.

dscf3047My family has been splintered by religious and mental health issues, and I find that wrapping helps me maintain some connection to my maternal lineage. I first learned wrapping from my mother, and she gave me my first scarves. Now I’m teaching my teenage daughter to wrap and this year her birthday presents were mostly scarves, so this feels like a joyful way of passing on beauty and meaning.

I’ve loved folklore and fairy tales since I was a child, so when I stumbled across the Wrapunzel tutorials while looking up wrapping on YouTube, I couldn’t resist checking the whole site out. What a magical rabbit hole to fall down! There’s something truly enchanted about how Wrapunzel is woven together, a vibrant tapestry of colors, textures, women, and an undeniable warmth that draws the viewer in.

I’ve always adored how wrapping looks, so there’s definitely some purely aesthetic joy happening here. I love the colors, the textures, the way it looks, and the ways it brings women together in such a special way. They way such a simple garment can bridge cultures, ethnicities, religions, borders, and politics to bring women back together into a beautifully diverse circle of shared delight. I’m fascinated by how much about a woman is reflected in the wraps she chooses, and how the nuanced spectrum of the feminine is expressed. From turban to veil, brilliant ruby to deepest blue, braid to fringe, fairy princess to tribal queen…. we’re a living testament to the immensity of what links us all together as women.

dscf3022For many years of my life, I dressed, quite literally, in camouflage colors. Whether that was the green shades of the forest or the black uniform of urban centers, I tried hard not to stand out. I’m strange enough that this has always been something of a fail for me, but choosing to wrap was also a choice to embrace who I am and to stop apologizing for it. Choosing to wrap in shades of brilliant color took this yet a step further. At first, I had to make a concerted effort to hold my head up high when I stepped into public instead of pulling into myself in wary self-consciousness. It’s grown easier with each day of wrapping, and I now actually find myself looking forward to smiling back at people when they look my way.

photo-on-8-27-16-at-2-01-pm-2Part of why I only wrapped off and on before was because I didn’t know there were wonderful things like velvet headbands and shapers that made wrapping so much easier to sustain without everything attempting to fall off my head (the punchline of many embarrassing stories from when I was younger) or pull my hair or give me headaches. Now, thanks to watching countless Wrapunzel tutorials, I can literally hang upside off of tree branches (and I do) in my wraps without them getting in my way or falling off. My long skirts are another matter entirely, heh….

The internet is certainly filled with many places to purchase beautiful clothing or accessories, but the search for community is a more challenging one. I certainly didn’t expect to find a whole group of new friends while learning how to keep my scarf on my head, but I somehow did! There’s no way to spend time on the Wrapunzel blog, Facebook page, or website without getting a sense of the enthusiasm and caring that’s at the heart of the Wrapunzel community!

I have very much appreciated Andrea’s willingness to speak about her own story, to share so much joy so generously with others, and to so kindly teach people how wrap easily and confidently, that’s a pretty big deal in what is sometimes considered a curious  or contentious topic. I’m grateful for how many women she’s brought together, and how she opens her circle wide for everyone with compassion and respect.

photo-on-8-29-16-at-9-14-am-4-2It’s become a morning ritual for me to check in with the Wrapunzel Facebook Group, look through all the new pictures of women in their gorgeous wraps, and try to let as many as possible know how beautiful they are. I find this a fantastic way to start my day and it puts me in a great mood for work. I know that, regardless of what else is happening in the world, there will be a circle of well-wrapped women showing off their crowns while supporting each other through this journey we call life.”

~Kiva Rose



9 thoughts on “Lady Wrap Star: Kiva Rose!

  1. punxxi

    Your wraps are always fabulous and on many occasions I have thought of you as a wood nymph, a fairy, or a royal lady. I can’t believe you have a 16 year old daughter, you look so young and beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dina

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us. Currently we are at our home in Maine, but our second home is in Albuquerque, and we drive down to visit friends in Las Cruces. (My friend just blogged photos of all the beautiful green and flowers from the rains from the hurricane that came through there. Sorry I’m missing it.)
    I would love to find your botanical paradise when we are back in New Mexico.
    I love your wraps, too, and what a great way to honor your mother’s memory and pass it down to your daughter.

    I began wrapping after finding Andrea’s videos and began to become more Torah observant, and then, I also found Wrapunzel. I am a fiber quilt artist, so like you I love creating colorful wraps. Wrapunzel’s headbands and shapers have been the key to keeping my wraps in place, too. No, I don’t hang from trees, but our chihuahua dog on leash has pulled me under several low branches and nothing has fallen off my head, just off the branches:)

    I don’t do Facebook, so I only get to see those of you who share here on the blog. I really miss the NM mountains. But, here in Maine, soon our maple leaves will be turning bright red and the birches, yellow.


  3. Donna Garcia

    Beautiful lady and beautiful wraps! Would love to know how she did the first wrap with the twist in chartreuse, maybe Andrea could do a video to show us the technique.


  4. Jocelyn Schultz Isenberg

    Thank you for sharing. May you continue to grow spiritually and in understanding and acceptance of your own spirit.


  5. siberianmommy

    I’m going to be fifty in a few months and am considering wrapping for a number of reasons. Thank you for your post. I’m getting so much information, insight, and support from all you beautiful and caring women.


  6. Summerdays

    Kiva, you are beautiful and I LOVE all of your brightly colored, joyful wraps! Stunning! Yes, I have to agree, I also read it twice, couldn’t believe that you’ve got a daughter of 16 – amazing!

    And it cracked me up when I read that you’re hanging from tree branches – you sound like so much fun to be around with!

    I’m glad you decided to screw the shyness, because there’s a beautiful, fun and gorgeous YOU to share with the world! And what you have said is SO IMPORTANT – for us to forget about ourselves and to smile and make eye contact with those who may be desperate to reach out to us! There’s a world with a lot of broken people out there and our smile and friendliness may just make the world’s difference in somebody’s life!

    Thank you for sharing your awesomeness!


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