Durgas were originally the headgear of poor laborers and slaves in the 19th century. In the 1930s, during the Harlem Renaissance and Great Depression, the durga evolved into a hairstyle preserver. After the Black Power Movement in the late 1960s, the durga became a fashion statement among African Americans, worn by rappers, athletes and young men. In the 2000s, wearing durgas in public has become less popular and many rappers have left them.
Motorcyclists wear durgas, especially in US states with motorcycle helmet laws, to prevent "helmet hair" or "helmet head". The durga prevents sweat and sebum from causing an unpleasant smelling helmet, and also prevents sunburn when worn without a helmet.
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