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Dreadlocks: Its Roots, 6 Cultures And True Historical Connection | KOKO Brides
Friday, June 14, 2024

    Dreadlocks: Its Roots, 6 Cultures And True Historical Connection

    Dreadlocks are so much more than just a hairstyle. They are associated with an extensive line of historical adoption dating back centuries, across different cultures, traditions, and religions.

    The fact that Egyptian mummies were found to have had dreadlock wigs dating back to over 1400 BCE and even earlier is a solid indication that this is where dreadlocks originated. The mummy, who is believed to have been an Egyptian noble named Maiherperi, became golden proof that the Egyptians did know about locking hair, even before the Greeks.

    READ ALSO: The 5 Stages Of The Dreadlock Journey

    Other Cultures with a Historical Connection to Dreadlocks
    Apart from the founding cultures of dreadlocks, other cultures have a connection to the style. These are noteworthy mentions of the cultures that locked their hair long before the common era began.

    1. Maasai Tribe
    Africans have been accustomed to wearing dreadlocks for a long time, such that the hairstyle is widely regarded as a ‘Black hairstyle’ since it’s often connected to black culture. The Maasai are an African tribe in Kenya known to wear dreadlocks as a form of tradition. Although there wasn’t a specific date when the tradition began, the Maasai men (warriors, to be exact) are known to wear their dreadlocks dyed in red root extracts from the soil. They were used to distinguish warriors from commoners.

    READ ALSO: 6 Ways To Maintain Your Dreadlocks To Keep It Growing

    Another sign of Africa’s historical record of dreadlocks lies within Ghana’s Akan groups. All the priests wore locs as a symbol of spirituality. A few commoners also wore them, specifically those who wanted to feel closer to their spirits. Dreadlocks were referred to as Mpasatia and their prominence spilled over into Jamaica during the slave trade era.

    2. Celtics and Druids
    The history behind the Celtic dreadlock is found in archeological findings and stories of old. Some believe that the stories are simply mere words spoken by old people around the fireplace to get the little ones to sleep, while others believe that it is history passed down through generations. Although the story doesn’t have much empirical backing archeologists have found remains of ancient druids with locked hair, giving the story the chance to live on in books and historical records.

    3. Judaism
    Judaism, the religion that supports the Abrahamic faith, also has a dreadlock-filled past. A well-known figure that was reported to wear locks is Samson; he was a powerful man who could kill a lion with his bare hands. Though he lost his powers when his hair was cut off, he was always depicted with seven lock strands . Also, an oath in the Book of Numbers states that all Nazirites should refrain from cutting the hair on their head but let the locks grow freely.

    4. Poland
    The polish culture is the only one on this list that associated locks with an illness. The region was known for its polish plaits hairstyle that looks very similar to dreadlocks. From a superstitious perspective, polish plaits were believed to be the physical indication of a person’s freedom from a deadly illness. When the sickness leaves the body, it moves to the hair making it tangle (creating a polish plait). The hair was usually untouched because another myth was that cutting, trimming, or trying to comb out the hair could lead to even worse bodily illnesses.

    READ ALSO: 7 Dreadful Lies About Dreadlocks And The Truth About It

    5. Rastafari
    A popular figure from the Rastafari religion is Bob Marley. He is credited with bringing dreadlocks into the modern world as a symbol of fashion and expression of self. However, the Rastafari formed unique beliefs surrounding hair even before Bob Marley. The tradition began after the exile of their political and religious leader Ras Tafari, in the 1930s. As a result of his exile, the people who followed him, referred to as Rasta, swore to leave their hair unattended until his political leadership was reinstated. Uncombed and left to grow untended to, it was usually dyed and adorned to honor the royalty of their emperor.

    6. Aztec
    Aztec priests were known for their matted hair. It was long (often reaching past their knees to the floor). Sometimes, it would be odorous and moldy, their dreads came about because young nobles were disallowed to focus on anything but their spirituality and studies, which left their hair to grow in an interwoven pattern. When these nobles became priests afterward, they consequently left their hair as it was, thereby creating a culture around the priests dreadlocks.

    There are inexhaustible cultures associated with locks and the  more you know, the more you realize that Black people aren’t the only ones that can take claim to locks they are much more widespread than most people think

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