Taking a Look Back at The History of Dreadlocks

Spartan_officerTaking a Look Back at The History of Dreadlocks

Ever wonder how dreadlocks came to be one of the most iconic and culturally diverse hair styles in the world? Some attribute its popularity to the Rastafarian movement of the 20th century. While this certainly played a role in the history of dreads, men and women had been wearing them long before. In today’s blog post, we’re going to take a look back at the history and dreads, revealing its true roots and origins.

The Beginning

While historians continue to debate over which civilization is responsible for pioneering dreadlocks, it’s believed to have occurred around around 2,500 BCE (give or take a couple centuries. Ancient statutes from North African and the Horn of Africa of this time depict men with locked hair. The trend soon spread to nearby regions, including Egypt where mummified remains have been discovered with locked hair and wigs.

Dreadlocks in India

Of course, dreadlocks also have strong roots dating back to ancient India. The Hindu deity Shiva and his followers are often depicted with locked hair. In fact, Hindu scriptures describe them as wearing Jataa, which translates into “twisted locks of hair.” This placed the hairstyle in front of millions of followers, many of whom followed suit by locking their own hair.

Popularity for Dreadlocks Continues to Grow

music-blackman-lisbon-396732-lNumerous other cultures and civilizations also began to lock their hair, including the Greeks. According to Wikipedia, over half of the remaining Ancient Greek kouros sculptures from 615-485 BCE have dreadlocks, attesting to the popularity of this hairstyle at the time.

In addition to Hindu, many other religious groups wore dreadlocks, such as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church, Qalandari Sufis, Dervishes of Islam, and Christians. The first Bishop of Jerusalem, James the Just, is said to have worn dreadlocks down to his feet.

Modern-Day Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks saw a revival during the 1970s – a time when reggae music was steadily gaining popularity. Some of the most well-known authors, poets, athletes, celebrities, musicians, and fashion icons began to lock their hair. This period, known as the Rastafarian Movement, played a pivotal role in the history of dreadlocks, as it revived the once fading style with life and vigor.

Today, dreadlocks remain more popular than ever. You don’t have to search very hard to find someone sporting locked hair — a tend that’s unlikely to go away anytime soon given the deep, meaningful history behind dreadlocks.

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1 Comment
  1. I believe that I joined the movement to locked hair early in my 20’s just back from Vietnam in 69 and not at all ready to rejoin the world that I had left when my country tapped me to save our democracy from the dirty nasty commies.  Go figure on that on Film at 11 (I have stories to tell).  I have had some form of Dreads since the winter of 71 on an off.  Twelve years ago (today is the last day of July 2016) I decided that I wanted a Terminal Length mane with no cuts or trims since the unexpected death of my father in August 2004.  I achieved this goal yet for the last year I have considered just what am I supposed to do now.  This URL and others like it found mostly by google my search took on a life of its own.  One tiny step at a time allowed me to put my mind into wearing my hair locked.  With only 1 short lived blip on the radar of life I found a hairdresser who agreed to take on natural well groomed hair and turn out a Dread style that I like to call a MOHAWK taking 10 dreads on each side (not shaved like a true mohawk) loosely pulled to the back in a kisser’s knot to keep my dreads from falling forward into whatever I was doing at the time.  Chris R. has used his attempt to learn how this Dreads thing works spending countless hours learning the technique of true almost Feral Dreads which are maturing so fast.  I love how I have adjusted to living under them learning what it means in a personal way to be a, “A HAPPY ECLECTIC UNATTACHED OLD SCHOOL PHILOSOPHER”.  Interested in following my thread & comments? Facebook.com./daniellewis.frommherz please join me in this my latest adventure.

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