Dreadlocks. What do you think of when you hear this word? Black people. Men. Trouble -makers. Jamaica. Bob Marley. I believe that a single story has been told about dreadlocks. A single story of the rebellious black man’s hairstyle, but dreadlocks has many stories. They involve many cultures, but I want to speak on mine. Dreadlocks in Jamaica started during post emancipation. It was a means of defiance for ex-slaves to rebel against Euro-centrism that was forced on them. The hairstyle was originally referred to as a “dreadful” hairstyle by the Euro centric Jamaican society. It later evolved to the term now used: Dreadlocks. It represents freedom. Independence. Self-choice. It is also represents strength to Rastafarians. Men who took the Levitical vow to not cut their hair (along with other dietary restrictions). Their hair was a symbol of their strength and cutting it would make them weak. These are just two of the stories of dreads as they relate to Jamaica. Now what do you think of when you hear dreadlocks?

4 thoughts on “Dreadlocks

  1. I absolutely love locs which is why I have them myself, I like to think of them as my crown. I love how free they are and also i feel that they also hold a spiritual aspect to them. This post is so enlightening to me because I didn’t know the deep history of dreadlocks and after reading this I feel even more attached to mine. When I was in high school my teacher always would call me a rasta because of my locs but now knowing why dreadlocks started and what they represent it I feel like I have a better understanding of what my hair really symbolizes.

  2. Wow this is eye-opening thank you for this post. I use to view dreadlocks negatively, but now I have so much respect and appreciation for those who choose this hairstyle. I am amazed at how it conveys a deeper meaning than what many people think. This post right here made me realize how important it is to really question our own thoughts and beliefs about other cultures before we fully accept them to be true.

  3. In society, we view foreign cultural aspects as “weird” or “unnatural” and your post about dreadlocks goes to show that most people do not understand their significance. People who do not have dreadlocks simply associate them with negative connotations, without realizing that to people of Rastafarian culture, they represent the exact opposite.

  4. When I think of dreadlocks I think beauty and stength. My mother, sister have lots and they always look beautiful. I formerly had dreadlocks for about 3 years as well, I think strength and patience because the locking process or journey is often a long once sometimes filled with missteps. When I see locus I think of long ropes of hair bound together by strength, love and patience. Many people do look down on people with lots and have many misconceptions mainly rooted in stereotypes and ignorance, but I think that people that do go through the process understand that this comes with the territory.

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