D R E A D S
DREADS • LOCS • JAATĀ • DADA
This hairstyle was first depicted over 3,000 years ago! The ancient Vedic scriptures of India have the earliest proof of dreads or as referred to in India - Jaatā. It was worn as part of religious practices by the Shiva followers.
Dreads were worn by the Greeek specifically in Santorini, as far back as 1500 BCE and also one of Europes earliest civilisations, the Minoan Civilisation were known for this hairstyle.
Dreads were worn in the Bronze and Iron Age too! This was more popular in the Eastern Mediterranean area and North Africa notably amongst; Akkadians, Babylonians, Hattians, Israelites, Persians, Armenians and Cilicans to name a few!
Greek sculptures have been depicted in art wearing braided or dread-like styles. In Senegal, the Baye Fall are famous for their dreads.
Warriors among the Fulani, Wolof and Serer found in Mauritania, Mali and Niger are known to wear dreads when they get older.
Dreads are worn for several different reasons amongst different cultures. Some wear it to express deep religious beliefs or spirituality to show ethnic pride, as a political statement or to exude a free spirited nature.
The Maasai usually have long, thin and red dreads. In the Shaman culture, spiritual men and women wear dreads while in Nigeria, children naturally born with dreads are endearingly called Dada.
The Turkana people of Kenya and Akan peope of Ghana love their dreads! The look was later embraced by the Rasta people from the slave trade era, who have roots in Jamaica.
The popularity of Reggae music from Jamaica hit the mainstream in 1970 with credit to musician Bob Marley. He created a fashion statement with his dreads and this went on to become part of Western and worldwide fashion.
The indigenous Australian people also wore their hair in dreads, with fully or partially locked beards.
FUN FACT: Asha Mandela a woman from Atlanta, Georgia has the worlds longest dreads at 55 feet and 7 inches long! She has been nicknamed "The Black Rapunzel."