Dreads, Roots, and Rasta

Dreads represent more than a hairstyle. Wearing locks can be traced to Biblical times. In Numbers Chapter 6, when “the Lord spoke unto Moses” he said to “tell the children of Israel to take the vow of a Nazirite and consecrate himself (man or woman) unto the Lord.” Nazirites, such as Samson, vowed not to cut their hair in service to God. Nazirites wore locks, Samson was said to have seven locks. Some now say that “locks”, the term used in the Holy Bible, meant braids. Rastafarians wear locks, dreadlocks, and like Narirites have made vows not to cut their hair in service to God.

The Diaspora which began in the 16th Century of African people by enslavement scattered Africans to various countries. The mass movement separated millions from their culture, religion, and identity. Rastafari emerged from Kingston, Jamaica, during the early 1930’s in an effort to recover that identify.

Rastafari embraces the ideology known as Ethiopianism. Ethiopianism expresses the spiritual, cultural, and political desires of African descendants in the Americas and the Caribbean.  It also expresses ties between all African people without regard to location.

The wearing of dreadlocks, dreads, locks, or locs is symbolic of the cultural identify associated with Ethiopiaism. It is worn by both Rastafarians and people victim of Diaspora all over the world.

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