Dreadlocks History

We can not know for sure who were the first to observe the phenomenon of locks, because they seem to have been present before each culture had a written language. Although many people hold many mistaken beliefs about dreadlocks, it was not invented by Reggae rock musicians. Dreadlocks have evolved from the earliest of times. The actual word dreadlocks comes from Jamaica, made up in the early movement of the Rastamen, dreadlocks came from the word dread for the meaning of fear and horror. I will continue to use the word dreadlocks throughout the essay, since that is what matted hair is commonly called now. Dreadlocks were worn in parts of Africa and Asia for spiritual reasons long before the Rastafarian’s in the Caribbean starting wearing them. The Pharaohs are believed to have worn locks, but we have no conclusive evidence to prove it. We do have evidence that King Tut had dreadlocks, and they are still intact to this day. But the first writing we have about dreadlocks is in the Veda scriptures of India, the earliest piece is dated to 1800 BC. We do have some evidence that the Celts wore dreadlocks. One of the examples is from Caesar, he described the Celts as having “hair like snakes”. Next come news of past Germanic tribes wearing locks the Greeks, people of the land called Nazareth such as Samson, Pacific peoples, Naga Indians (known also as Serpent People). Today in India, dreadlocks are spotted among Sadhus (holy men). Dreadlocks are also worn in and by Ethiopia, Bahatowie priests of the Amhara nation believed to be of the Coptic faith, Senegal, Baye Fal, believed to be a sect of Islam, Mouridism, also a sect of Islam, Sudan, several small sects of Islam Kenya, Akorino of the Kikuyu nation, Oromo Beja or a sect called “the church of the living god”, Ghana, the Bono of Techiman, the Fitish priests, the Somali, the Galla, the Maasai, the Mau Mau, the Tanzania, the Aborigines, and the New Guineans.