What do dreadlocks symbolize
Dreadlocks are the matted, long, "twisted" strands of hair that we often see. Most of the Rastas wear this hairstyle to signal that they belong to the tribe of Judah - and the Rastas believe that they are descendants of the tribe of Judah. [] In German-speaking countries there are some people who see this hairstyle as an ideal of beauty and therefore wear it. But very few know what this head of hair actually means.
Dreadlocks symbolize power, strength, courage, determination, but also fertility and a wise mind. The "Lion of Juda" as a symbol of Rastafarism has just such a mane, and lions are also known to us as "kings of the beasts", as strong, courageous, experienced and brave. The name dreadlocks is derived from reverence for God (patois: dread = fear).
Contrary to all fairy tales, dreadlocks don't hurt and you can care for them normally, especially washing them. In principle, the more sun shines, the more the hair becomes matted, because then the hair is drier. Sometimes the matting process has to be helped. In general it has to be said that Europeans hair is much too thin to make "good" dreads with it. The fact that as a Rasta one should not use any artificial products such as hair gel etc. is directly related to the Babylon idea.
The following biblical passages are cited in this context: []
Leviticus 21: 5: The priests should not shave their heads bald, trim their beards or cut their bodies.
Leviticus 19:27: You shouldn't cut your head hair all around. You shouldn't trim your beard.
Numbers 6, 5: As long as the Nazarite vow is in force, no razor should touch his head until the time for which he has consecrated himself to the Lord as a Nazarite has expired. He is holy, he has to let his hair grow freely.
Really believing Rastas therefore do not "shave" a "bald head". However, it is of course not compulsory to wear Rasta dreadlocks. Rohita Jayalath from the Viennese reggae group "Rootsman" said when I asked whether the members of the group were Rastas, "Yes, but we are Rastas at heart, not by appearance." Of course, not too much should be interpreted in this sentence, but certainly this that you don't have to have dreadlocks, a tam or the clothes described to be a Rasta.
If you are more interested in dreadlocks and their variants and styles, we recommend the excellently made German-language info site at www.dreadz.de.
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