HISTORY OF DREADLOCKS AND ITS INFLUENCE
Dreadlocks are a nod to blackness. They signify a crucial part of black heritage and culture. Not only do they play a significant role in telling the history of black people of strength, resilience, power, and rejection of oppression. During the transatlantic slave trade, black hair was violently erased, and black hair identity was stripped by shaving hair off immediately of enslaved Africans. With no goods for grooming black hair, it was regarded as unkempt, and wild. With black people throughout history being forced to conform to Eurocentric standards of beauty, dreadlocks signify a rebellious stance.
In 1930, Ras Tafari Haile Selassie was crowned Ethiopian Emperor. During the Ethiopian invasion, the emperor was forced into exile. Guerilla warriors vowed not to cut their hair until the emperor was released. This brought about the Rastafarian movement. In Kenya in 1950, freedom fighters known as the Mau Mau fought against British colonial rule. They wore dreadlocks as a sign of revolting and to also signify strength and resilience. Both the Mau Mau and the Rastafarian used their dreadlocks to portray strength and tenacity. They both represented the anti-establishment.
Unfortunately, dreadlocks just like back hair in its natural state have had negative connotations to them like unkempt, dirty, and unmanageable hair. The choice of wearing dreadlocks symbolizes people accepting and embracing their natural hair to grow how it naturally would. This for some meant rejecting the definition of a westernized standard of beauty which is straight hair. Dreadlocks for some have a spiritual connection that represents a renewed sense of pride in their black physical characteristics and their blackness.
Rebellious movements wearing dreadlocks have been able to greatly influence the natural hair community. Embracing your natural hair and its unique texture began in the early 60s thanks to dreadlocks in a lot of oppression-resistant groups. It saw a shift of both men and women tired of trying to fit in with mainstream beauty. There was a reduction of the urgency to fit in and damage your beautiful texture with hot combs, perms, and relaxers. The natural hair movement slowly began as more people began to adorn afros and gorgeous natural hairstyles.
The same can be said about the impact of dreadlocks in hip-hop culture. Hip-hop was created as being anti-establishment. Hip-hop was viewed with a lot of negativity within society. It was rejected and deemed violent, and destructive, and the music was a negative influence on society. Hip-hop represented resistance against black culture discrimination and erasure. Dreadlocks influenced hip hop for those who have chosen to be their authentic self, resilience, and rebellion against oppressive institutions.
Zigleys is a pioneering fine jewelry brand that also represents a stand against the ignorant stigma of dreadlocks. Black hair is not unkempt, or untidy. Black hair is unique, and beautiful and should be confidently worn in everyday life and on special occasions. Zigleys 18-karat gold line collection represents the richness and beauty of black hair. The luxurious jewelry line accentuates your naturally beautiful hair texture and signifies a new shift in culture.
Brand like this not only help to put a positive spotlight on this significant aspect of black culture, but also shows the ingenuity of those who’re on a mission to build and support cultural awareness and acceptance.