Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dreadlocks, fashion or spiritual

Question: Is it ok to have dreadlocks as a fashion statement instead of for spiritual reasons?

There is a common debate about the value of dreadlocks. Many see locks as a symbol of heritage, while others see it as a symbol of trend. This trend has been growing over the past 8 years. During this period of time, it was hard to find resources or videos that educated viewers about taking care of their locks and naps. Today, there are several publications and websites dedicated to natural hair care.
As the market expands and social connection deteriorates,  another form of division has been developing within the dreadlock community, due to a clash of individual beliefs or integrity. This clash of differences has generated from the purpose or reasons behind growing locks. Whereas some people grow their dreadlocks for looks, where others grow their dreadlocks for spiritual reasons... The hair corporations have become the influence to inspire another group of individuals, who don't grow dreadlocks at all… instead this alternative group simply purchases them.

Question: If an individual asked you if they could purchase your locks, would you consider the request to be acceptable behavior or perverse? I ask because it has become a trend within the hair industry. There are businesses throughout the world, that have been established on the concept of pawning people’s locks… particularly locks grown from nappy hair. Meanwhile, there is also a trend of individuals giving offers to individuals who have locked their hair. Similar, to the already existing behavior of wealthy couples offering to purchase children from poor families. The spiritual process of growing ones locks, has become a market of profit and status. The sacred worth behind the cause and the process, has become trivial to popular civilization. 
As always, I want to understand the why behind an action…. But before understanding this boom in popularity of locks, it is important to have a clear understanding of the history.

Brief History of Dreadlocks

Since the beginning of human history,  well before the tribes of the Caucasus  Mountains returned to the valley, people wore locks. There are images and statues of early civilizations around the world, that demonstrates the legacy of dreadlocks. In addition to these ancient works,  many ancient gods and goddess wore a crown of locks to demonstrate their power, legacy and wisdom. The peasants who worshipped these gods, did their outmost to mimic their Godly image as mortals.

As it was discussed in previous articles,  African hair, in the days of our ancestors, was tried as though spirits dwelt in it. In ancient tribes, only the anointed had the right to touch someone’s hair. The practice behind creating a unique hairstyle, was valued as a religious practice adorned by the gods.  Therefore, the growth of hair, particularly in locks, was a sacred symbol of blessings, wisdom and strength.
Thus, it is not surprising that at some point in time , all nations wore locks.

But as time progressed, the views of society changed. And where others quickly dismissed the image of dreadlocks as barbaric, there were still many who held to the spiritual practice of their ancestors, even though the full reason was forgotten.

As the westernized civilization developed, those who continue to wear locks endured centuries of social change, accusations,  isolation and cruelty for growing their crown. The symbol of the locks became a symbol of rebellion, freedom, strength and knowledge, many of those who kept to the practices of their ancestors, were the ones who led nations into freedom from the oppressor. And as time continued to progress, the meaning behind the image changed again, as it represented specific religions, such as Rastafarianism. Thus, the value of its meaning remained sacred, until our current generation.

Back to current day

Expression, is indeed the property of the creator who expresses themselves.

Though expression is a source of freedom, the expressional practice can be either fulfilling or empty.

In association with the traditional image, there has been a development of  superficial representation of dreadlocks. These sub cultures have inherited the locked looks, to demonstrate that they are in connection with the Rastafarian nation, however, their overall integrity, lifestyle, mindset and personal agenda counters the beliefs they claim to follow. Many of these individuals use dreadlocks as a way to symbolize their “street life” or use of illegal substances. And have unfortunately,  created a bad reputation for individuals with locks with a constructive lifestyle.

Expression is free, but expression at the expense of others is costly.
In the original question, is it ok to have dreadlocks as a fashion statement instead of for spiritual reasons?

I believe that any fashion statement that has been adopted from strong roots or religious sources, should be adopted with the awareness that you are still (even if indirectly) representing a community of peoples. Therefore, an adoption of a religious practice as a trend, should be treated as a change of personal lifestyle or self-respect,  in order to keep universal integrity.

Thoughts?

How do you feel about people requesting to buy another's locks? How do you feel about people purchasing other's locks? How do you feel about people attaching other's locks, to "quickly" grow their's?

Long Time no Speak, Times have Changed



Bonjour, Guten Tag and Good Morning!


It has been a while since we spoke, my friends. I have been on some journeys, which has provided me an excellent opportunity to review new cultures, languages, people, places, music and food. I listened to stories and actively explored new places. And now... I am back in Seattle, reaching out to you.

Before returning to the "so-called" culturally diverse city named Seattle (which is pretty much not culturally diverse... I'll explain later), I was blessed with the opportunity to stay in London for 3 months. Most of my time was spent in Brixton (a historic area where Caribbean migrants settled in London). I did live in England many years before this visit but it has been over 10 years since I landed in that country.

I have to say, that in the 10 years since I had last been in London, the Black British roots in London, are being wiped out. As a youth in London, I remember the city being filled with black-owned businesses, festivals and community events. But now... all the places that I used to hangout in (particularly East London and Stratford) have become skeletons of what they were. So, many "out of business" signs have been constructed throughout those areas. So many building structures that play apart in our history in England, have been demolished.

I couldn't help but notice, when I wandered around the city, that it was an eeriness to the changes, that echoed the events that went on in America.

We are being washed out of history...

When I returned to Seattle, the same events in London, continued to be happening in this city. A city where the runaway slaves fled to for refuge, before the European settlers "discovered" the Northwest. A city where my family lived in for many years. When I returned to Seattle, the local white Americans looked at me as if "I did not belong there"... it was in this moment of realization, when I understood my next move as a journalist...

When I originally created this blog, there was no resources to support information about bettering your well-being naturally as a sister or a brother. So, as I did research for myself, this blog became my intention to simply share my discoveries across the world wide web, in hopes of reaching a potential reader. I honestly never expected to uncover as much information as I did, about our hair and our appearance, nor did I ever imagine that there would be so many readers interested in what I discovered.

This blog, became a platform to share TRUTHS to the best of my knowledge. The TRUTHS that I seek out, are the TRUTHS of my direct ancestors, which hail from Black History. (Black History, is in reference to the line of descendants since the importation of their Ancestors, African slaves)

Just as I did when this blog was created, I still want to share with you about the truths that I uncover. And to the best of my work-a-holic abilities (lol), I plan to keep you updated with history, stories and information related to the Topic of Natural and Nappy.

In regards to the KERNE Magazine publication... this magazine will be a platform where I will share truths outside of our history in appearance. Just as I have dug deep into understanding the Whys of Black hair, I plan to find out the WHYS of our current black situation.

With that said, like the KERNE Facebook page, to keep up-to-date with new events or the official launch date of this publication

Thank you again for being loyal readers.

Blessed. :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy 5th Anniversary of the Natural & Nappy Site



Over five years and still typing. That's pretty cool. I think in internet years that's like 15 years, isn't it?

To sum it up my bloggings for the past 5 years. We went over:

What relaxers are and what they do
Random plants that make you feel good
Eating a healthy diet
And realizing that whatever you put on your body, goes in your body.

But what other stories would you like me to study and write about. Name the subject and I will be delighted to go where most people don't bother to go, to find out the answer. That is what I do and I enjoy doing it.


I'm just going to continue on winging it, and sharing the information that I have discovered along the way.

Thanks for continuing to tune in.

Sincerely,

L. Michel

(aka Arya01)