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Maja Tabea Jerrentrup, A Non-Linear Style in:

Anthropos, page 171 - 180

Anthropos, Volume 115 (2020), Issue 1, ISSN: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774, https://doi.org/10.5771/0257-9774-2020-1-171

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ANTHROPOS 113.2018: 395 – 422 Abstract. – The once more-or-less exclusively pastoral Todas of the Nilgiri Mountains in South India still retain vibrant beliefs in gods and goddesses they say once lived among them but thereafter became mountains; they tell also of ancestors who were once living Todas but subsequently became divinities. Beyond such indigenous convictions, Todas have absorbed a plethora of Hindu beliefs and ritual practices. Christian ideology has been propagated among Todas, with foreign-led Christian missionaries succeeded in establishing a breakaway Toda Christian community. But notwithstanding the many divergent sources of Toda religious ideology, the predominant and most public display of Toda ritual activity (apart from among Christian Todas) still centres on their unique sacred dairying cult, despite the rapid decline in the importance of buffaloes in the community’s modern-day economic life. This, together with their exclusively Toda deities and culture heroes seems to suggest a unique ethnic religion, frequently categorized as “non-Hindu.” But demonstrably Indic (therefore, if only loosely, “Hindu”) principles permeate Toda ritual activity. Most notable are the concepts of hierarchy and purity and those of prescribed ritual avoidance coupled with required ritual cooperation. In sum, Toda religion – like the Toda community itself – is at once unique and, at the same time, thoroughly Indic. [South India, Nilgiri Mountains, Toda] Anthony Walker, an Oxford-trained social anthropologist, retired as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Brunei Darussalam in 2011 and now lives in Kandy, Sri Lanka. His peripatetic career has included teaching positions at the Science University of Malaysia in Penang, the National University of Singapore, The Ohio State University, and the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. – He began his, still-ongoing, field studies with the Todas in 1962 and has also conducted long-term field research (since 1966) on the Tibeto-Burman speaking Lahu peoples of the Yunnan-Indochina borderlands. – For his major publications on the Todas see References Cited. The Todas believe in their Goddess Thekershi (Tö·kisy1). They worship Goddess Thekershi for protection during their eternal (perhaps “mortal” was intended) existence and they also worship God Ayan (Ö·n) to protect them after death. The Todas do not observe idol worship. Todas worship light, fire, mountains, trees, rivers, sky, sun, and moon, which are believed to be the major creations of their Goddess Thekershi.2 1 Introduction In his recent book “Religion. An Anthropological Perspective” (2015: 9), Professor Homayun Sidky, my much esteemed former PhD student at The Ohio State University, claims: “no single definition has been able to capture the entire picture” of the religious phenomenon. “For this reason”, Sidky writes, “some argue that religion is best thought of as a multifaceted phenomenon with many interpenetrating dimensions as opposed to being viewed as a unitary occurrence.” This indeed is my interpretation of religion as understood and practised by the once more-or-less exclusively pastoral Toda community 1 The orthography of Toda in this essay follows that of Murray Emeneau (1957: 19; 1984: 5–49), except that I have added hyphenation where I feel this might assist non-specialists with pronunciation, hence my To·r-θas and Töw-fił̣y, where Emeneau has To·rθas and Töwfił̣y. (Note, however, that I do not add hyphenation to Toda words when quoting directly – as I do frequently – from Emeneau’s various works. Further assistance with the pronunciation of Toda words rendered in Emeneau’s transcription can be had from Tarun Chhabra’s “A Guide for the Transliteration of Toda” in his 2015 book “The Toda Landscape,” pp. xxxvii–xliii. 2 From the pen of Pöḷ-xe·n, son of Mut-iŝky – his name anglicized as Pellican (n. d.) – a member of Ka·s patriclan, first president of the Nilgiri Toda Uplift Society, high school graduate and literate both in Tamil and English. The Diverse Faces of Toda Religion Anthony R. Walker ANTHROPOS 115.2020: 171–180 A Non-Linear Style Contradictio s Surrounding Dreadlocks Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Abstract. – This article revolves around the question why peo‐ ple in “Western” cultures grow dreadlocks based on observa‐ tions on social media and participant observation. It addresses the issue of cultural appropriation and moves on looking at cer‐ tain motivations. It is striking that many aspects are two-sided if not contradictory, e.g., the strong connection to naturality, though for the most part dreadlocks are not a natural style, be‐ ing sectioned, crocheted, dyed, extended, etc. They seem to stand for harmony and stability and yet signify rebellion. They visualise people’s inner self – yet should not be taken too seri‐ ously. By these contradictions, dreadlocks seem to give a post‐ modern statement. [dreadlocks, hair, style, look, cognitive dis‐ sonance] Maja Tabea Jerrentrup, Dr. phil., works as associate profes‐ sor of media and photography at Ajeenkya DY Patil Universi‐ ty, Pune, India. – Being a well-known photographer, she has published numerous books about culture, style, and photogra‐ phy during the last years. Concerning her most recent book about the potential of photography for an individual’s identity, see References Cited. Email: maja.jerrentrup@adypu.edu.in Our hair is certainly one of the few parts of our bodies that represe t our character, th t present us towards the other. But why would people – across almost all cultures – willingly “destroy” their own hair? Furthermore, why would they transform it to a style, wh ch they c nnot fully control, which will cause them to commit to it, as it is not easily changeable? Even more, why should one choose a style which carries some negative associations such as dirtiness and rather low class? This seems to be the case with dreadlocks – a style which by now has crossed cultural and class borders. Embedding dreadlocks into the broader topic of hairstyles, in general can help to approach the topic. “Hairstyles serve as important cultural artefacts, because they are simultaneously public (visible to everyone), personal (biologically linked to the body), and highly malleable to suit cultural and personal preferences” (Weitz 2001: 667, see also Hershman 1974: 291), or, as Monica Arac de Nyeko (2018) puts it pointedly: “Everyone will tell you, hair is what makes a person, hair is sexy, hair tones attire, hair defines character, hair ac‐ cessorises appearance, hair is imperative – it’s all about hair, hair, hair.” Suiting this context, Robert Gugutzer intro‐ duces the distinction of having and being a body referring to the sociologist Helmuth Plessner (1892–1985): “The relation of a human to his own body is twofold: The person is his body, and he has his body. Being and having are the two ways, in which the body is given to a person” (Gugutzer 2015: 13). Being stresses its limits in space and time, having includes positioning oneself “out‐ side” the body, to look at oneself from a distance. Gugutzer links it t anthropology by tating: “Man is creature of nature, insofar as he is his (biolo‐ gical) body, and he is a creature of culture, insofar he (by socialisation), has his body” (2015: 15). By changing and modifying their hair individuals stress the having, the e powerment. “Most people strive to attain a certain ideal of beauty currently prevalent in their culture. A beauty ideal is an overall ‘look’ incorporating both physical f atures ( . g., ‘pouty’ lips vs. thi lips, large breasts vs. small), and a variety of products, services and activities. These can include clothing, cosmetics, hairstyling, tanning salons, leisure Anthropos 115.2020 activities (e.g., aerobics, tennis, or weightlifting), and even plastic surgery (e.g., breast or lip im‐ plants or liposuction)” (Englis et al. 1994: 50). For the United States, Tracey Owens Patton (2006: 30) argues with Rose Weitz: “The three most common standards of White beauty … that women are sub‐ ject to include: (1) women’s hair should be long, curly or wavy-not kinky-and preferably blond; (2) women’s hair should look hairstyled-this requires money and time; and (3) women’s hair should look feminine and different from men’s hair.” On first sight, the dreadstyle seems to invert this ideal. “The human body has long been recognized by scholars as a central location for the expression of social and cultural messages, at least since the pi‐ oneering work of Marcel Mauss on ‘les techniques du corps’” (Bogin 2008: 87, see also Van Wolputte 2004: 264). Beauty, at least as long as it tran‐ scends some very basic biological notions, thus, does not exist in vacuo but includes messages and is connected to values, lifestyles, and identities. In postmodern, advanced capitalist societies, there seem to be “do-it-yourself identity kits consumers can use for a customized self” (Buechler 2016: 219) or, how Walter Leimgruber puts it: “The body becomes the shop window of the personal‐ ity” (2005: 229) and identity. Due to social changes, identity is described as more eligible and flexible: “Some critics view such social changes as transforming identity in potentially positive ways, for example resulting in increasing levels of self-reflexivity. Other critics, however, discern in such transformations a thoroughgoing liquidation of human bonds – on consequence of which has been an increasing emphasis on self-reinvention in daily life as a means of keeping at bay the insecur‐ ity that new individualism inspires” (Elliott 2016: 74). Dreadlocks seem to be an example of a selfreflexivity resulting in a self-reinvention, but why would people pick this style? “Dreadlocks are not a linear hairstyle” argues Bert Ashe in his amazing and hilarious selfaccount (2015: 2). Ashe found a very well-suiting metaphor on many layers: Dreadlocks do not usu‐ ally happen by going to your nearest hairstylist and taking an hour. Also, when looked at its his‐ tory, dreadlocks do not have just one origin, just one story. The individual motivations why to get and to keep dreadlocks can vary just as much as the historical traces. A Short History of Dreadlocks Various origins are mentioned for dreadlocks, most prevalent the connection to the Rastafari cul‐ ture dating back to the 1920 s, in which dreadlocks began to serve as a sign of Black strength and unity (Guilford 2007: 66), as well as a marker of distinction and a conscious rebellion against White beauty standards. The Rastafari movement has its origins in Jamaica but looks at African cul‐ tures in which dreadlocks are worn for a long time and had various renaissances, e.g., “at a … point in history, dreadlocks were also common during the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950 s and 1960 s when the top leaders often wore dread‐ locks. They are said to have used dreadlocks as a sign of African identity and a religious vow of separation from modern, corrupt and unfair soci‐ ety” (Arac de Nyeko 2018). As a different source, the Kelts are said to have had locked hair – some‐ times not described as equivalent to dreadlocks though. One more dread tradition is shown by the Hindu and Buddhist sadhus, the wise men. Pos‐ sibly inspired both by the sadhu tradition as well as by African and Rastafari culture, some hippies featured dreadlocks as well. “The hippies are sometimes referred to as a counterculture because of their wholesale rejection of wider values and lifestyles … Hippie clothing also set them apart. Cheap, tie-dyed, patchworked cotton or hemp clothing, flared pants, op shop and vintage items, colourful beads, feathers and headbands gave the hippies an unconventional, uncoordinated appear‐ ance. Long, tangled, braided, big and dreadlocked hair were also ‘fashion musts’” (Furze et al. 2015: 74). In recent times, dreadlocks became associated with “The Politics of Consciousness” (Dunning 2000) associated with vegetarianism/veganism and sustainability. But there are more subcultures featuring dreads, such as the gothic and the punk subculture (see Hannerz 2013: 58). For hipsters it seems to be more ambivalent: “While hipster men clearly didn’t invent dreads … it’s something that some hipsters have adopted as one of their own re‐ gardless” (Harriet 2017) and Lisa Nakamura names them as signifier for looking hip (2001: 10), whereas Robert Lanham’s humourist “The Hipster Handbook” (2003) lists dreadlocks under the styles Hipsters avoid. My Dread-Sample Besides informal interviews with dreadheads in real life, I joined several social media groups ded‐ 172 Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Anthropos 115.2020 icated to the hairstyle in order to find out why people have dreadlocks and what they mean to them. These groups consist mostly of Europeans and to a lesser extent of dread enthusiasts from all over the world. I mention “enthusiasts,” as not all individuals in the observed groups have dread‐ locks themselves, for some it is their past and they are playing with the idea of growing them again, for others it is a plan for their future or just a phantasy. The boundaries of “Black” and “White”, anyway being extremely hard to define, are quite unimportant in these groups. However, it is often difficult to trace back certain statements to either Black or White origin and hardly any thread evolved through the topic of ethnic groups. Look‐ ing at profile and posted pictures one could con‐ clude that especially in German groups by far the most individuals are of European descent. The groups are dedicated to the experiences made as a dreadhead in job and private life but also to hair‐ styles, hair care, and hair accessories. Some com‐ mercial aspects also play a role, offering dread service or dread jewellery, usually as small-scale entrepreneurs catering individual needs and wishes. Cultural Appropriation In these social media groups, people usually are not confronted with the topic of cultural appropri‐ ation. Still, when talking about dreadlocks on White people, the topic of cultural appropriation often pops up. The public debate was intensified through a video, which went viral in 2016 and showed an African-American woman debating with the White student Cory Goldstein about his dreadlocks.1 The Rastafari movement, which typically fea‐ tures dreadlocks, is based on the “bipolarization between ‘Europeans’ and ‘Africans,’ expressed through the categories of Good and Evil” (Daynes 2008: 164). Therefore “the entry of white indi‐ viduals into Rastafari is an important event, for its black members as well as for its white members, and a paradox that is still a source of conflicts today” (Daynes 2008: 166) – even more though as also non-Rastafaris might have dreadlocks, such as Cory Goldstein. Much of the discussion follow‐ ing the video took place on various internet for‐ ums and in newspaper articles. Taiwo Ogunyinka (2016) identifies three reasons for White people to 1 Cf. and wear dreadlocks: appreciation of Black culture, which would be misunderstood, fashion, which would show ignorance of significant contempor‐ ary history, and to wear them as a symbol of a hu‐ manist ideal, which would be the wrong political meaning. Otis Robinson (2018) critiques simil‐ arly: “The white body utilising a dreadlock is a cosmetic decision, showing preference to the abil‐ ity to do ‘whatever we want’ as opposed to show‐ ing understanding. The dreadlock is redundant for the Western white identity.” Benjamin Davis (2017) replies, that people are not entirely products of their cultures and that Ogunyinka’s ap‐ proach would declare it as impossible to ever un‐ derstand other cultures: “One is reduced to their cultures, automata like, byproducts of cultural do‐ mains into which they were born, as being con‐ strained by the background of shared practices (and a shared background intelligibility) that is ex‐ clusive to their cultural domain. Worryingly, this has been a longstanding social malady: the Nuremberg Laws, the Eight Banners under the Qing dynasty, the caste system in India, apartheid in South Africa, slavery and racial segregation in the US – all underpinned, to whatever degree, by a rationale that reduces an individual to a particular fixed cultural (or at times racial and social) do‐ main without the epistemic and normative capa‐ city to adopt and assimilate into different cultural domains if they should choose.” Kris McDred (2018) wants to settle the feud with his YouTube video mentioning biological and historical argu‐ ments why everyone can have dreadlocks. Coming back to the initial notion of religion, some Rastafarians argue that ethnic background does not matter but spirituality. When I was in Ja‐ maica, a woman asked me, whether my dreadlocks were just fashion or “meaningful” referring to the Rastafari culture, obviously accepting the latter, but not the first. Moving a step further, this argu‐ ment could be held against Black dreadheads, which are not Rastafari as well. Addressing the topic, it is useful to look at cul‐ tural adaptation in general. It has always occurred in history, so it is nothing extraordinary, specific to dreadlocks. In this process, often new meanings came into being. Therefore, a symbol having a strong meaning can seem to be devaluated by people sharing it for a completely different pur‐ pose, which probably happens to a vast number of symbols. The discussion here is even more sensit‐ ive, as an underprivileged group claimed dread‐ locks as an identity marker and now feels deprived of it – so a fundamental root of the discussion is not the adaptation but a huge inequality as a polit‐ A Non-Linear Style 173 Anthropos 115.2020 ical dimension. Yet from another perspective one could argue that dreadlocks themselves have a democratising potential. The Equality Hairstyle? “The gender blending of long hair on both sexes was a clear sign of disorder, anti-capitalist, milit‐ ary draft-dodging, and sexually-liberated leanings. When the musical ‘Hair’ played in Memphis, Ten‐ nessee, in 1970, conservatives picketed the theater with signs reading ‘God Hates Hair’” (Duncan 2013: 158). So, do dreadlocks have a democrat‐ ising ability? “You Can’t Tell the Girls from the Boys” titles one chapter in Luther-Hillman’s book “Dressing for the Culture Wars” (2015). The gender blending featuring long-haired men is nothing new nowadays. But in dreadlocks, la‐ belled as “androgynous hairstyle” (Binias 2018) in a blog article, there might be more dimensions, as men and women, people of any age, and any socalled “ethnic” background can wear it, there is no inherent exclusivity to it. However, when looking closer at it, segregation aspects become discernible: As any in-group, the dread community constitutes itself by looking at out-groups, even though – as mentioned before – dread enthusiasts, which do not have any dread‐ locks themselves, usually are allowed to join their social media groups. It is more obvious in daily life, that as a dreadhead one would greet or smile at each other even if one does not know the other person. Moreover, within the group of dread‐ locked people some gender-markers are apparent. Men often wear their dreads thicker and with closed ends, women often prefer thinner dreads and want their ends often to be open. In some cases, women start dreadlocks with the main in‐ tention to thicken their hair rather than to become a dreadhead, thus having very long open ends. Discussions about the number of dreads, their look, the years, people have grown them, their de‐ velopment, and the general expertise might create some hierarchy, but in general the groups in social media indicate a rather inclusive behaviour to‐ wards any enthusiast. Yet there are smaller groups dedicated to purely natural dreads and some dread stylists who would not work with extensions. In most groups, from time to time, comments on “isn’t it strange/disgusting to have extensions” ap‐ pear, slightly devaluating these with extensions. When it comes to political aspects in the nar‐ rower sense, rather few are posted in the observed social media groups. However, the social media offer groups specifically dedicated to politics, thus, the small number of political statements does not indicate that dreadlock enthusiasts would not be politically involved. In the dreadlocks groups, I noticed some statements showing a positive atti‐ tude toward or engagement in the protection of en‐ vironment, the integration of migrants, and devel‐ opment cooperation which could be interpreted as a moderate left-wing attitude. Further, there is a remarkable number of individuals mentioning that they work in the social field, are vegans, etc. Dreadlocks seem to come as a signifier for certain values. The Journey The time during which people have dreadlocks is referred to as the “dreadlock journey,” a term, which already implies a development, a transform‐ ation happening over time. Some of the favourite topics in dreadlocks fora are, e.g., how long people have their dreadlocks already, which ups and downs they have gone through, etc. Even though extensions can make it easier to achieve the expected look, the beginning can be hard: Dreading – if not using the despised method – can be painful, can take many hours up to days, and can be expensive as well. Right after having the dreadlocks installed, most people do not yet see the intended result – real dreadlocks – but have to wait for some month until the felting process starts. Fresh dreads might stick to various direc‐ tions and show a lot of scalp – not a great look at least for some weeks. Further, they might itch, and it can take some time to find routines in sleeping and hair washing. Dreadlocks need time. This is not only true for the “Western” way of wearing dreads but there is also a strong connection to the time passed which is known by the term “retreat hair” (Bogin 2008: 108), thus referring to Hindu/ Buddhist monastic practises as well. Dreadlocks thus could be testing the own patience and signify to others a high degree of patience and commit‐ ment, traits that might be untypical in postmodern times. The dreadlock journey usually is not gone alone completely. Apart from eventually having other dreadheads as inspiration, most people need some‐ body to install and to maintain their dreadlocks. This act of grooming is described as a sensual re‐ lationship: “The important thing about grooming is that it creates a relationship between the groomer and the groomed which is directly sensu‐ al in nature” (Hershman 1974: 276). If the dread‐ 174 Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Anthropos 115.2020 locks are not installed by friends, the future dread‐ head usually has to find help on the internet, where self-described specialists offer their ser‐ vices. Often, they connect with others in social media. Dreader typically either would come to one’s home or do it in their home, which gives it a rather informal, intimate touch. Almost all these specialists wear dreadlocks themselves. The re‐ ceiving of dreadlocks shows similarities to initi‐ ation rites: There is a certain, defined process, which leads from one stage to another and gives way to a new group membership. The designation “dreadhead” – a special term, which does not exist for the vast majority of hairstyles – makes it obvi‐ ous, that the individual is transferred to a new identity. Fragmentation Compared to other social media groups, one as‐ pect is remarkable when looking at the pictures posted there: Most people show their hair, which is best visible from the backside and hence stress a part they usually cannot see themselves, some‐ thing hidden from themselves. In focus is a body’s fragment, its upper backside. A certain fragmenta‐ tion of the body has been addressed as a metaphor for today’s conditio humana: “We all are Creoles of sorts: hybrid, divided, polyphonic, and parodic – a pastiche of our Selves. This contemporary body-self is fragmentary, often incoherent and in‐ consistent, precisely because it arises from contra‐ dictory and paradoxical experiences, social ten‐ sions, and conflicts that have one thing in com‐ mon: They are real, that is, experienced. There‐ fore, the anthropology of the body focuses no longer on the abstract or ideal(ized) body, but on those moments during which the body and bodili‐ ness are questioned and lose their self-evidence and on the experience or threat of finiteness, limit‐ ation, transience, and vulnerability” (Van Wolputte 2004: 263). Yet, in our case the fragmentation seems to imply more, as it is characterised by the concentration of the back: The backside is rather unknown to an individual itself and it is said to make a person less identifiable and, thus, is often used to make people anonymous. However, these individuals identify with their backside as it is best showing their peculiarity, their dreadlocks. Fol‐ lowing this reasoning there could be an integrative perspective on the body, getting a picture of one’s entire body through the focus on the backside. It might lead to a more conscious positioning in the room, considering the back as well. Thus, one could suppose a more reflective attitude, which suits some of the following aspects. In Search for the Natural Hair is locking up if kept natural, if it is not af‐ fected by any culture technique. Thus, dreadlocks can be seen as the most natural hairstyle and, therefore, signify a deeper connection to nature. This goes well with the usage of certain petnames which dreadheads give their locks, such as “roots” or “worms,” both connected to nature. The appear‐ ance can mirror the strong emotional connection to the environment, and the style is quite common for people with strong commitment in this field, e.g., vegans or straight edgers up to activists. Looking at the Environmental Direct Action Group (EDAG) Clare Saunders notes: “For in‐ stance, a belief that global capitalism is an under‐ lying source of environmental and social problems tends to encourage certain types of behaviour, such as growing dreadlocks, attending countercultural festivals and engaging in direct action, as symbolic identifiers of beliefs. On engaging in these behaviours, beliefs are reinforced” (2008: 241). Yet in practice, most dreadheads, especially fresh ones and especially those with straight Eurasian hair, require a lot of effort and mainten‐ ance. Most people do not just stop combing and end up with nicely sectioned and tightly crocheted dreadlocks after a while. In this way, dreadlocks are a hairstyle like any other, which needs a clear decision, which needs certain steps to achieve it as well as a specific maintenance. In addition, quite numerous people on social media groups dye their locks, partly with “natural” products such as henna. The colouring includes mere bleaching to achieve an ombré look, which reminds on sun-bleached hair, hence on people spending most of their time outside and in so far is an artificial imitation of naturalness – but at the same time can be seen as a subordination to the beauty paradigm of “californication” (Van Wolputte 2004: 264). Some hair colours used cre‐ ate a clearly artificial look, such as shades of blue, bright red, or green. Still some of these unnatural colours are considered as mirroring the style of nature, the green standing for mossy forest grounds, etc. This is especially the case when it comes to the marketing of so-called “accent sets” small-scale businesses offer, sets of artificial dreadlocks made with synthetic material or wool to add colour or to create variety in one’s styling A Non-Linear Style 175 Anthropos 115.2020 options. A full set of synthetic or wool dreadlocks even allows giving the dread-look a trial without committing to it and changing the colour as often as it pleases. Further, many fresh “real” dread‐ heads start with extensions either made of synthet‐ ic or human hair to add extra length or rather to compensate for the hair length lost during dread‐ ing. So, for most dreadheads their hairstyle is not natural in the sense of “just letting the hair as it is” but can be rather described as an imitation of nat‐ urality. It might stand for the longing for a life in harmony with nature, which corresponds with “the staging of the realness” (Kautt 2011: 111) or “staged authenticity” (Venohr 2010: 47, see also Jerrentrup 2018: 62 f.). Even though the “free formed” dreadlocks – just letting the hair completely unkept – are an ex‐ ception in the European dreadlock scene, the as‐ pect of – after a while – eventually having little ef‐ fort with the hair is sometimes stressed, especially in punk subculture. “It was validated as being nat‐ ural: ‘Having dreads is practical, you never have to wash your hair or comb it, you just cut in front so that you’re able to see what you’re doing’ (In‐ terview, Sweden 2007)” (Hannerz 2013: 58). This attitude has a certain attraction when wanting to set a statement against society’s mainstream with its focus on investing continuously a lot of time and money in one’s appearance. Even though this investing actually might be similar to that of dreadlocks, it prima facie gives a different impres‐ sion. Wish for Stability, Commitment Commitment seems to be indispensable when be‐ coming a dreadhead, as this hairstyle usually can‐ not be changed easily, at least not without a drastic step as cutting off the hair or the very painful, time-consuming, and not always successful act of brushing part of them out. This leads to two as‐ sumptions: Individuals getting dreadlocks will think about it before, probably more intensely than before changing to the most other hairstyles, and they do not oppose a certain fixation or might even look for stability. As mentioned earlier, this can be seen in the context of identity. Many dreadheads show more permanent commitments; among them those visible features as tattoos or piercings, as well as lifestyle characteristics such as committing to a vegetarian, vegan, or straight edge style. The fixation might be interpreted as a statement to today’s blurring of boundaries and the need for flexibility required by nowadays’ job and private life, to the speed in which identities can be reinvented and transformed (see Elliott 2016: 73). However, there is a significant amount of posts on the social media groups about the end of people’s dreadlock journeys, indicating numerous reasons for this decision, ranging from medical problems, such as neurodermatitis, medical neces‐ sities such as EEGs to job issues, or the mere wish for a change. The cut locks are often kept and with them the option to use them as extensions for a later reinstallation. Once more an opposition can be found, i.e., the strong aspect of commitment and the ways to bypass it. Resistance and Rebellion A certain radicalism and the search for the natural might seem as two opposing poles, but both still can be attributed to dreadlocks (see Hannerz 2013: 58). “In western societies purposive body altera‐ tion has been, and continues to be, primarily a mechanism for demonstrating one’s disaffection from the mainstream. Tattooing, body piercing and, to a lesser degree, body sculpting are em‐ ployed to proclaim publicly one’s special attach‐ ment to deviant groups, certain activities, self-con‐ cepts, or primary associates” (Sanders 1989: 2). For dreadlocks, this can be traced back to its ori‐ gins: In the Rastafari uprising dreading became a “key boundary marker of Rastafarian identity symbolizing defiance against the establishment” (Johnston and Lio 1998: 463, see also Ashe 2015: 42). Also in Tibet, “the importance of ‘not fitting in’” is seen “as one of the defining characteristics of dreadlocks” (Bogin 2008: 109). The same can be said about the hippie culture: “It is impossible to exaggerate how much hair was on display. There was so much hair! The ‘Age of Aquarius’ rolled along on an ocean of hair and beards, ‘long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, streaming, flax‐ en, waxen; give me down to there, shoulder length or longer, here baby, there mama everywhere daddy daddy hair. Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair’” (Duncan 2013: 158). From a psychoanalytic point of view, dread‐ locks can be seen in context with a violation of so‐ ciety’s values, as celebrating unrestrained sexual‐ ity. “An astonishingly high proportion of the eth‐ nographic evidence fits the following pattern in quite obvious ways. In ritual situations: long hair = unrestrained sexuality; short hair or tightly bound hair = restricted sexuality; close shaven hair = celibacy” (Leach 1958: 154). Even if this con‐ 176 Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Anthropos 115.2020 nection might not be very obvious in many “West‐ ern” societies nowadays, the association of “wild” and “unrestrained” still includes a subversive ele‐ ment. As “the profane world is an ordered uni‐ verse where boundaries are clear and hair, like people, can be properly kept in place” (Hershman 1974: 290) dreadlocks became an “‘in your face’ form(s) of overt resistance” (Williams 2009: 28). This can be shown, e.g., when looking at advert‐ isements connected to hair, which are all about “healthy,” “strong,” “shiny” hair, about “un‐ tangling.” Dreadlocks are just the opposite. The exact wording might vary, but dreadlock special‐ ists tell that “damaged” hair is best for the style, that dreading means “destroying” the hair in a cer‐ tain way and, therefore, violating the common beauty standard. As such, it can be seen as a selfstigmatisation (see Leistner 2017: 282), which comes close to an informal political resistance (see Weitz 2001: 668) or at least make a statement about its wearer’s independence. Dreadlocks have become a declaration of determination to succeed in life on his own terms (see Arac de Nyeko 2018). Still it has to be mentioned that many dread‐ heads working in the social or artistic field, at least in Germany, do not need to worry too much about the job market, as in these sectors the hair‐ style is more common and more widely accepted than, e.g., in the financial sector. Therefore, if con‐ sidered as a visual statement, it is likely to en‐ counter consent or indifference. The connection to rebellion and resistance seems to be opposed to common attitudes among the dread enthusiasts, such as a moderate left-wing, social mindset, which instead of radicalism rather includes a stress on peace and harmony. A Perfect Way to Be Imperfect Once more I would like to address the initially asked beauty question: Can dreadlocks be beauti‐ ful? It can be considered as common sense, that there are some biologically determined universals, which take different manifestations in different cultures. The dreadlock case shows how cultural aspects can cover biology and, within a culture, completely change the notions of beauty, as well as how a more abstract and less body-centered no‐ tion of beauty comes into play, which purposely distances itself from the focus of mere physical beauty. If not looking at synthetic dreadlocks, the style probably would never be “perfect,” even with a great effort regarding maintenance. Any‐ way, right after maintenance, as well as after in‐ stalling, the dreadhead often does not look the way it is supposed to look, but has to wait for the hair to grow a little, has to wait for the imperfection to make the style perfect in its own terms. Moreover, dreadlocks are relatively unpredictable. When the felting process starts, one does not know before‐ hand, whether the deadlocks would form loops, would tighten a lot, etc. It reminds on the state‐ ment that dreadlocks are not a linear hairstyle and, therefore, might be considered as a postmodern, in many ways contradictory hairstyle. It is one’s own choice, needing thoughtful decision and commit‐ ment, yet there are ways to undermine the latter. It builds on various cultures and can be regarded as a very basic hairstyle not “belonging” to any tradi‐ tion in particular. It is often regarded as strongly connected to nature, yet in practice turns out more as an imitation of naturality and, therefore, more “artificial” as many other styles. It can stand for rebellion and resistance, but can be seen as signi‐ fying peace and harmony as well. It can be the base of what people consider as their identity and at the same time superficial, and, thus should not be taken too seriously. Dreadlocks seem to be a contradictory style and therefore demand the abil‐ ity of coping with cognitive dissonance. As such, it might be the most postmodern hairstyle. When I asked my dreader, who had his dread‐ locks for more than 10 years and lives on doing and maintaining the hairstyle for others, what would happen if his dreadlocks would be ruined or fall off one day, he answered in a laissez-faire atti‐ tude: “No worries – after all, it is just hair.” References Cited Arac de Nyeko, Monica Dreadlocks or Dreadfully Locked? Isis International: [15.07.2019] Ashe, Bert Twisted. My Dreadlock Chronicles. Chicago: Agate Bolden. Binias, Judith Androgyne Dreads. (30.09.2018) [15.07.2019] Bogin, Benjamin The Dreadlocks Treatise. On Tantric Hairstyles in Tibetan Buddhism. History of Religions 48/2: 85–109. Buechler, Steven M. Critical Sociology. New York: Routledge. 2018 2015 2018 2008 2016 A Non-Linear Style 177 Anthropos 115.2020 Davis, Benjamin Yes, It’s OK for White People to Wear Dreadlocks. Conatus News (01.05.2017): [15.07.2019] Daynes, Sarah The Ground Beneath our Feet. Rastafari and the Con‐ struction(s) of Race. In: L. Lewis and G. Griffith (eds.), Color, Hair, and Bone. Race in the Twenty-First Cen‐ tury; pp. 161–184. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Duncan, Russell The Summer of Love and Protest. Transatlantic Coun‐ terculture in the 1960 s. In: G. Kość, C. Juncker, S. Monteith, and B. Waldschmidt-Nelson (eds.), The Transatlantic Sixties. Europe and the United States in the Counterculture Decade; pp. 144‘173. Bielefeld: transcript. Dunning, Stefanie K. Vegetarianism and Dreadlocks. The Politics of “Con‐ sciousness” and Cultural Identification. Black Renais‐ sance 2/3: 144–152. Elliott, Anthony Identity Troubles. An Introduction. London: Routledge. Englis, Basil G., Michael R. Solomon, and Richard D. Ash‐ more Beauty before the Eyes of the Beholders. The Cultural Encoding of Beauty Types in Magazine Advertising and Music Television. Journal of Advertising 23/2: 49– 64. Furze, Brian, Pauline Savy, Robert Webb, Sara James, Theresa Petray, Robert J. Brym, and John Lie Sociology in Today’s World. Sydney: Cengage Learn‐ ing Australia. Goldstein, Cory Black Woman vs White Man with Dreadlocks: San Francisco Student Accused of Cultural Appropriation. and [25.07.2019] Gugutzer, Robert Soziologie des Körpers. Bielefeld: transcript. [5. vollständig überarb. Aufl.] Guilford, J. D. Pimp Juice. In: J. Tushinski and J. Van Buskirk (eds.), Identity Envy. Wanting to Be Who We’re Not. Creative Nonfiction by Queer Writers; pp. 65–74. New York: Harrington Park Press. Hannerz, Erik The Positioning of the Mainstream in Punk. In: S. Baker, A. Bennett, and J. Taylor (eds.), Redefining Mainstream Popular Music; pp. 50–60. New York: Routledge. Harriet 6 Stylish Hipster Haircuts. The Idle Man. [23.10.2018] Hershman, P. Hair, Sex, and Dirt. Man (N. S.) 9/2: 274–298. 2017 2008 2013 2000 2016 1994 2015 2016 2015 2007 2013 2017 1974 Jerrentrup, Maja Tabea Therapie vor der Kamera? Zum Potential inszenierter Menschenfotografie. Münster: Waxmann. Johnston, Hank, and Shoon Lio Collective Behavior and Social Movements in the Post‐ modern Age. Looking Backward to Look Forward. So‐ ciological Perspectives 41/3: 453–472. Kautt, York Ästhetisierung des Realen. Zur Konstruktion des Echt‐ en in der Werbung und anderen Bereichen der Medien‐ kultur. In: L. Hieber und S. Moebius (Hrsg.), Ästhetis‐ ierung des Sozialen. Reklame, Kunst und Politik im Zeitalter visueller Medien; pp. 87–114. Bielefeld: tran‐ script. Lanham, Robert The Hipster Handbook. New York: Anchor. Leach, Edmund R. Magical Hair. Journal of the Royal Anthropological In‐ stitute of Great Britain and Ireland 88/2: 147–164. Leimgruber, Walter Die visuelle Darstellung des menschlichen Körpers. Gesellschaftliche Aus- und Eingrenzungen in der Foto‐ grafie. In: H. Gerndt und M. Haibl (Hrsg.), Der Bilder‐ alltag. Perspektiven einer volkskundlichen Bildwis‐ senschaft; pp. 213–232. Münster: Waxmann. Leistner, Alexander Soziale Bewegungen. Entstehung und Stabilisierung am Beispiel der unabhängigen Friedensbewegung in der DDR. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag. Luther-Hillman, Betty Dressing for the Culture Wars. Style and the Politics of Self-Presentation in the 1960 s and 1970 s. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. McDred, Kris Can White People Have Dreadlocks? (16.01.2018.) [15.07.2019] Nakamura, Lisa Head Hunting in Cyberspace. Identity Tourism, Asian Avatars, and Racial Passing on the Web. The Women’s Review of Books 18/5: 10–11. Ogunyinka, Taiwo Why It’s Not OK for White People to Have Dreadlocks. No, You Can’t Use the Celts as an Excuse. The‐ atab.com: [15.07.2019] Patton, Tracey Owens Hey Girl, Am I More than My Hair? African American Women and Their Struggles with Beauty, Body Image, and Hair. NWSA Journal 18/2: 24–51. Robinson, Otis Lock Down. Who Gets to Wear Dreadlocks? (18.01.2018): [15.07.2019] Sanders, Clinton R. Customizing the Body. The Art and Culture of Tattoo‐ ing. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 2018 1998 2011 2003 1958 2005 2017 2015 2018 2001 2016 2006 2018 1989 178 Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Anthropos 115.2020 Saunders, Clare Double-Edged Swords? Collective Identity and Solidar‐ ity in the Environment Movement. The British Journal of Sociology 59/2: 227–253. Van Wolputte, Steven Hang On to Your Self. Of Bodies, Embodiment, and Selves. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 251–269. Venohr, Dagmar medium macht mode. Zur Ikonotextualität der Mod‐ ezeitschrift. Bielefeld: transcript. (Metabasis – 2008 2004 2010 Transkriptionen zwischen Literaturen, Künsten und Medien, 6) Weitz, Rose Women and Their Hair. Seeking Power through Resist‐ ance and Accommodation. Gender and Society 15/5: 667–686. Williams, J. Patrick The Multidimensionality of Resistance in Youth-Sub‐ cultural Studies. The Resistance Studies Magazine 1: 20–33. 2001 2009 Appendix Photo 1: Annika and Dennis Photo 2: Daniela Photo 3: Elisa A Non-Linear Style 179 Anthropos 115.2020 Photo 4: Jamaica Photo 5: Jamaica Photo 6: Jamaica Photo 7: Jamaica Photo 8: Jamaica Photo 9: Jamaica 180 Maja Tabea Jerrentrup Anthropos 115.2020

Abstract

This article revolves around the question why people in “Western” cultures grow dreadlocks based on observations on social media and participant observation. It addresses the issue of cultural appropriation and moves on looking at certain motivations. It is striking that many aspects are two-sided if not contradictory, e.g., the strong connection to naturality, though for the most part dreadlocks are not a natural style, being sectioned, crocheted, dyed, extended, etc. They seem to stand for harmony and stability and yet signify rebellion. They visualise people’s inner self - yet should not be taken too seriously. By these contradictions, dreadlocks seem to give a postmodern statement.

References
Arac de Nyeko, Monica
2018 Dreadlocks or Dreadfully Locked? Isis International: <http://www.isiswomen.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=701&Itemid=261> [15.07.2019]
Ashe, Bert
2015 Twisted. My Dreadlock Chronicles. Chicago: Agate Bolden.
Binias, Judith
2018 Androgyne Dreads. (30.09.2018) <https://dreadfactory.de/de/2018/09/30/androgyne-dreads/> [15.07.2019]
Bogin, Benjamin
2008 The Dreadlocks Treatise. On Tantric Hairstyles in Tibetan Buddhism. History of Reli-gions 48/2: 85–109.
Buechler, Steven M.
2016 Critical Sociology. New York: Routledge.
Davis, Benjamin
2017 Yes, It’s OK for White People to Wear Dreadlocks. Conatus News (01.05.2017): <https://conatusnews.com/white-people-dreadlocks/> [15.07.2019]
Daynes, Sarah
2008 The Ground Beneath our Feet. Rastafari and the Construction(s) of Race. In: L. Lewis and G. Griffith (eds.), Color, Hair, and Bone. Race in the Twenty-First Century; pp. 161–184. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.
Duncan, Russell
2013 The Summer of Love and Protest. Transatlantic Counterculture in the 1960s. In: G. Kość, C. Juncker, S. Monteith, and B. Waldschmidt-Nelson (eds.), The Transatlantic Sixties. Europe and the United States in the Counterculture Decade; pp. 144‘173. Bielefeld: tran-script.
Dunning, Stefanie K.
2000 Vegetarianism and Dreadlocks. The Politics of “Consciousness” and Cultural Identi-fication. Black Renaissance 2/3: 144–152.
Elliott, Anthony
2016 Identity Troubles. An Introduction. London: Routledge.
Englis, Basil G., Michael R. Solomon, and Richard D. Ashmoreeng2
1994 Beauty before the Eyes of the Beholders. The Cultural Encoding of Beauty Types in Magazine Advertising and Music Television. Journal of Advertising 23/2: 49–64.
Furze, Brian, Pauline Savy, Robert Webb, Sara James, Theresa Petray, Robert J. Brym, and John Lie
2015 Sociology in Today’s World. Sydney: Cengage Learning Australia.
Goldstein, Cory
2016 Black Woman vs White Man with Dreadlocks: San Francisco Student Ac-cused of Cultural Appropriation. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AaPYVOne64> and <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQSJnE1dmG4> [25.07.2019]
Gugutzer, Robert
2015 Soziologie des Körpers. Bielefeld: transcript. [5. vollständig überarb. Aufl.]
Guilford, J. D.
2007 Pimp Juice. In: J. Tushinski and J. Van Buskirk (eds.), Identity Envy. Wanting to Be Who We’re Not. Creative Nonfiction by Queer Writers; pp. 65–74. New York: Harrington Park Press.
Hannerz, Erik
2013 The Positioning of the Mainstream in Punk. In: S. Baker, A. Bennett, and J. Taylor (eds.), Redefining Mainstream Popular Music; pp. 50–60. New York: Routledge.
Harriet
2017 6 Stylish Hipster Haircuts. The Idle Man. <https://theidleman.com/manual/mens-hair/6-hipster-haircuts/> [23.10.2018]
Hershman, P.
1974 Hair, Sex, and Dirt. Man (N. S.) 9/2: 274–298.
Jerrentrup, Maja Tabea
2018 Therapie vor der Kamera? Zum Potential inszenierter Menschenfotografie. Münster: Waxmann.
Johnston, Hank, and Shoon Lio
1998 Collective Behavior and Social Movements in the Postmodern Age. Looking Back-ward to Look Forward. Sociological Perspectives 41/3: 453–472.
Kautt, York
2011 Ästhetisierung des Realen. Zur Konstruktion des Echten in der Werbung und an-deren Bereichen der Medienkultur. In: L. Hieber und S. Moebius (Hrsg.), Ästhetisierung des Sozialen. Reklame, Kunst und Politik im Zeitalter visueller Medien; pp. 87–114. Biele-feld: transcript.
Lanham, Robert
2003 The Hipster Handbook. New York: Anchor.
Leach, Edmund R.
1958 Magical Hair. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 88/2: 147–164.
Leimgruber, Walter
2005 Die visuelle Darstellung des menschlichen Körpers. Gesellschaftliche Aus- und Ein-grenzungen in der Fotografie. In: H. Gerndt und M. Haibl (Hrsg.), Der Bilderalltag. Perspek-tiven einer volkskundlichen Bildwissenschaft; pp. 213–232. Münster: Waxmann.
Leistner, Alexander
2017 Soziale Bewegungen. Entstehung und Stabilisierung am Beispiel der unab-hängigen Friedensbewegung in der DDR. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.
Luther-Hillman, Betty
2015 Dressing for the Culture Wars. Style and the Politics of Self-Presentation in the 1960s and 1970s. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
McDred, Kris
2018 Can White People Have Dreadlocks? (16.01.2018.) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHYls9e4mVM&t=451s> [15.07.2019]
Nakamura, Lisa
2001 Head Hunting in Cyberspace. Identity Tourism, Asian Avatars, and Racial Passing on the Web. The Women’s Review of Books 18/5: 10–11.
Ogunyinka, Taiwo
2016 Why It’s Not OK for White People to Have Dreadlocks. No, You Can’t Use the Celts as an Excuse. Theatab.com: <https://thetab.com/2016/04/05/dreadlocks-white-people-83996> [15.07.2019]
Patton, Tracey Owens
2006 Hey Girl, Am I More than My Hair? African American Women and Their Struggles with Beauty, Body Image, and Hair. NWSA Journal 18/2: 24–51.
Robinson, Otis
2018 Lock Down. Who Gets to Wear Dreadlocks? (18.01.2018): <https://medium.com/@overtake/are-dreadlocks-cultural-appropriation-b2489a271601> [15.07.2019]
Sanders, Clinton R.
1989 Customizing the Body. The Art and Culture of Tattooing. Philadelphia: Temple Uni-versity Press.
Saunders, Clare
2008 Double-Edged Swords? Collective Identity and Solidarity in the Environ-ment Movement. The British Journal of Sociology 59/2: 227–253.
Van Wolputte, Steven
2004 Hang On to Your Self. Of Bodies, Embodiment, and Selves. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 251–269.
Venohr, Dagmar
2010 medium macht mode. Zur Ikonotextualität der Modezeitschrift. Bielefeld: transcript. (Metabasis – Transkriptionen zwischen Literaturen, Künsten und Medien, 6)
Weitz, Rose
2001 Women and Their Hair. Seeking Power through Resistance and Accommoda-tion. Gender and Society 15/5: 667–686.
Williams, J. Patrick
2009 The Multidimensionality of Resistance in Youth-Subcultural Studies. The Re-sistance Studies Magazine 1: 20–33.breakall

Abstract

Anthropos is the international journal of anthropology and linguistics, founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt, missonary and member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Its main purpose is the study of human societies in their cultural dimension. In honor of Wilhelm Schmidt‘s legacy, the cultivation of anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies remain an essential component oft he Anthropos Institute – the organizational carrier of the journal.

Zusammenfassung

Anthropos - internationale Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde wird vom Anthropos Institut St. Augustin seit 1906 zweimal jährlich herausgegeben. Ursprünglich als Sprachrohr für katholische Missionarsarbeit geplant, gilt sie heute als wichtige Fachzeitschrift der allgemeinen Ethnologie. Sie behandelt sowohl kulturelle als auch sprachliche Themen in mehreren Sprachen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Völkern des gesamtamerikanischen und afrikanischen Kontinents.