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Where Did Dreadlocks Originate?

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Africa
Girija Naiksatam Profile
Dreadlocks, it is believed to have originated in Hinduism and in the ancient Vedic scriptures. These mention Lord Shiva as having 'jaata' which actually means 'twisted locks of hair'. This is believed to have come from the Dravidian term for wrap which is 'catai'.

The Vedic teaching and Hinduism has a tremendous influence on other religions such as Jainism, Buddhism and even the Celtic religion. One of the records state that the Celts had 'hair like snakes' suggesting that even the Celts had dreadlocks. Dreadlocks are said to be one of the oldest hair fashions in the world. It is believed that people from various cultures and throughout the ages have had them. In some Indian cultures many 'sadhus' and holy men have dread locks. This is also seen as a sign of detachment to the material world.
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Anonymous commented
Actually they predate the vedic scriptures. Ancient Egyptians were the first to wear them both naturally and as wigs.

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