Dreadlocks are believed to have originated in the African continent. The origin dates ranges from 5000 BCE to 1500 BCE.
There are statues, hieroglyphics and mummies of Royals and Nobles from Ancient Egypt, with dreadlocks. Dreadlocks were believed to be a connection between the Pharaohs and the Gods.
African people locked their for mostly spiritual reasons. The Ethiopian Bahtawi of the Coptic faith have been locking their hair since the 5th century. The Oromo Beja (Church of the living God), Fetish Priests and Priestesses, and the Yoruba religion of Olokun also lock their hair.
In the 1950s, the Mau Mau locked their hair, and used this appearance to intimidate European colonizers, who were taking over their land. It is believed that is how the word “dreadlocks” originated. The Mau Mau made the European colonizers feel “dread” with their “locks”.
“During the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935, the emperor was forced into exile, and guerrilla warriors, under the command of Ras Abebe Aregai, swore not to cut their locks until Haile Selassie, The Lion of Judah, was reinstated to the throne. Rastafarianism was born.” -GET KNOTTED
Other groups that are known to lock their hair include:
* The Baye Fall, the Mourides and Ashanti people from Senegal and Ghana.
* The Maasai people from Kenya.
* The Fulani people from Nigeria.
* The Hemba/Himba people of Congo and Namibia.
* The Mende people of Sierra Leone.
Today, people from all walks of life lock their hair for different reasons. From celebrities to everyday people.