Dreads are most often associated with Rastafari movement of culture of India, however dreads have been present practically everywhere in the world. Rastafarians associate them mainly with lion’s mane which has power and power of deterring evil. In India the hairstyle is popular among sadhu – Hindu saints and is associated with control of power and contact with deities. Ancient stone sculptures in Egypt and perfectly preserved mummies also provide evidence of popularity of dreads in the Nile valley. In Central Africa various tribes have braided dreads in compliance with their traditional customs. They are still willingly worn and dyed in ochre by Masaya. First references regarding dreadlocks date from circa 2500 B.C. In Vedian works, Shiva and its worshippers are described as Jata which means "wearing curly locks". The word probably comes from Dravidian "caTai" meaning "curl, bend". Dreads also appear in ancient Greece, Ethiopia and even in Muslim dervishes. In the 19th century thanks to Aamadu Bamba Mbakke, the leader of the Muslim group in Senegal, dreads were disseminated also in Western Africa.
In each of these cultures hairstyle is identified with determined groups which share not just the hairstyle but also their viewpoint, diet, religion, fashion etc. At present dreads are popular thanks to Jamaicans who probably borrowed them from Hindu “gastarbeiters” who came to Jamaica in the 50’ies of the previous century. In Europe they became popular in the 70’ies. Worn by music stars, actors, sportsmen and rappers they have become the hairstyle chosen among not only black but also white young people. At present dreads do not arise so many emotions but a dreaded person still attracts attention. HINTS