Please don’t get fooled by the title, for this is no article on upbeat fashion and style. Rather, this is a story about how one’s path in life – a Balinese man in this case – is determined by his hair.
We are talking about dreadlocks, the kind of hairstyle celebrated by the Rastafarians. In Bali, many fashion their hair into dreadlocks, perhaps because these island-folk share a similar lifestyle to their brothers over in the Caribbean! Yet, the kind of dreadlocks we are talking about here are by all means natural. Yes, there are certain people on this island who don’t just “don” this hairdo, they’re born with it. Born with dreads on their heads!
Many see this particular hairstyle as a statement of rebellion. However, for the Balinese people, especially men, being born with dreadlocks actually means that they have been born with a noble task that they need to carry on their shoulders throughout their life. Becoming a priest or Pemangku is one example. However, of course, becoming a priest is not the sole ‘gift’ for these people. It is also said that the naturally-dreadlocked Balinese people possess a certain supernatural power such as reading people’s mind or even controlling the weather.
Anyway, whilst these dreadlocks grow, the hair becomes a living part of the body, much like your arms and legs. As a result, cutting this special hair causes extreme pain, really as if cutting off a limb! Thus, people with this particular hair never head to the barbershop for cut and a trim. What’s more bizarre is that not only do these dreadlocks grow long, they have also been recorded growing fatter and thicker with time – in some cases these magical, mystical locks of hair have been said to naturally knit themselves into one big, fat dreadlock!
One of NOW! Bali's previous but long-standing editors who enjoys all of Bali’s offerings. On weekdays he enjoys deliberately getting lost, taking the wrong turn in distant villages, seeing what travel treasures he may find. Weekends are for indulgence, where you may catch him imbibing on a classic cocktail or savouring the pleasures of a fine dining establishment.