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Natty Dread (Bob Marley)

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Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 10:37 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 10:57 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 11:07 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 11:42 PM
Azizi 13 Apr 07 - 12:17 AM
C-flat 13 Apr 07 - 03:01 AM
Azizi 13 Apr 07 - 07:11 AM
Azizi 13 Apr 07 - 08:12 AM
Azizi 13 Apr 07 - 08:16 AM
Darowyn 13 Apr 07 - 08:16 AM
Azizi 13 Apr 07 - 08:39 AM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 07 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Peace 13 Apr 07 - 11:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Apr 07 - 11:16 AM
KB in Iowa 13 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM
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Subject: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:37 PM

I thought that Bob Marley's song "Natty Dread" was all about people being afraid of Black people who wore their hair naturally.

I figured I knew what dreadlocks were. I've never worn locs, but I know men and women who have. Some consider dreadlocks as just a hairstyle. I consider locks as more than that.

In my opinion, those Black people who wear their hair this way are demonstrating that they reject centuries of Western socialization that told us in myriad uncompromising ways that there is something inherently 'bad' about "Black" hair. But those Black people who wear their hair in dreadlocks, or 'fros or cornbraids, or twists, or other chemical free hair styles demonstrate an acceptance of and a pride in their naturally tightly curled, frizzy, kinky, nappy hair.

I know what dreads are. But I'm not sure how that word came to be used for this hair style that many erroneously associate with Rastafarians from Jamaica or elsewhere.

And I figured that I knew what Bob Marley and his group were singing about when they said "natty dreads". I thought that natty was a Jamaican way of saying 'nappy'.

I was wrong.

Check out what I found out in my subsequent posts.

Feel free to join in this presentation of information-and hopefully a discussion of ideas & opinions- of the social meanings of nappy, natty, dread, 'fro, and more.

Add some songs lyrics and posts about the subject of natty nappy hair styles and life styles if you'd like.

I'd like that.

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Subject: Add: Lyr: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM

{Bob Marley}

Dread, Natty Dread now, (Natty Dread)
Dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dread)
Natty Dreadlock in a Babylon: (Natty Dread)
A dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dread)
Eh! Children get your culture (Natty Dreadlock)
And don't stay there and gesture, a-ah, (Natty Dreadlock)
Or the battle will be hotter (Natty Dreadlock)
And you won't get no supper. (Natty Dreadlock)

Natty Dread, Natty Dread, now; (Natty Dread)
A dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dread)
Natty Dreadlock in a Babylon - (Natty Dread)
Roots Natty, Roots Natty! (Natty Dread)

Then I walk up the first street, (Natty Dreadlock)
And then I walk up the second street to see. (Natty Dreadlock)
Then I trod on through third street, (Natty Dreadlock)
And then I talk to some Dread on fourth street. (Natty Dreadlock)
Natty Dreadlock in a fifth street, (Natty Dreadlock)
And then I skip one fence to sixth street. (Natty Dreadlock)
I've got to reach seventh street: (Natty Dreadlock)
Natty Dreadlock Bingy Bongo I (Natty Dread)
Natty dread, Natty Dread, now, (Natty Dread)
Roots Natty Congo I. (Natty Dread)

Oh, Natty, Natty,
Natty 21,000 miles away from home, yeah!
Oh, Natty, Natty,
And that's a long way
For Natty to be from home.

Don't care what the world seh; (Natty Dread)
I'n'I couldn't never go astray. (Natty Dread)
Just like a bright and sunny day: (Natty Dread)
Oh, we're gonna have things our way. (Natty Dread)
Natty Dread, Natty Dreadlock, (Natty Dreadlock)
Dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dreadlock)
Don't care what the world seh; (Natty Dreadlock)
I'n'I gonna have things our way. (Natty Dreadlock)
If a egg Natty in a the red - (Natty Dreadlock)
If a egg Natty in a the red. (Natty Dreadlock)
Natty Dread, Natty Dreadlock. [fadeout]

Original Release: 1974; Bob Marley & The Wailers

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:57 PM

YouTube video:


Added February 02, 2007; From ganryusama
"Linda canção que traduz o espírito de Bob".


[I think this sentence says "A pretty {beautiful?} song in the tradition and spirit of Bob". Is this right? I'm using high school Spanish to guess at this translation. But I'm not even sure that sentence is written in Spanish. Maybe it's Portuguese??}

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 11:07 PM has this definition for 'natty':

"nat·ty (năt'ē)
adj., -ti·er, -ti·est.
Neat, trim, and smart; dapper.

[Perhaps variant of obsolete netty, from net, elegant, from Middle English, from Old French. See neat1.]

nattily nat'ti·ly adv.
nattiness nat'ti·ness n.

The adjective natty has one meaning:

Meaning #1: marked by smartness in dress and manners
Synonyms: dapper, dashing, jaunty, raffish, rakish, smart, spiffy, snappy, spruce"

-snip- provides this information about the origin and meaning of the word 'natty':

"Most etymologists seem to favor the explanation that the word is a variation of the obsolete netty "neat, elegant" from Middle English net "clean, tidy" (14th century). This would make it a relative of modern English neat, which also comes from Middle English net. Net also meant "neat, clean" in Old French, hence modern French nettoyer, "to clean". The source of the Old French word is Latin nitidus "elegant, shiny", from the verb nitere "shine".   

Interestingly, neat dates from the 16th century, while natty first appears in the 18th century in Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: "Natty lads, young thieves or pickpockets." The Indo-European root here is *nei- "to shine", which may have given English the word lilac, from Persian nil "indigo"."

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 11:42 PM

I've confessed that I believed that natty was a Jamaican way of saying nappy.

In doing so I was using my cultural experiences to explain how a word is used in another culture. Which I should have known was a no no.

But I've never heard the word natty used in conversation. Well, actually I've a vaugue recollection of hearing or reading some man described as a natty dresser. But the word gnats as in insects, 'naps' as in short periods of sleep and 'naps' {as in most Black people's natural hair texture-natural meaning unstraightened with chemicals or a hot comb} are terms that are much more familiar to me than 'natty'.

Btw, I read on the Internet that in the UK 'nappy' refers to diapers. That's a definition that I've not heard in the USA.
I'm wondering if anyone here has heard that term in the United States, and other nations. And in this age of disposible Pampers and Huggy diapers, are 'nappies' still used in the UK?

Somewhere around the 1990s or early 2000s, this slogan was heard in among Black folks:

i'm happi
to be


I remember wearing a tee shirt with this slogan on it. And I considered {and still consider} it as a cultural marker of Black folks efforts to counteract the powerful omnipresent media messages that tell us that we aren't as good as others because of our skin color and our hair texture and our ancestors who were enslaved.

'Having a bad hair day' has a whole 'nuther meaning for Black females since we have been taught by that our hair is always bad unless we have good hair {meaning hair that is the same texture as White people}.

It is difficult to explain to other folks how important the issue of hair is to Black women. To bring this down to the current 'hot' topic, there's no question that I think that Don Imus radio remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team were offensive. But if I were to rate what were the worse things that Imus and his producer said about these women, I would say that it was calling them jigaboos, hos, and grizzlies {a comment that for some reason has gotten very little attention}. The descriptor 'nappy haired' is insulting because Imus meant it to be insulting. I've no idea how the Black women on that Rutgers basketball team wear their hair.
I don't even know if all of these Black women have naturally nappy hair [that they go to the beauty parlour or hair dresser to get permed/straigthened/done}.

But I keep wishing that one of these women would say "Yeah, my hair is nappy. And?

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:17 AM

For other Black women's perspectives about Don Imus' "nappy hair" remark, see this excerpt from,0,6806331.story?coll=chi-news-hed -

"When Words Wound

By Lolly Bowean
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 10, 2007, 8:55 PM CDT

For African-American women, hair has been the battleground over definitions of beauty. And when it comes to their hair, no word is more incendiary than nappy.

So when radio host Don Imus described members of Rutgers University's women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," he not only devalued a talented group of young women with a misogynistic term.

He also stepped into a fray over "good hair" vs. "bad hair" that has gone on for generations in the black community, stirring up pain and anger over a word that little black girls still lob at one another as an insult.

As officials at Rutgers denounced Imus' remarks Tuesday and groups continued to press for his resignation, an animated discussion unfolded in black beauty salons and barbershops across the Chicago area.

" 'Nappy-headed' means you don't look good. They used that word on slaves, like we don't have hair that's good enough," said Tina Branch, a hair stylist on the city's South Side. Her clients nodded in agreement.

"It's a word that makes you feel bad, like you don't look your best."

The negative meaning of nappy—a reference to tightly curled hair—has been attacked over the years as Afros, dreadlocks and other natural styles celebrated the course texture of most African hair. Yet, despite popular tote bags, shirts and books that proclaim "Happy to be Nappy," for some blacks the word implies that you are not beautiful unless your hair is straight.

The idea dates back to a time when many black women felt the need to conform to a white standard of beauty promoted in mainstream culture. Today, African-American women feel free to wear their hair chemically straightened or natural.

Still, there is a billion-dollar industry built on products and companies that promise to eliminate curls from textured ethnic hair. Beauty salons that use chemicals to transform tight curls into straight, flowing hair are crowded on almost every main street in the African-American community.

"Nappy can be considered the other n-word sometimes," said Lanita Jacobs-Huey, an anthropologist and associate professor at the University of Southern California. "When it's used by someone outside of the community, it can be seen as offensive."

But pair the word nappy with the explicit word ho and it's a particularly traumatic slur, Jacobs-Huey said.

This isn't the first time the word has stirred controversy. In 1998, when a white teacher brought the book "Nappy Hair" to share with her 3rd-grade class, some African-American parents were livid. Though the book affirmed natural hair, the parents were upset because the teacher was white.

Hyde Park hair stylist Larry Parker said the word is still tossed around often, especially in hair salons. But it all depends on who is saying it and what they mean.

"African-Americans can say it to each other because we know what it feels like to wear that name or that label," he said. "But others outside our race can't say it. They don't understand it, they don't have to live it and they don't identify with it.

"We shouldn't have to explain why it's an insult," he said. "It's just not acceptable to say something like that in this day and age. In 2007, you should know better."...


Apparently more than these sistas and brothers, I'm of the mind set that we Black people should take the insult out of the word 'nappy'.

But then again, I vehementlly disagree with what might be a comparable position that we can de-toxify the 'n word' by rejecting its negative meaning.

Yet, maybe because I've been wearing my hair natural [in an afro] for 41 years, I wish we Black women would Say it loud, I'm nappy and I'm proud.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread
From: C-flat
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:01 AM

"And in this age of disposible Pampers and Huggy diapers, are 'nappies' still used in the UK?"

The word nappy is still used for either the Huggies-type disposable or less used Terry-towelling type in the way you use the word "diaper".
As for "Natty", whilst not in common use, it is a familiar, if old fashioned word.
"That's a natty tie you're wearing" would usually be meant as a compliment to your good taste, although with older/unfashionable words or phrases this can often be turned on its head and be used sarcastically as a criticism.
An example I've come across recently is young people using the word "groovy" as a mocking description of something not trendy or of bad taste.
"Hmmm groovy shoes!! HAHA"

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:11 AM

Thanks for that information, C-flat.

I'm fascinated by how & why words which have become part of the English language are retained and used and may have different meanings in different Enlish speaking nations throughout the world.

For example, what do you mean by "Terry-towelling type [of diaper?]?

Does that term refer to cloth diapers?

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:12 AM

Here's some information and guesses about the meaning of some Jamaican patois words & phrases from Bob Marley's "Natty Dread" song:

the corrupt establishment, the "system, " Church and State; the police, a policeman Rasta/Patois Jamaica Dictionary


Congo Bongo I; Roots Natty Congo I
My sense is that both "Congo Bongo I" and "Roots Natty Congo I" means "I am African", meaning 'I am part of the African Diaspora". Being African carries positive, return to one's roots associations.


"Children get your culture"
My sense is that "Children" here means children and adults;
'get your culture' refers to the Rastafarian religion/culture.


"Oh, Natty, Natty,
Natty 21,000 miles away from home, yeah!"
My sense is that "home" here refers to Africa {or more specifically Ethiopia} since Bob Marley was a Rastafarian.

"If a egg Natty in a the red"
My guess-from an admittedly African American* mind frame is that this sentence means "If a Natty Dread [a Rasta; meaning a member of the Rastafarian religion/culture] is provoked, he or she will bloody you up {meaning hurt you} or he or she will see red [get angry], this being a "word to the wise" which could be interpreted as a promise/threat.

* Like many African Americans, I do have Caribbean roots. Mine are Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago on my maternal side. However, I don't have any direct knowledge about Caribbean culture.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:16 AM

See this excerpt from Dreadlocks in Jamaica:

"...probably 90% of the 'dread locked individuals' you may meet in Jamaica who may call themselves a Rastafarian, are not true Rastafarians...

The dreadlocks hairstyle first appeared in Jamaica during post emancipation. It was a means of defiance for ex-slaves to rebel against Euro-centrism that was forced on them. The hairstyle was originally referred to as a "dreadful" hairstyle by the Euro centric Jamaican society. It later evolved to the term now used: Dreadlocks. Jamaicans also use the term Natty Dreadlock.

Dreadlocks and Rastafari
Rastafarians grow their hair into dreadlocks because it is a part of the Nazarite Vow. (Also their dietary rules are part of the law) All Rastafarians take this vow and claim it is commanded by the Bible (Leviticus 21:5 "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard nor make any cuttings in their flesh").

Samson is believed to be a Nazarite with dreadlocks. Many Rastafarians believe that like Samson, their hair is their strength and also their weakness if it is cut off . The belief in the weakness of cutting of the dreadklocks was used as a way to intimidate Rastafarians in Jamaica in the past, as they would be arrested and their hair cut off. This was one of the reasons many of the early Rastafarians moved to isolated areas (bush) of the Island.

To many Rastafarians, dreadlocks also symbolizes the mane (locks) of the lion in the Lion of Judah, which is one of titles given to all Ethiopian Kings. Emperor Haile Selassie was also very fond of lions and had them as pets around his palace. The lion is also seen as an animal that is gentle but powerful when provoked. He is the "King" of the jungle."

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Darowyn
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:16 AM

Cloth diapers(USA)="Terry towelling Nappies"(UK) or "Proper nappies" to the older generation.
Thanks to the BBC there is an inhibition against using trade names in English English , so Pampers etc. are often called "Disposable Nappies"
An alternative explanation for Natty Dread came from a British Jamaican I knew, and that is that is is a Kingston pronunciation of "Knotty", meaning tangled.
Their way of turning an "o" into an "a" also occurs in the , highly offensive,Jamaican phrase used to describe a gay man "batty boy". (I'm sure you can work it out!)
Is there a relationship between "nappy hair" and the raised Nap on cloth such as that used to cover Pool tables?
I did hear a funny story about an African American who visited some people I know in Nigeria, proudly wearing his corn-row hairstyle. He was puzzed by the amusement of his hosts, until it was explained that tight plaits that stick out were only worn by baby girls in that part of the world.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:39 AM

More on the line "If a egg Natty in a the red {Natty Dread}"

I 'sussed out' that meaning from the expressions 'to egg someone on' and the expression 'to see red'.

Btw, I don't think that 'suss' is commonly used in African American {that is non-Caribbean African American* conversations & writing. I'm wondering if it is common in the Uk, Canada, and/or Australia? gives this definition for the word 'suss':

"suss (sŭs)
tr.v. Slang., sussed, suss·ing, suss·es.

To infer or discover; figure out: "I think I'm good at sussing out what's going on" (Ry Cooder).
To size up; study: "Suss out the designers in whom you are interested" (Lucia van der Post).

[Probably short for SUSPECT.]"

I suspect that suspect might be the origin of suss if you figure that you are checking something out to see if what you suspect is real and not a "fig newton" ** of your imagination.

** "fig newton"="figment" [That's just me playing with words. If you like it, be my guest and pass it on]

Fwiw, rhe word 'suss' isn't listed in the Rasta/Jamaican Dictionary whose link I provided earlier.

That same Rasta/Jamaican Dictionary doesn't give any meaning of natty as a stand alone word. Here's the nearest entry that they have:

NATTY CONGO: 1. dreadlocks 2. a person with dreadlocks

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:32 AM

While I was in Ethiopia from 1965 to 1968 I saw no evidence of "The dreadlocks hairstyle" among men. "Afros" were certainly traditional, as well as contemporary, although the urban middle class tended to crop their hair short. Some of the photographs of the young Emperor Haile Selassi show him with a robust afro. When his imperial majesty visited our school, his head was completely covered with a military cap.

I do wonder where the dreadlocks style evolved from. Is it West African?

Charley Noble

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:04 AM

Excellent Wiki article here.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:16 AM

Natty is a word that while not commonplace, isn't rare in American English, at least where I grew up (in the Pacific Northwest). It travels a usage path along the lines of words like "mettle" or "mettlesome"--there is a distinct meaning, but because it sounds like something else (meddle or meddlesome) that those who aren't acquainted with the difference might misuse or confuse the words.

I'll read this thread closely later and say more then. It looks like you're delving into semiotics and etymology via a Google seat-of-the-pants approach. I might be able to find some scholarly sources that help you with this inquiry. Marley has generated studies and has a scholarly fan base that might interest you.


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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM

I remember hearing that Terry McMillan (who wrote the novel) wondered, disappointed, where all the nappy hair was in the movie version of "Waiting to Exhale".

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:09 PM

Thanks to all who have posted to this thread.

Darowyn and Charley Noble, your anecdotal stories and information are fascinating.

Stilly River Sage, I'd love the addition of excerpts and summaries from scholarly sources. I look forward to reading your posts to this thread.

KB in Iowa, I've not read Terry McMillan's book, but I did see the "Waiting To Exhale" movie. Though I don't recall it, a character in McMillan's book or the movie based on that book could certainly have used "nappy hair" as an Black in-group descriptor for [young?] natural, "for real" [as opposed to slick, artificial games playing] men.

Here's another example from African American culture of nappy head {or nappy hair} being seen as something normal & natural{if not positive, certainly not negative}- in his record "I Wish" Stevie Wonder reminisced about his childhood this way:

"Looking back on when I
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for Christmas what would be my toy"

However, this 2004 excerpt from a chapter of "Kinki Kreations
A Parent's Guide to Natural Black Hair Care for Kids"
written by Jena Renee Williams provides another look at nappy hair being viewed negative:

"I was a young child when I learned the difference between what people call "good" and "bad" hair.

The straighter your hair was, the more you were liked, and the prettier you were thought to be. That was "good hair." If your hair was tightly curled or kinky, you had "bad hair" and were considered less attractive.

I remember jumping double Dutch with some of my friends. A tall caramel-complexioned woman dressed in a black suit and white sneakers and carrying a briefcase walked by. She went over to my friend Tara, whose hair was styled in two long straight ponytails (pressed hard by a hot comb), and said, "Your hair is beautiful and soft." The woman then looked at me and my sister and said, "Oh my God, your hair is pretty also. Are you two twins? You girls have good hair. It's beautiful." The woman told us to be good girls and walked off.

She never said anything about Sheena's hair. Sheena's hair was short and tight. Her mother used to style her hair in tiny braids and connect them all going to the back. After the woman left, we teased Sheena. "Ah ha! That lady ain't say nothing about your nappy ugly stuff, and you're black and ugly, burnt like toast," someone said. We all sang the "you got nappy hair" song. Sheena got angry, took her jump rope, and ran into the house crying.

I was an adult before I truly understood how sad and hurtful that must have been for Sheena. Those hateful impressions and expressions can affect how others perceive that child and leave that child emotionally traumatized, even into adulthood.

For generations, African-American children have been victims of child abuse. They have been told over and over again that their hair is unmanageable, worthless, and ugly. In short, bad. This has been reinforced by television and film images, and also by marketers of hair straighteners. Sadly, the first application of a hair-straightening relaxer to a child's hair is synonymous with a "rite of passage" for some parents and their daughters. A first "perm," sadly, is seen as the beginning of adulthood, success, and social development."

Peace, that article was a great find. It provides some information that addresses the grerespons

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:21 PM


Let me try that again.

Peace, thanks for that great find. That article addresses some of the questions I and others asked about the historical presence of "dreadlock" hairstyles among various people throughout the world.

Here's an excerpt of that article:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dreadlocks, sometimes called simply dreads or locks, are matted ropes of hair which will form by themselves if the hair is allowed to grow naturally without the use of brushes, combs, razors or scissors for a long period of time. The word itself comes from the Bible and the "dread" of God. People of various cultures have worn dreadlocks.

The first known examples of dreadlocks date back to ancient dynastic Egypt, where Egyptian royalty and commoners wore dreadlocked hairstyles and wigs appeared on bas-reliefs, statuary and other artifacts...

The dreadlocked Vedic deity Shiva and his followers were described in the Vedic scriptures as "jaTaa", meaning "wearing twisted locks of hair", probably derived from the Dravidian word "caTai", which means to twist or to wrap.

The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism and had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and also influenced the Celtic religion, society and folklore.[3][4][5] According to Roman accounts of the time, the Celts wore dreadlocks as well, describing them as having "hair like snakes".

A drawing showing dreadlocks on an Aztec personGermanic tribes, the Vikings, the Greeks, the Pacific Ocean peoples, the Naga people and several ascetic groups within various major religions have at times worn their hair in dreadlocks. In addition to the Nazirites of Judaism and the Sadhus of Hinduism, there are the Dervishes of Islam and the Coptic Monks of Christianity, among others. The very earliest Christians also may have worn this hairstyle.

Particularly noteworthy are descriptions of James the Just, "brother of Jesus" and first Bishop of Jerusalem, who wore them to his ankles.

Dreadlocks also have been part of Mexican culture. In a description of an Aztec ritual, Historian William Hickling Prescott referred to dreadlocked Priests of the Aztec civilization, a Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the 14th century, 15th century and 16th century."...,+history+of&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:42 PM

I want to clarify that nothing I am saying justifies Don Imus' joking about the physical appearance of the Rutgers basketball team and comparing them unfavorably with the winning team who, btw, were also predominately African American.

As I said earlier, if Imus had said "There's alot of nappy haired women in that team", and had not added the 'ho', 'jigaboo', and 'grizzly' comments, and if we {African Americans} weren't still struggling with issues of self-worth, then the team members, other Black people, and other non-Black people could have responded
"Yeah, many Black people's hair is naturally nappy. So what?".

I'd love it if all the world's people could recognize that there are many different types of beauty. I'd love it if people recognized that good hair is hair that is healthy.

Imo, beautiful hair comes in all colors and textures and includes tightly curled, kinky, nappy hair.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 04:58 PM

I agree that if he had only said something about the nappy hair nobody would have cared.

Oddly enough, from the TV coverage and photos that I have seen, none of these young women even have nappy hair. The closest is one who has corn rows (or something similar). Nobody has mentioned that in any stories I have read.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:03 PM

cflat and SRS, we heard "natty" growing up in the Rockies, also, used to compliment as in "nattily dressed" meaning well/smartly dressed.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:26 PM

"...from the TV coverage and photos that I have seen, none of these young women even have nappy hair. The closest is one who has corn rows (or something similar).'

KB, the texture of most Black people's hair is tightly curled {otherwise known as kinky and nappy}. This natural texture of the hair is 'masked' by straigtening the hair.

The hair is straightened by using a chemical perm {permanent} or by using a hot iron comb. In the olden days {up to the 1960s or so}, the method of heating the comb was by putting it in the fire on the kitchen stove. Nowadays, combs are heated by plugging them into an electric socket.

Once the naturally tightly curled hair is straightened, the hair is then curled and styled with a hot curling iron.

And that's the way it is...

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:44 PM

KB, cornrows are a natural way of styling hair. Both females and males wear cornrows.

Also, women whose hair is permed {meaning straightened} may wear their hair in cornrows when their hair is permed.

It should be noted, that there's a distinction among Black people between straightened hair and hair that is naturally straight. There is also a distinction between curled hair and naturally curly hair. There's Black people who have straight hair, naturally curly hair, and curly-straight hair, and all other gradations in between.

It's common for Black people talk about the 'grade' of their hair and the grade of other Black people's hair. Though I've never heard it put this way, most Black people would give nappy hair a failing grade.

I remember when I first started to wear a natural {otherwise known as an afro or 'fro}, some Black women said that they didn't like the fact that women wearing 'fros were showing White people how our hair really looked before it was permed or straightened with a hot comb.

I think we've come some ways beyond that view. But I wouldn't be surprised if there are some sistas and brothers who still feel that way.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: The King
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 04:16 AM

What a load of shite - pseudo culture crap!!!

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Bee
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:08 AM

Azizi, in some ways it seems as if you are describing a cultural mindset regarding hairstyles that is long gone, at least in most of Canada, since the late sixties. I know a lot of Black women and children, and very, very few subscribe to a routine of hair straightening. You see every variety of hairstyle.

I do remember, in 1973, the day a friend of mine arrived at work with her previously straightened to death hair cut in a close, short cap which showed off her beautiful small face (she was the only staff member who straightened at the time). She was greeted with applause. Her story was a rural upbringing and a conservative husband who wanted her to keep her hair straight, and her co-workers were thrilled at her decision to wear her hair the way she wanted to.

The hairstyle among Black children that I truly disliked was around in the late 80s, when there was a fad for carving brand logos, like the Adidas logo, into little boys short hair. It just seemed wrong to promote sneakers, etc., on a child's head.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:17 AM

I always hated that my sisters has natural curl to their hair and mine was straight as a board.

I don't know if it was related to possible inter-racial mingling of my ancestors on Barbados, or from the "black Irish" on my mom's side, but my uncle had "nappy" hair and, in high school (1930's/early 40's) his nickname, noted in the school yearbook, was "Nig" because of his hair.

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 06:55 AM

natty = knotty

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Subject: RE: Natty Dread (Bob Marley)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 08:33 AM

Yes indeed, GUEST 10 Nov 13.

Any Jamaican music listener knows this!

Funny that this thread went on so long with all the other B.S.

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