Francesco Mastalia; Alfonse Pagano Dreads

ISBN 13: 9781579651503

Dreads

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9781579651503: Dreads

Dreadlocks are a modern phenomenon with roots reaching as far back as the fifth century. According to ancient Hindu beliefs, dreads signified a singleminded pursuit of the spiritual. Devotion to God displaced vanity, and hair was left to its own devices.

Dreads captures this organic explosion of hair in all its beautiful, subversive glory. One hundred duotone portraits present dread-heads from around the world, in all walks of life. Interviewed on location by the photographers, jatta-wearers wax philosophic about the integrity of their hair, and every stunning image confirms their choice. Alice Walker puts words to pictures, offering lyrical ruminations about her decision to let her own mane mat.

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From the Inside Flap:

Dreads. Jatta. Ndiagne. Palu. Natty, knotted, ropelike locks. Curly knobs, tiny plaits, intricate weaves. Dreads are a modern phenomena with roots that reach as far back as the fifth century. According to ancient Hindu beliefs, dreadlocks signified a singleminded pursuit of the spiritual. Devotion to God displaced vanity, and hair was left to its own devices. In the West, locks are a relatively recent fashion, born of the Black Power movement of the sixties and the infiltration of reggae into popular music.

In Dreads, photographers Francesco Mastalia and Alfonse Pagano capture the rebels of this natural hair revolution in all their beautiful, subversive glory. One hundred duotone portraits present dread-heads from all walks of life: a Brooklyn postal worker, a Japanese farmer, an Indian sadhu, a Jamaican drummer. Interviewed on location by the photographers, jatta-wearers from around the world wax philosophic about the integrity of their hair, and every stunning image confirms their choice. In her introduction, Alice Walker offers lyrical ruminations about her decision to let her own mane mat.

Today, trendsetters in Tokyo pay thousands of yen to have their poker-straight hair literally drilled into locks. The fact that the young and hip now go to such extremes to imitate what was originally a statement against artificiality proves the growing popularity of dreads. From a nappy-topped newborn to a Rastafarian elder with hair roped around his waist, Dreads rejoices in the essence of the individual, set free by an organic explosion of hair.

From the Back Cover:

I couldn't imagine those black ropes on their heads were hair...natural hair to which nothing was added, not even a brushing...I wondered what such hair felt like, smelled like. What a person dreamed about at night, with hair like that spreading across the pillow...

—from the introduction by Alice Walker

"Beautiful book, beautiful hair, beautiful people, beautiful exhilarating spirituality. I loved it and love my (our) hair." —Anne Lamott author of Traveling Mercies

"Dreads is an exquisite artistic testament to the individuality of the men and women who make dreads not only a look but a way of life. These cross-cultural images demonstrate that the human visage is the first artistic canvas we have access to."—Farai Chideya author of The Color of Our Future

"There is always the question of whether you grow locks or your locks grow you. This book shows dreadlocks that are funky, elegant, sexy, dramatic, spiritual—and always beautiful. It makes me very happy to be nappy."—Veronica Chambers author of Mama's Girl

Photographed on location in Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Kenya, Namibia, Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, India, and the United States

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Mastalia, Francesco
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