Culture Shock! Rastafarianism

As you may or may not have realized by now, I changed up my hair quite a bit recently!  I got dreadlocks (otherwise known as “rastas” in Spanish)!  The process was pretty long and excruciating: about 14 hours over two days while in Montañita, Ecuador.  I’ve always loved dreadlocks and have been wanting them for awhile.  I figured South America is the perfect place because I already don’t blend in at all, why not just go all out?

This photo from the Inca Trail shows my dreadlocks pretty well.

They’re pretty crazy, I know.  I didn’t make the decision lightly because I know I probably will have to cut all my hair off whenever I want to get rid of them.  But I like them so hopefully I’ll be keeping them for awhile!  The part of getting dreadlocks that I didn’t really expect was the instant bond that developed with other Rastafarians.  There is some sort of unwritten code between dread-heads that you have to at least acknowledge each other with a nod or fist bump when you pass on the street.  The local Rasta/hippy crowds are usually so thrilled with my hair that they will stop me to talk and even invite me to hang out.  Having dreadlocks is definitely a good way to meet some interesting people!  Other people are curious and so my hair becomes a conversation-starter.  “Is Bob Marley your favorite singer?” one of our guides on the Inca Trail asked me.  Haha.  Of course, there is also a downside as there are many negative stereotypes related to having dreadlocks.  But all in all, I think it’s interesting that I am now included in this unique subculture, just because of my crazy hairstyle!


About Carrie

Carrie's got the traveling bug and thinks "settling down" is overrated. Too many people to meet, places to see, and languages to learn!

Posted on January 11, 2012, in Culture Shock!, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Welcome to dread life!

  2. Ray Garces Fichtwand

    and the best part is you never to wash your hairs again!

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