Friday, May 8, 2009

hair spirits

From prehistoric times, when hair covered the majority of the human body it was viewed as predominantly utilitarian as protection against harsh weather conditions, injuries as well as provided camouflage. As humans evolved, sweat glands slowly replaced hair to control body temperatures and some scientists believe that increased sexual attraction between females and males resulted to maintain relationships or 'pair-bonds' to rear and raise children in more protected environments.
As lifestyles change, so does the social and cultural identity of hair - this is seen in various forms from hairstyles, folklore, art, mythology and spiritual and cultural customs. Hair is also a marker of renewal and regeneration as it is constantly growing throughout a persons life. So, what happens to the spirit of hair when it is not longer attached to a body? Does hair become a lifeless material of the one it came from or are the hair spirits still alive?

reference from “The Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History by Victoria Sherrow, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, London; 2006

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