10 Holy Hairstyles

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3Navajo Hair

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Photo credit: Edward S. Curtis

One of the most universal beliefs of Native Americans is that hair is sacred. To the Couchiching First Nation, it is a physical symbol of spiritual commitment. Some, like the Dine, cut their hair in morning. To the Navajo, hair represents memory. Many believe it also imbues wearers with supersensory abilities.

In the mid-20th century, Navajo were recruited in the army as code talkers and trackers. When individuals well documented with having “outstanding, almost supernatural tracking abilities” failed in the field, they blamed hair. The Navajo recruits indicated that the military issue haircuts prevented their finer senses of perception from working properly.

Few scientists believe that the dead keratin cells of hair transmit and extra-sensory perception. However, hair is connected to the same skin receptors that gauge temperature, register a breeze, or serve as a warning against bugs.

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