The Symbolism and Communicative Contents of Dreadlocks in Yorubaland

  • Augustine Agwuele

Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 1-9
  3. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 11-38
  4. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 39-60
  5. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 61-94
  6. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 95-150
  7. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 151-187
  8. Augustine Agwuele
    Pages 189-194
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 195-210

About this book


This book offers an interpretation of Yoruba people’s affective responses to an adult Yoruba male with a ‘deviant’ hairstyle. The work, which views hairstyles as a form of symbolic communicative signal that encodes messages that are perceived and interpreted within a culture, provides an ontological and epistemological interpretation of Yoruba beliefs regarding dreadlocks with real-life illustrations of their treatment of an adult male with what they term irun were (insane person’s hairdo). Based on experiential observations as well as socio-cultural and linguistic analyses, the book explores the dynamism of Yoruba worldview regarding head-hair within contemporary belief systems and discusses some of the factors that assure its continuity. It concludes with a cross-cultural comparison of the perceptions of dreadlocks, especially between Nigerian Yoruba people and Afr

ican American Yoruba practitioners.


Yoruba men Yoruba politics and culture hairstyles and political movements Cosmetology and religion ontological and epistemological identity

Authors and affiliations

  • Augustine Agwuele
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-30185-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-30186-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site