Front Cover
Artisan Books, 1999 - Photography - 144 pages
2 Reviews
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.


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It is a great introduction to the varied beliefs, looks, and lives of those who've chosen to carry the lion's crown.
Dreadlocks, Dreads, Locks, Locs... Our crown.

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User Review  - Katya0133 - LibraryThing

A beautiful collection of portraits and personal statements. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Francesco Mastalia has spent the last twenty-five years mastering the art of the black-and-white photography. Advertising and corporate assignments dominate his career as a portrait photographer, while his commitment to documentary photography has taken him around the world. A native of Italy, he is now based in New York.

Alfonse Pagano turned to photography as an art form in 1994, after a distinguished career as a painter, during which his mixed media and oil works were exhibited in such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Laguna Gloria Museum of Art. He is the recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts and Change, Inc., grants. Pagano lives in New York.

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