Friar Tuck: The Holiest Of All Haircuts
We all remember the beloved Friar Tuck, the lovely plump monk that followed Robin Hood in his adventures to steal from the rich and give to the poor. He had a santa like friendliness and an oddly placed bald spot right on the crown of his head. A perfect circle of scalp beaming from the top of his noggin. Most of us have seen this hairstyle in history books or period piece movies. This bald crown is commonly sported by religious figures of the early centuries. This hair cutting technique is call tonsure. It is a sign of devotion for many religious affiliations: Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
Tonsure is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility.
According to many religions hair has always been associated with human sexuality and sensuality or a connection to the material world. In attempt to control or, in radical cases, diminish the sin of human sexuality and material connection men and women were required to cover their hair or a large portion of there head and men would do the same. However; the tonsure technique was typically performed on men leading a devout life as a monk or some sort of clergy. Celtic monks would shave the only the front portion of their scalp from ear to ear in order to show commitment to god and denial of their sexuality and appearance. Roman catholic monks would shave a perfect circle on top of their head leaving the rest of the hair much like the beloved Friar Tuck! Buddhist monks, even to this day shave their entire head and Hindu monks shave most off their hair and leave only a tuft of hair on the crown of their head. Different religions, different placements but the same idea.
All of our hair styles, techniques and practices come from the early reaches of human history. How we deal with hair, how we cut it, how we color it and how we style it all comes from ancient practices: right of passage rituals, spiritual practices, caste system identities, war practices, etc. Our era is simply playing with the collective of these practices. Today we applying different styles, colors and cuts in order to feel something. In order to feel something that existed long ago. Maybe our ancestors were onto something. Lets give hair a purpose beyond just beauty. When we color our hair, give it a purpose. When we cut hair give it meaning and when we style hair let it be to prepare for love or war.