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January 24, 2011

Comments

Long Hair

Well done! "Treatment" for dreadlocks? Cutting off? Actually those vicious prejudices about dreadlocks (dreadlocks are dirty, only Black people have dreadlocks, etc.)are so similar to those prejudices against Eastern Europe and Jews. Yes, there was also the term "plica Judiaca." Common prejudice was during XVIII and XIXc.that Poland and any country east from Germany was realm of barbarism, those were plica countries, uncivilized in contrast to rest of Europe with its suposedly world center of civilization:Paris. Plica was more common in Poland as this country had preserved lots of old beliefs, for ex. in folk medicine as witches were executed rarely there.This was also held against this country during witch burning craze that they "didn't punish witches properly."

Association with dirt: "plica countries,"Russia, Turkey,etc. had quite high hygienic standards. In Russia banya,sauna-like baths were common, in Poland banyas were common till late XVIII c., Turkey had Turkish baths.Not arguing there was no dirt, but this needs to be put into perspective. There were lice infestations also under powdered wigs, this is not a secret.

Long Hair

As for branding dreadlocks as sign of Otherness, it has deep roots. Plica polonica in historical persepctive: descriptions of countries East from Germany and far from Paris by Western European travelers were mostly hostile, branding inhabitants as "barbarians." Travelers were complaining about Polish hats, blue in color and trimmed with fur, or metal tips and heels on soles of the shoes, or about the fact that Poles elected their kings instead of having reigning dynasty ("anarchists"), etc. So, it is no wonder that they also got confused by traditional hair fashion, like shaved heads with "tonsure" on the top, or some regional variants of dreadlocks among peasantry, and associated it only with vermin infestation and dirt? Special if this made the travelers feel so much more "civilized" and "superior." Poles were also described as "Apaches of Europe." Or Poles themselves stygmatizing the peasantry and making plica the symbol of inferiority of lower classes?

Plica was the stigma of the Other.You right, prejudices are deeply rooted. As for prejudice about blood drinking East:one person, a descendant of generations of US citizens, tried to convince me that the Russians were drinking human blood, from the skulls of killed enemies. And that this was a common practice among Soviet soldier during WW II. How far was this from the accusations of blood libel? (Of which Jews were accused).

anngrace

this is really interesting so amazing.

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