What comes to mind when you hear the word dreadlocks? Most would probably immediately think about Bob Marley. But it’s a different case for kids with dreadlocks in Dieng, it grows by itself and makes them become the “king” for a while
For most people, dreadlock is a reflection of lifestyle choices, but not for the dreadlocks children in the Dieng Plateau. As the land is still believed as the home for the God, mystical aura and many other myths are still famous in the life of society. One of the most interesting is the phenomenon of these dreadlocks children. Dieng dreadlocks children was born normal, just like the other children. At one point, suddenly their hair becomes dreadlocks. Various studies to scientifically investigate the cause have not found any logical reasons of the dreadlocks growth.
In daily life these children are not treated differently compared to their friends. It’s just that they tend to be more active, strong and somewhat mischievous. When dreadlocks children are playing together, they tend to fight each other. Dieng residents believe they are descended from the ancestral founder of Dieng and there is a supernatural being that “inhabit” and “maintain” these dreads. Dreadlocks are not passed on genetically. In other words, no one knows when and who will receive this gift. It is said that the ancestral founder of Dieng, Ki Ageng Kaladite left the message to people to keep and take care of children with dreads.
The Wishes should be Granted
Dreadlocks would not be forever lodged in the child’s head. Through a traditional ceremony, these hair should be cut due to a belief that if it left up until the child grow up, it would bring disaster for the child and his family. The cutting procession should not be careless. Dreadlocks children themselves determine the time. If he has not asked for the cut, it will continue to grow even though it was cut off many times. In addition to the rituals that must be held, the parents must also meet the demand of the children.
Whatever they request, as weird and difficult as any, shall be provided at the time of the ritual. They usually would ask for various things. From a bicycle, a rooster, even a truck full of cow or a car which is difficult to fulfill. I’m imagined how difficult it could be if you have a dreadlocks child. Moreover, people believe that all desires must be granted or the child will suffer. But Dieng people do not think like that. They take dreadlocks children as blessing that will bring good luck to them. Demand is also quite flexible and can be tricked. When the child asks a truck full of cow for example, the parents just need to buy a kilogram of beef and put it on the truck. Request of a car can be granted by buying a car toy.
Every August or Sura in the Javanese calendar, they hold a mass ritual procession at the Arjuna Temple complex. Dreadlocks children will be bathed with water from seven springs, paraded and pelted with yellow rice and coins, and the dreadlocks will be cut by traditional leaders who then throw it away in the Colorful Lake. However, some people choose to conduct their own procession and ceremony because they could not bear to see their children wear a white headband and scarf of cloth used to wrap corpses. Moreover, the procession throwing yellow rice and coins is also common practice for the funeral.
The phenomenon of dreadlocks children is already prevalent among the people of Dieng. But to an outsider, this event is something strange, unique, and may be hard to think of it logically. Clearly, dreadlocks children would be treated like a “king” who would be granted all of the wishes until when it came time to cut their dreadlocks crown.