For more than a million years, various versions of human species have had a generous growth of hair on their head and bodies. Historians believe that the hair was meant to keep our ancestors warm, but we have slowly come to recognize its many benefits through tribal traditions and primal rituals like those of Native Americans. Native Americans usually wear there hair thick and long, and there is a deeper significance to this choice.
The Native Americans believe that hair is an extension of the nervous system, and is useful is for sensing information that the naked eye cannot see. In mammals the hair is useful for sensing danger, reading body language, and even picking up subtle cues from one’s surrounding. The Native Americans believed that the hair on our body conducts similar function and the longer we wear it the better or extrasensory perception develops.
During the Vietnam War, Native American soldiers enlisted in the army refused to cut their hair and argued that it would prevent them from sensing the enemy. Military officials, though in disbelief, decided to test this theory. They made Native soldiers sleep in the woods and send mock ‘enemies’ to test them. The men with long hair would sense their arrival and almost always be prepared to fight them. When they would redo the test after their was cut, they always failed at sensing the enemy.
Wearing their hair long is an age old tradition of the Native Americans that dates back to their origin centuries ago. It is fascinating to know how this tradition which seemingly looks like vanity enhancement ritual has a deeper meaning and so much history behind it.