Dread Adornment


So, today my exciting news is I BOUGHT A NEW DREAD BEAD! OMFG I swear the ability to put beads and pretty things in my hair is one of my favorite parts of having dreads. I used to feel like I always had to wear some sort of jewelry to identify myself as Pagan or feminist or interested in Native American culture, etc. Now I just put it all in my hair!!! So in this entry I am going to show off my beads and tell you their significance. To me, dread adornment is like tattoing; they should MEAN something to you. It might represent a belief, a part of your identity, memorialize a loved one, or commemorate something going on in your life. I want to clarify here that not everyone feels the same way about dread adornment. Some people like to cycle out their beads and wear different things all the time. Like tattoos and my dreads themselves, I feel like my dread adornments are a long-time commitments and so they should be something I REALLY love since I will have to look at them for a long time to come!

Some people may love putting stuff in their dreads, but it can be hard to find places that sell beads that you can use on your dreads. My favorite place to shop for dread stuff is Etsy. --> 69o9uiikjj,mjuik7 <-- (I'm leaving this... my daughter typed this when I got up to check on the chili in the slow cooker!) My dreads are about the size of a fat pen and when they were younger I could get a 5mm hole bead onto my dreads. All of the Pandora beads are that size so I had a big selection to choose from! Now, however, I have a hard time getting something that small onto the dread. That and 5 mm seems to vary from artist to artist. Some 5 mm beads I can get my Loose Hair Tool v 2.0 through to pull the bead onto the dread and others I can't. So if you dreads are the same size as mine or a little smaller that helps to expand your bead shopping options! Another site you can check out for dread beads is ArtFire. Another important note here is that you want to try to get your beads a little on the small size, especially if your dreadies are still pretty young. Dreads naturally shrink and then thicken up as they mature and you want to make sure the bead will stay put even once they tighten up!

So onto me, LOL. When I decided to get dreads I knew ahead of time that I REALLY wanted to find a bead to commemorate my new dreads and the beginning of my journey into dread-hood. Although the imagery and colors of the bead don't exactly mean anything in particular to me I thought it was REALLY f*cking cool. :-) Although, I will note that it does remind me a little bit of fire, but has a whimsical, etherical quality to it, too! It's just pretty and I put it in the back on my first dread! This bead was a bead that was made to be a Pandora bead and has a 5 mm hole (that my Loose Hair Tool v 2.0 fits through). I bought it on Etsy from a shop named Glass Addict Beads. I want to note here that you'll find that all but one of my dread beads is glass. I like glass because 1) the color won't fade or chip like wood, 2) it won't tarnish or rust like metal, and 3) it won't absorb bacteria and germs like acrylic or polymer clay will.

My second bead I don't actually have a photo of because its actually an earring that I turned into a dread cuff. I found the image on the left to help me describe it a bit to you. The image to the left is a Sun Face Kachina. Kachinas are nature spirits that are, for lack of a better term, 'worshipped' by many of the Southwestern Native American tribes such as the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni. I have really connected with this symbol for a long time and associate it with my interest in Native American culture and spirituality. So, anyway, the earring was shaped like the middle part (the face) with four rays (or spokes) coming out of it. I bent the two rays on the sides around into the shape of a cuff and put it on one of my front dreads on the right side of my head. It is sterling silver, turquoise, red coral, and mother of pearl so eventually it will probably tarnish, but in the meantime I like having the symbol close to me! I purchased the earring set from the Santa Fe Trading Company which sets up a kiosk in the mall near me during the winter holiday season every year.

My third bead is a rainbow bead. I got it for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I LOVE rainbows! But, more importantly, I wanted to communicate my stance on gay rights. I am ALL for gay marriage and equal rights for gays. I strongly believe that love and love regardless of what may be below the waistline of your lover and that love should be recognized the same by the government and receive the same benefits as the love between a man and a woman. Really, what's the difference? Secondly, (thirdly?) this bead also represents, for me, the Rainbow Family. Their website states that they are "the largest non-organization of non-members in the world". The Rainbow Family "means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. Many of our traditions are based on Native American traditions, and we have a strong orientation to take care of the the Earth." Anyway, you basically become a non-member simply by agreeing with their ideals and I really love the ideals of it. So that's what my rainbow bead means to me. :-) It was advertised as having a 7 mm hole. I wear it on a dread that's on the top of my head on the left side. I bought this on on Etsy from a store by the name of Raven's Curiosities.

My fourth bead.... oh it's a wonderful bead!!! I found this bead, more or less, on ArtFire made by an artist who lives in England. She makes the most beautiful goddess beads! This one represents my reverence for the Goddess and by that I mean the Goddess in EVERY woman! It represents my feminist attitudes and my belief that every woman is divine and that the ability give life is truly a divine gift that we should honor and place in the highest regard. (And, in my opinion, that should be fully experienced without numbing the body...) It also represents my passion for natural, un-medicated birth and all of my parenting philosophies. I commissioned the lovely and talented Madeline Bunyan to create this gorgeous bead for me. It was created on a 5 mm mandrel (that my loose hair tool fit through!). I put it on a dread behind my left ear in a place where it is a little bit hidden by the dreads on top of it. Since it is, essentially, a naked woman and I work in the public I didn't want to offend people, but I haven't had any negative comments so far. In fact, I've received nothing but compliments!


My non-fifth bead was one that I am not going to describe here other than to tell you that it was a Pandora "5 mm" bead that the hole was too small on. BUT, I am going to be helping a friend put in her dreads in a few weeks or so and I am going to gift it to her to commemorate her starting on her dread journey so I don't want to ruin the surprise! I think that it was ultimately meant for her anyway and I think she's really going to love it!!!

My actual fifth bead, and the reason I decided to write this blog is a beautiful, blue glass bead with a star on it. To me, though, it has this undeniably celestial feel to it. It just seems so magickal. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with it. I was amazed that it stayed in the shop as long as it did without selling! I mentioned in my last blog that many believed that dreadlocks could bestow a person with extraordinary spiritual powers. I'm not expecting a miracle, but I feel like this bead just emanates spiritual power! The color, too, is highly associated with the brow/third eye chakra which deals in the realm of psychic ability and clear seeing. I feel like this bead will be an asset to my dread head! That and it's just SOOO pretty! It is advertised as having a 13 mm hole which is much bigger than anything I've bought so far so I am going to see how things fit. In the item description the artist says it will fit best on dreads the size of a lady's pinky finger or a little bigger, which mine are. So, fingers crossed, it will fit fine! I certainly shouldn't have any problems getting it ONTO the dreads like I did my non-fifth bead, LOL. I'm thinking of putting it on a dread behind my ear on the left side so it will be visible when I wear my dreads half-up. Plus, it's still pretty visible with them down, too! I bought this on Etsy from a shop named Infinite Cosmos.

Also, I want to encourage everyone to check out MY Etsy Shop: Sylph Wings Designs. I sell jewelry, hemp jewelry, dream catchers, and SOON dread coils! I haven't started working on them, but I can tell you I haven't seen ANYthing like them anywhere else online. I CAN tell you, however, that they will use ALL genuine gemstone beads (unless someone requests otherwise) and Alpaca silver which does NOT tarnish so should stay good even through washing! So, please check back often for updates! I will post more on it here once I get that up and going more. :-)

So, I know this has TOTALLY been the Knotty Mama show here, but I totally want to hear from my readers about what they put in THEIR dreads! Please post comments and leave some links with some photos of YOUR dread adornments, be they beads, hemp wraps, coils... I want to see 'em!!!! Even better is if you tell me why you wanted it in your dreads and what it means to you!

5 Response to "Dread Adornment"

  1. agreco6 Says:

    great blog! Love the beads especially the 5th one! I def agree that you should but things in your dreads that mean something to you, great way to express yourself for sure! I had a couple beads I'd been saving for years just waiting for my dreads to come to decorate them but my husband ended up getting dreads first so he got the beads! I've been looking for the perfect one tho...thanks for the Etsy site, I have looked on there before but I dont think at any of those sites so I will def check em out.Thanks again

  2. KnottyMama Says:

    I am constantly looking on Etsy as artists and craftspeople add new products ALL the time, so you have to check back frequently!

  3. Jenn Says:

    i adore your beads, especially #1, 3, and 4. oh hell #5 is beautiful as well! I would love to get some of my own, if we ever get the $$ to do so lol. I will definitely be stalking your etsy as well!

    Jenn

  4. KnottyMama Says:

    LOL Glad you like them!!! Yeah... getting up enough money to buy good quality beads can be rough. I'm averaging about $20/bead, but they are SO worth it, IMHO!

  5. madelinebunyan Says:

    hey there!

    I just found this blog entry via my website stats.
    great to see your dread story! I'm pleased my goddess is in such good company. your 5th bead is gorgeous, no wonder you had to have it!

    Madeline

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