General Question

Trillian's avatar

Why a tonsure?

Asked by Trillian (21153points) January 27th, 2010

I’ve often wondered where the idea for the tonsure came from. It looks odd and I know that it must have some significance, but how did it originate?

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3 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Wikipedia claims the one we think of on monks came from Saint Peter. Other theories:

“This practice is not improbably connected with the idea that long hair is the mark of a freeman, while the shaven head marks the slave (in the religious sense: a servant of God). Other theories are that the tonsure mimics male pattern baldness in an attempt to lend artificial respectability to men too young to display the real thing, or that the tonsure is a ritual created by balding superiors in act of vanity and power over young non-bald subordinates.”

judochop's avatar

So much better than a tonnot.

Pandora's avatar

Maybe it was an attempt to mimic a crown. Like the crown Jesus Christ wore on the crucifiction.

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