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Tonsure Hairstyles and Haircut Pictures


The tonsure hair style is the Tupi style and is related with a feather headdress. This cut is more used in the Eastern churches. This hair style is developed in the after 7th century. The tonsure hair style is the American Indians hair style. The tonsure hair style is a fringe of hair around the head. This is older hair style and rarely used. Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches, mystics, Buddhist novices and monks, and some Hindu temples of cutting the hair from the scalp of clerics, devotees or holy people as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem.

Tonsure, from the Latin tonsura, denotes the cutting of the hair as well as the shaven crown worn by clerics as a distinctive mark of their state.  The tonsure is a haircut used by clerics. This hair style consists that of shaving the top of the head in which the hair grows as like a crown.

Tonsure means to cut off someone's hair. Monks in the Middle Ages generally showed that they were monks by cutting their hair short (when most men wore theirs long) and especially by shaving a bald spot in the middle of the back of their heads. Because you could not be king (or emperor) if you were a monk, sometimes kings forced their rivals to have their hair tonsured, so that nobody would try to make them king.

Tonsure for Kids - a medieval haircut

Tonsure is not an order, since no office and no spiritual power is conferred by it. It is a sacred rite, by which a layman is received into the clerical state, and the prerequisite for the reception of orders.  The tonsure at first was never given separately, and even children when so dedicated were appointed readers, as no one could belong to the clerical state without at least a minor order. From the 7th century, however, children were tonsured without ordination, and later on adults anxious to escape secular jurisdiction were often tonsured without ordination. Till the 10th century the tonsure could be given by priests or even by laymen, but its bestowal was gradually restricted to bishops and abbots.

Types of Tonsure

There are different types of the tonsures such as

  1. clerical
  2. baptismal
  3. monastic

tonsure hair cut

The tonsure hair cut have a edge of hair at the top of the head is shaved. The tonsure hair cut was the occasional of many combinations.

Origin of tonsure

The origin of the tonsure must probably be sought in the custom prevailing among the Romans of shaving the head of a slave. Confessors of the faith were in some cases treated in the same manner out of contempt and mockery. To proclaim themselves slaves of Christ monks at a very early date began to shave their heads. Toward the beginning of the sixth century clerics gradually adopted the custom of the monks, however in a modified form, not shaving the whole head, but leaving a narrow crown of hair. In this form the tonsure is still worn by members of some religious orders. Generally, however, it was greatly reduced in size until it now resembles a half-dollar coin. In some countries, where Catholics form a minority among a non-Catholic population, as in the United States, the tonsure is not worn. 

Vemulawada temple and tonsured hair

Earlier, the devasthanams had invited the tenders for selling tonsured hair and during the period only seven contractors had participated and they quoted a price ranging from Rs. 46 lakhs to Rs. 60 lakhs. Surprisingly, when the tenders were opened a contractor quoted a record rate of Rs 1.02 crores for the collection of tonsured hair from the temple during this financial year. It is estimated that about 3,500 kgs of hair was generated every year from the `kalyanakatta' where people tonsure their heads an offering.

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