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Christian only?[edit]

I think this article needs a reference to Tonsure undertaken by Buddhist monks and nuns in Japan. I'd do it myself, but I know too little about it (whether it was specific to Japan or generally Buddhist practice, for instance). -- 14:50, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hey, tonsures are also undertaken by Hindu devotees (esp. in South India). One temple famous for tonsure is the one in Tirumala. Even the article on that temple should mention it IMHO.

I'd say the intro. shouldn't state it's Christian-only. The intro. should talk about tonsure in diff. religions, and later each religion must be dealt with sequentially. -- Paddu 12:24, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Alternate View of Celtic Tonsure[edit]

The commonly accepted description of the Celtic tonsure referenced in this article has undergone some question recently. It is very possible, even likely, that the tonsure described here is a secular hairstyle, and that the Insular (Celtic) tonsure was quite different. See the article "On The Shape Of The Insular Tonsure" in Celtica 24, pp.140-167, available online at http://www.celt.dias.ie/publications/celtica/c24/c24-140-167.pdf (requires pdf reader, obviously).

Skeptical of Tonsure[edit]

is it just me, or does this tradition just look like male-pattern baldness? i mean, let's say that St Peter went bald around the top of his head. Then, some of his more zealous followers decided they wanted to look like him...and so they did. and the various types of tonsures just copied different men.... i don't really see any other reason to do it, except to be recognised: "oh, you follow Paul, because you're both bald." 22:45, 29 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Then there's The Monks: http://www.the-monks.com/ JS

Eh. It joins a long list of devotionary practices of dubious origin that were no less verified at some point. Celibacy (for one). Horse hair garments, vows of poverty, self flagellation, monastic (seclusioned) life. Etc.

It does follow (somewhat vaguely) male pattern baldness. But in truth- it doesn’t. Make pattern baldness has a very specific pattern. And this isn’t it. This seems to be a perfect ring. While male pattern baldness produces cul de sacs and wings. Depending on stage.

Gizmo.AT (talk) 14:13, 11 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

A quick review of the typical baldness patterns - which you will see you are familiar with- are similar but not exactly the sams Gizmo.AT (talk) 14:14, 11 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Ancient tonsure[edit]

If tonsure can simply mean shaving the head, the article could include something on "tonsure" in ancient Sumer. Sumerian priests are shown with shaved heads, e.g. the Uruk Vase; the Tell Asmar "worshipper" figures. Shulgi 10:45, 21 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Umbrella Term?[edit]

Seems that 'tonsure' is used as an umbrella term for any hair cutting that bears religious significance - or even not exactly religious. If Hindu widows and even the punished women are referred to, why not refer then to the ancient Greek practice of hair cutting as a token of mourning? I personally feel that the entry should be restricted to Christian matters, since 'tonsure' is a Christian term related to monks or clerics. In medieval Europe, lay people had their hair routinely cut off as disgrace or punishment (and they indeed still have in modern jail), yet this was not (and in the case of today's jail, is not) called 'tonsure'. (talk) 20:05, 18 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]

would it include military organizations that shave heads at boot camp? Pyrlights (talk) 18:45, 14 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]


That picture appears to be an interloper. Does anyone have a different picture? User:14abrir 12:41 PM (US Eastern Time) February 10, 2015 — Preceding undated comment added 17:42, 10 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

It's legitimate. Hitler got the swastika from that religious symbol (it was used by the Aryans); read the Swastika article. Vincent J. Lipsio (talk) 19:30, 10 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I raised the flag because I feel that reclamation of previous meanings of this symbol is impossible and fruitless to attempt. (And, frankly, do we really want to bury this one? Some scars should not be allowed to heal.) Continuing to use the symbol as if this is not the case is either extremely naïve or morally objectionable. I would ask that someone please find an alternative image. Thank you. 14abrir (talk) 13:58, 30 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Retitle and reorganize?[edit]

There is a choppiness to the style from section to section owing to the enormous expansion of the article from when first created 15 years ago. Question -- should "Tonsure" be pared down and made part of a larger article on hair and religion?

Cutting hair has religious significance in many religions. But it is stretch to lump it all under the specific term "Tonsure", which instead should be considered a more narrow subset specific to removal of hair on the head. For example, the Judaic practice of "... ritual shaving on the metzorah's entire body except for the afflicted locations" clearly is not tonsure. On the other hand there is but one line about Buddhist practices which are probably as long and complex as the Christian / Catholic practices -- for which this article has pages.

GeeBee60 (talk) 16:53, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Electromagnetic sensitivity[edit]

It is possible, though little research has been done, that shaving the head made the brain more sensitive to the subconscious detection of electromagnetic fields or waves, causing the person to feel more 'aware' --Dr zoidberg590 (talk) 22:55, 26 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

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In Judaism[edit]

This section has no sources attributed, and there are a couple of dubious points. "the parents take the baby to Mount Meron" -- true, many who happen to be in Israel go there, but it's not at all essential and people do this ceremony anywhere, including in the US. The proposal that "Khalake" comes "From the [Hebrew] work "Khalak", meaning smooth or shaved" is very unlikely, since Hebrew has other words for 'haircut', and the final sound -e wouldn't be typical of Hebrew. It's more likely that the word comes from the Arabic word for haircut, ħlaqa, probably via 19th-century Palestinian Yiddish, which included a lot of Arabic words. (If I had access, I would consult Arabic Elements in Palestinian Yiddish by Kosover.) The Hebrew Wikipedia article says it's from Arabic (https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%97%D7%9C%D7%90%D7%A7%D7%94), and the Hebrew spelling חלאקה itself shows that it's not from khalak חלק meaning 'smooth'. The idea that it's from the Hebrew word khalak is most likely folklore, not etymology. --Linguistatlunch (talk) 20:34, 21 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]


I find it some what dubious that Trichotillomania is derived from tonsure. Do we have a source on this.

Tricho- would be hair I believe. Common Latin borrow word in medicine. And mania - is as in madness.

‘Tillo’ unsure. Maybe some form of pull or something. As in the English ‘Till’.

I don’t see tonsure or any roots in common though the two could possibly share a distant common root.

I don’t have citations - just anectdotal evidence from my own education in Latin and medicine. But the way it’s appended to the end makes me think someone thought this *might* be true and insubstantiated the “fact” on the spot.

If we have a reputable citation - OED or something - I’ll give over. But this sounds fanciful. Gizmo.AT (talk) 14:09, 11 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Tonsuring in Shiva and Vishnu temples[edit]

Tonsuring is not at all done in major Shiva and Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu. But it is done at Murugan shrines across Tamil Nadu. Can someone explain why this is so? If tonsuring was a Hindu religious ritual then should not the procedure be followed in all Hindu temples irrespective of the primary deity? Thanks in advance. Nittawinoda (talk) 10:28, 25 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]