Haanta Lessons: What is Dhenjhavaas?

My hair as bound by my Denjhavhari
The Haanta have many rites of passage, but none so important as taking their first major step into Ambisaraas, or adulthood. When Haanta have discovered their purpose in the world, or their Mivaala, and are honoured with their designation, it is customary for the one entering adulthood to bind his hair. Dhenjhavaas, or hair-binding, is perceived as a sacred ritual, and bound hair stands as symbol for those embarking on their life journey. The hair is continually bound by a Denjhavhari until death when the Haanta has completed his purpose. Hair is bound and decorated in various different ways and is, most importantly, never to be cut. Frayed and deadened pieces may be trimmed, but beyond that the cutting of hair for a Haanta is a sign of great shame. Vantaala, or mages, do not have their hair bound, and those mages who have committed crimes with their magic, as Ghelbhi did, have their heads shaved as do any Haanta who commit unforgivable crimes. Some warriors may have a few of their locks sheared accidentally in battle. This is not necessarily considered shameful, but women looking for Khopra prefer their men unmarred; lopped locks convey inferior skill among the Amghari, and with so many warriors from whom to chose a partner, Haanta women would much rather chose one who is a testament of his abilities than one who promises to be careless in battle.

Rautu's hair is short due to an incident that happened between him and Otenohi involving a certain poison which made his hair fall out, but as the Haanta women were repelled by his charming character anyway, having short hair for a warrior and for a middle age Haanta never distressed him. Ghiosa, or converts, are also not judged by the length of their hair. The Haanta feel it cruel have one's hair taken from him, as Unghaahi felt when he first met Kai Linaa, and extremely short hair for a Ghiosa is often a sign of past servitude and their condition is to be pitied rather than admonished.Short hair in many cultures across the Two Continents is looked down upon for various reasons, but hair is never so sacred as it is in Haanta culture. 


  1. That is so cool! My hair almost does this naturally. :D I do love learning the Haanta traditions.


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