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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 (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)

Then there's The Monks: JS

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)

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)

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


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)

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)
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)