Rastafari movement
Overview
 
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement
New religious movement
A new religious movement is a religious community or ethical, spiritual, or philosophical group of modern origin, which has a peripheral place within the dominant religious culture. NRMs may be novel in origin or they may be part of a wider religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, in...

 that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 culture where 98% of the people were the black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 descendants of slaves
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 (ruled 1930–1974), as God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 incarnate
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari.
Encyclopedia
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement
New religious movement
A new religious movement is a religious community or ethical, spiritual, or philosophical group of modern origin, which has a peripheral place within the dominant religious culture. NRMs may be novel in origin or they may be part of a wider religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, in...

 that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 culture where 98% of the people were the black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 descendants of slaves
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 (ruled 1930–1974), as God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 incarnate
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari. The movement is sometimes referred to as "Rastafarianism", but this term is considered derogatory and offensive by some Rastas, who, being highly critical of isms which they see as a typical part of Babylon culture, dislike being labelled as an "ism" themselves.

The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use
Entheogen
An entheogen , in the strict sense, is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context. Historically, entheogens were mostly derived from plant sources and have been used in a variety of traditional religious contexts...

 of cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 and the rejection of western society, called Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 (from the metaphorical Babylon
Babylon (New Testament)
Babylon occurs in the Christian New Testament both with a literal and a figurative meaning. The famous ancient city, located near Baghdad, was a complete unpopulated ruin by 275 BC, well before the time of the New Testament...

 of the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

). It proclaims Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 (also "Zion") as the original birthplace of mankind, and from the beginning of the movement the call to repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 to Africa has been a central theme. Rasta also embraces various Afrocentric
Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

 and Pan-African social and political aspirations, such as the sociopolitical views and teachings of Jamaican publicist, organizer, and black nationalist Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League...

 (also often regarded as a prophet). Another theme is Royalty
Royalty
Royalty may refer to:* Royal family , or one or more of its members* Royalties, the payment made for a concession of commercial value Royalty may refer to:* Royal family (by extension the ruling house of any monarchy, regardless of the title), or one or more of its members* Royalties, the payment...

, with Rastas seeing themselves as African royalty and using honorifics
English honorifics
In the English language an English honorific is a title prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Miss, Ms., Mr, Sir, Mrs, Dr and Lord...

 such as Prince or King in order to give royalty to their names.

Rastafari is not a highly organized religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

; it is a movement and an ideology. Many Rastas say that it is not a "religion" at all, but a "Way of Life". Many Rastas do not claim any sect or denomination, and thus encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves, although some do identify strongly with one of the "mansions of Rastafari
Mansions of Rastafari
Mansions of Rastafari are branches of the Rastafari movement. Mansions include the Bobo Shanti, the Niyabinghi, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and others. The term is taken from the Biblical verse in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions."-Bobo Shanti:Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards...

" — the three most prominent of these being the Nyahbinghi, the Bobo Ashanti and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the pre-regnal
Regnal name
A regnal name, or reign name, is a formal name used by some monarchs and popes during their reigns. Since medieval times, monarchs have frequently chosen to use a name different from their own personal name when they inherit a throne....

 title of Haile Selassie I, composed of Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 Ras (literally "Head", an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

), and Haile Selassie's pre-regnal given name, Tafari. Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia
Emperor of Ethiopia
The Emperor of Ethiopia was the hereditary ruler of Ethiopia until the abolition of the monarchy in 1974. The Emperor was the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in that country...

, is another incarnation
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 of the Christian God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, called Jah
Jah
Jah is the shortened form of the divine name YHWH , an anglicized version of the Tetragrammaton . The name is most commonly associated with the Rastafari movement or within the word hallelujah, although Christian groups may use the name to varying degrees. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses use a...

. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, who is the second coming
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

 of Jesus Christ onto the Earth, but to others he is simply God's chosen king on earth.

Today, awareness of the Rastafari movement has spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 music, a notable exponent of which was Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 (1945–1981). By 1997, there were around one million Rastafari faithful worldwide. In the 2001 Jamaican census, 24,020 individuals (less than 1 percent of the population) identified themselves as Rastafarians. Other sources have estimated that in the 2000s they formed "about 5 percent of the population" of Jamaica, or have conjectured that "there are perhaps as many as 100,000 Rastafarians in Jamaica".

God

Rastafari are monotheists
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, worshipping a singular God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 whom they call Jah
Jah
Jah is the shortened form of the divine name YHWH , an anglicized version of the Tetragrammaton . The name is most commonly associated with the Rastafari movement or within the word hallelujah, although Christian groups may use the name to varying degrees. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses use a...

. Jah is the term in the "KJV (King James Version of the Bible) Psalms 68" Rastas see Jah as being in the form of the Holy Trinity, that is, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Rastas say that Jah, in the form of the Holy Spirit (incarnate), lives within the human, and for this reason they often refer to themselves as "I and I". Furthermore, "I and I" is used instead of "We", and is used in this way to emphasize the equality between all people, in the recognition that the Holy Spirit within us all makes us essentially one and the same.

Rastas accept the Christian doctrine that God incarnated onto the Earth in the form of Jesus Christ, to give his teachings to humanity. However, they feel his teachings were corrupted by Babylon. In accordance with their assertion that "word, sound and power", also object specifically to the English pronunciation of his name ˈdʒiːzəs as impure, preferring instead to use the forms in Hebrew (Yeshu) or Amharic (Iyesus).

The Holy Trinity

Rasta doctrines concerning the Holy Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 include stressing the significance of the name "Haile Selassie", meaning "Power of the Trinity" or "Might of the Trinity" or powerful trinity in Ge'ez—the name given to Ras Tafari upon his baptism, and later assumed as part of his regnal name at his November 2, 1930, coronation by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie I
Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie I , born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974...

 (1892–1975) was the Emperor of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 from 1930 to 1974. Rastas claim that he is the resurrected manifestation of Jesus (Yahshua) Christ and therefore an incarnation of Jah (Jehovah) onto the Earth. They also claim that he will lead the righteous into creating a perfect world, called "Zion
Zion
Zion is a place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem. The word is first found in Samuel II, 5:7 dating to c.630-540 BCE...

". Zion would be the ultimate paradise for Rastas.

The future capital city of Zion is sometimes put forward as the New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem
In the book of Ezekiel, the Prophecy of New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city to be established to the south of the Temple Mount that will be inhabited by the twelve tribes of Israel in the...

 (Lalibela, Ethiopia), the very Habitation of the Godhead (Trinity) creator, Rastafari. Prophetic verses of the Hebrew Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 such as Zephaniah
Book of Zephaniah
The superscription of the Book of Zephaniah attributes its authorship to “Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah” . All that is known of Zephaniah comes from the text. The superscription of the book is lengthier than...

 3:10 "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings," have been interpreted as subtly hinting that the messianic king will be in Ethiopia, and the people will come from the rest of the world beyond its rivers.

Rastas may say that Haile Selassie's coming was prophesied from Genesis to the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

. Genesis, Chapter 1: "God made man in His own image." Psalm 2
Psalm 2
Psalm 2 is the second Psalm of the Bible. It tells us that we can either defy God and perish, or submit to him and be blessed. Psalm 2 itself does not identify its author, but Acts 4:25-26 clearly attributes it to David.-In the original Hebrew:...

: "Yet I set my Holy king/ On My Holy hill of Zion," which is identified by them as Jesus Christ. Psalm 87:4–6 is also interpreted as predicting the coronation of Haile Selassie I. During his coronation, Selassie was given many of the same titles used in the Bible: "King of Kings", "Elect of God", "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah the Author of Mankind", "the Power of Authority", etc., are just some of more than 38 titles and anointments placed on Selassie. He also received acclaim from various Christian and Muslim leaders and
clergy for the work he performed towards establishing world peace and the brotherhood of mankind. This is one of the primary reasons he is held to be God incarnate. Rastas also refer to Selassie as "His Imperial Majesty" (or the acronym thereof, HIM) and "Jah Rastafari".

According to tradition, Haile Selassie was the 225th in an unbroken line of Ethiopian monarchs of the Solomonic Dynasty
Solomonic dynasty
The Solomonic dynasty is the Imperial House of Abyssinia. Its members claim lineal descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the latter of whom tradition asserts gave birth to the first King Menelik I after her Biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem .-Overview:The dynasty, a...

. This dynasty is said to have been founded in the 10th century BC by Menelik I
Menelik I
Menelik I , first Jewish Emperor of Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be the son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Ethiopia Queen of Sheba. He ruled around 950 BC, according to traditional sources...

, the son of the Biblical King Solomon and Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, who had visited Solomon in Israel. 1 Kings 10:13 claims "And King Solomon gave unto the Queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants." On the basis of the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Negast, Rastas interpret this verse as meaning she conceived his child, and from this, conclude that African people are among the true children of Israel, or Jews. Beta Israel
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

 black Jews have lived in Ethiopia for centuries, disconnected from the rest of Judaism; their existence has given some impetus to Rastafari, as they feel it validates their assertion that Ethiopia is Zion.

The death of Haile Selassie I is a topic of some debate amongst Rastafari. Some feel that Selassie's 1975 reported death was a hoax. It has also been claimed that he entered the monastery and will return to liberate his followers and vanquish all evil, restoring his creation. Today, a few Rastas consider this a partial fulfillment of prophecy found in the apocalyptic 2 Esdras
2 Esdras
2 Esdras or Latin Esdras is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible . Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra. It is reckoned among the Apocrypha by many Protestant churches. Although Second Esdras exists in its complete form only in Latin, it was originally written in...

 7:28. Others view the person of His Majesty as incorporated in all matter and thus not dependent on what was perceived as His only form during the last century.

For Rastafari, Haile Selassie remains their God and their King. They see Selassie as being worthy of worship, and as having stood with great dignity in front of the world's press and in front of representatives of many of the world's powerful nations, especially during his appeal to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 in 1936, when he was still the only independent black monarch in Africa. From the beginning the Rastas decided that their personal loyalty lay with Africa's only black monarch, Selassie, and that they themselves were in effect as free citizens of Ethiopia, loyal to its Emperor and devoted to its flag representing the Solomonic Dynasty prior to the Communist coup.
Jesus

Acceptance of the God-incarnate status of Jesus is Rastafari doctrine, as is the notion of the corruption of his teachings by secular, Western society, figuratively referred to as Babylon. For this reason, they believe, it was prophesied in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

—"
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."—that Jesus would return with a new name that would be inscribed on the foreheads of 144,000 of his most devoted servants. Rastas hold that they represent this fulfillment based on their experience in the light of Haile Selassie's return and coronation as the King of Kings on 2 November 1930, whom they see as the second coming of Jesus or the coming of the holy spirit, and therefore Jah
Jah
Jah is the shortened form of the divine name YHWH , an anglicized version of the Tetragrammaton . The name is most commonly associated with the Rastafari movement or within the word hallelujah, although Christian groups may use the name to varying degrees. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses use a...

, onto the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

. Thus the great messiah king whom the Jews are still waiting for has indeed now returned to earth, according to the Rastas.

Rastas say that Jesus was black
Race of Jesus
The race and appearance of Jesus have been discussed on a number of grounds since early Christianity, although the New Testament includes no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death and its narrative is generally indifferent to racial appearances.Despite the lack of direct...

 while Western Society (or Babylon) has commonly depicted him as white for centuries.

Zion vs. Babylon

Rastas assert that Zion (i.e., Africa, especially Ethiopia) is a land that Jah promised to them. To achieve this, they reject modern western society
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, calling it "Babylon", which they see as entirely corrupt. "Babylon" is considered to have been in rebellion against "Earth's Rightful Ruler" (Jah) ever since the days of the Biblical king Nimrod
Nimrod (king)
Nimrod is, according to the Book of Genesis and Books of Chronicles, the son of Cush and great-grandson of Noah and the king of Shinar. He is depicted in the Tanakh as a man of power in the earth, and a mighty hunter. Extra-Biblical traditions associating him with the Tower of Babel led to his...

.

Rastas claim that they are the real Children of Israel. The Rastafari seek to validate a link between Ethiopia and Israel, pointing to the title Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

, and their goal is to repatriate to Mount Zion, that is, Africa. (Rasta reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 is peppered with references to Zion; among the best-known examples are the Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 songs '"Zion Train
Zion Train
Zion Train are a British dub reggae ensemble . Initially formed in Oxford as a sound system in 1988 by Neil Perch and Ben Hamilton, Colin Cod and Dave Tench joined in 1990 upon relocation to London. The line-up was added to with vocalist Molara in 1992...

" and "Iron Lion Zion
Iron Lion Zion
"Iron Lion Zion" is a song written and recorded in April 1973 or 1974 by Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley and first released posthumously in May 1992 on the Songs of Freedom box set, reaching number 5 in the UK Singles Chart, . A remixed version was released in 1995 on Natural Mystic: The...

").

Paradise

Many Rastafari are physical immortalists
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 who maintain that the chosen few will continue to live forever in their current bodies. This is commonly called "Life Everliving".
Everliving in Iyaric replaces the term "everlasting" to avoid the "negative wordsound" of last implying an end. Rastas say their life will never have an end, but will be everliving, with Jah as king and Amharic the official language. Rastas strongly reject the idea that heaven is in the sky, or is a place where dead people go to and instead see heaven as being a place on Earth, specifically Ethiopia.

Afrocentrism and Black Pride

Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

 is another central facet of the Rastafari culture. They teach that Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, in particular Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, is where Zion, or paradise, shall be created. As such, Rastafari orients itself around African culture.
Rastafari holds that evil society, or "Babylon", has always been white-dominated, and has committed such acts of aggression against the African people as the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

. Despite this Afrocentrism and focus on people of the black race, members of other races, including whites, are found and accepted by Blacks among the movement, for they believe Rasta is for all people.

Rastafari developed among poor Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

ns of African descent who felt they were oppressed and that society was apathetic to their problems. Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League...

, who is viewed as a prophet of Jah, was a keen proponent of the "back to Africa" movement, advocating that all people of the black race should return to their ancestral homeland of Africa.

Many early Rastas for a time believed in black supremacy
Black supremacy
The term black supremacy is a blanket term for various ideologies which hold that black people are superior to people of other races.-Overview:...

. Widespread advocacy of this belief was short-lived, at least partly because of Haile Selassie's explicit condemnation of racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 in an October 1963 speech before the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Most Rastas now espouse the doctrine that racial animosities must be set aside, with world peace and harmony being common themes. One of the three major modern houses of Rastafari—the Twelve Tribes of Israel—has specifically condemned all types of racism, and declared that the teachings of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 are the route to spiritual liberation for people of any racial or ethnic background. During his famous UN address (which provided the lyrics for the Carlton Barrett
Carlton Barrett
Carlton "Carly" Barrett was an influential reggae drummer and percussion player. His musical development in the early years were with his brother Aston "Family Man" Barrett as a member of Lee "Scratch" Perry's "house band" The Upsetters. The brothers joined Bob Marley and The Wailers around 1970...

 and Bob Marley song "War
War (Bob Marley song)
"War" is a song recorded and made popular by Bob Marley. It first appeared on Bob Marley and the Wailers' 1976 Island Records album, Rastaman Vibration, Marley's only top 10 album in the USA...

"), Haile Selassie made the following statement:

"Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together. In unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:
That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; That until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; That until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil."


He concluded this speech with the words, "We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community."

Some Rastafari learn and know Amharic, which some consider to be the Adamic language
Adamic language
The Adamic language is, according to certain sects within Abrahamic traditions, the language spoken by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, i.e., either the language used by God to address Adam, or the language invented by Adam ....

, both because this was the language of Haile Selassie I, and in order to further their identity as Ethiopian. There are reggae songs written in Amharic.

Scripture

Rastafari is a strongly syncretic
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 Abrahamic religion that "meticulously grounds its beliefs in Old and New Testament". Adherents look particularly to the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, as this is where they find the prophecies about the divinity of Haile Selassie. Rastas claim that they, and the rest of the black race, are descendants of the ancient twelve tribes of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, cast into captivity outside Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 as a result of the slave trade.

Some Rastafari assert that only half of the Bible has been written, and that the other half, stolen from them along with their culture, is written in a man's heart. This concept also embraces the idea that even the illiterate
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 can be Rastas by reading God's Word in their hearts. Rastas also see the lost half of the Bible, and the whole of their lost culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, to be found in the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

, a repository of African wisdom, which is allegedly located in Ethiopia.

A great interest in the Amharic Orthodox version of the Bible, authorized by Haile Selassie I in the 1950s, has arisen among Rastas. Selassie himself wrote in the preface to this version that "unless [one] accepts with clear conscience the Bible and its great Message, he cannot hope for salvation," thus confirming and coinciding with what the Rastafari themselves had been preaching since the beginning of the movement.

The Kebra Nagast
Kebra Nagast
The Kebra Nagast , or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge'ez of the origins of the Solomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia. The text, in its existing form, is at least seven hundred years old, and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians to be an...

, the national epic of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, is also taken as important amongst many Rastas. The
Kebra Nagast is an African folk bible describing, in greater detail than the King James version, the relationship between King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.
Dr Bernard Leeman, who has audio recorded the entire Ge'ez text of the Kebra Nagast, has argued that the Mosaic Torah in the text predates the "official" Old Testament as it omits the laws of Deuteronomy, "discovered" by Hilkiah ca. 620 BC (Ark of the Covenant: evidence supporting the Ethiopian traditions" January 2011 Queen of Sheba University).

Ceremonies

There are two types of Rasta religious ceremonies: Reasoning and Groundation.

Reasoning
A "reasoning" is a simple event where the Rastas gather, smoke cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 ("ganja"), and discuss. The person honored by being allowed to light the herb says a short prayer beforehand, and the ganja is passed in a clockwise fashion except in times of war when it is passed counterclockwise,it is used to reason with jah.

Groundation
A "groundation" (or "grounation") or "binghi" is a holy day; the name "binghi" is derived from "Nyabinghi", believed to be an ancient, and now extinct, order of militant blacks in eastern Africa that vowed to end oppression. Binghis are marked by much dancing, singing, feasting, and the smoking of ganja, and can last for several days.

In public gatherings, Rastafari often say the following standard prayer, with several variants, comparable to the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

:
"Princes and princesses shall come forth out of Egypt, Ethiopia now stretch forth her hands before Jah. O Thou God of Ethiopia, Thou God of Thy Divine Majesty, Thy Spirit come into our hearts, to dwell in the paths of righteousness. Lead and help I and I to forgive, that InI may be forgiven. Teach I and I Love and loyalty on earth as it is in Zion, Endow us with Thy wisemind, knowledge and Overstanding to do thy will, thy blessings to us, that the hungry might be fed, the sick nourished, the aged protected, the naked clothed and the infants cared for. Deliver I and I from the hands of our enemy, that I and I may prove fruitful in these Last Days, when our enemy have passed and decayed in the depths of the sea, in the depths of the earth, or in the belly of a beast. O give us a place in Thy Kingdom forever and ever, so we hail our majesty Haile Selassie I, Jehovah God, Rastafari, Almighty God, Rastafari, great and powerful God Jah, Rastafari. Who sitteth and reigneth in the heart of man and woman, hear us and bless us and sanctify us, and cause Thy loving Face to shine upon us thy children, that we may be saved, Selah."


When lighting a chalice
Chalice (pipe)
A Chalice, also known as a Wisdom Chalice or Chillum Chalice, is a type of smoking pipe used most often by members of the Rastafari movement. It is a sort of water pipe with a hose, or drawtube, for inhaling. The water cools and filters the smoke and the hose provides additional airspace for cooling...

, the following, shorter invocation is often used: "Glory be to the Father and to the Maker of Iration, as it were in the Iginning, is now an shall be foriva, world without end, SELAH."

Some important dates when groundations may take place are:
  • January 7 – Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas
  • March 25 – The birthday of Empress Menen
  • April 21 – The anniversary of Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica. Also known as Grounation Day
    Grounation Day
    Grounation Day is an important Rastafarian holy day, and second after Coronation Day . It is celebrated in honor of Haile Selassie's 1966 visit to Jamaica.-Visit of Selassie I to Jamaica:...

    .
  • May 25 – African Liberation Day
  • July 23 – The birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie
  • August 17 – The birthday of Marcus Garvey
  • September 11 – Ethiopian New Year
  • November 2 – The coronation of Haile Selassie

Places of worship

Generally, Rastas assert that their own body is the true church or temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

 of God, and so see no need to make temples or churches out of physical buildings. However, some Rastafarians have created temples, as some call spiritual meeting centers in international communities with large Rastafarian populations.

Sects and subdivisions

There are three main sects or orders of Rastafari today: the Nyahbinghi Order, Bobo Ashanti and the Twelve Tribes of Israel. All agree on the basic principles of
the divine status of Haile Selassie and the importance of black images of divinity. Many
Rastafari do not belong to any sect and the movement as a whole is loosely defined and
organized.

Nyahbinghi Order

The Nyahbinghi Order (also known as Haile Selassie I Theocratical Order of the Nyahbinghi Reign) is the oldest of all the Rastafari mansions and was named after Queen Nyahbinghi of Uganda, who fought against colonialists in the 19th century. The Nyahbinghi Order holds steadfast to ancient biblical values. They consume nothing that harms their body ( drugs, pork, etc., taken from the bible Deuteronomy 14:8 - The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses. ) because the body is the temple and the church ( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body ). The Nyahbinghi Order is a non-violent order that calls upon God's power to execute judgement upon all black and white "downpressors" (oppressors). This is the oldest of the orders and it focuses mainly on Haile Selassie, Ethiopia, and the eventual return to Africa. It is overseen by an Assembly of Elders.

Bobo Ashanti

Bobo Ashanti was founded by Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards in Jamaica in 1958. "Bobo" means black and "Shanti" refers to the nzemas group in Ghana, from which this sect believes Jamaican slaves are descended. Members of Bobo Shanti are also known as Bobo Dreads.

In belief, Bobo Dreads are distinguished by their worship of Prince Emmanuel (in addition to Haile Selassie) as a reincarnation of Christ and embodiment of Jah; their emphasis on the return to Africa ("repatriation"); and their demands for monetary reimbursement for slavery.

Members of the Bobo Ashanti order wear long robes and tightly wrapped turbans around their dreads. They adhere closely to the Jewish Law, including the observance of seventh-day Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and hygiene laws for menstruating women. They live separately from Jamaican society and other Rastafarians, growing their own produce and selling straw hats and brooms. They often carry brooms with them to symbolize their cleanliness.

Twelve Tribes of Israel

The Twelve Tribes of Israel sect was founded in 1968 by Dr. Vernon "Prophet Gad" Carrington
Vernon Carrington
Vernon Carrington founded the Twelve Tribes of Israel branch of the Rastafari movement in 1968. He was also called the Prophet Gad. Members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel view Carrington as a prophet who began the repatriation of Rastafari to Africa, the homeland...

. It is the most liberal of the Rastafarian orders and members are free to worship in a church of their choosing. Each member of this sect belongs to one of the 12 Tribes (or Houses), which is determined by birth month and is represented by a color. The Standard Israelite calendar begins in April. Bob Marley was from the tribe of Joseph, and Haile Selassie from the tribe of Judah.

Lion

The Lion of Judah is an important symbol to Rastas, for several reasons. The lion appears on the Imperial Ethiopian flag, used in Haile Selassie I's Ethiopia. In addition, the Ge'ez title Mo`a Anbesa Ze'imnegede Yihuda ("Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah") has been applied to Ethiopian Emperors since time immemorial, traditionally beginning with Menelik I
Menelik I
Menelik I , first Jewish Emperor of Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be the son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Ethiopia Queen of Sheba. He ruled around 950 BC, according to traditional sources...

, said to be the son of king Solomon (c. 980 BC). It is unknown whether John of Patmos
John of Patmos
John of Patmos is the name given, in the Book of Revelation, as the author of the apocalyptic text that is traditionally cannonized in the New Testament...

 was aware of this ancient Ethiopian title when he penned it into the
Book of Revelation 5:5, in reference to the returned Messiah. In 1930, when Jamaicans first read news reports of Haile Selassie I's coronation including this title, this New Testament verse was crucial in inspiring the early Rastafari movement to identify Haile Selassie I with the returned Messiah, though not the only reason offered. The fact that Lions come from Africa is also part of the attraction.

Rastafari and other Abrahamic faiths

Some Rastafari choose to classify their movement as Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

, Protestant Christianity, or Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. Of those, the ties to the Ethiopian Church are the most widespread, although this is controversial to many Ethiopian clergy. Rastafari typically hold that standard translations of the Bible incorporate changes, or were edited for the benefit of the power structure, and one common idea is that half the Bible story has never been told.

Spiritual use of cannabis


For Rastas, smoking cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

, usually known as herb, weed, sinsemilla (Spanish for without seeds), or ganja (from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word Ganjika, used in ancient India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament
Sacrament
A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.-General definitions and terms:...

 that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah. Cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica and most of the world and this has caused friction between Rastas and the police. The burning of the herb is often said to be essential, "For it will sting in the hearts of those that promote and perform evil and wrongs." By the 8th century, cannabis had been introduced by Arab traders to Central and Southern Africa, where it is known as "dagga
Cannabis sativa
Cannabis sativa is an annual herbaceous plant in the Cannabaceae family. Humans have cultivated this herb throughout recorded history as a source of industrial fibre, seed oil, food, recreation, spiritual enlightenment and medicine...

" and many Rastas say it is a part of their African culture that they are reclaiming. It is sometimes also referred to as "the healing of the nation", a phraseology adapted from Revelation 22:2.

The migration of many thousands of Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s & Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s from British India to the Caribbean in the 20th century may have brought this culture to Jamaica. Many academics point to Indo-Caribbean origins for the ganjah sacrament resulting from the importation of Indian migrant workers in a post-abolition Jamaican landscape. "Large scale use of ganjah in Jamaica... dated from the importation of indentured Indians..."(Campbell 110). Dreadlocked mystics Jata, often ascetic
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

 known as sadhu
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

s or Sufi Qalandar
Qalandar
Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes who may or may not be connected to a specific tariqat. They are most prevalent in Central Asia, India and Pakistan, in the latter "qalandar" is also used as a title...

s and Derwishes, have smoked cannabis from both chillum
Chillum
A chillum, or chilam, is a straight conical pipe with end-to-end channel, traditionally made of clay and used since at least the 18th century. by wandering Hindu monks, known as sadhus in India...

s and coconut shell hookah
Hookah
A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

s in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 since the ancient times. Also, the reference of "chalice" may be a transliteration of "jam-e-qalandar" (a term used by Sufi ascetics meaning 'bowl or cup of qalandar
Qalandar
Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes who may or may not be connected to a specific tariqat. They are most prevalent in Central Asia, India and Pakistan, in the latter "qalandar" is also used as a title...

') . In South Asia, in addition to smoking, cannabis is often consumed as a drink known as bhang
Bhang
Bhang is a preparation from the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant, smoked or consumed as a beverage in the Indian subcontinent.- India:...

 and most qalandars carry a large wooden pestle for that reason. Bhang is often produced in large vessels at dargah
Dargah
A Dargah is a Sufi shrine built over the grave of a revered religious figure, often a Sufi saint. Local Muslims visit the shrine known as . Dargahs are often associated with Sufi meeting rooms and hostels, known as khanqah...

 gatherings known as "shaam-e-qalandar". During these gatherings large kettle drum
Naqareh
The naqqāra is a drum with a rounded back and a hide head. It is thus a membranophone.The term naqqāra , also naqqarat, naqqarah, naqqåre, nakkare, nagora comes from the Arabic verb naqr- that means "to strike, beat".-Construction:The rounded section of a naqqara is made of baked clay, while the...

s known as naggara
Naqareh
The naqqāra is a drum with a rounded back and a hide head. It is thus a membranophone.The term naqqāra , also naqqarat, naqqarah, naqqåre, nakkare, nagora comes from the Arabic verb naqr- that means "to strike, beat".-Construction:The rounded section of a naqqara is made of baked clay, while the...

 are played or alternatively, the Dhol
Dhol
Dhol can refer to any one of a number of similar types of double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions. Its range of distribution in India and Pakistan primarily includes northern areas such as the Assam Valley, Bengal, Gujarat,...

. It is known Qalandri dhamaal.Both groups, the Qalandar
Qalandar
Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes who may or may not be connected to a specific tariqat. They are most prevalent in Central Asia, India and Pakistan, in the latter "qalandar" is also used as a title...

's and Sadhu
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

's were lumped together by the British as faqeers. They are still frowned upon by the industrious population and are considered "dreadfull". Yet they are considered holy men by many. Both groups practice either some sort of chilla nashini or yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 in remote jungles, mountains or charnel ground
Charnel ground
Charnel ground is a very important location for sadhana and ritual activity for Indo-Tibetan traditions of Dharma particularly those traditions iterated by the Tantric view such as Kashmiri Shaivism, Kaula tradition, Esoteric Buddhism, Vajrayana, Mantrayana, Dzogchen, and the sadhana of Chöd, Phowa...

s in which ganja aids to put a veil on the worldly & to transcend the various societal trend
Trend
Trend may refer to:* Fads and trends, including fashion trend** Trendsetter , person who starts a fashion or technology trend before most other people...

s and pressures. It is also used to induce a state of euphoria and trance by some in conjunction with drumming, dance or whirling.

According to many Rastas, the illegality of cannabis
Legal issues of cannabis
The legality of cannabis has been the subject of debate and controversy for decades. Cannabis is illegal to consume, use, possess, cultivate, transfer or trade in most countries...

 in many nations is evidence that persecution of Rastafari
Persecution of Rastafari
Persecution of members of the Rastafari movement, a group founded in Jamaica in the early 1930s and who worship Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as Almighty God, has been fairly continuous since the movement began but nowadays is particularly concerning their spiritual use of cannabis, a psychoactive...

 is a reality. They are not surprised that it is illegal, seeing it as a powerful substance that opens people's minds to the truth — something the Babylon system, they reason, clearly does not want. They contrast it to alcohol and other drugs, which they feel destroy the mind.

They hold that the smoking of cannabis enjoys Biblical sanction, and is an aid to meditation and religious observance. Among Biblical verses, Rastas quote as justifying the use of cannabis:
  • Genesis 1:11 "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."
  • Genesis 1:29 "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
  • Genesis 3:18 "... thou shalt eat the herb of the field."
  • Psalms
    Psalms
    The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

     104:14 "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man."
  • Proverbs
    Book of Proverbs
    The Book of Proverbs , commonly referred to simply as Proverbs, is a book of the Hebrew Bible.The original Hebrew title of the book of Proverbs is "Míshlê Shlomoh" . When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms. In the Greek Septuagint the title became "paroimai paroimiae"...

     15:17 "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."
  • Revelation 22:2 " the river of life proceeded to flow from the throne of God, and on either side of the bank there was the tree of life, and the leaf from that tree is for the healing of the nations."


According to some Rastafari and other scholars, the etymology of the word "cannabis"
Cannabis (etymology)
The plant name cannabis is from Greek ' , via Latin , originally a Scythian or Thracian word, also loaned into Persian as ...

 and similar terms in all the languages of the Near East may be traced to the Hebrew "qaneh bosm" קנה-בשם, which is one of the herbs that God commanded Moses to include in his preparation of sacred anointing perfume
Holy anointing oil
The holy anointing oil , formed an integral part of the ordination of the priesthood and the high priest as well as in the consecration of the articles of the tabernacle and subsequent temples in Jerusalem...

 in Exodus 30:23; the Hebrew term also appears in Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 43:24; Jeremiah
Book of Jeremiah
The Book of Jeremiah is the second of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the book of Isaiah and preceding Ezekiel and the Book of the Twelve....

 6:20; Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve....

 27:19; and Song of Songs
Song of Solomon
The Song of Songs of Solomon, commonly referred to as Song of Songs or Song of Solomon, is a book of the Hebrew Bible—one of the megillot —found in the last section of the Tanakh, known as the Ketuvim...

 4:14. Deutero-canonical and canonical references to the patriarchs Adam, Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

, Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, and Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 "burning incense before the Lord" are also applied, and many Rastas today refer to cannabis by the term "ishence" — a slightly changed form of the English word incense. It is also said that cannabis was the first plant to grow on King Solomon's grave.

In 1998, Attorney General of the United States Janet Reno
Janet Reno
Janet Wood Reno is a former Attorney General of the United States . She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11...

 gave a legal opinion that Rastafari do not have the religious right to smoke marijuana in violation of the United States' drug laws
War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

. The position is the same in the United Kingdom, where, in the Court of Appeal case of R. v. Taylor [2002] 1 Cr. App. R. 37, it was held that the UK's prohibition on cannabis use did not contravene the right to freedom of religion conferred under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

.

On January 2, 1991, at an international airport in his homeland of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Ras Iyah Ben Makahna (Benny Guerrero) was arrested for possession and importation of marijuana and seeds. He was charged with importation of a controlled substance. The case was heard by the US 9th Circuit Court November 2001, and in May 2002 the court had decided that the practice of Rastafari sanctions the smoking of marijuana, but nowhere does the religion sanction the importation of marijuana. Guerrero's lawyer Graham Boyd pointed out that the court's ruling was "equivalent to saying wine is a necessary sacrament for some Christians but you have to grow your own grapes."

In July 2008, however, the Italian Supreme Court
Court of Cassation (Italy)
The Supreme Court of Cassation is the major court of last resort in Italy. It has its seat in the Rome Hall of Justice.The Court of Cassation exists also to “ensure the observation and the correct interpretation of law” by ensuring the same application of law in the inferior and appeal courts...

 ruled that Rastafari may be allowed to possess greater amounts of cannabis legally, owing to its use by them as a sacrament.

Politics

Rastafari culture does not encourage mainstream political involvement. In fact, in the early stages of the movement most Rastas did not vote, out of principle. Ras Sam Brown formed the Suffering People's Party for the Jamaican elections of 1962 and received fewer than 100 votes. In the election campaign of 1972, People's National Party
People's National Party
The People's National Party is a social democratic and social liberal Jamaican political party, founded by Norman Manley in 1938. It is the oldest political party in the Anglophone Caribbean and one of the main two political parties in Jamaica. Out of the two major parties, it is considered more...

 leader Michael Manley
Michael Manley
Michael Norman Manley ON OCC was the fourth Prime Minister of Jamaica . Manley was a democratic socialist....

 used a prop, a walking stick given to him by Haile Selassie, which was called the "Rod of Correction", in a direct appeal to Rastafari values.

In the famous free One Love Peace Concert
One Love Peace Concert
The One Love Peace Concert was a large concert held on April 22, 1978 at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.This concert was held during a political civil war in Jamaica between opposing parties Jamaican Labour Party and the People's National Party...

 on April 22, 1978, Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

 lambasted the audience, including attending dignitaries, with political demands that included decriminalising cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

. He did this while smoking a spliff
Joint (cannabis)
Joint is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis. Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium among industrialized countries, however brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, and newspaper are commonly used in developing countries. Modern papers are now made from a wide...

, a criminal act in Jamaica. At this same concert, Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 led both then-Prime Minister Michael Manley
Michael Manley
Michael Norman Manley ON OCC was the fourth Prime Minister of Jamaica . Manley was a democratic socialist....

 and opposition leader Edward Seaga
Edward Seaga
Edward Philip George Seaga ON PC was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1980 to 1989 and Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party from 1974 to 2005. He served as leader of the opposition from 1974 to 1980 and again from 1989 until January 2005...

 onto the stage; and a famous picture was taken with all three of them holding their hands together above their heads in a symbolic gesture of peace during what had been a very violent election campaign.

In 1996, the International Rastafari Development Society was given consultative status
Consultative Status
Consultative Status is a phrase whose use can be traced to the founding of the United Nations and is used within the UN community to refer to "Non-governmental organizations in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council." Also some international organizations could...

 by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.

Equality

"He [the Almighty] taught us that all human beings are equal regardless of sex, national origin and tribe. And He also taught us all who seek Him shall find Him." -- Haile Selassie I, Dec. 1968 interview with Dr. Oswald Hoffman on 'The Lutheran Hour'.


Per Haile Selassie's consistent lifelong message, Rastas tend to be firm adherents to the proposition that in the eyes of Jah, all men and women deserve equal and just rights, treatment and respect. With both King Alpha and his Queen Omega as shining examples, Rasta
bredren and sistren (collectively idren) seek to emulate kings and queens according mutual respect and dignity.

Language

Rastas assert that their original African languages
African languages
There are over 2100 and by some counts over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa in several major language families:*Afro-Asiatic spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel...

 were stolen from them when they were taken into captivity as part of the slave trade, and that English is an imposed colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

. Their remedy has been the creation of a modified vocabulary and dialect known as "Iyaric", reflecting their desire to take language forward and to confront the society they call Babylon.

Some examples are:
  • "I-tal", derived from the word vital and used to describe the diet of the movement which is taken mainly from Hebrew dietary laws.
  • "Overstanding", which replaces "understanding" to denote an enlightenment which places one in a better position.
  • "Irie" , a term used to denote acceptance, positive feelings, or to describe something that is good.
  • "Upfulness", a positive term for being helpful
  • "Livication", substituted for the word "dedication" because Rastas associate dedication with death.
  • "Downpression", used in place of "oppression", the logic being that the pressure is being applied from a position of power to put down the victim.


One of the most distinctive modifications in Iyaric is the substitution of the pronoun I and I for other pronouns, usually the first person. I, as used in the examples above, refers to Jah; therefore, I and I in the first person includes the presence of the divine within the individual. As I and I can also refer to us, them, or even you. It is used as a practical linguistic rejection of the separation of the individual from the larger Rastafari community, and Jah himself.

Rastafari say that they reject -isms. They see a wide range of -isms and schisms in modern society, for example communism and capitalism, and want no part in them. For example, Haile Selassie himself was an anti-communist during the cold war
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, only to be deposed by a Marxist coup. Rastafarians would reject Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 as part of the Babylonian system or, at the very least, just another version of western Humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

. They especially reject the word "Rastafarianism", because they see themselves as "having transcended -isms and schisms". This has created conflict between some Rastas and some members of the academic community studying Rastafari, who insist on calling this faith "Rastafarianism" in spite of the disapproval this generates within the Rastafari movement. Nevertheless, the practice continues among scholars, though there are also instances of the study of Rastafari using its own terms.

Diet

Many Rastas eat limited types of meat in accordance with the dietary Laws of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

; they do not eat shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

 or pork. Others abstain from all meat and flesh whatsoever, asserting that to touch meat is to touch death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

, and is therefore a violation of the Nazirite
Nazirite
In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite, , refers to one who voluntarily took a vow described in . The term "nazirite" comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated"...

 vow. (A few make a special exception allowing fish, while abstaining from all other forms of flesh.) However, the prohibition against meat only applies to those who are currently fulfilling a Nazirite
Nazirite
In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite, , refers to one who voluntarily took a vow described in . The term "nazirite" comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated"...

 vow ("Dreadlocks Priesthood"), for the duration of the vow. Many Rastafari maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet all of the time. Food approved for Rastafari is called ital
Ital
Ital or I-tal is food often celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement. The word derives from the English word "vital", with the initial syllable replaced by i. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature...

. The purpose of fasting (abstaining from meat and dairy) is to cleanse the body in accordance to serving in the presence of the "Ark of the Covenant".

Usage of alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 is also generally deemed unhealthy to the Rastafari way of life, partly because it is seen as a tool of Babylon to confuse people, and partly because placing something that is pickled and fermented within oneself is felt to be much like turning the body (the Temple) into a "cemetery".

In consequence, a rich alternative cuisine has developed in association with Rastafari tenets, eschewing most synthetic additives, and preferring more natural vegetables and fruits such as coconut and mango. This cuisine can be found throughout the Caribbean and in some restaurants throughout the western world.

Some of the Houses (or "Mansions" as they have come to be known) of the Rastafari culture, such as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, do not specify diet beyond that which, to quote Christ in the New Testament, "Is not what goes into a man's mouth that defile him, but what come out of it". Wine is seen as a "mocker" and strong drink is "raging"; however, simple consumption of beer or the very common roots wine
Roots wine
Roots wine more commonly known as "Roots Drink" or "Herbal Drink" is a type of medicinal beverage popular in Jamaica, which is believed to have healthful and aphrodisiac qualities for men....

 are not systematically a part of Rastafari culture this way or that. Separating from Jamaican culture, different interpretations on the role of food and drink within the religion remains up for debate. At official state banquets Haile Selassie would encourage guests to "eat and drink in your own way".

Locks

The wearing of dreadlocks is very closely associated with the movement, though not universal among, or exclusive to, its adherents. Rastas maintain that locks are supported by Leviticus
Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah ....

 21:5 ("They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard
Beard
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard...

, nor make any cuttings in the flesh.") and the Nazirite
Nazirite
In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite, , refers to one who voluntarily took a vow described in . The term "nazirite" comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated"...

 vow in Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

 6:5 ("All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.").

It has often been suggested (e.g., Campbell 1985) that the first Rasta locks were copied from Kenya in 1953, when images of the independence struggle of the feared mau mau insurgents
Mau Mau Uprising
The Mau Mau Uprising was a military conflict that took place in Kenya between 1952 and 1960...

, who grew their "dreaded locks" while hiding in the mountains, appeared in newsreels and other publications that reached Jamaica. However, a more recent study by Barry Chevannes has traced the first Hairlocked Rastas to a subgroup first appearing in 1949, known as Youth Black Faith.
There have been ascetic groups within a variety of world faiths that have at times worn similarly matted hair. In addition to the Nazirite
Nazirite
In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite, , refers to one who voluntarily took a vow described in . The term "nazirite" comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated"...

s of Judaism and the sadhu
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

s of Hinduism, it is worn among some sects of Sufi Islam, notably the Baye Fall sect of Mouride
Mouride
The Mouride brotherhood is a large Islamic Sufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal...

s, and by some Ethiopian Orthodox monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s in Christianity, among others. Some of the very earliest Christians may also have worn this hairstyle; particularly noteworthy are descriptions of James the Just
James the Just
James , first Bishop of Jerusalem, who died in 62 AD, was an important figure in Early Christianity...

, "brother of Jesus" and first Bishop of Jerusalem, whom Hegesippus
Hegesippus
The Greek name Hegesippos, commonly Latinized as Hegesippus can refer to the following persons:* Hegesippus * Saint Hegesippus...

 (according to Eusebius and Jerome) described as a Nazirite who never once cut his hair. The length of a Rasta's locks is a measure of wisdom, maturity, and knowledge in that it can indicate not only the Rasta's age, but also his/her time as a Rasta.

Also, according to the Bible, Samson
Samson
Samson, Shimshon ; Shamshoun or Sampson is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Tanakh ....

 was a Nazarite who had "seven locks". Rastas argue that these "seven locks" could only have been dreadlocks, as it is unlikely to refer to seven strands of hair.

Locks have also come to symbolize the Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

 (its mane) and rebellion against Babylon. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, several public schools and workplaces have lost lawsuits as the result of banning locks. Safeway
Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc. , a Fortune 500 company, is North America's second largest supermarket chain after The Kroger Co., with, as of December 2010, 1,694 stores located throughout the western and central United States and western Canada. It also operates some stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern...

 is an early example, and the victory of eight children in a suit against their Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

 school was a landmark decision in favor of Rastafari rights. More recently, a group of Rastafarians settled a federal lawsuit with the Grand Central Partnership in New York City, allowing them to wear their locks in neat ponytails, rather than be forced to "painfully tuck in their long hair" in their uniform caps.

Rastafari associate dreadlocks with a spiritual journey that one takes in the process of locking their hair (growing hairlocks). It is taught that patience is the key to growing locks, a journey of the mind, soul and spirituality. Its spiritual pattern is aligned with the Rastafari movement. The way to form natural dreadlocks is to allow hair to grow in its natural pattern, without cutting, combing or brushing, but simply to wash it with pure water.

For the Rastas the razor
Razor
A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving. Kinds of razors include straight razors, disposable razors and electric razors....

, the scissors
Scissors
Scissors are hand-operated cutting instruments. They consist of a pair of metal blades pivoted so that the sharpened edges slide against each other when the handles opposite to the pivot are closed. Scissors are used for cutting various thin materials, such as paper, cardboard, metal foil, thin...

 and the comb
Comb
A comb is a toothed device used in hair care for straightening and cleaning hair or other fibres. Combs are among the oldest tools found by archaeologists...

 are the three Babylonian or Roman inventions. So close is the association between dreadlocks and Rastafari, that the two are sometimes used synonymously. In reggae music, a follower of Rastafari may be referred to simply as a "dreadlocks" or "natty (natural) dread".

As important and connected with the movement as the wearing of locks is, though, it is not deemed necessary for, or equivalent to, true faith. Popular slogans, often incorporated within reggae lyrics, include: "Not every dread is a Rasta and not every Rasta is a dread..."; "It's not the dread upon your head, but the love inna your heart, that mek ya Rastaman" (Sugar Minott); and as Morgan Heritage
Morgan Heritage
Morgan Heritage is a reggae band formed in 1994 by five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan, namely Peter Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy "Gramps" Morgan, Nakhamyah "Lukes" Morgan and Memmalatel "Mr. Mojo" Morgan. In two decades, they have had a number of successful reggae albums.-Career:Morgan...

 sings: "You don't haffi dread to be Rasta...", and "Children of Selassie I, don't lose your faith; whether you do or don't have your locks 'pon your head..." Some Rastafarians may eschew dreadlocks, either as a means of avoiding persecution or for practical reasons, especially in as they may be a liability in many industrial jobs as it may get trapped in machinery.
Many non-Rastafari of African descent wear locks as an expression of pride in their ethnic identity, or simply as a hairstyle, and take a less purist approach to developing and grooming them. The wearing of dreads also has spread among people of other ethnicities, including those whose hair is not naturally suited to the style, and who sometimes go to great lengths to form them. Locks worn for stylish reasons are sometimes referred to as "bathroom locks", to distinguish them from the kind that are purely natural. Rasta purists also sometimes refer to such dreadlocked individuals as "wolves", as in "a wolf in sheep's clothing", especially when they are seen as trouble-makers who might potentially discredit or infiltrate Rastafari.

Due to the spread of dreadlocks in popular culture, they have even appeared in the comic book medium, most notably The X-Men
X-Men
The X-Men are a superhero team in the . They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1...

's Bishop
Bishop (comics)
Bishop is a fictional comic book superhero, appearing in books published by Marvel Comics, in particular the X-Men family of books...

 and the Dread & Alive
Dread & Alive
Dread & Alive is a Jamaican-inspired Multimedia series spanning comic books, Novels and Music written by Nicholas Da Silva, translated by Ryan Fraser and published by ZOOLOOK, LLC...

 comic book series.

Red, gold and green

The Rastafarian colours of red, gold and green (sometimes also including black) are very commonly sported on Rastafarian flag, badges, posters etc. The red, gold and green are the colours of the Ethiopian flag and show the loyalty Rastafari feel towards the Ethiopian state in the reign of King Selassie. The red, black and green were the colours used to represent Africa by the Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League...

 movement. Red is said to signify the blood of martyrs, green the vegetation and beauty of Ethiopia, and gold the wealth of Africa.

Music

Music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 has long played an integral role in Rastafari, and the connection between the movement and various kinds of music has become well known, due to the international fame of reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 musicians such as Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 and Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

.

Niyabinghi chants
Niyabinghi chants
Niyabinghi chanting typically includes recitation of the Psalms, but may also include variations of well-known Christian hymns and adopted by Rastafarians...

 are played at worship ceremonies called grounations, that include drumming, chanting and dancing, along with prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 and ritual smoking
Cannabis smoking
Cannabis smoking involves inhaling vapors released by heating the flowers and subtending leaves of the Cannabis plants, known as marijuana. Alternatively, the cannabis plant flowers may be finely sifted producing kief, a powder especially rich in the oil-glands or trichomes which contain the...

 of cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

. The name Nyabinghi comes from an East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

n movement from the 1850s to the 1950s that was led by people who militarily opposed European imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

. This form of nyabinghi was centered around Muhumusa
Muhumusa
Muhumusa, was a feared leader of the east African Nyabingi cult which was influential in Rwanda and Uganda from 1850 to 1950. She organized armed resistance against German colonialists and was eventually detained by the British in Kampala, Uganda, from 1913 to her death in 1945. Muhumusa was said...

, a healing woman from Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 who organized resistance against German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 colonialists. In Jamaica, the concepts of Nyabinghi were appropriated for similar anti-colonial efforts, and it is often danced to invoke the power of Jah
Jah
Jah is the shortened form of the divine name YHWH , an anglicized version of the Tetragrammaton . The name is most commonly associated with the Rastafari movement or within the word hallelujah, although Christian groups may use the name to varying degrees. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses use a...

 against an oppressor.
The drum is a symbol of the Africanness of Rastafari, and some mansions (Rastafari sects) assert that Jah's spirit of divine energy is present in the drum. African music survived slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 because many slaveowners encouraged it as a method of keeping morale high. Afro-Caribbean music arose with the influx of influences from the native peoples of Jamaica, as well as the European slaveowners.

Another style of Rastafari music is called burru
Burru
Burru is a African-Jamaican style of drumming. It originated on slave plantations, where slave masters permitted its continuance as it provided a rhythm for the slaves to work by. It has been used in reggae music, popularised by Count Ossie and also used by artists such as Bob Marley....

 drumming, first played in the Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, and then in West Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

. Burru was later introduced to the burgeoning Rasta community in Kingston by a Jamaican musician named Count Ossie
Count Ossie
Count Ossie, born Oswald Williams was a Jamaican drummer and band leader.-Biography:As a young boy Ossie grew up in a rasta community where he learned techniques of vocal chanting and hand drumming under the tutelage of Brother Job...

. He mentored many influential Jamaican ska, rock steady, and reggae musicians. Through his tutelage, they began combining New Orleans R&B, folk mento
Mento
Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced ska and reggae music. It has its roots in calypso and other Jamaican folk music. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box — a large mbira in the...

, jonkanoo
Jonkanoo
Jonkanoo is a masquerade festival/parade from The Bahamas, believed to be of West African origin. It is traditionally performed through the streets during the Christmas period, and involves participants dressed in a variety of fanciful costumes, such as the Cow Head, the Hobby Horse, the Wild...

, kumina
Kumina
Kumina or Cumina is a cultural form indigenous to Jamaica. It is a religion, music and dance practiced by, in large part, Jamaicans who reside in the eastern parish on St. Thomas on the island. These people have retained the drumming and dancing of the Akan people. Like the Kongo practitioners...

, and revival zion into a unique sound. The burru style, which centers on three drums — the bass, the alto fundeh, and the repeater — would later be copied by hip hop DJs.

Reggae

Reggae was born amidst poor blacks in Trenchtown
Trenchtown
Trench Town is a neighborhood located in the parish of St. Andrew which shares municipality with Kingston, the capital and largest city of Jamaica. In the 1960s Trench Town was known as the Hollywood of Jamaica. Today Trench Town boasts the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum, a visitor friendly...

, the main ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

, who listened to radio stations from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Jamaican musicians, many of them Rastas, soon blended traditional Jamaican folk music and drumming with American R&B, and jazz into ska
Ska
Ska |Jamaican]] ) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues...

, that later developed into reggae under the influence of soul.

Reggae began to enter international consciousness in the early 1970s, and Rastafari mushroomed in popularity internationally, largely due to the fame of Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

, who actively and devoutly preached Rastafari, incorporating Nyabinghi
Niyabinghi chants
Niyabinghi chanting typically includes recitation of the Psalms, but may also include variations of well-known Christian hymns and adopted by Rastafarians...

 and Rastafarian chanting into his music, lyrics and album covers. Songs like "Rastaman Chant" led to the movement and reggae music being seen as closely intertwined in the consciousness of audiences across the world. Other famous reggae musicians with strong Rastafarian elements in their music include Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

, Freddie McGregor
Freddie McGregor
Freddie McGregor has been variously a singer, musician and producer. According to Allmusic he is one of reggae's most durable and soulful singers, with a steady career that started in the 1960s, when he was just seven years old.-Biography:In 1963 he joined with Ernest Wilson and Peter Austin to...

, Toots & the Maytals
Toots & the Maytals
Toots and the Maytals, originally called simply The Maytals, are a Jamaican musical group and one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups. According to Sandra Brennan at Allmusic, "The Maytals were key figures in reggae music...

, Burning Spear
Burning Spear
Winston Rodney, OD , also known as Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician. Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari movement messages.-History:...

, Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru are a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru . The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Duckie Simpson always maintaining group control and ownership...

, Prince Lincoln Thompson
Lincoln Thompson
Prince Lincoln Thompson, known as Sax, was a Jamaican singer, musician and songwriter with the reggae band the Royal Rasses, and a member of the Rastafari movement...

, Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer, , also known as Bunny Livingston and affectionately as Jah B, is a singer songwriter and percussionist and was an original member of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh...

, Prince Far I
Prince Far I
Prince Far I was a Jamaican reggae deejay, producer and a Rastafarian. He was known for his gruff voice and critical assessment of the Jamaican government. His track "Heavy Manners" used lyrics against measures initiated towards violent crime.-Biography:He was born Michael James Williams in...

, Israel Vibration
Israel Vibration
Israel Vibration is a reggae harmony trio, originating from Kingston, Jamaica. Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig, and Cecil "Skelly" Spence all overcame childhood polio, and went on to be one of the most successful roots groups to form in Jamaica in the late 1970s...

, The Congos
The Congos
The Congos are a reggae vocal group from Jamaica active on and off from the mid-1970s until the present day. They are best known for their Heart of the Congos album, recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry.-History:...

, Cornell Campbell
Cornell Campbell
Cornell Campbell aka Don Cornell or Don Gorgon is a reggae singer, best known for his trademark falsetto voice, and his recordings at Studio One in the late 1960s and his later work with Bunny Lee in the 1970s.-Biography:Cornel has one of the sweetest falsettos of any Jamaican vocalist and uses it...

, Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown
Dennis Emmanuel Brown was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, which began in the late 1960s when he was aged eleven, he recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the major stars of lovers rock, a sub-genre of reggae...

 and hundreds more.

Reggae music expressing Rasta doctrine
The first reggae single that sang about Rastafari and reached Number 1 in the Jamaican charts was Bongo Man by Little Roy
Little Roy
Little Roy is a Jamaican reggae artist.-Biography:Little Roy launched his career in the rocksteady age, recording a few singles for Coxsone Dodd and Prince Buster, none of which made much headway. As reggae itself unfolded, Roy switched to Lloyd Daley's recording studio...

 in 1969. Early Rasta reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 musicians (besides Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

) whose music expresses Rastafari doctrine well are Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

, Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer, , also known as Bunny Livingston and affectionately as Jah B, is a singer songwriter and percussionist and was an original member of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh...

 (in
Blackheart Man), Prince Far I
Prince Far I
Prince Far I was a Jamaican reggae deejay, producer and a Rastafarian. He was known for his gruff voice and critical assessment of the Jamaican government. His track "Heavy Manners" used lyrics against measures initiated towards violent crime.-Biography:He was born Michael James Williams in...

, Linval Thompson
Linval Thompson
Linval Thompson is a Jamaican reggae and dub musician and record producer.-Biography:Thompson was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, but spent time with his mother in Queens, New York, and his recording career began around the age of 20 with the self-released "No Other Woman," recorded in Brooklyn, New...

, Ijahman Levi
Ijahman Levi
Ijahman Levi on June 21, 1946 is a reggae musician. His first album, Haile I Hymn, was released on Island Records in 1978. He became Ijahman Levi after a religious conversion to the Rastafari movement when he was in prison between 1972 and 1974...

 (especially the first 4 albums), Misty-in-Roots (
Live), The Congos
The Congos
The Congos are a reggae vocal group from Jamaica active on and off from the mid-1970s until the present day. They are best known for their Heart of the Congos album, recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry.-History:...

 (
Heart of the Congos), The Rastafarians
The Rastafarians
The Rastafarians was a California-based reggae group founded by Jamaican natives Michael Ashley aka Haile Maskel and Patrick Houchen aka Shaka Man , and Californian Herb Daly in Santa Cruz, California in 1980...

, The Abyssinians
The Abyssinians
The Abyssinians are a Jamaican roots reggae group, famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement in their lyrics.-History:...

, Culture
Culture (band)
Culture was a Jamaican roots reggae group founded in 1976. Originally they were known as the African Disciples.The members of the trio were Joseph Hill , Albert Walker and Kenneth Dayes ....

, Big Youth
Big Youth
Manley Augustus Buchanan , better known as Big Youth , is a Jamaican deejay, mostly known for his work during the 1970s....

, and Ras Michael
Ras Michael
Ras Michael is a Jamaican reggae singer and Nyabinghi specialist. He also performs under the name of Dadawah.-Biography:...

 And The Sons Of Negus. The Jamaican jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 percussionist Count Ossie
Count Ossie
Count Ossie, born Oswald Williams was a Jamaican drummer and band leader.-Biography:As a young boy Ossie grew up in a rasta community where he learned techniques of vocal chanting and hand drumming under the tutelage of Brother Job...

, who had played on a number of ska and reggae recordings, recorded albums with themes relating to Rasta history, doctrine, and culture.

Rastafari doctrine as developed in the 1980s was further expressed musically by a number of other prominent artists, such as Burning Spear
Burning Spear
Winston Rodney, OD , also known as Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician. Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari movement messages.-History:...

, Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse is a roots reggae musical band. They originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School, in Birmingham, England, composed of David Hinds , Basil Gabbidon , and Ronald McQueen .-History:...

, Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

, The Gladiators
The Gladiators (band)
The Gladiators are a Jamaican roots reggae band, most popular during the 1970s. The core was Albert Griffiths , Clinton Fearon and Dallimore Sutherland bass guitar and singer. The two most famous albums are Trenchtown Mix Up and Proverbial Reggae with songs as "Hearsay", "Jah Works", "Dreadlocks...

, Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru are a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru . The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Duckie Simpson always maintaining group control and ownership...

, Aswad, and Israel Vibration
Israel Vibration
Israel Vibration is a reggae harmony trio, originating from Kingston, Jamaica. Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig, and Cecil "Skelly" Spence all overcame childhood polio, and went on to be one of the most successful roots groups to form in Jamaica in the late 1970s...

. Rastafari ideas have spread beyond the Jamaican community to other countries including Russia, where artists such as Jah Division write songs about Jah, and South Africa where Lucky Dube
Lucky Dube
Lucky Philip Dube was a South African reggae musician. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans in a 25-year period and was South Africa's biggest selling reggae artist...

 first learned reggae music from Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

 recordings. Afro-American punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 band Bad Brains
Bad Brains
Bad Brains is an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of...

 are notable followers of the Rastafari movement and have written songs ("I Against I", etc.) that promote the doctrine.

In the 21st century, Rastafari sentiments are spread through roots reggae
Roots reggae
Roots reggae is a subgenre of reggae that deals with the everyday lives and aspirations of the artists concerned, including the spiritual side of Rastafari and with the honoring of God, called Jah by rastafarians. It also is identified with the life of the ghetto sufferer, and the rural poor...

 and dancehall, subgroups of reggae music, with many of their most important proponents promoting the Rastafari religion, such as Capleton
Capleton
Capleton is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist. He is also referred to as King Shango, King David, The Fireman and The Prophet. His record label is called David House Productions...

, Sizzla
Sizzla
Sizzla Kalonji, or simply Sizzla in are de reggae musician. He is one of the most commercially and critically successful contemporary reggae artists and is well-known for his above-average prolificacy...

, Anthony B
Anthony B
Anthony B is the stage name of Keith Blair , a Jamaican musician and member of the Rastafari movement....

, Barrington Levy
Barrington Levy
Barrington Levy is a reggae and dancehall artist from Jamaica.-Career:In 1976, Levy formed a band with his cousin, Everton Dacres, called the Mighty Multitude; the pair released "My Black Girl" in 1977...

, Jah Mason
Jah Mason
Andre Johnson , better known by his stage name Jah Mason, also known as Iron Mason and Fire Mason, is a reggae singer/deejay from Jamaica, active as a recording artist since 1991.-Biography:...

, Pressure, Midnite
Midnite
Midnite is a roots reggae band hailing from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, which has been playing since 1989.The band's music follows in tradition with the roots reggae bands of 1970s Jamaica. The lyrical portions of Midnite's compositions are characterized as the "chant and call" style which...

, Natural Black
Natural Black
Natural Black, born Mortimer Softley on March 16, 1975 in Georgetown, Guyana, is a reggae singer from Guyana.-Biography:Mortimer Softley moved to Jamaica in 1995 to pursue his dream of being a reggae singer. In Guyana he hailed from Linden in the community of All Boy Town and was nicknamed Black...

, Luciano
Luciano (singer)
Luciano is a Jamaican second generation roots reggae artist and poet....

, Cocoa Tea, Jah Cure
Jah Cure
Jah Cure, or Iyah Cure is a Jamaican reggae musician, who was raised in Kingston. He was given the name Jah Cure by Capleton whom he met while growing up in Kingston.-Career:...

 and Richie Spice
Richie Spice
Richie Spice is a Jamaican reggae artist. He is a member of the Rastafari movement. Some of his most famous songs include, "Youth Dem Cold", "Groovin' My Girl", "Earth A Run Red", "Marijuana" and "The Plane Land"...

. Several of these acts have gained mainstream success and frequently appear on the popular music charts. Most recently artists such as Damian Marley
Damian Marley
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley is a Jamaican reggae artist who has won three Grammy awards. Damian is the youngest son of Bob Marley....

 (son of Bob Marley) have blended hip-hop with reggae to re-energize classic Rastafari issues such as social injustice, revolution and the honour and responsibility of parenthood using contemporary musical style.

Berlin-based dub techno label "Basic Channel
Basic Channel
Basic Channel is a production team and record label, composed of Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, that originated in Berlin, Germany in 1993. The duo released a number of vinyl-only tracks under various aliases, each of which employed their signature brand of dissonant dub techno...

" has subsidiary labels called "Rhythm & Sound" and "Burial Mix" whose lyrics strongly focus on many aspects of Rastafari culture and ideology, including the acceptance of Haile Selassie I. Notable tracks include "Jah Rule", "Mash Down Babylon", "We Be Troddin'", and "See Mi Yah". Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

 released two rastafari/roots reggae CDs "Throw Down Your Arms
Throw Down Your Arms
Throw Down Your Arms is a 2005 album by Sinéad O'Connor and shows influence from Jamaican roots reggae and the Rastafari tradition. Throw Down Your Arms is a collection of classic roots reggae songs performed by O'Connor and produced by Sly and Robbie....

" and "Theology
Theology (album)
Theology is the eighth full-length album by Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor. It was released in 2007 on Rubyworks...

".

As of 2011 "Midas Mulah" is known as the last original Baba Shanti Reggae / Rastafarfi Artist carrying on the movement

Film

There are several Jamaican films important to the history of Rastafari, such as Rockers, The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come is a 1972 Jamaican crime film directed by Perry Henzell.The film stars reggae singer Jimmy Cliff, who plays Ivanhoe Martin, a character based on Rhyging, a real-life Jamaican criminal who achieved fame in the 1940s...

, Land of Look Behind
Land of Look Behind
Land of Look Behind is a 1982 documentary film about Jamaica. It was filmed in May and June of 1981 by Alan Greenberg, and was the director's first film. The film's cinematographer was Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, an associate of Werner Herzog. The musical score is by K. Leimer.The film begins with...

, Countryman
Countryman (film)
Countryman is an independent action/adventure film directed by Dickie Jobson. It tells the story of a Jamaican fisherman whose solitude is shattered when he rescues two Americans from the wreckage of a plane crash. The fisherman, called Countryman, is hurled into a political plot by the...

and Babylon
Babylon (film)
Babylon is a 1980 film that depicts the struggles of a Black British working class musician. It stars Brinsley Forde of the reggae band, Aswad. It was co-written by Martin Stellman and Franco Rosso who also directed it. It also starred Karl Howman and Trevor Laird...

.

Ethiopian world view

Before Garvey, there had been two major circumstances that proved conducive to the conditions that established a fertile ground for the incubation of Rastafari in Jamaica: the history of resistance, exemplified by the Maroons
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

, and the forming of an Afrocentric, Ethiopian world view
World view
A comprehensive world view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and...

 with the spread of such religious movements as Bedwardism
Bedwardism
Bedwardism, more properly the Jamaica Native Baptist Free Church, was a religious movement of Jamaica. It was founded in Augustown, Saint Andrew Parish in 1889 by Harrison "Shakespeare" Woods, an African-American emigrant to Jamaica, and named for Alexander Bedward , who was referred to as "That...

, which flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. These groups had long carried a tradition of what musician Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 referred to as "resisting against the system".

Marcus Garvey

Rastas see Marcus Mosiah Garvey as a prophet, with his philosophy fundamentally shaping the movement, and with many of the early Rastas having started out as Garveyites
Garveyism
Garveyism is an aspect of Black Nationalism which takes its source from the works, words and deeds of UNIA-ACL founder Marcus Garvey. The fundamental focus of Garveyism is the complete, total and never ending redemption of the continent of Africa by people of African ancestry, at home and abroad...

. He is often seen as a second John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. One of the most famous prophecies attributed to him involving the coronation of Haile Selassie I was the 1927 pronouncement "Look to Africa, for there a black king shall be crowned," although an associate of Garvey's, James Morris Webb, had made very similar public statements as early as 1921. Marcus Garvey promoted Black Nationalism
Black nationalism
Black nationalism advocates a racial definition of indigenous national identity, as opposed to multiculturalism. There are different indigenous nationalist philosophies but the principles of all African nationalist ideologies are unity, and self-determination or independence from European society...

, black separatism
Black separatism
Black separatism is a movement to create separate institutions for people of African descent in societies historically dominated by whites, particularly in the United States. Black separatists also often seek a separate homeland...

, and Pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism is a movement that seeks to unify African people or people living in Africa, into a "one African community". Differing types of Pan-Africanism seek different levels of economic, racial, social, or political unity...

: the belief that all black people of the world should join in brotherhood and work to decolonise the continent of Africa — then still controlled by the white colonialist powers.

He promoted his cause of black pride throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and was particularly successful and influential among lower-class blacks in Jamaica and in rural communities. Although his ideas have been hugely influential in the development of Rastafari culture, Garvey never identified himself with the movement, and even wrote an article critical of Haile Selassie for leaving Ethiopia at the time of the Fascist occupation. In addition, his Universal Negro Improvement Association disagreed with Leonard Howell
Leonard Howell
Leonard Percival Howell , known as The Gong or G.G. Maragh , was a Jamaican religious figure. According to his biographer Hélène Lee, Howell was born in an Anglican family...

 over Howell's teaching that Haile Selassie was the Messiah. Rastafari nonetheless may be seen as an extension of Garveyism. In early Rasta folklore, it is the Black Star Line
Black Star Line
The Black Star Line was a shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey, organizer of the Universal Negro Improvement Association . The shipping line was supposed to facilitate the transportation of goods and eventually African Americans throughout the African global economy...

r (actually a shipping company bought by Garvey to encourage repatriation to Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

) that takes them home to Africa.

Early written foundations

Although not strictly speaking a "Rastafari" document, the
Holy Piby
Holy Piby
The Holy Piby is a proto-Rastafarian text written by an Anguillan, Robert Athlyi Rogers , for the use of an Afrocentric religion in the West Indies founded by Rogers in the 1920s, known as the Afro-Athlican Constructive Gaathly. The theology outlined in this work saw Ethiopians as the chosen...

, written by Robert Athlyi Rogers
Robert Athlyi Rogers
Robert Athlyi Rogers , born in Anguilla, was the author of the Holy Piby, generally recognized as one of most important texts in Rastafarian Theology. It was written between 1913 and 1917, and published in 1924. Rogers committed suicide on 24th August 1931....

 from Anguilla
Anguilla
Anguilla is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin...

 in the 1920s, is acclaimed by many Rastafarians as a formative and primary source. Robert Athlyi Rogers founded an Afrocentric religion known as "Athlicanism" in the US and West Indies in the 1920s. Rogers' religious movement, the Afro-Athlican Constructive Church, saw Ethiopians (in the Biblical sense of all Black Africans) as the chosen people of God, and proclaimed Marcus Garvey, the prominent Black Nationalist, an apostle. The church preached self-reliance and self-determination for Africans.

The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy, published in 1926 by a proto-Rastafari preacher, Fitz Balintine Pettersburg, is of historical and religious significance to followers of the Rastafari movement. Along with The Holy Piby, it is today recognized as one of the root documents of Rastafari...

, written during the 1920s by a preacher called Fitz Balintine Pettersburg
Fitz Balintine Pettersburg
Rev. Fitz Balintine Pettersburg was a proto-Rastafari preacher, author of the Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy, published in 1926....

, is a surrealistic stream-of-consciousness polemic against the white colonial power structure that is also considered formative, a palimpsest of Afrocentric thought.

The first document to appear that can be labelled as truly Rastafari was Leonard P. Howell's The Promise Key
The Promise Key
The Promise Key is a Rastafari movement tract by Leonard P. Howell, a Jamaican preacher. Published around 1935 under Howell's Hindu pen name G.G...

, written using the pen name G.G. [for Gangun-Guru] Maragh, in the early 1930s. In it, he claims to have witnessed the Coronation of the Emperor and Empress on 2 November 1930 in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, and proclaims the doctrine that H.I.M. Ras Tafari is the true Head of Creation and that the King of England is an imposter. This tract was written while Howell was jailed on charges of sedition.

Emergence

Emperor Haile Selassie I was crowned "King of Kings, Elect of God, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah" in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 on November 2, 1930. The event created great publicity throughout the world, including in Jamaica, and particularly through two consecutive Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine articles about the coronation (he was later named Times Person of the Year
Person of the Year
Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."- History :The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year...

 for 1935, the first Black person to appear on the cover), as well as two consecutive National Geographic issues around the same time. Haile Selassie almost immediately gained a following as both God and King
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 amongst poor Jamaicans, who came to be known as Rastafarians, and who looked to their Bibles, and saw what they believed to be the fulfilling of many prophecies from the book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

. As Ethiopia was the only African country to be free from colonialism, and Haile Selassie was the only black leader accepted among the kings and queens of Europe, the early Rastas viewed him with great reverence.

Over the next two years, three Jamaicans who all happened to be overseas at the time of the coronation, each returned home and independently began, as street preachers, to proclaim the divinity of the newly crowned Emperor as the returned Christ, arising from their interpretations of Biblical prophecy and based partly on Haile Selassie's status as the only African monarch of a fully independent state, with the titles King of Kings and Conquering Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

(Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 5:5).

First, on 8 December 1930, Archibald Dunkley
Archibald Dunkley
Henry Archibald Dunkley was, along with Leonard Howell, Joseph Hibbert, and Robert Hinds, one of the first preachers of the Rastafari movement in Jamaica following the coronation of Ras Tafari as Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia on 2 November 1930....

, formerly a seaman, landed at Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991...

 and soon began his ministry; in 1933, he relocated to Kingston where the King of Kings Ethiopian Mission was founded. Joseph Hibbert
Joseph Hibbert
Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert was, along with Leonard Howell, Archibald Dunkley, and Robert Hinds, one of the first preachers of the Rastafari movement in Jamaica following the coronation of Ras Tafari as Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia on 2 November 1930.In about 1911, at the age of 17, he moved...

 returned from Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 in 1931 and started spreading his own conviction of the Emperor's divinity in Benoah district, Saint Andrew Parish
Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica
Saint Andrew is a parish, situated in the southeast of Jamaica in the county of Surrey. It lies north, west and east of Kingston, and stretches into the Blue Mountains and at the 2001 census had the highest population of all the parishes in Jamaica. The Right Excellent George William Gordon Saint...

, through his own ministry, called Ethiopian Coptic Faith; he too moved to Kingston the next year, to find Leonard Howell
Leonard Howell
Leonard Percival Howell , known as The Gong or G.G. Maragh , was a Jamaican religious figure. According to his biographer Hélène Lee, Howell was born in an Anglican family...

 already teaching many of these same doctrines, having returned to Jamaica around the same time. With the addition of Robert Hinds, himself a Garveyite and former Bedwardite, these four preachers soon began to attract a following among Jamaica's poorer classes, who were already beginning to look to Ethiopia for moral support.

Leonard Howell

Leonard Howell, who has been described as the "first Rasta", became the first to be persecuted
Persecution of Rastafari
Persecution of members of the Rastafari movement, a group founded in Jamaica in the early 1930s and who worship Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as Almighty God, has been fairly continuous since the movement began but nowadays is particularly concerning their spiritual use of cannabis, a psychoactive...

, charged with sedition
Sedition
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent to lawful authority. Sedition may include any...

 for refusing loyalty to the King
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of Great Britain and Ireland
Great Britain and Ireland
Great Britain and Ireland are two neighbouring islands situated in the north-west of Europe.As a phrase, Great Britain and Ireland or Britain and Ireland can refer to either two separate entities being discussed together due to the close cultural and historical links between the islands, or can...

, George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

. The British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 would not tolerate Jamaicans loyal to Haile Selassie in what was then a British colony. When he was released, he formed a commune
Commune (intentional community)
A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become...

 called Pinnacle, at St. Catherine in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 in 1939 on 600 acres (2.4 km²) of land which attracted as many as 2,000 people. Reports surfaced that the Rastas were urging the communities around them not to pay taxes to the government. In 1941, the police raided the community, most likely because of ganja sales. Howell and his followers were sent to prison. After they got out they tried to resurrect the Pinnacle community, but the police kept raiding it. The raids forced the community to destroy the Pinnacle, and disperse into the slums of Jamaica.

Visit of Selassie I to Jamaica

Haile Selassie I had already met with several Rasta elders in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 in 1961, giving them gold medals, and had allowed West Indians of African descent to settle on his personal land in Shashamane
Shashamane
Shashamane is a town in central Ethiopia. It is located in the Misraq Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region. The city lies on the Trans-African Highway 4 Cairo-Cape Town, about from the capital of Addis Ababa...

 in the 1950s. The first actual Rastafarian settler, Papa Noel Dyer
Noel Dyer
Bongo Papa Noel Dyer I was a Rastafarian elder renowned within the movement as the man who "walked to Ethiopia" after hitchhiking there, becoming in 1965 one of the first Rastas to settle on the Shashamane land granted in 1948 by the Rastafarian messiah and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I of...

, arrived in September 1965, having hitch-hiked all the way from England.

Haile Selassie visited Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 on April 21, 1966. Approximately one hundred thousand Rastafari from all over Jamaica descended on Kingston airport
Norman Manley International Airport
-Cargo :The following Cargo/Courier serve Norman Manley International Airport:-Accidents and incidents:*On 17 July 1960, the captain of a Vickers Viscount of Cubana de Aviación hijacked the aircraft on a flight from José Martí International Airport, Havana to Miami International Airport, Florida...

, it having been announced that Selassie was coming to visit them. They waited at the airport smoking a great amount of cannabis and playing drums. When Haile Selassie arrived at the airport he delayed disembarking from the aeroplane for an hour until Mortimer Planno
Mortimer Planno
Mortimo "Kumi" Planno, was a renowned drummer and Rastafari elder and considered one of the ideological founders of this back-to-Africa movement...

, a well-known Rasta, personally welcomed him. From then on, the visit was a success. Rita Marley
Rita Marley
Alpharita Constantia Anderson , better known as Rita Marley, and sometimes called "Nana Rita", is the widow of reggae legend/musician Bob Marley, and a member of the trio the I Threes, Bob Marley's backup singers.-Biography:...

, Bob Marley's wife, converted to the Rastafari faith after seeing Haile Selassie; she has stated that she saw stigmata
Stigmata
Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet...

 appear on his person, and was instantly convinced of his divinity.

The great significance of this event in the development of the Rastafari movement should not be underestimated. Having been outcasts in society, they gained a temporary respectability for the first time. By making Rasta more acceptable, it opened the way for the commercialisation of reggae, leading in turn to the further global spread of Rastafari.

Because of Haile Selassie's visit, April 21 is celebrated as Grounation Day
Grounation Day
Grounation Day is an important Rastafarian holy day, and second after Coronation Day . It is celebrated in honor of Haile Selassie's 1966 visit to Jamaica.-Visit of Selassie I to Jamaica:...

. It was during this visit that Selassie I famously told the Rastafari community leaders that they should not immigrate to Ethiopia until they had first liberated the people of Jamaica. This dictum came to be known as "liberation
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

 before repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

".

Walter Rodney

In 1968, Walter Rodney
Walter Rodney
Walter Rodney was a prominent Guyanese historian and political activist, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980.-Career:...

, a Guyanese national, author, and professor at the University of the West Indies, published a pamphlet titled The Groundings with My Brothers which among other matters, including a summary of African history, discussed his experiences with the Rastafari. It became a benchmark in the Caribbean Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 movement. Combined with Rastafarian teachings, both philosophies spread rapidly to various Caribbean nations, including Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

, and Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

.

Cameroon

In Cameroon, its population is made up of French and English speaking communities that further paved the way for many people of different beliefs from naturalists to spiritualists. Before their independence in 1961, a small community of Rastafarians was discovered in the early 1940s and 1950s about the interior villages in the east around the coastal regions of today's southwest and northwest provinces of the country.

Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

In the Ivory Coast presidential candidates tried to reach out to voters in the Rasta village of Port Bouet.

Ghana

In Ghana, particularly in the coast, there are many Rastafari places of worship the Rasta community around Kokrobite is well known throughout Ghana. Many Rasta music festivals occur and Rasta objects are sold including hats, ganja, etc.

Japan

A small but devoted Rasta community developed in Japan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rasta shops selling natural foods, reggae recordings, and other Rasta-related items sprang up in Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities. For several years, "Japan Splashes" or open-air reggae concerts were held in various locations throughout Japan.

Malawi

There is a Rastafarian community in Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

 as well. They have had influences in the music industry in Malawi where reggae remains a popular form of music. Malawian reggae band, The Black Missionaries
Black Missionaries
Black Missionaries are a popular reggae band from the African country of Malawi.The Black Missionaries are primarily active in the city of Blantyre, and members reside in Chileka. The band had originally five members, namely Evison Matafale, Peter Amidu, and three of the seven sons of Robert...

, continues to propagate the rastafarian culture and issues in Malawi. They have featured at the Lake of Stars Music Festival
Lake of Stars
Lake of Stars Music Festival is a four-day international music festival held on the shores of Lake Malawi, the third biggest lake in Africa.The name, Lake of Stars is derived from the romanticised nickname given to Lake Malawi...

, an international music festival which features international artists including many of Malawi's reggae artists. They have also brought Malawia-style reggae to the international scene through their performance abroad, including in the United States. One of Malawi's most popular reggae singers is Lucius Banda
Lucius Banda
Lucius Banda is a Malawian musician and politician. Until August 2006, he was an MP for the district of Balaka North, but lost his seat because he was convicted of having fake academic qualifications. He was sentenced to 21 months of hard labour in Zomba prison, but released in November 2006,...

, who was outspoken against the autocratic state of Kamuzu Banda and later became a minister in the government.

Another outspoken Malawian Reggae artist, Evison Matafale
Evison Matafale
Evison Matafale was a Malawian Rastafarian whose music rose to popularity in Malawi. He was the founder and leader of the Reggae band Black Missionaries. Matafale rose to fame and became one of Malawi's favourite musicians by 2000 through the release of his debut album, Kuyimba 1, in 1999...

 known as 'The prophet' was imprisoned in Malawi and later died under police custody in 2001.

Rastafarians have also been involved in the political scene, particularly in their efforts to legalise Chamba in Malawi. Malawi Gold
Malawi Gold
Malawi Gold is the name given to cannabis originating in Malawi. In chichewa, it is locally known as chamba. Chamba is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu....

 (Chamba), remains one of Africa's most potent cannabis leaves and has gained notoriety internationally for its potency. The Rastafarians use it for religious reasons. It remains currently illegal in Malawi.

Sudan

From the early days of Bob Marley, Rastas (Rastawi as it is called in Sudan) were found and spread throughout the country. Haile Selassie had frequent visits to the Sudan. When Bob Marley passed away, Sudanese had a 3 day grieving for him.

United Kingdom

According to the 2001 United Kingdom Census there are 5000 Rastafarian people living in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 The majority of which live in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and are of Jamaican origin. Cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 is a Class B Drug in the United Kingdom and use for religious reason is also prohibited.

In London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, St Agnes Place
St Agnes Place
St Agnes Place was a squatted street in Kennington, South London, which resisted eviction orders for more than 30 years.- History :On 1 June 1969 house number 54 was the first to be squatted. The council had acquired the unit and planned to demolish it for the extension to Kennington Park. The...

 contained a Rastafari place of worship until its occupants were evicted in 2006.

United States

Rastafarian people started arriving in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in large numbers in the 1960s and '70s mostly from Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

.

See also

  • Awake Zion
    Awake Zion
    Awake Zion is a 2005 documentary by Monica Haim that documents a connection between Jews and Rastafarians. Rasta is a religious movement that came out of Jamaica. The followers accept Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as God incarnate, grow their hair in dreadlocks and smoke cannabis for religious...

  • Bedwardism
    Bedwardism
    Bedwardism, more properly the Jamaica Native Baptist Free Church, was a religious movement of Jamaica. It was founded in Augustown, Saint Andrew Parish in 1889 by Harrison "Shakespeare" Woods, an African-American emigrant to Jamaica, and named for Alexander Bedward , who was referred to as "That...

  • Chillum (pipe)
  • Ethiopian suit
    Ethiopian suit
    An Ethiopian suit is the traditional formal wear of the men of Ethiopia. It consists of a long sleeve, knee-length shirt, and matching pants. Most shirts are made with a Mandarin, band, or Nehru collar. The suit is made of chiffon, which is a sheer silk or rayon cloth. A shawl called a netela or...

  • List of topics related to Black and African people
  • Mansions of Rastafari
    Mansions of Rastafari
    Mansions of Rastafari are branches of the Rastafari movement. Mansions include the Bobo Shanti, the Niyabinghi, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and others. The term is taken from the Biblical verse in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions."-Bobo Shanti:Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards...

  • One hitter (smoking)
  • Rastafari vocabulary
  • Spiritual use of cannabis
    Spiritual use of cannabis
    Sacramental, religious and spiritual use of cannabis refers to cannabis used in a religious or spiritual context. Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual usage as an aid to trance and has been traditionally used in a religious context throughout the Old World....

  • Vegetarianism and religion
    Vegetarianism and religion
    Vegetarianism and religion are strongly linked in a number of religions that originated in ancient India . In Jainism, vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone; in Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, it is advocated by some influential scriptures and religious authorities...

  • Mutabaruka
    Mutabaruka
    Mutabaruka is a dub poet. His name comes from the Rwandan language and translates as "one who is always victorious". He lives in Potosi District, St. James with his significant other, Yvonne, and their two childern. Mutabaruka continues to perform and write poems on every issue known to man...


External links

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