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Megan Doherty

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Rastafari

Intake marijuana to:
Connect with Jah (Homiak, 1985)
Experience divination (Edmonds 2003: 60)
Also meant for healing
Practitioners recommend ganja (marijuana) for alleviating pain, nausea/vomitting, and other symptoms caused by illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS (Elders 2004, Cavnaugh 2002).
Cultural Traditions
Rastafarians use hairstyling as symbolism:
Dreads symbolizes oneness with Jah and one's pride of one's African heritage
Locks represent the mane of a lion and King Selassie
For women, dreads symbolize their courage in confronting racism and classicism
Dreads also represent rebellion against Western Society(which is believed to be Babylon)
Their customs are influenced by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
Colors are red, green, black, and gold
Red: represent blood that was shed during persecution
Green: beauty and vegetation of Ethiopia
Black: color of the African people
Gold: the wealth of Ethiopia
Women are considered to be subordinates
Are responsible for conducting rituals, interpreting events of significance to their community, and nurturing and protecting her children and community(Rowe 1980: 14).
Strict Regulations are Set for Women (Rowe 1980: 15):
They are forbidden to smoke with men
They should have their heads covered at all times
Are forbidden to attend religious ceremonies during their menstruation nor prepare meals for men
Openly receive spiritual guidance for men
Women represent Mama Africa yet men sees motherhood requires only house domestication and child rearing
Expected to remain in a monogamous relationship though men are not required to do so
Women's Roles
By Megan Doherty, Jeremy Edwards, Mevin Mathew
Alexis Fedrick and, Lillian Sherman

Rastafarian and Pop Culture
Rastafarian within our World
Haile Selassie
-The movement is named for Ras Tafari Makonnen, who was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in 1930.
-Today Selassie is worshiped as a God incarnate among followers of Rastafari Movement.
-He is viewed as the messiah who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom.
-Official titles are Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and King of Kings and Elect of God.
Rastafari Holy Days
Orthodox Christmas (Jan. 7th)
Grounation Day (April 2nd)
Selassie's Birthday (July 23rd)
Garvey's Birthday (August 17th)
Ethiopian New Year (September 11th)
Selassie's Coronation Day (November 2nd)
"During the entire time of his dedication, he is not to allow a razor to pass over his head until the days of his holy consecration to the LORD have been fulfilled. He is to let the locks on his head grow long."
Number 6:5
(International Standard Version)
Communal Smoking
Music and Rastafarianism
Reggae Music
Means of transporting the Rastafarian message of social change
A medium through which the oppressed and poor express their discontent- social change is not far
Enjoy life during tragedy since there is a hope for improvement

A successor to rock steady music which succeeded Ska music
Took form in the late 1960s
First reggae album- "Do the Reggae"
Reggae was born amidst the poor in Trechtown listening to American radio stations
Jamaican musicians mixed Jamaican folk music with American music
Some of the first Reggae artists are Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, as well as Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse, Lee Scratch Perry, Dennis Brown and Black Uhuru
Bob Marley is acclaimed to be the person that made Reggae well known internationally
Some other artists that were integral to the movement- Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh
History of Reggae
Lee Scratch Perry Dennis Brown


Ray, Ella Maria. The John Hopkins University, ProQuest UMI Dissertations Publishing, 1999.

Homiak, John Paul. Brandeis University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 1985.

Pretorius, Stephanus Petrus. “The significance of the use of ganja as a religious ritual in the Rastafari movement.” Verbum et Ecclesia 27.3 (2006): 1012-1030.

Chant down Babylon: Freedom of Religion and the Rastafarian Challenge to Majoritarianism
Derek O'Brien and Vaughan Carter
Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2002 - 2003), pp. 219-248

Rastafarianism by Micheal Jackson Theology 1980 83: 26


“The Rastafarians, The Dreadlocks of Jamaica” by Leonard Barrett

Joseph Owens

Worship and Ceremonies
Herbs, Women, Traditions
Grounation April 21st 1966
- The meetings are referred to as Reasoning sessions. They provide a time for chants, prayers and singing, and for communal issues to be discussed. Ganja may be smoked to produce heightened spiritual states. which is also referred to as the wisdom weed. It is put in a chillum or a cigarette. Women do not appear to take part in these reasoning sessions.
- These are also referred to as Nyabinghi or Binghi.
Where do Rastafarians Worship
-Rastafarian have a very personal relationship with Jah. Because of this they have, for the most part, have no centralized place of worship.
- Members tend to congregate in member's homes or community centers. However there are some Rastafarian Churches.
Original set of Beliefs
-Ras Tafari, more commonly known as Haile Selassie, is the Living God
-The Black person is the reincarnation of ancient Israel, who, because of the White person, has been exiled to Jamaica
-The White person is inferior to the Black person
- Ethiopia is their homeland and they want to return.
-The Invincible Emperor of Ethiopia is now arranging for Expats of African origin to return to Ethiopia
-In the near future Blacks shall rule the world

Modern beliefs
-Haile Selassie is a living God, also showing the humaneness of God
-God is found in every man
-History lines up with God and his workings
-Salvation is something that occurs on earth, not in Heaven
-Human life is precious and should be protected and preserved
-Nature is also important and should be respected
-Speech enables the power of God
-They believe places like the International Monetary Fund are to blame for Jamaica’s financial situation; also capitalism is evil.
-Judgement is near
-Black people are the chosen people of God
Though Babylon is borrowed a word from Judaism, used to describe the rest of the world outside Africa. In its vernacular usage Babylon is explicitly represented by the Government, the Police and the Church.
Foods to Eat
Natural Foods
- The Rastafarian diet focuses more on eating earth-grown foods
-Although meat products are not allowed in the Rastafarian diet, one can include fish in it
Herbal tea
-The diet also encourages the use of herbal tea
The Rastafarian diet has been designed for the followers of Rastafari Ideology, a spiritual movement that started in Jamaica and Ethiopia in the 1930s
The food that are included in this diet are considered to be sacred by the Rastafarian people which is known as Ital food
Food Not to Eat
-Rastafarians are against eating meat
-They are advised to refrain from eating animal-based products
-Salt is prohibited to being added in any dish
-gives sensual pleasures and is spiritually detrimental
Cookware & Utensils
The Rastafarian diet also has great importance to the type of material used in making using cookware and other utensils

Rastafarian Diet
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