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The Rastafari Movement

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jade douglas

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of The Rastafari Movement

The Rastafari Movement Answer: Simply because rastas don't like it. Why, like many other religions with an "ism" is this religion it not called rastafarianism? First things first: To Start Off: Date founded:
Generally said to be November 2, 1930, the year Emperor Hailie Selassie I (1892-1975) was crowned, but based in a movement of the 1920s

Place founded:

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), a black Jamaican who taught in the 1920s and is considered a second John the Baptist

About 1 million worldwide The History the rastafari movement started in the slums of Jamaica in the 1920's and 30's as a message of black pride, freedom from oppression and a hope of return to the African homeland
it began with the teachings of Marcus Garvey, a black Jamaican, who was the first person ever to lead a "back to Africa" movement
he taught that Africans are the true Israelites and had been exiled to Jamaica as divine punishment
he worked to reverse the "slave mindset"
he is considered to be a second John the Baptist as of 1927 when he famously prophesied "Look to Africa, for there a king shall be crowned" on November 2nd, 1930, a man named Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned emperor of Ethiopia
it was there that he took the name Haile Selassie which means "Might of the Trinity" Haile Selassie Selassie also took the titles, "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and King of the Kings of Ethiopia."
these titles are traditionally given to Ethiopian kings and reflect the Old Testament emphasis of Ethiopian Christianity
for Rastafarians, Selassie's coronation was a clear fulfillment of Revelation 5:5, Ezekiel 28:25, and Marcus Garvey's prophecy this is what led the people to believe that Selassie was the true messiah upon his coronation that indicated that the divine punishment was complete and that the returning to Africa would begin
they believed he was the representation of God or "Jah" on earth Marcus Garvey however did not think highly of Selassie and actually proposed him to be a fail of an emperor and an incompetent leader
Selassie then started telling rastafarians that he was no leader of their religion and definitely no representation of Jah
he told people he was merely but a man and that no human being could ever be a human form of a deity
regardless, the rastafarians still believed he was the one even though Garvey looked down on him because of his involvement with the whites, Selassie used them to his best advantage
while modernizing Ethiopia and bringing it intp the League of Nations as well as the United Nations, Selassie was names Time magazine's person of the year in 1935 and was the first black person to appear of the cover in 1930
he was also the only black leader recognized by Europe An early leader? a man named Leonard Howell emerged as an early leader of the rastafari movement
he taught the six fundamental rastafarian principles which were abandoned through time as the movement developed 1. Hatred for the White race
2. The complete superiority of the Black race
3. Revenge on Whites for their wickedness
4. The negation, persecution, and humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica
5. Preparation to go back to Africa
6. Acknowledging Emperor Haile Selassie as the Supreme Being and only ruler of Black people he was not the leader for very long as he was arrested by the Jamaican government in 1939 for his loyalty to the Ethiopian emperor over king George V (the king of the uk, the previous ruler of Jamaica)
this is what made the rastafari movement a leaderless religion The Expansion Haile Selassie met with rasta elders in Addis Ababa in 1955 where he offered 500 acres of his personal land to people wishing to return to Africa
around 2,200 blacks, mainly Rastafarians, moved to the land (in Shashemene) during the 1960s
unfortunately, poverty, a lack of acceptance by the Ethiopian population and disputes with the government caused Selassie to be overthrown and the population to slowly decrease to its current state of about 250 a major event in Rastafarian history was Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica on April 21, 1966
during this visit, Rita Marley, Bob Marley's wife, converted to the Rastafari faith after seeing Haile Selassie; she said she saw stigmata appear on him and was instantly convinced of his divinity
further evidence of his divinity was seen in the fact that a serious drought ended with rain upon his arrival. he told the Rastafarians that they should not seek to immigrate to Ethiopia until they had liberated the people of Jamaica, a command that came to be known as "liberation before repatriation"
as well as its profound religious significance for Rastas, the event helped to legitimize the movement; April 21 is celebrated as a Rastafarian holiday
Selassie was deposed in 1974 in a military coup and kept under house arrest until he was apparently killed by his captors in 1975
many Rastas believed that his death was a hoax, and that he lives on in hiding until the Day of Judgment.
Others say that he lives on through individual Rastafarians Beliefs of Rastafarians in general, most rastafarian beliefs are based in Judaism and Christianity with an emphasis on the old testament laws and propehcies and the book of revelation
therefore, rastafarians believe in the Judeo-Christian god in which they call Jah
rastafarians do not believe in the afterlife, but instead look to Africa, which they call Zion, as a heaven on earth
true Rastas are believed to be immortal, both physically and spiritually, a concept called "everliving." another rastafarian belief is "I and I" which is said like "you and I" which emphsizes the oneness between humanity and God as well as the equality of all humans
there is also Babylon, which refers to the white power structure of Europe and the Americas
rastas seek to resist Babylon, which once cruelly enslaved blacks and still continue to hold them down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and trickery
the greed and conceit of Babylon is contrasted with the humble simplicity and naturalness of the Rastas What Rastas Stand For The key ideas in contemporary Rastafari are:

The humanity of God and the divinity of man
this refers to the importance of Haile Selassie who is perceived by Rastafarians as a living God. Likewise it emphasises the concept of God revealing himself to his followers through his humanity.

God is found within every man
Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity. According to Jagessar (a social activist) "there must be one man in whom he exists most eminently and completely, and that is the supreme man, Rastafari, Selassie I."

God in history
it is very important to see all historical facts in the context of God's judgement and workings. Salvation on earth
Salvation for Rastafarians is an earthly idea, rather than heavenly.
The supremacy of life
Human nature is very important to Rastafarians and they should preserve and protect it.

The humanity of God and the divinity of man
This refers to the importance of Haile Selassie who is perceived by Rastafarians as a living God. Likewise it emphasises the concept of God revealing himself to his followers through his humanity. Other Beliefs Sacred Texts the sacred text of Rastafarians is the Holy Piby, the "Black Man's Bible"
it was compiled by Robert Athlyi Rogers of Anguilla from 1913 to 1917 and published in 1924. 4 The Holy Piby is a version of the Christian Bible that has been altered to remove all the deliberate distortions that are believed to have been made by white leaders during its translation into Englishthe Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Negast, is also respected by Rastas, but less so than the Bible. Practices of Rastafarians rastafarians are best known for their religious use of marijuana, what they call ganja, the holy herb, iley or callie
they believe it was given to them by Jah
scriptural support is found especially in Psalm 104:14: "He causeth the grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man"
other texts interpreted to refer to cannabis include Genesis 3:18, Exodus 10:12, and Proverbs 15:17
in addition to ritual use, Rastas also use marijuana for medicinal purposes, applying it to a variety of ailments including colds marijuana is used primarily during the two main Rastafari rituals: reasonings and nyabingi.


the reasoning is an informal gathering at which a small group of Rastas smoke ganja and engage in discussion.
the ritual begins when one person lights the pipe, or "chalice," and recites a short prayer while all other participants bow their heads
the pipe is then passed around the circle until all of the people have smoked
the reasoning ends when the participants depart one by one Nyabinghi

the nyabinghi, or binghi for short, is a dance held on Rasta holidays and special occasions
these dances can last for several days and bring together hundreds of Rastafarians from all over Jamaica
they camp in tents on land owned by the host Rastas
formal dancing takes place at night in a tabernacle especially set up for the occasion
the Rastas sing and dance until the early hours of the morning
in the daytime, they "rest and reason" DREADLOCK RASTA! one of the most obvious, visible practices of a Rasta is the wearing of dreadlocks in the hair
dreadlocks mean several things in the movement like: 1. The biblical command not to cut one's hair (Leviticus 21:5)
2. The appearance of the lion's mane, representing strength, Africa, Ethiopia, and the Lion of Judah
3. Naturalness and simplicity, which are associated with Africa
4. The Rasta's roots in Africa SO SEXY S


Y SO SEXY the other main Rasta symbol besides dreadlocks, are the colors of red, gold and green
red stands for the triumphant church of the Rastas as well as the blood of the martyrs in the black struggle for liberation
gold represents the wealth of their African homeland and green symbolizes Ethiopia's beauty and lush vegetation
black is often also included, representing the color of the Africans
another important symbol is the Lion of Judah, which represents Haile Selassie as the King of Kings, Africa, and strength Strange eh? rastafarians actually reject the use of alcohol, since it is a fermented chemical that does not belong in the temple of the body and it makes a person stupid, thereby playing into the hands of white leaders
this is contrasted with the holy herb of marijuana, which is natural and believed by Rastas to open their mind and assist in reasoning ROAR as you've probably seen, the lion is the most represented symbol of the rastafari movement
it is indeed the Lion of Judah, which comes from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. In Judaism, the lion symbolizes the Tribe of Judah
in Christianity, it is assumed to represent Jesus Christ who is described as “The Lion of Judah”
in Rastafari, Haile Selassie is considered to be Jah (God) and is seen as both the reincarnation of Christ and the lion mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, therefore, he is “The Lion of Judah”
it also represents the struggle and the strength that Rastas endured at the hand of their oppressors Celebrations and Holidays there are many Rastafarian holidays celebrated throughout the year, most of them which center around the life of the emperor, Haile Selassie
the most important ones are: November 2 - the coronation of Selassie
January 6 - ceremonial birthday of Selassie
April 21 - Selassie's visit to Jamaica
July 23 - Selassie's personal birthday
August 1 - emancipation from slavery
August 17 - Marcus Garvey's birthday The Culture of Rastafarians music plays a huge role in the rastafari movement
reggae musicians such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh are two of the most well known rastafarians in the world
they used they're music to communicate to everyone and promote rastafari
this is why rastafarians are most commonly associated with reggae music The Ras Tafari Movement is not so much a religion...
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