Society: Inside the Rastafari Movement

Some call them Rastafarians, but they prefer to be called Rastafari. The Rastafari Movement is one of the latest religious blocs that arose in a Christian culture of Jamaica in the 1930s.The name Rastafarian comes from ‘Ras Tafari’ the pre-regnal title of Emplor Haile Selassie I. ‘Ras’, literally means ‘Head’ in Ethiopian Amharic language, and Tafari is the Selassie’s birth name.

Some call them Rastafarians, but they prefer to be called Rastafari. The Rastafari Movement is one of the latest religious blocs that arose in a Christian culture of Jamaica in the 1930s.

The name Rastafarian comes from ‘Ras Tafari’ the pre-regnal title of Emplor Haile Selassie I. ‘Ras’, literally means ‘Head’ in Ethiopian Amharic language, and Tafari is the Selassie’s birth name.

In 1929, Negro nationalist Marcus Garvey prophesied that redemption of the Caribbean slaves and ex-slaves would come when a black king, descending from the lineage of David, would be crowned.

This prophecy was confirmed when in 2nd November 1929, when Negus Tafari was crowned king of Ethiopia, receiving the name of Haile Selassie I.

With his enthronement, the Rastafari movement was inaugurated as a more of spiritual than political faction.

Rastafari encompasses the spiritual use of ganja (marijuana), use of gold, red, green, and black colors and dressing dread locks on their heads.

These are all non-obligatory to Rastas, but their known identity.

Rasta is also regarded as a’ Way of Life’ other than a religious movement with special colors or hairstyle beliefs.

A true Rasta is the one with peace, love and kindness at heart. Some people with Rasta dress style may not accepted true Rastas while regular ones with are regarded as Rastas as long as they keep peace, love and other good values at heart.

Most Rastafaris are inspired by the Bible, and focus on Biblical historical facts like in the twelve tribes of Israel, Zion, and The Queen of Sheba.

However, they deem their own bodies as temples of God, other than building stone cathedrals for worship.

This movement also esteems Africa as ‘Zion’ and the origin of mankind. This is one reason why they embraced Afro centric socio-political aspirations, Marcus Garvey and the colors of the Ethiopian flag.

Today, awareness of the Rastafari movement has spread throughout the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music. Jamaican legendary singer Bob Marley sang peace, unity and love.

These as some of the core values of Rastafaris have played a lot in the world’s stability.

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