Progress in Rastafari

In the early 1930’s religious and social movement called Rastafarianism evolved in Jamaica.  Rastas sought to provide a voice for the poor Blacks in Jamaica by encouraging resistance to oppressive societal structures.  At the core of their belief is the re-interpretation of the Hebrew Bible with a focus on Blacks as God’s chosen race, and the belief […]

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Scope and Purpose

Rastafarianism is an afro-centric religious and social movement based in the Caribbean island of Jamaica.  Stemming from the roots of Rastafari in rising against the post-colonial oppression of poor blacks, Rastas typically come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Especially difficult economic hardships in Jamaica saw a distinctive rise in the movement’s following. At the time of Jamaica’s independence […]

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Rastafarian Beliefs

Although a largely unorganized group, the Rastafarians unite on a few central beliefs: a strong belief in the beauty of black people’s African heritage; the belief that Ras Tafari Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, is the Biblical Messiah; belief in repatriation to Ethiopia, the true home and redemption of black people; and belief in […]

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Ethiopian Tribal Warriors

Other symbols are those of Ethiopia, including the national colors (red, green and gold) as well as the lion that appears on the country’s flag.  The ritual smoking of marijuana (ganja) also plays an important role in Rastafarian life.  This “holy herb” is highly valued for its physical, psychological and therapeutic powers (Murrell, 354).  Language also forms an […]

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