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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 important Rasta symbol.  Although Rastas often speak Jamaican dialect, called “patois”, they have developed a subdialect to take a further step away from Standard English (Chevannes,167).  Many of these patterns of speech carry moral or social implications related to the Rasta world-view.  For example, the Rasta uses “outernationtional” instead of “international” to emphasize their feelings that the rest of the world lies outside their realm.