Rastafarianism

Discussion in 'Rastafari' started by brian, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. brian

    brian Administrator

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    I was asked to look into this religion some time ago.

    I tell truth - I never actually thought of Rastafarianism as a religion. A culture of dreadlocks, pot, and reggae - little more.

    Actually, the whole issue of Rastafarianism is a deep religious culture, that developed in the slums of Jamaica in the early 20th century.

    Essentially, a "back to Africa" philosophy of Marcus Garvey developed into the notion that the ex-slaves would be freed by the ascension of the new Ethiopian King - Ras Tafari Makonnen - who was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in 1930.

    Anyway, before I become far too presumptuous, here are some links:


    General info 1 - liberal source

    General info 2 - biased (anti) source - but good background details regardless

    Two main texts:

    Holy Piby: commentary

    Kebra Nagast: commentary - full text
     
  2. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

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    Do you have any plans to host the Kebra Nagast here? I see it contains a number of interesting early Christian writings. Would this be for your Apocrypha section?
     
  3. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    LOL First time someone told me Rastafarianism was a religion, I laughed. I thought they were joking. I thought it was just a type of music. I still know squat about it, but I feel bad for laughing.
     
  4. Quesocoatl

    Quesocoatl R a i n b o w T r i b e

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    I'm aware of Jamica's role in propagating the Rastafarian movement.. but, as I do a bit work for a North Ugandan orphanage and have researched the country's cultural background to some extent, I thought to share a bit of my knowledge with the group as it pertains to this topic.

    copied from:
    http://www.jamaicans.com/culture/rasta/rasta_sects.shtml

    Nyahbinghi Order/Theocratic Priesthood and Livity Order of Nyabinghi
    The Nyahbinghi order is the oldest of all Rastafarian orders. The name Nyahbinghi is derived from Queen Nyahbinghi who ruled Uganda in the 19th Century. She fought against the colonialists in Uganda.
    All other orders came from this sect. Members of this sect focus mainly on Emperor Haile Selassie and they proclaim that he is the incarnation of the Supreme deity.

    The Nyahbinghi order pushed for their repatriation to Ethiopia, from where they believe all black people came. Ethiopia plays a major role in this sect and is represented in all their symbols including their flag.

    Their flag is a little different from others as the placement of the colors is different: Green (top), ­ the vegetation of Ethiopia, Gold (middle), ­ mineral wealth of Ethiopia and Red (bottom), ­ the blood of Ethiopians.

    Interestingly enough, as a sidenote...the subculture we all know of as "Skinhead", to the best of my knowledge, did not start as a Neo-Nazi movement in Germany or America but in 1960s London, centering around a musical hybrid of traditional Eurocentric pop and Jamaican roots music. Kind of like a hardcore style of jazz, I guess you could say.

    (Good music to check out: anything from the Hellcat Records compilation series, "Give 'Em The Boot!" ...Buju Banton & Buccaneer are two of my personal favorites.)
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Actually, I can sort of understand that outlook with regards to Rastafarianism being a religion - it seems that Rastafarianism, as I understand it from the research, is about sitting around grumbling that things, and expressly not about going out and doing anything about it.

    So there's a lot of talk about returning to Africa in the ideology - but that was tried, and it didn't work, so nothing much is being done on that angle any more.

    Indeed, you are possibly right - Rastafarianism as a way of life, than a general practiced philosophy.

    Though, of course, I am very open to being educated/corrected on this point. :)
     
  6. Quesocoatl

    Quesocoatl R a i n b o w T r i b e

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    It would seem more of a political/racial movement to me than a religion ..as, of course, is true with most religions, depending on..... well, depending on who your prophet is, I suppose.

    Unfortunately, the "He With The Most Toys Wins" attitude is usually the governing force behind the official canonization of any said prophet and people like Bob Marley and Rumi etc. are simply chalked up as mere court jesters or ..pop artists, as it were.

    Jesus, for that matter... until some years later, after he was 'institutionalized' as a Roman military muscle.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info, Quesocoatl. :)
     
  8. CanuckRasta

    CanuckRasta Rastaman

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    Wow, I never even saw this thread.

    Great stuff. Besides the Kebra you should also look into it's sister scroll, the Fetha Nagast.

    Rasta is usually considered an identity/way of life. One does not necessarily have to believe in the divinity of RasTafari, but rather they have to feel a connection to Mama Africa.

    Blessed Love Idren
    CanuckRasta
     

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