Understanding Rastafarian Religion

Whenever we hear reggae music,in one point you will hear the singer calling out “Jah” or “Jah Rastafarian.”.

This is a common thing to an extent that if you tell someone you love reggae music,their response will be “Jah Rastafari”.

Now what does these two names really mean?

Rastafari is a religious movement originating in Jamaica in the 1930’s.This movement bring together elements from the bible and combine them with the ideology of Marcus Garvey who was a Jamaican political leader,publisher and an advocate of pan-africanism.Although Garvey was never a Rastafarian he is considered to be one of the religion’s prophet because his ideals heavily shaped the Rastafarian philosophy.

The name “Rastafari” is taken from a man called Tafari  Makonnen who after coronation became the emperor of Ethiopia under the name Haile Selassie I.In Ethiopian the word ras  is a title which simply means “head.”

Its elements reflect its origins in Jamaica along with Ethiopian culture.Most Jamaican believe they originated from Ethiopia and many songs have been produced in relation to that.For example, the song by Bunny Wailer called “here in Jamaica.”The song talks about their suffering in a foreign land,Jamaica.He dreams of that day they will leave Jamaica  to meet their forefathers in Ethiopia.

When emperor Haile Selassie I accented to power Jamaicans believed he is their redeemer according to the prophecy of Garvey about a black ruler who will be king of kings.

The way of life of members of this religion surround the spiritual use of cannabis {bhang}.They also fight against oppression of the poor and materialism.

However some Rastafarians do not claim any sect or denomination and therefore encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves through meditation.

In this Rastafarian movement there are categories and subcategories that i will talk about in part two of understanding Rastafari.Jah Bless!!




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