Rastafari Essay

1175 words - 5 pages

Rastafarianism is said to have started in Jamaica when it really originated from Africa. The Rastafari arose in the early 1930s in Jamaica. The Rastafarians believe that they are exiles in Babylon and destined to return to Zion, Africa, the land of Ethiopia, where they will live under King Haile Selassie, their God, their Jah. Haile Selassie is represented by the Lion of Judah. Rastafarians have many beliefs, practices, and symbols just like any other religion.Though Haile Selassie was announced dead, the Rastafari did not believe it. They believed that the white man was trying to shut down their beliefs somehow. They had to see the grave with their own eyes to believe so. Rastafarians ...view middle of the document...

Dancing to reggae or ska when doing it for spiritual purposes is a great.Dreadlocks are a sacred part of a Rasta's identity. It symbolizes his roots, contrasting the straight, blond look of the white man and establishment. It also symbolizes rebellion of the system, from Babylon, and the "proper" way to wear one's hair. They do not believe in cutting the hair and combing it. This is because of what is said in the bible, Leviticus 21:5: "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh." Dreadlocks are natural, this is the way hair is suppose to be. The locks show that they are separate from Babylon and getting somewhat closer to Jah, physically, mentally, and spiritually, because they look like what he intended them to look like. The locks look like the hair of the Lion of Judah, a Rastafari symbol.The Rasta flag contains the colors, red, black, green, and gold. The origins and significance of these colors are not well known because not much has been written about them. What is known is what each color stands for. "Red signifies the blood of the Jamaican martyrs (from the Maroons on down to Marcus Garvey), the black depicts the Africans whose descendants form 98 percent of Jamaica's population, and the green represents the color of Jamaica's vegetation and the Rastas' hope of victory overoppression" (Savishinsky 134). The gold comes Jamaica's flag. These colors could be seen on posters, caps, badges, bracelets, shirts, and dresses being worn and displayed by Rastas.True Rastas eat natural foods that never touch chemicals, and are not canned. This is Ital food, it is all pure, natural and clean. All else is forbidden. Food is served in the rawest form possible still being cooked; without salts, preservatives, or condiments. Because of this, Rastas are suppose to be vegetarians. Liquor, milk, coffee, and soft drinks are also viewed as unnatural. Any drink that is herbal, such as tea, is good.The herb "ganja" was said to have been found growing on the grave of King Solomon and...

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