Rastafarian Religion Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2617 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

This food is cooked, but served in the most raw form possible; with no salts, preservatives, or condiments. Therefore, Rastas are vegetarians. Furthermore, their drinking preferences rest with anything that is herbal, for instance tea, soft drinks, milk, Liquor, and coffee being viewed as unnatural. This term I-tal food is fast in taking hold in the consumer industry in Jamaica.

In addition, the dreadlocks on a Rasta's head symbolize the Rastas roots that contrast the straight, blond appearance of the white man and establishment. This symbol not only shows their roots, but is supported 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 the flesh."

Thus, the way the hair grows stand for the symbol of the Lion of Judah, which has also come to symbolize rebellion of the system and the right way to wear hair.

Rastafarian Influences

Influences In America, Jamaica, Africa And Europe:

The Rastafarian movement has been supposed to number from approximately ten to seventy thousand followers, containing two divisions, the old school and the new. The old school held to the belief of a forthcoming repatriation to Ethiopia, while the later one accepts as its mission involvement as a catalyst in Jamaica for social reform.

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This new school has made contribution much to the island in religious art as well as music. This includes the music generally known as 'reggae.' This movement has now thus, branches in England, the United States, and Canada, and on other Caribbean islands.

Furthermore, approximately 70,000 followers live in the slums areas of Jamaica, while another 180,000 have scattered across the Caribbean islands, then into the black ghettoes of the United States and Britain, making converts as they get settle (0, Steve and Peter. 1997).

Term Paper on Rastafarian Religion Like All Other Assignment

Moreover, 1975 to the present has been the period of the most extraordinary growth for the Rastafarian Movement, where six out of ten Jamaicans are believed to be Rastafarians or Rastafarian sympathizers. And so as per the calculation of 1998, the total following is believed to be approximately 700,000 worldwide (0, Steve and Peter. 1997).

This growth is mainly credited to Bob Marley, reggae artist, and the worldwide acceptance of reggae as an avenue of Rastafarian self-expression. Thus, in 1975, Marley became a prophet of Rastafarianism. Also the Rastafarianism religious-cultural movement began in 1930s in Jamaica. Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, is the messiah. Thus, Rastafarianism heavily influenced Reggae music.

Furthermore, between the 17th and 9th centuries, the population of Jamaica, mainly of African or diverse African-European origin, descendants of slaves have been brought to the island. Amongst the established minorities are Europeans, East Indians and Chinese. Primarily in the United States, Great Britain and Latin America, emigration has been large (Encyclopedia. 1993-1996).

In Jamaica, Rastafarian resistance was expressed through cultural forms, particularly reggae music. Popular reggae singers, such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, expressed Rastafarian ideas and social criticism in their song lyrics; during the 1970s, they significantly contributed to the growth of the Rastafarian movement throughout the Caribbean, the United States, England, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Latin America (0, Steve and Peter. 1997).

The chief thing and the element that has been brought by the Rastafarian movement to Jamaica and its music were a real recognition and honor of Africa. On the other hand, in American black music that was not the case since there was nothing at that time that was holding the African heritage, and so there was very little notion then in America of Afro centricity.

Further on, in Jamaica, though, there was a collection of the population that seeks to the west and listened to Miami and New Orleans radio. However, there also existed the Rastafarian element, which said that Jamaicans should hang on to the cultural roots making it's the key dynamic in Jamaican music.

Thus, such a kind of charged mix of clash business and religious interests gave sufficient fuel for this specific synthesis of music and spirit. Also, Africa inspired the rhythms as the slaves that have been brought with them along with their drumming traditions and the knowledge to style instruments into their own new environment.

However, African heritage stay only as one energetic in the society of Jamaicans. Furthermore, on the social development of Jamaica, Europe, and particularly Imperial Britain had a deep effect. It was then through the means of trade as well as government English that became the island's official language, although the people naturally developed their own distinctive tongue (0, Steve and Peter. 1997).

To add more, the European art became another feature that affected this new culture, in which slaves started to copy, usually with heavy satire but with the blessing of plantation masters, the dances and customs of refined English society. Morris dancing, Reels, polkas and the French quadrille became included into the rising body of combined culture.

Influence Of Raggae - Bob Marley:

Bob Marley, the first global pop-star to appear from a developing nation, has won fans from states around the world who share his vision of salvation and liberty as well as loved his original blend of American and Caribbean music.

When in 1967 he returned to Jamaica he converted from Christianity to Rastafarianism and started the mature stage of his musical career. Since the early days of "Simmer Down," although Marley had melded politics along with music, his success grew while he at the same time he became increasingly political (Eric. 1997).

Furthermore, his 1976 song "War" recorded a speech of Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian king upon whom then the Rastafarian sect was based. Additionally, his lyrics to Rastafarian mysticism and holiness searched the chaos in Jamaica.

Thus, in 1980, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, Bob Marley along with the Wailers had the honor of performing at the independence ceremony. In the late 1970s, the group's concerts attracted huge crowds not only in West Africa and Latin America but also in Europe and the United States (Eric. 1997).


Eric Bennett. Music- Marley, Bob. 1997. www.africana.com.

Jamaica. Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) 97 Encyclopedia. - 1993-1996 Microsoft


Barrow, Steve and Peter Dalton. Reggae: The Rough Guide quoting Lloyd Prine

Jammy James. Ocotober 1997. Rough Guides.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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