The Origins of the Rastafarian Movement

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The Origins of the Rastafarian Movement

Rastafarianism is a fascinating world religion that began in the 1930s in Jamaica. This movement was set forth to make the black population not to feel oppressed to the whites. In this movement the culture of a Rastafarian spread, but what the people outside of this culture enjoyed the most from a Rastafarian is reggae. This brought about many singers, but the main one was Bob Marley. "Rastafarianism is a politico - religious movement that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s and has since grown to become a world religion; its original prophets proclaimed the divinity of Emperor Haile Selassie (Ras Tefari) of Ethiopia and predicted the imminent repatriation of the faithful to Africa" (Manuel 254).

Their were three main beliefs that the Rastafarians have; are that white people are wicked and inferior to black, Ethiopia is heaven, and Haile Selassie would arrange for the return of all African descendants (The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 16, page 145). The Rastafarians wanted to establish their differences from the white people that had oppressed them. The Rastafarians escaped from the white people by their free spirit, their unique hair style (dred locks), and finally they would mentally escape by smoking marijuana. "The Rastafarian dred locks symbolize the individuality of one's root and struggles that one has been through" (Rastafarian Religion 3). The three Rastafarian colors are red, yellow, and green. The color red stands for the blood that martyrs have shed. The color yellow symbolizes the wealth of the homeland. The color green represents the beauty and vegetation of Ethiopia. A true Rastafarian is a vegetarian. The Rastafarian movement was an attempted to further thei...

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...t the Max's Kanas City Club in New York (Time Line 2). "A year later Eric Clapton reached Number 1 in the US singles charts with his cover version of Marley's 'I Shot The Sheriff' (Time Line 3)" Marley being discouraged by Clapton's move went and released another album, but under the name of Bob Marley and the Wailer's.


Works Cited

Davis, Stephen and Peter Simon. Reggae Bloodlines. New York: Da Capo Press, 1977.

Glazier, Stephen D. "Rastafarians." The World Book Encyclopedia, 1998 Ed.

Goertzen, Valerie Woodring. "Reggae." The World Book Encyclopedia, 1998 Ed.

Manuel, Peter. Caribbean Currents. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

Quotes. Bob Marley Quotes. 27 Feb. 2001

Reggae. Reggae. 27 Feb. 2001

The Rastafarian Religion. Rastafarian Religion. 27 Feb. 2001

Time Line. Modern Icons. 27 Feb. 2001
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