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Rastafarianism A Brief History – Rastafarianism was founded around 1930. – The founder of Rastafarianism is Haile Selassie, but he is seen more as the man who embodied Rasta. – Selassie was not himself a Rastafarian but after becoming Prince Ras Tafari in Ethiopia he embodied the culture of Rastafarianism. – Rasta has come from the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. – Today there are about one million followers of Rastafarian worldwide. Rastafarianism Ganja (Marijuana) – Rastafarians are best known for their use and promotion and use of marijuana, or ganja as the Rastafarians know it. – Their use of ganja is justified by several versus in the Bible. “…thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18) “…eat every herb of the land” (Exodus 10:12) “Better is a dinner of herb where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” (proverbs 15:17) He Causeth the Grass to Grow for the Cattle, and Herb for the Service of Man” (Psalm 104:14) – Ganja is used for spiritual purposes and for medicinal purposes. – These uses of marijuana are no different than any uses of drugs in religions around the world. Rastafarianism Food and Diet – A main issue in the Rasta beliefs is their diet, which is not addressed enough in society. – The diet of a true Rasta consists of I- tal food, which is food that never touches chemicals and is in every way natural. – Food is prepared in the rawest way possible and without salts, preservatives and condiments. – Many Rastas are vegetarian but those who eat meat won’t eat pig, for they are scavengers, most shellfish and what fish is eaten cannot be longer than 12 inches long. – Even though natural food is good for the body, Rastas take some of these food specifications too far. Rastafarianism Popular Symbols of Rasta – Red, black and green together is a very well known symbols of the Rasta culture. Red stand for the Church Triumphant. Black stand for the color of Africans. Green is for beauty and vegetation. Yellow is also included sometimes for wealth of the homeland. Rastafarianism –Dreadlocks Dreadlocks have been a long time sign of a Rasta, and this is done is opposition of white hair, straight. -Lion of Judah • The Lion of Judah is said to represent King of Kings because lions are the kings of all beasts. • It has also meant to show the males which basically control this religion. Rastafarianism Hatred for the White Race – Hatred for the white race is a known characteristic of Rasta, which is odd because most Rastas live in Jamaica and tourists, white people, is the main source of their economy. – Much of this hate is rooted in misunderstanding of the Bible. Rastas believe that the story in the Old Testament is about Africans that were descendents of Abraham and Jacob. While these people may not have been Africans it is a fact that they were not white. Because of these misunderstandings Rastafarianism rejects the Bible and now go by the Holy Piby, or the black man’s Bible. – Rastas refer to their oppression as “Babylon.” Most of their oppressors where white of the apartheid in Africa, not all white people, which is a distinction that they do not make.
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