A Brief History
– Rastafarianism was
founded around 1930.
– The founder of
Rastafarianism is Haile
Selassie, but he is seen
more as the man who
– Selassie was not himself a
Rastafarian but after
becoming Prince Ras
Tafari in Ethiopia he
embodied the culture of
– Rasta has come from the
Ethiopian Orthodox faith.
– Today there are about
one million followers of
– 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
“…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
– These uses of marijuana are no different than any
uses of drugs in religions around the world.
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
– 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.
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.
Dreadlocks have been a long
time sign of a Rasta, and this is
done is opposition of white
-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.
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