Rastafari & Jamaican CulturePublished May 20, 2003
The Arts and Music
The Arts in Jamaica is influenced by "Rastafari ". Some of Jamaica's top artists, poets and writers are influenced by Rastafarian culture. These artists have produced brilliant painting and magnificent wood sculptures in Jamaica vibrant Visual Arts community. Rastafarians pushed Reggae music to the forefront when Bob Marley became an internationally known artist. Read more about this in the article on Reggae Music.
Miss Lou was one of the early pioneers trying to preserve Jamaican culture especially 'patois'. Jamaican patios is now sprinkled with 'rasta' terminology. The Rastafarian culture has helped to galvanize the use of Jamaican patois as a means to rebel against a society where the dialect is sometimes looked upon as being "un-cultured". The use of the word "I" and 'I-an-I" is sprinkled across Rastafarian terminolgy and has its roots in the self emphasis which many black people were denied during oppression and slavery. The use of the word Jah (Psalm 68 vs 4) for God which is used by Rastafarians is now used by many Jamaicans. Other examples are the use of the word "babylon" for any type of establishment and "Idren" for children.
Red, Green and Gold (Yellow)
The colors of the Ethiopian flag (red, green, yellow) are now popularly identified with Rastafarians. Ironically many foreigners associate these colors with Jamaica and are sometimes surprised when they realize that these are not the colors in the Jamaica flag. The original colors adopted by Rastafarians were Red, Black and Green.
The dreadlocks hairstyle popularized in Western culture by Rastafarians has become universally identified with Jamaica and Reggae. People from all walks of life use it as a symbol of protest or as "going natural". Read more about this in the article on Dreadlocks.
Medicinal use and study of herbs has been advanced by the Rastafarian movement. Once only reserved to "Herbalist" in the countryside of Jamaica, the Rastafarian movement took the practice of using herbs to all aspects of the Jamaican population. Their adherence to natural medication and their many uses of marijuana has provided a stepping stone for many scientific studies of many of the herbs in Jamaica. They have been at the forefront of the legalization of Ganja worldwide for use in their religion and also for medical purposes.
Natural food and drinks called 'Ital' food by Rastafarians has influenced Jamaica's culinary arts. For more information please go to the articles on Ital Food. The name [LINK:]Ital is derived from the word vital.
11 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
thnx fi di information . nice music , nice customs ,nice country and nice culture bless and big up fi everybody who feels this culture in the veins !!!
Nice one bredgen a very informative site, Jah Rastafari, Sellassie I live I and i give thanks and praises, Courtesy of Neville Bardoli aka 'Steppin Razor' (c) 'A Rastaman Prod Inc' 2011
i love bob marley :) i used to live in jamaica wen i was a young gurl but my mother and father wanted tomove to america,so i was forced to leave behind my old traditions as a rasta but now that i am grown i have gone back to me true home to continue were i left off as a rasta
i love and respect the RASTAFARIAN culture, but not to mention their reggae music... man it drives busaark!
u no Lucky Dube is one of my favourite reggae singers,wow his songs makes me think twice he was good hey!pity he is no more.
I love jamaica, truly is my favourite destination. Can't learn enough of the culture. Love reggae music. My dream is to own property in negril. Peace, love and respect my rasti friends.
My group at work is doing a study and have to do a few of Jamaican foods on Friday. I am cooking some carribean jerk, but wanted to know a few side dishes we could share with others as well as desserts.
Also, can you please provide a flag (picture) and some other "quick facts" about your culture.
Thank you so much!