The Origins Of Rastafari (Jamaica)




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Jamaican Culture

The Origins Of Rastafari

Published May 31, 2003

The name Rastafari, which is derived from Ras, is the title given to Amharic Royalty in Ethiopia and Tafari, which is the pre-coronation name of His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (1898-1975). A severe depression, racism and class discrimination during 1930 was the perfect environment for the rural and poor Jamaicans to embrace a new religion.

This Poverty and disenchantment in the inner cities of Kingston gave way in the early 1930's to the black power movement through Marcus Garvey's "Back To Africa" movement. This movement is what eventually led to the emergence of Rastafari.

In 1930, when Ras Tafari was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie and was given the ancient title given to all Ethiopian Kings " The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Conquering Lion of Judah", the prophecy was said to have been fulfilled.

The Origins Of Rastafari-Body

Revelations 5:5 and Ezekiel 28:25 are references used by Rastafarians as proof of the deity of Emperor Haile Selassie. He was seen as the deliverer who would take his people back to their promised land as stated in Ezekiel 28:25. This, however did not happen. Rastafarians compare their exile from Africa via the means of slavery with the Israelites exile to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chronicles 25). Hence the word Babylon is used for any system that oppresses. There is also a comparison to the Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt before they went to the Promised Land.

Rastafari use references such Revelations 19:16 and 5:2-5 as biblical prophecy to Haile Selassie's deity.

Here are more Bible verses used by Rastafarians to claim the deity of Emperor Haile Selassie as Savior and Messiah: Revelations 22 :16, Ezekiel 30, Epistle to Timothy, Psalms 9, 18, 68, 76, 87:4, Isaiah 9, Revelations 17:14 (a reference used for his return to Ethophia in 1941 from exile).

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7 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Tehuti Raa
Oct 1, 2010 9:31am [ 1 ]

Hetepu Sisters and Brothers We hope that these few words reaches you and family in good health As a ras Tafari brethren of some years now i find it perplexing that the same tired arguments are used to speak about the 'origins' of Ras Tafari. Should we say 'ReBirth of ancient Kmetins /Ethiopian traditions I could agree as this is what it REALLY is a Re connectiing to our Ancient culture e.g RA /NU , MAAT ,TEHUTI etc . the irony is that majority of Ras Tafari' today have ceased reading and continue to promote & quote foolish books such as the -basic instructions before leaving europe -( commonly called the bible) about relevance of Ras Tafari .

The ensuring issue is when challenged by seekers of TRUTH they are incapable of producing a coherant chronology of our Ancient Ancient Origins/Story , this more than ever is what really sdddens mypersons.

The other factor is to also read what you have written is very questionable as you yourself fall into this same category, promoting Ras Tafari as a religion..

When conscious ones know that Ras Tafari is NOT a REligion !!! Why continue promoting this illusion and falsehood??.. .

Rasta Baby
Dec 19, 2010 8:33am [ 2 ]

Blessings... Thanks to Master Raa, for expounding a very pesific fact. Ras is love, Ras is life, Ras is i&i you, them and those. Religion is basically a book club. You join you recieve your book. You are taught how to read it. You move through the obstacles of life with your comfort blanket of religion shrouding you. I am not trying to be malicious but i would believe no-one would like me to expose the power or Ras on a comment page. Ras is the web that spans from inception of original wisdom, thought, love and creation. Ras is ever living ever growing ever knowing. Bible clubs are religions based on books. Ras is based on love.

Dec 22, 2010 11:15am [ 3 ]

I am researching at this time for my family's annual Kwanzaa celebration. We are all Pan African and Rasta. I am very please with the comment previous to mine concerning the "ReBirth of ancient Kmetins/Ethiopian traditions." Please Mothers and Fathers read to and with your children starting before they leave the womb. I am an educator and find it disturbing that some still rely on myself and other educators to be their child's first teacher. Black people read, read, read and read with and to the youth. We must know ourselves in order to love ourselves. It is a rule in my home that for two hours a day all electronics are turn off, no knock or bell can be answered and we read. Read Akebulan, Read Kush, Read Rasta, Read African people Read! Start with Dr. John Henrik Clarke. JAH BLESS

J. Reid
Mar 27, 2011 12:47am [ 4 ]

To avoid confusions, it is VERY,VERY,VERY important to state FACTS than FICTIONS. We all would be much better off.

Tehuti Raa, I agree with you.


Victoria Edwards
Apr 10, 2011 11:29am [ 5 ]

I think that the rastafari movement began in the year of the 1930s.Garvey preached " Look To Africa where a black king shall crowned,he shall be your redeemer

May 27, 2011 6:35pm [ 6 ]

The origin of Rastafari is the Rasta Heart.

Negus Rick
Jun 14, 2011 12:23pm [ 7 ]

Tehuti Raa, Jah bless. I hope ur comment gets read.

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