In this edition, we take a deeper look into the beliefs of Rastas and why they insist on growing their hair.
Most Rastafarians adopted traditional Rastafari doctrines from the 1930s until the mid-1970s.
However, Joseph Owens offered a more current take on Rastafari principles in 1973. Rastafari theologian Michael N. Jagessar refined Owens’ theories in 1991, developing his systematic approach to Rastafari theology and offering insight into the group’s changing beliefs.
Here are 10 facts everyone should know about Rastas, Rastafarianism, and Why They Do Not Cut Their Hair.
Who Started The Rastafari Movement?
Bob Marley may be associated with the movement, but he did not originate it. However, there’s no disputing that his music’s massive success aided in the propagation of the Rastafari way of life.
2, What Is the Rastafari Flag?
The Rastafari flag’s colours are commonly misunderstood to be red, green, black, and yellow. The Rastafari colours, on the other hand, are red, green, black, and gold, and they were all picked for a special reason. Ethiopia’s riches is symbolized by gold (not yellow!). If you’re curious about the meanings of the other colours, go here.
3, What Does Africa Mean to Rasta?
Rastafarians consider Africa to be a paradise on Earth, and the movement’s primary concept is that all African diaspora people should return to their country. Many Rastafari aspire to return to Africa at some point in their lives.
4, Are Rastas Healthy?
Rastafarians are often health-conscious. Based on Old Testament ideas, they regard their bodies as temples. Rastafarians don’t drink alcohol or consume foods that aren’t good for their bodies, like meat. Many adhere to ital, a rigorous dietary code that requires all food to be fully natural and raw.
5, How Big Is The Rastafari Movement?
The Rastafari movement has around one million adherents worldwide. Rastafari’s message has reached people all over the world thanks to music and the Internet.
6, How Important Is Haile Selassie I to the Rastafari Movement?
When Haile Selassie I became Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930, followers of Marcus Garvey’s teachings banded together to form a religion. The Emperor is considered by Rastafarians to be their messiah, and the organization is named after his birth name, Ras Tafari Makonnen.
Haile Selassie, I paid his first (and only) visit to Jamaica on April 21, 1966. The day is now known as “Granation Day” and is considered holy. More information can be found here.
7, Where Did Rastas Get Their Beliefs From?
Marcus Garvey, a political leader and promoter of black self-determination, was born in Jamaica in 1887. Garvey is seen as a prophet by many Rastafaris, akin to the position of John the Baptist in Christianity.
In his teachings, he exhorted African diasporans to not only return to Africa, but also to “look to Africa when a black monarch shall be crowned” in his teachings. That prophecy came true with the coronation of Ethiopia’s last Emperor.
8, Do Rastas Smoke Weed, and Why?
Rastafarians do not consider marijuana a drug. Instead, it’s a tool for them to expand their spiritual awareness and open their minds. Marijuana smoking is seen as a religious practice.
9, Why Do Rastas Keep Dreadlocks?
Rastafarians believe that one should not cut one’s hair since that is where one’s strength lies, according to Old Testament scripture (Leviticus 19:27). Dreadlocks are a natural hairstyle that develops over time.
10, Unbreakable Beliefs Of Rastafarians
- Haile Selassie I is the Living God.
- The black person is the reincarnation of ancient Israel, who has been in exile in Jamaica due to the white person’s actions.
- White people are inferior to black people.
- Ethiopia is heaven; Jamaica is hell.
- The Ethiopian Emperor, the Invincible, is now arranging for African-born expatriates to return home.
- Blacks will dominate the planet in the not-too-distant future.
11, Key Ideas In The Contemporary Rastafari Movement Are
- The humanity of God and the divinity of man: This refers to the importance of Haile Selassie, who is perceived by Rastafarians as a living God. Likewise, it emphasises the concept of God revealing himself to his followers through his humanity.
- God is found within every man: Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity. According to Jagessar, “there must be one man in whom he exists most eminently and completely, and that is the supreme man, Rastafari, Selassie I.”
- God in history: It is very important to see all the historical facts in the context of God’s judgement and workings.
- Salvation on earth: Salvation for Rastafarians is an earthly idea, rather than heavenly.
- The supremacy of life: Human nature is very important to Rastafarians, and they should preserve and protect it.
- Respect for nature: This idea refers to the importance and respect Rastafarians have for animals and the environment, as mirrored in their food laws.
- The power of speech: Speech is very important to Rastafarians, as it enables the presence and power of God to be felt.
- Evil is corporate: Sin is both personal and corporate. This means organisations such as the International Monetary Fund are responsible for Jamaica’s fiscal situation, and that oppression is in part influenced by them.
- Judgement is near: This corresponds to the nearness of judgement for Rastafarians when they will be given greater recognition.
- The priesthood of Rastafarians: Rastafarians are the chosen people of God and are on earth to promote his power and peacefulness.