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DREAD RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA BY RAS ALBERT WILLIAMS CHAPTER 3

DREAD RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA BY RAS ALBERT WILLIAMS CHAPTER 3

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Published by: RAS ALBERT AND EMPRESS TEMPIE on Oct 23, 2010
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CHAPTER 3DREAD BEGININGSDREADISM EXPLAINED#“I hair they do not like…I words the cannot hear.”Dread, though not recognised as a separate mansion within the Rastafarian movement, but rather one of the idiomatic expressions used by Rastafarians in Jamaicareferring to the knotted-hair--dread locks of which has become synonymous with the movement since the 1940’s# when dreadlocks were cultivated and adopted by guardsmen of the early Rastafarian evangelist, Leonard Howell at his Pinnacle estate.The record states that early Rastafarians were also inspired images of Africantribe in National Geographic magazine that depicted Jomo Kenyatta’s freedom fighters wearing locks. Rastafarians also adopted the Biblical Nazarite vow enshrinedin the book of Numbers: #chapter 6, verse 5...all the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in which he seperateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be Holy and shall let thelocks of the hair of his head grow.The word dread is mentioned in the #King James version of the Holy Bible no less than 10 times: Genesis 9, verse 2: And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air. Exodus Chapter 28 , verse 17: Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm…Deuteronomy Chapter 1, verse 29: Then I said unto you, dread not, neitherbe afraid of them. Deuteronomy Chapter 2, verse 25: This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven. Deuteronomy Chapter 11, verse 25:There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the Lord your God shall lay fear of you and the dread you uponall the land that ye shall tread upon… Chronicle chapter 22, verse 13: …be strong,and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. Job Chapter 13, verse 11 shallnot his excellency make you afraid? And his dread fall upon you. And finally, Job chapter 13, verse 2: Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dreadmake me afraid. It is this association with reverence and awe to the divine thatmay have inspired the conjoining of the words dread and locks.Word dread and its literal dictionary meaning: Profound fear; terror.Fearful or distasteful anticipation. An object of fear, awe, or reverence.is of use archaic dating back to old English usage of the 12 century. It therefore little surprise that in the 1611 dedicatory epistle to King James, he is hailed with the words, Great and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign,which Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people ofEngland…Another associative meaning of the word dread worth looking at is explanation of19th century Danish philosopher, #Soren Kierkegaard that dread is a fundamental category of existentialism, and that dread or angst , is a desire for what onefears and is central to his conception of #original sin. According #to Mike Johnduff a graduate student in English at Princeton in his paper ‘Dread in Kierkegaard’ the story of Adam and Eve and the eating of forbidden fruit, it is the prohibition that alarms Adam or induces a state of dread, and because of this prohibition awakens in him the possibility of freedom...#D.R.E.A.D is also the acronym for DREAD: Risk assessment modela computer convention used for assessing security risks at Microsoft. The package rates the threats in five groups: Damage - how bad would an attack be; Reproducibility - how easy it is to reproduce the attack; Exploitability - how much w
 
ork is it to launch the attack; Affected users - how many people will be impacted and Discoverability - how easy it is to discover the threat;Now we see how Dreadlocks as a religious tenet within RastafarI, and the outlawing of the Dreads in Dominica under the Dread Act both are in keeping with a desire to rid themselves of the legacy and the effects of colonialism. Indeed other fundamental tents of the Rastafarian faith: the worship and divinity of Emperor Haile Sellassie of Ethiopia; the ritual use of marijuana and the repatriationto Africa are all inspired by the yearning to be free: the feeling of dreadness.Dominican, historian, Lennox Honychurch’s explanation of the word dread is, a violent group of disaffected youth who branched away from mainstream Rastafarianismin Dominica during the 70‘s. According to Honychurch, the term dread described individuals whose lifestyle included living in the woods, raiding estates and farmers holdings and “were responsible for the deaths of a number of citizens in isolated areas.” when the Dread Act was passed, many who were advocates of Black powerand who participated in the four corner discussions and African Liberation Daymarches, fled to the hills to escape police brutality and the forcible shaving of their locks as was sanctioned by the Johns administration.MAN IN THE HILLSIf the utopian vision of the Dread brethren had been given a chance to take root, and had not been beset with the bloody clashes between radical elements and the authorities, what would have emerged would have been the result was a returnto ways of our ancestors. A modern day re-emergence of the early African society before the encounter with the ‘white man’ . A sort of modern day maroon village, run by its own internal code of conduct, and driven by its own innovative technology utilizing the resources of the forests and the creative minds of the Idren.Despite the witch-hunting men, women and children lived off the land and for theland. Babylon (society) implements were scorned. Individuals dressed in various designs of grass skirts made of vertiver grass, and barefoot was the norm. Brethren squatted on crown lands or in some instances occupied estates deep in theforest. They would cultivate dreadlocks by washing and rubbing their coarse, kinky hair with various natural ingredients made from the young, crushed cocoa pods, cactus leaves or hibiscus leaves. The herbs would be grinded on a flat riverstone by the side of a flowing river of fresh water, that over time would be beaten down to appear to be a small sink.The end product would be rubbed in all directions of the wet hair, then rinsed off, in fast flowing currents of the river shaking the head violently from left to right, and back to front, and even in a circular motion. in a few months the hair would turn copper-brown, from the resin of the cocoa pods would twist and coil into knots and over time would lengthen and matt into clusters each head producing its own unique style. Some who lived in villages and towns near the sea would soak the dreads in the salty water and the Caribbean sun would starch the tressesFor detergents, the dreads would make caster and coconut oil and use it to oil their bodies and grease their locks. Lime was a popular detergent to ward off under arm odours. Man-made implements, like cups and plates, and other cutlery would be replaced with gadgets made from bamboo stems, pipes for smoking the herb, spoons, beds and shingles and sidings for the houses that may consist also of palm leaves. Coconut shells were also used to make graters to grind the coconut from which they extracted the milk to add to food. The scooped out shell of the calabash fruit would be used as a bowl for eating or drinking. The ubiquitous fireof dried timber would always be alight. Fire would travel between camps on smoul
 
dering bwa flo.The clay pot replaced the iron saucepan, which facilitated the one-pot holds-recipes of vegetables, cabbage, chive, okra, radish and ground provisions like dasheen, Tanya yams, Cush-cush and green bananas and spices. It was a common mealto simply roast breadfruit, banana, plantains or corn and eat this with a drinkof pepper mint tea sweetened with freshly squeezed cane juice from the dried out shell of a calabash fruit. Many brethren cultivated marijuana near their farmsor secretly in the forest.Yet there were clear distinctions between town and country dreads. Those dreadsor Rastas who leaned more towards a religious outlook and worshiped Emperor Haile Sellassie, like their Jamaican counterparts adopted a language system calledIyaric-a substitution of words in the English language with words prefaced withthe pronoun I and other modifications such I and I, and I man, favoured language from the extremists would be a form of dread patwa. A type of modified language patterned on the patwa spoken by the Dominicans since the days of the French settlers.During that period of intense social upheaval, the quiet peasantry lifestyle ofRoseau and environs had undergone a transformation. The leftist/communist rhetoric; the Black Power world-view and the introduction of RastafarI, whose centralbelief was that Emperor Haile Sellassie of Ethiopia of was the Almighty God and returned Messiah, spawned a new youth sub-culture that in Dominica its adherents would be widely known as The Dreads.The military coup against Haile Sellassie that took place in Ethiopia in August of 1975 by militant soldiers led by Haile Miriam Mengustu did nothing to aid the Dreads in their struggle. Ironically, Rastafarian Bob Marley and his band TheWailers were just about beginning to enjoy world wide acclaim and in 1975 had produced their third studio album for Chris Blackwell’s Island Records: Natty Dread. One cannot say for sure, but only summarise that Bob knew of events that weretaking in this tiny eastern Caribbean island south of Jamaica. The title trackNatty Dread was almost a war cry, as the Dreads of whom, Destrot was among theirnumber, afros turned into cork-screwed dreadlocks and their voices and herb-induced apocalyptic protest for new world order against the unjust capitalist system took ever increasing violent forms of protest. Bob in ‘Three O’clock, Road block’ captured the hostilities that were none to similar to what early Rastafarians inJamaica had experienced. “Oh why can’t we roam this open country. Why can’t we be, what we want to be, we want to be free. Free O’clock, Road block….”The dreads reciprocated by turning the social norms expected of genteel youth on its head. Not only dreading the hair but by wearing dishevelled clothing, shirt tails out side of their trousers, wearing vests with anti establishment wording and wearing the discarded black rubber rings from oil drums as a protest thing. They used coconut oil to polish their skin and castor oil to thicken the hair. Those who were more financial able perhaps returning from the USA or the USVirgin islands, donned wrangler jeans and shirts, and flashed the ubiquitous ratchet.Despite the Act, the Dreads continue to grow. Areas of New Town, River Street, Fond Cole were notorious. The pungent scent of marijuana smuggled in from Jamaicafound its way into the dread circles and the young men and women could bee seenwalking through the streets of Roseau with a spring in their step, eyes red and fiery. A division would arise eventually between who was Dread and who was Rastafarian. A dread living in the town or a dread in the bush. The debate continued even among bald heads(comb some)

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