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ation Sba

Acknowledgement
I would like to thank the LORD for giving me the will and strength to
complete this assignment. Secondly I would like to thank my friends and
family for their small input. Thank you all for your participation to the
completion and success of this School Based Assessment.
Statement of Aims
Topic: The Rastafarian main symbols and their importance
It is the intention of the researcher to:
1. Find out the origin of Rastafarianism
2. To identify the main symbols of Rastafarians
3. To investigate the importance of the symbols
Methodology
The information for this research was gathered mainly through the review
of literature and from the internet. I started my research on October 20,
2011 and was finished within a two week period. Information was gathered
from different sources found on different websites and from literature as
seen in the bibliography.
Introduction
In the following project you will learn of the origin of the Rasta way of life,
which arose as a result of a period of severe depression, racism and class
discrimination, during the 1930. This was the perfect chance for poor
people to embrace their religion, so they did. You will also learn of the
different important symbols of the Rastas, namely, ganja, the Star of David,
the word Jah, the conquering lion and the lamb, dreadlocks and the Rasta
flag. These are of grave importance, being a part of their day to day
activities and living. In this project the importances are highlighted also.

I hope that whosoever will read this information will obtain great knowledge
and understanding of the topic. Please READ, ENJOY AND BE
EDUCATED!
The Origin of Rastafarianism
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).
In a time of 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. The teachings of
Marcus Garvey and Alexander Bedward in the 1920's provided a setting for
the birth of Rastafarianism. Poor, black classes identified with their ideas of
black dignity, unity and action. A high point for those embracing these
teachings came in 1930 when Haile Selassie (formerly known as Ras
Tafari, or Crown Prince) was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia, 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 Rastas adopted the colours of the Ethiopian flag as their main symbol,
along with images of Selassie, often depicted as the Lion of Judah.
Rastafarian main symbols and their importance
Ganja (hemp, cannabis, Marijuana)
Ganja is considered the "wisdom weed" by Rastafarians, as its use helps
one to gain wisdom. Rastafarians use it as a part of a religious rite and as a
means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self, Jah (God) and Creation.
Picture showing ganja plant
Ganja is also seen by Rastafarians as the herb of life mentioned in the
Bible. Rastafarians use of ganja is justified by the following Psalms 104:14
that says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the
service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth." Rastafarians
also say it was found growing at the grave of King Solomon in the Bible.

Rastafarian consume it through smoking and eating. The smoking of Ganja


is a part of a religious ritual. When there is a large "reasoning" gathering of
Rastafarians, a Chalice, which is a large smoking pipe, may be passed
around and smoked. This is similar to the passing around of a communion
cup by some Christian denominations. These gatherings are also called
Nyahbinghi.
True Rastafarians do not smoke cigarettes as it is seen as un-natural and
dangerous to one's health. Marijuana is not the only plant or herb used by
Rastafarians. They use a wide variety of herbs, plants for medicinal and
dietary purposes, however, ganja is the most popular.
The word Jah
Contrary to what you may read in many patois dictionaries or Jamaican
related books, the word Jah is not derived from the word Jehovah. It is not
"short hand" for Jehovah. Jah is from the King James Bible as another
name for God like Elohim, El Shaddai and other names. It can be found in
Psalm 68 vs 4 and can also be found in other verses depending on the
Bible translations. In some translations Jah Jehovah is used.
This name for God has been popularized by Rastafarians and is now used
by many in the mainstream Jamaican populations. Its use has become
somewhat of a marketing ploy, as many use the term in songs and
language to appeal to the general public because it can be portrayed as
either the God of Rastafarians or Christianity. Evoking the name "Jah" can
bring legitimacy to reggae artists, being that Rastafarians are associated
with the music.
The Star Of David
Picture showing star of david
The star of David is the symbol of the linkage between HIM Haile Selassie
and David. When HIM make the Solomon seal with his hands, you can see
that it looks like the star of david. Also, the Rasta consider themselves like
the Israelites in exile in Babylon. The star of David is the symbol of Israel.
The Conquering Lion and The Lamb

Picture showing the conquering lion and the lamb


Symbolizes the lamb of God and the lion of Judah, which are both
mentioned in the Bible. They both symbolize HIM Haile Selassie according
to the Revelations and the opening of the seven seals. They are two faces
of a same reality, the Alpha and Omega.
Dreadlocks
They have several meanings. First, they are a part of the biblical Nazarene
vow, which prohibits shaving and combing the hair. (But it is not the
dreadlocks who makes someone a rastaman, and some Rastas don't wear
dreadlocks).
The locks, because of their appearance, symbolize the roots of the man,
and his spirituality, the link with Jah. They can also be seen as a symbol of
the Lion, Haile Selassie I. A picture showing dreadlocks can be found in the
appendices.
Rasta Flag
The original flag of Rastafarians was Red, Black and Green. Red
represented the blood of blacks that died in struggle to fight off their white
oppressors. Black represented the color of black Africans skin. Green
represented the vegetation of Jamaica and Jah's (God) earth.
The flag which is of red, green and yellow, it is more widely known and can
be seen at Rasta sites and home, both are used. It was adopted from
Ethiopia.
Analysis and Interpretation of data
It is understood that Rastafarianism was originated in Jamaica, arising from
a period of severe depression, racism and class discrimination during 1930;
at that time it was a perfect environment for the rural and poor Jamaicans
to embrace a new religion. Marcus Garveys movement then led to the
emergence of Rastafarianism. In 1930, when Ras Tafari was crowned HIM
Emperor Haile Selassie it was then said that the prophecy was fulfilled.
Upon that base, Rastafarian now concentrate mainly on six symbols, the

marijuana, the word Jah, the star of David, the conquering lion and the
lamb, dreadlocks and the Rasta flag.
Ganja (marijuana) is considered the wisdom weed by Rastafarians as it is
said to help one to get wisdom. They also use ganja as a part of religious
rites and as a means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self, Jah and
the creation. The word Jah, which can most frequently be heard from
Rastas and even mainstream Jamaicans if from the King James Bible as
another name for God, They believe that evoking the name Jah can bring
legitimacy to reggae artists, being that Rastafarians are associated with the
music. Another symbol of great importance is the Star of David, which
symbolizes the linkage between HIM Haile Selassie according to the
Revelations and the opening of the seven seals. They are two faces of a
same reality, the Alpha and Omega. In speaking of appearance the next
symbol can be seen as a part of Rastas look, the dreadlocks. The
dreadlocks has several meanings, firstly being a part of the biblical
Nararene vow, who prohibits to shave and comb their hair, and also
symbolizes the roots of a man and his spirituality, the link with Jah. The
Rasta flag also plays a major role for Rastafarians being the most important
symbol; these can frequently be seen on the premises and in households
of Rasatas. There was the original Rasta flag of red, black and green. Red
represents the blood of blacks that died in struggle to fight of their white
oppressors, black represents the colour of black African skin, and green
represents vegetation. The current Rasta flag is the old Ethiopian flag, with
the lion of Judah symbol. The red, yellow and green ate the colours of the
flag. With all that is said we now are knowledgeable of the Rastafarianism
origin and also the main symbols and their importance, these are the prime
symbols of Rastafarians.
Conclusion
From my research it is then concluded that the symbols are of great
significance to Rastafarians being a way of life. Being a religion which rose
from the severe depression, racism and class discrimination during 1930,
they take great emphasis in their symbols and use them as a reminder and
a presence of Jah. We can now see the importance of these symbols and
also the origin of the Rastafarian way of life. Rastas purely believe in
natural substances and they also play a major role in their day to day living,

they believe the body should be treated with respect and should never be
harmed.
With the Rasta flag being the most important symbol, it is of three bands of
red, black and green it can be seen in almost every home or dwelling of
any Rastafarian. These were the colours taken from Marcus Garveys back
to Africa movement and the lion of Judah, the Imperial Emblem of Haile
Selassie. The current adherents of Rastafarianism is now about 7000 000
worldwide.
It is suggested that as a hold people should live as Rastafarians do having
a life of peace and of the Rastafarian code of conduct is generally held to
be the Ten Commandments as outlined in the Hebrew Penteteuch. Rasta
encourages a life of simple purity and the avoidance of accumulation of
material goods and social climbing. The true Rastas eat only I-tal food. This
is unique food because it never touches chemicals and is completely
natural. The food is cooked, but served in the rawest form possible, without
salts, preservatives, or condiments. Devoted Rastafarians, therefore, are
completely vegetarian. Drinking preferences rest with anything that is
herbal, such as tea. Liquor, milk, coffee, and soft drinks are viewed as
unnatural. As compared with other religions they are seen as people of
tranquility, semblance and a clean good way of life.
Bibliography
Joseph Owens (1973) The Rastafarians of Jamaica, pp. 167-70 and
Jagessar, JPIC and Rastafarians, 1991 pp. 15-17.) Retrieved October 20,
2011
(2010-01-06) "drawing of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie at Rasta village
of
Port
Bouet".
Daylife.com.
Retrieved
2010-02-01
from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari_movement
Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Rastafarianism" Retrieved October 6,
2003, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafarianism.
Appendices
PICTURE SHOWING DREADLOCKS

PICTURE OF A RASTAFARIAN
H.I.M EMPEROR HAIL SELASSIE
MARCUS GARVEY
Glossary
Rastafarianism- arose in the ghettos of Kingston in the early 1930:s at just
about the same time as Haille Sellassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
It arose out of a system of oppression.
H.I.M- His Imperial Majesty
Oppression- is the exercise of authority or manner. It can also be defined
as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the
feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles,
adverse conditions, and anxiety.