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Below is excerpted pieces from the Book "I am A Rastafarian" by Obadiah and Fairclough. I choose this book because I felt it did a very good job and giving a concise introductory text to the Rastafarian Way of Life. 



Rastafari is a way of life, not a religion, which has many links with the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is named after Ras Tafari who became Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in 1930. Rastafari, however, begun in Jamaica in the 1920's but only got is named when Ras Tafari was proclaimed Emperor. 

Rastafarians [know] that [Haile Selassie I] shows Himself in human form from time to time. It was prophesied in the 1920's that [Haile SelassieI] would show himself as a Black King of [Ethiopia]. He would help Black people return home to [Ethiopia]. Many had been removed by force from Africa during the course of the slave trade, which ended in the nineteenth century. Emperor Haile Selassie I was seen as this King. Rastafarians are guided by the culture and traditions of Ethiopia.



The Sergeant-at-Arms makes sure that all adults sign the security book. Before entering the room all the male members must remove their hats. The Ethiopian World Federation was established in 1937 by Emperor Haile Selassie I. . The weekly Meeting is both a spirtual and business occasion. It covers all aspects of day to day life.

The Chaplain is elected for one year and has special duties such as visiting the sich. He opens each meeting with the Ethiopian National Anthem and then leads the congregation in song, prayer and music. The [iratical] part of the Meeting lasts for about twenty minutes.

The main purpose of the weekly Business meeting is to plan everyday duties and special events. There are several committees covering such topics as edcuation and money. Representatives come and report to the membership on their work. The Chaplain reports also to the Sick Committee. They also make plans for festivals and celebrations.

A wide range of activities are planned at the Meetings. These include cultural evenings with speakers, dance and drama events. They also plan the Bible Study classes and activities during the children's holiday time. These Meetings always end with prayers and drumming.


Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887. He beluieved that Black people were still suffering from the effects of slavery. Emperor Haile Selassie I was later seen as the King prophesied by Marcus Garvey. Marcus Garvey organized thousands of Black people in Jamaica and America by encouraging unity and pride in their African heritage.

Solomon, Son of David, became known for the wisdom with which he ruled his country. Makeda, Queen of Sheba, journeyed from Ethiopia to meet Solomon. They had a son called Beyna Menelik. Haile Selassie I is 225th in the line of Solomon. When he became Emperor, he was given the title "King of Kings, Elect of [Himself], Conquering Lion of Judah."

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