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In: Religion Topics

Submitted By colene
Words 2516
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NAME colene
NAME OF SCHOOL: western mm high
YEAR: 2013
TEACHER: Miss blackitonemanson

TITLE OF RESEARCH: What are the major symbols in the Rastafarian Religion?

* Identify the major symbols in the Rastafarian religion.

* Describe how each symbol is used. * Assess the significance of each symbol to the Rastafarian community.

The data was collected between the periods of July 10-19, 2012. The researcher visited the St Ann’s bay parish library where the researcher found information on the beliefs and symbols of the Rastafarian religion in the test books present. The internet was also used to obtain some of the information. On the 5th of August, an interview was done between the researcher and Mr. Abejah Smith who lives in Runaway Bay, St Ann. He was asked questions that were previously prepared by the researcher .answers received were documented.

Rastafarian Dreadlocks.

The Marijuana plant

The Rastafarian Flag.

The Conquering lion of Judah.

PICTURE showing some the Rastafarian tams

PICTURE showing a suit made of the Rastafarian colours.

PICTURE showing a woman wearing the dress which is made with the Rastafarian colours.

PICTURE showing a Rasta man smoking.





What are your views about God? 1. Are you a real Rasta or a natty dread? 2. If you didn’t grow your dread locks would you still consider yourself as being a Rastafarian? 3. What is the purpose of smoking? 4. What do you think about these symbols: * Dreadlocks * The marijuana plant * The conquering lion of Judah * The Rastafarian flag.

5. Do you think the marijuana plant should remain illegal since it is one of the Rastafarian symbols? 6. Is the marijuana plant used for other purpose other than smoking? 7. Where is your place of worship? 8. Do you have any of these symbols in your home or place of worship? 9. What are your views about growing your locks?

1. Babylon: the capitalistic, materialistic and oppressive world. 2. Dreadlocks: hair worn in many ringlet or plaits, especially by Rastafarians. 3. Ethiopia: the motherland for the Rastafarians. 4. Ganja: drug made from hemp. 5. Hemp: a plant that produces course fibers from which clothes and ropes are made. 6. H.I.M: the abbreviation for His Imperial Majesty used to refer to Haile Selassie. 7. Jah: the Rastafarian god. 8. Martyrs: a person who is killed or made to suffer because of his or her belief. 9. Rastafarian: a member of the religious group that started in Jamaica.

Abejah Smith. Personal Interview ,August 5th ,2012

Chevannes , Barry.Rastafari and other African Caribbean
Worldviews:London:Patgrave Macmillian,1995.

Sammuel ,Murrrei ,Nathaniel,Williams David Spencer and Adrian Anthony Mcarlane.Chanting Down Bbylon.Jamaica:Ian Radle Publishers,1998. University press, 1994 http//www.Important Ca/Rastafarian .html 2012.


Statements of Aims………………………………….
Method of Data Collection………………………….
Summary of Findings……………………………….
Analysis and Interpretation of Data………………...
Appendix …………………………………………... * Questionnaire …………………………………………. * Illustrations……………………………………………. * Glossary………………………………………………. Bibliography …………………………………………

In the Rastafarian religion there are many symbols they classify as being a part of their religion and their beliefs.Somes of their major symbols are: dreadlocks, the marijuana, the Rastafarian flag, the conquering lion of Judah and the conquering lion of Judah.
Dread locks also known as locks, ras, dread or jata are matted coils of hair. This is the most distinctive symbol of the Rastafarian religion.Please see picture 1 in the appendices. Dreadlocks are usually intentionally formed. Various methods are used to encourage the formation of locks such as back combing. The matted coils of hair symbolizes the moral and physical strength of the mane of the the lion of Judah. The locks are said to represent the lion of Judah and are in contrast to straight, blonde look of the white man and the Rastafarians and in response to interpretations of passages from Leviticus 2 in the bible. The Rastafarians draw support from wearing locks from biblical passages found in the New Testament and the Old Testament. Persons such as Samson who the Rastafarian believes wore locks. Samson was the strongest man in the bible who lost his strength because his hair was cuttted off. So that’s why the Rastafarians believe they obtain strength when the grow their hair and if it is cutted you will lose4 their strength.
The marijuana healing of the nation ,also known as hemp, cannabis or ganja is used as a holy sacrament by the Rastafarian .please see picture 2 in the appendices .the legend says that the holy herb was found growing on king Solomon’s grave. Uses of the herb have its source in the bible. Though shall eat the herb of bathe fields (exodus 10:12) .better is the dinner of herb where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred is there. ( Proverbs 15:17) .He causes the grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man( Psalms 104 :14) .Rastafarians think that He made marijuana/herb for their use thus it is not wrong for them to use it. Rasta smoke herb to meditate, symbolizing the burning bush, and for his curative properties (asthma).herb can be eaten or infused. Its seeds are very nutritious .Ganja is seen as a wisdom weed as it clears the minds.

The Rastafarian flag contains the colours red,green,yellow and sometimes black and these are also the Rasta colours .These colours are symbolic to the movement of Marcus Garvey and from the back ground of the Ethiopian flag .Red stands for the Rata church triumphant but also the blood of the martys of the rastas.The green represents the beauty and the vegetation of Ethiopian land they promised and also the vegetation of Africa, the gold symbolizes the wealth of the homeland that shall be regained that were stolen during slavery and the black symbolizes loyalty to Haile Selassie,Ethiopiat. The colours are also on the Senegalese flag, from where thousands of slaves were deported,by the goree island.
The conquering lion of Judah and the lamb symbolizes strength, power and endurance of Haile Selassis, H.I.M.The lion represents all that Rasta’s have been through and all the power the gain. The conquering lion of Judah in Ethiopia it holds great significance to the Rastafarians who believe in a coming judgment day. When the righteous will be called home to Mount Zion (identifying with Africa) to live forever in peace and harmony. According to the revelations and the opening of the seven seals the Rastafarians think highly about all the symbols, these symbols help them to find important truths about all the things they went through. The persons who made it free for them so that they wouldn’t be persecuted in society today.

The researcher has found that the Rastafarians are guarded by righteousness. They use these symbols to find important truths and the also play an important part in their lives. These symbols give the courage to express victory, righteousness, strength and black power.
The dreadlocks are one of the most distinguished symbols in the Rastafarian religion which represents physical and moral strength. It is believed that the dreadlocks give them strength. Dreadlocks is also used by the Rastafarians as a means of expressing their feelings for example, shaking their locks when they are happy about something. By doing this, it brings across a sense of freedom. The dreadlocks are viewed in society by a lot of persons as being untidy and unclean. In today’s society persons who wear dreadlocks, most distinct symbol in the rastafar4ian religion which represent physical and moral strength. Dreadlocks is used by the Rastafarians as a mean of expressing their feelings for example, shaking their locks when they are happy about something. By doing this, it brings across a sense of freedom. The dreadlocks are viewed by society as being unclean and untidy. In today’s society persons who wear dreadlocks, they mostly do it for fashion this practice is common between both males and females. Most of these individuals are not real Rastafarians; the real Rastafarians wear their dread locks with great pride and not for fashion. They believe in natural beauty that’s why their cultures have some connection to nature. Even though the dreadlocks were not accepted in society, they still wore the dread locks which show their strength and what they believe in. And in today’s society dreadlocks is a very prominent one in today’s society.
The marijuana is used regularly by Rastafarians in their community. They smoke it. Use it to boil tea, put the ash after smoking on cuts when a person gets injured. The Rastafarian believe that when they smoke the marijuana they get knowledge from jah which immediately make them becomes better at whatever they are doing. When they use the marijuana to do different things they classify this as being the creativity of the plant. The marijuana is illegal but they still continue to smoke it because of the wisdom they believe they obtain from smoking this herb. In society most individuals view marijuana as a herb that is not accepted because it is a drug and also the consequences they would have to face if it is found in their possessions. The Rastafarians still smoke the marijuana and still grow even though it is illegal. This shows how highly they think of the marijuana they don’t want to smoke this plant so they go into some deep bushes to continue this practice and to avoids the consequences they have to face if they are caught planting or even selling the marijuana. By not avoiding the planting of the marijuana its shows how important it is to the Rastafarians .According to Abejah Smith who the researcher interviewed stated I agree ganja was giving to us as a herb. It should merely be used as that. Those who take it for granted the uses of this wonderful gift need to be correctly thought of the purposes believe that smokers should smoke ganja not cigar because ganja is a part of nature.
THE RASTAFARIAN FLAG The colours of the Rastafarian flag are red, green, gold and sometimes black All these symbols have their different meanings. The Rastafarian believes that the red symbolizes the bloodshed by the black people. That is used to replenish the land which helps the ganja to grow. Green stands for the vegetation of Africa’s land and the yellow stands for the wealth of Africa before they were stolen during slavery and the black represents the black power of the people. The Rastafarian flag is used in many ways they use it by hanging it up where they are located in some cases and this gives them a sense3 of identity. So when a person see the flag at a particular location they will be aware that a Rastafarian is located there .The Rastafarian flag is very significant to the Rastafarian community because it gives them a feeling of identification and also p[ride because to know that they have a flag to represent what they believe in . the colours of the flag is also the colours used by the Rastafarians which makes the flag more significant to them. Society views the Rastafarians flag as a part of Jamaica’s culture because Jamaica is known n for it reggae music which is associated with Rasta’s.
This symbol is very significant to the Rastafarians religion because this symbol let them remember that the lion is the king of the jungle. Having this animal representing them gives them a sense of strength and courage to overcome any obstacle they are facing. These symbols let the world know that Rastafarians are suppose to be strong person and are suppose to bring across what they have to by being very brave.
This is why the Rastafarians are known to be fighter of what they believe in and they operate different from other person/religious movement. The conquering lion of Judah is used by the Rastafarian by having pictures of the lion on their clothing and also pictures in their homes and also place of worship to show their strength. In society persons don’t really see the significance of the conquering lion of Judah but the views of the Rastafarians are very different as a result of what they believe in. All these symbols together have their own significance to the Rastafarians faith and what they believe in, it may not be directly accepted by society what they believe in but it is what they believe in counts.

The major symbols in the Rastafarian religion\n are very important to the Rastafarians. These symbols are the dread locks, the marijuana, the Rastafarian flag and the conquering lion of Judah.
The dread locks are the most popular symbol used by the Rastafarian. The dread lock symbolizes physical and moral strength. This symbol shows their faithfulness and respect to Jah Haile Selassie the king of all Rastafarians. Even though the dread locks now used in today’s society as fashion for both males and females it means a lot the true Rastafarians. Having the matted coils of hair gives them a sense of belonging because this shows what they believe in that for example not using combs or using mirror. This is evident because they don’t desist from wearing the dreadlocks the dreadlocks although it is not accepted in society.
Marijuana is also important to the Rastafarians even though it is illegal. By smoking this herb it is stated that they obtain wisdom when they smoke the marijuana. By smoking the marijuana it takes them back into their own little world where they meditate on thing. It is stated that the marijuana plant was found growing on King Solomon’s grave who is the wises king in the Bible. The marijuana is used in religious worship where some meditation also takes them to a place while they communicating to jah. They smoke this herb to gain knowledge which takes them to another world.
The Rastafarian flag is important to the Rastafarians, it gives them of independence. The colours of the flag are red, green, yellow and sometimes black. These colours are also the Rastafarian colours,the Rastafarian believe that the red symbolizes the bloodshed the green symbolizes the vegetation of the land of African the yellow symbolizes the wealth that was stolen during slavery and the black represent the black power of the people. The Rastafarian flag let the Rasta’s easily differentiated themselves from the other groups.
The conquering lion of Judah and the lamb, symbolizes strength, power and endurance of Haile Selassie H.I.M .The lion represents all that the Rasta’s have been through and all the powers they gain. This symbol let the society know that they are a very strong group of people.
According to the revelations and the opening of the seven seals the Rastafarians think highly about all their symbols, these symbols help them to find important truths.

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