The Rastafari movement was created in Jamaica 🇯🇲 in the 1930s in response to the slavery carried out on the island 🏝️ for centuries by the Spanish and British settlers among others.
The flag representing this community is green, yellow and red symbolizing the Lion of Judah 🦁 in the center.
The Rastafarian people are a people in their own right with their own religion, culture and way of life.
1) Origin of the Rastafarian People
The word Rastafari for this people comes from Ras Tafari Makonnen.
Ras means a high ranking political person and Tafari Mekonnen is the first and last name of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Tafari means the one who is feared.
It is the coronation 👑 of the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie 1st reigning on the Ethiopian kingdom 🇪🇹 from 1930 to 1936 that will among other things trigger the Rastafarian movement as well as the Jamaican Marcus Garvey who emigrated to Harlem in the United States or James Morris Webb who evoked the prophecy that a leader was going to be crowned King and become emperor in one of the most powerful countries in Africa 🌍.
The reign of Haile Selassie 🤴 will also be between 1941 and 1974.
His strong commitment to the defense of the causes of the black man will make him an emblematic and charismatic figure of the Rasta people (because of his humanity).
The Jamaican Marcus Garvey will also lead this fight in a spiritual and physical way.
From then on, the Rasta people ☮️ will develop their own belief, their own culture and their own way of life.
However, the emperor Haile Selassie became a model for the Rastafari people involuntarily since he was of orthodox Christian faith ☦️.
He will moreover do everything possible for the Rasta people to convert but without success for the most part.
2) the Rastafarian Flag
It is important to differentiate the Jamaican flag 🇯🇲 which represents a black colored cross on a yellow and green background to that of the Rasta people (with its horizontal green, yellow and red stripes and its Lion drawn in the center).
It is true that most Westerners ignore this detail which is actually a very important point❗.
When they wear or see people wearing green, yellow and red tee shirts, sweatshirts, scarves, laces etc… they automatically think of Jamaica. But that is not true, it is indeed the Rasta people who are represented through these clothes and accessories.
Our Stylish Lion® online store offers you beautiful Lion Flags 🦁 representing the Lion of Judah and the Rasta Lion that you can proudly hoist on your domain! There is something for everyone
Let’s get back to our Rasta people.
The Rastafarian people ☮️ is a Jamaican community that does not extend to the whole island!
Some adhere to this belief, this way of life, others do not. It is a personal and free choice.
The banner representing the Rasta people has the Pan-African colors (green, yellow, red) in reference to pan-Africanism corresponding to a political movement putting forward the desire for independence of the whole African continent 🌍 and inciting to solidarity between all the African individuals of the whole world including those stemming from the African diaspora, those who emigrated through various countries etc…
It is important to know that, during the time of slavery, black men and women were often taken far from their country, depriving them of their roots and therefore of their identity (which they have for the most part managed to keep).
These colors have a very specific meaning and recall the flag of the former Ethiopian kingdom 🇪🇹 under the reign of Haile Selassie I.
Today, there are thirteen African countries proudly displaying these three colors on their flags.
Green symbolizes the kingdom of God on Earth, yellow refers to the wealth of the mind as well as material wealth and red 🔴 reminds us of the blood shed by slaves during all periods of colonization.
A. The Lion of Judah
The Lion 🦁 depicted in the center of the Rasta flag is similar to that of the flag of the ancient Ethiopian kingdom during the reign of Haile Selassie It bears a golden crown 👑 and sceptre adorned with an Ethiopian Coptic cross.
The Lion of Judah refers to the tribe of Judah being part of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Haile Selassie claimed to belong to the dynasty of King Solomon.
It is moreover this fact that pushed the Rasta people to consider him as being the chosen one of God, the conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the light of lights etc… so many metaphorical titles used in order to demonstrate his power ⚜️ and the influences that his fight could have had for the black causes.
The famous Lion of Judah would thus allude to Emperor Haile Selassie I for the Rastafari people since the Lion constitutes the symbol of the dynasty of King David and that of King Solomon.
3) Why the Lion as an Emblem ?
The Lion 🦁 presents most of the character traits specific to the Rasta people.
Thus, the strength, power, nobility, resistance, righteousness, dignity, sovereignty, calmness, patience, the fight to defend its territory, the need for freedom etc… qualifying the King of the Animals recall the history of the Rasta people, its roots, the desires to defend their right, their homeland and their island 🏝️.
The Lion is therefore in some way a totem animal see a metaphorical symbol of this Jamaican community 🇯🇲.
The dreadlocks worn by the rastas remind besides the mane of the imposing feline.
4) Rastafari Religion and Culture
The term “Jah” is used by the Rastafarian people to designate god. It is a shortening of the word Jehovah which refers to the Hebrew god.
The full name that most Rastafarians commonly use is Jah Rastafari.
Jah refers to Haile Selassie I 🤴.
It is the belief in Jah rastafari that guides the Rasta culture and lifestyle.
Would you too like to immerse yourself in the Rastafari culture and have the illusion of following the same lifestyle? Cannabis use is prohibited in some western countries including europe 🙀.
Go to our online store Stylish Lion® and discover all the clothes and accessories related to this fabulous culture that is Rastafarianism.
You will find very nice Rings 💍 on which the famous Lion of Judah 🦁 is represented in a very realistic way, 👕 Lion T-shirts wearing the famous crown as well as the golden sceptre, Reggae T-shirts reminding the intoxicating musical style of the rastafarians, Lion rastafari sweatshirts, stylish caps and more!
- Rasta Lion iPhone CaseProduct on sale
5) Reggae : a Music Closely Associated With Rastafari Peoples
You thought we were going to talk about the Rastafari movement and its history without mentioning reggae and the great and charismatic Bob Marley 😻 ?
Or did you think it was strange that he didn’t mention our world famous Bob?
Well, here he is.
When we evoke the Rasta people, we immediately think of the great Bob Marley 🎤 who made songs whose lyrics dealt with the history of the Rastafari people, the oppression they may have experienced by the Jamaican government 🇯🇲, his childhood and his life in the popular and world-famous city, Kingston, the beauty of the heart, peace, the need to claim rights to exist etc… So many messages that gathered several generations of people and that will never be extinguished because being part of history!
The envy, the desire of a better world where racism, mistreatment, poverty, non freedom of expression, denigration etc… had no place in this new world described by the singer songwriter.
Stand UP for your right 🎵 ! He sang with great conviction and wisdom.
Other reggae artists like Burning Spears have also transmitted messages through their lyrics and music but Bob Marley was the first to really make a mark.
Reggae is a popular music that was born on the island 🏝️ of Jamaica 🇯🇲 in the late 60s. It comes from the fusion of different musical styles such as ska (which is a rhythmic music against the beat ) , rock n’ roll, blues, calypso.
It knows today various variants but keeps however its roots well anchored in the Rastafarian culture.
6) the Link Between Rastafarianism and Judaism
A song by Bob Marley 🎶 said (and still says even though he left us some time ago): i wanna be Iron like a Lion on Zion which translates to : I will be Iron like a Lion on Zion shows his willingness to stand despite the hurricanes and his attachments to the land of Israel.
The word Zion refers to Mount Zion ⛰️ located in the holy city of Jerusalem and reminds one of a divine presence, that of the god of Israel.
Here again the Jewish imprint is very marked in Rastafarianism since reggae music is an integral part of the Rastafari movement and its claims.
The city of Jerusalem would thus represent, for all Rastafarians having faith, a strong spiritual power even if most of them have never set foot in the holy city.
This goes back to the creation of the Rastafari movement and is an integral part of their belief.
Ethiopia 🇪🇹 being considered the cradle of the Rastafari movement, the presence of Jews in this African country is therefore not insignificant.
A Jewish minority people named Falashas (meaning exiles or emigrants) therefore seem to be a pejorative name. The name most commonly used by Ethiopian Jews is Beta Israel.
This people of Ethiopian Jews live in a specific region of Ethiopia.
There are also other ethnicities in this East African country 🌍.
The Rastafarian people claim to be Jewish despite Israel not recognizing them.
The culture and lifestyle of the Rastafarians is similar in many ways to the so-called Semitic religions. Namely, they are forbidden to consume alcohol, women must cover their hair, men must wear dreadlocks etc…
The Semitic religions recall the Semitic empire of Sargon (very old because dating from 2872 BC) lived Hebrews, Arabs, Aramaic etc. …
7) Marijuana Is Rooted in the Rastafarian Religion
Smoking cannabis is not prohibited and is even ingrained in Rastafarian culture since smoking the holy herb is said to help these believers get as close to Rastafarian Jah as possible during prayers 🙏 and also facilitate meditation by calming the mind.
Did you know that?
The dreadlocks worn by rastamen are reminiscent of the hair strands worn by Orthodox Jews (but in an afro version) that are present on each side of the face. They are called Payot.
The Lion 🦁 thus represents a strong symbol in the Rastafari culture since it has many points in common with this people who were oppressed and oppressed for a long time.
The nobility and the courage that we lend to the King of the animals reminds without any doubt the sufferings 💉 that these Jamaicans 🇯🇲 could endure during very very long years.
They knew how to face and undergo all these events without ever lowering the head and by affirming thereafter their most intimate convictions as well as their claims by creating this rasta community.
I’m really super glad you took the time to read these few lines 😻 !
From now on, the Rasta culture and origins ☮️ have much less secrets for you.
I hope that this has interested you and I suggest you to come and take a tour in our Online Store where you can take the time to contemplate our Lion T-shirts 🦁, our sweatshirts, our Rastafari Lion leggings as well as our Rasta Lion Ring representing the famous Lion of Judah whose origins you now know.
- Rasta Lion Signet Ring (Silver)Product on sale
Lion Head Boxers and Lion Socks, as well as Lions Belts are also offered.
From now on, you are not a young Lion 🐱 so try to make the right choice and find the right Lion Clothing and/or Lion Accessory !