Rastafari…no Foundation, no Future

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If in the 1930s – 40s the Jamaican Jewish Community had some contact with the budding movement, it is likely that many of the Hebraic rules and regulations would have been ‘writ in stone’ among those who would call themselves RastafarI.

If this happened in the 50s or 60s there may have been various sects, such as the Bobo, the Niyibinghi and the Twlevel Tribes, but they would have shared a basic foundation.

If in the 70s – 80s when Bob Marley was at the height of his fame and everyone was curious about the ‘hairstyle’ and his philosophy there was some codification of what is and what is not or some ‘spokesman’ or ‘religious’ leader who was accepted by the majority then by the 1990s one would expect there would be some sort of permanent Rasta Temple, schools, and other accoutrements.

But this did not happen.

The various ‘leaders’ went on with their versions until they slowly shuffled off this mortal coil leaving behind not a theocratic anarchy, where there were basic tenants but slightly different practices, but a void.

A void where children are ‘locksed’ from birth but have never read a Bible, who wear miniskirts and nailpolish, shave their faces, and eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken. A void where binghis are attended where no teaching takes place, simply the drumming and chanting without any context.

Outside of not eating pork there seems no other particular proclivity.  Although the ‘Rasta’ talk may be sprinkled on occasion, it is no more than ‘slang’.  There is no particular ‘Sabbath’, no religious observance, in short, there is no foundation.  One will not find any behavioural difference between the child whose mother was a nominal Christian or a nothing, or a RastafarI.  No ethical background, no sense of obligation nor guilt, no spiritual basis. 

Men with long locks date women with various hairstyles, so it is not shocking to see the locksman with his short haired girlfriend in her short skirt and heels, and one suspects that the children will not wear the hairstyle of the father unless he remains in the picture.

Dread locks are no more than a hairstyle, RastafarI no more than a footnote which continues to fade.


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