Thursday, September 22, 2005
Why are Rastafarians called "Rastafarians?"
• Rastafarians believe that God is a spirit and that this spirit was manifested in Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. Rastafarians believe that they are the original Lost Tribes of Israel that were once scattered by Babylon until the appearance of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I.
• Rastafarians believe that Jesus was a direct descendant of King David and was black. Rastafarians believe that the Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty is a direct representation of King David.
• Rastafarians believe that God will return them to Zion (Rastafarians refer to Ethiopia as Zion). Rastafarians believe that Ethiopia is the Promised Land and that it is Heaven on Earth.
The idea that Haile Selassie is the living embodiment of god sprang forth from a quote that is attributed to Marcus Garvey (and highly debated as to whether he actually said these words or believed the sentiment held therein): “Look to Africa for the crowning of a black king, he shall be the redeemer.” (from www.mrdowling.com/710-rastafarians.html)
So the question still stands: why on earth do Rastafarians refer to themselves as Rastafarians? Quite simply, sometimes people change there names: just as John Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI, and Tom Marvelo Riddle is now Lord Voldemort, Haile Selassie changed his name when he ceased to be a prince (ras) and became Emporer. His birth name? Tafari.
More on Haile Selassie: