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a member of an originally Jamaican religion that regards Ras Tafari (the former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (1892--1975)) as God


a BLACK movement, dating from the 1930s in Jamaica, but influential worldwide in the 1970s and 1980s, involving the ‘deliverance’ of black people to a new, free and sacred homeland in Africa. ‘Rastafarian’ is derived from Ras Tafari, the name of Haile Selassie I (Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1975) before he assumed his official title.

Rastafarian beliefs have their origins in the teaching and philosophy of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) who organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. He believed that integration with whites in the US was impossible and the foundation of a black homeland in Africa was necessary to restore the dignity and culture of black peoples.

Garvey's teachings were influential both in the US and the West Indies. His prophecies about a glorious kingdom and the return to Africa created interest in the crowning of Ras Tafari as the Emperor of Ethiopia. Followers of Garvey in Jamaica, though not Garvey himself, made connections between the prophecy of a black king (taken to be Haile Selassie) and the day of deliverance to a promised land (Ethiopia). They believed that Selassie was a Messiah who would organize the black exodus to Africa and end the domination of Western imperial powers. As such, the Rastafarian movement is often identified by sociologists as CULT-like, involving many of the features of millennial movements (see MILLENARIANISM AND MILLENNIAL MOVEMENTS).

By the middle of the 1970s Rastafarianism had become a potent cultural force in the West Indies and the beliefs became more internationalized, especially in parts of the US, UK and Australia.


References in periodicals archive ?
He was a Rastafarian and he had to overcome a lot in the profession.
They just crowned me 'The Lion' because it is associated with Rastafarians and associated with reggae music and they felt like the Dogg was no longer needed," he said.
As far as I can work out, the other big pointless point of contention is the fact that one day I might walk up to a Rastafarian mouse and say something awful, like 'irie'.
Some Rastafarian inmates have been held in isolation since 1999 for refusing to cut their hair because of their religious beliefs.
His commitment to the cause has also seen Bobo wearing Rastafarian colour laces in his boots on match days.
A UNIQUE link-up between Rastafarians and police officers is aiming to drive down crime in a city community.
Steckles has been writing about the reggae music scene for many years, and he was granted access to an enormous archive of material to produce the most vivid and detailed account of Marley's life to date, concentrating on his Rastafarian faith, devotion to marijuana, turbulent family life and his global influence on World Music.
A STAR of last night's Britain's Got Talent once had his act cut short after he used offensive racist jokes and ran about in a Rastafarian wig.
Elsewhere, the band puts a Rastafarian spin on Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is.
As usual, last night it was the contestants who were the real stars though, with the highlight of the show being Levi Roots, a Rastafarian musician who admitted his real name was Keith.
The new consumer-facing ads include a family tree for both Beefy and Lamby, depicting fictional ancestors from a pirate to a rastafarian.
Coverage includes an overview of cultural and religious diversity in healthcare, an overview of spirituality and spiritual care, and elements of healthcare as the pertain to each of the major faiths--Baha'i, buddhist, Christian, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Rastafarian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Pagan, Sikh, and Zoroastrian.