What Does Rastafari Mean

Discover the rich history and key beliefs of Rastafari, a movement centered around African-centric values and spirituality. Explore the influence of Rastafari on music and its global spread.

Understanding Rastafari

Rastafari is a religious and cultural movement that originated in Jamaica in the 1930s. It is a way of life that centers around the belief in the divinity of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, who was known as Ras Tafari before his coronation. This movement is deeply rooted in African-centric values, spirituality, and social justice.

Key Beliefs

Rastafarians believe in the following key principles:

  • Haile Selassie as the messiah
  • African unity and pride
  • Rejecting materialism and embracing simplicity
  • Abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and other substances

Symbols and Practices

Rastafarians often use the following symbols in their practices:

  • Red, gold, and green colors
  • Dreadlocks
  • Ganja (marijuana)

Influence on Music

Rastafarian beliefs and reggae music are closely intertwined. Artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear have spread the message of Rastafari to a global audience through their music.

Global Spread

Today, Rastafari has followers not only in Jamaica but also in other countries around the world. The movement’s message of unity, peace, and love resonates with people from diverse backgrounds.

Challenges and Misconceptions

Despite its positive message, Rastafari has faced challenges and misconceptions. The movement has often been associated with stereotypes related to drug use and laziness, which do not accurately reflect its true essence.


Rastafari is more than just a religious belief – it is a way of life that promotes unity, equality, and respect for nature. By understanding its principles and practices, we can gain valuable insights into a culture that continues to inspire people around the world.

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