Universal symbols associated with and which has popularised the Rasta movement globally includes;
- Dreadlocks – Most Rasta men are identified globally by their “dread”. Some look lovely in it while others look dirty in it. However having “dreads” doesn’t automatically make you Rasta. Many Rasta men use the following as scriptural basis to grow dread locks viz Lev 21:5 and Judges 16:17.
- Weed –
Like earlier mentioned weed or marijuana use is seen as a spiritual exercise among many Rasta. Some say it is the first plant to grow on King Solomon’s grave. The Rasta isn’t supposed to smoke cigarettes or cigar because it is unnatural and is a corruption to the body. Many Rasta use Psalm 104:14 as scriptural basis to use ganja.
- Rasta Colours –
The Rasta colours gets its origin from Pan-Africanism. The colours are quite popular in most African themes. They are Red, Yellow, Green and Black.
Red – The blood of Africans who died either as slaves or in the struggle against oppression.
Yellow – The colour of gold, it symbolizes the wealth and resources of Africa.
Green – Symbolizes the rich flora and vegetation of the motherland – Africa.
Black – The colour of the skin of the majority of Africans.
Like earlier mentioned these also represents the colours of the Pan – African movement and can still be seen in the flags of many African countries like Guinea, Bukina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana etc. They are also combined in the designs of colourful clothes, handbands, t-shirts, scarfs and so on.
- The lion -
The lion is a symbol of strength, courage and royalty. The Rastafarian lion however is in reference to the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” Biblical justification of this symbol can be found in Gen 49:9 and Rev 5:5.
- The face of Haile Selassie – Haile Selassie is the Rastafarian Messiah so it shouldn’t be rocket science why he is one of the symbols of the movement.
I hope you had as much fun going through this brief exposition as I had researching about these misunderstood set of people. What our world needs as we continue to acquire knowledge is a little more tolerance irrespective of race, creed or religion.
“A man who says “I have learned enough and will learn no further” should be considered as knowing nothing at all.” – Haile Selassie I