The Rastafari Unpopular Facts

Rastafarians Do Not Say “We” for Plurality

The religious meaning is that a Rastafari is a part of god, at the same time a living man, which is exactly described as an “I” (as the personal pronoun). Because everyone is an “I”, the Rastafari does not say “we” for plurality, but says “I and I”. They often replace some syllables with “I”, like, “eternal” translated into “I-ternal”, “creator” into “I-reator” and “hour” into “I-owa”. The Roman numeric one, which is also I, follows the name of Haile Selassie I, demonstrating the divinity of His Imperial Majesty, Rastafarians believe.

Vocabulary

To make this post clear, we suggest several definitions, many of us, marijuana lovers, already know who is Selassie and why the Lion, yet we pack it briefly into this, err, vocabulary:

Jah — is the name of God in Rastafarian religion, basically the Abrahamic branch, along with Judaism, Islam and all sects of Christianity. Jesus, Jahvee, Allah, Jah, whatever you call it is still the same “personality” (monoteistic deity) of all Abrahamic religions (or branches).

Haile Selassie I — is the last King of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M.), the King of Kings, and the central person and the Messiah (second coming of Christ, no less) in the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarians believe he is the direct decendant of biblical King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, therefore a holy person and the deity which they practically worship. And then Ethiopia is Caanan, the promised land.

★ Zion, or Mount Zion — is a biblical place, which Rastfarians have “moved” from Israel to Africa, in their belief. The traditional (christian) definition of heaven has been rejected as a “spiritual place in the sky”, promoting then that the Mount Zion is the “heaven on earth”.

★ Babylon — is every negative aspect of the “western culture”, which Rastafarian religion opposes in the lyrics of ska and reggae, namely: the law enforcement, the government when going mad, sometimes UK, almost always USA, along with specific political leaders including but not limited to Vatican religious authorities, etc, etc.

That’s it, and we continue listing up the rare facts about Rastafarians:

Ska

Ska was a pop-version of reggae, called “bluebeat” in England, a mix of jazz and blues, outdated by now and rarely in use, so to say: a precursor of reggea. Developed in 1950-60s as a mild protest against social and political conditions in Jamaica. While sounding happy and content ska rhythmes were about pain and suffering of people of Jamaica under governmental regime, very alike to Reggea but in a softer manner of blues. Ska also introduced Jamaican drumming for the first time, long before the transformation into reggea. Famous ska titles were: “Oh Carolina”, “Another Moses”, “Babylon Gone”.

Female Corruptive Influence

Ska musicians expressed deep personal pain they gain from the political forces, and also (surprise!) the pain from the “corruptive influence of a female”, promoting that the temptation of female flesh eventually leads in general to broken hearts, loneliness and teardrops. Well, this explains a lot the meaning of Bob Marley’s “No woman, no cry”, while being romantic in sound it is practically a desgrace of the female role in a society. Not a popular opinion nowadays. Oops!

There are (at least) two monuments to Judah Lion in Addis Ababa

Historically, the Lion is the symbol of the Judah tribe, and is a symbol of the Rastafarian movement, because biblical King Solomon was of the Judah tribe, which also means that His Imperial Majesty King of Kings Haile Selassie is of the Judah tribe as well. The Lion is depicted in his coat of arms, and there are TWO beautiful monuments to this Lion in Addis Ababa.

One was erected in 1930, on the occasion of coronation of Haile Selassie I:

Biblical Judah Lion, symbol of Ehiopia, also in the coat of arms of Haile Selassie, so respected by all cannabis community of the world
Judah Lion, Addis Ababa, erected in 1930 – on coronation of Haile Selassie I

And another one, comissioned in 1954 by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I:

Judah Lion, symbol of Rastafarian religion, Rastafarian movement, and of all cannabis community
Judah Lion, Addis Ababa, erected in 1954, by H.I.M. Haile Selassie

Sometimes, the Lion of Judah is called the Lion of Zion. Both are correct more or less.

Some of Rude Boys were Rastafarians

In 1965 in Jamaica the unemployed ghetto youths, 14-25 years old, living in the shanytown of Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica, formed the strong and well-organized rebellion force armed with knives, cutlasses and guns. They became a certain threat to the middle class, looting houses and shops, clashing violently and quite successfully against the law enforcement, living only for “run faster, jump higher, fuck longer” as they claimed. Rude Boys embraced the image of an outlaw hero, and a symbol of new generation opposing to the system which (they suggested) produced the unemployment and poverty in Jamaica. Guess, that for “ruddies” marijuana was not a spirituality.

However, some were pretending to be and claiming they were Rastafarians, adopting the the Rastafarian language, appearance, dreadlocks. Consequently, citizens of Jamaica organically associated Rude Boys to the already existing negatively lunatic image of Rastafari.

Rastafarians in their turn hardly supported any connection to rudies, and denied it simply because they had never encouraged, neither promoted as a valid solution any violent action towards to or suffering for other people in exchange for gaining own liberty. Rastafarians and Rude Boys, both highlighting the identical goals to “fight” povetry and oppression, indeed espoused two radically different ideologies.

Haile Selassie influenced the incorporation of “rudies” into Reggae

While Haile Selassie’s only visit to Jamaica, in 1966, about 100,000 people wer in the airport, it was said, that about only 10,000 of them were Rastafarians, smoking bongs and chanting. The long-awaited Messiah finally arrived on the island. His Imperial Majesty’s mission (among other goals) was to influence the public opinion persuading political leaders of Jamaica that the Rastas could no longer be written off as “dangerous freaks”.

King Haile Selassie in culture, “Civilization V” videogame

And, at the same exact time, King of Kings has spoken to Rastafarian leaders and proposed a new concept to them — to refuse the idea of physical repatriation to Africa (to the biblical Canaan, the promised land) but replacing it with the idea of political liberation of Jamaica.

Since then — the Rastafarian music, the Reggea, already transforming from Ska to Reggae under influence of R&B, applied to be relatively aggressive and more political. The reggae musicians since then have applied to building the heroic image out of “ruddies” (Rude Boys), demonstrating the virtual alliance between Rude Boys and Rastafarians united from now on against the common enemy, the system that produced unemployment and poverty, the Babylon Evil.

From Ska passive crying Rastafarians slowly switched to Reggea-struggle, the sounds of reggae had changed to the sounds of a society in the process of transformation, religious Rastafarians became also a political power, eventually, promoting rebellion and liberation.

Why Ras Tafari

This is a pretty simple one, no mystics and no magic around. Rastafari worship the King of Kings, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I (of Ethiopia), whose real-world name before being a king was Tafari Makonnen, who was a Duke of Harrar in Ethiopia in his youth as a crown prince, and “Ras” is the word for “Duke” in Ethiopian language. Ras Tafari = Duke Tafari, the ruler of Harrar.

Love is the very idea

The said may call an “agressive image” for the western way of thinking but in reality the Rastarians oppose that western thinking dramatically, they are in reality the silent protesters, and the peaceful rebels, they express their claims and demands exclusively through the music and never mean a violent action. Love and Peace expressing it in asceticism.

Jamaica shanty villa - More Love Sol and Jah
Jamaican Shanty, more love

We are truly humble people whose response to evil is to flee from it

Bongo Dizzy says in “Bongo-man”, rastafarian newspaper, 1968

We have to go to Africa to live with our brothers and sisters there. Blacks remember, our King Haile Selassi grant land space for us in Ethiopia

Rasta Historian, the contributor-writer to “Bongo-man” newspaper, 1968
Rastafari Colors showing the Judah Lion, a symbol of Ras Tafari Religion and of the World Cannabis community
Rastafari Colors showing the Judah Lion, the symbol of Ras Tafari Religion and of the cannabis community, consequently.

The Names of Marijuana

Humanity gives female names to everything beautiful and also powerful. Like those magnificent tall ships of the past, the trade clippers, the Columbus fleet, and the name he has given to the first island discovered, hurricanes in Caribbean, and among others – Marijuana which is an obvious combination of María and Juana.

santamaria

The image is a credit to cannabisandspirituality.com

Mary Jane

Mary Jane at its turn is counted as a conversion of Spanish into English, where Mary is the replacement for María, and Jane is an equivalent for Juana, I dun’no how is that but people say so and that is how @MariJane has appeared,

Rumours say that the name was designated artificially to fight with the word against cannabis plant. Back in the middle of the past century the Latin culture was not totally accepted by the majority of population of the American society, some say – because of Mexico, therefore a Hispanic name would definitely play its part against the drug and that is how María y Juana got linked together to represent cannabis…For..Ever! If this version can ever be a true I can guess these two names are among the most popular female names in Spanish speaking countries, if not the most popular two names, and especially María, thanks to Mary, the mother of god. Anyway, the story nowadays appears merely as a fine urban legend.

For sake of bare facts, the other sources state that Marijuana-word arrived to USA even earlier, in late 1800s, yet still from Mexico where it was a slang word for both: the recreational cannabis and also for naming a courtisan.

María and… Yohana?

A popular version for Maria’s name origin is that it is “bitter” in Hebrew, or often referred as “bitter sea”. Yet there is another version that it comes from Mariam, the queen of Babylon, the gran-grand-mother of totalitarianism, and her name’s meaning was “Rebellious”, one of the versions, yet they all are relevant as far as the true story is hidden behind the ages (as usual). Okay. And then Yohana, the hebrew version for Joanna or Jane or Juana, pretty much means “God’s mercy” or “God’s love”. I think, both components of Maria and Juana then do reflect the nature of the drug, huh?

Marijane in other languages

Pronounce it as: Mari-uána. They also call it porro or faso.

I’m sharing the best I know, don’t shoot at me =)))) it would be cool if we grow this page together to contain the hell amount of Marijuana aliases, and the comprehensive marijuana dictionary, let me start.

Hispanic World, so the language is: Spanish

— Marijuana word itself is used relatively freely all around in Latin America, comparing to other countries, no surprise here. They just sometimes replace “j” (which is “h”-sound in Spanish but even a bit harder than “h”), it becomes Marihuana then, where “h” is a totally silent, always in Spanish, and in written they use both versions, pronounce it as: Mari-uána.

They also call it porro in Latin America, or faso.

HANF – Marijuana in German

Social media suggests Hanf is the popular and common name for weed in Germany, or may be just most polite to be published, it stands for merely “hemp”. Honestly I am not mad, at least not mad enough to look for dank in Germany in the street, so having no forking idea how else in a street language it may be called. Anyone knows, please comment it. I believe Ze Germans have a famous sense of humour and it can be another funny name for marijuana discovered.

Brazilian and Portuguese – these are very different except for “maconha”

Yes, classic Portuguese was transformed into Brazilian, they are different much much more than any difference between Spanish and Spanish may exist, or between American and classic English. But for marijuana – it’s Maconha in both. Keep “H” silent like in Spanish they have it same way, while “N” becomes soft because of following silent “h”, something like if it is Macóña or Macón’ya. They also use fino for a joint (literally ‘thin’).

Russians

For a single king-size joint use Kosyák, roots from “not straight”, or my favourite sound is Düdka, stressing on “ü”

Do not try to find it there unless you know a Russian friends and you trust them. The cops are mad over there, you will find nothing but trouble, and you find no marijuana. The common slang name, neutral enough, used on all levels of society is Plan, it sounds with classic “a” sound alike “PLΛN”, and the word in dictionary points same meaning as plan in English, planning, yes, right you need to plan marijuana… hahahahaha. Spot on y’al Russians! ) For a single king-size joint use a funny one Kosyák, roots from adjective meaning ‘not straight’, or my favourite and the most romantic sound: Dudka (Düdka, stressing on “ü”) which stands for “flute” in normal use of the word.

Dagga is African

Mostly in South Africa, but in the surrounding too, those speaking (or having around) the Africaans dialect, which is the mix of African languages and Dutch. Well, they call marijuana Dagga, a beautiful word, I love it, and it sounds like Daguh or something. They also use Zol, sources say, this one I didn’t double check on my own, let us believe to the canna community after all.

French

Oh the phonetic structure of this one is the music to my heart, I cannot stand, I’m hypnotised. This is for the whole language, and for the marijuana wording consequently. Yet they are not much inventive, using L’Herbe, “the herb”. I’m sure there’s more words for weed in French we did not them yet. One of them is Kif, coming from Morocco.

Morocco

Kif – everyone knows, mostly a word for hashish rather than marijuan in a form of buds. The word is also widely used specifically for hashish in France due to vast communication between the countries happening historically. The country is impressive indescribably beautiful, cannot forget the body check in the airport, do not even think to carry anything wrong with yourself in either direction. I love desert, and a kif in the middle of this desert is in my bucket list for sure.

Discover Majoun, the Moroccan “Love Candy”. Brilliant storms of laughter.

Weed in English?

Who on Earth wants English versions for this, eh? but okay, to feed that forking ugly gugol and its reckless spyders or they start biting people. From my personal exploration experience, in Britain they use “dope” more often than “weed”, as weed is well known well spread and more recognisable by peeps denying the plant, many of our fellow site st’owners still complain on the situation around marijuana in UK, and the type of the country suggests the enthusiastic officers, still hunting kids who smoking dope, news say so, I have never seen such. Yet our brothers in England still need to mask weed, and this is for real. They in UK also use a “spliff” often enough to replace already-hiding-nothing a “joint”. And I also love “dank”, I think it’s American.

The street language in USA also suggests: chit, caca, dupa, grass, doobage and, of course, ganja! While the latter one is a worldwide spread, having its roots coming from India and Sri Lanka…

India and Sri Lanka

They call it Ganja over there, the whole world knows, and it is already hardly counted as a slang word, it is just a word for marijuana. Everyone will understand what you want, be sure.

However, in Sri Lanka they use quite often: Kandi, especially for a HIGH quality weed, not necessarily cultivated, it may be wild! And it is WILD!! taking its name from the highland region in the middle of the island, between Southern Sri Lanka and the former Tamil’s territory in the North (remember there was a war once?). Kandi HIGHlights the very rich and natural taste, like nowhere else, and it gets you really HIGH, funny, with an ever-lasting effect. The beautiful island and the outstanding smoking experience!

Zolo

This is a new entry into this page, spotted on twitter by @ThulaniDeAfrika, and below there’s the image shared, the pure emotion. And now we know a word for marijuana will be Zolo, in Africa.

Zolo, Africa
Let me smoke my zolo in peace — by ThulaniDeAfrika

Comments or additions please?