Bless the Ancient all the Time as the True Roots they are of IandI Tradition
IandI most Ancient Elder Congo Wattu ( Ras Boanerges ) , Main founder of the Youth Black Faith in Jamaica that later become the Nyahbinghi Order. High Priest of the Nyahbinghi Order
Taken from Ras Kosmos site Rastafari Selassie I Center
Nyahbinghi throw a stone, the great stone to Babylon....That is the crucial idea of the term Nyahbighi which means "death to the black and white downpressors". The term jumped to the international publicity in the year 1935 when newspapers in world wide told that Haile Selassie is the head of the mighty cult of the warriors of Nyahbinghi in Africa. Actually, it was five years before this news spread by the papers when HIM was crowned as the King of Nyahbinghi in the secret meeting of 82 African delegates in Moscow.
African Nyahbinghi movement was the movement which fought against the colonial occupies of the 19th century the last decade of the 19th century up to the 1950´s. There is no agreement as to where the movement began, but seems like it originated in East Africa in the region presently covered by southern Uganda and northern Rwanda, what is the area where once ruled a Queen who had very similiar name with a cult; she was called as Queen Nyavinghi. It has been told that she fought against, and was eventually killed by colonialists.
In addition to this anti-colonial substance of the term Nyahbinghi, the word is also a title of the Theocratic Priesthood and Livity Order of the hola dreadlock ones. The roots of this Order are much deeper in time than in the ages of anti-colonialist war in Africa, because Iyahcongo " is the most ancient order of Rastafari, as from the earliest time, when Cherubims and Seraphims chanted songs of praise around the Rainbow Circle Throne of the Almighty Omnipoten Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I " (The Council of Elders). Originally Nyahbinghi tradition begun with Melcizedek who is the High Priest in the Order of the Nyahbinghi, the Drummer Master & Mystical Jah Dancer "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually " (Heb 7:3).
Through the prophet Moses, the Science, Laws and Priesthood Order of the Nyahbihgi were opened to great bloom inna congregation of Israel-Ithiopia. " Bongo I-MOSES proformed the highest orders of the natural science of creation in the visible fullness of the day, so that all who saw and bear-witness knew that he was a Science Man of the Most I, RASTAFARI... Bongo I-Moses started and he himself had to serve as an example, so that the people could see and follow his movements, which was to take him up to some of the highest heights ever reached by a man on earth" ( Ras Mweya F. Masimba in I Forward The Sword).
In the early fourties the Nyahbinghi tradition of Melcizedek and Moses experienced new-birth in Jamaica by Rastafari movement and particularly through the dread lock congregation of the Youth Black Faith (YBF), which is the birth camp of the theocratic house of the Nyahbinghi Order today. The prophet and seer name Ras Boanerges ( a.k.a. Bongo Watu), along bredrins like Phillip Panhandle and Bredda Arthur, took to their hand the rod of the Nyahbinghi Ingeles which Moses had put forward, and begun establish the priestceptical administration of Rastafari tradition, based to the collective brotherhood, not to the undivided leadership of one prophet. Physically the center of the Nyahbinghi work in the early times was mainly at 9th Street Trench Town in Kingston, where - as Jah Bones have said - "he ( Bongo Watu) had a big yard with about four houses and tabernacle in the middle of the yard with the drums hung in the middle of the ceiling. Discipline and order with Rasta livity is strictly observed and adhered to. Man, woman and children lived in the yard and naturally, Ital dredness carry the swing."
Ras Boanerges himself have told to Eleanor Wint that, "when Sylvia Pankhurst come to Jamaica with her pamphlets and papers about the Emperor´s secret force, Black International, it gave me great upliftment to know that I have the inspiration to establish the House of Youth Black Faith. We should adore the I in the form and likeness of the King. When the I call Moses, he said: `Tell the people that I am the I am.` The I is the testimony of the individual. And in this time he tells us that he shall rise up in his name and we will suffer persecution because of his name. We can´t withdraw from the thing that is right... His Majesty Haile Selassie I, which is the Godhead, the crowning monarch..., " and "although we preach the truth, many ones will compass us about and say we a´ foolishness. This we expect ( Luke: 6:22, Matthew 5:11)...When we first started in the thirties (people) used to call us Blackheart Man, say we kill people and eat them. Today they call us evildoers telling our children lies...The same thing they do already they will do again and again."
" So what we are lookin´ for now, we´re lookin for de strength and de honour an de ability among one to another for dat is what we striving to complete.. For de fullness of Black Impremacy, de Solomonical Throne of Haile Jesse, de Priestceptical Priesthood of Levite & Judah, man must stand.. to help de foundation of such. For if de foundation be destroyed then what can de righteous do? ..De brethren from afar who never sight de works of de Nyahbinghi Order, observe it keenly and let us put our hopes in one direction." ( Ras Boanerges to the Bredrins in the International Theocracy Issembly in the early eighties).
In the year 1983 Ras Boanerges ( the image on this page) and few other Rastafari Elders of Nyahbinghi House of Jamaica made a trod to Barbados and Grenada where the bredrins explained the livity of Rastafari Nyahbinghi in many Rasta reasonings and public interviews.The statements in this page are quotations from the radio interview what Elders did in Barbados with an unidentified radio journalist.
MISSION IN BARBADOS
...We talking now with elder brothers of House of Nyahbinghi, and the first I like talk to Ras Boanerges. You have been with Rastafarian movement, particularly Nyahbinghi Order, since the early nineteen thirties what is when the whole movement started. Perhaps you can give us a short inform exactly what is Rastafari, when it started and why?
"Rastafari is without beginning or the ending. Rastafari foundation established before the world was, before any generation. Haffe Adam, and Eve was upon the face of creation thousand, millions of years. So, it continue to extent and grow, generation upon the generation and children upon the children until we are reach this time of his Majesty Emperor Haile I Selassie who is returned Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Redeemer of the world."
The movement started in Jamaica.. (" established in Jamaica") ...established in Jamaica in the nineteen thirties, tell a little bit more about that.
"Teach of dat estabilishment theme about has one of our elder brother in that time, brother Howell, who be the messenger, first messenger to Jamaica. Traveling upon from such time, we will stepping off, over, and step by steps, step by steps, step by steps until we will estabilish the righteousness through all the world from Jamaica."
How is the Rastafarian movement, we are talking here Order of the Nyahbinghi, how it is administrated?
"Divine purposes at all the times. Divine administration, righteous administration."
You are the elder of the Nyahbinghi. What is this mean? Are you teachers?
"The full polity of the Nyahbinghi Order is death to black and white downpressors, thats the full reveal of it. What principles and livitys of the must be within the order of the Nyahbinghi Order is the holy holines, divine procedure and the whole. No one must be within order of the Nyahbinghi and administrate the any wrong way or wrong doings... His temple have to be hightal livity, his temple have to be clean and hola to administrate the order of the Almighty and every one that walk within the Nyahbinghi Order have to be clean, perfect and all whole together. Its not a worldly administration, it is the divine administration that is separated from administration of world completly... (it) carries hermit type of life of living."
Is there any church? Do you have a church?
"We wen seh, the church of the Nyahbinghi is the person. The person is the church. I and I serves in congregation under the Tabernacle that made build by hands, but the church of the Almighty does not build by hands. So, I and I, the people are the church, living church of the Almighty."
What are the principles of Nyahbinghi?
"Basic principle of Nyahbinghi is, we are vegetarian. Number one. We does not eat salts or flesh. We live (by) vegetables and greens, we try to reserve our self (as) health people...as self responsibility..-And instead of use wine and bread as our divine ritual I and I use natural herbs, calling Cannabis Sativa and other wise criminally call ganja or marijuana. Well, I and I use it as our I and I divine ritual within the Order of the Nyahbinghi. So, I and I is not been distribute it in Jamaica within our divine administration deny of the Order of the Nyahbinghi, (or) any where (or) everywhere."
You must live in this society. Ras IBo, how do you deal with this, how do you deal with all this public image of Rastafari linked with ganja and dread locks ?
"I know that world is not for I and I, seen, and I and I are not from this world. The law of men is now transgression within divine livity of I and I. So, wen say, if even make certain law of men for an example...I n I know the mark of the beast is when dem mark corner of the I head and shell the corner of thy beard and make cuttin´ in their flesh, dat those are the mark of the beast. I and I are even lift the cost (of) chapter seventeen or chapter nineteen what will cover what Im just said. I and I know dat I and I do not accept those kind of laws or philosophy, ca´ I and I know dat I and Is (knottys and beards) are comin´ from dat ancient tradition, wear of I and I is natural."
How do you handle the things like education your children for instance?
"The Almighty is said, I send you to Babylon to learn the ways of Babylon that when you will come out then you will partake your attend (to it) no more. So, when you, if you haff a child and you send him to school of Babylon, you must send dem there to learn the administration of Babylon, but divine culture is the thing that cant breakin´ if it face day by day the doctrine of Babylon. The I see? For, it is said I and I went to school and learn the ways of Babylon and when I and I started to realize all the administration and principles what they have, they could no stop us. No education could not stop us. So, if you´ll learn you send your child to Babylon´s school and he´ll get a small amount to educate himself and whole, it still cyaan hurt him, for what is in cant come out of him.
If I and I do send our children to school they will still educate at home first before they going to institution, so they are aware of institution and what will take a place - aware of your culture, cause they are going to try now doctrine there type of philosophy, de all dem godism and dem anti-christism, when dem really are set up praise Yesos now who deal widin in the past in that dispensation. But that present world deal wid that dispensation, it will reject and dispute in deh reality, fleshical tradition. Then this time now, de same one dat did cursin, turn to praise Him now when and where he is manifestate Himself widin His Imperial Majesty (in) this day, but they (babylon) still do not accept the reality of Christ in flesh livin´ among I and I. Widin that reality they are still inna fanatic world, a world of illusion. So, who ever is confesseth dat Christ is not in the flesh, is not of God, he is fe an anti-christ.
Dem are the law of men right now which really bond mind of the people from livin on this moment this livity, dem stop a youth who deal it wid and really try to embrace de goal or fate of Rastafari and even start to livin´ certain way what is not common here, as steal (him) from eatin´ of flesh which I and I consider cannibalistic caracter and barbarian type of livin´. On a moment you start to livin (like this) inna home or a group, you get a fight from the people, you know. Like a it is shame you bring on the family, like...you´re look dreadfull and you get mad, dem malignanca madness (for you), when it´s righteous livin´."
Ras Boanerges, where is the movement going? What you see for the future?
"I see for the future - prosperity."
Taken from Sista Farika Berhane article "TROD ON RAS BOANERGES" in Rootz
Ras Boanerges, also known as Bongo Watto, was undoubtedly one of the most historic and controversial Elders of the Rastafari Faith. He received his name from the Bible text Mark 3:17, "And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is 'The sons of Thunder'." These two disciples of Christ were renamed Boanerges by HIM, when he sent the Twelve out to preach the gospel. (Mark 3:13-16.) throughout his life, Ras Boanerges strove to live up to being a "son of the thunder." Born George Watson, in the parish of St. Mary, Ras Boanerges' ancestors came from the Scott's Hall Maroons of that parish. His mother was an ardent Garveyite. It was from her that he learned to know himself to be an African. The lessons that his Maroon ancestry and his mother taught him helped to sustain his vision of a Redeemed Africa and his militant fight against "Babylon."
Although many elders claim that he was in his eighties when he died in October 2000, the record books show him as being born on July 1st, 1925. While still in his teens, he sighted the light of Rastafari. As a young man, he founded the Youth Black Faith. By 1947, his yard at 9th Street, Trench Town was a hub for members and sympathizers of the Rastafari Faith. It was at 9th Street that he assisted developing some of the tenets that came to be regarded as fundamental to the Nyahbingi Order. He became one of the Nyahbingi Order's foremost pioneers. Many contemporary elders grew in the faith in his yard. He regarded himself as the founder of the Nyahbingi Order and conducted Nyahbingi services in the tradition of the shepherd with the congregation as his flock.
Ras Boanerges refused to compromise in his campaign against the evil of backsliding and giving into "popular culture." He wanted Black people to concentrate night and day on their Redemption and Repatriation. Every thought, every action, must be toward noble aims. His heaven was to chant and give isis to the Almighty "itinually." It had no place for Reggae and dance hall. He preached that music that was not churchical music led to sinfulness, and loose living. It blurred the people's focus on African Redemption. He demanded steadfastness to the cause of Marcus Garvey, and condemned the partying of Reggae/dance hall music as diversions from the "cause". Under his leadership, the Reggae "singers and players of instrument" had to go through the same fight that pioneering African American Blues and Jazz singers faced from the Black Church in the USA.
From the forties until the dawn of the millennium Ras Boanerges' voice could be heard prophesying above the chanting and drumming congregation during Nyahbingi gatherings. His message was unchanged over the decades. It was a call for Afrikan peoples to seek the light, to depart from party politics, and seek life by coming to the fullness of Rastafari. It was spiced by quotes from the Bible appropriate to the present day condition of African peoples. Time upon time he could be heard commanding Black people to "Come out of other people business," and focus on their own affairs. Bongo Watto said that he looked forward to the day when every breath of man was for the praise and glory of the Almighty. He did not wish to hear any music aside from chanting praises to His Majesty, the King of Kings. He saw the return of the African to his spiritual heights to be his mission and declared that the silver and gold of Babylon could not deter him from that mission.
He was called upon to sacrifice his freedom and to face death on more than one occasion during the fifties and sixties. He was sent to jail for possession of his Sacred Herb, the marijuana or the ganja plant, four times. He was poisoned twice; once by a warder and the other time by a jealous enemy within the congregation. The experience made him peculiar in his eating habits. He became a very strict "italist," who preferred to cook his food himself and and ate mostly raw vegetables, fruits and juices. After doing pioneering work towards the getting the government
The highlight of his life was meeting Emperor Haile Selassie I at a banquet at King's House, Jamaica, to which selected Rasses had been invited. Ras Boanerges stated that the Emperor sent an emissary to him to ask him why he wore his head in dreadlocks. Although he knew His Majesty knew the answer to the question he had asked, he nevertheless quoted from Numbers 6, to the Emperor's representative. When the emissary told His Majesty what Ras Boanerges had said His Majesty told the gathering of Jamaican socialites, "Leave them (the Rasses) alone. They know what they are doing." Ras Boanerges was called upon to spread the message of the Nyahbingi around the world. His mission in the spread of Nyahbingi was akin to Bob Marley's through Reggae music. No Nyahbingi Elder has had the impact on internationalizing the Nyahbingi, that Bongo Watto had. He began his international work on the campus of the University Campus of the West Indies, (UWI) by reasoning with students from many islands. Ikael Tafari became one of his main disciples and invited him to tour his home Barbados in 1975. This was followed by a tour of the eastern Caribbean islands in 1983, after the convening of the International Rastafari Conference at UWI's Mona Campus. He was accompanied on his tour by elders Pa Shanti, High Priest Bongo Time and many others. In 1986, he attended and presented at the Caribbean Focus on Rastafari Culture at the Commonwealth Centre in London, England. He was a leading elder at the Centenary program in England on several occasions during the nineties. During '96, '97 and 98, he toured many African countries to strengthen the Rastafari congregation. Most his work was done in South Africa, and Tanzania. He also worked in the eastern Caribbean and traveled with Bongo Spear of Afrika Hall to Europe to defend the cause of repatriation to United Nations representatives in Geneva.
Bongo Watto created a lot of controversy with his stand on the word "Jah." After using the term for decades, he discovered that there was no ' J' in the Hebrew language. Not one to flinch from an unpopular cause, he immediately set about telling the congregation to stop using ' Jah' and to use the King's name Haile Selassie I instead.
The Study of the Youth
The most outstanding characteristic of the Rastafarians is then- hair.
Although other people view dreadlocks as disgusting, smelly, and as a
symbol of craziness, the Rastas see the dreadlocks as part of who they
are and what they stand for. The longer and more developed their dreads
are represents their status and their faith. They think of their hair as
a crown, like the crown of their king, Halle Selassie, or to the main
of the lion symbolizing male strength. The Rastas' crowns let people
know they are rebelling against oppression and do not want to"fit
in"with the people that view them as freaks. They started this trend to
go against organizational life and challenge the social and religious
norms that were implicated at the time. The Youth Black Faith and later
the Bobo Dreadlocks made great contributions to implementing the
Dreadlock trend and helped break away from the oppression they endured.
In the late 1940's, five brethren, guided by their love for the
Rastafarian doctrine. got together to start what would become the Youth
Black Faith. These five leaders held their own on the streets. They
called themselves Brother Taf, Pete, Brother Firsop, Badaman and Watson.
Kingston was expanding rapidly due to peasants leaving the rustic for
urban poverty. Back-o-Wall had already entered into Ackee Walk next to
the large May Pen cemetery and stretched farther south all the way to
the seaside except for an intervening portion that the water commission
owned. In Trench Town, also, slums filled up the area with footpaths and
alleyways connecting them.
It was at one of these slums in
Trench Town, Ninth Street to be exacts that Brother Taf and Pete lived.
Brother Watson or Watto met with them there and they decided to work
together. They began preaching and reached people in as far away places
as St. Ann and Clarendon. They made their yard a camp where brethren
came to hang out and stayed to listen and discuss. It was also said that
the ganja, the holy herb, was sold and smoked here also. Places like
Ninth Street were called herb yards and the idea of them had been around
for a while. Ninth Street helped to start, however, a subculture that
grew up around this particular one.
These camps had certain codes
of conduct. First, one could not leave the camp before the herbs were
consumed. Second, one had to pass the"kutchie"or cup from left to right.
Third, one had to grace the cup before taking one's draw. Fourth, one
emptied the cup when all the herbs were burnt out and NEVER BEFORE.
Last, one had to have ,good behaviour while in camp. Some of these rules
were there to avoid attention from the police. Other African-Jamaican
religions and East Indians probably influenced some of them. Watto helped
organize the rules because lie had already spent time in another camp
run by a Rastafarian named Gorgon before Joining Pete and the others.
Watto's camp was the beginning of the Youth Black Faith.
Black Faith started in 1949. Its members were young and fiercely
supportive of the doctrine. They revolted against the Revival tradition
and obeahmen who burned candles and oils. The Youth Black Faith were
against that since the Apostle John had declared Christ"the only golden
candlestick". These young brethren respected their elder leaders but
were looking for more active reform. They wanted to eliminate practices
related to those of the Revival tradition. They wanted to distinguish
They were most passionate in denouncing traditional
practices related to those of the earlier Revival traditions and
upholding the right to wear a beard. The beards were quite an issue
because, at that time, non-Rastas were afraid of bearded men. Watto
wanted to go deeper into the prophetic doctrine.
As the Youth
Black Faith grew in numbers, a new structure consisting of a chairman
and a tableman replaced the leader, chaplain, and the secretary as they
had previously had running the group. The chairman had the duty of the
chief spokesman to .make statement as to whatsoever aim and office we
have, to administrate to the congregation."In other words, he was the
organizer and jah guide of all their meetings. The tableman read all the
books that needed to be read because the literacy rate was not high
within the group. Although they were under-educated, their organization
made them well aware of what they needed to do and what they needed to
know. They reinforced the Rastafari idea of being free to come and go
based on one's conviction. Warrior or Dreadful were the names given to
Youth Black Faith members who purged themselves of old Revivalist ways.
Every Wednesday night was prayer night. This was a duty and an
obligation. Punctuality and conduct were taken into consideration and
duties of Youth Black Faith members. In order to be in this group, one's
faith had to be pure. If one was given the name of Warrior, it meant
that their conviction was noticed and they were an accepted member of
the Youth Black Faith. The title was earned.
the place of the title of Warrior. Bonogee was the name Jesus gave to
the brothers James and John. It meant"sons of thunder". One who earned
that name would be allowed to make critical remarks and inspire other
members. He was one who was respected and looked up to within the Youth
Black Faith. A Bonogee defended Youth Black Faith principles with
The Youth Black Faith helped to make ganja a central
part of the whole Rastafarian movement. This was quite a risky and bold
project to take under their control since the police activity had risen
against it and it was more of a danger to be caught with it. The police
looked to use ganja as a way to imprison the Rastafarians. Members were
instructed not to carry their ganja on them. The Youth Black Faith
looked at the situation with the police as oppression. The way they
looked at it, ganja smoking was not a Crime. The Youth Black Faith's act
of the institutionalization of ganja was in essence a battle against
oppression and colonialism. (Chevannes pg. 157)
The Youth Black
Faith were now starting to grow dreadlocks. At the beginnings of the
group, while it was forming, dreads were not widespread. However, the
members of the Youth Black Faith encouraged locks and bearded men were
even thought to be the chosen ones who would repatriate to Africa. The
biblical reference of the Nazarite vow of Samson they thought to justify
it. It became an issue within the group members whether they should
comb their hair or not. Non -Rastafarians considered dreadlocks a
statement of declaring oneself an outcast and in opposition to Jamaican
society. Some decided that they were essentially not like"combed men"in
society so there was no reason to try and look like them. As their hair
grew, Youth Black Faith members became more belligerent and
argumentative. They lived for the doctrine and against existing society
under any circumstances. They had no desire to blend in with the rest of
Jamaica. Some members could not devote themselves that much to the
Youth Black Faith and kept their hair combed. Thus the Youth Black Faith
was divided into two different groups: the"House of Dreadlocks"and
the"House of the Combsomes". (Chevannes pg. 158) In 1961, the leader of
an unofficial government movement mission to Africa to investigate the
possibility of repatriation was a Dreadlock. Before a decade had passed,
the Combsomes were gone.
Now the group's leadership turned more
open and democratic. They stood up for principles and spread the
doctrine of the faith with more determination. The Bonogees or
Dreadlocks had more enthusiasm in their quest against oppression by the
whites in Jamaica. They had more of an interest in their purpose based
on moral authority. They were getting stronger and together than ever
The Dreadlocks were also more aggressive in the way that
they approached society. They also looked for confrontation. They were
not afraid of the police or the law and seemed happy to show this. They
were prepared to combat the law and anything else that got in the way of
their goals to go against society, as they knew it.
of this new conviction happened in 1954 when three members of the Youth
Black Faith were arrested in Trench Town for indecent language and
refusing to give the constable their names. The case was tried at the
Half-Way-Tree Court where the whole group was there behind the three
that had been arrested to support them. During the court proceedings,
two Youth Black Faith members called out"Hoop, Back them up!", and"Burn
them! Fire! Burn!"When police surrounded the supporting members, they
were beaten and locked up for contempt of court. Eighteen Dreadlocks
were said to be arrested and when asked their names, they replied"Ras
Rasses". (The Star, October 6,1954) The eighteen were detained for
medical observation, and when they returned ,crave their names, this
time as,"Ras Tafari". This time they were detained for eight days. Their
final sentence was thirty days in jail or the fine of ten pounds. They
all chose the thirty days and were said to have gone off cheerfully to
start their sentences. (The Star, October 6, 1954)
made the sounds such as the Rastas made incorporated into the
Dreadlocks' ways of resisting the authorities."Fire"actually became one
of the symbols of defiance in the Youth Black Faith movement and played a
critical part in their ritual death dance. To call out"Fire!"was to
signify hostile behavior. A moral victory was won in 1954. The
Dreadlocks showed the authorities that they were not scared of them and
would not back down.
Brother Anton had a vision that the Youth
Black Faith should go on a march and on April 14, 1954, they did. They
really had no concrete reason of protesting anything but they were
always ready and even eager to come upon a confrontation. Three members
carrying the red, green and gold banner and a woman carrying a picture
of Selassie led them. All were told to carry a Bible. The police tried
to stop them but the march would not let up. They ended up being hauled
in to the station, all thirty of them.
The Dreadlocks' ways of
dealing with their aim to go against the state was not always thought
out to the fullest extent. They pushed on driven by their undying faith
and determination to show their opposition to the political situation in
the 1940s. They chose to be outcasts through their style, behaviour, and
way of life. Their battle was a spiritual one; they were fighting for
freedom mostly of their hearts and souls.
The ritual of
the"nyabinghi"came out of their spiritualness. The ritual dance, at
first, was said to mean"death to white oppressors"but by the 1960s had
changed its meaning to"death to black and white oppressors". (Smith et
al. 1960, 7; my emphasis) (Chevannes pg. 164). This dance was actually
introduced to the Youth Black Faith by a Combsome. It is a ritual for
death-by-magic where the victim is represented by something consumed by
fire while everyone who is there dances around it to drumming, This
ritual was started around 1952 and would only be done in the presence of
Rastafarians and nobody else. The chosen victims were always public
individuals labelled as oppressors.
The Youth Black Faith viewed
women in a peculiar way. They thought of women having evil sides. The
women seemed to be more obsolete the higher up a Warrior got. Celibacy
was encouraged by the Dreadlocks; they were against promiscuous behaviour
like Revivalistic traditions exhibited. Women were not even allowed to
cook meals that Youth Black Faith members ate or participate in ritual
smoking. The time when women were avoided all together was during
menstruation. This is very much like primitive cultures such as Native
Americans who were afraid of women during menstruation because they
thought that the woman was not right at that time.
Black Faith, according to Wato, began the idea of placing value on the
spoken word. They recognized how so many other people from different
lands could speak and not be understood. They could not tell if a person
from another origin was shooting them down in words because they could
not understand what they were saying. Hence, the rastas came up with
their own dialect so that it would be hard for others to understand
them. This new dialect came out of a subculture that was undereducated
and. to me, that is an amazing accomplishment. The Rastafarians were an
amazing group of people who were led by their hearts. They advanced
through their spirit and accomplished the unthinkable. Some examples of
their way of speaking
are"seen"meaning"yes"and"overstand"meaning"understand". They did not
speak an entirely different language; they just added or subtracted on
or from words. They wanted to retrieve or make new the lost African
language that was taken from the slaves. Urban youths in particular
spoke in this subdialect that the Youth Black Faith supposedly started. A
lot of their way of speaking carries religious implications. The use
of"I"is used in place of me or mine and is also the Roman numeral seen
after Halle Selassie. The religious definition is that the Rastafari is
part of God who is Selassie. Since Selassie was alive, the Rastafari is a
living part of God or another"I". The"I"is substituted into many words
also such as brethren being changed to"bredrin". You is translated
to"the I"so as not to confuse you with me. Much of the Rastafarian way
of speaking substitutes letters in words. It has a How to it and when
hearing Jamaicans talk, I smile. It is such a unique dialect and for
some reason sounds soothing to my ears. The Youth Black Faith
accomplished much in their creation. However, they resembled much of the
Revivalistic traditions they were so against. They were more mainstream
than they had planned to be and did not diverge as far from the
existing traditions from the past as they had originally planned. They
did contribute much to the Rasta way of life and developing a subculture
against oppression. The Youth Black Faith added a new beginning and a
new outlook to Rastafarianism but also had continuity without trying to
with some of the Revivalistic traditions.