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Visions of ZionEthiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land$
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Erin C. MacLeod

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479882243

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479882243.001.0001

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Speaking of Space in/and Shashemene

Speaking of Space in/and Shashemene

(p.94) 3 Speaking of Space in/and Shashemene
Visions of Zion

Erin C. MacLeod

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the issues of contact between Rastafari and Ethiopians by investigating the space that is Shashemene where the majority of Rastafari have settled. It provides an analysis of Shashemene, discussing the issue of land and space and the meanings that stem from this space—specifically how the space and the meanings drawn from it reflect the difference between the Rastafari population and that of the inhabitants of Shashemene. For Rastafari, Shashemene is home, it is the Promised Land. As a piece of land, it takes on a particular symbolic resonance. Rastafari have created a sense of the space as blessed and divine through their conceptualization of Ethiopia. This is a specific ideal, and this view is significantly different from the conception of space by Ethiopians.

Keywords:   Ethiopia, Rastafari, space, Shashemene, utopia, Ethiopians

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