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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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Representations of Rastafari

Representations of Rastafari

(p.167) 5 Representations of Rastafari
Visions of Zion

Erin C. MacLeod

NYU Press

This chapter explores the popular perception of Rastafari by looking at music and artistic representations of the faith. Music plays a role in the Rastafari movement and in its worldwide presence through the work of Bob Marley. In order to address the relationship between Rastafari and Ethiopians it is also essential to look at the importance and impact of music—specifically reggae music—in Ethiopia. Through Ethiopian music, musicians, and a visual artist inspired by reggae, Rastafari, and Bob Marley, an image of Rastafari in the popular Ethiopian imagination is observed. This shows that Rastafari influence in Ethiopia can be studied in terms of its influence on Ethiopian culture and history, but that Rastafari elements can also be studied totally independently of these elements. Though reggae and Rastafari are connected, Ethiopians can disconnect the two, selectively appropriating elements that do not threaten Ethiopian identity.

Keywords:   music, artistic representation, Ethiopia, Rastafari, Ethiopians, Bob Marley, reggae, Ethiopian identity

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