Chapter

The Ethos of Rastafari

Ennis Barrington Edmonds

in Rastafari

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195133769
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834167 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195133765.003.0005
The Ethos of Rastafari

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The continued existence of social movements usually depends on the development of hierarchical institutional structures. Rastafari, however, is characterized by an ethos rather than institutional structures. This ethos is characterized by three essential elements: (1) a reticulated social structure or web‐like network of individuals, “houses,” and “mansions” (various groupings of Rastas); (2) a worldview encoded in symbols and symbolic references such as dreadlocks, Ethiopian colors, and Babylon; and (3) ritual activities – primarily ganja (marijuana) smoking and “reasoning” – collectively known as “grounding.”

Keywords: ethos; ganja; grounding; houses; mansions; marijuana; network; reasoning; symbols; worldview

Chapter.  5247 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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