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Rastafarians

Members of a political and religious movement among blacks in Jamaica and several other countries. This messianic movement dates back to the 1930s. Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie (originally known as Ras Tafari), a former emperor of Ethiopia, is the only true God and consider him the messiah. They believe that black people are the Israelites reincarnated and have been subjected to the white race in divine punishment for their sins; they will eventually be redeemed by repatriation to Africa. These beliefs, first enunciated in 1953, can be traced to several independent proponents, particularly Marcus Garvey. Some Rastafarian rituals include the use of marijuana, considered a holy weed, and the chanting of revivalist hymns. Reggae music is the popular music of the movement.

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