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RastafariFrom Outcasts to Culture Bearers$
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Ennis Barrington Edmonds

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195133765.001.0001

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The Ethos of Rastafari

The Ethos of Rastafari

Structure, Ideology, and Ritual

Chapter:
(p.67) 4 The Ethos of Rastafari
Source:
Rastafari
Author(s):

Ennis Barrington Edmonds (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195133765.003.0005

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

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