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F.A.Q.s

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Lots of people contact Rasta Ites with questions and I try to answer them as best I can.
Some of these questions and answers will be posted here....... a sort of FAQ page. 
I stress that answers are only IMHO (in my humble opinion). Please feel free to contact Rasta Ites with more reasoning.
JAH blessings and guidance

Questions Index
On this page: hair, diet, language, skin colour, flag, faith & knowledge

Dreadlocks
"I
  would like you ( if you can) to inform me about the rule which says that hair must not be cut."

"I like to question something: What can I & I do for have a good dreads? I know but i need something like tips. And also I know what I have to know about Dreadlocks and too that Dreadlocks means . No problem with that Sista I know what is Dreadlocks and for me is not a something like a fashion is a Agreement (I think that is the word) with JAH Rastafari!!!!!"

Diet
"I see
in explaining the locks, the I refer also to Number 6. It also talks about not eating grapes, raisins and anything from the vine. Does it mean Rasta don't eat grapes, melon, sweet potato, soya, cucumber, squash, and pumpkin? All these come from the vine!! 


Language
" Tell
me something? Why does rasta say I and I? I was told it is because of the two conciousness levels of a rasta. One I for mankind and the other I for himself? Is that what I and I is about?

"hi ive been confused so many times with the term Christafari. I dont really uderstand what is all about. i hope you can help I"  

 Race
"I believe in your beliefs and everything associated with ras tafari. but the only thing holding me back is that i'm white and i don't really see anything about being white. so do rastas have to be black to be a true rasta? thank you for your time and effort to answer my question"

Flag
"I want to know why some times when I see the red, gold and green in horizontal bands the red is at the top, but at othertimes the green is at the top.
  With the bands in a vertical formation I only ever see the left to right ordering of red, gold & green" 

Faith and Knowledge
"i  want  to  know  the  origin  of  rastafari, the  meaning  of  rastafari, and  how  a  rasta  must  live  his  life?"
 

"I am blessed to receive the word of JAH but 1 thing that I am having trouble overstanding is Creation. Was there a before man period?"

Question "I am blessed to receive the word of JAH but 1 thing that I am having trouble overstanding is Creation. Was there a before man period?"
The simple answer to the I question is only Jah know. :-))) Still, that's not very helpful, so I will pass on to the I some of the reasoning I have on the subject. Remember this is only my humble opinion.
For one I&I know that the world was formed through creation not by accident.
A Moslem brother gave I this reasoning "To say there was a big bang and this world was the result is like saying that there was an explosion in  a print factory and the Encyclopedia Brittanica came out".
The creation story as told in Genesis although through divine Inspiration is based on the creation as told in Egypt. This is what Moses grew up with and also what the Israelites would have been familiar with. They had been living in Egypt for 400 years!!!
As for the I question if there was a time before man, then yes, in Genesis I&I see that humans were the last creatures who were made, and the scientific evidence says the same thing.
The order of creation in Genesis is
  • heaven & earth still they were formless, the earth was all water
  • light
  • atmosphere (firmament) to divide the heavens and the earth
  • dry land
  • vegetation
  • stars, sun ,moon
  • animals first in the sea and then in the air
  • then on dry land
  • then "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female, created he them"
The Bible says the creation took six days, still I&I know say a day could mean a million years to the Most High.
Question "I see in explaining the locks, the I refer also to Number 6. It also talks about not eating grapes, raisins and anything from the vine. Does it mean Rasta don't eat grapes, melon, sweet potato, soya, cucumber, squash, and pumpkin? All these come from the vine!!" (for dreadlocks, see also question below)

There are some Rastafari who do not eat any of those things, some who eat no grapes, raisins or sultanas, there are some who eat no cooked food at all, some who are vegan and some who are vegetarian, some eat fish and some even eat meat, although none of I&I would eat pork or shellfish. It all depends on how strict one is really. As in any way of life there are those that live more fully than others. Another reason for growing dreadlocks is that I&I are trying to achieve a natural livity. In the beginning before the invention of combs, brushes and scissors, everyone had dreadlocks. So I&I allow our hair to grow in all it's natural glory, showing our livication to the Almighty JAH RAS TAFARI. It is not only Rasta who locks their hair as a symbol of faith. In Nigeria if a child is born with locks, their hair is never cut, as they are to be prophets. In Kenya the freedom fighters against British rule, the Mau Mau, wore dreadlocks and also in India, Hindu holy men grow locks. Nowadays many non-Rasta wear locks as a fashion statement, still this fashion will pass in time and I&I will see who is real.

Question "I would like you ( if you can) to inform me about the rule which says that hair must not be cut."

The answer to your question is not wholly in the book of Revelation. Rasta hair is called dreadlocks (sometimes shortened to dread or locks) and is made by allowing the hair to grow naturally without the use of brushes, combs, razors or scissors. Many people think that we don't wash our hair but this is not true, Rastafari is a clean people. The origin of dreadlocks is the origin of man. Before the invention of brush and comb everyone had dreadlocks. For I, my dreadlocks is a symbol of the covenant between I and I God and King, Emperor Haile Selassie I.

In Numbers Chapter 6 one could find the Nazarite vow. The part that is relevant to dreadlocks is verse 5 
"All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no rasor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."

I&I know that the righteous in the Old Testament were all dreadlocks Nazarites. The most famous being Samson who lost all his great strength when his hair was cut. Samson was a Nazarite from birth and had 7 locks. Judges 13 verses 4 & 5 
"Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no rasor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines
Judges 16:13 
"And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
And verse 19 
"And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him."

Iyesu (Jesus) the Christ was also a Nazarite although this has been mistranslated as Nazarene causing people to think he lived in Nazareth. In Matthew ch 2:23 it says 
"And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene
A search of the Old Testament reveals no mention of Nazareth. According to some sources it is not even certain if Nazareth existed at the time as it is on none of the maps of the area. In the Schofield Bible notes it states that the Matthew was probably referring to Isaiah 11:1
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots
The word translated as rod is "netzer"

Revelation 14:3
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."
Also Revelation 22:4
"And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
When people see someone with dreadlocks they say "look a Rasta" or Rastafari....... One of the names of I&I God and King Haile Selassie is Ras Tafari..... so I&I have our father's name written on our foreheads.

JAH RAS TAFARI HAILE SELASSIE I

Still it is important to remember that not everyone with dreadlocks is a Rastafari and also that not every Rastafari has dreadlocks.

Question ""I like to question something: What can I & I do for have a good dreads? I know but I need something like tips. And also I know what I have to know about Dreadlocks and too that Dreadlocks means . No problem with that Sista I know what is Dreadlocks and for me is not a something like a fashion is a Agreement (I think that is the word) with JAH Rastafari!!!!!"

Everyone's hair is different bredren and what is good for one person may not be for another one. All one has to do to grow dreadlocks is to wash your hair and leave it. Always use natural vegetarian products on your hair. If the I is lucky to have aloe vera growing where you live, this is supposed to be very good for the hair. Also it is good to oil the scalp which can get very dry especially when you don't brush your hair. Coconut oil is good or olive oil (this is especially good if you have any dandruff!) Tea Tree oil is good to deter headlice, the essential oil must be mixed with a base oil before putting on the scalp or use a tea tree shampoo. 
Also I think the word the I search for is Covenant still it is nearly the same as an Agreement. Yes I dreadlocks should be carried as a sign of I&I Covenant with the Most High JAH.

Question  " Tell me something? Why does rasta say I and I? I was told it is because of the two conciousness levels of a rasta. One I for mankind and the other I for himself? Is that what I and I is about?

I&I signifies I&I unity with JAH the Most High. As in I and I God, it is also used to signify I&I Rastafari bredren and sistren, also signifying I&I unity with the Most I. So it can mean I or we or even you, although now more I's would say "the I" for you. The dictionary definition below is from the Rasta Patois Dictionary 
"I and I, I&I:  
I, me, you and me, we (1)Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I.  I and I embraces the congregation in unity with the  Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity)."
.
Question
: "I believe in your beliefs and everything associated with ras tafari. but the only thing holding me back is that i'm white and i don't really see anything about being white. so do rastas have to be black to be a true rasta? thank you for your time and effort to answer my question"

Greetings beloved I am sorry I haven't answered before but I didn't just want to send you a hurried response. Firstly welcome bredren (or sistren?) to the Rastafari livity.

Secondly some quotes : First from His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I

"As we do not practice of permit discrimination within our nation, so we oppose it wherever it is found. As we guarantee to each the right to worship as he chooses so we denounce the policy which sets man against man on issues of religion. As we extend the hand of universal brotherhood to all, without regard to race or color, so we condemn any social or political order which distinguishes among God's children on this most specious of grounds."

Next Bob Marley "Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together - black, white, Chinese, everyone - that's all"

"Until the white man stop calling himself white and the black man stop calling himself black, we will not see it. All the people on the earth are just one family, and so my music defends righteousness. If youre black and you're wrong, you're wrong; if you're white and you're wrong, you're wrong; if you're Indian and you're wrong, you're wrong. It's universal."

Idren, if His Imperial Majesty have called you, then come forward, there are many works to do. The I need to study and read about Ras Tafari, His Majesty's speeches, reasoning from the elders, African Istory. There is so much information available online these days and also many Rasta groups where the I could reason with other bredrens and sistrens. Stop believing and know Ras Tafari. Believe have a lie in the middle of it, so I&I nah say believe as it implies doubt. The I may still find a few Rastafari who will say that you can't be Rasta but, in I experience, things have changed a lot and many more Japheth idrens are coming into the faith. True I say Japheth and not white, see Genesis and the I-story of Noah and the flood. The European races came forth from Noah's son Japheth. The African races from Cham and the Semitic races from Shem. This is figured from where they settled after the flood. True you must always remember that it is from Africa that I&I God and King manifest. Also the Bible is an African book peopled by black people not white as we have been led to believe. RasTafari is a movemant of black people first but if you are willing to join the struggle for reparations and repatriation and equal rights for black people, then welcome.

.
Question
: I want to know why some times when I see the red, gold and green in horizontal bands the red is at the top, but at othertimes the green is at the top. With the bands in a vertical formation I only ever see the left to right ordering of red, gold & green.

The official Ethiopian flag always has the green at the top. You could see this during His Majesty's Haile Selassie I's reign as the lion would be upside down if the red was on top. I&I as Ras Tafari should fly the flag with the green on top.
See http://flagspot.net/flags/et.html  for meaning and history of the flag.
I was once told that if the red is at the top it means that you are at war. The flags with vertical stripes are not from Ethiopia although a lot of countries adopted these colours when they received freedom from colonisation. They became a symbol of freedom because Ethiopia was never colonised.
I hope this answers the question.

Further reasoning on this issue added 12th January 2007
Since writing this rasponse there has been some reasoning on this within the online Rastafari community arising from the fact that the EABIC (Bobo Shanti) fly the flag with the red on top. I feel that this is their choice and they have their own reasoning to support this. 

.
Question
: "i  want  to  know  the  origin  of  rastafari, the  meaning  of  rastafari, and  how  a  rasta  must  live  his  life? received 12th March 2003

Greetings bredren, in the Name of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I Ras Tafari. I am sorry that I have not responded to the I sooner but I am very busy at the moment........ as always :-)) The questions you ask are very difficult and it would take several books to answer them fully plus the beautiful thing about Ras Tafari is that every one has their own interpretation. 
So I will just list a few basics and then suggest some reading for you if you want to know more. Ras Tafari is as old as the Earth itself but has only come to be called by that name in the present incarnation. Ras Tafari is an earlier name for the Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I who reigned as King of Kings in Ethiopia from 1930 until he was deposed in 1974. In 1975 He disappeared from the eyes of the world. 
In 1930 when Ras Tafari was crowned Emperor in Ethiopia he took his baptismal name which is Haile Selassie. This name means Power of the Holy Trinity. He was also given the titles King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. 
In the west colonialism was still in place and black people who had not long been released from slavery were kept poor and hungry as well as be oppressed by the white rulers of society. In Jamaica certain enlightened ones had long been waiting for a sign that the time had come for black people to claim their birthright. Marcus Garvey a campaigner for black rights and also repatriation to Africa told people to look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King. When His Majesty was crowned they looked in their Bibles and found prophecy concerning this event in Isaiah and Revelation especially. They came to realise that the Almighty was once more trodding the Earth in human form. 
So the beginnings of the Ras Tafari movement in this time was formed.
Ras Tafari is not a religion, but it is a way of life, or livity as I&I call it. There are no rules as such but most Rastafari are vegetarian, many are vegan and some only eat raw food. Although some eat fish and some eat chicken and some other meats (especially in the organisation known as the 12 tribes of Israel), none of I&I would eat the flesh of pigs and generally we stick to the Biblical food laws shunning shellfish and fish without fins and scales etc.
Also a man should not have sex with his wife while she is mentruating and many will not take food from women during this time either. Rules of dress etc also vary according to the individual and the different Rasta houses (organisations).
Although most of I&I see ganga as a sacred herb and aid to meditation and a way of praising God it is not compulsory to smoke it. Also it is not compulsory to have dreadlocks although most Rastas do seeing them as a sign of the covenant made with I&I God JAH RAS TAFARI. See Numbers Chapter 6 for the Nazarite vows. One should study the word of JAH (God) as written in the Holy Bible (remember this has suffered much from mistranslation and also many parts were excluded by the early Christian church) Also it is important to read other writings that have recently been found and the books of the Apocrypha. It is also good to study Black History not just the history of colonialism and slavery but the history of the great civilisations from earlier times when European civilisation didn't exist.
 But before all that and for you to just learn a little more about I&I, there are many links on my site on these pages http://rastaites.com/rastalinks.html  and http://rastaites.com/prophecy.htm  Also on my site there are many speeches from His Majesty and also information on Ethiopian culture.
Many books are also available. You should read about Haile Selassie and the wonderful works that He performed. A good book to start with for the life of His Majesty is the Christine Sandford "The Lion of Judah has prevailed" or "The Mission" by Lockot.
Well I 've written much more than I meant too :-)) and I hope the information helps you in your search. Please e-mail again if you want to anytime ....... still, do some reading first.


Question: "hi ive been confused so many times with the term Christafari. I dont really understand what is all about. i hope you can help I". received 8th March
Greetings ...... 
Christafari is the name of a Christian reggae band. see http://www.vitanovis.com/English/experience/christafari.html  scroll down to see what they believe and also what the name means. It also details where they differ from InI 

........ they say

 "We are born again non-denominational evangelical Christians. We do not worship Haile Selassie, but pray to whom he prayed, Jesus Christ. We do not believe that the second coming of Christ has taken place yet, but are preparing for it daily. We also do not smoke marijuana.

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