Tracing their lineage back to King Solomon--the wisest man who ever lived--Rastafarians follow a spiritual tradition of peace and meditation that is more a way of life than an organized religion. During his 15 years living in Jamaica, Gerald Hausman developed deep friendships with Rastafarians and rootsmen, enabling him to experience firsthand the beliefs and traditions of these followers of the Kebra Nagast--the African gospel excised from the King James version of the Bible. He met bush doctors, Rasta preachers, members of the Marley family, and respected elders who knew Marcus Garvey, prophet of the Rasta movement and vocal proponent of the Pan-African movement in America. He also met elders who were present when Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia and descendant of the House of David, came to Jamaica in the 1960s. Through interviews with fishermen, mystics, and wise men, as well as direct encounters with spirits and the spiritual, the author reveals the deep wisdom that underlies the "old ways" of the Rastas. He connects their stories, lives, and teachings with important biblical passages as well as reggae songs. He shares their views on the medicinal and meditative powers of cannabis--the sacred herb of Solomon--and explains that while Rastas believe it to be "the opener of the door," they maintain that peace and understanding must be found within. Illustrating the unwavering faith and hope of the Rastafari of Jamaica, Hausman shows them to be a people who, above all, emphasize equality, because the Holy Spirit within each of us makes us all one and the same.
Gerald Hausman is a renowned storyteller and award-winning author of more than 70 books about Native America, animals, mythology and West Indian culture, including The Kebra Nagast, introduced by Ziggy Marley. He has presented stories throughout the United States and Europe as well as on NPR and the History Channel and for the Kennedy Center and the American Library Association. He lives in Bokeelia, Florida.
Acknowledgments It Takes a Village to Write a Book Introduction Rastafarians in Jamaica: The Children of Solomon 1 Heart 2 Bird 3 Iron 4 Fire 5 I and I 6 Samson 7 Jonah 8 Rock 9 Tabernacle 10 Revelation 11 Never Run Away 12 Prophet 13 Blood 14 Bomb 15 Healer 16 Hear 17 Obeah 18 Believers 19 Beast 20 Switcher Glossary Bibliography Index