African Music of the Rastafari, the Rasta Community, the Dreads

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African Music of the Rastafari, the Rasta Community, the Dreads

Nyabinghi music played at Rastafarian grounations, which includes drumming of at least three hand drums, chanting, dancing, spiritual use of the holy herb, and praise to Jah Rastafari, are considered the most important and inspirational meeting of Rastafari. The term "nyabinghi" is said to have come from a religious, spiritual, and political movement in East Africa beginning in the 1850’s until the 1950 led by a series of spiritually influential women and focused on military actions against white imperialists and colonialists.

It is thought that the term was a women-centered popular movement in Uganda that led the resistance against European settlers who were
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During the Dreadlocks era, Rastafarians would dance nyabinghi to bring death to oppressors, and today, these dances are purely ceremonial celebrations which last several days. Nyabinghi today, sometimes referred to as "binghi," is the dance on special occasions to commemorate events sacred to Rastafarians. Some of the holy days celebrated are the coronation of his Imperial majesty (November 2), his majesty’s ceremonial birthday (January 6), his visit to Jamaica (April 25, 1966), his majesty’s personal birthday (July 23, 1892), Emancipation from slavery (August 1), and Marcus Garvey’s birthday (August 17).

This ritual of Rastafari, also known as a grounation, first took place in Jamaica in March of 1958. This was the first nationwide Rasta convention in the home of Rastafari. "Grounation" means the affirmation of life through earth (Nicholas 68).
Grounations occur around the twenty-first of April each year and last several days and are the only organized worship of Rastafari. The first site of the first nationwide Rasta grounation in March of 1958, located in Back O’ Wall, Kingston, is named Coptic Theocratic Temple (Mulvaney 19). Rastas gather in a place in the countryside and spend the daytime cooking, smoking ganja, praising Jah, resting and reasoning with fellow Rasta bredren and sisters, gathering firewood, and preparing camp. Only "ital," or unprocessed, vegetarian, salt free food is eaten at the
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