Rasta Evolution: The Twelve Tribes of Israel in Transition
Monique Ann Bedasse
Thesis DT 3.5 2002 B433
viii, 128 leaves; 29 cm.
The study of Rastafari has not emphasized group specificities. As a result, broad generalizations concerning who Rastafarians are and what they espouse have not provided an accurate representation of Rastafari in its varied manifestations. This study attempts to cater to the void in the literature, by dedicating the entire work to the intricacies of one particular Rasta group, the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The study looks at the history of the Twelve Tribes, examines the role of women and delves into the group's developing doctrine.
The Twelve Tribes is explored within the context of the wider Rastafarian movement, a movement that declares that the late Emperor Hale Selassie I of Ethiopia is divine. The organization is treated as one specific Rastafarian group that is unique, though it shares certain characteristics with the wider movement.
The organization was founded in 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica by Vernon Carrington (Gadman). Since then, the Twelve Tribes has become a global organization, with branches in 17 different locations around the world, including a settlement in Shashemane, Ethiopia. The fact that the legendary Bob Marley was a member of this group has much to do with its international presence.
Evolution constitutes the framework through which the Twelve Tribes is examined. Such a paradigm challenges previous works, which have sought to rigidly label Rasta as one thing or another. With the understanding that the Rasta movement is young, and that the Twelve Tribes specifically is a mere thirty-four years old, this work provides a flexible framework that accommodates the group's evolution.