Written by Ras Demsee I
Friday, 09 November 2007
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. announces an epic exhibition tracing the international roots of Rastafari’s genesis and development. The exhibit Discovering Rastafari launches November 2, 2007 and lasts through November 2, 2008. Using artifacts, rare photographs, and ephemera (pamphlets and notices) to explore the origins and religious practices of the movement in Jamaica, this exhibition takes viewers beyond the popular Jamaican music known as reggae to the deeper roots of the Rastafari culture. Video footage featuring first-person testimony from male and female Rastafari of different ages, nationalities, and racial and class backgrounds speak to Rastafari of unity and to the spread of the movement across the Caribbean and beyond over the past three decades.

The Rastafari movement began 77 years ago among Black Jamaicans defending their dignity and right to self-determination. This year as we celebrate the Ethiopian Millenium, the movement has spread around the globe, and the name of JAH is praised in virtually every language. The exhibtion features extensive never-before-seen testimony by Rastafari elders from around the world

To kick of the exhibit, there will be a concert with Rasta elder and Los Angeles-based spiritual leader Ras Michael. He will perform with his group The Sons of Negus. With more than 20 albums to his credit, Ras Michael is unique among roots reggae artists as he has developed his music around the pulsating Rastafari rhythms of the Nyabinghi drums. Ras Michael developed his musical skills in the legendary Rasta camps of Trenchtown in West Kingston. A contemporary of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Burning Spear, Ras Michael and his band continue to fuse Nyabinghi rhythm with timeless Rasta Chants and contemporary lyrics.

General admission to this event is $25, call 202-633-3030 for tickets or visit http://www.residentassociates.org