On Rastas in Ghana

Okomfo Anokye by dvnmyls

Reggae is not unlike “highlife,” the most popular form of Ghanaian music, which mixes both African and Caribbean influences and can be traced to the 1920s and 1930s.

20+ best Lucky Dube quotes about life, love, success, and politics
Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/418729-20-lucky-dube-quotes-life-love-success-politics.html



While the South African singer Lucky Dube pioneered reggae in places like Ghana during the 1970s, and still ranks as one of the most sought-after performers throughout contemporary Africa, other “imports,” such as Don Carlos, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Marley, not forgetting more recent acts such as Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, and Buju Banton, have emerged to create and define a certain ethos that, at least from one perspective, may be seen as “Rasta.”

In all likelihood, “Rasta” as a religious-cultural import influenced a few Ghanaian youth to practice Rastafarianism in the 1970s and 1980s. Its social message, often wrapped in musical garb, would have been appealing, for instance, to disenfranchised youth during those long years of economic mismanagement and domestic privation.

Reggae was, and remains, an important “Rasta fashion,” and so too is the general appearance of “the Rastaman,” particularly the dreadlocks, which seem to carry enormous appeal in Ghana. It seems highly likely that some of these early Rastas noted the similarity between the appearance of Rasta celebrities like Bob Marley, with his long matted hair, and traditional African fetish priests and, therefore, perceived Rastafarianism as an authentically African way of life.
Okomfo Anokye is worth noting here, as a truly legendary figure in Ghanaian religion and culture. According to Ashanti mythology, he established the Ashanti Kingdom by calling forth its sacred Golden Stool from the sky. In addition, Ashantis claim that one of the three palm nuts Anokye threw on the ground marks the spot that would later become Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti kingdom.

Furthermore, they link him to a legendary sword, observable today in a small room behind Kumasi’s Okomfo Anokye Hospital. According to Ashanti tradition, this sword was mysteriously placed at the exact spot where Okomfo Anoyke called forth the Golden Stool. Royal lore claims that the Ashanti dynasty will suffer unspeakable tragedies should the sword ever be removed.

Not only do Ashantis treat Okomfo Anoyke as their founder and protector, they hold him as one of their highest fetish priests, mysteriously born as a locksman with fully-grown, matted hair.
This arresting detail is not lost on current Ghanaian Rastafarians. While it is difficult to prove that early Ghanaian Rastafarians made any kind of solid connection between their faith and the figure of Okomfo Anokye, from my perspective, the link seems obvious. More than a few non-Rastafarian Ghanaians remarked to me that with the emergence of Rastafarianism among Ghanaian youth in the mid-to-late 1970s, fetish priests found a wider audience for their words and deeds.



Excerpt from:
AS IT IS IN ZION:SEEKING THE RASTAFARI IN GHANA,WEST AFRICA
Darren J. N. Middleton, Black Theology: An International Journal, 2006.

Ghana’s Rastas and the year of return

On Biomusic

Science has been moving in complementary ways to art for centuries, including recently, with the introduction of biotechnology into the arts.
The mix of eastern/western and holistic/analytical-technocratic thinking contributed to a multi-angular approach to human nature.

The informatics that supports biotechnology became a craftsperson’s tool. According to Whitelaw, especially biotechnology involves technologies such as genetic engineering, tissue culture and cloning, while it produces results that are the source of inspiration for those occupied with the subject.

Bioart rather suggests that any future outcome for embodiment in the field of informatics should leave some space for the aesthetic processes of composition. The term bioart, an invention of artist Eduardo Kac for his work ‘Time Capsule’ in 1997, and its derivatives, such as biomusic, belong to what could be described as the next level of syncretic creativity. It is about a technoetic evolution, where the self comes to the forefront through generative arrangements and processes.
The self is shaped through new dimensions of consciousness.

Excerpt from:

Biomusic: The carrier, by Dimitri Batsis and Xenophon Bitsikas, Anastasia Georgaki, Angelos Evaggelou, Panagiotis Tigas. 2012.

On role of the Deejay

Dominant and subversive versions of Africa and African history reproduced the dynamic outlined above but on an international scale.
In Britain in the 1980s imperial relations were being re-imagined in the context of humanitarian aid. Black youths in Britain wielded their African heritage as a tool to build their communities and give voice to their analysis.
Meanwhile the mainstream press, and charitable structures,were also building a version of Africa; one of helpless victims of natural disasters.

Given such a context, the ‘performance’ that is being considered here contains dialogues that traverse the African diaspora and are based on the acquisition of‘oral skills’ in Creolised language, which acted as a mode of response to the imposition of European culture on non-European peoples. Resistance became most evident in the contested spaces constructed around specific types of language-use that expressed an alternative black subjectivity that bridged intergenerational gaps within black communities.

The use of particular linguistic forms, both oral and scribal, continued the type of ‘pan Caribbean consciousness‘ that was necessary for the Windrush Generation’s survival and was passed down to the generations born in Britain thereafter.
For many deejays, therefore, the world view expressed through the usage of Standard English reduced them to the voiceless, passive victims of a Eurocentric historical bias.
By blending several aspects of Jamaican oral culture with their own local argot, deejays verbally presented critiques of certain entrenched ideas, for instance, poetry as an exclusively white domain.


This type of engagement was exemplifed in a lyric performed on Diamonds Sound System by the British deejay Papa Benji, which suggested that
‘poetry me better than Shakespeare, and me voice gone clear everywhere’.

The deejay thus became the veritable keeper of memories, for once the word was performed, recorded and disseminated, it became an artefact; a historical document.
It also enabled the performers to present their own arguments, in their own words and on their own terms in a ‘commonly agreed language’ that countered their ‘social problem’ status.

Photo from:

Without The Windrush Generation, British MC Culture Would Be Non-Existent

Excerpt from:

William ‘Lez’ Henry (2012) Reggae, Rasta and the Role of the Deejay
in the Black British Experience, Contemporary British History, 26:3, 355-373,
DOI:10.1080/13619462.2012.703024

Wosui – Wicked Babylon EP

Wosui coming in hot on future dubwise label Reggaewise outta Greece.

3 tracks+1 dub made primarily and foremost with task to shake the scoops and rumble the tweeters of any good sound system.
Full support!

Feldub & Earl Sixteeen – Stand Firm

Heavyweight stepper riddim with flying horns in combination with soulful rasta lyrics by legendary Earl Sixteen followed by dubwise cut.
Full support!

On Rasta reasoning


Excerpt from:

THE SOCIAL DRAMA OF RASTAFARI
William F. Lewis
1994. Dialectical Anthropology.

Foundation Roots Reggae with Danniella Dee

Strictly vinyl Golden era selection with Danniella Dee of Sisters in Dub (UK) on My Analog Journal.

On co-opting Reggae and Rastafari revolution

Jah Billah intro:
This text highlights tactics used by Babylon to regain social control over revolutionary social movements.
In escalating progression these appear as:

Evasion – ignoring
Counterpersuasion– ridicule and linguistic control
Coercion or Coercive persuasion – violence
Adjustment – co-opting the social movement
Capitulation – Babylon take over

Even if take just a quick look at first tactic “creating dead channels” we can witness how online media surrounds us with fake activist influencers who do the talk yet never remember to do the walk.

CIA, Guns, and Rasta: Inside the Making of Reggae’s Most Iconic Film

The Rhetoric of Social Control 

Responding to the agitation of a social movement, ‘‘establishments’’ tend to Resort first to ‘‘evasion,’’ which involves, in effect, pretending that the social movement ‘‘does not exist or that it is too insignificant to recognize’’.
Establishments can postpone action, appear constrained to grant protest goals, control or change the social or political agenda , lie and control information, deny protestors the physical means of protest, deny protestors access to the media, and create ‘‘dead-­‐end’’ channels of influence.
For example, during the 1960s, several poor, Black communities in Baltimore waged a war on poverty, challenging the dominant White majority who controlled the city’s political structure.
In order to thwart the demands of the protestors, Baltimore’s political establishment employed a standard evasion tactic, changing the political agenda. The protestors insisted that the city government must invest the necessary time and resources to address Baltimore’s impoverished areas. In response, Baltimore’s political establishment changed the political agenda to ‘‘improve the absolute well-­‐being of the city’s entire population, not to effect a redistribution of values in favor of the poverty-­‐stricken blacks’’.

The second strategy is called ‘‘counterpersuasion.’’
In counterpersuasion, governments and their surrogates seek to discredit movement leaders or to show their ideas are ‘‘ill-­‐advised and lack merit’’.
Counterpersuasion may be part of a larger rhetorical matrix called ‘‘administrative rhetoric,’’ or the establishment’s attempt to undermine a social movement’s ideas and influence.
A number of counterpersuasion tactics have been identified, including ridicule, discrediting protest leaders and organizations, appealing to unity by ‘‘crying anarchy’’, and linguistic control.
In a study on the Equal Rights Association, Martha Solomon ( 1978) argued that the STOP-­‐ERA political campaign employed the tactic of ridicule to paint ‘‘an unappealing picture of the feminists’ physical appearance and nature’’.
Portrayed in ‘‘devil’’ terms, ERA supporters were labeled ‘‘anti-­‐male,’’ ‘‘arrogant,’’ and ‘‘abortive.’’ In contrast, ERA opponents were characterized within the ideological framework of the ‘‘Positive Woman’’—physically attractive, intelligent, and emotionally fulfilled.

When milder strategies prove unsuccessful in counteracting the agitation of a social movement, establishments typically resort to a strategy of ‘‘coercion.’’
This strategy may remain largely rhetorical, what Stewart, Smith, and Denton refer to as ‘‘coercive persuasion’’. Simons ( 1972, 1976) coined the term ‘‘coercive persuasion’’ because he believed ‘‘elements of persuasion and inducement or persuasion and constraint are generally manifested in the same act’’.
For example, police officers combine physical and verbal intimidation to control deviance before a social disturbance breaks out.

If ‘‘coercion persuasion’’ fails, the conflict can escalate to more physical tactics, such as restrictive legislation, physically attacking demonstrators, firebombing homes, imprisonment, or even assassination.
Oberschall ( 1973) observed that during this conflictual stage ‘‘the authorities seek to destroy the organization of the opposition, arrest their leaders, and even set up stooges that allegedly speak for the population from which the protestors are drawn’’. In a comprehensive study of how riot commissions interpret and investigate riots, Platt ( 1971) reported that an estimated 34 people died and over 4,000 were arrested during the 1965 Watts riots. According to Platt, a jury later discovered that the Los Angeles Police Department and the National Guard were responsible for 23 of the 26 ‘‘justified’’ murders.

When all strategies have failed, an establishment may employ the ‘‘adjustment’’ strategy, which ‘‘involves making some concessions to a social movement while not accepting the movement’s demands or goals’’ .
Adjustment tactics can encompass ‘‘symbolic’’ concessions, such as Manley’s public praise of the Rastafarian movement, or establishments might sacrifice some of their own personnel if a ‘‘social movement focuses its agitation and hatred upon a single individual or unit’’.
Elites can use economic rewards to satisfy and stratify a protest group or establish committees to investigate issues.
If a social movement’s agitation becomes especially intense, the establishment might even incorporate movement leaders and sympathizers into the establishment by appointing them to low-­‐level decision-­‐ making positions.
Or the establishment might incorporate parts of the dissent ideology into the mainstream, entering into a loose confederation with the social movement.

Yet, cooperation with a dissent group ‘‘may lead to outright co-­‐optation of the cause’’ or a literal takeover of the movement by elements of the mainstream establishment. Gamson ( 1968) suggested that establishments use the co-­‐optation strategy when prior control strategies were unsuccessful.
Social movements that are co-­‐opted are often ‘‘subject to the rewards and punishments that the organization bestows’’. In fact, according to Gamson, ‘‘new rewards lie ahead if they show themselves to be amenable to some degree of control’’.

The final strategy, capitulation, occurs when the social movement’s ideas, policies, and personnel ‘‘replace those of the target institution’’.
In the case of the Rastafarian movement, the Jamaican government did not capitulate to the demands of the Rastafarian movement. Instead, the Jamaican government and its supporters co-­‐opted the cultural symbols of Rastafari and reggae music as authentic reflections of Jamaican society.


Text from:
The Co-optation of a ‘‘Revolution’’: Rastafari, Reggae, and the Rhetoric of Social Control
Author:
King, Stephen A. (1999).
Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 15.
http://thekeep.eiu.edu/commstudies_fac/15

On Rastafari bush doctor

Photo by Simon Lister Photography

The dynamics of herbal medicine are complex within the Western Cape and are typically sectored into different groupings based upon cultural background.
In contemporary Western Cape culture, particularly in urban Cape Town, a hybridization of cultures and healers has led to the development of neo–traditional healers, Rastafari bush doctors.

This group draws from the practices and herbal treatments used by other cultures including:
herbalists called inyanga (Zulu) and amaxwhele (Xhosa); spiritual diviners, who communicate largely with ancestral spirits, called izangoma (Zulu) and amagqirha (Xhosa); faith healers called umthandazi (Xhosa), Christians who heal through prayer; and traditional birth attendants.
In the Western Cape, bossiedokters (in English, bush doctors), healers with knowledge of bush herbs, are recognized as the oldest healers in this area.

Rastafarian herbalists acknowledge their KhoiSan history as the basis for their botanical medical knowledge.

There is evidence that medicinal plant knowledge was shared between KhoiSan and Xhosa cultures from the 16th century onwards; where KhoiSan peoples used highly advanced nomenclature, distinguishing between species and sub–species levels, while Xhosa folk taxonomy discriminates typically to the family or genus level and include flora from a wider geographical range.

Investigations reveal that the growing subculture of Rastafarians promotes and trades medicinal species
in most towns, city centers, and rural areas in the Western Cape.

Rastafari, a socio–political religion, has been a growing phenomenon in South Africa since its introduction in the 1970s. Its tenets promote racial equality, ecological sustainability and, for those in the Western Cape, availability of traditional medicines.
The most visible leaders of this group are their healers who have adopted the Afrikaans name:
bossiedokters.

Rastafarians march for access to cannabis industry

Contemporary Rasta bush doctors state that their mission is to reintroduce KhoiSan healing traditions to the disadvantaged people living in townships, housing settlements for people of color that were provided by the Apartheid government.
Bush doctors are an important element to revitalizing a culture of healing and preserving indigenous knowledge specifically for urbanized Coloured communities, a mixed race group descendant from KhoiSan people and other cultures.



Excerpt from:

The Informal Trade of Medicinal Plants by Rastafari Bush Doctors in the Western Cape of South Africa
LISA E. ASTON PHILANDER, NOKWANDA P. MAKUNGA, AND KAREN J. ESLER
Economic Botany, 2014.

On the path to wisdom

On hemp for victory

Jah Billah intro:

There is still some confusion about cannabis plant being used as hemp or marijuana. This text will clear the confusion and show how propaganda made one plant into two varieties: drugless hemp and deadly marijuana.
At this time we should all acknowledge that cannabis saved entire world in World War.

It’s time to grow hemp for the peace.

The U.S. government was able to make hemp illegal for the United States citizens because it was constructed as a threat to society. This threat was overlooked as the advent of World War II created a problem for the U.S. industrial fiber supplies. The U.S. knew it would quickly use up the hemp stores it had along with the abaca and jute, other industrial strength fibers imported from the Philippines and Asia.


This shortage was critical because imports from the South Pacific, necessary for maintaining the armed forces, were no longer available. In this context the federal government was forced to contradict the laws against the threat of hemp, and thus began a campaign to make hemp patriotic. They’ realized the only way to get strong fibers for defense, cloth, rope, and gear was to grow it domestically. Thus began the federal government’s Hemp for Victory campaign to help farmers to grow hemp once more.

By creating a guaranteed market for the hemp and using educational campaigns farmers were encouraged to grow hemp.

The peak of the Hemp for Victory campaign was in 1945 and 1944. Estimates of the tonnage of hemp grown in those two years are about 75,000 tons in 1945 and 150,000 tons in 1944.
In 1945 there was a wealth of articles written about growing hemp. Some showed a concern about growing marijuana. One expressed this fear by stating,

“What can be done to keep these enormous (75,000 tons) new supplies, from which there almost inevitably will be ‘leaks’, out of their (depraved addicted creatures) twitching hands?”, the government conveniently reconstructed hemp in order to calm these masses, which were afraid because of the 1920s construction of hemp.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that it created a strain of “drugless hemp” through breeding techniques.

At this point the government began a thorough contradiction of its hemp policies.

As part of the new campaign, the USDA issued the movie Hemp for Victory in 1942 to tell of the advantages of growing hemp for the war effort. Although this movie, along with other forms of government documentation of the campaign, has been removed from public view, a few pieces can be found.

In fact, the transcript of the movie is available on the internet (USDA 1942).

In the movie the USDA states that the decline of hemp was due to an increase in imports:

“then came cheaper imported fibers for cordage, like jute sisal and Manila hemp, and the culture of hemp in America declined.”.

In this movie there is no mention of marijuana.

They conveniently separate them and create hemp into a harmless plant once more. In fact, hemp becomes a symbol of patriotism. The movie concludes with this imagery:

When the Manila hemp reserve is gone, American hemp will go on

duty again: hemp for mooring ships; hemp for low lines; hemp for tackle

and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as

in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen

shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for Victory.


Perhaps the most telling aspect of the reversal of the Hemp for Victory campaign is the education given to children of farmers. There were 4-H programs in place encouraging students to grow hemp. “Growing hemp gives 4-H members a real opportunity to serve their country in wartime…. Labor requirements do not interfere with school work.”

The plant was safe enough for America’s children to grow as a 4-H project when in a bind. There was no mention of careful handling, and no warning that they would be growing a dangerous plant. There was an outline of a typical growing season and a “hemp seed record” to keep track of the plants and quantities harvested.

The government heavily encouraged farmers to grow hemp. They were paid $30 to $50 a ton for the hemp fibers. The only rule was that a row of some other crop should surround the hemp field so that no one could access the hemp easily.
Through all of the favorable publicity for hemp there were some warnings of things to come.

There was a mentality created that only poor countries grow hemp, which is why U.S. farmers would no longer need to grow hemp after the war.

“Although hemp is a very favorable crop now- in all probability after the war, we will find that it will again lose some of its importance. We cannot compete with the cheap labor of the East, and the hand separated hemp is superior [to mechanically separated hemp].”

After World War II ended, the anti-hemp constructions resurfaced. Hemp cultivation was no longer allowed without permits, special taxes, and DEA initiated intervention once more. Hemp was no longer patriotic, but a threat. People returned to either viewing hemp as the dangerous marijuana or as a crop only developing countries, such as the Philippines, should grow.

Wisconsin was the only exception to the rule. Until 1958 they continued to grow hemp, despite strong federal opposition. So even the federal government had to contradict its own law to use hemp.


There was no other substitute for the crop in a time of war. Hemp is a good plant when it saves the country, but a bad plant in peacetime.

Text source:

Industrial Hemp (Cannabis savita L): The Geography of a Controversial Plant
by
April M. Luginbuhl, 2001. California Geographer


Image source:
Hemp for Victory

On extatic intoxication in religion



Chemical means, i. e., drugs, are employed almost exclusively by uncivilized peoples in order to produce intoxication during religious ceremonies. Brinton tells us that “in every savage tribe we find a knowledge of narcotic plants which were employed to induce strange and vivid hallucinations
or dreams …. The negroes of the Niger had their ‘fetish water‘, the Creek Indians of Florida their ‘black drink‘ for this purpose. In many parts of the United States the natives smoked stramonium, the Mexican tribes swallowed the peyotl and the snake-plant, the tribes of California and the Samoyeds of Siberia had found a poisonous toadstool; all to bring about
communication with the Divine and to induce extatic visions.”‘

The Indians of New Mexico who are “unacquainted with intoxicating liquors . . . find drunkenness, in ‘the fumes of a certain -herb smoked through a stone tube and used chiefly during their religious festivals.” Among the old Mexicans, a seed called Oliliuhgue entered into a vision-producing ” divine
medicine,” which could be obtained only from the priests.

” In the Indic and Iranian cult there was,” we are told, ” a direct worship of deified liquor analogous to Dionysiac rites.”

It has even been maintained that the whole Rig Veda is but a
collection of hymns for soma worship. The drinking ceremony was accompanied by magical incantations and by religious invocations. During the frequent libations that marked the sacrifice of soma, the officiating priest asked repeatedly for inspiration. He offered the liquor with these words:
“O,Indra, accept our offering . . . drink of the soma, thou the friend of prayer and of the liquor; well disposed God, drink in order to intoxicate thyself.” ” I pour it out into the double cavity of thy belly; may it spread through thy members; may it be sweet to thy taste; may it steal upon thee, O deliverer, veiled as women seeking a rendez-vous. Hero with the strong neck, full bellied, strong of arms, O Indra, praised by many, accept the pressed out soma, father of divine energy.”

Modern India has not renounced the use of drugs in religious ceremonies. The India Hemp Commission appointed by the English Government to investigate the use of hemp drugs in its Hindoo possessions, reported that several hemp preparations are ” extensively used in the exercise of religious
practices.” They found evidence of the “almost universal use of hemp drugs by fakirs, jogis, sanyasis, and ascetics of all classes, and more particularly by those devoted to the worship of Siva.”
The hemp plant is believed by priests and people to be a special attribute of that god.

Text source:

Extatic Intoxication in Religion
James H. Leuba
The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Oct., 1917)
Published by: University of Illinois Press

Image source:
Dervish Smoke Out, 1901