Jamaica’s Rastafarian is now an added allure to visitors to the Caribbean island/nation. Their culture has been well documented and their history detailed however, in a definitive exhibition currently on exhibit at the Institute of Jamaica in the island’s cultural capital of Kingston, “Rastafari: Unconquerable!” provides an historic examination and pays tribute to the distinctive group of Africa-centered people.
Encompassing topics such as the ‘Revelation of Rastafari,’ the ‘Philosophy and Evolution of the Rastafari Movement,’ the ‘Visit of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie to Jamaica,’ as well as an historical review of the challenges experienced by Rastafarians in Jamaica, the exhibition provides an opportunity to glean from insiders and past contributors to the now internationally curious people.
“We welcome the staging of such an exhibition which explores the contribution of Rastafari to the Jamaican society, and demonstrates the diversity of our culture,” John Lynch, Jamaica’s director of Tourism said.
“This exhibition is timely and provides the Jamaica Tourist Board with an opportunity to showcase our capital city to visitors who travel to the island to experience our unique and rich cultural heritage.”
The exhibition marks the culmination of several months of detailed research and work to collect and document numerous images and historical narratives of the rise and global influence of the indigenous Rastafarian culture. It represents a collaborative effort between the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) through its National Museum Jamaica division in partnership with the Rastafari Millennium Council. IOJ curator David Stimpson collaborated with Ras Anthony Witter, Rastafarian oral historian and artist to develop the exhibition.
“All of the work has been done in consultation with the Millennium Council, Rastafari Consultation Committee and through direct conversations with the various Mansions of Rastafari,” Stimpson said.
The year-long exhibition runs through to July 2014 and information can be found on the Institute of Jamaica’s website www.instituteofjamaica.org.jm.
Travelers to the island can also learn about Rastafarian culture by visiting the indigenous Rastafarian village in the second city of Montego Bay. At the village, visitors can experience the culture, language, music, dress, spirit and lifestyle of Jamaica’s Rastafarians. Visitors will also learn the self-sustaining and eco-friendly habits of the Rastafarian people. The village is interactive and includes a tour of medicinal herbal gardens, arts and crafts and musical experience through drum rhythms and ancient chants.
Those interested can visit the web portal www.rastavillage.com.