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"Art has the power of liberating man from certain drudgeries and their way of life. A man who was born in the ghetto can't afford to be a Sunday painter, his whole life is involved in getting across his ideas; Rastafarianism, politics, Black culture and all that. Even our meeting here now is an artistic involvement. Some people do art with love here, politics there and so forth; now, to me art is one cosmic consciousness. The way you love, live, and even the way you hate: even your negative expressions connote a certain art-form. So I really do not separate my art from my other sphere of life."-Ras"T"(Barrett,187)
The words of Ras"T", captured by Leonard E. Barrett, Sr. in his book The Rastafarians, are an excellent representation of the Rastaman's struggle to survive as an artist in Jamaica. They also reveal the core concept of Rastafarianism itself; the idea that one is born with Rasta inside them, and a true Rasta lives every second of every day in spiritual contact with Jah, Rastafari. One cannot be a Sunday worshiper of Rastafarianism. For the Rastafarian artist, every stroke of every painting or each chip of wood from the sculpture is inspired by Jah.
Despite the problems such as lack of materials, and difficulties in getting exposure for their work, many members of the Rastafarian movement have turned to artistic expression in order to convey the Rastaman's message, and also as a means of out-letting their spirituality. These expressions include visual art, music, and poetry. In some cases, the Rastas use their artistic ability to create crafts and"folk art"such as jewelry and figurines, which are purchased by tourists. Prior to the mid 1900's, Jamaicans were known for their talent in ceramics and sculpting, but the majority of these artists were from elite White and East Indian communities. The first Jamaican sculptor to be known internationally was Kapo, the famous Pukumina leader, whose works were all composed under religious inspiration (Barrett, 186). The birth of Rastafarianism created an important outlet for African-rooted artistic creativity, and the Rastafarian artists became the first ones to appear from a grassroots community. This incredible outburst of creativity is described by Barrett as follows:"from the primitive paintings of Ras Dizzy to the superb etchings of Ras Daniel Heartman; from the rough sculpture of Ras Canute who works under the coconut tree in front of the Casa Montego in Montego Bay to the refined pieces in Joe James Gallery in front of the Holiday Inn at Rose Hall, St. James - Rastafarian and Rastafarian inspired art can be found everywhere."(Barrett, 186).
During the 1960's, there was a rise in political awareness of the Rastafarians, along with an effort to aid them in the routinization of their movement with the rest of Jamaican society. This effort was instigated by the present Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, who was a noted anthropologist and sociologist. One of the results of this awareness was the participation of Rastafarians in the Jamaica National Festivals; in which many Rastas received medals for exceptional pieces of wood work (Barrett, 161). An example of a Rastafarian head-carving can be seen on the following page. The figure is bearded with long hair, not quite in dreadlocks, but long enough to frame the face. The expression on his face is stern, with down-turned mouth and hard, staring eyes. This is a typical"intimidation image"of the Rastafarian; it represents the characteristics of the Rastaman that created the negative attitudes towards Rastafarianism on the parts of other Jamaicans. The Rastaman's wild appearance and intimidating walk were originally looked down upon by other Jamaicans, the Jamaicans didn't see into the souls of the Rastas, where the true beauty is. The skin areas of the wood-carving on the following page are not smoothed, but still contain the chisel-marks, giving the face a course texture. Here we can see the rough exterior of the Rastaman, yet it is retained in a beautiful carving that encaptures the observer; truely representative of the typical Rastaman's personality."Rastafarian heads"similar to this one have sold for as much as 500 dollars (Barrett, 186).
Another contributing factor in the rise of Rastafarian art is the"Rastafarian Movement Association", or"RMA". In the 1970's, Rastas were getting publicity in New York City newspapers, most of which was gang and drug-related; but the Rastafarians' paintings were gaining popularity along with the musical form of Rasta,"reggae". One of the RMA's services rendered to Rasta artists was to gain this type of exposure for the artists' works. The association had an office in Kingston that contained two rooms, which served as a workshop, an office, and a sales shop, in which they sold Rastafarian arts, crafts, and literature. The RMA also had a monthly paper called the Rasta Voice, which contained editorials, African and Rastafarian history and current news, pictures, and poems (Barrett,177). This paper was another way in which Rastafarian artists could spread their ideas, gain exposure, and ideally, make a living. In fact, the author of The Rastafarians hadn't even heard of the Rastafarian Movement Association until he saw several works in the Gallery Institute of Jamaica that were done by members of the association.
This tremendous surge of African-rooted Rastafarian art, music, and poetry have helped lead to a routinization, or social acceptance of the Rastafarian movement within Jamaica. As mentioned earlier, the Rastas were the first emergence of a true grassroots culture in Jamaica, and this made Jamaicans proud of the artistic output the island has had in the past 50 years. Unfortunately, this"Jamaican pride"has led to somewhat of a commercialization of Rasta-inspired art. That is to say, the Rastas' works have become something like collector's items, and the Rastafarian themes have been used in art without being backed up by true spirituality of the artist. Ras"T"speaks of this:"The Rasta theme is now a convention. Years ago no one would stoop so low to paint a Rastaman. Today it is the thing. For many it has become a commercial gimmick."(Barrett, 188). This"commercialization"is evident in many aspects of current Jamaican lifestyles; hairstyle and speech are the most common ones, but this does not affect the Rastaman. As Barrett states:"it does not say that they have allowed themselves to be co-opted. They are aware of their role as a movement for change and, though their tactics have changed, their strategy remains in their creation and production of songs, music, and sculpture. These have now become the medium through which the message is spoken."(Barrett, 162).
The messages and ideals of the Rastafarians are portrayed through several symbols in their visual art, all of which are universal to the Rastafarian movement. The use of symbolism is perhaps the most powerful method of portraying a message, even more effective than rhetoric. When viewing a work of art that has symbolic meaning to it, one can have many different thoughts and images running through their head simultaneously; yet speech tends to convey only one message at a time. The literal meaning of the word"symbol"is"throwing together"; the combination of many different ideals in one solid image (Barrett, 137). Much of the symbolism used by the Rastafarians has biblical ties, other symbols are related to their homeland, Africa, and the rest have to do with Rastafarian religious beliefs and practices.
The one symbolization that is seen in almost every piece of Rastafarian art is simply the recurring use of four colors: red, green, gold, and black. Red, green, and black were the three colors related with the Marcus Garvey Movement, and the gold was adopted from the Jamaican flag. In fact, almost every country in Africa has two out of these four colors in their flags (shown on the following page) they also seem to share a theme of horizontal or vertical stripes of each color, with gold usually in-between red and green. Each of these colors has symbolic meaning: red stands for the blood of martyrs who died as a result of the African diaspora; green represents the lush vegetation of Africa; gold symbolizes the wealth of Africa that was stolen by European invaders; and black represents the Black African race. The symbolism behind the colors red, green, and gold is best expressed by Faybiene Miranda in her poem,"Red, Green, and Gold":
Red, Green, and Gold
Red Gold and Green will colour the land
For the word of the Rastaman is at hand
Red runs the blood of a people who died at the wish of man living in vain
Red runs the blood of a people on trial
In a court of inequity, sentenced to pain
When a man knows his loss he has only to gain.
Let the Red Gold and Green shine through the tears and the rains
Green is the feilds of Afrika land built by the power of black working hands turning and tilling all day the black earth.
Blackhearts sing a song of a day that would come
When the work that was sown could be reaped as their own.
Gold is the wealth of a land looted and raped by a people who live only to take.
A time is at hand when lightning shall sound and thunder will break
All those with fear shall cower and quake at the hands of a people
Resuming their place in a nation.
Repatriated, standing solid and bold
In the name of reclaiming the Red, Gold and Green.
When a man knows his worth he has only to gain
For what was once his shall be his again.
-Faybiene Miranda (Faristzaddi, 2nd Itation)
These colors, especially red, green, and gold, can be found everywhere in Jamaica, in clothes, painted on tree trunks, drums, and staffs carried at Nyabingi services, and even painted on houses and all the way along wood fences (Faristzaddi, 1st Itation).
This poem also addresses the redemption of the Blackhearts, and hints at Revelation. These kinds of biblical themes are found throughout Rastafarian art in the form of Rasta-translations and interpretations of the Bible. The Rastas accept the Old Testament and Book of Revelations, but suspect that Europeans mis-translated the New Testament to make God out as a white man (Snider, 2/4). An Example of a Rastafarian's interpretation of Revelation appears on the following page; it is a painting done by the artist shown with hand on the Bible, Ras Dubrick. The image is not terribly clear, but one can make out a central figure, towards which all other figures are facing. This is the image of Jah, in the form of Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie I, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of Solomon and Sheeba, come down to earth in the Second Coming, the day of Judgement. A crucifix appears in the background, it seems to have a figure on it; that of the unrepenting sinner who gets no forgiveness on Judgement Day. There are several other figures on the left side of the painting, and there seems to be more crucifixes in the background, but this is unclear. The quote from Revelations speaks of the"opening of the book"and the"seven seals"; in the bottom portion of Ras Dubrick's painting is the allusion of an open bible, and in the bottom right-hand corner one can see what appears to be the seven seals. Just the though of Armageddon brings powerful thoughts to mind, but when it is visually projected at you, it is ten times more powerful.
Another exceptional painting that involves a biblical translation is actually painted on the side of a small food stand known as"Irie's Vegetarian Delight"in a Kingston suburb. This little food stand is painted on all sides, but the main focus is directly below the exchange counter, where there is a Rastafarian vision of the Last Supper. In this interpretation, Jesus and his Apostles are all black men with natty, kinky dreadlocks, set against a background of stars and planets. The central figure of this piece, which can be seen on the following page, is the Rastafarian's image of Jesus, Haile Selassie. They believe that the"Jesus"spoken of in the Bible is really the former Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, who was said to be a direct descendant of King Solomon and Queen Sheeba. Here he is pictured with halo around his head, and hands spread to the sides; he is offering his brethren the holy food. The food cart this appears on is perhaps the best possible place for this painting; a place where Rasta brethren can come to get"ital"food, in other words, food that adheres to their strict diet of vegetables and small fish. Also included in this composition is a separate table with Selassie and his queen in full royal garb, along with the words"Alfa"and"Omega", the divine representations of Jah. Along with the words is the star of Solomon and a lion carrying a flag, both of which are universal Rastafarian symbols, and will be discussed later. On each side of the door to the food stand, there are beautifully elaborate lions, with one paw up and facing the door. The most incredible thing about this piece to me is simply the fact that it is located outdoors, exposed to the elements of nature, and of suburban life. As an artist, I personally take very good care of my artwork, and hate to see it damaged in any slight way. Perhaps this is an indication of what the Rastaman's work really means to him; it is not art for pleasure, it is divine inspiration, a means of tapping the soul and releasing tremendous spiritual energy. One can feel this energy when viewing the"Last Supper".
The second most abundant symbol used by Rastafarian artists is that of the Conquering Lion, which coincides with Haile Selassie, the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah (this was a formal title he received as Emperor). Lions are symbolic of pride, which is one of the key concepts of Rastafarianism. Rastas are proud of their African heritage, and they display this in every way possible, from their hairstyle to the way they walk. The lion also represents the male-dominance of the Rasta movement; never are lionesses used in Rastafarian imagery (Barrett, 142). A brilliant example of this Conquering Lion/Selassie imagery can be seen on the following page. This painting is also one that is viewed from outdoors; it is painted on the door to a t-shirt shop in Jamaica. The elaborately detailed piece combines several different themes of Rastafari, the two major ones being Haile Selassie and the Conquering Lion. Selassie sits on the lion's back with hands placed on an image of the earth; his hands frame the continent of Africa, the motherland to the Rastafarians, the home of their ancestors and the home of their god. In Selassie's arms sits a lamb whose eyes, like the lion's, seem to stare at the observer. This lamb symbolism is reminiscent of early Christian and Byzantine art, specifically mosaics. Jesus was often portrayed as a shepard, the sheep being representative of the population; as the shepard tends his flock, so Jah watches over all of us. Another detail of this painting that conveys a powerful message is the image of the African woman being protected by the crouching lion. The lion appears to be licking or grooming the woman while she reaches up to stroke his mane. This correlation is representative of the relationship between man and woman in the Rastafarian communities prior to the 1980's. As mentioned before, the Rasta movement is made up of mostly men, and they believe in the superiority of the male gender; in fact, many Rastafarian women also believe in male superiority (Barrett, 209). Female Rastas have become much more common since the 1980's, but prior to that time they were usually followers of their husbands, and rarely were there single Rastafarian women (Barrett, 241). The image of lion and woman shows the protection given from the Rastaman to his wife. It, like the wood carving, also shows both sides of the Rastaman, the rough, fearsome exterior, and the loving, protecting interior.
A second example of the Conquering Lion/Selassie imagery is the beautiful wall-painting of Selassie and his queen, with a lion in the center. This painting, which can be viewed on the following page, is strikingly similar to the images of Selassie and his queen painted on the side of"Irie's Vegetarian Delight". In fact, both works are signed, and although the signature on the"Last Supper"piece is difficult to make out, it seems to be the same artist. The faces and royal clothing of Selassie and his queen are almost identical, as is the lion. Most of the symbolism is also the same, with the exception of the rainbow seen behind Selassie which appears to contain only the colors red, green, and gold. Another exception is the large, single eye at the peak of the rainbow; this symbolism will be discussed later. In this composition, as in the previous one, the lion's eyes seem to be staring at the observer; this is also true of Selassie's eyes and the singular eye that appears above. This phenomenon is perhaps one of the most amazing capabilities an artist has; the ability to create eye contact between the viewer and the painting. For those members of the Rastafarian religion, this painting must be incredibly powerful and emotionally moving.
One symbol used by the Rastafarians in their artwork that has a less powerful meaning, but is used just as often as the other symbols mentioned, is the star of Solomon. This is the same star that is used quite often to represent the religion of Judaism. All biblical ties the Rastafarians claim are through the blood of King Solomon, who is an important character in the Bible. The ganja that they smoke ritually first grew out of the grave of King Solomon, which is why the weed is so sacred to the Rastas. A classic example of the use of the star of Solomon is on the following page. This drawing, which appears to be done in colored pencil, can be found in Millard Faristzaddi's Itations of Jamaicans and I Rastafari-The First Itation, and since it does not indicate the artist, I will assume it is that of the author. The composition contains two overlapping stars in the upper right-hand corner, with a hexagon in the center of the stars. Inside the hexagon is the traditional shape of a heart, and within the heart, the letters"HIM"; from the letter"I"shoots a prism-like beam of red, gold, and green. These letters are not representative of the word"him", they stand for"His Imperial Majesty", another reference to one of Haile Selassie's many titles. But what is most interesting about this piece is the biblical quote that goes with it, found in the bottom left-hand portion of the drawing:"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God". If one looks closely at the letter"I", the correlation between the quote from St. Matthew and the artistic representation becomes clear: the letter"I"is also a sewing needle, and it is from the"eye"of the needle that the Rastafarian colors stream. Altogether this drawing shows the Blackheart (another name for Rastas), within the star of King Solomon, inside the Rastaman's heart is his god, His Imperial Majesty, Ras Tafari, Selassie I. The beam of red, gold, and green directs the viewer's eye to the"eye"of the"I", and again we have this sort of spiritual contact with the artwork that can be experienced by anyone, even if they are not Rastafarian.
The image in the bottom left-hand corner of the previous work of art brings up another concept of Rastafari that is represented visually by many Rasta artists; that is the concept of"I". Rastafarians do not believe in the use of the word"you"or"me"because it suggests a difference between"you"and"I". The Rasta mentality is that all of mankind is equal, and there should be no distinction between"you"and"I". When referring to his fellow man, the Rastaman says"I and I", even if speaking to a non-Rastafarian (Barrett,144). The phrase"I and I"does not only address whoever the Rasta is speaking to, but is also inclusive of God and all creation; the Rastaman is speaking to anyone and everything all at once (Snider, 2/25). In the bottom-left portion of Faristzaddi's beautifully colored drawing is a photo-collage of a peacock feather superimposed over a human eye. The peacock has a mythological background; that is that the bird's feathers received their eye-like patterns from the death of the watchman"Argus", who had one hundred eyes and only closed two at a time to rest (Ovid, 22). Perhaps this double use of eye imagery has to do with being aware at all times ("Watch your back in Babylon"). Another reference to the eye in Rastafarian speech is the word"seen", which is used as a questioning of clarity in communication. To the Rastas, vision is not simply through the eyes, but also through the entire body and spirit. A biblical quote also found in"The First Itation"explains the significance of the eye:"The light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body is also full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light."-St. Luke (Faristzaddi, First Itation). This quote also reveals the concept of"one eye", and being either full of light, or tainted by darkness. The concept of"I"is the most evident in the speech of the Rastafarians and their alterations of words such as:"Itation, Irie Ites, Ital, Ipreme, Idren, and so on. This concept, along with the"One Love"concept is also one of the Rastafarian beliefs that is shared naturally by many other people whether religious or not. One can feel the gaze of the eye, and have a connection with the piece of art while also being spiritually connected to their personal god.
Another of Millard Faristzaddi's colored pencil drawings, which can be viewed on the following page, is an excellent example of one of the main themes of the Marcus Garvey Movement; that is, the"back to Africa"ideal. In this interpretation of the solar system, the sun is represented by the star of Solomon, which has a black heart within it, and the nine planet float in their respective orbits. To the left of the sun is the earth, and on the earth is an oversized image of Africa in green, gold, and red. The Rastafarians believe that all roots of mankind originated in the continent of Africa, and since the Rasta's ancestors were forcibly taken from their homes in Africa and sold into Jamaican slavery, the Rastas feel that they should be able to return to their rightful homes. Africa is Heaven (Zion) for the Rastafarians, and Jamaica is Hell (Babylon).
One final use of Rastafarian symbolism in visual art is the Rasta's hairstyle, known as"dreadlocks". The hair of African-rooted peoples is naturally"kinked", or very curly, and when it is not habitually combed or brushed, it forms into clumps, or"locks"of all sizes. The Rastafarians are probably one of the most"natural"groups of people on earth; that is to say, they live with nature, eat the healthiest foods, and do not give in to materialistic things. By not cutting or combing their hair, which includes facial hair, the Rastas are living as Jah made them. There are also biblical references to not cutting hair or flesh, and not trimming the corners of one's beard (Barrett, 137). Another significance of this hairstyle is it's power as a rejection of Jamaican society's categorization of people due to their hair quality. The dreadlocked Rastaman has a look of intimidation to unfamiliar people, since fine hair is socially seen as"good". With his dreadlocks, the Rastaman is defying society and living with what Jah has given him. This expression of spirituality is unfortunately another aspect of Rastafarian life that has become"commercialized"in Jamaican society. There are several people in Jamaica, and in other countries too, who sport the dreadlocked appearance, yet have no connection with Rastafari HIMself.
The use of dreadlocks in Rastafarian art follows with almost any use of the black man, with the exception of Haile Selassie. Although there have been images of Selassie with long hair in previous pages, he is typically portrayed with short, curly hair. An example of a Rastafarian artist's use of dreadlocks is on the following page. The artist, whose signature appears to read:"Ras Sherlock Reuben I", has drawn the head of a Rastaman with very long dreadlocks and beard. He uses the long dreads on either side to frame the rest of the drawing, which is rather abstract. One can make out an image of the earth, but what comes next is unclear. It seems to be a representation of the earth spinning out of control, growing smaller as it spins out of orbit. Perhaps this is another Rasta's vision of Armageddon, the earth being hurled into space with total destruction caused by alterations in gravity. The observer's eyes read this drawing from top to bottom due to the frame created by the locks; they carry the eye down the image, and back up again, so that the whole is taken in at once. Meanwhile, the background of green, gold, and red makes the central image stand out, as if the rock-like shapes were spinning towards the viewer; an excellent use of the third dimension.
Another beautiful sample of the use of dreadlocks in Rastafarian art is pictured on the following page. This drawing also appears in Faristzaddi's"Second Itation", and again, the artist is unknown. It appears to be a pastel-drawing, and involves the use of a few other symbols besides the dreadlocks. The main focus is, however, on the Rastaman's dreadlocks, which are rooted into the sphere he holds, presumably representing the earth and the Rastafarian's deep connection with Her. The ends of the dreads are carefully detailed to look like the roots of a tree; snaking in and out of the earth's surface. This area of the drawing is most intense and is noticed first by the viewer, but eventually the eyes travel up the dreadlocks to the Rastaman's solemn face. From here the viewer's eyes follow the Rasta's eyes to the star of Solomon; and to the single eye within the star. Here again are two symbols we have seen in previous works of Rastafarian art; that staring eye within the star makes some strange kind of contact with the observer. This is the type of symbolism that will either entrance the viewer, causing them to stare at the drawing for hours, or make them turn away, afraid of the eye and what it sees. The star, along with the Rasta's head is surrounded by a white glow, which along with the Rasta's white robe and the image of a galaxy where his waist should be, creates a very religious portrait of the Rastaman.
One source of Rastafarian art that is certainly worth mentioning is that of reggae album covers. As mentioned previously, reggae began as the musical expression of Rastafarianism; and because of this, the album covers include a good deal of Rasta imagery. Three examples of this use of symbolism from three different reggae bands can be seen on the following page. The simplest of them, an album by"Israel Vibrations", uses a repetition of the star of Solomon, painted on canvas. The painter used the traditional colors of red, green, and yellow in what seems to be a printing method using blocks of different shapes. The dripping effect created by this technique is certainly eye-pleasing, but does not have symbolic reference.
The second album cover, (bottom-left) is that of"Jah Shaka", and is most likely drawn by Shaka himself; a DJ out of the United Kingdom who draws some of his own album covers (Snider, 4/15). This pencil-drawing shows a seated Rastafarian gazing towards an incoming light. An image of Haile Selassie appears near the source of the light, yet he also seems to look towards the source of the light. In this piece, the artist seems to be indicating the higher source of Rastafari, Jah Himself, more than just Selassie. Haile Selassie is the Rastafarian's interpretation of the biblical character Jesus; he is Jah in mortal form, come to earth to redeem the Blackhearts. This imagery is something that hasn't been seen in previous artworks, and is quite interesting. Nowhere else is Selassie seen looking towards a higher power.
The third album cover seen, (bottom-right) is perhaps the most beautiful piece of art that has been discussed so far. This cover for a CD by the band"Aswad"pictures Selassie driving a chariot lead by four lions. In the background is an image of the African continent, and in the upper-right corner is the Lion of Judah. This whole scene is set in a space-like atmosphere, with various stars, planets, and nebulae surrounding the central image of Selassie and his chariot. The real beauty of this piece is in the portrayal of the lions and Selassie. Each lion has their mouth open in a vicious roar and steps towards the viewer in an offensive pose. The artist truely took advantage of the intimidating symbolism behind the Conquering Lion. He or she also added realism to the portrait by highlighting reflective points of light, seen on Selassie's left knee and on the right wheel of the chariot. These, along with the splash of light highlighting Selassie's head create a mystical, celestial atmosphere to the piece. This piece brings together many different symbols that have been seen in prior Rastafarian artworks; it has the most common, the colors, and also includes Selassie, the Conquering Lion, the star of Solomon, and the continent of Africa.
Another impressive source of Rasta-inspired art is the plethora of wall paintings that can be found in Jamaica. Three of these have been shown in previous pages, but all of them had similar styles and symbolic imagery. On the following page is a quite different style of wall-painting that is not thought of as art to some people. In fact, the definition of"graffiti"is"an inscription, slogan, drawing, etc. crudely scratched or scribbled on a wall or other public surface". This piece, which is at least 8x20 feet, certainly was not"crudely"scribbled onto the wall. It does not refer to Rastafarianism, but does use similar imagery; the colors and the use of the shape of Africa. The text of this piece, in the typical lettering of graffiti artists reads:"APARTHEID". The second letter"A"is attached with chains to a large ball which has an image of a kneeling man with chains on his wrists. The text above the humbly-kneeling man reads:"AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?". This piece of art, while not necessarily inspired by Jah Rastafari, certainly speaks of the issues the Rastaman deals with in his artwork, and could very well have been done by a Rastafarian graffiti artist, but again, the source of the masterpiece is unknown.
Rastafarian art, be it a painting, carving, song, or poem, is perhaps one of the most spiritual and personal art forms known to man. Each piece speaks of the daily struggles of the Rastaman and the hope that still burns inside them. Some images may seem unfamiliar to outsiders, but this is simply because they do not understand the symbolism and the thoughts that are put into such incredible displays of talent. The Rastafarians have contributed so much to their country's culture that goes by unnoticed. In the words of Barrett:"Great social developments are not always made in the halls of parliament or in the citadels of learning. These institutions merely react to the dreams of the creative mass. Some of the most creative trends in nations' development are born in the dreams of the visionaries, the radicals, the seers, and the charismatic prophets."(Barrett, 266). Many of these prophets are artists, and their beliefs are so strong that they are able to rise out of the poverty they live in and project their messages anywhere they will go. The Rastaman will be heard, and through the symbolism discussed in the previous pages, he can be heard. If only people will listen, and look.