haile selassie

Haile Selassie was the King and Emperor of Ethiopia in the 1930s. He was crowned on the 2nd of November 1930. He was Ethiopia’s 225th and last emperor, who was born on 23 July 1892.

Haile Selassie(Ras Tafari Makonnen) also named King Haile, King of Kings, Jah, Jah Rastafari and HIM by Rastafarians. The name Haile Selassie means “Power of the Trinity”. Ras meaning “head” or “king” and Tafari “one who is respected or feared”. His name was given to him followed by his father’s name: Ras Makonnen Woldemikael. Haile had a royal background since childhood, and when his intelligence impressed people,he was definitely earning a spot in the royal line.

Rastafarians see Haile Selassie as their redeemer, God/the messiah. In the Bible’s Book of Revelation: “King of Kings, Lord of lords”. They believed he would arrange for a homecoming/deliverance. They believed he was living in their homeland(Ethiopia), which was their reason for wanting to relocate to Africa, the land of their ancestors and their spiritual background. Rasta’s also had the influence of Marcus Garvey’s “Pan Africanism” movement. Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican leader who campaigned for political and social change on an island that had been an important centre for slavery.

“Look to Africa when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is near.” -Marcus Garvey

In 1961, The Rasta’s and non-rastafarians had the advantage to discuss the matter of repatriation. The Jamaican government sent a delegation to Haile Selassie and he reportedly replied: “Tell the Brethren to be not dismayed, I personally will give my assistance in the matter of repatriation.” After this Haile decided to visit Jamaica in 1966(April 21st),which led to over one hundred thousand of Rastafarians arriving to Palisadoes Airport in Kingston. In celebration, while waiting for King Haile Selassie, Spliffs and chalices were openly smoked, causing a haze of ganja smoke to drift through the air.

Here is a video of Haile Selassie arriving in Jamaica:

This video has so much interesting parts, in fact I find all of it very interesting. I saw and heard many Rastafarians in the video. I also got to see how they appreciate Haile. Haile visited important people and saw many places in Jamaica. While watching this video, I also looked at what people were wearing, especially Rastafarians. I noticed most of them wearing shirts(half buttoned) and trousers. This style reminds me of an outfit from my final collection Shirt with drop crutch trousers. Seeing Rastafarians style back in 1930s is inspiring to me and my design development.



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