Abstract

This paper explores the sacred music of the Boboshanti, a Rastafari order founded in Jamaica in 1958. The music of the Boboshanti—its drumming, chanting, and singing—is similar to that of the more well-known Nyahbinghi Order with which most researchers of Rastafari are familiar, but it has its own distinct and unique characteristics. The focus of this contribution will be twofold. First, as enumerated by Ikael Tafari in Rastafari in Transition (2001), the drumming will be contextualized as a cultural trilectic that incorporates the three geopolitical dimensions of Ethiopia, continental Africa, and the Caribbean/American diaspora. Second, and unique to this order, the individual and congregational chanting, coupled with the structured hymnody and singing, is explored and delineated as Garvey's ontological viewing of the Godhead “through the spectacles of Ethiopia” (Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey 44, 1923).

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