Smithsonian Hosts Major Exhibition on Rastafarianism


‘Discovering Rastafari!’, an exhibition which highlights the global impact of Rastafarianism and its Jamaican roots, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington.
The one-week exhibition, which ends tomorrow (Nov.8), has drawn hundreds of Rastafarians, scholars and other enthusiasts.
In his remarks at the launch, Steven Golding, who represented the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports, Olivia Grange, applauded the Rastafarian movement for its significant impact on fostering cultural awareness in Jamaica and promoting national pride.
He noted that the movement’s message of upliftment, peace, brotherhood and respect for the environment, are cornerstones of the Rastafarian belief system.The exhibition features several artefacts and rare photographs from other established collections, focusing on the history of Rastafarianism and also highlights the life of Emperor Haile Selassie I, as well as major Jamaican political and cultural icons such as National Hero, Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley. In addition to the mounted exhibits, the museum has also provided ephemera on the origins and religious practices of the movement in Jamaica, and the roots of the Rastafarian culture.
In order to provide the viewing public with a range of perspectives on Rastafarian life and institutions, the exhibition has also provided several video depictions of Rastafarian communities and personalities, which highlight the diversity and global reach of the movement.
A major feature of the proceedings included a vibrant and well-received performance by Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus.
The NMNH is part of the Smithsonian Institution and was opened in 1910. The green-domed museum was among the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to house the institution’s collections and research facilities.

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