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What Is A Female Rasta Called?

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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Rastafarians may not be plenty in number on the island but they are one of the most influential religions in the world.

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The Rastafari women are mainly referred to as Queens or Empresses. They are also known as daughters or mothers. These represent the high standards to which a woman who is a Rastafari is held.

The names also speak to the high esteem in which women of the religion are held. It is expected that a Rastafarian woman should act in ways that reflect these standards. In short, you are regarded as a queen, do what a queen should. Therefore, Rastafarian women are not expected to flaunt their bodies and should adhere to the customs of Rastafari.

Women must shun the beauty standards of the western world and not adopt any of these fashion practices. This means short or otherwise revealing clothes, wearing makeup and using chemicals or other unnatural or synthetic products in their hair and body are frowned upon.

This includes relaxers, straighteners, wigs, braids and all other extensions normally used to manipulate hair. Women of African descent in recent years have adopted this mindset in some regard and have lessened the use of these in their hair care regimen or stopped using them entirely.

Even though not all have turned to locks, there is definitely a new appreciation for black hair.

Many turn to Rastafarian women who have long mastered natural hair for advice on hair growth and care.

One of the things that a Rastafarian female is not expected to do as well as wear lashes and nail extensions. From my observations, there seem to be little or no restrictions on the wearing of jewellery.

Rastafarian women are also not expected to use birth control to prevent them from reproducing. Contraceptives of any kind are seen as a ploy by the western world to control the African population. Also, similar to many religions of the world, abortion is seen as murder.

A Rastafari woman is expected to know her station and support and nurture her community, not just her biological children. The Rastafari religion is quite patriarchial and women play a very secondary role in the sect and are to stand by their King and his decisions. Even though things are changing, a womanโ€™s role in Rastafari is originally regulated to housekeeping, childrearing and pleasing her King.

The men are looked to for leadership in the home and ceremonial functions as well as the protection of their families.

Rastafarian weddings are in most cases not viewed as legal marriages since Rastafari in most cases does not acknowledge the civil wedding. Instead, they live together as man and wife in what is known as a common-law union in legal terms.

This does not mean their relationship is illegal but that they are not seen as a married couple outside of Rastafari and have no legal documents to prove their union.

Regarding menstruation, certain standards are still upheld in the religion. Although certain sects have their duration for this, they all have a stipulated number of days where a woman is unclean and should not be laid with nor should she partake in any celebratory or religious functions.

For some, a Rastafari woman on her period should also not cook.

The Bobo Shanti order is the strictest of all the Rastafari sects, including adhering to the role of a woman in Rastafari. This comes specifically from their unwavering belief in the biblical Old Testament.

In the eyes of some, a woman in a Rastafarian home/community is playing a secondary role. However, this may not necessarily be so when one considers how critical it is to nurture a family. Especially when one considers that a Rastafarian family is typically large.

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References & Sources For What is a female Rasta Called?

  1. One Rastafarian woman in Jamaica on 'going natural' (2015) NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group. Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/one-rastafarian-woman-jamaica-going-natural-n412361 (Accessed: December 1, 2022).
  2. Religions - rastafari: Women in rastafari (2009) BBC. BBC. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/rastafari/beliefs/women.shtml (Accessed: December 1, 2022).
  3. The woman in Rastafari - JSTOR (no date). Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40795018 (Accessed: December 1, 2022).
  4. Writer, S. (2015) Learn about the roles of race and women in Rastafari., Jamaicans.com. Available at: https://jamaicans.com/race_women/ (Accessed: December 1, 2022).

What is a female Rasta called? | Written: December 1, 2022

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