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Online Mor Ephrem

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Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« on: February 02, 2005, 09:25:18 PM »
Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 Posted: 8:58 AM EST (1358 GMT)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Reuters) -- Ethiopian royals paid tribute to late reggae icon Bob Marley at his 60th anniversary celebrations for championing their cause long after the ouster of Emperor Haile Selassie ended centuries of imperial rule.

Marley, whose Rastafarian faith considers Haile Selassie as a black Messiah, often defended the emperor as a man who toiled for the cause of African unity before Marxist officers overthrew his feudal government in 1974 and he died a year later.

Under dictator Haile Mariam Mengistu, whose government killed tens of thousands of its critics, it was taboo to speak of the emperor, or of his family, who were exiled until Mengistu was himself toppled in 1991.

"Marley struggled in favor of history in defending Emperor Haile Selassie even in the dark days when it was almost considered as a subversive act to utter the name Selassie I," said Prince Beedemariam Mekonnen, the emperor's grandson.

"It is only a matter of justice that Marley, who defended him vengefully, would be celebrated today in Ethiopia," he added, speaking late on Tuesday at the opening of a month of festivities to mark the 60th anniversary of Marley's birth.

Rastafarians took their name from Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie's title before he was crowned emperor in 1930, described in legend as a descendent of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba who ruled 2,000 years ago.

Despite bearing the title -- "King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah" -- neither Haile Selassie nor his family ever claimed he was divine as Rastafarians believe.

Most Ethiopians are too young to remember Selassie's glory years, in which he survived an invasion from Mussolini's Italian army and began Ethiopia's modernization, building roads and opening schools across the country.

Instead, they think of the turbulent last period of his 44-year reign, when famine in the countryside and protests in Addis Ababa tore down the mystique surrounding Selassie and allowed Marxist military officers to seize power.

Peasant farmers look back at the emperor's era as one in which they were virtual slaves of absentee landlords.

The emperor was apparently murdered by the soldiers who had toppled him and kept him prisoner. His body was then buried in the dirt near a latrine and reburied in 2000.

Beedemariam hailed Marley, who died of cancer in 1981, as a man who achieved global iconic status among millions throughout Africa, the Caribbean and the rest of the world through songs decrying oppression and discrimination.

"His music touched hearts everywhere and left many pondering and reflecting on his lyrics till today," he added.

Prince Zera-Yacob, the crown prince of the former Ethiopian Imperial dynasty, praised the Marley family for making a proposal to build a museum to house historical treasures as well as the emperor's crowns and scepters in Addis Ababa.

"The museum could be most useful to protect the treasures of the former emperor. His treasures are part of Ethiopian history and as such should be given the respect they deserve," he told Reuters.

+++

"King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah"...the sissy titles of some European monarchs have nothing on this!  :)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2005, 09:25:34 PM by Mor Ephrem »
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Offline Arystarcus

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 11:35:52 PM »
I heard that there would be some kind of tribute to Marley on the radio the other day and it would incorporate his Rastafarian beliefs, but I had heard that he feel away from them and on his deathbed he had a tearfilled conversion was was baptized (or rebaptized?) by an Ethiopian Orthodox priest, so he died a Christian. Which makes me wonder why there has been no mention of this in any tributes to Bob....

In Christ,
Aaron

Offline TonyS

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2005, 12:28:57 AM »
I heard that there would be some kind of tribute to Marley on the radio the other day and it would incorporate his Rastafarian beliefs, but I had heard that he feel away from them and on his deathbed he had a tearfilled conversion was was baptized (or rebaptized?) by an Ethiopian Orthodox priest, so he died a Christian.

This is my understanding.  I saw a book recently that had photos of his funeral and it seemed to be Ethiopian Orthodox. 
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Offline TonyS

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2005, 12:33:21 AM »
Bob Marley's Baptism in Ethiopian Orthodox Church
The incident that probaly caused the major divide between many in the Rastafarian community and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the baptism of Bob Marley into the church before he died. He was baptized by the Head of the church Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq. What was most upsetting to the Rastafarian community was when this became public knowlegde and the statements (see media interviews) made by the church in regards to an "Orthodox conversion" by Bob Marley.

No one really knows what this baptism meant but is has caused some controversy as both Rastafarian and Christians claim Bob Marley as their "own".

http://www.jamaicans.com/culture/rasta/ethiopian_church.shtml
Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
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I'll see you when yo

Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2005, 02:08:22 AM »
This is something that I have always wondered.  How did the rastafarian movement come about?  And though the article says much, it does not mention how Emperor Selasie came to messianic status in their eyes.  I'd like to know more about their beliefs, becasue it seems all that's publicized is the ganga smokin' dread lock wearin' side of things ::).

"Gotta have Kaya now.....Gotta have Kaya now......Gotta have Kaya now...........fo' de rain is fallin'!


I feel so high I even touch the sky above da fallin' Rain!

I feel so good in my neighbourhood so...here I come again!

Gotta have Kaya now!........"

Ah, one of my favourite songs! ;D


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Offline Aklie Semaet

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2005, 06:45:54 PM »
how Emperor Selasie came to messianic status in their eyes. I'd like to know more about their beliefs, becasue it seems all that's publicized is the ganga smokin' dread lock wearin' side of things ::).

Rasta’s are best described as a quasi-religious communal group and a culture of resistance. They are best understood in the context as a product of British colonialism. As far as why they believed that Emperor Sellasie was god has to do with their own understanding of biblical verses as well as a “prophesy” by Marcus Garvey (who is the John the Baptist in their theology) saying “behold the crowning of a Black king in Africa, he will be the redeemer.”

In the context of British colonialism and “God save the king” that was being forced down their throats by the oppressors to say that “King Sellasie is my king” was something that was resistance in that context.

Read Rasta and Resistance by Horace Campbell (besides his confused discussion of Oriental Orthodox Christology where he reverses things and claims that Orientals believe in “two natures” and Byzantine believe in “one nature” the book is very decent and exhaustive).

The book also shows how American rasta converts are the ones that elevated ganja smoking to a "sacrament" and that this was not the case before.
Ethiopia ijochwan wede Egzabiher tezregalech

Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2005, 06:58:52 PM »
"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Ethiopia royals' tribute to Marley
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2005, 03:46:37 PM »
My thanks, Bogo.

Very informative!

Incidentaly, there is a Pan African Orthodox Church which owns a commune near the University of Houston (a few blocks away, in fact).  It's called the Shrine of the Black Madonna.  Don't know too much beyond that, though.  As Rastafarians go, havent seen too many.  More likely they have a presence in Miami and New York, Yes?

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