RE: [ANE-2] Re: origin of Greek word gaza> ganja & Garvey!
- Whoa, brothers! As the one who inadvertently began this peculiar detour
by what I thought was an amusing Brooklyn sidebar, I feel it is time to
call a halt to the diatribes which followed. All posts on this thread
are to go off-list - now. I would also encourage those who have been
posting to refresh their understanding of the list protocols which are
found on the list's home page under Files. Please keep in mind the
topics of personal attacks and off-topic themes.
Trudy S. Kawami
Sunset Park, Brooklyn, USA
From: ANEemail@example.com [mailto:ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 7:32 PM
Subject: [ANE-2] Re: origin of Greek word gaza> ganja & Garvey!
--- In ANEemail@example.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> , "Kevin
P. Edgecomb" <kevin@...> wrote:
>that case, too.
> E. Adams wrote:
> > In rereading this thread, I realize I forgot to address the really
> > offensive and ignorant part, Kevin Edgecomb's second posting on
> > September 11 in which he remarked:
> > "I've no idea what kind of philological background Marcus Garvey
> >or his impoverished Jamaican dupes may have possessed, but I think
> > it highly unlikely that the word [ganja] would have ancient
> > Persian origins."
> I [K Edgecomb] write:
> I'm sorry to have offended you, but it was in no wise due to
> ignorance on my part. That the Rastafarian religion was and is
>more popular in the highland and poorer communities in Jamaica is
>well-known. And that the American racial activist Marcus Garvey
>was also, all mythologies aside, credited as the (some have written)
>cynical founder of the modern cult named Rastafarianism is likewise
>widespread, if not a given. The manipulation of poorly edutcated
>and impoverished communities is a classic tactic of cultists, and I
>see no difference in this case; that is what I referred to. But all
>this is apparently a different interpretation of the data than
>you're familiar with.
> Perhaps it's one that is incorrect.
> I will, however, happily accept the charge of ignorance concerning
>the apparently Indo-European origin of the word ganja.I'm always
>happy to be corrected where I'm wrong. And if this is indeed the
>case with the origins of Rastafarianism, as well, then thanks in
>[E.A.] Making an ignorant statement about something does not mean
> Kevin P. Edgecomb
> Berkeley, California
you are an ignorant person. It seems as if you are ignorant of the
fact that Garvey was a Jamaican. It seems as if you are under the
illusion that Garvey founded a "cult religion" called Rastafarianism,
whereas in fact he founded a political and cultural organization
called the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Some Rastafarians
call him the John the Baptist because he made the islanders aware of
the imminent coronation of the Lion of Judah in 1930. Did John the
Baptist found the cult of Christianity?
Here is a summation of the subject by Father Joseph Owen,writing on
Rastafarianism in Kingston in 1976, in a book called "Dread".
"1927-35. Marcus Garvey, deported from the US, returns to his native
Jamaica and continued his work towards repatriation of Africans to
Africa. Garvey is said to have told his people, 'Look to Africa,
where a black King shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance
is near.' Whatever the authenticity of this statement, there can be
little doubt that Garvey's back-to-Africa movement set the stage for
the rise of Rastafarianism. To this day he is looked upon by Rastas
as a great prophet; many even consider him John the Baptist
[One could as well say that Martin Luther King set the stage for
the Black Panther movement with their philosophy of armed self-
defense. They may have followed each other in point of time, but
does this make non-violent Doctor King the founder of an armed
movement? Garvey was a Christian who believed that Christ had
been black, just as Ras Tafari was black. Both of them believed
that black people would progress by hard work, faith in God, and
building their own institutions and nations. He did not advocate
the creation of a new religion worshipping the new resplendent
black emperor; in London, between 1935 and his death in 1940 he
met H.I.M. as a human being in a political context, he never
considered him to be God! My daughter-in-law claims she read
a book in which Garvey is quoted as denouncing and mocking the
new beliefs concerning the divine identity of the Emperor. I
have never seen such writtenproof, perhaps Robert Hill has it
in one of his tomes of Garvey scholarship.
Owen continues: "During these years also there flourished in
Jamaica(and other places as well) a strong Ethiopianist movement,
which identified New World blacks as Ethiopians, and Ethiopians as
descendants of the Israelites.
"November 1930: Ras Tafari was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I
and took the titles 'King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering
Lion of the Tribe of Judah'. Very soon thereafter several preachers
in Jamaica, independently of one another, began to preach that the
Emperor was the returned Messiah and cited Revelation 5:2,5 and
19: 19-20 as the basis of their teaching.
1934: One of these preachers, L.P. Howell, was found guilty of
sedition for preaching his doctrine regarding Selassie and for
distributing pictures of Selassie which he claimed were passports
back to Ethiopia.
1935: [Garvey leaves for England] and Italy began its brutal invasion
of Ethiopia, despite Selassie's protests to the League of Nations...
1937 Under the patronage of Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian World
Federation was founded in New York City to effect the unity and
solidarity of black peoples in the world and to defend the
sovereignty of Ethiopa. By 1938 the movement reached Jamaica...
1940 [Garvey dies in England].Leonard P. Howell purchase an old
estate outside of Spanish Town and was joined there by many hundreds
of faithful Rastas.This initial settlement of the estate, called
Pinnacle, lasted little more than a year, for in July 1941 the police
raided the place and arrested many, including Howell, who went to
prison for another two years.
1943: Upon release from prison Howell returned to Pinnacle, but
led a much subdued existence, hardly known to the authorities.
1954: Pinnacle was raided again by police and was broken up
permanently. At this time many of the Rastararians who had been
living at Pinnacle came into the city and took up residence there.
This emergence from isolation probably helped to increase their
1955: The Ethiopian World Federation was given new life by a visit
of some officials from the US and a grant by the Emperor of 500
acres of fertile Ethiopian land for any Africans who wished to
1959: Thousands of people mistakenly believed that the cards
distributed to them by Claudius Henry, a Rastafarian preacher,
would gain them passage on ships leaving for Africa on October 5th.
Many sold their possessions and assembled at Henry's church as
the day approached, but alas, no ships came.
1960. Claudius Henry was charged with treason; several small arms
had been found in his church. He and several others were sentenced,
during a long and stormy trial, to lengthy prison terms. Later in
the year Henry's son arrived from New York City with several
American blacks and allegedly set up a guerrilla base in Red Hills.
They were captured and several executed...
1966 Emperor Hailie Selassie visited Jamaica as a guest of the
government. Countless thousands of Jamaicans, many of them Rastas,
gave him a welcome such as had never before been seen in Jamaica...
1969: The Ethiopian Orthodox Church set up a mission in Kingston,
to which many Rastafarians flocked.
One can see here that the "cult" mainly developed in the open after
Garvey had left the island.The "masses" of poor black people who
rallied to Garvey's message in the 1920's through the 1940's were
ordinary folk all over the world, not weed- smoking "cultists" with
dreadlocks, though these too soon began to appear in small numbers on
the peripheries of educated political society, as Owen has outlined.
So the Garvey period in the 30's was followed by a long period of
secular political developments which culminated in the achievement of
independence in 1962. The rise to social and artistic prominence of
Rastafarians, complete with dreadlocks and kali weed, is a much more
recent phenomenon. Indeed, the guiding hand of the living Emperor
shines through the later events, trying to "tame" the movement
by providing an Organizational structure for their desire to
support Africa or even repatriate, by providing land in Ethiopia
to any who wanted to try, and by sending the Ethiopian Orthodox
Church to provide the proper religious framework. To say that
Garvey "cynically" founded a "cult" which he did not himself
believe in may be a slander that is out there among those only
exposed to a very distorted version of this history. Garvey
left a very extensive corpus of writings and Robert Hill's
scholarship and voluminous re-editing of all the writings
must be a good introduction to the man and his life's journey.
Hope this helps, E. Adams
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