Reggae Music and Its Origins 1, Bob Marley and The Wailers “Jammin” (Benny Benassi Remix)

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Reggae could be considered as Jamaica’s gift to music.

After all, it did originate there. It is known as an integral part of the Rastafari (Rasta) movement. And certain things definitely come to mind when the word Rasta gets mentioned.

Take the colors red, yellow and green, for instance. Seen on their hats are those three colors. Often against a black background, depicted in the shape of a cannabis leaf or a peace symbol, the combination is very symbolic.

Reggae, which is expressive of their culture mentions “ganja” which is their term for marijuana. In the Rasta culture, ganja is an integral part of their spirituality as they smoke the leaves while arranged in a circle. And as it is passed around it should be counter-clockwise or to the person on their left. However, in Jamaica, marijuana legalization has not happened yet.

And even though Rasta is often associated with Jamaica, Christianity is still the most widespread religion. That may be because the Rasta culture is quite old as it began in the 1930’s. But because Christianity prevails, there are some who think that the Rastafari Movement is a pagan practice.

It may be possible that the act of smoking marijuana leaves began with the Rasta way of life as it is often the topic in many of their songs. Bob Marley, the best known Jamaican musician, mentions this in many of his songs. Many iconic photographs are of him smoking joints or he is seen amidst thick smoke which is a characteristic of smoking marijuana.


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