Rastafari Indigenous Village
The Rastafari indigenous Village is located at Lot 147 Riverside Drive at few minutes drive from Montego Bay in the Parish of St. James, telephone contact (876) 285-4750.
As the name suggests this is a community, village where Rastafarians reside and practice their beliefs and culture. Rastafarians at this village on occasion invite visitors who are interested in the Rastafari Culture.
Here Rastafarians get in touch with their spiritually, and practice traditional ways of life to include religion, food, culture, herbal medicine.
On the day we visited our guide met us about half a mile from the village. Before entering the village, along the dirt track that runs alongside the river, the guide shouted to the Rastas at the gate to let them know that visitors are on the way.
At the gate their is an exchange of greetings between our guide and the Rasta manning the gate. He opens the gate and lets us in with a warm and friendly smile. irie, one love, welcome bredrens and sistrens. As we look around children are seen running about playing. A Rasta girl sits beside her mother while she tends to her hair.
To one side is a wood fire over which hangs a large pot, with what Rasta calls ital stew. Next to that are six large breadfruits roasting.
Our guide explains that Rasta are mostly vegetarian and don't encourage the use of salt or what they consider to be other artificial seasoning.
Everything that enters the body should be natural. With that said we are taken to a traditional hut where Rasta may sleep when they spend the night in the woods. It's made of bamboo and is triangular in shape, the hut is about five square feet. Other more elaborate buildings are constructed off the ground in the trees, and are suitable for a family to live in.
A key feature of the Rastafarian life style is the attention to the food, spirituality, meditation and the use of natural products for healing and general health.
With that in mind we were taken to the garden where a myriad of herbs, and vegetables are planted. We were introduced to various plants and told what they are used for. The 'guinea hen' plant for example is used to relief symptoms of Sinusitis and sneezing. Of course the ganja plant was mentioned and our Rastafarian guide was at pains to point out that at long last persons worldwide were accepting all the various uses of the ganja plant. Medical Science having proved all the benefits that Rastafarian have been pointing out for generations.
We were also shown the calabash tree, which is used to make, soup bowls, plates, and utensils such as cups, forks and spoons. The seeds of the tree, along with seeds and beads from other plants are also used to make jewelry. Which Rasta were on their wrist, ankles and necks.
A major part of the visit was the Irits which is the Rastafarian monthly acoustic gathering curated with the aim of creating balance by harmonizing music, food, healing, and art, with culture, preserving living aspects of Jamaican heritage, blending live music, an ital vegan cuisine and local artists. On entering the bamboo tent where the festival is held. Rastafarian were seen playing various sized drums and singing traditional songs. On the outside visitors can go to the kitchen to sample the various vegan dishes. Overall our visit was very informative and interesting.
This is definitely recommended for persons who want to learn more about the Rastafarian life style