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Photographer:Miriam | Winston and Kathy Photographer:Antonio | Shashemene Photographer:Antonio | Twelve Tribes HeadQuarters Photographer:Miriam | Weath field in Shashemene

Closer to God

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Stories about repatriation of Black and Rasta people might sound similar yet each of them is a story in itself. However, from the spiritual aspect, though not visible at first , a common thread runs through all life’s faiths. The overwhelming experiences of first visits are similar. For Kathy and Winston it was closely connected by them being active members of Twelve Tribes, one of the largest Rasta organizations, and after first two months visit they decided to come “home” . They’re talking honestly about their life, blessings, problems..

Mansions of Rastafari are branches of the Rastafari movement. Mansions include the Bobo Shanti, the Niyabinghi, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and others. The term is taken from the Biblical verse in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”The Twelve Tribes of Israel is a Rastafarian group founded in Kingston, Jamaica, and now functioning worldwide. Its founder, Vernon Carrington was known as Prophet Gad, and taught his students to read the Bible ‘A Chapter A Day’

The Nyahbinghi Order (also known as Haile Selassie I Theocratical Order of the Nyahbinghi Reign) is the oldest of all the Rastafari mansions[3] The term Niyabinghi means “black victory” (niya = black, binghi = victory). It may also be spelled in a variety of other ways, such as “Nyabinghi”, “Nyahbinghi”, “Niyahbinghi” and so on. It was first used to describe an East African possession cult located in the areas of south Uganda and north Rwanda in 1700 AD (Hopkins 259). Early missionaries and anthropologists named the Uganda/Rwanda clans, the Niyabinghi Cult, because their culture was based on the veneration of the goddess spirit, Niyabinghi . The Niyabinghi Cult is said to have thrived due to the possession of the goddess Niyabinghi through dance and religious seances.

Bobo Shanti
Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards founded the Bobo Shanti order in Jamaica in 1958[1]. The new Bobo Shanti leader is Trevor Stewart. The Bobo Shanti use Revelations 5 to justify Prince Emmanuel as the re-incarnate of the Christ. He is regarded as the reincarnate Black Christ in a priestly state. He was called “Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards by most members of the Bobo Shanti, without Mother or Father, a Priest of Melchezidek, the Black Christ in the Flesh.” He, along with Haile Selassie are seen as Gods. Marcus Garvey is regarded as a prophet, and the three are seen as a Holy Trinity. The Bobo Shanti believe that there should be repatriation of all black people to Africa. In addition the Bobo Shanti order also believe that black people should be reimbursed monetarily for slavery.

Rastafarians regard ‘Ethiopia’ as their homeland and believe they will eventually return.

During periods of colonisation Africans were divided up and sent to destinations throughout the world, in most cases as slaves to whites. This is why many Africans found themselves in Jamaica and why it is regarded by many Rastafarians as hell.

‘Ethiopia’, the homeland, was seen as a place of fond memories of freedom and life prior to oppression. This meant it eventually became regarded as heaven. To develop this belief Rastafarians refer to Psalm 137 v. 1:

By the Rivers of Babylon we sat down; there we wept when we remembered Zion.

Psalm 137

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