Leonard Percival Howell, The Rastafari Movement & Pinnacle
PINNACLE was/is the first self-sustaining community in Colonial Jamaica. Established by Leonard Percival Howell in 1940 from a small community of 700, to a flourishing community of over 4,000 residents with Organic Farms, Schools, A Community Bakery, a Block Making Factory, and Bio-Friendly Homes constructed of bamboo.
In 1937, Howell established the friendly organization known as the Ethiopian Salvation Society, and in 1940 started the first Rastafari Community in the hills of the parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica. Members received plots on which they built houses made of wood with thatched roofs, and on which they cultivated food crops for subsistence and sales. They also made household items, such as mats and brooms, and they burned coal for use in the community, and to sell in the markets in Spanish Town and downtown Kingston.
Howell also started a Bakery, which brought in cash. Pinnacle was similar to a Maroon village in that it was self-governed. There was a Communal Dining Room, and a place where everyone went to Worship. When Pinnacle was raided in 1954, a total of £4,000 cash was seized by authorities. The true economic viability of the village can be measured by considering the following:
If you want to compare the value of a £4,000 by Income or Wealth in 1954 to today, there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £95,550.00
economic status value of that income or wealth is £278,500.00
economic power value of that income or wealth is £349,500.00
In its heyday, The Pinnacle served as a testament to the strength of Communal Cooperative Living, Organic Farming, Independent Education, and Herbal/Indigenous Therapies. Many of the modern Cancer medicines derive from the extracts of the Rosy Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), first identified in Jamaica. The Rosy Periwinkle was utilized by Mr. Howell in Herbal Medicines and Health Tonics which Rastafarians/Howellites mass-produced and sold to the local government, private, and public sectors. While in Mid-Century Colonial Jamaica, Dr. Howell was labelled a charlatan guilty of medical malpractice, it is now clear he was more of a visionary with a world view that is ripe for implementation.
COOPERATIVE RASTA ECONOMICS