THE RASTA MAN, HIS SPIRITUALITY, AND GENETIC MEMORY
Since I have been an initiate of the Ifa/Orisa tradition, I have gotten to know Orisa Shango, who is the Orisa which represents the aspect of nature which is Lightning and Thunder. He is the deity of fire. Shango, before he became King, as the story goes, had a brother whose name was Baayani, otherwise known as Dada. It is said that Dada, who is Shango’s older brother, was the original King on the throne. This is in Oyo State, Nigeria. Dada, who wore dreads and was peaceful and non-violent, he didn’t like war, he was a humble man, abdicated the throne, giving it to his junior brother Shango, who was said to be dreadful. When looking at Baayani’s (Dada’s) personality and dreads – I see the Rasta Man.
Not only that, but in Nigeria, among the Yoruba’s of which Dada and Shango are from that tribe, children who are born with dreads are called Dada. It does not matter if the parent cuts the hair, the hair will naturally lock up again. All children such as this must have this name in honour of Orisa Dada, Shango’s brother. I once asked my husband’s sister, whose little girl is also “Dada,” if she has ever tried to comb the hair for it to be normal, and she said no matter how many times they cut it, it grows back locked the same way, and this is with all children born with locks. It is said that any child born with locks such as these children in Nigeria, are not ordinary human beings.
Now reflecting back to real Rastas, and the original movement of Rastafarianism, not ONLY the locking of the hair but also their peaceful nature such as the Bobo Dread who came to our gate, non-violent, one’s who connected with nature and lived at one with their environment, who views their locks upon their heads as a crown (citing the reasons for never cutting their hair), their humble stance and loving, peaceful nature, in them I see Dada, Shango’s brother. The original King.
Do I dare wonder that regardless of the explanations given, why the founder of Bobo Shanti, Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards, was also called Dada? Also like Miguel Collins, aka Sizzla, High Priest of the Bobo Shanti order, is also known as Dada? How wonderful is our Genetic Memory.