What did Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley and Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia have in common? A love for the Kebra Negast, holy book of Ethiopian Christians and Jamaican Rastafarians. Contemporary scholars date the Kebra Negast to the 14th century, but it retells the stories of much earlier Biblical times, one very important story in particular. According to the Kebra Negast, the Israelites' Ark of the Covenant was spirited away to the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia by wise King Solomon's own son, offspring of the union between Solomon and the exotic Queen Makeda of Ethiopia (a.k.a. the Queen of Sheba). Gerald Hausman, a consummate storyteller of native traditions, presents the core narrative of the Kebra Negast, from Adam to the rise of the Ethiopian Solomonid dynasty. On top of this, he injects his own encounters with Rastafarians during his travels in Jamaica--dreadlocked Rastas as modern-day Samsons, their unwavering faith in Jah, and a rare outsider's glimpse at the Nyabinghi ceremony. The combination of ancient tale and modern belief give Hausman's Kebra Negast the rich flavor of enduring truth. --Brian Bruya
The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith from Ethiopia and Jamaica.
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