More Visibility for Rastas in Cuba

HAVANA TIMES, March 1 — From March 17 to 19, the Havana socio-cultural and spiritual project “Temple of Oya” (named after a Yoruba deity) will hold its annual meeting of heads of temples of African-based Cuban religions (Osha/Ifa, Palo Monte, Voodoo, Spiritualism, Abakua, Arara and others).

This year, however, there will be a new feature: The meeting will be devoted to Jamaica, and among the participants will be adherents of Rastafarian culture.

As part of the meeting, the documentary “The Roaring Lion: The History of Rastafarianism” will be premiered at the Cuban Institute of Anthropology (203 Amargura Street, Old Havana) on Sunday March 18 at 2:00 pm. The admission is free.

Organizers say that the film, which is the “only documentary authorized by the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica,” tells the story of a “persecuted community” that has spread across the planet.

There will be a discussion between experts and promoters of this spiritual movement on “the challenge of Rastafarianism in Cuba.”

The Rasta movement has been controversial here on the island for various reasons. However, there is an increased interest in their culture. There have been several research efforts by Cuban and foreign scholars that have focused on it.

For confirmation of the event, the telephone numbers are (53-7) 866-2298 and (53) 5386-1269.