Visions of Zion

Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land

Erin C. MacLeod

NYU Press (publisher)

In
reggae song after reggae song Bob Marley and other reggae singers speak of the
Promised Land of Ethiopia. “Repatriation is a must!” they cry. The Rastafari
have been travelling to Ethiopia since the movement originated in Jamaica in
1930s. They consider it the Promised Land, and repatriation is a
cornerstone of their faith. Though Ethiopians see Rastafari as immigrants, the
Rastafari see themselves as returning members of the Ethiopian diaspora.
In Visions of Zion, Erin C. MacLeod offers the first in-depth
investigation into how Ethiopians perceive Rastafari and
Rastafarians within Ethiopia and the role this unique immigrant
community plays within Ethiopian society.

Rastafari
are unusual among migrants, basing their movements on spiritual rather than
economic choices. This volume offers those who study the movement a broader
understanding of the implications of repatriation. Taking the Ethiopian
perspective into account, it argues that migrant and diaspora identities
are the products of negotiation, and it illuminates the implications of this
negotiation for concepts of citizenship, as well as for our understandings of
pan-Africanism and south-south migration. Providing a rare look at migration to a non-Western country, this volume
also fills a gap in the broader immigration studies literature.

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