Places of Worship

For some Rastafari, there is no specific building for worship; they meet for weekly reasoning sessions in believers’ home or a community centre. In Jamaica, it is more common for Rastafari to live together in a commune, presided over by an elder, with a central yard for reasonings and Nyabinghi. In some yards there is what is called a tabernacle, which can be constructed for specific ceremonies or can be a permanent feature. The tabernacle is a space that centres the Nyabinghi and reasonings, which otherwise have a free-flowing structure. Tabernacles have a dirt-floor, a circular bamboo frame and a thatched roof decorated with Rastafari symbols such as the red, gold, and green colours, the lion, and depictions of the continent of Africa. They can also include a fire key, a high pile of stones with a wood fire on top, which is used in the Nyabinghi ceremony. The fire key man is in charge of the fire at ceremonies. The Nyabinghi Order has an altar at the centre of their tabernacles.

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