Jamaica recognizes the founder of the Rastafari movement

Photo: Jamaica Gleaner

Leonard P. Howell will be included in the Order of Distinction delivered by the Caribbean State.

The State of Jamaica will honor the founder of the Rastafari movement Leonard Percival Howell with posthumous national recognition.

Howell will be included in October in the Order of Distinction, in the officer rank, for being the pioneer of Rastafarian philosophy, as collected by Jamaica Gleaner.

This recognition is given to citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding and important services to the country and in this case it comes to be a kind of atonement and reparation for the bitter moments that the movement experienced at its birth in the years 30 in its relationship with the British colonial state.

Although he was born into an Anglican family the 16 June 1898, Howell broke ties and established the first Rastafarian community with a few 4.500 members and created the Pinnacle community (Pinnacle) in the sligoville hills, St. Catherine, overlooking the bustling cities of Spanish Town and Kingston.

The Pinnacle grew to become a self-sufficient community with farmers who created a sustainable culture. There were also skilled craftsmen and women who shared a faith under the motto: “A God, a purpose, a destination”.

The destruction of the Pinnacle, initiated by the colonial authorities in 1954, and the dispersion of its members, caused the Rastafarian doctrine to spread to more communities like Waterloo and Tredegar Park in St.. Catherine and communities in West Kingston.

Howell himself was accused of uprising against the authority (sedition) for refusing to accept George V of the United Kingdom as king and insisting that he would always and only be loyal to Haile Selassie I and Ethiopia. He was found guilty and sentenced to several years in prison..