Word Origin & History
1953 (Rastafarite), from Rastafari, Jamaican religion built around writings of Marcus Garvey and belief that Haile Selassie (1892-1975), former emperor of Ethiopia, was God. From Ras Tafari, Selassie's title from 1916 to his accession in 1936, from Amharic ras "chief, head" (from Arabic ra's) + tafari
"to be feared." Shortened form Rasta is recorded from 1955.