The Rasta Village (or Rastafarian Indigenous Village) is a unique way to experience life of the followers of Rastafari. The village is home to a community of Rastafarians and is open for guided tours.
The tours begin in the Tropical Gardens on the Montego River, just outside of Montego Bay. You will be lead from here through a shallow river into the village. As you approach you’ll hear the drumming and chanting getting louder.
On the tour you’ll be told about Rastafarian life including the principles of living in harmony with nature and the role of Heillie Selassi. The chef then gives a tour of the village kitchen, showing the vegetables, herbs and spices used in Rastafarian cooking, showing the nutritional and culinary importance of each ingredient.
You will also be given a tour of the village herb library where your guide will explain the medicinal properties of the many herbs grown there and, in some cases, those which scientists are beginning to investigate for their use in scientific remedies.
The village also has a meditative labyrinth you can walk around and engage in your own private contemplation.
The tour ends on a musical note with a traditional drum and chanting session in the centre of the village. Herbal tea and fresh fruits are served to you whilst you listen. You may even be invited to join the drummers at the end of the session.
Traditional jewelry, clothing and herbal remedies are made and sold in the village.
The Rastafarian Indigenous Village was established in December 2008 by three of the residents – IION Kanaka, First Man and Ileen IION. The village is growing, with an amphitheatre and residential huts being built and Rastafarian followers from other settlements are due to join the community in the future.