My trod in Rastafari took solid roots because I was introduced to the Bobo Shanty priesthood, namely a particular camp in one of the worst ghettos of Trinidad - Gonzales - it is called the House of Judah, and the Leading Priest Ekeche, is actually born on July 23rd, the same day as the Emperor!
Priest Ekeche has one wife Empress Adama, and together they have 9 youths - and have never been divorced or had affairs and all that which tends to go on sometimes in Bobo camplife. They have been together in Fari for over thirty years and the stronghold of righteousness keeps them safe in such a perilous neighbourhood. Priest's camp isn't a live-in camp, only his family lives in the yard - but most members of the community live close by and are always around. Every Wednesday is gathering night, or the night the House gets together to worship and have Scripture Study. Other books are also discussed, or sometimes it's film, and so on. Every Tuesday is Empress gathering, and it starts earlier so the wives can be home at a decent hour.
One of the first topics of Scripture any princess or Dawta is introduced to when she starts visiting the House for gathering, or courting a Bobo Dread, is the principle of the Virtuous Wife or Woman. How does the Virtuous Honourable wife dress, act, pray, treat her family, treat others? This is the most important first lesson because when Sighting up Rastafari many of us Dawtas still hold on to many Babylonian mentalities and vanities, and habits. We have one foot in the door, and the other out in the cold. But can that state of in-between continue? Not if you really want to be a Dread!
In order to know what is right, we have to start comparing JAH's Principle and Order to Babylon's. And what can be found is that regardless of race or nationality, of former background religion, whether Binghi, Orthodox or EABIC (Bobo), the ways of purity and goodness for a Wombman follow one basic pattern.
Rastafari, like the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, uses Leviticus to determine the laws of Wombman in the Tabernacle - such introduce the 14-21 days purification principle known to Bobo Shanty. But Proverbs 31 is the basic Scripture in the Old Testament used to discuss the duties and attributes of the Virtuous Wife.
In the New Testament Paul and Peter also have verses which describe the ideal for the Nazirene wives (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Peter 3, 1 Corinthians 7,11,14, 1 Timothy 2).
The Book of Sirach in the Apocrypha is another book, in addition to the Fetha Nagast (pg. 80, 148), being the Ethiopian Law Book of the Monarchy (JAH Rastafari) is also another important document detailing the expectations of the King's Royal Dawtas.
The most other important source of information on the virtues of the RasTa Wombman as she embodies the identity and works of the Virtuous Wife, is the Biography of Empress Menen Asfaw which has been translated fully into English by the work of Sis. Anjahli Parnell. All Dawtas must have this book in the home! Empress Menen truly is our Number One Leader and Guide back to our true selves as Afrikan Mothers, Wives, Daughters and Handmaids of the Lord, and finally there is a work that brings I and I closer to Her just as we have been drawn closer to HIM with His two Autobiographies.
Here's a brief summary of the characteristics of the Virtuous Wife taken from Proverbs 31, which is the kind of chapter that needs careful study of the language to really get the total overstanding of her values. But one thing's for sure: the RasTa Wombman is the Virtuous Wombman in flesh, and our entire identity is pleasing to the Lord because I and I honour the work of the Sacred Feminine.
I find it necessary to also stress that these principles speak on the true heart of a wombman, which is not to be confused with matters of her outward appearance, such as whether a Dawta wears makeup or jewellery or headwraps or pants. How she carries herself and behaves will speak volumes regardless of what she wears.
· good reputation
· able to make good decisions
· livicated to children & husband
· health/appearance conscious
I hope I have given the I Sistren some good food for thought!