The emergence of the Rastafarians will remain a puzzle unless seen as a continuation of the concept of Ethiopianism which began in Jamaica as early as the eighteenth century. The enchantment with the land and people of Ethiopia has had a long and interesting history. From biblical writings through Herodotus to the medieval fantasy with the mythic King Prester John right down to our day, Ethyiopia has had a hypnotic influence on history, which has been retained by the imagination of Blacks in Diaspora. Ine the nineteenth century, when the defenders of slavery tried to divest Blacks of every dignity of humanity and civilization, Blacks appealed to the fabled glory of Ethiopia.
Cited from Chapter 3/ "Ethiopianism in Jamaica" THE RASTAFARIANS By Leonard Barrett (1977)