AS PART of a move to increase public awareness of how the Rastafarian community has helped to shape Jamaican cultural heritage, the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) has made a call for persons to offer historical material about the way of life for exhibition.
The institute said last week that the Rastafarian community will mount the first major material heritage exposition on the Rastafari movement in Jamaica, on April 21.
As part of the preparations for this major exhibition, the institute is making a call to the public for materials used by the Rastafarians through loan contracts.
Contracts will have an initial duration of one year for heritage objects and visual media, such as photographs and video recordings.
The call is being organised by the Museums of History and Ethnography and is open to negotiations.
Dr Jonathan Greenland, director of the Museums of History and Ethnography Division at IOJ, said the call for Rastafarian materials comes "due to the fact that Jamaica is the major creator and storehouse of historic and cultural material relating to Rastafari."
According to Greenland, "Very little has been done to document its invaluable material heritage. As a result, there is little systematic collection of objects, memories, documents and memorabilia".
The objects being sought are: Historic documents, historic and personal photographs, clothing, jewellery and adornments, craft items and artwork, print materials such as journals, banners, posters, postcards, and invitations; scrapbooks, diagrams and illustrations; musical instruments; furniture; symbolic and ceremonial items; and health products, natural medicines, and recipes.
Greenland said the exhibition is of national importance because "in the fifty years of Jamaica's Independence, the advocacy of Rastafari has engendered awareness among Jamaicans of the global African struggle."
"Today, their advocacy has become the strongest expression of our national consciousness," Greenland added.
Interested persons are asked to contact IOJ at 922-0620 to participate in interviews and biographical recordings.