Rastafari began in Jamaica in the 1930s and has since spread to many other countries. As it spread it drew on local sources and traditions to develop in distinctive new ways. Though most scholarship on Rastafari deals specifically with Jamaican forms of the religion, it often does so without recognizing the variety of local histories and forms that the movement actually takes. Consequently there has been an ongo-ing trend for Jamaican Rastafari to be normative for the movement as a whole, thus homogenizing what is really a diverse movement. This arti-cle explores the history and sources for a local form of Rastafari, the Dreads, in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominca. Particular attention is paid to how the Dreads formed, what their relationship with other, more normative, forms of Rastafari has been, and how they continue to negotiate a separate identity for themselves within the movement.

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