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Nyabinghi is the oldest of the Mansions of Rastafari. These Rastafari are the strictest out of the six or so major groups. They pledge "love to all human beings", and do not believe in violence, because they believe that only Jah has the right to destroy. They make this pledge because of the power of words, believing that only when all of Jah's children make the pledge together, the oppressors will be destroyed. In addition, they are often non-violent or follow the non-aggression principle.
Nyabinghi was a legendary Ugandan/Rwandan tribe queen, who was said to have possessed a Ugandan woman named Muhumusa in the 19th century. Muhumusa inspired a movement, rebelling against African colonial authorities. Though she was captured in 1913, alleged possessions by Nyabinghi continued (mostly afflicting women). Bloodline of the true Nyabinghi warriors rightfully settled in the heart of Dzimba dze Mabwe now known as Zimbabwe.
The Nyabinghi resistance inspired a number of Jamaican Rastas, who incorporated what are known as Nyabinghi chants (also binghi) into their celebrations (grounations). The rhythms of these chants were eventually an influence of popular ska, rocksteady and reggae music. Three kinds of drums are used in Nyabinghi music: bass, funde and keteh. The keteh plays an improvised syncopation, the funde plays a regular one-two beat and the bass drum strikes loudly on the first beat, and softly on the third (of four) beat. Count Ossie was the first record nyabinghi, and he helped to establish and maintain Rasta culture.
- Hopkins, Elizabeth. “The Nyabingi Cult of Southwestern Uganda.” Protest and Power in Black Africa. Ed. Robert I. Rotberg and Ali A. Mazrui. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. 258-336.