A 'Grounation' is a Rastafarian gathering, and may be a
combination of many elements: a celebration of roots and culture, a ritualised worship of Jah Rastafari, and an opportunity
for reasoning and smoking ganja together. Throughout the
festival, the driving lifeforce is provided by the drum's
irresistible heartbeat. Nyabinghi drumming
rhythms are accompanied by chants and singing, often
strongly inspired by the Psalms. These rhythms could be said to
be the true roots of Rasta reggae, having originated from
African burru drummings.
The atmosphere of the Grounation is very special.
Traditionally, the gathering is held in the open-air on
the hills of Jamaica, and is celebrated annually around the 21st
April, in commemoration of the visit of Haile Selassie to the island in 1966. Rastas, old and
young, congregate and may camp around a fire for the
duration of the festival, which may last several days.
Nyabinghi music first began to be recorded for posterity
during the 1970's. Among its foremost exponents have been
groups such as Count Ossie & The Mystical
Revelation Of Rastafari, and Ras Michael
& The Sons Of Negus.
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