Monday, March 4, 2013

The Children of Solomon

To the old time Rastas of Jamaica, King Solomon was "the wisest man on earth." If legends hold true, Solomon was as singular as the Bible says he was. And it is in these legends that surround the man that we see the clearest picture of him.

This was the man who called a halt to a hundred horseman so that each horse might weave a path around an anthill. He could speak to birds and other animals, and was kind in all ways to all things great and small. And just as the Buddha meditated under a Bo tree, Solomon the wise sat in the shade of of an herb tree. They also say that smoke did come from his mouth and nose.

Myths and legends have been called by historians the intimate link with our human past. Myths, in particular, are cited by some as "the sacred history of humnakind." Not the secular account but the spiritual truth. For this there is no better place to go than Jamaica.

In the course of many years while our family ran a small outward bound, creative writing school on the north coast I gathered the stories of Rastas and rootsmen, bush doctors, preachers, and elders of the Rasta community.

I met a man who had known Marcus Garvey. I met another who listened, personally, to the upliftment of Haile Selassie I when he came to Jamaica. I met members of the Marley family. All of these informed the rich fabric of tales and lore that I gently folded into The Rastafarian Children of Solomon: The Legacy of The Kebra Nagast and the Path to Peace and Understanding.

The book, begun in 1985 and completed only a year ago, was my own path to peace, the teachings of which changed my life, the life of my family, and the lives of others who lived and worked and studied at our little school in Castle Gordon by the town of Port Maria in the lovely old parish of St Mary, Jamaica. 

The review below is from the March issue of Publishers Weekly.

Rastafarian Children of Solomon: The Legacy of the Kebra Nagast and the Path to Peace and Understanding

Gerald Hausman. Bear & Company, $14 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-59143-154-1
Hausman first went to the north coast of Jamaica in 1985, and for 10 years he led an outdoor-experience summer school there. He came to know Jamaica from the “inside out,” developing deep friendships with an intriguing cast of Rastas, who trace their lineage to King Solomon, “the wisest man on earth.” Hausman skillfully connects the lives and beliefs of these peaceful and resourceful people—fishermen, wicker weavers, Rasta preachers, respected elders, and wise men and women—through heartfelt conversations that arise spontaneously while sitting under the shade of a pimento tree, in a dusty yard, or by firelight in the cool evening ocean breeze. Rastafarian spiritual wisdom, recounted here in authentic Jamaican patois, emphasizes equality: an unwavering faith and hope in the holy spirit that lives in each human being. As followers of the Kebra Nagast—the African gospel excised from the King James version of the Bible—these Rasta “old ways” are epitomized by a statement from Jesus: “According to your faith, be it unto you.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013