It is considered by many who identify as Rastafari to change ones name from that which was given to them at birth to one that expresses who they are and/or aspire to become.
Many Rastafari from Jamaica, Barbados, United States and other parts of the world are victim to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and do not want to carry on the name which was given to them by their slave masters. In this respect, many change their name to instill a sense of ownership of who they are; so they can begin to move forward into becoming honorable Kings and Queens of the earth.
Native Americans inspire us to think about our names as allegory-with multiple dimensions. To remember that we are on a linear voyage in life, that we should be constantly changing and growing, that our identity consists in how we are seen and judged by others-by what we give, not by what we take. To remember that our names should remind us first of “us”, not “me.” To remember that making the world a better place means not only helping others but also caring for nature so that our descendants will enjoy the same bounty we have. To remember that every human being has a sacred spiritual core.
Now it is up to us to ponder and elaborate our own name stories so that we remember day to day the multiple dimensions of our identity—the inspiration and the commitments they entail.
Take for instance the name “Iyore”. Iyore: In Nigeria’s Ebo language, it means “I have survived a long and difficult journey”. It is also translated as ” I have arrived”, or ” the return”. The name “Iyore” was given to a baby girl born on the 18th January 2001. It is written in her past earthly representation Iyore was a revolutionary type, inspiring changes in any sphere – politics, business, religion, housekeeping. Iyore could have been a leader. Her lesson to learn in this life is humility and faith in spiritual principles. She should believe in High Reason.
The name of Iyore has given her a friendly, likeable nature, and she could excel in artistic, dramatic, and musical expression. With this name, she desires the finer things in life, but she does not always have the resolve and vitality to put forth the effort necessary to fulfil her desires. Her emotional feelings are easily aroused and she will always be involved in other people’s problems as a result of her overly sympathetic nature. She will have many disappointments because of extending a helping hand to others in need, and then not receiving any acknowledgement or reciprocation for her generosity. After each experience, she will have to guard against feelings of despondency and self-pity. She will have high goals and ideals, but must incorporate more practicality, system, and concentration in order to materialize them.
According to the date of birth given for Iyore, her inner potential includes analytical, practical, and scientific capabilities. As a natural born teacher and instructor, she would find satisfaction serving others. With an innate ability to see the broad picture, yet to understand the steps and details that lead to it, she could develop great skills in explaining ideas thoroughly and logically and find satisfaction in providing instruction that would be valuable to others.
Iyore’s desire to nurture and provide for others could find satisfactory outlets within the home environment or in care facilities. A stable home environment would build security within her from which she would set her ideals and achieve her goals. Other occupations where Iyore could excel are in the culinary arts, architecture, in the practical service industries where you are helping people, banking, in computer graphics, or any other area that combines attention to detail with a creative flair.
Her potential to be generous, inspirational, and enthusiastic could express through opportunities to meet and mix with people where she is responsible for creating harmony and happiness. She appreciates it when she can work patiently with system and order and without interruptions. Any tendency to be temperamental, excessively fussy, or concerned over trifles should be controlled by being calm and objective in dealing with people. Such efforts would secure the respect, love, and support from which she will draw her confidence.
As Iyore builds her life upon a secure foundation of security, stability, routine and helping others from this strong base, she will find her greatest contentment and happiness.
As we seek to reclaim our identity as adults, those of us with children must assist them with reclaiming theirs starting with their names.
*Researched & expanded upon by Bongo Ashkenaz. and further by Masimba.