The Jamaican Rent a Dread and Not Rent A Rasta

Context is a concept that is very important whenever one attempts to analyze. Understanding the mindset and/or the conditions where by which general statements are made is critical to whatever side of a debate you fall on. For example we came across a documentary done several years ago Rent A Rasta by Take look at the title  “RENT A RASTA”, every Jamaican is familiar with the term RENT A DREAD but never would use the word RASTA to substitute the term DREAD. So we decided to take a look at the phenomenon.


Those familiar with Jamaican culture understand the stark difference as to when a person is identified as a Rastafarian versus simply being called a dread. At first glance the director, J. Michael Seyfert, seems to make an honest mistake mixing the two terms. For the uninitiated, “RENT A DREAD”  is a term used to describe the practice of female tourists securing the sexual services of virile Jamaican men; usually at or nearby the resort towns which dot the coast of the island.

Why is this so? Mainly because the type of women who normally engage in such practices are by and large ignored in societies where they are from.
RENT-A-RASTA-loxsAs this arrangement is based on fantasy, the objects of desire are normally young, fit and with long flowing locks; everything these ladies dreamt about when they first booked their trips to Jamaica.
RENT-A-RASTA-walkFor the young men, well they certainly do not go away empty handed as they trade their companionship for ready cash, trinkets among other things. Some of these men even parlay these chance encounters into opportunities to acquire the travel documents required, often through marriage, to faraway lands of supposed prosperity. A pretty nice setup if you ask me. But what do you think? Is this arrangement unfair to either sex or is it as the popular saying goes “Fair exchange is no robbery?”



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