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William Orbit (1956)

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The Abyssinians

The Abyssinians are a Jamaican roots reggae group, famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement in their lyrics.

The vocal trio was originally formed in 1969 by Bernard Collins, Donald Manning and Linford Manning.

Their most famous songs are "Satta Massagana" and "Y Mas Gan", both of which are delivered partially in the Ethiopian language of Amharic. This language is sacred to Rastafarians as they believe the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, to be an avatar of God.

Another crucial track is "Declaration of Rights", whose instrumental version (the "riddim") has been reprised many times during the years by many other roots reggae artists.

The Abyssinians should not be confused with the reggae, rocksteady, and ska group The Ethiopians, though the two bands' names are synonyms when used outside the context of band names.


  • 1976 : Satta Massagana - Heartbeat
  • 1978 : Arise - Tuff Gong
  • 1982 : Forward - Alligator
  • 1998 : Reunion - Artists Only
  • 1998 : Satta Dub - Tabou
  • 1998 : Declaration of Dub - Heartbeat
  • 2002 : Live in San Francisco - 2b1 II
  • 2003 : Abyssinians & Friends Tree of Satta - Blood & Fire