Prior to 1494, Jamaica was inhabited by the Arawaks who lived in small communities based on fishing hunting and small scale cultivation
The Spanish arrived in 1494 and they decimated the native population
Disappointed by the lack of gold and silver, the Spanish used Jamaica from 1494 to 1655 as a base to support conquering the Americas
During this time, the main economic supply was domestic consumption
In 1655, Jamaica was occupied by the British who used it as a slave economy and was beneficial to the prosperity of British plantation owners
All slaves were eventually emancipated by 1838
History After the slaves were freed many of them became farmers retreating to the mountains far away from their former plantations becoming peasants during this time the export of sugar declined rapidly but the exports of bananas coffee and Longwood supplemented the economy and drew Jamaica’s economy away from the dependence of sugar this period of slave freedom and economy diversion lasted till 1938 Jamaica’s rebellion against England began in 1938 with many leaders of political parties being hailed as heroes with a self-government being established in 1944 and officially being recognized by England in 1962
Reggae was first developed in the late 1960’s
Originated from Ska and Rocksteady
The Wailers, a band started by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963, are perhaps the most recognized band that made the transition through all three stages of early Jamaican popular music
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica
Most popular sport is cricket
Exception international Track and Field team
Arthur Wint was the first Jamaican Olympic Gold Medalist, winning the 400 m at the 1948 Summer Olympics
Usain Bolt is the men’s world record and Olympic record holder in the 100 meters, the 200 meters and (along with his teammates) the 4 x 100 meters relay
Shellly-Ann Fraser is the women’s world record and Olympic record holder in the 100 m
The Jamaican Bobsled Team first gained fame during its debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games (well known from its portrayal in the 1993 film Cool Runnings)
In the 1994 Winter Olympics, Jamaican four sled finished in 14th place, ahead of the United States, Russia, Australia, France and one sled from Italy
Began in the 19th century as people from North America were looking to escape the cold winters
Tourism began a rapid increase after WW1 due to advancements in transportation that made it easier for people to travel from country to country
When people first started visiting Jamaica the numbers were below a few thousand. Today, more than one million people visit every year many of them arriving on cruise ships
Because of Jamaica’s white sand beaches, many popular tourist destinations are located along the north coast in cities such as Montego Bay and Port Antonio
Jamaica is an island where as the United States is a constitutional republic composed of 50 states
The time frame is different in Jamaica
The dollar values are different
$1.00 in the United States is worth almost $85.00
Food: Jamaican foods tend to have more spices
A lot of the clothes and fabrics are different
Kids are given more responsibility at a younger age and expected to do much more. They get jobs at younger ages than people do in America
The weather is different (it is much hotter in Jamaica)
One of the many things that people think is that marijuana is legal out in Jamaica. This is false just like in the United States weed is illegal in Jamaica
The native language of both Jamaica and America is English (even though Jamaicans do speak with a heavy accent)
Jamaica has its ghettos and bad places just like the United States.
People often see Jamaica as a big nice island with no bad parts. But in reality there are places with high crime rates.
Norms & Traditions
Jamaica motto is “Out Of Many, One People”
Believe that the woman’s place is in the home. (They receive less remuneration than men) Men’s place is outside the home, working in agriculture, business, government and recreation. This is slowly changing.
Their domestic units are made up of: grandmother, mother, and off spring from current or previous unions. The father may be present all the time, he may be absent, or come for visit for periods at a time. They also usually include children of kin from other households.
Politeness and Courtesy are highly valued as being “raised well”. It’s expressed through greetings – especially the young to their elders.
Children never backtalk parents or elders.
Men are expected to open doors for women and perform the heavy tasks for women
Women are expected to “serve” men in domestic units and traditionally give adult males and guests the best part of the meal.
Rastafaraiansim is the most commonly practiced. Worship an Ethiopian emperor Haile Seiassie or Ras Tafari. They believe that males should not comb or cut their hair. Marijuana is used as Rastafarian sacrament (also for medical aid)
Leaders are usually charismatic men and women who are said to have special “gifts” or to be “called”
“ Preaching” meetings along with healing rituals and ceremonies such as thanksgiving, ancestral veneration, memorial ceremonies
Include: drumming, singing, dancing, and spiritual possession
Places rituals are held are considered holy. Including churches, “balm yards”, silk cotton trees, burial grounds, baptism sites, rivers and crossroads.
Death is considered a natural transformation. Except for the very old. Its believed to be violation of cultural norm, evil spirit, envy.
Fried Dumplings Juice, Sky Juice, Tamarind Sweet Juice
Salt Fish (cod)
Jamaican Cuisine Jamaican foods contain a mixture of many spices and eclectic/ acquired tastes that the island people would consider especially appetizing. These dishes are created by many different cultures brought over by new settlers and arrivals of people from elsewhere. A typical Jamaican breakfast would include ackee, a tropical fruit, cod, callaloo ( a very popular , leafy veggie) boiled green bananas, and/or dumplings. Ting is a beverage associated with breakfast. Popular desserts include ice cream but created from coconut milk, grapenut, rum and raisins. Toto (coconut cake), banana fritters (deep fried bananas), gizzada (small tart shell with sweet spiced coconut filling), grater cakes, and asham (parched corn that is ground and combined with brown sugar.)