Jamaica






Culture Name

Jamaican

Orientation

Identification. In 1494, Columbus named the island Santiago. The Spanish wrote the name used by the native Taino, "Yamaye," as "Xaymaca." The Taino word is purported to mean "many springs." The abbreviated name, "Ja" and the Rastafarian term "Jamdung" (Jamdown) are used by some residents, along with "Yaahd" (Yard), used mainly by Jamaicans abroad, in reference to the deterritorialization of the national culture.

Location and Geography. Jamaica, one of the Greater Antilles, is situated south of Cuba. Divided into fourteen parishes, it is 4,244 square miles (10,990 square kilometers) in area. In 1872, Kingston, with a quarter of the population, became the capital.

Demography. The population in 1998 was 2.75 million. Fifty-three percent of the population resides in urban areas. The population is 90 percent black, 1 percent East Indian, and 7 percent mixed, with a few whites and Chinese. The black demographic category includes the descendants of African slaves, postslavery indentured laborers, and people of mixed ancestry. The East Indians and Chinese arrived as indentured laborers.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language is English, reflecting the British colonial heritage, but even in official contexts a number of creole dialects that reflect class, place, and social context are spoken.

Symbolism. The national motto, which was adopted after independence from Great Britain in 1962, is "Out of many, one people." In the national flag, the two black triangles represent historical struggles and hardship, green triangles represent agricultural wealth and hope, and yellow cross-stripes represent sunshine and mineral resources.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Jamaica was a Spanish colony from 1494 to 1655 and a British colony from 1655 to 1962. The colonial period was marked by conflict between white absentee owners and local managers and merchants and African slave laborers. After independence, there was conflict between plantation and industrial economic interests and those of small, peasant cultivators and landless laborers. In the 1920s, rural, landless unemployed persons moved into the Kingston-Saint Andrew area in search of work. The new urban poor, in contrast to the white and brown-skinned political, merchant, and professional upper classes threw in sharp relief the status of the island as a plural society. In 1944, with the granting of a new constitution, Jamaicans gained universal suffrage. The struggle for sovereignty culminated with the gaining of independence on 6 August 1962.

National Identity. Class, color, and ethnicity are factors in the national identity. Jamaican Creole, or Jamaica Talk, is a multiethnic, multiclass indigenous creation and serves as a symbol of defiance of European cultural authority. Identity also is defined by a religious tradition in which there is minimal separation between the sacred and the secular, manipulable spiritual forces (as in obeah ), and ritual dance and drumming; an equalitarian spirit; an emphasis on self-reliance; and a drive to succeed economically that has perpetuated Eurocentric cultural ideals.

Ethnic Relations. The indigenous Taino natives of the region, also referred to as Arawaks, have left evidence of material and ideational cultural influence. Jews came as indentured servants to help establish the sugar industry and gradually became part of the merchant class. East Indians and Chinese were recruited between the 1850s and the 1880s to fill the labor gap left by ex-slaves and to keep plantation wages low. As soon as the Chinese finished their indentured contracts, they established small businesses. East Indians have been moving gradually from agricultural labor into mercantile and professional activities.

The major ethnic division is that between whites and blacks. The achievement of black majority rule has led to an emphasis on class relations, shades of skin color, and cultural prejudices, rather than on racial divisions. Jamaica has never experienced entrenched ethnic conflict between blacks and Indians or Chinese.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Settlement patterns were initiated by plantation activities. Lowland plantations, complemented by urban trade and administrative centers, ports, and domestic markets, were the hub of activity. As the plantations declined and as the population grew, urban centers grew faster than did job opportunities, leading to an expanding slum population and the growth of urban trading and other forms of "informal" economic activities.

Architecture reflects a synthesis of African, Spanish, and baroque British influences. Traces of pre-Columbian can be seen in the use of palm fronds thatch and mud walls (daub). Styles, materials, size, and furnishings differ more by class than by ethnicity. Since much of Caribbean life takes place outdoors, this has influenced the design and size of buildings, particularly among the rural poor. The Spanish style is reflected in the use of balconies, wrought iron, plaster and brick facades, arched windows and doors, and high ceilings. British influence, with wooden jalousies, wide porches, and patterned railings and fretwork, dominated urban architecture in the colonial period. Plantation houses were built with stone and wood, and town houses typically were built with wood, often on a stone or cement foundation. The kitchen, washroom, and "servant" quarters were located separately or at the back of the main building. The traditional black peasant dwelling is a two-room rectangular structure with a pitched thatched roof and walls of braided twigs covered with whitewashed mud or crude wooden planks. These dwellings are starting to disappear, as they are being replaced by more modern dwellings with cinder block walls and a corrugated metal roof.

Jamaica
Jamaica

Food and Economy

Read more about the Food and Cuisine of Jamaica.

Food in Daily Life. A "country" morning meal, called "drinking tea," includes boiled bananas or roasted breadfruit, sauteed callaloo with "saal fish" (salted cod), and "bush" (herbal) or "chaklit" (chocolate) tea. Afro-Jamaicans eat a midafternoon lunch as the main meal of the day. This is followed by a light meal of bread, fried plantains, or fried dumplings and a hot drink early in the evening. A more rigid work schedule has forced changes, and now the main meal is taken in the evening. This meal may consist of stewed or roasted beef, boiled yam or plantains, rice and peas, or rice with escoviched or fried fish.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Rice is a ubiquitous ceremonial food. Along with "ground provisions" such as sweet potato, yam, and green plantains, it is used in African and East Indian ceremonies. It also is served with curried goat meat as the main food at parties, dances, weddings, and funerals. Sacrificially slaughtered animals and birds are eaten in a ritual context. Several African-religious sects use goats for sacrifice, and in Kumina, an Afro-religious practice, goat blood is mixed with rum and drunk.

Basic Economy. Since the 1960s, the economy, which previously had been based on large-scale agricultural exportation, has seen considerable diversification. Mining, manufacturing, and services are now major economic sectors.

Land Tenure and Property. Land tenure can be classified into legal, extralegal, and cultural-institutional. The legal forms consist of freehold tenure, leasehold and quitrent, and grants. The main extralegal means of tenure is squatting. The cultural-institutional form of tenure is traditionally known as "family land," in which family members share use rights in the land.

Commercial Activities. The economy is based primarily on manufacturing and services. In the service economy, tourism is the largest contributor of foreign exchange. The peasantry plays a significant role in the national economy by producing root crops and fruits and vegetables.

Trade. The main international trading partners are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Caribbean Economic Community. The major imports are consumer goods, construction hardware, electrical and telecommunication equipment, food, fuel, machinery, and transportation equipment. The major exports are bauxite and alumina, apparel, sugar, bananas, coffee, citrus and citrus products, rum, cocoa, and labor.

Division of Labor. In the plantation economy, African slaves performed manual labor while whites owned the means of production and performed managerial tasks. As mulattos gained education and privileges, they began to occupy middle-level positions. This pattern is undergoing significant change, with increased socioeconomic integration, the reduction of the white population by emigration, and the opening of educational opportunities. Blacks now work in all types of jobs, including the highest political and professional positions; the Chinese work largely in retail and wholesale trades; and Indians are moving rapidly into professional and commercial activities. Women traditionally are associated with domestic, secretarial, clerical, teaching, and small-scale trading activities.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. The bulk of national wealth is owned by a small number of light-skinned or white families, with a significant portion controlled by individuals of Chinese and Middle Eastern heritage. Blacks are confined largely to small and medium-size retail enterprises. While race has played a defining role in social stratification, it has not assumed a caste-like form, and individuals are judged on a continuum of color and physical features.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Black skin is still associated with being "uncivilized," "ignorant," "lazy," and "untrustworthy." Lifestyle, language, cuisine, clothing, and residential patterns that reflect closeness to European culture have been ranked toward the top of the social hierarchy, and symbols depicting African-derived culture have been ranked at the bottom. African symbols are starting to move up in the ranks, however.

Political Life

Government. Jamaica, a member of the British Commonwealth, has a bicameral parliamentary legislative system. The executive branch consists of the British monarch, the governor general, the prime minister and deputy prime minister, and the cabinet. The legislative branch consists of the Senate and the sixty-member elected House of Representatives. The judicial branch consists of the supreme court and several layers of lower courts.

Leadership and Political Officials. The two major parties are the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). Organized pressure groups include trade unions, the Rastafarians, and civic organizations.

Social Problems and Control. The failure of the socialist experiment in the 1970s and the emphasis on exports have created a burgeoning mass of urban poor (scufflers) who earn a meager living in the informal, largely small-scale trading sector and engage in extralegal means of survival. Also, globalization has led to the growth of the international drug trade. The most serious problem is violent crime, with a high murder rate. Governmental mechanisms for dealing with crime-related social problems fall under the Ministry of National Security and are administered through the Criminal Justice System.

Military Activity. The military consists of the Jamaica Defense Force (which includes the Ground Forces, the Coast Guard, and the Air Wing) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Both branches include males and females. The military is deployed mainly for national defense and security purposes but occasionally aids in international crises.

Two men shoveling coffee beans into a barrel. Agriculture is now only one of many fields open to black Jamaicans, once enslaved to work the plantations.
Two men shoveling coffee beans into a barrel. Agriculture is now only one of many fields open to black Jamaicans, once enslaved to work the plantations.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

The social development system combines local governmental programs and policies, international governmental support, and local and international nongovernmental organization (NGO) participation. It is administered largely by the Ministry of Youth and Community Development. The social security and welfare system includes the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and public assistance programs. NIS benefits include employment benefits; old age benefits; widow and widower, orphan, and special child benefits; and funeral grants.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Over 150 NGOs are active in areas such as environmental protection, the export-import trade, socioeconomic development, and education.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Men are predominant in leadership positions in government, the professions, business, higher education, and European-derived religions and engage in physical labor in agriculture. Women work primarily in paid and unpaid in household labor, formal and informal retail trades, basic and primary education, clerical and administrative jobs, and social welfare.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Traditionally, woman's place is in the home and women receive less remuneration than men. The appropriate place for men is outside the home, in agriculture, business, government, or recreation. This attitude is changing.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. There are two types of marriage patterns: the legally recognized and socially preferred Western-style monogamous union and the socalled consensual union. The selection of a spouse is made by individual choice, but in more traditional communities, the approval of parents and close relatives is sought. Among the Indians and Chinese, monogamous unions predominate. Traditionally, among African Jamaicans there has been a link between socioeconomic status and type of marriage, with the consensual union associated with the rural and urban poor and the legal union associated with economically stable, landholding peasants, and the middle and upper classes. A consensual union often occurs among young people, with

The Kingston business district. Jamaica's economy now includes mining, manufacturing, and services in addition to agriculture.
The Kingston business district. Jamaica's economy now includes mining, manufacturing, and services in addition to agriculture.
a legal union taking place when economic stability is achieved.

Domestic Unit. The domestic unit typically consists of a grandmother, a mother, and the mother's offspring from the current and previous unions. The father may be a permanent part of the unit, may visit for varying periods, or may be absent. Often the unit includes children of kin who are part of other households.

Inheritance. Inheritance generally passes bilaterally from parents to children and grandchildren. Among the poor, land that is inherited helps to maintain strong family and locality relationships.

Kin Groups. The concept of family applies to blood and nonblood kin who maintain an active, functional relationship with respect to material and social support. It is not limited to the household. Family relations are of great importance, and children of the poor often are shifted from household to household for support. Kin relations are traced bilaterally for four or five generations.

Socialization

Infant Care. The use of midwives is still popular, and breast-feeding is done in all the ethnic groups. A baby is named and registered within a few days of its birth, and soon afterward it is "christened." Infants typically sleep with the mother and are carried in her arms. A crying baby is rocked in the mothers arms and hummed to. As a baby ages, the parents and grandparents try to accommodate their expectations to the child's unique qualities; the baby is allowed to "grow into itself."

Child Rearing and Education. Firm discipline underlies child care until a child leaves home and/or becomes a parent. The mother is central, but all members of the household and other close kin have some responsibility in rearing a child. It is believed that the behavior of the pregnant mother influences what the child will become. Children are said to "take after" a parent or to be influenced by "the devil" or the spirits of ancestors. Children are given progressively demanding responsibilities from the age of five or six. For poor parents in all ethnic groups, the single most important route out of poverty is the education of their children. In more traditional settings, the child is "pushed" by the entire family and even the community. The national stereotype is that Indians and Chinese pay greater attention to their offspring, who perform better than blacks.

Higher Education. Higher education is considered essential to national success, and the parliament has established the National Council on Education to oversee higher education policy and implementation. Expenditures on education have continued to rise. There are two universities the University of the West Indies, and the University of Technology.

Etiquette

Politeness and courtesy are highly valued as aspects of being "raised good." They are expressed through greetings, especially from the young to their elders. A child never "backtalks" to parents or elders. Men are expected to open doors for women and help with or perform heavy tasks. Women are expected to "serve" men in domestic contexts and, in more traditional settings, to give the adult males and guests the best part of a meal.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. The Anglican church is regarded as the church of the elite, but the middle class in all ethnic groups is distributed over several non-African-derived religions. All the established denominations have been creolized; African-Caribbean religious practices such as Puk-kumina, revivalism, Kumina, Myalism, and Rastafarianism have especially significant African influences.

Religious Practitioners. Among less modernized African Jamaicans, there is no separation between the secular and the sacred. Afro-Jamaican leaders are typically charismatic men and women who are said to have special "gifts" or to be "called."

Rituals and Holy Places. Rituals include "preaching" meetings as well as special healing rituals and ceremonies such as "thanksgiving," ancestral veneration, and memorial ceremonies. These ceremonies may include drumming, singing, dancing, and spirit possession. All places where organized rituals take place are regarded as holy, including churches, "balm yards," silk cotton trees, burial grounds, baptismal sites at rivers, and crossroads.

Death and the Afterlife. Death is regarded as a natural transformation, and except in the case of the very old, its cause is believed to be the violation of a cultural norm, evil spirits, or envy. After a death, kin and community gather at the home of the deceased to lend support and assist in funeral preparations, which involve washing and tying the body. People gather at the home of the deceased each night until the burial in a ritual called "setup." Funerals are one of the most important African-Jamaican

A Rastafarian man.
A Rastafarian man.
rituals. A large harmonious funeral is considered a sign of good living.

Medicine and Health Care

Jamaicans use a mix of traditional and biomedical healing practices. The degree of use of traditional means, including spiritual healing, is inversely related to class status. Among the African Jamaicans, illness is believed to be caused by spiritual forces or violation of cultural taboos. Consequently, most illnesses are treated holistically. When traditional means fail, modern medicine is tried.

Secular Celebrations

Independence Day is celebrated on the first Monday in August. Other noteworthy holidays are Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, and National Heroes Day, which is celebrated the third Monday in October. Chinese New Year is celebrated.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. The arts and humanities have a long tradition of development and public support, but state support has been institutionalized only since independence. Most artists are self-supporting.

Literature. Indians, Chinese, Jews, and Europeans brought aspects of their written tradition, yet current literary works are overwhelmingly African Jamaican. The oral tradition draws on several West African-derived sources, including the griot tradition; the trickster story form; the use of proverbs, aphorisms, riddles, and humor in the form of the "big lie"; and origin stories. The 1940s saw the birth of a movement toward the creation of a "yard" (Creole) literature.

Graphic Arts. The tradition of graphic arts began with indigenous Taino sculpting and pottery and has continued with the evolution of the African tradition. Jamaica has a long tradition of pottery, including items used in everyday domestic life, which are referred to as yabbah. There is a West African tradition of basket and straw mat weaving, seashell art, bead making, embroidery, sewing, and wood carving.

Performance Arts. Most folk performances are rooted in festivals, religious and healing rituals, and other African-derived cultural expressions. Traditional performances take the form of impromptu plays and involve social commentary based on the African Caribbean oratorical tradition ("speechifying" or "sweet talking"). Music is the most highly developed of the performing arts. There is a long tradition of classical music interest, but the country is best known for its internationally popular musical form, reggae. Jamaica also has a strong tradition of folk and religious music. Drama is the least developed performing art, but it has been experiencing a new surge of energy.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

There are physical and social science programs at the University of West Indies (UWI) and the Institute of Jamaica and its ancillary research bodies such as the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica. The UWI has a medical school and a law school, and there is a University of Technology. Most social science research is done with support from the Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Bibliography

Alleyne, Mervyn. The Roots of Jamaican Culture , 1989.

Carnegie, Charles V., ed. Afro-Caribbean Villages in Historical Perspective , 1987.

Cassidy, Frederic. Jamaica Talk: Three Hundred Years of the English Language in Jamaica , 1971.

Chevannes, Barry. Rastafari: Roots and Ideology , 1994.

Curtin, Philip D. Two Jamaicas: The Role of Ideas in a Tropical Colony, 1830–1865, 1955.

Dance, Daryl C. Folklore from Contemporary Jamaicans , 1985.

Kerr, Madeline. Personality and Conflict in Jamaica , 1963.

Mintz, Sidney W. Caribbean Transformations , 1974.

Nettleford, Rex. Caribbean Cultural Identity: The Case of Jamaica , 1979.

Olwig, Karen Fog. "Caribbean Family Land: A Modern Commons." Plantation Society in the Americas , 4 (2 and 3): 135–158, 1997.

Rouse, Irving. The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus , 1992.

Senior, Olive. A–Z of Jamaica Heritage , 1985.

Sherlock, Philip, and Hazel Bennett. The Story of the Jamaican People , 1998.

Smith, Michael G. The Plural Society in the British West Indies , 1974.

—T REVOR W. P URCELL



User Contributions:

Kaitlyn
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Apr 12, 2007 @ 7:07 am
This was very helpful with my culture project in my Parenting Skills class. When I get home I'm going to take more notes. Thank You.
biswajit aich
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Aug 17, 2007 @ 2:02 am
this is a very culturerable country iwatch this country so need some picture making mathod of rum and some history of your rum past to this time please give me this information.
BISWAJIT AICH
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Aug 17, 2007 @ 2:02 am
if early as posiable you give that type of information because i project of history of rum so i need some picture of old rum and making mathod of rum
tadesha anderson
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Oct 17, 2007 @ 4:16 pm
How does the relevant conflict theory on social stratification to an understanding to the Jamaican society
Chevaine
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Nov 14, 2007 @ 6:18 pm
It was quite helpful in my assignment. thanks much
Indar Jones
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Nov 21, 2007 @ 7:19 pm
This article was quite helpful as it has a fair balance of the culture of Jamaica therefore it will assist in my project and also in other future tasks.
Audrey
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Mar 2, 2008 @ 12:00 am
Very helpful to my assignment "health patterns among cultures." Also helpful
to me personally, I'm Jamaican by birth, but until now was ignorant about by birth heritage, thanks
Johanna
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Apr 21, 2008 @ 2:14 pm
Thank You for the information on this page, as a Puerto Rican female with my true love being of Jamaican heritage this site has been very helpful on my understaing of his culture
Renee
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May 31, 2009 @ 9:21 pm
TREVOR W. PURCELL - God Bless You
You helped a grade 12 here fighting for her marks on her major project. :) Take care.
lori-ann wiggan
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Sep 1, 2009 @ 8:20 pm
As a Jamaican who works on the frontline everyday welcoming thousands, I am often baffled at the misconception and downright ignorance that come with many of our visitors. Websites and articles such as this continue to miseducate and keep persons in the dark.Do you honestly think that the country was represented fairly in your article, if you do, you seriously need to revisit my Island, that is, if you have ever really been here.
Cassie
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Nov 23, 2009 @ 8:20 pm
thank you website!this helped me so much with a school project that i have to every month, i will defiantly be using this one again!
SHAN-SHAN
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Dec 31, 2009 @ 2:14 pm
THIS ARTICLE WAS QUITE HELPFUL AND IT HAS MADE MY RESEARCH LESS HECTIC, THANKS ALOT YOU HAVE HELP OUT ME AND MY FRIEND SO MUCH IN FINISHING OUR PROJECT MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE SHOULD BE ON THE NET.THANKS ALOT AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU.
Mel
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Jan 27, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
Thank you so much for this very well thought out article. It has made my women's study project so much easier. I give this five *
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Feb 26, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
thx it helped a lot with my geography project thaks
Lea
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Mar 4, 2010 @ 7:19 pm
Hi! The information of Jamaica is completely interesting. Thanks a lot for the information, I found everything I needed for my oral presentation here. The only thing I recomend for this page is to include the taboos in the cultural information of the countries. Thanks. :D
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Aug 1, 2010 @ 10:10 am
Darcy Read this, This is what Dana send me about her country and culture lifestyle
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Aug 27, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
I have learned alot from reading the history of JAMAICA im home town. i did not know most of these things, it open my eye to some thing that i didnt know.
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Sep 2, 2010 @ 9:09 am
This is a consistent article. It contains a valuable information as far as the Jamaican culture is conerned. All components of culture in general are discused here. Thanks for this article since it has helped me in my socialogy paper on culture.
stephanie lou
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Sep 18, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
very good details. it pertains only to jamaica and tells you facts about jamaica. it also tells you most of what you want to know, or need to know.
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Sep 18, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
jamaica is awesome i have o do a 6th grade project!
Laura
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Sep 24, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
Thank you so much! What an informative and easy to read page! I was interested in learning more about Jamaican culture and this really helped me.
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Oct 13, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
i love my home jamaica that where i am frome the best place in the world
teniesha
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Oct 22, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
this was very helpful stuff really gives me a great insight on my background and ancestors thanks for the info
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Oct 30, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
This is a very acknowledgable passage full of great information and quility. I would reference this site to anyone possible. Thank you very much!
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Nov 1, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
Stumbled on this by accident, Jamaican born and bred, interesting article. I like how you tried to attach certain traditions with a continent (Africa, Asia) but Jamaican culture is not that cut and dry. You are a little off with some information: We call our jamaican creole language "patois"; back in 1960s, plenty of conflict between black and chinese; the Tainos left behind half the recipe for Jerk Pork; most Jamaicans regardless of colour use "Bush" medicine with traditional; and you didn't even mention the Maroons.
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Nov 17, 2010 @ 9:09 am
Hi ..i just happened to come accross this page doing some research for my daughter's cutural explosion homework.. & i was blown away, proud & felt good to know there is such a webpage. I found it to be very inforamtive... i just love it ..Big up Jamaica..Out of many one people..love anike
Shaneka
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Nov 22, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
I found this article very informative and helpful in my assignments. Thanks a million.
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Nov 25, 2010 @ 9:09 am
Informative, however, the comments from readers that are Jamaican born and bread are interesting. I recently visited Jamaica for the first time and currently dating a Jamaican in the US. It appears as though the Jamaican cultural and social information presented on this webpage slightly differes from the perspective of Jamaican born and bread individuals. I still found the article along with my one time recent visit to Jamaica very helpful.
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Dec 13, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
I want to thank this web page !! the information was pretty helpful to understand a lot of aspects of this nice country and it let me know about it's culture ... I would like to know more about Jamaican music and traditions ...so if some of you could add information about it, it will be good!!! thanks again
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Jan 23, 2011 @ 9:09 am
oh em gee like this website was like off da hook,i go on duh website like evryday cuz itsss like duh freshest website out dare. If u know what i meann.
Whitney
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Jan 26, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
this was very helpful in my project that I am doing for a final, thanks!!!
stacey
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Feb 5, 2011 @ 11:23 pm
Hello,

Thank you for putting this up. My family is from Jamaica, and growing up in Miami I was immersed in the culture. Interesting comments by those who are from Jamaica. Interesting mostly in how they differ! It's important to understand that ours are not the only impressions possible or correct. I am sure that some of your experiences as a Jamaican are a far cry from mine. And there's nothing wrong with that. When we let go of the notion that our opinions are the only ones that are correct, then we will be able to receive and learn from each other. May God give you the grace to do just that just like He's done for me!
Again, thank you for putting this up. It's good to see people trying to give a balanced history. May God bless you!
-SC
Asia not the country my name
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Feb 10, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
okay this never helped me in any way but it still is interesting i really wanted to find out what is the main economical activity in the rural areas if its there my bad but nah not what i was looking for.
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Feb 26, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
Please note that the colours of the Jamaican flag are Black, GOLD and green. NOT Yellow.

Thank you
cloe Leclerc
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Mar 1, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
THAT PERSON WHO WROTE THIS IS REALLY GOOD BUT IM ALSO LOOKING FOR SOCIAL GROUPS , CAN YOUHELP ME ON THAT???!
UNKNOWN
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Apr 28, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
Were is the clothing article, I need to know. please because im doing a report
eyal
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May 13, 2011 @ 11:11 am
Hi There
a friend of ours dad passed away ( they are originally from Jamaica but @ present in the UK )
I was wondering if i am to bring something to family ( as in some cultures u bring flowers ,food or money )
tnx for your help
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Jun 5, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
its a very educational page this is what my aunt sent me from england about her culture.ITS SOO AWESOME
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Jun 22, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
I would kike to give some info on lost Jamaican history which is closely linked to the UK. How could a Jamaican born Police Inspector; Lecturer, Naturalist also Explorer as the first man to cross the John Crow Mountains, and the Author of "Untrodden Jamaica-1890" & "The story of a West Indian Policeman-47 years in the Jamaica Constabulary-1927". His 5 sons from his first marriage were the first Jamaican born officers in the British Army of WW-1. 4 of these sons died with honour in action, for Jamaica and the British Empire. I ask, why has this history disappeared ? about Herbert Theodore Thomas 1856 to 1930, who also crossed the racial divide that existed in colonial times by marring my black Jamaican grandmother Leonora Thomas after his first wife died in the UK. She gave him 4 daughters one who is my mother Phyllis A. Thomas. Is this revers discrimination because this man was a white Jamaican ? his ancestors came to Jamaican in 1754 as Moravian missionaries to teach Christianity, as anti-slavers. Please read about this man in "A Struggle to Walk with dignity". Ask for it in the UK to find out more. With my Thanks, Gerald. PS: Do not forget our true history of the past.
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Aug 30, 2011 @ 4:04 am
This was very helpful for my jamaican report. Thankyou
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Sep 4, 2011 @ 5:05 am
can you answer my questions ? :))

i wanna ask if jamaicans culture had a problem ?
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Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
My question is: Why is a white Jamaican born man like the late Inspector of
Police Herbert Theodore Thomas-1856 to 1930, been forgotten by his country
Jamaica ? This man's history tells a story of giving Jamaica stability and safety in it's rural areas. The first man to explore the John Crow mountains and helped to stamp out "Obeah" & "Voodo" that was a menace to the country's progress. He also crossed the racial divide at that time by marring his 2nd black Jamaican wife. He also wrote two books which put Jamaica on the map, and much more contribution to his country than most men of his time. What has happened to our lost history. Very sad.
Ruthie
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Oct 3, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
As a Jamaican, I would say this article is fairly accurate but all those using it for a school report should consult some other sources as well. Women "run tings" in Jamaica; not sure how many subscribe to the theory that they stay home. With the cost of living there, very few women have that luxury. And with a low marriage rate, a lot of women have to take care of themselves.
Also, while politeness is valued in some areas, you will find service in restaurants and stores quite surly. Now in school, teachers do expect you to stand up when talking to them in class and address them as "sir" and s on.
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Oct 5, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
Thank you for this page. It really helped me with my studies. I could not find any imformation about what i needed too know about Jamaica but this page saved me!
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Oct 12, 2011 @ 8:08 am
I enjoyed reading up on a country I hope to visit. The information was very interesting.
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Oct 28, 2011 @ 7:07 am
I am enjoyed it so much i hope to go there some day.
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Oct 31, 2011 @ 4:04 am
Obviously with the literal reading of this handful material i have critically observed that Jamaica has a wide range of distinguish culture and social way of living as compare to other countries.But my question is Jamaica still remains in economic redundancy with all her rich in mineral resource
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Nov 2, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
im jus sayin the landscape is beautiful nd i think tht its great place for research
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Nov 4, 2011 @ 11:11 am
this was really helpful with my project. everything that i needed was on here and easy to find. it is well organized and filled with only need to know information
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Nov 6, 2011 @ 11:11 am
This imformation was very helpful it saved me the stress of reading a book or going to the library. It was very simple and easy to read. Thanks
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Nov 7, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
thanks now i can do my homework at sutton univiestery!!!:)
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Nov 15, 2011 @ 10:10 am
i LLOVE jamacia its the coolest place ever and i eat poo
Abubakar
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Dec 7, 2011 @ 6:06 am
The article is quite revealling only that i will like to know about the Jamaica tertiary institutions, admission requirement, courses offered and above all, know the possibility of a foreigner securing admission into the Jamaican Universities. I'll be glad to have a feedback from you.Thanks.
mj
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Dec 14, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
mj,
This article was helpful for a research question in one of my masters courses.
Tori
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Dec 19, 2011 @ 12:00 am
Thank you so much. Without this I would absolutely fail my class.
kb
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Dec 30, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
This is a really good site, it has all the information to my history SBA and it also has adequte and reliable information.
Dante bell
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Jan 17, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
The site is a very useful site it gives me a lot of information
Jermaine
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Jan 19, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
this is really interesting and very helpful, however, it just scratches the surface of Jamaica's intricate culture and some points are left rather vague
jasmine
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Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
this web site was very helpful because i was able to look back at were i camed from and how my people really live.love and respect #jamaica
Crystal
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Feb 20, 2012 @ 5:17 pm
This website is very helpful for all terms. It gives a clear ethnic background on all of the countries in the world.
Naomi
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Feb 27, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
this site is very helpful without it i wouldn't be able to get my project thanks guys..
tori
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Mar 30, 2012 @ 10:10 am
This website is very helpful,I love Jamaica:)Im hopefully goin there soon to visit all the amazing people.
nadine
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Apr 9, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
This website is very helpful with my research and my approach to my caribbean culture course
Bridget
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May 25, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
We now have more than two universities. Below is a list of our universities, all of which carry fully fledged Bachelors programmes and most carry Masters as well:
University of the West Indies (a regional institution)
University of Technology (U-Tech)
Mico University College
Northern Caribbean University (NCU)
University College of The Caribbean (UCC)
International University of the Caribbean (IUC)
Caribbean Institute of Technology (CIT)
Colbourne College
B&B University College
Caribbean Aerospace College
Western Hospitality Institute
Caribbean Aviation Training Center
Caribbean Maritime Institute(CMI
Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
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Jun 3, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
Jamaicans have a lot to be proud of in their past history, and it's not all about slavery and oppression. It is about born Jamaicans of every race who contributed to the development of our country in a positive way. Law and Oder along with the stamping out of Obeah, and the establishment
of a good education system with Libraries for Public use. Also Jamaica many things that made life better for the average home owner, long before places in North America. So be proud and stop looking backwards. Better the devil we have known, than the one we don't know. Preserving our past History is very important for our next generation. With my thanks, Gerald. Author of "A struggle to Walk with Dignity-The True story of a Jamaican-born Canadian 2008.
Tiny Brown
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Jul 7, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
There is much much more to learn about Jamaica Land we love.After reading this article i.
Sam Mendez
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Aug 6, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
I find some of this information helpful, but just to let you know we never refer to ourselves as African-Jamaican, we are JAMAICANS, whose ancestors happen to be from Africa as well as other countries, and that is why we say, " out of many, one people."
Angela
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Oct 24, 2012 @ 9:09 am
I have been going to Jamaica for the last three years. I am not sure when this was written. I feel that this article, being an important part of the Jamaican history, should be updated periodically. I have a brother who reads a lot and when he speaks, he sometimes talks about situations in the past and talk as if they still exist. This is because he reads old books. So it is important for you to do consider doing some research on the comments and update. I stayed in different places on the North Coast. Montego Bay, Runaway Bay and in a rural village. I did not see one Chinese or White local Jamaican person. So there is something to say about why they do not reside in these areas. I did see new Indian immigrants from India who were merchants and owned stores and groceries though. Maybe more emphasis on the abuse of marijuana in the tourist trade should be mentioned. Tourists being approached even at the resorts and on the streets by locals offering to sell them this herb and the dangers of those who try to frame visitors. You forgot to write about the transportation system whereby drivers pack eight people into taxis and even men expect to sit on a woman’s lap. It happened to me and I had to get out of the taxis because I thought that it was downright rude. I have never experienced this anywhere else in my travels. Transportation should be mentioned, the type of vehicles used, new highways, etc., new airports in the making, the present airports which are up to International standards, tourist traffic, and massive resorts to small B&Bs. I think that this is current and should be mentioned. You were wrong on the point that most Jamaican women stay at home and the jobs that they do. Most Jamaican woman must work regardless of the type of job otherwise their families will suffer. You said that women teach only in primary schools; they also teach in high schools and universities. Women are now getting a proper education and are working in all the professional fields. The present Prime Minister of Jamaica is also a woman and not a man.
Kyle
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Oct 28, 2012 @ 9:09 am
Good article, really enjoyed reading it. Just a small note, I believe "Xaymaca" actually translates to "Land of wood and water". Please continue to update this site as in doing so, you bring joy to the masses!
mister bo jangles
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Nov 14, 2012 @ 11:11 am
very good article
it helped mme a whole lolt thanks everyculture.com
Beanah Lewin
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Mar 11, 2013 @ 6:06 am
I now live in the UK and have been writing a novel set in Jamaica in 1957 for a few years now! It’s taking me this long because I just cannot find out the answer to something which is basic to the plot: I need to know what the Jamaican police detectives were called. I know they weren’t called Detective Inspector and Detective Sergeant or Detective Chief Inspector and so on. I have a feeling they were given the same ranks as Army ranks. But I have been trying for years and I cannot find the answer ANYWHERE!
Is there anything you could do to help me? I’ve tried the Jamaican Police website but they don’t say. I’ve tried the Jamaican Archives and they don’t reply. I’ve tried so many places but cannot find the answer anywhere.
Is there anyone reading this who is old enough to remember, please?
roxanne
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Mar 28, 2013 @ 8:08 am
Thank you very much for the work you put into this site, I appreciate it.
im hungry
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Apr 9, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
I would like to more about there traditions and celebrations they do there.
DESTINY
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May 14, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
JAMICA SEEMS LIKE A FUN PLACE TO GO AND MY DREAMS IS TO VISIT JAMICA MEET THE PEOPLE
Debrina Lyons
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Oct 5, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
i would like to know some african customs we jamaican's still practice
mackle johnson
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Oct 28, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
so much information :) I love this website now wow thank you so much for this great article G!SPRITE
Jahliveyah
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Feb 19, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
If there is anything I have learnt from the feedback to this article is how proud Jamaicans are of their country. There are some truth to this article, but many misleading information. For those who have done papers on it; you should ask yourself if you wanted the truth or a grade. This is a clear illustration of getting information about a place vs. getting information from a source. I would suggest an interview with a real Jamaican before writing a paper. It would be interesting to see how the country have evolved as a result of globalization and deportation of criminals influenced by the culture of other areas of the world with only a father's nationality linking these individuals to this Island. Jamaica has many problems with links outside their boundaries. The powers that be have their feet at its neck. They know Jamaica will rise to the top if these obstacles are removed. There are no African- Jamaican, Chinese Jamaicans etc.only Jamaicans.
Tanyu
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Apr 4, 2014 @ 11:23 pm
This is an invaluable article on the subject of Jamaican heritage, culture, arts.
cherokee
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Sep 9, 2014 @ 11:11 am
This is so interesting!
I loved reading about This beautiful culture
monica
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Sep 12, 2014 @ 4:04 am
I have learned alot from reading the history of JAMAICA im home town. i did not know most of these things, it open my eye to some thing that i didnt know
frank
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Oct 30, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
coly dooddoo stain this website is da freshist
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