JAMAICA is a very versatile island that consist of avariety of mountains, beaches, a strong historical background and it also hasmultiple National Heroes which are very inspirational. Tourism is also a main factor of Jamaica.
People Jamaica The location plays a major role as to why people enjoy going toJamaica. Jamaica islocated south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea near the Equator. This means that itdo esn’t get snow despite having so manymountains . Jamaica is known as one of the most mountainous islands of theCaribbean. Out of all the mountains of Jamaica, the largest one was The BlueMountain which was where the Maroonswent to live. Jamaica may be small, butit still manages to contain 14 Parishes whose names are: Kingston (the capital), St.
Andrew, St. Catherine1 , Clarendon, Manchester, St.Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St.James, Trelawny, St.Thomas, St.
Mary,Portland and St. Ann(the largest). These parishes are within the three counties:Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey. Jamaica gained independence on August 6th 1962so every year on August 6th we celebrate Independence Day. Jamaica hasseveral symbols that represents it, but the main one is it’s flag since it wasone of the first things we were giving as of our independence in 1962. TheJamaican flag is one of the best representation of Jamaica. It’s colors areblack which represents the people, green which represents the land and yellowwhich represents the Sun.
The Jamaican coat of arms is the crest of Jamaica which contains their motto,” outof many one people”. This “motto” of theirs means out of many races of peopleborn on Jamaica, they are all still one people; Jamaicans. Jamaica startedout as a small island with its population only consisting of the Taino people at the time. The Tainos are a group of indigenous peoplethat inhabited some of the islands in the Caribbean Sea; mainly Jamaica. Don’t be fooled by them beingin Jamaica because they originated in Venezuela between 650 AD and 900 AD. The Taino are a subgroup of theArawaks. The Tainos absorbed the Saladoid (the first wave of Arawakanpeople to come from South America toJamaica) culture into their own.
Even after adapting to the Saladoid culturethe Tainos still enslaved them and made “them a laboring under class”. In the year 1494Christopher Columbus arrived to Jamaica on his voyage of the “new world” andhis group was called the Spaniards. On arrival the Spaniards enslaved the Tainoand Arawak people and because of this, years later the Taino managed to escapefrom their Spaniard owners. They instantly ran for the mountains when theBritish took Jamaica from Spain in 1655.
They also changed their names to theMaroons which “comes from the Spanish word cimarrones”. As time went on the Maroon Community grew bigger and biggerbecause as soon as slaves arrived toJamaica from different parts of Africa, the Maroons spread the word of freedomin the mountains which influenced the slaves to escape and become a Maroon. Onewould ask “why didn’t the British just capture the Maroons once more”, but thefact that they lived in the mountains worked in their favor because the Maroons would have lookouts andwhenever the British would attack, the Maroons would use the mountains to theiradvantage and lay wait for the British with traps and machetes. The British gotvery aggravated by their rebellion so they went to war with the Maroons in1720. “In 1739 the British and the Maroons made peace”. The freedom of the Maroons was recognized and their land wasgiven to them”.
From then on the Maroons governed themselves, which led toJamaica becoming independent. Just because theMaroons were the first set of people who lived in Jamaica, that does not makethem the most important. Over the years there have been several events orissues that occurred which require a special individual to step forward andfight for their people. These individuals were known as National Heroes. These National Heroes are: Nanny of themaroons, Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, sir Alexander Bustamante, George WilliamGordon, Norman Manley and Samuel Sharpe. The firstnational hero was Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Garvey “was born in st. Anns Bay, st. Anne, on August 17th 1887”.
He leftJamaica and became one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance but he waslater imprisoned under false charges, then got deported back to Jamaica wherehe began his own association called the Universal Negro Improvement Associationor the UNIA for short. This “grew into an international organization for blackpeople worldwide; self-help economic projects and protest against racialdiscrimination”. On june 1940 Garvey died in London from a stroke and his bodywas exhumed and shipped to Jamaica on November 1964. With Marcus Garvey beingsuch an inspiration they named various buildings, schools, resource centres andhe even had his face on the Jamaica twenty dollar coin. After MarcusGarvey was Paul Bogle. Paul Bogle was responsible for a “large scale armedJamaican rebellion for voting rights and an ENT to legal discrimination andeconomic oppression against african jamaicans”. For these actions Bogle wasrecognized as a Jamaican National Hero in 1969.
Paul Bogle’s mother was a freewoman named Cecilia Bogle and because of this he was born free. His father isan unknown man from the Parish of St.Thomas and by these two he was born on1822. Sadly Bogle wasn’t raised by his mother because she passed away so he wasraised by his grandmother whose name is also unknown. Paul Bogle and another inSpring Garden as well as five hundred acres of farmland in Dunrobin, which made”him one the few African Jamaicans prosperous enough to pay the fee to vote” atthis time. He later “led a fifty mile march of farmers and former slaves toSpanish to meet with Governor Eyre to discuss their political grievances”. Theygot rejected access to see the Governor and because of this he started arebellion. Colonial soldiers came to Morant Bay to put a stop to Bogle’srebellion.
This resulted in almost five hundred people being killed, PaulBogle’s home town of Stony Hut being destroyed and he himself along side hisbrother Moses Bogle were captured by the Colonials. They were later hanged atthe Morant Bay Courthouse on october 24, 1865. As a result of his rebellion”Jamaica became a Crown Colony directly from England”. Even though Paul Bogledied his legacy still lived on with his name being on the Jamaican two dollarbill, ten cent coin and several buildings.
The thirdNational Hero was Sir Alexander Bustamante. At the time of his acknowledgmentthe country was still a Crown Colony. Bustamante realized the “social andeconomic ills” that the people faced because the governor could veto at anytime he pleased which he did very often.
Bustamante started making his name knownwriting a series of letters in the Gleaner and occasionally British newspaperabout “the social and economic problems of the poor and underprivileged inJamaica”. As a result an “outbreak of widespread discontent and social unrest”.”In advocating the cause of the masses, Bustamante became the undisputedchampion of the working class”. He then became the founder of the Labor Party(JLP) and the first Prime Minister of Jamaica.
He passed away on August 6,1977. His face still lingers on the Jamaican one dollar coin and he also hashis name on monuments around Jamaica. After Bustamante came George W. Gordon. George WilliamGordon was born in St.Thomas “to slave mother and planter father who wasattorney to several sugar estates in Jamaica”. He taught himself how to readand write.
He owned a big portion of land which he subdivided and sold it tothe group of people who he sought to serve. Gordon didn’t like the way hispeople were being treated so he urged them to protest and fight against these”oppressive and unjust conditions under which they were forced to live under”.They later arrested him for complicity in the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865.
“Hewas illegally tried by Court Martial” and was sentenced to death by executionon October 23, 1865.George W. Gordon’s face was on the Jamaican ten dollarcoin. The fifthNational Hero was Norman Washington Manley. He was born on July 4, 1893 atRoxborough, Manchester Manley was a soldier (the first World War), athlete, ascholar and lawyer. He made himself known when he donated time and advocacy tothe workers labour troubles of 1938. “On September 1938, Manly founded thePeople’s National Party (PNP) and was elected president”. After long life ofpolitics Norman Manley passed away on September 2, 1969.
His also has his faceon the Jamaican thousand dollar bill. The sixthNational Hero was Samuel Sharpe. Samuel Sharpe was the one of the maininstigators of the Slave Rebellion in 1831. Samuel formulated a plan that theslaves would refuse to work on Christmas Days. Word of his plan got to some ofthe planters and even spread throughout St.Thomas.
After the rebellion SamuelSharpe was captured and got hanged on May 23, 1832. His face remains on theJamaica five dollar coin. The seventh and last National Hero is Nanny of theMaroons. “Nanny was the leader of the Maroons in the 18th century”. She is thefirst and only female National Hero of Jamaica. Nanny was a great militaryleader and she was “a symbol of unity and strength” for the Maroons in theirtimes of crisis. She is an expert in guerilla warfare which she used to fightagainst the British in the first Maroon War on”1720 to 1739″. The Maroon peoplewere supernaturally influenced by Nanny, so much that it’s said to be connectedto her powers of Obeah or dark magic.
Nanny was born in Ghana in 1686 and diedin 1733, Jamaica. Her image still holds it’s spot on the Jamaican five hundreddollar bill. Even though all the Jamaican National Hero passed away theirgraves still remain in The National Heroes Park.
The National Heroes Park islocated in Kingston, Jamaica. “The area on which the National Heroes Park now stands was once one ofthe most popular spots in Kingston”. It was used for several differentsports/activities such as cycle racing, cricket and even as a venue where thetravelling circuses would visit every now and then. Besides the National HeroesJamaica also has other things that made it what it is now such as a nationalbird, national tree, and a national fruit.
The national bird is a swallow tailhumming bird or The Doctor Bird as the Jamaicans call it. This bird can only befound in Jamaica. Its name was given to it because of its pointy bill whichresembles a needle and its tail resembles a coat a doctor would wear back inthe old days. The national tree is called the Blue Mahoe. Even though Jamaicais not the only place where this tree can grow, the Blue Mahoe is still itsnative land and for that reason it is the Jamaican National Tree.
The Jamaicanational fruit is the Ackee. Originally Ackee came from West Africa on a slave ship and started togrow luxuriously on Jamaica. It is now known as one of Jamaica’s finestdelicacies which goes extremely well with dumplings.
In conclusionJamaica is a small island that has a strong historical background, beautifulresorts and kind hearted people. Even though Jamaicans are known to be ratherwild and crazy, I can assure you that the people of Jamaica are veryhard-working, ambitious and respectful people, just don’t get on their bad sidebecause that’s when the craziness starts.