JAMAICA  is a very versatile island that consist of a
variety of mountains, beaches, a strong historical background and it also has
multiple 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 to

     Jamaica is
located south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea near the Equator. This means that it
do  esn’t get snow despite having so many
mountains . Jamaica is known as one of the most mountainous islands of the
Caribbean. Out of all the mountains of Jamaica, the largest one was The Blue
Mountain which was  where the Maroons
went to live. Jamaica may be small,  but
it 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 1962
so every year on August 6th we celebrate Independence Day.

     Jamaica has
several symbols that represents it, but the main one is it’s flag since it was
one of the first things we were giving as of our independence in 1962. The
Jamaican flag is one of the best representation of Jamaica. It’s colors are
black which represents the people, green which represents the land and yellow
which represents the Sun. The Jamaican coat of arms is the crest  of Jamaica which contains their motto,” out
of many one people”. This “motto” of theirs means out of many races of people
born on Jamaica, they are all still one people; Jamaicans.

     Jamaica started
out as a small island with its population only consisting of the  Taino people at the time.  The Tainos are a group of indigenous people
that inhabited some of the islands in the Caribbean Sea;  mainly Jamaica. Don’t be fooled by them being
in Jamaica because they originated in 
Venezuela between 650 AD and 900 AD. The Taino are a subgroup of the
Arawaks. The Tainos absorbed the Saladoid (the first wave of Arawakan
people  to come from South America to
Jamaica) culture into their own. Even after adapting to the Saladoid culture
the Tainos still enslaved them and made “them a laboring under class”.

     In the year 1494
Christopher Columbus arrived to Jamaica on his voyage of the “new world” and
his group was called the Spaniards. On arrival the Spaniards enslaved the Taino
and Arawak people and because of this, years later the Taino managed to escape
from their Spaniard owners. They instantly ran for the mountains when the
British took Jamaica from Spain in 1655. They also changed their names to the
Maroons which “comes from the Spanish word 
cimarrones”. As time went on the Maroon Community grew bigger and bigger
because  as soon as slaves arrived to
Jamaica from different parts of Africa, the Maroons spread the word of freedom
in the mountains which influenced the slaves to escape and become a Maroon. One
would ask “why didn’t the British just capture the Maroons once more”, but the
fact that they lived in the mountains worked in their favor  because the Maroons would have lookouts and
whenever the British would attack, the Maroons would use the mountains to their
advantage and lay wait for the British with traps and machetes. The British got
very aggravated by their rebellion so they went to war with the Maroons in
1720. “In 1739 the British and the Maroons made peace”. The freedom of the  Maroons was recognized and their land was
given to them”. From then on the Maroons governed themselves, which led to
Jamaica becoming independent.

     Just because the
Maroons were the first set of people who lived in Jamaica, that does not make
them the most important. Over the years there have been several events or
issues that occurred which require a special individual to step forward and
fight for their people. These individuals 
were known as National Heroes. These National Heroes are: Nanny of the
maroons, Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, sir Alexander Bustamante, George William
Gordon, Norman Manley and Samuel Sharpe.

     The first
national hero was Marcus Garvey. Marcus Garvey “was born in st. Anns Bay,  st. Anne, on August 17th 1887”. He left
Jamaica and became one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance but he was
later imprisoned under false charges, then got deported back to Jamaica where
he began his own association called the Universal Negro Improvement Association
or the UNIA for short. This “grew into an international organization for black
people worldwide; self-help economic projects and protest against racial
discrimination”. On june 1940 Garvey died in London from a stroke and his body
was exhumed and shipped to Jamaica on November 1964. With Marcus Garvey being
such an inspiration they named various buildings, schools, resource centres and
he even had his face on the Jamaica twenty dollar coin.

     After Marcus
Garvey was Paul Bogle. Paul Bogle was responsible for a “large scale armed
Jamaican rebellion for voting rights and an ENT to legal discrimination and
economic oppression against african jamaicans”. For these actions Bogle was
recognized as a Jamaican National Hero in 1969. Paul Bogle’s mother was a free
woman named Cecilia Bogle and because of this he was born free. His father is
an unknown man from the Parish of St.Thomas and by these two he was born on
1822. Sadly Bogle wasn’t raised by his mother because she passed away so he was
raised by his grandmother whose name is also unknown. Paul Bogle and another in
Spring 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” at
this time. He later “led a fifty mile march of farmers and former slaves to
Spanish to meet with Governor Eyre to discuss their political grievances”. They
got rejected access to see the Governor and because of this he started a
rebellion. Colonial soldiers came to Morant Bay to put a stop to Bogle’s
rebellion. This resulted in almost five hundred people being killed, Paul
Bogle’s home town of Stony Hut being destroyed and he himself along side his
brother Moses Bogle were captured by the Colonials. They were later hanged at
the Morant Bay Courthouse on october 24, 1865. As a result of his rebellion
“Jamaica became a Crown Colony directly from England”. Even though Paul Bogle
died his legacy still lived on with his name being on the Jamaican two dollar
bill, ten cent coin and several buildings.

     The third
National Hero was Sir Alexander Bustamante. At the time of his acknowledgment
the country was still a Crown Colony. Bustamante realized the “social and
economic ills” that the people faced because the governor could veto at any
time he pleased which he did very often. Bustamante started making his name known
writing a series of letters in the Gleaner and occasionally British newspaper
about “the social and economic problems of the poor and underprivileged in
Jamaica”. As a result an “outbreak of widespread discontent and social unrest”.
“In advocating the cause of the masses, Bustamante became the undisputed
champion 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 has
his name on monuments around Jamaica. After Bustamante came George W. Gordon.

     George William
Gordon was born in St.Thomas “to slave mother and planter father who was
attorney to several sugar estates in Jamaica”. He taught himself how to read
and write. He owned a big portion of land which he subdivided and sold it to
the group of people who he sought to serve. Gordon didn’t like the way his
people 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.”He
was illegally tried by Court Martial” and was sentenced to death by execution
on October 23, 1865.George W. Gordon’s face was on the Jamaican ten dollar

     The fifth
National Hero was Norman Washington Manley. He was born on July 4, 1893 at
Roxborough, Manchester Manley was a soldier (the first World War), athlete, a
scholar and lawyer. He made himself known when he donated time and advocacy to
the workers labour troubles of 1938. “On September 1938, Manly founded the
People’s National Party (PNP) and was elected president”. After long life of
politics Norman Manley passed away on September 2, 1969. His also has his face
on the Jamaican thousand dollar bill.

     The sixth
National Hero was Samuel Sharpe. Samuel Sharpe was the one of the main
instigators of the Slave Rebellion in 1831. Samuel formulated a plan that the
slaves would refuse to work on Christmas Days. Word of his plan got to some of
the planters and even spread throughout St.Thomas. After the rebellion Samuel
Sharpe was captured and got hanged on May 23, 1832. His face remains on the
Jamaica five dollar coin. The seventh and last National Hero is Nanny of the
Maroons. “Nanny was the leader of the Maroons in the 18th century”. She is the
first and only female National Hero of Jamaica. Nanny was a great military
leader and she was “a symbol of unity and strength” for the Maroons in their
times of crisis. She is an expert in guerilla warfare which she used to fight
against the British in the first Maroon War on”1720 to 1739″. The Maroon people
were supernaturally influenced by Nanny, so much that it’s said to be connected
to her powers of Obeah or dark magic. Nanny was born in Ghana in 1686 and died
in 1733, Jamaica. Her image still holds it’s spot on the Jamaican five hundred
dollar bill. Even though all the Jamaican National Hero passed away their
graves still remain in The National Heroes Park. The National Heroes Park is
located in Kingston, Jamaica. “The area on which the National Heroes Park now stands was once one of
the most popular spots in Kingston”. It was used for several different
sports/activities such as cycle racing, cricket and even as a venue where the
travelling circuses would visit every now and then. Besides the National Heroes
Jamaica also has other things that made it what it is now such as a national
bird, national tree, and a national fruit.

     The national bird is a swallow tail
humming bird or The Doctor Bird as the Jamaicans call it. This bird can only be
found in Jamaica. Its name was given to it because of its pointy bill which
resembles a needle and its tail resembles a coat a doctor would wear back in
the old days. The national tree is called the Blue Mahoe. Even though Jamaica
is not the only place where this tree can grow, the Blue Mahoe is still its
native land and for that reason it is the Jamaican National Tree. The Jamaica
national fruit is the Ackee. Originally Ackee came from  West Africa on a slave ship and started to
grow luxuriously on Jamaica. It is now known as one of Jamaica’s finest
delicacies which goes extremely well with dumplings.

     In conclusion
Jamaica is a small island that has a strong historical background, beautiful
resorts and kind hearted people. Even though Jamaicans are known to be rather
wild and crazy, I can assure you that the people of Jamaica are very
hard-working, ambitious and respectful people, just don’t get on their bad side
because that’s when the craziness starts.


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