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Students in the Library

Michael Schwartz Library

Students in the Connection Lounge
Michael Schwartz Library

Engaging with International Students

The Anthem


Early History:

The earliest inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to be the Arawaks, also known as the Tainos. It is thought that they had come to the island from South America around 500 A.C. They named the island Xaymaca which meant "Land of Wood & Water."

May 5, 1494 - Christopher Columbus lands on Jamaica.

1509 - The first Spanish colonists arrive under the Spanish governor Juan de Esquivel. They would come to settle in St. Ann's Bay Area. The first town being named Sevilla La Nueva.

After Jamaica gets colonized several historic stages unfold before Jamaica achieves a self-government system. These being:

- The British Rule Era (1600s).

- Exports & Internal Strife Era (1700s).

- The Crown Colony Era (1800s).

Modern History:

In the 1900s Jamaica undergoes political history that enable the country to be independent by August 6, 1962.

Culture (Food)

Chicken Curry

A dish inspired by Indian influence in Jamaica. It is a dish that can be had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Curry is traditionally had with white rice.

Coco Bread

Coco Bread is sweet, buttery, and traditionally paired with beef patty, veggies or jam.

Rum Bread

A traditionally well-known Jamaican Dessert. A common marker of the festive season in Jamaica; dubbed rum cake because of the infusion of rum into the ingredients used to make the bread.

Culture (Traditions)

Nine Nights Ritual:

When a person dies, their kin celebrate a ritual involving food, dance, music, rum and such in a span of nine-days so that the deceased does not come back to haunt them in spirit form, and becoming a 'Duppy.'



Obeah is a form of Black Magic that is illegal in Jamaica because although it can protect and heal can also be weaponized. It is most common in the rural zones of Jamaica. It is rare for someone to be convicted for it but users of this black magic ('obeah men') often get accused for praying on superstition and poverty. 



Undoubtedly a huge part of Jamaican tradition. Combining the rich flavor of Africa and the Caribbean. Under no circumstances will a gathering be held without food as food plays a big part in the Jamaican identity.

Culture (Locations) - Cultural Landmarks

Discovery Bay

A natural harbor, featuring great open air museums and some of the finest monuments in Jamaica as well as a park.

Bob Marley Museum

Bob Marley is a cultural icon and there is a whole museum dedicated to the singer located on his old house in Jamaica.

Good Hope Plantation

Dating back to the 18th century when it was one of Jamaica's original sugar estates. The property of a fine example of colonial architecture. Good Hope Plantation remains as one of Jamaica's more important landmarks.


The predominant languages spoken in Jamaica are English, Jamaican English and Jamaican Patois.


Tourist Attractions

Rick's Café

A popular stop for first time visitors to the area especially at sunset.