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The Jamaica Portal

Location of Jamaica

Jamaica (/əˈmkə/ (listen); Jamaican Patois: Jumieka) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies some 215 kilometres (134 mi) to the north-west.

With 2.8 million people,0 Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas (after the United States and Canada), and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean. Kingston is the country's capital and largest city. The majority of Jamaicans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, with significant European, East Asian (primarily Chinese), Indian, Lebanese, and mixed-race minorities. Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, there is a large Jamaican diaspora, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The country has a global influence that belies its small size; it was the birthplace of the Rastafari religion, reggae music (and associated genres such as dub, ska and dancehall), and it is internationally prominent in sports, most notably cricket, sprinting and athletics. Jamaica is often considered the world’s least populous cultural superpower. (Full article...)

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Illustration of Trelawney Town
The Second Maroon War of 1795–1796 was an eight-month conflict between the Maroons of Cudjoe's Town (Trelawny Town), a Maroon settlement later re-named after Governor Edward Trelawny at the end of First Maroon War, located near Trelawny Parish, Jamaica in the St James Parish, and the British colonials who controlled the island. The Windward communities of Jamaican Maroons remained neutral during this rebellion and their treaty with the British still remains in force. Accompong Town, however, sided with the colonial militias, and fought against Trelawny Town. (Full article...)
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Peter Tosh (left) on the Bush Doctor tour in 1978, with Al Anderson (guitar) and Robbie Shakespeare (bass)
Winston Hubert McIntosh, OM (19 October  1944 – 11 September 1987), professionally known as Peter Tosh, was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, he was one of the core members of the band the Wailers (1963–1976), after which he established himself as a successful solo artist and a promoter of Rastafari. He was murdered in 1987 during a home invasion. (Full article...)

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"Guava Jelly" is a song recorded by the Jamaican group Bob Marley and the Wailers. It was released as a 7" vinyl single through Tuff Gong and Green Door Records. It was issued commercially with B-side track "Redder Then Red", which was misspelled on its initial printing, in 1971. It was written and produced by Marley and features uncredited lyrical contributions from Bunny Livingston. A reggae composition like the majority of Marley's works, "Guava Jelly" contains a rocksteady and island-like production with lyrics loosely based around sexual intercourse. His use of the term "guava jelly" was likely referring to a specific type of sexual lubricant. It was favorably viewed by several reviewers, with many of them finding the composition to be sexual and about love. The group placed "Guava Jelly" on several compilation albums, including Africa Unite: The Singles Collection in 2005, and Owen Gray and Herbie Mann created their own versions in 1974 and 1975, respectively.

American artists Johnny Nash and Barbra Streisand also recorded "Guava Jelly" and released their versions as commercial singles in 1972 and 1974, respectively. Nash's version was featured on his eleventh studio album, I Can See Clearly Now (1972), and was distributed in the 7" format in Jamaica and South Africa as the record's fourth and final single. Rita Marley, Bob's wife, was upset that Nash had recorded it since he might be credited for the single's success and not Marley. Streisand's rendition was included on her sixteenth studio album, ButterFly (1974), and released as the record's lead single on 16 December 1974. It divided music critics in the way that several thought her voice was not suited for reggae music. In 1991 the singer would appear on Larry King Live and admit her disappointment in ButterFly and the songs that appeared on it. (Full article...)

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Credit: Arpingstone
An Air Jamaica Airbus A340-300 (registration 6Y-JMP) landing at London Heathrow Airport, England

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Rice and peas (or peas and rice) is a traditional food within the West Indian Caribbean islands. The 'peas' are traditionally pigeon peas, but more often substituted with kidney beans, and the dish is frequently served with curry goat.

In 1961, Frederic G. Cassidy made note that the dish had been referred to as Jamaica's coat of arms. (Full article...)

More did you know

  • ...that record producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's first single "People Funny Boy" was directed as an insult to fellow Jamaican music mogul and former collaborator Joe Gibbs?

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