Jamaica is one of the three islands in the Northern Caribbean forming the Greater Antilles. It's the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean Sea, stretching 146 miles from east to west. Lying 550 miles north of the Panama Canal and 700 miles south of Miami, Jamaica is well-placed on the world's major shipping and airline routes.
The country's name is derived from an Aarawak (aboriginal Indian) word "Xaymaca", meaning "land of wood and water". And so it is, with waterfalls, and springs, rivers and streams flowing from the forest-clad mountains to the fertile plains, Jamaica has one of the richest and most varied landscapes in the region.
For those who like to explore, the island offers a feast of contrasts. The north coast, with its popular resort areas of Montego Bay, Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio, features fine coral beaches and broad plains where sugar cane, coconuts and citrus fruits are grown. The southern region of the island offers a rugged coastline where majestic mountains plunge into the sea - like inspirational Lover's Leap in St. Elizabeth, a 1500-foot cliff of romantic legend. The center of the island is mostly mountainous and heavily wooded, spotted occasionally with small mining towns and villages.
Jamaican Art, like other Caribbean nations, has its cultural melting pot enhanced by the presence of Jamaican artists born elsewhere. Beginning in the 1920s with the arrival in Jamaica of Edna Manley, wife and mother of two former Jamaican Prime Ministers. The mother of contemporary art in Jamaica, she was catalyst for the current Jamaican Art Movement, mentoring young artists and establishing both the National Gallery of Jamaica and the Jamaica School of Art.
The majority of Jamaican art, is inspired by the human form, with strong elements of racial identity. Landscape, social concerns and abstractions are also popular themes reflecting a fusion of African, Chinese, Indian, European and Middle Eastern origins in Jamaica's population.
Click this painting to learn more about this Jamaican Artist
Jamaican music & art is appreciated the world over. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh stand out as shining examples of what can be achieved through commitments. Many other musicians and artists have done their parts to help establish a worldwide appeal for Jamaican cultural expression.
To learn more about impact Jamaican music has had on the world
Click on these drummers.
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