What They Called Jamaica

Here are a few descriptions of what Jamaica was called over the years.

1. The original inhabitants of Jamaica – Tainos (Arawaks), named the island Xaymaca which meant . . . “Land of Wood and Water” or “Land of Springs
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2. When Columbus heard about Xaymaca (Jamaica) from the Cubans, they described it to him as “the land of blessed gold”. Later Columbus found out that there was no gold on our island.
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3. Upon his arrival in 1494, Christopher Columbus described Jamaica as “the fairest isle mine eyes ever beheld”.
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4. In the 17th century, the buccaneers stored their loot of gold, silver and jewels at their base in Port Royal, Jamaica. During that period, Port Royal was known as one of the “wealthiest and wickedest city in the world”.
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5. In the 18th century, while under British rule, Jamaica became a wealthy colony and was known as ‘the jewel of the British crown‘, producing 22% of the world’s sugar.

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