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Jamaica, a nation in the West Indies, occupies the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea.

KINGSTON is its capital
LOCATED south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola, Jamaica is slightly larger than the island of Hawaii.

WORLD FAMOUS Negril Beach, A 7 mile Beach covered with snow white Jamaican sand.

Many Rasta words have become an accepted part of speech in Jamaica. Following are some of the more popular terms:

Babylon: the Establishment; America, Europe, any place that Rastas consider corrupt.
Chalice: a smoking pipe, often used for ceremonial purposes.
Dreadlocks: locked hair that is neither combed nor cut.
Dread: a Rastaman.
I and I: "me and God"; meant to reveal a Rastaman's deep relationship with God.
I-tal: organic food (fruits and vegetables).
Irie: a term that means "okay" or "things are good".
Jah: God; short for Jehovah.
Tam: a woolen cap that Rastamen and women often use to cover their dreadlocks.

Out of Kingston's ghettos arose the Caribbean's most marketable music. It evolved from old island forms, such as mento, a quasi-spiritual, modern beat from the slave era's digging song. Ska and rocksteady, styles of the 1960s youth, intermingled American soul, jazz and rock-and-roll, with the inbred Afro-Caribbean musical heritage. Reggae added an element of protest and Rastafarian idealism to the captivating rhythms. Beyond its universal message of love and peace, reggae captures worldwide audiences with its bass tones and beat, said to simulate and stimulate the heartbeat. Bob Marley and the Wailers were not the first Jamaican group to sing reggae, but they are undoubtedly the best known worldwide. Jamaica considers the late Marley a national folk hero; the world remembers him as a guru and a prophet, the undisputed King of Reggae. Marley's wife and son Ziggy still ride his dreadlocks of fame, as do former band members Marcia Griffith, Judy Mowatt, and Bunny Wailer. The late Peter Tosh also performed with the original group. Mar Romeo, Big Youth, Dennis Brown, Third World, and Culture are a few musicians of international acclaim with the righteous reggae genre, which preaches the Rastafarian message of peace and black liberation. Reggae maverick and film star Jimmy Cliff also gets credit for reggae's rise from the ghettos to chic American nightclubs. In Jamaica today, new musicians popularize dance hall reggae and dub, the big brothers of rap.

Jamaica Hotels


The population of Jamaica consists mostly of descendants of African blacks, plus several small East Indian, Chinese, and European minorities. The official language is English, but most of the rural population speaks a Creole dialect, "patios". Population is concentrated on the coastal plains; the highlands are mostly uninhabited. A high birthrate and low death rate have resulted in high population densities in recent years. Church of God, Baptists, and Anglicans are the largest religious groups. Approximately 5% of the population are Roman Catholics. The RASTAFARIANS are the most visible of the numerous Afro-Caribbean syncretic religious groups. The administrative center for the University of the West Indies (1948) is near Kingston. The Institute of Jamaica (1879), in Kingston, has a library and museum of Jamaican history, art, and natural history
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