Jamaican Culture Essay

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Jamaican culture is more than just Rastafarianism and Reggae music. The Jamaican culture encompasses every aspect of life from beliefs, superstitions, and practices to art, education, and tourism. However, the most important aspect of the culture is the African roots that still exist today. Religion and music became essential parts of the slave culture for communication purposes and barrier breakers. Culture is 'the property of the individual and it's a property of societies' (Alleyne 9). Jamaica has a very diverse culture with original natives coming into contact with the Spanish and English. Jamaican culture can be split into the primitive era and the modern era.

The primitive characteristics are all the effects of the
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This consists of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and some fish (Wittmann). The religion prohibits eating red meat, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. Rastafarian?s are best known for their controversial use of ?ganja? which is believed to bring them closer and more connected to God, Jah. The most intriguing aspect of their language is saying ?I and I? as a belief that all men are one and equal (Wittmann). The use of music especially Reggae is frequently used with ceremonial experiences. Reggae music is strongly association with protests for social and cultural change due to years of exploitation. Rastafarian?s are often distinguished from other Jamaicans by their dreadlock hair which symbolizes the Lion of Judah (Wittmann).

Many people view Jamaica for the reggae that Bob Marley made popular all over the world. However, Ska, Jazz, and Steady Rock are listened to as well. Folk music has origins deeply rooted in Africa. A key aspect of Jamaican music, the use to drums can be traced back to the African slave era (Jamaicans). In 1973, the Jamaican School of Music was organized in an attempt to spread the wealth and benefits of all types of music (Nettleford 19). Ten years earlier, the National Dance Theater was established in hope of exposing folk and ritual dances to everyone on the island (Nettleford 19-21).
Art and education are highly recognized on the island for their beauty and benefits.

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