When I was growing up my father gave each child a nickname and mine was Half-cast. Although I am a twin to a brother, he was a much darker complexion to me.
In fact on the night we were c sectioned into this world, meaning I could have been born first, I still can’t move on from that, the story goes that the mid wives were shocked and surprised at the difference in our colour. You’d have to ask the question how that would happen seeing that we had shared a womb and came from the exact same gene pool. Although many a family can testify to a different look to siblings our family ancestry dates back to one of the most popular and diverse country on the planet.
The motto of Jamaica “out of many, one people”
The belief is 90% of Jamaicans are from direct African descent. There is, in existence the Maroons who come from West Africa, who still have a direct lineage to Jamaica and live in the centre of in Maroon Town Achempong Town and in the Blue Mountains. Maroon town still acknowledges rituals and practices from Africa to this day. The maroons terrorised the British for over 200 years once the British had overruled the Spanish. They did not simply roll over and take slavery as a given and were fierce fighters, very organised and were once known as the worst terrorist of their time.
They made hundreds of attacks on the British outposts, who settled around the costs of Jamaica. Recapturing slaves and taking them into the centre of Jamaica to live off the land. Those that remained as slaves were subject to horrendous cruelty and in fact during this period the British invented apparatus of torture which included tools to defecate in the mouth of slaves. But interestingly there were black people who also lived in high society and lived amongst their rulers as if it was the norm, and this led to marriages and the birth of mulatto children. It was not uncommon for female slaves to be raped by their masters and have children that, depending on the way they looked ie light or dark skinned could be elevated to the position of a “house slave,” Many of the these masters did indeed go so far as to look after their mulatto children naming them in their wills as part beneficiary to their estate. This created a caste system in Jamaica.
At the end of slavery, the British encouraged other countries from parts of their empire, which included India, who represent at least 2% of Jamaica’s population, china and other middle-eastern countries like Syria, to invest, in cheap labour to take up the work that slaves left off and to build Jamaica’s infrastructure. Recent visit to an exhibition “Making Jamaica shown through never before seen photography, magnified the need to sell Jamaica as a good opportunity for investment. At the official end slavery in 1865 and toward 1890 Jamaica was not as profitable and these investors from overseas became part of the makeup and genetic blueprint of the country. This led to a further mixing of the population. Hence term “out of many, one people” and why perhaps in any one family you may have someone with blue eyes, green eyes, darker skin, lighter skin.straight hair, curly hair etc. and this makes up the fascination and the beautiful people, which are Jamaicans.
By Aunty Jax