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Showing posts from April, 2015

Hidden histories: Jamaica's colourful legacies

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Small, perfectly formed but bursting with information is how I would describe the Jamaica Hidden Histories Exhibition at the Oxo Gallery in South Bank, London. And organiser Full Spectrum Productions did well to weave so much of Jamaica's rich history into such a small space.

My journey started with Meryl Bowden's tapestry depiction of life in a Taino village. Taino communities are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Caribbean islands, including Jamaica. And they are widely believed to have called the country Xaymaca, meaning the land of wood. 

I recently discovered through BBC4's Lost Kingdoms of Central Americas that the words canoe and hurricane have roots in the Taino language. And after watching a BBC episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are' years ago, I learnt that Welsh Olympian and sports presenter Colin Jackson can trace his roots back to these fine people.

But don't take my word for it because sadly, the history of the early Caribbean peo…