Before Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica as the first European in May 1494, the island was already inhabited by West Indies natives. The native tribe is called Tainos, also known as Arawak. It is believed that they came about AD 600 from South America and named the island Xaymaca. The meaning of Xaymaca is the land of wood and water, and that is the exact description for Jamaica even today. You will find lots of wooden areas and many waterfalls and rivers.
The Tainos were farmers who grew sweet potatoes, maize, fruits, and vegetables as well as cotton and tobacco. They lived in villages throughout the island along the rivers and coastline where they also could catch fish for their food. The native island population lived a simple life on their island.
On his second voyage to the West Indies, Christopher Columbus arrived on May 5, 1494, at St. Ann Bay on the northern coast. Based on information he had heard in Cuba, he hoped to find gold deposits and wanted to annex this island for Spain. The Arawak at St. Ann Bay fought his ships, and Columbus sailed eastward to Discovery Bay, where he successfully took possession of the island.
This is only a small insight into the cultural customs in Jamaica. Much more to this topic you will find in my book
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