African placed names in Jamaica

ABOURKIR St Ann .Possibly  named after the battle of Aboukir Bay Egypt


WHYDAD. ST CATHERINE named after West African port

CALABAR  in St Ann named afteer the Nigeria town  Calabar

GOSHEN St Elizebeth named after a place in Egypt

ACCOMPONG Maron settlement in  St Elizebeth.Ashanti word Nyamekopan meansthe Lone one-warrior.

MOCHO from  MBOKO a place in Calabar Ibo tribe.

NAGGO HEAD  Egba clan of Yoruba people Western Nigeria Kingdom od Dohomey Originally Benin

NANCY GULLY St Mary (probably derive from Anancy).

MALILLA  named by the Spanish was the original name of Port Maria St Mary 

Domino game at the ‘Today Tomorrow Festival ‘Negril Jamaica


Try one of Jamaica’s popular cultural game. Dominoes might be right up your street. It will be studious and intense but more laid back, than other energetic sports offered, like athletics, cliff diving, cave swimming and a Rasta River Tour.



Make up by Alisha stylist

Make up by Alisha stylist


The look Alisha stylist creates for Nordia Witter Baker gives the respected Reggae pop singer something special for her show. The bold and beautiful smokey eyed  look, white lace dress she is wearing.

Her upper lids have a play of bronze highlight which continues its sculpting, contouring, defining and harmonising, therefore creating a visual trinity of lines with the bridge of her nose significantly emphasised with bronze highlight.  


Spanish placed names in Jamaica

Savanna La Mar, 
Boca Aqua,  St Jago De La Vega, Yalus,  Cabo Bonito, Auracabeza, Los Angelos, Cabarita Punta, Ocho Rios, Porus, Alta Nela, Sombro Rio, Liguanea, Jarisse Punta, Moneque, Perexil, Martha Brea, Rio De Camarones, Lacovia, Aqua Alta Bahia and Port Antonio

(The Infamous White Witch Of Rose Hall) 

The image of the publicity flyer for the play ‘White Witch’, was adapted from a historical series of colour plates called ‘A picturesque tour of the island of Jamaica’  The original picture was created by 18th-century architect James Hakewell. Born in England, he traveled in Europe and the Americas, residing in Jamaica for 2 years. While there he sketched and painted charming historical colour sketches of great estates, views, landmarks, and images for the English aristocracy, who owned estates, great houses and slave plantations like the 17th century Rose Hall.

The play ‘White Witch’ is set in 18th century Jamaica at Rose Hall sugar plantation. It explores life and love across colour, class and imperial power within the maelstrom and brutality of slavery and plantation culture. Written by Jamaican playwright Barry Beckford who died in 2011, it was dramatized in 2017 by director Joseph Charles at Chelsea Theatre, London. In Jamaican mythology Annie Palmer still haunts Rose Hall to this day.The story goes that the notorious Annie was born in Haiti where she was schooled in witchcraft and voodoo by her Haitian nurse. As mistress of Rose Hall. by marriage to plantation owner John Palmer, she terrorized and murdered slaves, murdered John Palmer, and went on to kill two other husbands. 

The real story is hard to verify. Some say that the name of the plantation mistress was Rosa Palmer of Rose Hall, a virtuous woman, and very unlucky to have ‘lost’ 3 husbands during her lifetime.    

Rose Hall Great House Tour

The Rose Hall Great House in St James Jamaica is now pitched to tourists as Jamaica’s favorite, and infamous, great house, complete with an interactive tour. Visitors can dress up as ghosts and pop up from time to time to scare others. There’s also a historical talk that can be just as scary.

One blogger said. There is a mirror that people who have taken pictures of have captured ghostly pictures. Photos from people who have visited and noticed things in their photos have mailed them into the great house for display.’

 After the beach or precipitous mountainside roads, there’s nothing quite like a gruesome haunted house tour to attract European and American tourists!  Uncannily they can already scent the 18 century Rose perfume and hear the rustle of silken Ball gowns in this dramatization. Slavery tourism, anyone?



Kumina Lady

Kumina Lady

Amongst many things, in Jamaican culture, church going is still very important. People visiting the island might be surprised by the quantity of main stream denominations.

I arrived in Ochi Rios at dusk with two small children. We were excited about our trip to Dunns River Fall planned for the following day.

We located our hotel on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Before going to our poky little room, I noticed the front hall had huge sofas with bare chested men, dressed only in lounge pants. (Were we suppose to be in this type of hotel?) They were seriously lounging on large sofas like Roman lords. (What else are they suppose to do in lounge pants?) 

I decided to get out of there fast to see the town with my two little boys. 


That night we happily got lost in Ochi. We turned a corner and heard music bursting out into the night. Is this a party or a Jazz event? In the name of religion? The liveliness of the sound threatens to drag us inside. We had come up on a fiery ‘clap hand’ church, a mainstream church.

Throughout the island there are varied religions.There are churches such as Baptist, Synagogues. Catholic, Church Of God, Church Of England, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, Pocomania church, Revival, Salvation Army, African Methodist Episcopal, Ethiopian Orthodox, Mormons and Bahai.  


In Jamaican roots culture, on the margin, Kumina is one of the Afro Jamaican religion that is found in the rural areas of St Thomas and Portland. With its origin in West African culture, it is one of the well known ‘secret’ that has been preserved since the end of slavery. Other Afro Jamaican religions are Obeah, Myal, Pocomania and to some degree Revival. Kumina ‘nations’ are small folk based community groups of believers, singers and musicians, headed by a King and Queen or ‘Mother and ‘Shepard’.

Kumina has a strong tradition of herbalism. Ceremonies are secular or religious and can be practiced at Nine Night, Burial and Healing, The Kumina King or queen are lightening rods for linking a spiritual ‘African’ past to the presentThis ancestral inheritance of language, powerful hypnotic drumming styles, songs, singing and joyous dance movements aims to reach the spiritual realm, and to make ready for ancestral spirit possession.These can be traced back to the Congo.  

76 year old Loretta Moore has practiced Kumina for over 40 years she quotes in the Jamaican gleaner article. …. ‘Kumina is a good practice which is used primarily for healing ….’

 ..’Kumina is a tradition, it and Revival almost work the same way,” she explained. She said Revival was the easy, or common, stage. There is also a link to the Jonkunu. In fact, it is said if one can dance the Kumina then one can also dance the masquerade, which is the Jonkunu dance. Instruments are basically the same – kata stick, shaka grater and drums. One main difference is the piccolo (or pipe) used in Jonkunu, while in Kumina it is the voice that leads…’

Kumina music has passed from Eastern Jamaican practices into popular music styles. The Nyabinghi drummers, Count Ossie, Sly and Robbie Shakespeare have introduced Kumina rhythms to ‘ reggae music.

The late Jamaican dancer and director Rex Nettleford, helped to make Kumina acceptable as Jamaican  popular cultural heritage, so that the movements and music, are performed in schools, and in communities around the island. He also curated magnificent dance performances for Jamaican theatre. 

Makeup by Alisha stylist

Make up by Alisha stylist

On any shimmering night, the buzz and liveliness of music are like a vigorous pulse all over the city. Kingston is the home of Reggae music in its street dances, bars, and kitchens, sports bars, festivals, clubs, home parties, grocery shops, likkle places, parking lots and gully banks. So, out on the town, you are part of the exciting night’s live show of fashion, makeup, and movements. You enjoy turning heads with makeup to compliment the glittery night lights. Dressed in your own glamorous look, you sip fruity cocktails laced with Jamaica’s aged rum or milky cups of Blue Mountain, ‘the world’s best coffee’ You both experience and add to the exciting nightlife.

Woman in Red – Jamaican Designer Drennaluna in Triple Focus Magazine 

‘drennaLuna’ is one of Jamaica’s top fashion company owned by Arlene L Martin. Established ten years ago, they have gone from strength to strength at home and abroad.They regularly take part in Caribbean Fashion Week, showcasing in Europe, Africa and the Americas.

‘drennaluna’ clothes are elegant. Their current collections explore five themes, and across all areas, there are minimal cut classics and smart casuals outfits. There are simple short blocky shaped dresses in sumptuous satin and chiffon fabric in bright yellow and blue.

A second collection works on long body defining shapes, such as the lace theme. Dresses are dark and body hugging. Soft wide legged pants are shown as a set with matching colour lace vest, again accentuating and elongating the figure. These styles defines ‘drennaLuna’ as a producer of very easy and wearable fashion.

My favourite ‘drennnaLuna’ garment takes on a range of influences. Firstly, the I Threes, Bob Marley’s backing singers. The huge statement head wrap is of Rasta colour of red green and yellow. And, the dress which I’ve named the ‘I’, This rich red column dress in soft jersey gives a bold nod to an african wrap, while offering the timelessness quality of an Egyptian sheath dress of glamorous simplicity. For me, this outfit proclaim an allegiance to Jamaican people!

This soft jersey dress should be offered in Red, gold and also green. To me this is the ultimate relaxing evening wear. The head wrap, the colours, the same elongating silhouette would rock a party and definitely be a winner at any ‘Red Carpet; event.


Your bangles – Don’t leave home with them!

Have you ever gone out and all of a sudden you feel undressed?

You find yourself on the pavement. Something is missing. It’s not you dress or your knickers.

I had that feeling this morning. Then I noticed I didn’t have my bangles on. Not half a dozen. Or two. Not even one.

When I dress minimal and simple, I might wear just one shiny brass bangle on my right wrist.

When I’m dressed up I often wear three. If I wanted to channel richness, I could wear a dozen sterling silver or gold bangles.

Would this be a vulgar display of wealth, like living with gold bathroom taps in my bathroom and kitchen? This could just be exotic self adornment.

The bangle collection passed me by for years. I didn’t even know that in Jamaican culture, the family tradition of passing on the keepsake gift of a pretty little silver bangle when you are a cherished little dumpling child even existed.

This gift would later be passed down to the next generation. Some thirty years later, someone might find them in the house and say to the youngest , ‘Come try this on, yu granny dead lef e’

I first saw ‘my’ bangles in the stores of Downtown Kingston and quietly coveted them. After that, every three years when I visited Jamaica the price of bangles seemed to be out of my reach. My holiday money could not stretch to such luxurious treats.

When I was in my twenties, my uncle surprised me with a gift of half a dozen brass bangles. They were beautiful. Three were simple and shiny, the other three were designed of two twisted strands beaten flat and then torqued. Over the years, I lost two and one just broke. I love and treasure those three that are left. They remind me of a close bond with my family, culture and country. Also jewellery are objects   we define as part of our beauty, traditional dress and our heritage.

However, as Caribbean people exploring our heritage with awakening pride, we sometimes uncover a snake amongst the pride and shiny discovery. A  curious shadow slavery is found within the historical narrative around our food, body, hair, relationship and many life experiences.

So imagine, Mam! How proud and intrigued I was to hear the word Manillas, metal torques, and bangles, and to discover that they were used in ancient times as a West African currency.  

The wife of a wealthy man in ancient Africa would show her husband’s wealth by wearing many heavy metal manillas.

The very word, Manillas, breaks down into derivations from both Spanish and Portuguese. They describe finger, wrist and neck jewellery. Words such as ‘Monile’ Does this sound like something we know today? (money?) These same manillas  were slave currency, popularly used as payment for the purchase of our African ancestors in the Portuguese and Atlantic slave trade.     

So, this is the story behind bangles? Knowing this history now, the six bangles my uncle gave me, should I have turned my back on them?

The answer is no.