Saturday, October 12, 2019

Reggae Español: Jamaican Music in Spanish-speaking Countries :: Essays Papers

Reggae Espaà ±ol: Jamaican Music in Spanish-speaking Countries With its close geographic proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America, Jamaica has not only received influences from these cultures, but has also been influential on molding and forming an integral part of Spanish-speaking nations. The growing popularity of reggae and Jamaican culture as a whole is apparent all over the world, and is catching on quickly. Although there are reggae groups found in many of the Spanish-speaking countries worldwide, there is not much literature that has focused on their history or followed their progress, just like there is not much published work about reggae and Rastafarianism. This paper intends to focus on the Spanish involvement in Jamaica and also chart the musical influence of reggae in these aforementioned regions. Although there is not much evidence regarding the Spanish involvement of Jamaica, the Spaniards were supposedly the first to arrive on the island, and settle it shortly thereafter. Christopher Columbus veered off his path and came upon the small island in the Caribbean on his second voyage in may of 1494. The island was already inhabited by the indigenous people called the Arawaks, who supposedly came from Venezuela and had already named the island Xaymaca. Not unlike the other Caribbean islands the Spaniards inhabited, their presence decimated the indigenous population. The influx of disease and mistreatment of the indigenous people by the newcomers led to their eventual demise, 70-80 years after the Spanish arrival. (Musgrave). Only a few artifacts remain of what was once the Arawak culture, a people that at one point numbered 60,000. (Barrett, p. 20). 15 years after the Spaniards first encountered the island, they founded a settlement and were quickly establishing dominance in the region. In 1509, the Spaniards built a town named after an existing Spanish town, Sevilla La Nueva, New Seville. It was located near what is now St. Ann’s Bay on Jamaica’s north coast. With the local indigenous population declining due to disease, Spaniards began bring Africans to the island to work as slaves and perform hard labor. When the Spaniards left and the English took over, many of the salve fled, which became known as Maroons, and settled in what is now known as The Cockpit Country, located in the center of the island. The Spanish presence in Jamaica was relatively brief, and never flourished under Spanish rule. They handed it over to Britain in 1655, after engaging in battle with the British.

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