Africans came to Jamaica during the Spanish Conquest, and in a loosely arranged slave system on the island, many lived as herders, roamed the hinterland and were intimate with the surviving Taíno. After the British captured Jamaica, they expanded the slave trade and brought thousands of Africans with their diverse heritages to Jamaica. The majority of Africans who came were from West Africa, mainly from the Ashanti and Yoruba tribes and were forced to work under inhumane conditions on sugar plantations established by the English.  Despite the efforts of the plantocracy to wipe out the culture of the enslaved Africans, they resisted and kept many aspects of their culture alive. Our language, music, food, dance and religious practices continue to be testaments to the legacy of our African ancestors.

Akan women performing a traditional African Dance. Many Jamaicans are descendants of the  Akan or Ashanti people of West Africa.
Egungun festival takes place in Nigeria and originates from the Yoruba people. This festival involves the Egungun Masquerade dance, where dancers wear masks to commemorate the ancestors of the Yoruba people.


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