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Five questions about Jamaica – Quick Quiz answers

We asked you five questions about Jamaica. Here come the answers!

  1. Which famous Jamaican musician was shot in the arm and chest by Kingston gunmen in 1976 and survived?
    Bob Marley. Spookily, the sleeve notes to his Rastaman Vibration album – released a few days before the shooting – cited Genesis 49:22-24, in which Joseph is shot at with arrows but survives because “his arms and hands were made strong by the hands of the God of Jacob”.
  2. Which Jamaican city gave its name to a mid-range British saloon and estate car in the early 1980s?
    Montego Bay, which was also the title of a 1970 song by Bobby Bloom. Montego Bay is a popular tourist destination, though as of February 2018 it was under a State of Emergency. It’s also Jamaica’s second city; by coincidence the car, the Austin Montego, was made in Britain’s second city, Birmingham.
  3. The island now known as Jamaica was originally a Taino territory called Xaymaca. What does “Xaymaca” mean?
    Land of Wood and Water or Land of Springs. The name became Jamaica as a result of Spanish conquest and colonisation between 1509 and 1655, when the English invaded and took over the island – having failed to capture their original objective, the island of Hispaniola.
  4. Jamaica now has three ‘counties’, all named after old English counties. Can you name the three? (Hint: none of them end in “-shire”.)
    Cornwall, Surrey and Middlesex. The counties have no administrative relevance but live on as historic and cultural divisions. Like its near-namesake Kingston-upon-Thames, the capital Kingston is in Surrey.
  5. The ackee (popular name) is the national fruit of Jamaica. Do you know its scientific name, who it’s named in honour of and why?
    Blighia sapida arrived in Jamaica before 1788 as an import from West Africa. In 1793 Captain William Bligh (who’d been the target of the mutiny on HMS Bounty in 1789) took it from Jamaica to London and presented it to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Royal Society, who promptly named it in his honour. These days it’s a prominent feature in many Caribbean cuisines.

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