Ed Pearce’s Today’s memory
Christopher Columbus landing on Jamaica
Originally shared by Ed Pearce
Christopher Columbus landed on Jamaica on May 5, 1494 and claimed it for Spain. The adventurer named the island St Iago (St James).
On a later voyage, Columbus, in an effort to induce the natives of Jamaica to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a total lunar eclipse for February 29, 1504.
The indigenous Arawak people called the island Xaymaca (meaning Land of Wood and Water, or Land of Springs) from which the name Jamaica derives.
The other main indigenous people were the Tainos, whom the Spaniards enslaved. They had all died out by the time the British arrived in 1655.
The Taino language has given us the words cassava, maize, papaya and savannah.