We have beautiful weather, sumptuous tasting food and our music is excellent!
Obtaining Self Government resulted in the Modern Jamaica and also gave rise to Jamaicans paying closer attention to their cultural heritage.
In 1879, The Institute of Jamaica, was established. It encompasses:
- The National Gallery of Jamaica (consisting of the national art collection).
- The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica.
- The National Library of Jamaica (consisting of one of the largest collections of West Indian collectibles in the world!).
- The Youth cultural program.
- A number of museums.
The Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts is the responsiblity of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture. This college consists of the Jamaica Schools of Art, Music, Dance and Drama and is the only such college known throughout the English speaking Caribbean.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission is responsible for all of the cultural activities throughout Jamaica. These activities include training, art competition and exhibitions and lead up to the annual Independence Celebrations.
Folk songs and dance are mostly performed during Jamaica's Independence Celebrations. Their songs, folklore (stories), dances, beliefs, religion, native food and their use of local herbs and 'bush' medicine conveys what the Jamaican Culture is all about.
Many of our Jamaican artists are internationally known. Some of them are the late Edna Manley, wife of one of our National Heroes, the Hon. Norman Washington Manley. She was also the mother of the late Michael Manley, one of the former Prime Ministers in the People's National Party (PNP) Government.
Other very well known artists are Cecil Baugh and Basil Watson. Basil Watson is known for his murals and portraits while Cecil Baugh is known for his work with ceramics and pottery.