The Jamaican Culture

The Jamaican Culture



The Jamaican Culture

The culture of Jamaicans tends to be identified with the traditions and conventions of African Americans. Nonetheless, each possesses a unique chronicle as well as culture. Jamaicans are mainly the descendants of African slaves owned by the British at the time. This elucidates for the relationship that exists between their eclectic mix of African as well as British traditions. Due to the implications of slavery and a strive towards resistance, the Jamaican culture is characterized as independent and liberated. Based on their experiences, most Jamaicans are hardworking individuals with a sturdy respect and enthusiasm for education. Some of the aspects that facilitated the respective culture group towards an American setting mainly comprised the fall of the native country’s economy, high levels of unemployment, and unfair supply of land resources within a principally agricultural country (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).


Beliefs Regarding Health/Illness, Healthcare Providers, Life

  • Health is perceived as the existence or absence of sickness
  • Illness is seen as a punishment or atonement for sin or actions that involve participation in illegal activities, which leads to considerable guilt and shame. It is believed that the punishment is passed towards the victim and the next generation
  • Natural causative factors for sicknesses and impairments are commonly accepted by those who are more sophisticated. In this respect, illness is viewed as a mistake or an error from healthcare experts or the body’s failure towards healing
  • Those that accept this conviction look for medical assistance in order to assuage suffering and discover cures for their ailments
  • Guzu/Obeah is the conviction that supernatural forces can cause evil or good, sickness or health (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).

Dietary, Hygienic Practices/Restrictions during Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum

  • Considerable quantities of carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, potatoes, peas, and plantains are consumed. Proteins such as beef, fish, poultry, pork, and goat are also consumed. Normally, they are eaten within constraints
  • Active lifestyles assist in the metabolization of fats and carbohydrates within their respective diets
  • Jamaicans are not informed about prenatal care
  • Pregnant women may need a midwife. Birth is perceived as a spiritual or religious event that is ceremonial and worthy of observation
  • Mothers may wish for placenta preservation in order to perform rituals. Open Bibles are positioned within the newborn baby’s bed in order to ward off demons
  • Genetic defects may be seen as the will of God or the work of evil spirits (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).

Languages Most Common

  • American-English
  • Jamaican-English
  • Creole/Patois (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).

Verbal and Non-Verbal Forms of Communication

  • Handshake with straight eye contact and a warm smile comprise the universal greeting
  • Proper salutations for the day are common such as good morning, good afternoon
  • Upon friendship, women can hug and cheek-kiss while men pat on the shoulder
  • People are addressed by honorific titles (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).

Primary Healthcare Decision Maker

  • All decisions are made by the family spokesperson that is also the male head of the family (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2011).

Recommendations and Conclusion

Culturally competent care in this respect will focus on the definitive factors that define the Jamaican culture (Bornstein & Putnick, 2012). For a childbearing group, the care that is provided should integrate medical expertise with the cultural beliefs expressed. In stages of birth, medical care should ensure that the family is informed about the relevance of prenatal care. Additionally, nurses may function as midwives, which is significant during conception. Caregivers should also ensure that the rituals such as placenta preservation and the positioning of the Bible are observed (Brannigan, 2012).


Bornstein, M. H., & Putnick, D. L. (2012). Cognitive and socioemotional caregiving in developing countries. Child Development, 83(1), 46-61.

Brannigan, M. C. (2012). Cultural fault lines in healthcare: Reflections on cultural competency. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Mordecai, M., & Mordecai, P. (2011). Culture and customs of Jamaica. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

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