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Why Jamaica Should Be Done With Patois (Creole)

Updated on February 1, 2019
clivewilliams profile image

Clive Williams is an internet researcher and writer on many genres. He has a BSc. Degree in Information Systems.

Jamaica Coat of Arms
Jamaica Coat of Arms

Columbus The Destroyer and Jamaica

Jamaica, a small island situated in the Caribbean sea just south of Cuba. It has a population of over 2 million people, with most of them knowing how to or speak the broken slave master language called patois. The aboriginals of this small islands, the Indians lived a good life before the thug called Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the island paradise. They lived a peaceful and happy life, they fished, they farmed, they cooked and enjoyed a natural and good way of living. They did not speak a broken language, they did not speak a weak language. They spoke a common and powerful language. They spoke the Taino. But if you do a search on the Taino language, you will see that it is smeared by "His-Story" as being a poorly constructed language. Putting a mental acceptance into the mind of readers that the language needed to be replaced. But the pale faces did not understand nature, they did not understand spirituality and how the Arawaks never needed a poorly constructed language like Spanish to communicate effectively. The Arawaks communicated not only with each other, but with the spirit of the earth. The communicated in the language given to them by the creator himself.

Destruction of Native People

Columbus stumbled upon Jamaica and saw how gullible the natives were. They were people who had trust and lived good among themselves . When an Arawak spoke, his words were written in the stars. The Spanish came with deceiving and conniving words. Their words were of annihilation and slavery. When news went back to Spain about the paradise Jamaica, pretty soon the island was swarmed with pale faces. They had no regard for the Native language and forced the language of Spanish upon the people. Columbus received instructions to cleanse the island for the Spanish. They enslaved many native people. They did as they wanted with the women and mutilated and killed the men. The Spaniards had no regard for the natives and eventually wiped out most of the native people from Jamaica. With the introduction of slaves from Africa, the wicked Europeans continued with their atrocities. They imported black people as slaves, gave them Christianity and destroyed their language. By this time, they began to name many places on the island Spanish names. They refused to acknowledged the Black man's original name and gave them Spanish names as well. The slaves natural language was forbidden to use. The slaves learned patches of the European language as it was never taught to the black laborers. But this hold on Jamaica was short lived as the English also wanted a piece of the island gem to continue the atrocities.

Here Comes The Queen

So the English fought the Spanish and won Jamaica. Jamaica became an English colony from 1655. The English saw it fit to also introduce their language to the slaves and to be done with slaves speaking African and Spanish. This was quite confusing to the slaves as they were not taught the language, but primarily given snippets of it during commands. The slaves had nothing, they had no true home, their children were birth into slavery and thus owned by the slave master. The language they were given were not even theirs. And on top of that, their names had also to be changed to reflect English plantation owners. So slaves given name such as Pablo, would now be Paul. The slaves last name was also that of the plantation owners last names. This is why the Black people in Jamaica today have names such as James, Williams, Jefferson, Griffiths, Johnson, Brown, and just about any other European name possible. Up to this very day, the people are owned by Europeans because we still bare the slave masters names.

When the people of Jamaica got independence in 1962, majority of the people were uneducated and did not speak a true language. Patois was the common tongue among the people. Many children attended little or got no schooling during this period. All they had was their simple country lives and a broken cursed language.

Patois Diminishes Education

There are many people in Jamaica who believe the broken slave master language should even be taught in schools. It has even been chiseled in Jamaican folklore by the the adorable Miss Lou. But leaning patois in school is a complete waste of teachers time and resources. Now, lets think logically about this for a few minutes. Nothing in this entire world is taught in Patois aka Creole. Even the subjects taught in Jamaica is taught in English, English is taught in English, Math is taught in English, likewise chemistry, law and everything else. Many primary school children have difficulty in comprehension of English statements when taking tests simply because they use too much of the Patois dialect. If from inception, a complete language was taught to the children, many comprehension task would prove to be very simple.

Patois Is a Language Marked In Blood

Patois did not come to Jamaica because some happy people came here and gave us magnificent technology and taught us the secret of the Universe and the people decided to learn a new language, then left. No, it was pushed upon us forcefully. It was marked by the blood of our forefathers who died viciously by the hands of the Europeans. It is a gimmicks way of comprehension and should only be placed in museum as part of what Jamaica was, not what Jamaica is. It is a language of limited real expression. It is a language that possesses no love, no deep feeling or strong character. Patois is powerless.

© 2019 Clive Williams


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    • profile image


      19 months ago

      As a Jamaican I feel hurt by this story because the part about the language isn't true. Our dialect was invented by slaves who came from all over Africa, with the intention to create a language that they all could understand but the slave master would not speak. Because of our dialect we were able to organize rebellions with out the slave master understanding or figuring out what we were planing. Young man please do your research before you speak on something you don't fully understand. Because that very same dialect is one for the major reason you are a free man today.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      This is so sad. It befuddles me that I would assume a native Jamaican would pen such an article. Now I skimmed this article, so I may have missed something, but here goes; the author does not like the dialect, he likes the Awarak language, but instead of moving back to the Awarak language prefers Jamaican to speak only the Queen's English. But he condemns the dialect because it contained pieces of the English language. That doesn't really make much sense. But here is the thing, in most of the Caribbean the slaves mixed the language of there homeland with the language of their master, combining it to create a unique language which they could call their own. This allowed them to communicate easily among each other without even their en-slavers understanding what they were talking about. What ever dialect came from our forefathers is something that we should be proud of. The English language because it is more universal does have a place, but we should not be ashamed of our cultural unique language and feel that it is inferior to any other language the world over. Please be proud of our rich heritage. Our dialect is outstanding, our forebears were very intelligent to be able to create a unique language that they can call their own.

    • profile image

      Everald Genius 

      21 months ago

      You made some good points in your column, however you are mistaken with your conclusion on patios inception. By now others must of posted what I will say now. Patois came about from slavery by way of our ancestors being forced to speak, Spanish, French or Dutch dependent on you who was doing the slaving from the European class. For Jamaica is was the Spanish and English. So our ancestors from Africa who were brought here in slavery times created this means of communicating among themselves as a means to mask what they were talking about so the slavers did not understand them; primarily the English. Keep in mind they at that time were being forced to speak English as it were for the slave masters to understand them, so patwa from that perspective would be in ingenious thing for our Ancestors. Now if Williams is encouraging for more emphasis is placed on the children in schools to be taught to master speaking and writing English effectively that would more cogent of him. However to argue for the obliteration of patwa is ludicrous. Clive Williams yuh sick ina yuh head asr way?

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      21 months ago from Jamaica

      Glad you enjoyed your visit Pam. Yes, many do speak English and speak it better than even the English, but majority have embraced a broken language.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      21 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Clive, This is certainly a sad part of Jamca's history. I spent a couple of weeks in the Dominican Republic and the people there told me Columbus totally wiped out a whole tribe of Indians.They hate Columbus also.

      I had the pleasre of visiting Jamaca a few years ago. My husband and I loved our visit. Everyone spoke English and they could not have been friendlier. It is a beautiful island. I am sorry there was so many awful years.You spell it out very well in this aticle.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      22 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Clive, I know it is not a made up story. I should have been clearer. It is a story that has happened every place Europeans went to colonize. It is sad and true.

      Hurting people, killing, enslaving and such are not good. Columbus, however, did not do that. Those who came after him did the enslaving.

      I suppose I am a puppet of the queen, then. I respect your article enough to give you a different thought, but I cannot claim that I think the results following all that horror are bad. I love Western culture and all that my ancestors contributed to it. It guides the world. I do not like what happened to the native people or the African slaves and their descendants. On their sacrifices, we stand.

      I have written about this myself, but I do not shame the past. I celebrate the victory of the slave and downtrodden for surviving a society not built for them thought they carved a nitch into it anyway. It is not an honored pasted for them.

      As a traditionalist, I love my Western heritage and will be villainized for it. Acknowledging all the evil that it brought with it, Western civilization changed the world for the better.

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      22 months ago from Jamaica

      You are welcome Paula

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      22 months ago from Jamaica

      Roderick...this is not a made up story. Cruel Columbus documented his very own activities. In his own words, when he came the Natives had no weapons. No sword, no knife.They were very peaceful and quite gullible. This made it easy for Columbus to quickly eradicate them with his sword and other savagery. How do you mean all humanity has benefited from that win? You mean all humanity have become puppet to the queen? please explain.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      22 months ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing this sad and disturbing account.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive I am pondering. This is worth really thinking about. My Navajo buddies come to mind. I will see you again later here. Thank you.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      22 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Clive, this sad tale is true of much of the Black experience in the Western world. I do not agree that the colonists were evil or that all was heaven before they arrived in the places they took. It is human nature for war and conquest, not just pale-faced people.

      The Europeans won. All humanity has benefited from that win. We should honor the lives of those lost to give society the freedoms we have as ill-begotten as they are. It is our duty to take advantage of what the old ones and slaves lost by rising up in prosperity.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      22 months ago from Carson City

      Clive.....Thank you for this interesting education. I admit I knew none of this. My History has always been weak but thanks to our HP site, I am continually learning so much and I'm very appreciative.

      It is so important to know the History of as many countries, people and cultures as possible. It's become clear to me that knowledge such as this article, can make a huge difference in how we all view the world.

      This was a bit sad to learn, but necessary. Thanks again. Paula

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      An interesting but disturbing account of Jamaican history and the language of the people. thanks for sharing Clive.


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