XAYMACA 2009: Expo on Life in Spanish Jamaica 1494-1655

The competition between European nations for wealth, power and religious dominance in the New World began in the 15th Century. Advances in cartography, navigation and shipbuilding fuelled the desire to find new trade routes, gold and spices. Ultimately, this led to the discovery and conquest of lands previously undreamt of.
The Spanish monarchs, King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella, joined in the pursuit of supremacy via the seas in 1492 by supporting the expeditions of Italian-born seaman Christopher Columbus. Their goal was to find trade routes to the east that were unknown to their European rivals and to acquire the much desired gold and precious stones to be found in Asia. However, what their expeditions discovered was far removed from their original intentions.
Featuring the magnificent stone sculpture from New Seville, original Taino and Spanish objects plus reproductions of navigational tools and documents from the period of the Spanish control of Jamaica, XAYMACA: Life in Spanish Jamaica 1494-1655 tells the story of the Spanish experience in Jamaica from the time of Columbus’ arrival in 1494 until the time of the island’s complete conquest by the English in 1660.

The full-colour catalogue features articles by Professor Patrick Bryan of the University of the West Indies, Dr. Robyn Woodward of Simon Fraser University and Dr. James Robertson of the University of the West Indies. The exhibition has been curated by Dr. Rebecca Tortello and Dr. Jonathan Greenland.

XAYMACA: Life in Spanish Jamaica 1494-1655 has been made possible through the support of The Embassy of Spain in Jamaica, The Jamaica National Heritage Trust, The Ministry of Culture of Spain, The Archive of the Indies, Seville, The Museum of America, Madrid, The Jamaica Archives, The National Library of Jamaica, The Museo Naval, Madrid, and The Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports.

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