In 1845, a decade after Jamaica’s Emancipation, the Indians arrived as indentured labourers. They brought mangoes, spices such as curries to the island.
The Indians were the first to successfully grow rice, and established a rice mill in the 1890s in Jamaica. They introduced several plants and trees – the most common being the ‘coolie’ plum, mango, jackfruit and tamarind trees.
Do you know that some Indians are referred to as ‘coolie’ in the Jamaican dialect?
Curry goat and roti dishes, originating with the Indians remain a popular Jamaican favourite. The Indians even taught about stewing some fruits and making pickles from others such as mango and jimberline.
Mango season is highly anticipated each year by Jamaicans who make preparations by “wash yu pot and tun it dung’ (put away cooking pots) to feast on a bountiful supply of the ripe fruits.
Scotiabank Calender 2010
Jamaica National Heritage Trust website