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The Spanish Have Landed

Intended for Jamaica exhibition blog series over the next few weeks will focus on some of the objects on display until 24 August at the Library of Birmingham.

The Spanish Have landed, Spanish Jamaica photo by Tracey Thorne

Object 1: The Spanish Have Landed, Columbus Park, Mural, St Ann, Jamaica, Photograph, (2018), Tracey Thorne.  

Xaymaca now known as Jamaica first inhabitants were, the Taíno people, who called the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water". Taino’s, also referred to as Arawaks are the first people known to have settled in Jamaica.

The island was first colonised by the Spanish after Christopher Columbus landed, there on his second voyage to the ‘New World’ in 1494. The island remained a possession of Spain, under the name Santiago, until 1655, when Britain’s naval forces captured it and renamed it Jamaica.

The Spanish brought sugarcane to the island, and started the early sugar plantations, and imported the first African slaves.

Spanish map of Jamaica from Tracey Thorne's collection in Intended for Jamaica

Object 2:  Isle De La Jamaique, Map, copy from Tracey Thorne's Jamaica Collection.

Hand-coloured original copy of this map is currently being exhibited as part of the Intended for Jamaica exhibition at the Library of Birmingham. The finely engraved map of Jamaica made by Joseph De La Porte c 1781, published by Citoyen (Citizen) Berthelon in Paris, for in the "Nouvelle Edition" of the Atlas Modern Portatif.

Both exhibits link to the early development of the adaptation of the Boulton & Watt steam engine for sugar cane milling and interest from Spanish-owned sugar plantations.

Intended for Jamaica exhibition details here

The exhibition was developed as part of an artist research project supported by Arts Council England, by Birmingham photo artist Tracey Thorne.

The Boulton & Watt Collection is held in the city archives at the Library of Birmingham.

Copyright © Tracey Thorne



© Tracey Thorne
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