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BOOK
JAMAICA PROVERBS
AND CULTURE
EXPLAINED
ISBN 1899341099
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BOOK
Anancy Stories Book
Companion to the
CD ROM
ISBN 1899341110
Revised edition

JAMAICA TONICS
ISBN 1899341234
£14.99

Phonics Fun
ISBN 1899341129
UK English phonics

CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL

ANANCY STORIES
ISBN 189934117
£9.99 (UK ISBN)
audio CD

THW WOLFS' SHARE

AESOP JAZZY FABLES
ISBN 1899341080
£7.99 (UK ISBN)
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Caribbean Fruit& Veg videos

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Jamaica Proverbs and Culture Explained

Jamaican gang war

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If yuh kyaan ketch Quaco
yuh ketch im shirt.

This is a heavily used proverb, and can be very threatening.
Basically this proverb means, if you cannot exact retribution against the right person, then punish the nearest person related to him or her. So, if a man commits a crime against you and you cannot catch him to punish him, then punish his brother or someone else close to him. The belief that members of a family benefit from one another is at the root of this idea; members of the family share the benefits and the troubles.
This logic when used in the world of Jamaican gangs is alarming. An infringement against one member of the gang is an infringement against all; and every member of the gang will seek revenge. Sometimes violence is organic and unplanned, the revenge is taken whenever an opportunity arises, there may be no urgency about this and an attack can happen after the victim has long forgotten about the original problem. If one gang member infringes against another gang, it as though all the transgressor’s gang were involved, and retribution will be taken out against any member of the gang. This can create an ever-increasing spiral of violence that appears to be random and pointless from outside the gangs involved. The spiral gets wider if a family member or friend (not a gang member) is involved. It may be possible to buy your way out of trouble by paying reparations. Another way to cut the spiral is to prevent anyone from swearing an oath of revenge, or at least if an oath is about to be sworn try to stop it in the first place, or settle the dispute there and then. A system of intermediaries needs to be developed to cool things down, because once the revenge cycle starts it is very difficult for the people involved to stop it by themselves.

JAMAICA PROVERBS
AND CULTURE
EXPLAINED
Second edition £14.99

Hardback book, 320 pages
210 x 160mm with photographs
and illustrations
UK ISBN 1899341099

or order from your local bookshop.
Simply go to the bookshop and quote the ISBN number and title above, then ask them to make a special order (many bookshops will not stock Caribbean culture books, so you need to make a special order).

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other sample pages:
Bird symbolism and Blues dancing
JA Proverbs of Love and Luck
The meaning of Caribbean carnival