The Igbo People of Jamaica (Igbo/Patois Language)

Did you know about the Igbo People of Jamaica?

Igbo people were taken in relatively high numbers to Jamaica as slaves, so it’s no surprise that there’s some Igbo language in the Jamaican Patois language.

Never heard about the Igbo People of Jamaica? There is a group of people in Jamaica called “Red Ibo” because of the light skinned nature of the original Igbo slaves.

The “Red Ibo” or “Red Eboe” was used to refer to the Igbo slaves in Jamaica because of their light skin. Igbo slaves were also distinguished physically by their fair or “yellow” skin tones. Today, in Jamaica, “red eboe” is used to describe people with light skin tones with African features.

Originating primarily from the Bight of Biafra in West Africa, Igbo people were taken in relatively high numbers to Jamaica as slaves, between 1790 and 1809 during the transatlantic slave trade. Besides Virginia, Jamaica was the second most common disembarkation point for slave ships arriving from Biafra.

During this period, the culture and language of the Igbos diffused into the Jamaican culture. One of the major results of this diffusion is the infusion of some Igbo words into the Jamaican Patois.

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