Diaspora Connect February 21, 2019 at 01:00 pm

5 Caribbean mother tongues that developed from West African languages

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson February 21, 2019 at 01:00 pm

February 21, 2019 at 01:00 pm | Diaspora Connect


Kromanti is officially the third language in Jamaica.

It is linked to the Maroons who by the 17th century were noted as rebels who freed themselves from slavery and lived far from plantations on their own.

The Kromanti language is directly connected to the Akans of Ghana who speak the Akan language and are from the coast and Ashanti regions of Ghana.

The language was spoken among enslaved Africans in Jamaica. They were later banned from speaking it by their slave masters leaving it to be preserved among the Maroons.

From the 17th through to early parts of the 19th century, the language was spoken as a way of resisting westernisation. Later, it became a way of communication with the African ancestors towards the end of the 19th century.

It is possible the language was named after the Fanti town in Ghana, Kormantse in the Central Region that is very close to Cape Coast. It is where captured Africans were kept until they were shipped to the new world.


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