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West Indian island, from Taino (Arawakan) xaymaca, said to mean "rich in springs." Columbus when he found it in 1494 named it Santiago, but this did not stick. Related: Jamaican. The Jamaica in New York probably is a Delaware (Algonquian) word meaning "beaver pond" altered by influence of the island name.
Note: It was the leading world sugar producer in the eighteenth century, when a large slave population grew up around sugar plantations.
Note: A British colony from 1865 to 1962, Jamaica then became completely independent.
Note: The country has a high level of poverty.
Note: Tourism is a major industry.