The first attempt by Christopher Columbus to chart a direct trading route from Spain to India was blocked by land previously unknown to Western Society. Assuming the possibility of sailing due east, rather than around the horn of Africa to reach India, Columbus ran into the West Indies of the Caribbean "discovering" the New World. This accidental initial contact in 1492 would set into motion monumental events in world history. For the next three centuries conquest, slavery, and colonization would create a blending and clashing of Native, European, and African cultures in this area of many islands and coastlines of South America, Central America, and North America. New cultures were created through the mingling of separate cultures due
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They carried over their religious ideologies, languages, and musical traditions. Due to the system of slavery which denied individual rights and expression, slaves were forced to recreate subcultures and sub-societies as a means to survive and to keep an idea of self. The African experiences coupled with the European cultures that were both forced on the enslaved Africans and adopted through centuries of osmosis.
Christianity was the religion of the European slave holders in Haiti and Jamaica. The slaves were for the most part denied the opportunity to openly practice religion, specifically former practices from their past. When religious access was allowed, only Christianity was acceptable. During the era of slavery, Haitian and Jamaican slaves maintained African belief systems, practicing in secrecy from their masters. The ideologies and theologies were formed piecemeal from general beliefs and traditions out of their scattered African origins. The Vodou tradition and the Rastafarian movement are final result examples of this molding of influences.
In Haiti, this can be seen in the formation of the Vodou tradition during the slave centuries. The Jamaican example is a bit convoluted. Myalism arose under slavery, and then post emancipation, Pocomania, Kumina and Revivalism existed. The Rastafarian movement sprang forth in the