9 Jamaican Myths Most People Still Believe

The Jamaican culture is saturated with superstitions and folk customs. They have a “belief” for everything; from birth to death, bad luck and good luck, when you will cry versus when you will laugh. Although recognized as one of the most religious countries in the world, Jamaicans are also highly superstitious, with many having a very thin line between religion and superstition. These beliefs and customs survive generations through verbally and without questioning. 

Here are 9 myths most people still believe; how many do you know?

  1. If you walk over spilled salt, bad luck will follow you

  2.  If you’re going to throw away bread, you must wet it first because “crosses” (bad luck) will follow you if you don’t.

  3. If you cut a baby’s nails with scissors, it makes them light-handed (become thieves)

  4. If you dream about a wedding, it means there will be a funeral and if you dream about a new house it means there will be a death.

  5. A baby’s navel string (umbilical cord) must not be allowed to fall on the floor. It must be buried between three days and a year after birth and a tree planted in the spot. In the event that this “navel string tree”, is destroyed or damaged the child is to be compensated. If the property on which the tree is planted is sold, a new tree is to be planted using a sucker from the original tree.

  6. If you open an umbrella over your head under a roof you’ll never get married.

  7. If your right eye twitches (or is jumping) you are going to laugh but if your left eye twitches, you will hear bad news or something will make you cry.

  8. When you lose a tooth, throw it on the rooftop and say ‘rat rat, take me old teeth and gimme a new one’

  9. If while pregnant a woman scratches any part of her body while having craving a particular food, it is believed the baby will have a mark (birthmark) in the same spot, resembling the food the mother craved.