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Some of Belisario's Jamaicans

from the 1830s

The most familiar Belisario scenes are of set girls and jonkunnu, but he also did several pictures of ordinary Jamaicans going about their everyday business; some of these are shown below. 

It seems strange to see a picture of a chimney sweep in Jamaica, but a look at the picture shows that the kind of chimney he was sweeping was that of a wood-burning, cooking fire on the outside of a home. The chimney, covered at the top to protect the fire from heavy tropical rain, was not very tall. This meant it could be cleaned with brushes alone; it was not necessary to send children up the chimneys to clean them, as was the horrifying practice in Britain at the time.      

         Click here for enlarged view

Kingston's inhabitants were required by law to clean their chimneys frequently, a very necessary provision in a city of wooden structures and shingled roofs. Kingston was nonetheless devastated by fire several times in the 19th century.

The chimneysweeper called out "Sweep, Sweep, O, Sweep; here I am, nobody notice Country Law, King-Warrant, Queen-Warrant" as he walked the Kingston streets. "Queen-Warrant" had been added to the cry with the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, the year in which Belisario published his prints.

This particular chimneysweeper had apparently worked some years before at washing clothes.

An elegant sausage-seller
Jamaica, 1830s


                       Click here for enlarged view

                                     Click here for enlarged view

Yesterday People

Thursday, March 30th, 2023, 1:52 pm

Click here for larger views of the pictures