About the People : Discover Dominica, the Nature Island

Who we are

ABOUT THE PEOPLE 

Dominica is a vibrant tapestry of European and African cultures, with the Caribbean’s only remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians. Properly known as the Kalinago, Dominica's indigenous people inhabit a 3,700 acres territory or reserve on the eastern coast of the island. Migrating in waves from South America from as early as the 3,000BC, various tribes made Dominica their home and by 1,000AD were well settled, calling the island "Wai'tukubuli" meaning 'Tall is her body' in the Kalinago language.

Despite fiercely resisting European colonisation for centuries, the Kalinagos eventually succumbed to the disease, greed, and tyranny unleashed by the Spanish, English and French colonising forces. Their grip on the island slowly slipped away with each major European offensive. In 1903, the British Administrator of the time, Heskith Bell, agreed to allocate 3,700 acres to the Caribs, and also officially recognized the Carib Chief with ceremonial adornments and a financial allowance.

Today, approximately 2,200 Caribs inhabit this enclave now known as the Carib Territory.  Potential visitors should shred any delusion of finding a primitive people in grass skirts practicing primordial rituals. There is little to differentiate them for the rest of the population. However it is still possible to acquire a glimpse of their ancestral roots, especially from their craft, canoe building and physical attributes. Certainly, it is common to find outhouses in original tribal design teeming with traditional culinary activity.

 

Kalinago Territory

 


Visit the Kalinago Territory website for more information about the Kalinago people and what to do in the Territory.

 

 

 

RELATED LINKS

Visit www.lennoxhonychurch.com for more information on the history and culture of the Dominican people.