Kalinago (Formerly Carib Indians)
indigenous people - properly known as the Kalinago - were the original
inhabitants of our island and have a 3,700 acre Territory on Dominica's
The present Carib chief is Charles Williams, elected in July 2014.
For more detailed information, please visit KalinagoTerritory.com
Dominica's First People live on a 3,700 acre Territory
on Dominica's east coast that was set aside for them in 1903. They number
approximately 3,000 and elect their own chief who holds the position
for 4 years.
Besdies the warm and friendly people, other attractions in the
Kalinago Territory include its many craft shops, the L'Escalier Tete
Chien, Horseback Ridge and Isulukati Falls, as well as the Karifuna
Don't miss a Kalinago tradition - casava bread. Be sure to stop at a bakery and sample this wonderful bread which is made from the local cassava roout and often flavoured with coconut and ginger.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed
in Dominica with his men and his ships in search of gold
and fortune. To his dismay, he found only rivers, rich
volcanic soil, mountains and the Caribs (now called the Kalinago)! The Caribs had
settled on Dominica, but their ancestors had come from
South America: down the Orinoco river and then up the
Caribbean Sea where they settled on the most rugged of
the islands in order to protect themselves from enemies.
The Caribs welcomed Columbus and his men and in return
Columbus worked them, almost to the verge of extinction.
There are only 3000 Kalinago remaining
after years of brutal treatment by the Spanish, French
and English. They live in eight villages on the East Coast
of Dominica. Collectively, these villages are called the
Kalinago Territory. The Kalinago have their own chief and also
a representative in the house of assembly. They tend to
keep to themselves and their culture has remained very
much unchanged compared to other areas of the island.
They reputedly use 300 different herbs for medicine --
some of the best bush doctors hail from the Territory.
Dances, traditions, legends, and beliefs have been kept
alive by the elders who pass on theses traditions through
Story-Telling. The language is only spoken by a few people
today but their dances are being performed by Karifuna,
their dance group.
The Kalinago Territory is well worth
a visit. It is almost spiritual how one is flung Centuries
back into a cool, calm place with the most beautiful group
of people, amidst the straw huts and baskets made by the
best artisans. You might never want to leave but you would
have to unless you could prove that you have Carib Ancestry!
Cultural Group is made up of individuals from the Carib
Territory who are preserving traditional Carib dance, music
Anniversary of the Carib Territory
Dominica's Caribs celebrated 100 years of the Carib Reserve
in June/July 2003 with the following activities:
||Art and Craft
Exhibition - Sineku Resource Centre
||Lecture by Dr.