Go to the website to see the slide show. Enjoy!
Many Kalinago members bear a striking resemblance to natives in the Orinoco River Basin of South America because their ancestors are said to have come from that region.
Several years ago, some tribal members raised concerns that the Kalinago’s bloodline was becoming diluted by mixing with outsiders. A heated debate ensued after one chief proposed that the Kalinago only marry each other. The mandate never took off, but it did broaden cultural perspectives. These days, the Kalinago are focusing less on whose physical features seem more indigenous and more on what common life ways bond them together.
Serenity in Survival
Kalinago young people say dressing in their native costumes for special occasions and performances is one of the best ways to reinforce their sense of cultural pride.
Important Marketing Tool
The Kalinago have learned that jewelry, costumes, and headdresses help audiences to appreciate their indigenous roots.
Dancing towards Sustainability
Dance performances like this one are an excellent tourist attraction for Kalinago Village, the single most-important generator of income in Dominica’s Carib Territory.
Bolder and Prouder
Thanks to the 2006 construction of the Kalinago Village cultural center, children like this don’t need to be shy about their identity.
A young Kalinago boy is already learning how to play drums and perform traditional music at Kalinago Village.
Because Dominica is so mountainous and rugged, the Kalinago people were protected from some of the most aggressive years of colonization in the West Indies. On other islands, the vast majority of Carib and Arawak natives were slaughtered, died of disease, or committed suicide to avoid enslavement.
Dominica’s rugged, mountainous terrain has helped to protect native peoples and plants.
The Kalinago have survived in Dominica for thousands of years. Their endurance hinges on breaking the poverty cycle so that future generations aren’t tempted to stray so far from their ancestral lands.
Gage, Julienne. 2010. "Native Island Tribe Redefining Survival: Slide Show". Discovery News. Posted: N/A. Available online: http://news.discovery.com/human/indigenous-kalinago-tribe-survival-dominica.html