Kalinago History (Carib)

kalinago traditional cabin

At first glance, the Kalinago (formerly known as Carib) territory, 3700 acres, seems like any other part of Dominica, but this special place has a different feel to the rest of the island.

The Reserve has about 3000 inhabitants, who are descended from the island’s first settlers, and the majority live in simple homes and generally work the land and the sea. Unlike other Dominicans, who are of African descent, the Kalinago pople have South American blood in them, and have a different appearance to the rest of the population, with jet black straight hair, and amazingly beautiful eyes. No Carib owns any of the land, rather, the whole territory belongs to them all, and they organise themselves through their tribal council. The ancient Kalinago language is slowly dying out, and is only spoken by very few of the older generation.

A visit to the area is an interesting cultural experience; you will see some of the most incredible crafts in the world, including ornate wood carvings and carefully woven wicker baskets ; an ideal place to find some gifts for your friends, ensuring the actual craftsman benefits from the sale, rather than middle men not from the reserve.

In 2002, Adam Sanford became the first Carib to play test cricket for the West Indies team, a moment cherished by all Dominicans.

L’escalier de TĂȘte-Chien, a snake-like rock formation protruding into the ocean, and the horseback ridge are amongst the places of interest well worth visiting during your stay in Dominica.

The new Kalinago (traditional name for Carib) model village in Bataca is also well worth a visit.

If you would like to learnb about Kalinago Carib Indian building techniques,come and see our Kalinago structure which is our eco education centre.