Dominica Creole Heritage

Islander
Staff
Art & Culture | October 29, 2009 | Comments 1

The Caribbean people in particular Dominica has a culture that is rich. It is very much intertwine and complex to understand since it has been brought about by amalgam of influences gathered together over hundreds of years.

Dominica has been the home land of the Amerindians Caribs [Kalinago] and Arawaks . The arawaks soon vanish due the bitter fights put-on by their rivals the Caribs. The Caribs then were driven by the early European settlers to the inertia of Dominica since they were no match to the advance killing machines of the early European settles.

Slavery was then introduced to Dominica and after European began cultivating the lands and realized the need for slave labor. The triangle trade(slave trade) was then introduce as slaves were taken from West Africa to work on plantation here in Dominica.

After the establishment of slavery many of the x slaves cultivated lands and become subsistence farmers and had families of which we are a part of in many ways.

The British and the French fought bitter wars over the control of Dominica repeatedly and eventually after last being captured by Great Brittan. Dominica its self eventual escaped colonization from Great Brittan in November 3rd 1978

From October 28 (or last Friday of October) Creole day the atmosphere is fill with activates from Cultural events all over the island, to dances fete’ and culminates on the last day of Creole Muzic Festival.

On November 3rd Independence day [National Holiday in Dominica] we have national parade. This parade is normally held in Roseau and comprise of Police officers performing military still match.

All this past history has significantly impacted and imparted Dominica bring a rise of a new culture which we call “Creole” with means a collage or culture. From our brief tour here in our history we see our true Creole heritage came to life.

Many influences have remained and continue to shape our   culture as we know today.

Here are just a few. We invite you to share yours with us!

  • Language: certain phrases are still used  like Jombi[an evil spirit], Akra[fitters], Yam Suc-Suc, Soucoya, Obeah[voodoo or at act of doing evil on a person].
  • Dance: The Bele and quadrille etc. were also transferred to our culture from west Africa.
  • Song /Music: The drums and rhythm associated with the drumming along with the method of construction of the drums all has the origins in Africa. Including songs with Call and responses , which are known as “lavway” used in bele , carnival.
  • Foods / herbal medicines: Foods like yams, ackras   all has their origins from Africa and were handed down to us from our ancestors.(Still in Dominica you hear about bush-tea to cure colds, fever and all sorts of maladies).

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