Topics: Carib, Garifuna, Caribbean Pages: 12 (4389 words) Published: April 12, 2011
Carib, Island Carib, or Kalinago people, after whom the Caribbean Sea was named, are a group of people who live in the Lesser Antilles islands. They are an Amerindian people whose origins lie in the southern West Indies and the northern coast of South America. The people spoke either a Carib language or a pidgin, but the Caribs' regular raids on other groups resulted in so many female Arawak captives that it was not uncommon for the women to speak Kalhíphona, a Maipurean language (Arawakan). In the southern Caribbean, they co-existed with a related Cariban-speaking group, the Galibi. They lived in separate villages in Grenada, Tobago, and Dominica. History

The Caribs are believed to have migrated from the Orinoco River area in South America to settle in the Caribbean islands about 1200 AD, according to carbon dating. Over the century leading up to Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean archipelago in 1492, the Caribs mostly displaced, by warfare, extermination and assimilation, the Maipurean-speaking Tainos, who settled the island chains earlier in history.[1] The Carib islanders traded with the Eastern Taíno of the Caribbean Islands. The Caribs produced the silver which Ponce de Leon found in Taino communities. None of the insular Amerindians mined for gold, but obtained it by trade from the mainland. The Caribs were skilled boatbuilders and sailors. They appeared to have owed their dominance in the Caribbean basin to their mastery of warfare. The Caribs were displaced by the Europeans with a great loss of life; most fatalities resulting from Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, as well as warfare. Others were assimilated during the colonial period; a few retained areas such as in Dominica. Small populations survive, specifically in the Carib Territory in northeast Dominica. The Black Caribs (later known as Garifuna) of St. Vincent were descended from group of enslaved Africans who were marooned from shipwrecks of slave ships, as well as slaves who escaped here. They intermarried with the Carib and formed the last native culture to resist the British. It was not until 1795 that British colonists transported the Black Carib to Roatan Island, off Honduras. Their descendants continue to live there today and are known as the Garifuna ethnic group. Carib resistance delayed the settlement of Dominica by Europeans, and the Carib communities that remained in St. Vincent and Dominica retained a degree of autonomy well into the 19th century. As the last known speakers of Island Carib died in the 1920s, the language is considered extinct. [edit] People

Carib people audience with the Dutch Governor in Paramaribo, Suriname, 1880. Because of Dominica's rugged area, Caribs were able to hide from European forces. The island's east coast includes a 3,700-acre (15 km2) territory known as the Carib Territory that was granted to the people by the British Crown in 1903. There are only 3000 Caribs remaining. They elect their own chief. In July 2003, Caribs observed 100 Years of Territory. In July 2004, Charles Williams was elected as Carib Chief[2], who was succeeded by Chief Garnette Joseph. It is said that they are the only remaining full-blood native Carib people, although some have intermarried with the non-Carib Dominican population. Several hundred ethnic Carib descendants live in Trinidad, Grenada, St. Lucia, U. S. Virgin Islands , Antigua & Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Aruba, Barbados as well as in St. Vincent, the size of which is not known. Some ethnic Carib communities remain on the South American mainland, in countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname. The sizes of these communities differ. [edit] Religion

The Carib are believed to have been polytheists. As the Spanish began to colonise the Caribbean area, they wanted to convert the natives to Catholicism.[citation needed] The Kalingo religion practised by the Carib had elements similar to the ancestor worship of the Taino. They...
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