Message by the Commonwealth of Dominica Kalinago Chief
The Kalinago People are the last surviving indigenous population in the Eastern Caribbean. During the times of Christopher Columbus, the Kalinagos mounted strong resistance to the efforts of European explorers who were attempting to colonize Waitikubuli, the island-nation that is today known as Dominica. As a result of these efforts, Kalinagos were branded as “Caribs,” meaning savage cannibals, by European explorers. Colonization eventually drove the Kalinagos to a small part of the Eastern coast of the island where the terrain was rugged and provided safe harbor for the Kalinago People.
Today, this area, known as the Kalinago Territory, remains the present day home of our people. Since colonization, the Kalinagos have resisted efforts at oppression, assimilation, and annihilation. Today, the Kalinago People struggle to hold on to their traditional way of life, culture, and institutions in the face of advancements in technology and globalization.
The Kalinago Barana Aute (KBA), or the Kalinago Village by the Sea, which houses many of the traditional structures of the Kalinago People, serves a vital role in allowing our people to preserve and celebrate our traditional customs and way of life. Many traditional ceremonies and community meetings are still held today at the Kabet situated at the KBA, and our tradition of Kalinago craft making continues to be a daily activity at the site.
The Kalinago Village by the Sea presents you with a unique opportunity to experience the life of the Kalinago People – that of yesterday as well as today – and provides a unique glimpse into the history and culture of our resilient people whose history has been grossly misrepresented and whose contributions to the development of Dominica have been overlooked and undervalued.
Come and experience our Kalinago way of life.