The Carib

In Politics on September 12, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Here’s a snippet from a BBC News story that I found interesting:

Chief Charles Williams of the Carib – or Kalinago – people of Dominica said they should not marry non-Kalinago people.

“The impact of colonisation has been so strong on us that if we do not take steps to protect the race, it will be soon extinct,” he said.

Extinct is a word that the academics who study this people would never use, but Chief Williams has little doubt that the Kalinago could be in danger of disappearing altogether.

High ambitions

The Carib were famed for their skills as sailors and warriors and gave their name to the Caribbean Sea.

There are now about 3,000 tribal members left on the island, which has a total population of some 70,000 – and the chief’s radical views have found support amongst other leaders.

“Well, for some people this is a ticklish issue,” says Miranda Langlais, who refers to herself as the Kalinago’s cultural queen.

She, like several of the elders, thinks that the Kalinago women hold the key and are to some extent to blame for the tribe’s woes.

“You go out there, you see a nice white guy and you fall in love,” says Miranda, talking about the young Kalinago women who have left or have married non-Kalinago men.

“You have to stick to your people, you have to stick to your traditions and that’s the only way.”

Check out BBC News if you care to read this piece in its entirety. Sorry, there’s no link to take you to the story. I was experiencing glitches of sort.  – MJ


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