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Dominica’s Early European Contacts

In 1635 France claimed Dominica along with all the other ‘Petite Antilles’ but no settlement was attempted. Between 1642 and 1650 a French missionary Raymond Breton became the first regular European visitor to the island.

In 1660 the French and English agreed that both Dominica and St. Vincent should not be settled, but instead left to the Caribs as neutral territory.

Dominica was officially neutral for the next century, but the attraction of its resources remained; rival expeditions of English and French foresters were harvesting timber by the start of the 18th century. ~ Wikipedia

Add comment November 24th, 2011 (at 02:05pm) Written by: Chris

Dominica’s Flag

Dominica’s flag showcases the island rich tradition and national symbols. With each element, colour, and symbol on the flag has a specific meaning.

  • The stars symbolize hope, but also represent each of the island’s parishes. Their equality in the circle symbolizes the equality of all people on Dominica.
  • The parrot is the national bird of Dominica and is shown on the flag and the coat of arms. It is a symbol of flying high and encourages islanders to aspire toward their loftiest goals.
  • The stripes symbolize the Trinity, and the cross that they form supports the Dominicans’ belief in God.
  • Red is the color of social justice.
  • Yellow is the color of sunshine and agriculture and is a symbol of the early Carib and Arawak tribes.
  • White represents the clarity of the rivers and waterfalls and the purity of the Dominican people.
  • Black represents the African heritage of many islanders, as well as the soil that supports the island’s agriculture.
  • Dark green was chosen as a symbol of the rich, green landscape, particularly the forests.

Add comment May 1st, 2007 (at 02:02am) Written by: Chris

Dominica Indigenous Tribes

Though Arawak tribes once inhabited Dominica, the Carib (kalinago) Indians either killed them or drove them away. There is an old history myth that the Caribs would eat the Arawak men and would take their wives. But by the time Columbus arrived in 1493 the Caribs were firmly in control of the island. Though many Spanish ships sailed to this island, the Caribs continuously kept any would be settlers at bay.

Originally the Arawak settled on the island was known as the Orinoco, but when the Kalinago tribe of Caribs took control of the island. They named Dominica “Wai’tukubuli” meaning “Tall is her body.”

One of the most interesting things about the eventual European takeover of Dominica is that, unlike on many other islands, the native Caribs still live on the island today, even though the British wipe out large numbers of the tribe. In 2003, Dominica celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the establishment of the Carib Reserve.

1 comment March 8th, 2007 (at 08:15am) Written by: Chris

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