Carib of Dominica - History and Cultural Relations



Prior to European domination of the Caribbean, the Carib frequently captured Arawak women, who retained much of their own language and culture as Carib wives. With the importation of slaves into the region, many Africans were incorporated into island Carib populations. French Catholic missionaries lived with the Carib beginning in the seventeenth century but claimed very few converts. In this same period, Carib raiding parties from Dominica attacked early White settlements on other islands, in some cases inflicting heavy casualties. Spanish slavers captured some Carib, and European soldiers attempted to exterminate Carib populations on various islands, including Dominica. Eventually, the Carib either died out on other islands, were transported elsewhere, or resettled in Dominica. In the late 1700s, after two centuries of hostile relations with Europeans, the small remnant Carib population on Dominica was generally ignored by the planters who had settled on the west coast. There was far more interaction between the Carib and African Maroons who lived in the interior. By 1850 Carib culture was generally similar to that of other rural Dominicans. Today Carib language and lifestyle are nearly indistinguishable from that of their Creole neighbors.

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