Carib Reserve: A district on the north east coast now more popularly called the Carib Territory. It is an area of some 3,785 acres bordered roughly on the north by a ravine called Big River, to the west by the centre of the Pagua Valley, to the south by a line leading inland from the Aratouri Ravine and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. This was the rugged unoccupied part of the island to which the majority of Caribs retreated after the colonisation of the rest of Dominica by the French and British. However many other Caribs remained in their previously occupied zones and mixed with the newcomers. For years during the 19th century the district was known as the Carib Quarter. In 1902 the British Administrator Henry Hesketh Bell, influenced by Victorian anthropology and a personal desire to preserve "the last of the tribe", persuaded the British government to give him permission to declare the area as reserved for the Caribs. This was done on 4 July 1903. The plan of the Reserve was based on a tracing of the Byres map of 1776 but no actual survey was ever carried out and there has been continuous controversy over the boundary lines. Bell officially recognised a Chief of the Caribs. In 1952 local government introduced a council system and in 1978 a Carib Reserve Act was passed to further formalise the affairs of the Territory.
Carib: As a place name, there are some areas outside of the Carib Territory that are called Carib as a result of being places which were occupied by Caribs during the colonial period. Pointe Carib between Bagatelle and Stowe was one such place, known to the Caribs themselves as Ouycala. Others were Carib at Pennville and Carib at Delices and Point Carib at Boetica. The Indian River near Portsmouth is so named because of a well-documented settlement of Caribs that existed on the upper banks of the river.
Kaire, (Acaera): For many years this was mistaken to be the indigenous
name of Dominica. It is also claimed by Trinidad. It is the Arawakan word for
"an island". The mistake arose during the second voyage of Columbus
when the Spanish first sighted and named Dominica. When they reached neighbouring
Guadeloupe (Karouacaera), a writer on the voyage, pointing across to Dominica,
asked one of the women what was the name of the first place that they had sighted.
She apparently replied in Carib, "acaera", which, like kaire in Arawakan,
simply means "an island". In his journal the writer noted down "Ceyre
the first [island] we saw but did not visit". This report, based on a mistake,
led to the belief that the island, Dominica, was called Kaire. Some one hundred
and fifty years later Father Breton found out that the Carib name for the island
was actually Ouaitoucoubouli, now written Wai'tukubuli.
Karifuna: (C) The Carib word for Carib women. Father Breton says: "The women are called Calliponam". Some linguists say that this is the name of the Caribs "in the women's language". There is also confusion over the pronunciation of the letters "L" and "P" in the Carib language. In many cases these letters were actually pronounced as "R" and "F" respectively, so Breton's Calliponam may actually be Carifunam, which became Karifuna. The Black Caribs of St. Vincent who were expelled by the British in 1797 to Rautan Island off Belize, and who now live in southern Belize, call themselves the "Garifuna". The main Carib cultural group in Dominica, established in 1978, call themselves The Karifuna Cultural Group.
The main indigenous art forms of the Carib people in Dominica were:
Maho: The Caribs grouped plants according to their uses and any plant
with a bark capable of making rope was described as a "maho". The
French took the word and wrote it in their own way: "mahaut". Since
there were no nails or wire or bolts, everything was tied together with maho.
House posts, roofing thatch, hammocks, head straps for carrying load, for attaching
things to canoes, anchor ropes, net ropes and for hauling, all depended on maho.
As Father Breton writes in his Carib Dictionary, "In short, I do not think
that they could exist without maho". In Western scientific botany the Mahaut
is found in divers plant families: Cordia (Boraginaceae), Pavonia
and Hibiscus (Malvaceae), Triumfetat (Tiliaceae) and Sterculia
Karbay: Also written in French as "Carbet". A term used by the French to describe the main meetinghouse and settlements of the Caribs. The Caribs themselves called this house "Taboui", but the French settlers had picked up the name "Karbay" when they had lived among the Tupi-guarani tribe of Amerindians in Brazil. The French had also brought many Tupi-guarani people from Brazil to work for them in Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. These people used their own language to describe familiar things that they saw in Dominica. Several words that today are passed off as Carib have their origins in the Tupi-guarani language. This word "Karbay" is one of them. It was used so often in the new French/Carib/Tupi-guarani/Creole language that was emerging, that succeeding generations of Caribs abandoned their own word "Taboui" and adopted "Karbay". It has been used for so long by the Caribs, that today it is considered by them to be a Carib word.
The Karbay was a large building, in most cases about 60 feet long and thirty feet wide. It was made of tall round wood posts and was of an oval shape with a tall steep roof. The posts which supported the roof were also used to tie hammocks for sleeping. The roof was thatched with palm leaves or the leaves of "roseaux" reeds.
The young shoots of unopened leaves were used for shampoo. The light, straight, mature upper stems on which the flowers grew were used for the shafts of arrows. The young main stem was stripped and used in certain parts of basket making. The midrib of the leaf is also peeled, bleached and sun-dried to be plaited and sown for the making of hats. Recently, some people have returned to using the main stem of the roseaux reeds as decorative work in hotels, bars and guesthouses. Much could still be made of this product today.
The Karbay was divided into different zones for family hammocks, visitor hammocks
and a central place for gatherings and for eating and feasts.
The Carib/Kalinago music was based on percussion instruments made of wood and
gourds or calabashes. There were no animals such as goats and cattle with which
to make drums and so the main instruments were in the form of wooden gongs made
of hollowed out logs of wood, which were beaten with sticks. The shack-shack
of small calabashes filled with stones or seeds and with a long wooden handle
was also an important instrument. This rhythmic music was accompanied by chants
in the same way that tribes in the Amazon region of South America still perform.
The pottery of the Carib/Kalinago people was painted with earth-based colours that were grinded from red, ochre, white and other earth-toned rocks. Finely ground charcoal was used to make black paint and to darken other colours. All painting represented mythical symbols associated with their beliefs.
Roucou: (C) (Bixa orellana) Annatto, a shrub native to South
America and widespread on the islands. It is used mostly as a vegetable dye
for food. In the past, annatto was used by the indigenous people of Dominica
mainly as a protective ornamental paint and as warpaint on the body. As a body
paint it was sometimes mixed with powdered charcoal to darken its colour. Mixed
with oil it also served as a sun and insect lotion.
Oualloman: (C) The reeds used for making the Carib baskets, tables,
cassava squeezers and other utensils woven by the Caribs. By the time that the
French settlers had Creolized the word, it became l'arouman, the word
that even Caribs use today. The scientific name is Ischosiphon arouma.
The plant is found from the Amazon River, north to Guadeloupe and was brought
to the Antilles by the indigenous people some two thousand years ago. The stems
are cut after having grown to a height of 12-15 feet. They are then stripped
into four segments during which most of the pith is removed. They are spread
in the sun to dry and during this time acquire a reddish brown colour. A black
colour is obtained by putting the strands into mud holes for a few days. Creamy
white strands are obtained by using the underside of the brown strips. Thus
three colours are available for weaving the various traditional basket designs:
brown, white and black.
Kaklin: (C) (Clusia venosa). This is the dominant tree of the Elfin Woodland, found on the highest peaks of Dominica's mountains. It is also sometimes found in the Littoral Forest along the east and north east coast clinging to cliffs and to the sides of ravines. It has thick rubbery leaves, which can withstand the wind and almost constant rain or sea spray. It bears a glossy deep purple coloured fruit. Its hanging aerial roots are used to make the frames of certain types of baskets.
Pottery was made out of clay from different parts of Dominica. Different pots were given different names according to their use.
Canari: A large earthenware bowl made by the Caribs to ferment and store
their cassava beer called ouicou. The original word was Canalli,
which was adapted by the French and Africans to Canari. In Creole it means any
large earthenware pot, but the Caribs had many different names for each type
of pot according to its use. It is also the name of a stream, Layvyè
Canari, at Castle Comfort.
tebou - stone
The dances were representative of the spirit world of ancestors and nature.
Some dances represented hunting and fishing or the stories of the creation of
the Kalinago universe, the constellations of stars and the changes in the seasons.
The dances were choreographed in circles and lines of dancers similar to those
still danced among the indigenous people of South America today. As they danced
they chanted in time with the music and many dancers carried and played shack-shacks
as they danced.
Some Kalinago History
It is probable that bays such as Prince Rupert's were populated by man early as 5 000 BC. We know about the Arawake from their finely decorated pottery chards and also from artifacts on other islands, but about the Caribs of Prince Rupert's Bay we have the more definite reports of Spanish, French and British visitors who called here after 1493.
The Carib villages along the Bay were each made up of a small number of house
with the carbet or communal longhouse in the midst of the dwellings. Reports
indicate that these dwellings were on firm ground out of the reach of the swamps.
Missionaries and other visitors in the 17th century described the giant carbet
of the chief of Ouhayo on the bank of the Indian River.
The men were the fishermen, hunters, warriors, boatbuilders and basket makers.
The women's work was plant, prepare and cook food. They also spun thread, wove
hammocks and made clay vessels for holding food and liquid.
Carib Warner: c1635-1674. The name that was given to the half-Carib
son of Sir Thomas Warner, the English coloniser of St. Kitts. Carib Warner's
name was also Thomas. His mother was a Carib woman from Dominica who was living
in St.Kitts at the time of the English settlement. The boy grew up among his
father's family, but at about the age of thirteen, his father died and his English
stepmother wanted him out of the house. Along with other Caribs he retreated
to Dominica where he rose to be a chief along the west coast in the vicinity
of the present day village of Massacre. He used his knowledge of European ways
and his Carib ancestry to the fullest, playing the French against the English
in an effort to retain Dominica for the Caribs. The English in Barbados favoured
him as an ally and the Governor Willoughby made him a colonel and Lieutenant
Governor of Dominica. In 1666, Carib Warner was captured by the French and imprisoned.
On 9 December the following year, Willoughby procured his release and reinstated
him as governor of Dominica. In February 1668 a peace was agreed between the
English and the Caribs through the medium of Carib Warner. But the English in
Antigua did not see the Caribs in the same light as those in Barbados, and were
angry at continued Carib raids on the Leeward Islands. Carib Warner's English
half-brother, Phillip, led a force against him from Antigua, murdered him and
massacred his village. The French gave the name Massacre to the site.
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