Call for rewriting of Kalinago history

The Kalinagos were the first inhabitants of Dominica

Minister for Kalinago Affairs Casius Darroux has issued a challenge for local historians to rewrite the history of the Kalinago people, the nation’s first inhabitants. 

He made this call at the opening ceremony of the Dominica Festival of Arts (DOMFESTA) at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on May 3 during which the second edition of a magazine on Kalinago Heritage was released.

Kalinago Heritage Vol. 2 covers various aspects of Kalinago heritage including architecture, language, cuisine, carnival and education.

Copies of the magazine were presented to schools and libraries of the Kalinago Territory.

“With the renaming from Carib to Kalinago is a significant stride in presenting the true identity of the Indigenous people and the commencement of retelling the Kalinago history…I, therefore, challenge the local historians to start focusing on and rewriting of the original people’s history,” Darroux said.

He said however that while the magazine documents aspects of the rich cultural heritage which were not published in previous volumes, there are other aspects to be told.

“I believe that there are other significant aspects of the Kalinago culture yet to be documented such as survival skills, traits, withstanding the elements, and understanding, and preserving of Mother Nature,” Darroux stated.

The Minister also mentioned that the knowledge and traditions of the Kalinago people form an important element of Dominica’s culture today.

“The Kalinago People over the past years have made an important and significant contribution towards the culture and heritage of this beautiful country Dominica but not only in Dominica but also in the wider Caribbean basin,” Darroux said.

Meanwhile, Cultural Projects Officer, Gregory Rabess, said work on the magazine on Kalinago Heritage began three years.

“The magazine covers various subjects as architecture, language, cuisine, Carnival traditions, education, places of ecological or heritage interest, ritual baths and much more,” he explained.

He noted that several authors such as Prosper Paris, Cozier Frederick, Gerard Langlais, Fustulus Frederick, Miranda Langlais, Francois Barrie, Dr. Lennox Honychurch and himself, Gregory Rabess contributed to the content of the magazine.

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  1. Long Lost Dominica
    May 7, 2017

    whats the point of a book when they are presently here and not being treated like how important they are? Bull !!! help their present state instead of trying to make money off there pass struggles…

  2. mamzel
    May 7, 2017

    i strongly agree with Mr. Darroux. It is high time. However- no one can write or tell your story like you can. The white man wrote about from his prospective , fulfilling his own motive and evil agenda.

    The history books that Kalinago children are taught from must and should be banned. History which call evil thieves like Francis Drake “admirals, Sir, Lord etc” , while calling the Kalinago people “savages and carnibals”

    Even in this year’s high school work – Kalinago children were given a homework assignment – where they had to pretend to remain from exploring the west indies and give a report to the queen from the “explorer’s” prospective. This is so wrong on every angle – i inform the student to not do it

    May 6, 2017

    Carib territory or reservation. Name change to protect the innocent from what. Caribs enjoy your best years and be quiet. We no longer hear of the carib chief instead we got Darrous.what become of the chief. Whilst we are at it, Think of the SEA, River and Wind. The snake has no horns that does not mean it is not dangerous.

    May 6, 2017


  5. LifeandDeath
    May 5, 2017

    Good call Cassius..where can this magazine be bought ?..

    May 5, 2017

    Hon Casius Darroux is the outstanding elected member of the Salybia Constituency. JOSHUA FOR PM 2 lamented that Darroux had to seek permission from the Kalinago Council before he raised the issue of the reserve name change into Kalinago . I will take your Carroted bait by telling you that this is the quintessential of rubbish . The past name was an offence to our cultural heritage and having it removed needed no form of consultative process . It is as sickening as seeking to offer an explanation to a victim of a sexual assault as to why it happen and why the victim shouldn’t pursue litigation even if she isnt statute barred to bring more charges.

    As a Kalinago I respect and admire Doctoral Student Casius. We Trust and believe in him. He is following in the great Darroux and Graneau tradition . Great development has come to our Community and the Dominica Labour Party must be commended. Our History has to be rewritten. We must be guarded against those who abuse Kalinago kids.

  7. Ibo France
    May 5, 2017

    The history of the indigenous people of the Caribbean has been grossly distorted by European historians . Factual accounts of the lives of these survivalists need to be easily accessible and ubiquitous. For these gentle people to survive the horrendous onslaught brought upon them by the barbaric acts of a villainous group of people is a testimony to the spirit of their remarkable resiliency. Let’s not treat them like exhibits but like all other human beings who have goals and aspirations to fulfill their truest potential. Their survivability and very existence is a phenomenal thing.

    • Dominican
      May 5, 2017

      Ibo, how about our own Afircan legacy with regard to the Kalinago people. Did we not play part in their history? We shoudl speak up also and be honest about ourm involvement.

  8. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    May 4, 2017

    The Arawaks are extinct. They were the first inhabitants. Who will be writing about them and how they became extinct and by whom?

    • IV CALL
      May 5, 2017

      I kill em all – What more? :twisted:

      May 6, 2017

      read the history of Hispaniola, Cuba and Puerto Rico… Columbus killed them all. they warred with Caribs but it wasn’t the Caribs who decimated their population in the Caribbean that is what Europeans wrote. Also if you look at DR and Puerto Rican people they are the mixed descendants of Arawaks.

  9. Joshua for P M #2
    May 4, 2017

    While Cassius Darroux seem to have now recognize the need to rewrite our History,as indigenous people i would like to class his call as too little too late, first , Cassius mentioned the name change from Carib to kalinago, as the parliamentary representative he did not have the courtesy to consult with his people not even the council the administrative body the governing body of the kalinago people was consulted before going to parliament to present a name change.
    He should also know that the kalinago cultural hub is soon to be launched, where our history culture spirituality, sports among others will soon be launched, and the write ups is done by local contributors.

    May 4, 2017

    I must commend Tina Alexander , the rank and file members of the Police Service stationed in the Reserve, Hon Casius Darroux and all genuine Kalinago for the advancement of these our progressive people. I fully endorse Darroux’s call to rewrite our very proud History. We also have to purge ourselves from dementia prone – smooth talking – opportunistic elements in our occasional midst. We have to fight against INCEST and economic based sexual exploitation and substance abuse in the Territory .
    The rewriting of our History must examine current dysfunctional trends and try to establish a causal agent. I know many who have long suffered sexual abuses at the hands of a once trusted family member yet years have not healed such MAJORKEY UNMINOR SCARS.Darroux’s efforts and that of Baron and even the past Senator and the Granneau Brothers must be critical in seeking a resolution platform to some of the uneasy and disquiet aspect of that HISTORY. WHATSAPP is a device but info-source is known.

  11. jaded
    May 4, 2017

    History needs to refute the allegations that the Kalinago people were cannibals and warlike.

    • Ibo France
      May 5, 2017

      Very true Jaded, we must disabuse people of those very erroneous and demeaning accusations. How could a people who were do welcoming when these complete white strangers landed on their land be cannibals and war-like? To justify their horrifying and unspeakable crimes committed against these kind and generous people, the white Europeans felt compelled to distort the truth.

  12. May 4, 2017

    We need some good books to refute the world’s claims about Columbus discovering our island. Fake history!

    • Cowboy
      May 5, 2017

      Columbus discovered a route to the islands from Europe. That is the accurate way to write the history. He certainly did not the first human to discover it since it had been inhabited by man for several centuries before.

  13. May 4, 2017

    It is very important to keep our Kalinago culture and traditions alive. And what better way than documenting the survival and resilience of the people than in print and media? It’s a great suggestion.

  14. May 4, 2017

    Would love to read a comprehensive book about our nation’s first peoples.

  15. Titiwi
    May 4, 2017

    It would appear that Hon. Darroux is not familiar with previous anthologies on the subject and I would refer him, and others, to the well-researched publication “Wild Majesty” edited by Peter Hulme and Neil Whitehead and published by Clarendon Press in Oxford (1992). This publication is full of interesting historical- & cultural reference data incl. those of father Raymond Breton and the incorrigable bon-vivant Jean Baptisite Labat (better known as Pere Labat) It is a veritable mine of information and I thoroughly recommend it. We should indeed learn more about the history of the original in habitants of our island home. We owe it to them, if not ourselves.

      May 4, 2017

      Lennox H History of Dominica never speaks of the Caribs as the First Settlers Of Dominica ; there were many who came before them not only here but throughout the Americas . The Kalinago nation ought to be more correctly described as the last remaining survivors . Anthropological research within our region speaks evidentially of a quasi – nomadic African presence long before the Kalinago’s onset. Is it incidental that one can see the lexicographic similarity between NEGRO and NAGO in KaliNAGO ? The Kalinago is bio-hybrid link to some tribal groupings in Africa . DNA has confirmed this. The Mayanian- African heritage is undisputed so to is the definitive familial ties that exists between our Kalinago and racially composite groupings in Venezuela.I must commend full bloodshed Casius Darroux on his foresight and brilliant and honest leadership . We have an industrious , and effective MP whose reputation is untainted. Our MP has held up our tribal name high up and is a national rollmodel.

  16. stupendous
    May 4, 2017

    Again myopic thinkers nothing creative nothing new. we have heard the same old rhetoric over and over again. However I wish them the very best in their endeavours

  17. IV CALL
    May 4, 2017

    They nice, eh!!! But why are they so far from Roseau? Would cost me a full tanka gas to go see them.

    • derp
      May 4, 2017

      because their land was stolen and they are pushed in the east coast in a corner Waitikubuli is theirs they are the real people of this land…

    • amindom
      May 5, 2017

      IV CALL, you need a different vehicle with better mileage. It is worth the trip. Cannot move the territory. lol

      • IV CALL
        May 5, 2017

        :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: True dat

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