Some of Dominica’s wildlife species have been mentioned in poems and short stories, and even feature in kont (Kwéyòl story-telling) and song. Siffleur Montagne’s popular hit of over fifty years ago, “Tout Sa Andan’y” makes mention of several species of our local wildlife such as the siwik or river crab, the crapaud or mountain chicken frog, bégas (sandpipers), zibyé (small birds), sikiyé (bananaquit), mannikou (opossum) and pwéson layvyè (river fish). Also, during the 1990s Gordon Henderson of Exile One fame wrote and recorded a beautiful number on the Rammier or Wanmyé (scaly-naped pigeon). And there are many other examples.
To demonstrate Dominicans further love for our wildlife, quite apart from consuming some species as wild meat, some of the island’s tour operators have also incorporated images of our wildlife (e.g. Sisserou, Jaco, siwik, agouti) in the paintings on the sides and front of their buses, while murals in some schools, the Roseau Cruise Ship Terminal, and even bus shelters have also included local wildlife in the designs. Further, our wildlife has also inspired artistic expression in the form of carvings, paintings, and a wide variety of souvenirs.
But are you aware that some of our wildlife also feature on two of our current legislated national emblems, as well as on the logos of several local organisations/institutions including six (6) sports organisations, one international sports-related organisation, one law enforcement agency, a financial institution, our tertiary education institution, the local cadet corps, a marine-based business, and two of Dominica’s online news portals? Collectively the emblems and logos feature the Sisserou Parrot, the Mountain Chicken, a dolphin (mammal) and an unidentified parrot.
The Sisserou, which has been accepted as Dominica’s National Bird for decades, features on no fewer than nine logos, the Crapaud on two and a dolphin on one. Three of the logos feature two species of wildlife each. Let us take a closer look at those symbols.
Our Coat-of-Arms will be presented first and this will be followed by the fourteen organisations’ logos in alphabetical order.
**Dominica’s Coat-of-Arms, as we all may know, features two species of local wildlife, viz. a pair of Sisserou or Imperial Parrots (Amazona imperialis) supporting the shield – one on either side – and a crapaud/kwapo or Mountain Chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) in the top-right-hand quadrant of the shield. Our Coat of Arms was designed in 1960 jointly by Dominica’s first Chief Minister Franklin A. Baron, British Administrator of Dominica, Colonel Alec Lovelace, and Mrs. Eleanor Lovelace, wife of the Administrator.
**Dive Dominica & Castle Comfort Lodge adopted a logo with the mark (illustration) portraying an underwater scene, with an all-green parrot SCUBA-diving among some marine creatures including fish, sponges, sea fans, etc. The text encircles the illustration.
**The Dominica Amateur Athletics Association (DAAA) has adopted a relatively simple logo with only three elements: the text, a brown structure pointing left, and a Sisserou Parrot perched on a small branch.
**The Dominica Amateur Basketball Association (DABA) adopted its current logo in 2014. The Association’s previous logo featured a caricature of a parrot in colours of green and purple and perched on a basketball rim. And although the current logo also features a Sisserou Parrot, this one is at the centre of the logo which has borrowed other elements from Dominica’s National Flag, viz. the ten lime green stars (but in three different sizes), and the red circle which has been modified somewhat. The current logo is the association’s third and was designed by DABA’s Jerry Williams.
**Stand At Ease! The logo of the Dominica Cadet Corps features a Sisserou Parrot as the central element of the design. The bird is perched with one foot on the handle of an axe and the other on the handle of a spade.
**The central element of the Dominica Chess Federation’s logo is in the form of a shield, but the latter is a “cut out” from around the central portion of the Dominica National Flag, with a portion of the triple-coloured cross and the red circle, which serves as a background to the Sisserou Parrot at the centre, surrounded by the ten lime green stars.
**Like the logo of the Chess Federation, the central element of the logo of the Dominica Fencing Association features a “cutout” of a shield from the National Flag, with part of the triple-coloured cross, the red circle, the Sisserou Parrot at the centre of the logo design and the ten stars.
**Another sporting association which has incorporated local wildlife into the design of its logo is the Dominica Football Association (DFA). The DFA adopted its current logo about two years ago (2021), and the new design features a Sisserou Parrot with outstretched wings, as if lifting off. This, by far is the best representation of a Sisserou among the various logos which incorporated the Imperial Parrot in their design. The current logo, which was designed by staff of the DFA, also includes a football, part of a triple-coloured cross in the shape of a shield, and fourteen stars: ten small golden stars and four larger ones in red. Their previous logo design featured the head of a parrot at the top of the logo.
**Dominica News Online (DNO), which is considered by many to be Dominica’s premier online news, advertising and announcements portal, adopted a logo in which the illustration forms part of the text. The O in DOMINICA is a circular “cutout” from the Dominica National Flag, with part of the triple-coloured cross, the red circle over which is superimposed the Sisserou Parrot and the ten lime-green stars.
**The logo of the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC) features the five Olympic Movement’s rings at the bottom, and above this a pair of Sisserou Parrots each perched on its own branch and jointly supporting a map of Dominica in the centre. At the top of the logo is the text which partly encircles the parrots and the map of Dominica.
**The Dominica Police Force has incorporated one of Dominica’s national emblems – in toto – into its coat of arms, viz. the country’s coat of arms, with the Sisserou Parrots and the Mountain Chicken. The Coat of Arms, which occupies the centre of the logo and the name of the organization is encircled by a thick green wreath, below which is a ribbon bearing the organisation’s motto.
**The Dominica State College (DSC) adopted a logo which features two species of terrestrial wildlife, one of which is currently classified as endangered and the other as critically endangered. The largest element of the DSC logo is a yellow circle over which is superimposed a map of Dominica with a Sisserou Parrot superimposed on the map and in the centre of the logo. To the bottom left and the bottom right of the circle is a Mountain Chicken on either side, each with one foot on the ribbon bearing the College’s motto.
**The Dominica Watersports Association, which is involved more in marine conservation, recreation and tourism than in traditional sports such as football and basketball, has adopted a very interesting logo as its trademark. The logo’s design includes a ship’s wheel in the centre, over which is superimposed a shield of four quadrants with each quadrant displaying some marine recreation activity. To the left of the wheel and the shield is an all-green parrot perched on a twig, and on the other side an unidentified dolphin (mammal).
**The National Bank of Dominica (NBD), which started off in 1978 as the National Commercial and Development Bank of Dominica is currently the largest financial institution in the country, and its logo is one of the most recognizable on the island. The NBD’s logo is in a single colour scheme, viz. mostly forest green. The four words and an abbreviation in the text are on the right side of the logo while the illustration, which is of the same height as the text, comprises a mountain chicken frog inside part of a cog and is to the left of the text. The frog is of a lighter shade of green than the rest of the logo which was designed by Davidson “Bébé” Lugay.
**Nature Isle News (NIN), which came on the scene not very long ago, adopted a logo which presents the illustration on the left and the text (name and motto of the organization) on the right. Once again, the national flag features in the illustration on NIN’s logo, except that in this case the entire flag (bearing the Sisserou Parrot) is shown, fluttering in the breeze, and encircled by a curved twig with two leaves.
The fourteen logos and the Coat of Arms described above give readers an idea of the extent to which Dominicans have incorporated native wildlife – particularly the Sisserou Parrot – and even our National Flag in the designs of their logos. And we take pride in singing the chorus of Jean Lawrence-Matthurine & the Siffleur Montagne’s hit folk song, “O Dominica”: …As we sing of your agouti, Sisserou and manicou… Of your birds and crapaud…
Readers who are not familiar with any of those logos and who would like to see what these look like are invited to conduct searches on Google Images.