March 5, 2006

Carib Country
Sandy Bay (St. Vincent), St. Vincent and the Grenadines

I'm learning a lot about Caribs, the Beliezian people who were among the first to settle the island.

Amazingly, up until about 25 years ago, any non-Carib who traveled north past Georgetown into these villages was liable to be killed (especially black men seeking to date Carib women). Maintaining the purity of the populous was a big deal, until the last chief died about 25 years ago. Today, the once pure Carib towns/villages are inter-racial, open to all.

You can generally recognize a Carib by their height (short), hair (very long and dark, regardless of age), and skin tone (a lighter brown). I'm curious to know if their unique language came with them originally, or if it was born here.

National Heroes' Day

Every March 14th the northeastern villages officially celebrate National Heroes' Day (NHD), commemorating the efforts of a Carib man who fought off conquering foreigners many years ago.

I attended a big pre-NHD concert tonight, commiserating the event. I'm sure I really stuck out there, the only white guy among several hundred. I believe I ate the pig snout in the proper fashion though. :)

Fun Knowledge

Breadfruit

Breadfruit and salt fish (salted fish meat that has been laid out in the sun to rot/dry) is a true local dish, and is absolutely delicious. I've never had or even heard about breadfruit before—it's horrible and embarrassing how many of the dozens of fruits and veggies growing here I know nothing about. For example, golden apples are oblong and about the size of a fist, have the inner-coloration and taste of a mango, but blended with an amazingly sweet apple taste—I could eat a hundred of 'em!

An interesting bit of trivia: true Rastafarian's are vegetarians.

Ben tells me you can buy a plot of land here big enough to put a home slightly larger than his upon, for a cool $5,000 EC (about $1,900 US). If a huge hurricane 20 years ago didn't turn the coast into sand-less rock, I would dog ear this place as a nice little spot to build a secluded home.

…Wow! St. Vincent has fireflies! A wonderful childhood memory from the east coast, I haven't seen them in well over a decade. Called "la-bells" in the Carib tongue, or "candleflies" commonly, it's fantastic to see them—I feel like a fascinated kid again.

Comments:

Anonymous

May 2nd, 2009

Dear traveler,

Thank you sooooo much for your info and photos, they are just a joy!!♥ My Grandmother is from Sandy Bay has only a few black-and-white photo's to us from the 50's and seeing here childhood home in colour and in the present means a lot! Thank you very much!!

Natalie Brown (Scotland)

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