Your hostess and owner, Ma Eugenia, is an industrious and proud indigenous member of the Kalinago community, the Kalinago Territory. Our team comprises Ma and all her children. We work together with her to construct, enhance, beautify and upkeep our cottage. In light of these arrangements, we book visitors on behalf of Breezes Cottage and Ma takes over from the time of your arrival. You may meet any or all of us during your stay. We, YSLE, are all known as one unit, with Ma as owner and chief decision maker.
Our commitment to serve and communicate with our guests is priority. You will be communicating with either one of us at any point in time prior to your arrival. From the time of your arrival, Ma will be your point lead regarding advice and information you may require during your stay.
Breezes Cottage Team Members:
- Ma, Stef, Eve and Lin
MORE ABOUT OUR PEOPLE
The Kalinago Territory was formerly known as the Carib Reserve and the Carib Territory prior to 2015. In February of 2015, a name change from the ‘Carib Reserve’ to ‘Kalinago Territory’ was finally brought to Parliament under the Carib Territory Amendment Act by Kalinago Affairs Minister, Mr. Casius Darroux whereupon it received parliamentary approval and was subsequently passed into law. Dedicated members of our community had long attempted to usher in this important change as a form of honoring our true tribal name and not the name/s given to us by the Spanish conquerors and European record keepers, be they men of the cloth or other. These efforts have finally paid off.
Today, of course, many of us are of mixed descent. Our own personal family lineage has obviously come of the Yellow Caribs and the Black Caribs. This is the ultimate truth after the sum of tribal wars in the Caribbean prior to European discovery, forced and indentured slavery, immigration, globalisation, and the continued movements and mixing of people.
Even prior to the discovery of our island, that which we call Waitubukuli (‘Tall is Her Body’), our name for Dominica, the Kalinago (referred to as the ‘Yellow Caribs’) had fought against and mixed with the Arawak peoples. Thereafter, some of us did the same with runaway African slaves out of which came the ‘Black Caribs’. Since the old colonial days, we continue to mix with others, sometimes back into Yellow or Black Caribs or a mixture of both, a few with the descendants of freed and emancipated African slaves and most recently, little by little, with persons of European, Creole and other mixed descent. Many of our educated tribe members have left our shores seeking more expanded opportunities across the world. In this regard, let us also not forget Thomas ‘Indian’ Warner.
Thomas ‘Indian’ Warner (also called ‘Indian Warner’, ‘Carib Warner’ or Thomas ‘Carib’ Warner), born in 1630, was the son an indigenous Kalinago Dominican female slave and the then British Governor of St. Kitts, Sir Thomas Warner. Sir Thomas acknowledged and treated Indian Warner as his own son, and raised and educated him among his other children. However, after his father’s death in 1649, Indian Warner was supposedly treated badly by his step mother and eventually left her household and fled to Dominica. In Dominica, he took refuge with the Kalinago Indians, learning their traditional ways and was later crowned their Chief of the Kalinago. Since he had good relations with the British, he helped them attack the French settlers in St. Lucia in 1664 when he was 34 years old, by leading 600 Kalinagos to the Island on 17 canoes. He then came to serve as the Deputy Governor of Dominica in 1666 . He worked tirelessly to unite the Kalinago across various islands and also stood up to the colonial powers in our protection. While neighboring islands fell to colonial rule, Warner’s efforts prevented Dominica from succumbing entirely to European control for many years, allowing us to remain free and independent for a much longer time than our neighbors.
Thomas “Carib” Warner met his unexpected death at the hands of his own half-brother, Phillip Warner, then Governor of the Leeward Islands, in a planned ambush, in what became known as the village of Massacre. The ambush and ultimate betrayal of both our Chief and our people resulted in his death and hundreds of our Kalinago people.
Many articles and so-called fact pages report that the Kalinago people in the Territory now number about 3,000 which, strangely, has been so since we can recall. A proper documentation of our indigenous population is overdue. Though a small number of us may have left the territory and the island, even more of us have stayed and populated the territory by many births since.
Our lineage and ancestry however, remains the same and our history precedes all of us, as it does every single human being on earth. As a people, we have lived on the Caribbean archipelago for many thousands of years. As the last defenders of the resistance against the European colonization of the islands, about 400 hundred of our ancestors succeeded the struggle by the late 1600’s. Today, you know about them because of us and a few of our surviving groups scattered in meager communities across the Caribbean. However, those who remained in Dominica did so by using Waitubukuli’s impenetrable interior as our protector. We all try to continue to honour our heritage and the diminished customs which remain with us, as many of them were lost to time, due to the swift decimation of our people via wars made against us using more advanced weaponry and disease brought to our shores by the Europeans and the introduction of non-indigenous languages to our people.
The territory is also part of a growing global village, people wearing the same styles and fashions with few differences, except our unique and changing look and behaviors. Some of us who are particularly dedicated to the preservation of our history and culture, are attempting to revive and carry on some traditions of our ancestors including expert basketry, cassava bread making, and most importantly, the recording of our plant knowledge and medicines as well as what is left of our language. Today we speak French Patois or English as well as a few words of our original language. Despite challenges with poverty, health and education, our community is a unique composite of Dominica and offers many interesting facets to our visitors.
In the Kalinago Territory, our pride is definitely the Kalinago Barana Autê and you will have the opportunity to expand your understanding of Dominica’s first people. This is one way of cultivating deeper interest and respect for our people as the last of our tribe and it goes to support our efforts in this regard, whatever they may be.
We enjoy having visitors to our small but vital community, as whatever activity you participate in or product and service you spend on in the territory, will continue to assist our people in creating better lives for themselves.