Culture & History
The British Government was forced to defend it's colonies in the West Indies from their foundation from other European Powers. In the 1790's four-fifths of British overseas investment went to the development of it's colonies in the area. For this the government received approximately £31.5 million in taxes and duties. This was further increased by revenue raised from associated trade and commercial activity.
Within the following can be found a list of Army Regiments and Units employed to defend these colonies while under British rule and where applicable the Local Defence Forces raised at independence. This list is not complete and is subject to change.
Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto (formerly known as Toronto International Carnival, also known as Caribana) has been a magnet for Caribbean culture lovers. It is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. In its 44th year it has become a major international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America.
The culture of Jamaica and its people is a result of many International cultures finely blended together that has resulted in one of the most colourful and vibrant nations of people in the world. Both English and Spanish rule has left its mark but also probably most influentially that of the people of Africa that where brought to the island during the slave trade.
Jamaica is a mountainous island of 4,244 square miles (10,991 square kilometers). The Blue Mountains in the east, composed in part of ancient volcanic rock, contain the island's tallest peak at 7,402 feet (2,256 meters). The northern slopes of the Blue Mountains and the nearby John Crow Mountains area completely uninhabited wilderness. Another unpopulated region is the Cockpit Country in the center of the island. A roadless jumble of limestone pinnacles and glades, the region is riddled with spectacular caves. In the west and along the coasts are savannas, plains, and scattered trees.
Jamaica’s ancient history is vague but it is known that before the arrival of colonisers from the west the island was populated by the Tainos a seafaring people that populated many of the islands in what is known today as the West Indies. The Tainos called the island Xamayca meaning land of wood and water.
A spirit of small stature that pelts stones at houses and moves objects within a house. He is supposed to live on banana and milk. Stories abound of the existence of bacoos in Georgetown and other areas in Guyana. Could have come from Surinam and are said to be trapped in a corked bottle unless released. Active mainly at night, it is said that a satisfied bakkoo will answer the wishes of its owner. 'Baku' in many West African languages means 'little brother' or 'short man'. It also is related to the word the word 'bacucu' meaning 'banana'.
Each group in Guyana's multi-racial population brought to Guyana its distinct customs and traditions which, to date, are reflected in the various festivals celebrated throughout the year. Most of the festivals have especial significance to Guyanese regardless of their ethnic origins or religious persuasions. The following are among the most notable of those festivals:
The original inhabitants of the territory were Amerindians. However, to meet the labour needs of the plantation economy, slaves were brought in large numbers during the 18th and early 19th centuries from West Africa to work on the cotton and sugar plantations. When slavery was abolished in 1834 the former slaves refused to work for their former masters, even for wages. They left the plantations and established their own village communities. Immigrants were therefore brought in to work, first from Europe (Germany, Malta and Portugal), then China, and eventually in large numbers from India.
Guyana derives its name from an Amerindian word meaning "land of many waters." The area of the Guianas, bounded by the rivers of the Orinoco in the north and west, the Rio Negro in the west, the Amazon in the South, and of course the Atlantic Ocean in the East, is believed to have been settled before 900 AD by Warrau Indians, and later by the Arawak and Carib tribes. However, there is little archaeological evidence from these times of substantial settlements.
Grenada boasts an ever increasing range of festivals both sporting and cultural in nature. For the sailing enthusiasts we’ve got the Grenada Sailing Festival in January. For music and cuisine lovers we’ve got the Spice Jazz in June. Probably the only country to have two Carnivals every year, stop by Carriacou Carnival in February and Grenada Carnival in August.
The Grenada National Museum is to educate residents and visitors about Grenada, past and present - the land, the fauna and flora, the people, their origins, their technology, their festivals, the events that have shaped their lives. The Grenada National Museum was opened in 1976 by a group of citizens aimed at promoting public participation in museum development. The Museum building was constructed by the French in 1704 as an army barracks.
Around 80 percent of the population is of African descent, the rest being of Asian and European origins. There are traces of indigenous people within the population. Signs of former British rule are all around the island, from red telephone boxes to the smart police officers, but the culture is a combination of influences that reflect its history. The Grenadian love of colour, music and fun comes to the fore during Carnival-time that lasts for several weeks during the summer. Like most West Indians, Grenadians are obsessed by cricket.