Roseau, Dominica: In order to celebrate the authentic and indigenous culture of the Kalinago community, the government of Dominica hosted the 41st edition of Kalinago Week. The week has been started on September 16 and will continue until September 24, 2022.
Under the theme- of pride in its people and strength in the country, Kalinago Week is majorly focused on constructing resilience via the heritage of the community.
The Kalinago Territory is covered approximately 4.5 square miles on the Northeast coast of Dominica; the Kalinago Territory is communally owned by the #indigenous population of approximately 3500 people.
It is here that travellers can visit the Kalinago Barana Aute, an area that aims to encourage the traditional ways of life of the people, with displays of Kalinago structures, craft making, and traditional cultural performances.
In the Kalinago week, songs were made for celebrations, to tell stories about survival and successes, and so much more. In the culture of the indigenous Kalinago people, dance also plays a vital part, representing different elements of nature and their way of life and some were made for special purposes such as the inauguration of a chief.
Below are a few examples of traditional Kalinago dances:
- The Moon dance – a ceremonial dance of the different phases of the moon
- The Sisserou dance – a celebration, depicting the Sisserou parrot’s movements in flight
- Marouka dance – a dream dance
- Harvest Dance – stages of any crop production
To accompany the dances, traditional musical instruments were used in ceremonies and to communicate with the spirits. They were made mainly from materials found in the environment, such as calabash and seeds for maracas, bamboo sticks for flutes, and goat skin for drums.
When the Kalinago Territory was set aside in 1903, it was uncertain that it would eventually become a portal to the past. Out of the 26 Caribbean countries, Dominica has become the only home for the 3,000 members of the ancient tribe of the Kalinago.