By Ibrahim EL Kazaz<br />Caribbean Islands Week 2<br />
Culture Part 1 <br />The Caribbean culture has been mainly perserved by common people not historians like artists, farmers, merchants and traders.<br />The culture in the Caribbean Islands is very close to Egypt’s culture; so diversified because of the location and the many countries taking over. <br />Barbados, a former British colony, retains enough British traditions to be called "Little England." Antigua, while offering a more laid-back attitude, still observes old British customs. On the other hand, Jamaica retains few of the colonial customs, relies heavily on pre-colonial heritage and is passionately self-sufficient. Jamaica also boasts a successful democracy and maintains a peaceful existence in the Caribbean. Its residents run the gamut from staid English aristocrats to vibrant Rastafarians. Aruba, once a Dutch possession, only retains slight Dutch influence today. The U.S. Virgin Islands, purchased from the Dutch in 1917, mainly have an American feel with a few lingering elements of Dutch culture. The Dominican Republic is largely underdeveloped except in the capital of Santo Domingo, a city teeming with two million people. It is a sparsely populated, mountainous country whose past is riddled with political turmoil. In contrast, nearby Puerto Rico is the most modern island in the Caribbean. Spanish and American influences are apparent throughout this island abounding with high-rises and traffic. Guadeloupe remains a French possession. There are some African influences here, but French customs, culture, and language prevail.<br />
Culture Part 2<br />They speak creole languages which are languages that are a mix between African Languages and European Languages. Which started because slaves couldn’t communicate with their masters therefore they came with this<br />Derivations include French Creole, with regional dialects in Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Dominica and French Guyana and a Dutch, Portuguese, English and African blend; and Patwa in Jamaica.<br />The Caribbeans are affected by the african heritage in many ways which include spiritual practices like Junkanoo in the Bahamas, Santeria in Cuba, Voodun in Haiti, and Rastafari in Jamaica.They also get Reggae music and jerk cooking from Africa.<br />In the Caribbeans people love music and dancing. Almost everywhere people are dancing which in the Caribbean is an energetic melding of lower-carriage movement, shuffle-stepping, and swaying hips. Their culture is not the only thing that is diversified also their music.<br />
The Natives- The Taíno Part 1<br />The Taíno were the native tribe in the Caribbean when Columbus and the Spanish settlers arrived. They were very kind and generous to them.<br />They had many peculiar life choices these included: they tied boards to their childrens heads to keep their skulls tougher, their clothes were made from palm leaves, flowers and short cotton skirts, they thought thievery was the worst crime ever and should be punished for very harshly.<br />Columbus thought they had much more gold than they really had even though they received gold from central and south America but they traded them for beads and trinkets with the Spanish.<br />Taíno huts were designed with a tall pole in the center and smaller poles around it, and walls were made of wild cane that was tied together, while the roof was a grass and palm leaf thatch. They could hold up to hurricane-strength winds. Inside the huts there were hammocks and stools.<br />The Taíno leaders were called"caciques" and they would live in the largest of these huts. Most often a cacique's hut would be rectangular instead of circular, differentiating this leader's home from the others.<br />They ate mostly seafood and fruits. Each gender and age had his or her own role to play in the growth of these important plants. They invented some of the most efficient and complicated fishing and hunting methods.<br />
The Natives- The Taíno Part 2<br />Their favorite entertainment was sports, singing & dancing and smoking tobacco.<br />They called song and dance areito.<br />They played a game called batos which was very close to soccer in which you had to pass the ball between two teams and scoring was based on when the ball would land.<br />The Taínos are the ones who gave us the Tobacco.<br />The Taínos thought the Spanish were gods because of a religous prophecy saying that one strangers would arrive wearing heavy clothes and holding lightning and thunder.<br />They had a major God and Goddess and they communicated with the spiritual world using zemis which were wooden carvings that they made. Zemis were often considered to be the cause of many illnesses and priest were healers. In afterlife they believed in heaven but they called it coyaba.<br />Their food and words are the most things that influenced the Spanish settlers.<br />
Economy<br />When slavery was abolished and the sugar plantations were unimportant. The Islands’ financial growth slowed considerably for about a century. Until people began to realize that these were great touristic sights and tourism became the Caribbeans’ new income.<br />Because tourism rose so much other industries that were tourism and service related also became better.<br />Rum, sugar, bananas, eggplant, flowers and many other crops are exported from many islands. They are the industries that have been affected by the sudden rise in economic growth.<br />Antigua, Barbados, and Guadeloupe export bedding, handicrafts, textiles, electronic components,<br />While Dominican Republic exports coffee and tobacco, and Jamaica exports bauxite, and Grenada exports nutmeg, and Puerto Rico exports dairy, livestock, coffee and tobacco.<br />The islands main tourist source is the U. S. they are also the main trading partner therefore the U. S. has a lot of influence on the Islands economically . This is why many Islands are try to find different trading partners. So that every time the U. S. is affected negatively in its economy they wont suffer too.<br />The islands of the Caribbean are classified as middle-income countries except for Guyana and Haiti, which are classified as low-income countries.<br />Many Island have formed economic alliances so that they only use one currency.<br />The U. S. dollar is also widely accepted in the region.<br />
History Part 1 <br />When the Spanish settlers arrived to the Islands there were two tribes in the area the Taíno and the Carib Tribesman who were strong warrior tribes.<br />The Carib Tribesman began killing the Taíno however the Spanish are the ones who exterminated them in their quest for gold which ended in 1521 when they found larger gold reserves in Mexico.<br />The Caribs’ dress consisted of parrot feathers, necklaces made of victims' teeth, and red body paint. While the males fished and hunted for food, the females tended the"carbet," a circular, thatched shelter which was their primary dwelling. The Carib people cultivated foods such as"yucca" and sweet potatoes. The Caribs were also said to be an expert and aggressive hunting tribe.<br />Almost no Caribbean Indians survive today.<br />In 1492, Columbus readied his vessels - the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria--and set off with his crew from Palos. Columbus hit land with his crew later that year. He then abandoned thirty-eight of his crew members on Hispaniola and returned to Spain where he proclaimed that he had reached Asia.<br />Columbus went back to the America in 1498 then again in 1502 all this time thinking it was Asia.<br />
History Part 2<br />Pirate ships began to go to the Islands. Some pirates made their homes in Hispaniola and adopted the cattle trade. They were called "buccaneers" because they cured the cattle meat in ovens called "boucans." They called themselves Brethren of the coast.<br />The captured Taíno (or Arawaks) were the initial slaves until the friar Bartoleme de las Casas of Hispaniola gave people the idea of enslaving the Africans.<br />On average 12 per cent of the slaves on the trip from Africa to the Islands and the life expectancy on the island was seven years but many died after just one year.<br />Plantation owners were harsh and demanded all the slaves to forget all about thier past. Rebellion was common and it was allowed for a black man to be killed until the 19th century. <br />
Religions<br />The dominating religion in the Caribbean is Catholicism.<br />The Europeans are the ones who brought Catholicism.<br />Many different religions came from slavery.<br />The Natives created a few religions including Rastafarianism which is Catholicism but with Caribbean customs. <br />Almost one quarter of the population of Trinidad and Tobago is Hindu - one of the highest concentrations of Hindu people in the world<br />
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