Model Kalinago/Garifuna village unveiled

On Monday 9 March 2015 in Kingstown, St. Vincent, a gathering at the St. Vincent National Public Library, witnessed the exciting unveiling of a model Kalinago/Garifuna village dating to the early colonial period.

The model, created by Eric Pelissier, captures the daily activities of the first Vincentians, including them constructing a house, fishing, cooking and building a canoe; it even captures a Kalinago burial beneath a home. The recreation is based on archaeological work carried out by Professors  Corinne Hofman and Menno Hoogland and their team from the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University in 2010 at Argyle, the site of the new airport currently under construction; the construction had threatened the Amerindian site. Before the unveiling, the audience heard from a number of people about the importance of the model and the valuable historical information presented, including Dr. Corinne Hofman, Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Ms. Cathy Martin, member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust, Michelle King-Campbell, director of Libraries, and Ms. Zoila Ellis-Browne, chairperson of the International Garifuna Summit Committee.

The unveiling of this significant historical recreation was one of the events of the weeklong 1st International Garifuna Summit taking place in St. Vincent between 7 and 14 March 2015 to celebrate the history and culture of the Garifuna people at home and abroad. The model, a first of its kind to not just recreating an Amerindian village, but specifically reflects data from an archaeological excavation down to the actual postholes from the Kalinago houses. Its placement at the National Public Library, along with six panels detailing the Argyle site, Cayo pottery and related artifacts, Kalinago history and archaeological processes, will be accessible to the thousands of Vincentian students who regularly visit to learn about the islands’ history and culture. It seems destined become a very valuable teaching tool, especially as accurate and up to date information on Kalinago/Garifuna history/culture is so lacking.

The model (to scale) of the Kalinago/ Garifuna village at Argyle and the display posters are part of project CARIB which is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme (www.heranet.info) which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, BMBF via PT-DLR, DASTI, ETAG, FCT, FNR, FNRS, FWF, FWO, HAZU, IRC, LMT, MHEST, NWO, NCN, RANNÍS, RCN, VR and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 1133

Last Modified: 19-03-2015