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Trinidad & Tobago

50 Plus Of Canada



Trinbago First Nation People

Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Trinidad is part of a chain of islands called Caribbean Islands. This word mean Cannibal Islands. The original people of Trinbago did not call themselves Carib or Arawak. They call themselves Taino or Kalinago. They also called their home land - "Land of the Humming Birds and "Land of Tobacco. The Taino or Kalinago word karibna meant "person".

Cannibalism originate from the word Caníbales, the Spanish name for the Carib people who the Spanish labelled as human flesh eaters to justify their treatment of the first people they meet in the new world. The Natives had a tradition of keeping bones of their ancestors in their houses. Missionaries such as Père Jean Baptiste Labat and Cesar de Rochefort described the practice as part of a belief that the ancestral spirits would always look after the bones and protect their descendants.

Columbus and his people saw the human bones and did not understand what they were seeing, they thought this was cannibalism. In 1503, Queen Isabella of Spain ruled that these so called human eating people (Cannibals) were better off under slavery. The natives lands were then taken away and the captured people were enslaved or feed to the European dogs of war - As Dog Meat because they were not Christian. This gave the European incentive to identify every single Amerindian group in the new land as cannibal because of their religion practice.

Millions died under the European enslavement and cruelty. These people pass away just like existent animals. The Cannibal name were shorted to Carib and the surrounding Sea was translated as the Caribbean Sea. To this day, the few remaining mixed Kalinago & Tinoe people are still fighting against what they regard as a misconception about their ancestors.


Ayarima (Arima)

Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Hyarima was said to be born around the beginning of the 17th century and was probably Nepuyo, which was a tribe of Araucan. He grew up in one of the Spanish northern labour camp but it was not clear if this was Tacarigus or Arauca. Around 1625, he escaped from the slavery and harsh conditions of the labour camp into the northeastern area of the island which was outside Spanish control.

In 1636 and 1637, Ayarima joined with Dutch forces based in Tobago to raid Spanish outposts in Trinidad and along the Orinoci. On October 14th 1637 the most devastating attack was carried out against St. Joseph, the main Spanish settlement on the island. During the attack, the Church and town buildings were looted and burned to the ground, with significant loss of life. The destruction of the town forced the survivors to withdraw temporarily. His fierce and profound hatred of the Spanish extended to the Church and its missionaries who were very cruel and he resisted their entry into his lands.

Natives Feed To The Dogs

Chief Ayarima ((Arima)

Only Mixed Descendants Remain

The Amerindian Peoples have existed in Trinidad for as many as six thousand years before the arrival of Columbus and numbered at least forty thousand at the time of Spanish settlement in 1592, but by 1634 there remain only Four Thousand in Forty Two years. Trinidad was populated by several tribes, as it was a transit point in the Caribbean network of Amerindian trade and exchange. Amerindian tribes were referred to as Kalipuna, Carinepogoto, Carine, and Arauca. Amerindian words and place names survive into the present. Words like Caroni and Oropouche rivers; Tamana and Aripo mountains; places such as Arima, Paria, Arouca, Caura, Tunapuna, Tacarigua, Couva, Mucurapo, Chaguanas, Carapichaima, Guaico, Mayaro, Guayaguayare etc.

A statue of Hyarima is located in the heart of Arima on Hollis Avenue. It was unveiled on 25 May, 1993, in keeping with the theme the year of the Indigenous People (a declaration of the United Nations Assembly). The statue stands thirteen feet high, its frame work is made of steel and the exterior is of a concrete type mix. The statue is finished in bronze paint. Hyarima projects the image of the great warrior which he was, dressed in loincloth alone - bare back, bare foot and carrying a spear. The statue was placed in a rustic setting, symbolic of the forest glades of the 17th century Arima that Hyarima and his people inhabited.


Trinidad History

Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Slavery and Colonization help finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, Sail makers, and many merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe that expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. This destroy Africa progress, and cause the lost of their history, language, wealth, etc.

In 1498 Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Trinidad where he encountered the indigenous Taino people (Arawak) and the Kalinago (Carib). After Columbus's landing Trinidad became a territory of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish enslaved the Amerindians and over time mixed with them creating the Mestizo identity with their offspring. Mulatto a new breed of people came about after Spain started transporting enslaved Africans to Trinidad in 1517 via the Atlantic slave trade. The mixing of whites, blacks and Indian created Mulatto. By the time the African, Mulattoes and Mestizos started intermixing, the Amerindians became existent.

In 1783 the King of Spain passed a Population Decree which promised free land to Europeans willing to relocate to Trinidad to work. With this law French settlers and their Creole slaves (Mulatto) migrated to Trinidad to work the sugar cane plantations. They too added to the ancestry of Trinidadians, creating the Creole/Mulatto identity. Spanish, French, and Patois were the languages spoken.

In 1798 Britain Captain Ralph Abercrombie defeated Spain Governor of Trinidad José María Chacón and took over the island. More African slaves were imported. Slavery was technically abolished in 1834 - but not freedom. The emancipation of slaves led to an influx of indentured servants from places such as China. The conditions were horrible. While some left, many stayed and married into the Trinidadian populace. In 1911, many more Chinese came after the Chinese Revolution.

In the 1840s, European indentured servants began arriving including: the French, Spanish, Creoles, Chinese, Germans, Swiss, Portuguese, British, Italians, Mexicans, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Arabs, Lebanese, African Americans, Irish, Venezuelan, South Americans and other Caribbean islands peoples. Later the Jews also arrived. A high number of these settlers married or mixed into the families of the freed slaves over time.

On May 30, 1845, the British transported indentured servants from India to Trinidad. This day is known as Indian Arrival Day. The Indian Indentured servants received monetary payment, land, kept they name, history, language, religion, etc, while the previous enslaved African did not have those privilege. The first group of East Indian people also began to mix into the Trinidadian populous. After the use of indentured servants was abolished 1917, a second group of East Indian people steadily migrated to Trinidad from India. Because of this rich and unique cultural heritage Trinidadian and Tobagonians are known as one of the most ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse people in the world.


Tabacco Became Tobago

Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. The island lies outside the hurricane belt. According to the earliest English-language source cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, Tobago bore a name that has become the English word tobacco. The national bird of Tobago is the Cocrico.

Possession of Tobago has been fought over by numerous nations since it was first sighted by Columbus in 1498. During the late 1500s and early 1600s, the natives defended it from European colonists, the first being the Dutch in 1654. Over the years, the Dutch, English, Spanish, Swedish and French transformed Tobago into a battle zone and the Island changed hands 33 times, the most in Caribbean history, before it was finally ceded to the British in 1814 under the Treaty of Paris.

From about 1672, during a period of stability under temporary British rule, plantation culture began. Sugar, cotton and indigo factories sprang up and Africans were imported to work as slaves. The economy flourished and by 1777 Tobago was exporting great quantities of rum, cotton, indigo and sugar. But in 1781 the French invaded, destroyed the plantations, and forced the British governor to surrender. Most of the 17th and 18th Centuries Tobago was a haven for pirates. In 1814, the island was again under British control. In the second half of the 19th Century the recession in the sugar industries encouraged the movement towards amalgamation of the West Indian islands into administrative groups in order to cut administrative costs. In 1889 Tobago was united with Trinidad to become the Colony of Trinidad &Tobago. Later in 1899 it became a ward of the colony.