Historical Beginnings

From research carried out to date on the history of the Garifuna people, it is accepted that they represent a unique ethnic grouping resulting from the merger of the African and Amerindian people and that this merger took place on the island of St. Vincent sometime in the Seventeenth Century. There are however varying streams of thought regarding the manner in which the Africans came to be on St. Vincent . There is also much information which needs to be documented regarding the Amerindians , both Arawaks and Calinago and their relationship on St. Vincent and in the Antilles.

What has been documented l however, is the incursion by the Europeans, mainly British and
French on the Island of St. Vincent during their epoch of colonial expansion into the Caribbean and how this impacted on the Calinago and Garifuna people. This incursion and the resulting conflicts which played out over several decades led finally to the expulsion of the Garifuna from St. Vincent and to their transportation to the Island of Roatan on the coast of Central America. This subsequently led to the establishment of communities along the Central American coast from what is now Nicaragua to Belize. The process of how all of this movement and settlement occurred as well as the issues which emerged from the dynamics of a new geographic space for the Garifuna may form the subject of future research and investigation into existing research both at IGRC and other Institutions.

This website at this time does not have definitive answers to these questions but intends to
provide resources which will allow our users to access available research materials, links to useful websites and other information in order that the process of investigation, verification and documentation continues. As such, we feel that we are facilitators in the process and that there may be other researchers, scholars and investigators who are doing or who have done useful work in the field which will provide the users of this site with important and well documented information.

We welcome your comments on the resources we make available will continue to update this
page with information and references on an ongoing basis.

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