History and Geography of St Lucia

St. Lucia is of volcanic origin and around Soufriere in the South west, you can still see boiling bubbling mud pools escaping Sulphur and other gases. The volcanic crater is one of the islands main tourist attractions. The islands interior is wooded and mountainous, with Mount Gimmie (3118 ft) being the highest point on the island. Mountains run North to South with many rivers and streams running off them through fertile valleys running east to west.

The "Twin" Pitons - "St. Lucia's Pyramids" are another spectacular landmark. They are on either side of Soufriere bay and their perspective changes as you view from different angles as you journey around them. The lush rain forests are now largely restricted to higher slopes of the mountains are only accessible by foot.

HISTORY

The original settlers of the island migrated from the northeastern shores of the South American continent between 1000 and 500 B.C. These people were simple farmers and fishermen. Today, over 12 archaeological sites on the island bear witness to this ancient civilization. Remains of their culture consist primarily of domestic and ceremonial artifacts, ceramic objects and enigmatic cave drawings.

By the ninth century A.D., the Carib Indians had begun to advance through the southern Caribbean islands. These fierce warriors also migrated from South America, but their rapid rise to supremacy was achieved in a relatively short time. When the first Europeans arrived, it was the Caribs who greeted them.

The island was claimed by both the British and the French throughout the 17th and 18th century. When an English colony was formed in 1638 it was wiped out by the native Carib Indians in 1640.

About 1650, the French arrived and had claimed the island for the French West India Company.The British did not accept this and challenged the French in battle 14 times. The island's first settlements and towns were all French, beginning with Soufriere in 1746. By 1780, twelve settlements and a large number of sugar plantations had been established. After further bitter fighting with France, the British gained control of the island in 1814.

St. Lucia was a member of the Windward Islands Federation until 1959, and also a member of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962. The island was granted associated statehood in 1967, Britain retained responsibility for its defense and foreign affairs.By 1979 St. Lucia became an independent state within the commonwealth, and today is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (O.E.C.S)

Culture And Entertainment

St. Lucian's have natural artistry, evident in wonderfully woven baskets, rugs and hats, ornate jewellery. A craft exhibition is held every year as part of independence day celebrations, which takes place in February, either at Pointe Seraphine or The Castries Town Hall. Fine art exhibitions are held at the Castries Town Hall throughout the year. Calypso competition is now held is July: celebrates news, events, politics and gossip, while it might be difficult to catch the lyrics, you will enjoy the beat. Continue...

People

The overwhelming majority of the population are of African descent, their ancestors were brought to the island as slaves. Less than a tenth are mixed European and Black African Blood, and a small percentage are Asian and Europeans. The French influence remains strong in both in many of the island's names and the island's predominant religion.

Most people are Roman Catholics but there are also many churches of various denominations Anglicans and Seventh Day Adventist. English is the official language but because of the historical influence of the French, a French patois (a dialect of Creole) is largely spoken. Castries is the capital and main population center with Soufriere and Vieux- Fort, the other main towns. Just over half the population lives in rural communities, but there is a steady move towards urban areas. More than a third of the population under the age of 15 years and two thirds under the age of 30 years

History and Geography of St Lucia

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