The secret of dominica cultural that you should to visit

Mountainous Dominica, which lies halfway between Guadaloupe andMartinique, has a lengthy and fascinating heritage. An indigenous group called the Kalinago first settled there long before Columbus set eyes on the island in 1493, naming their homeland Wai’tukubuli (meaning ‘tall is her body’). When he arrived hundreds of years later, Columbus decided, somewhat unimaginatively, to name the island after the Latin word for the last day of the week, since it happened to be a Sunday. Owing to the Kalinago’s fierce resistance, however, Dominica was the last Caribbean island to be colonized – by the British – in 1763.

Dominica is still home to about 3000 Kalinago, the last remaining pre-Columbian people in the Eastern Caribbean; they reside on the Kalinago Territory, a 3700-acre expanse along the eastern coast between Bataca and Sineku that was established in 1903. The best way to truly connect with the Kalinago is by booking a home stay with a local family, where you’ll get the chance to learn about ancient and modern traditions, herbal remedies, culinary treats and local crafts (kalinagoterritory.com).

If you’re just passing through, swing by the tourist-oriented Kalinago Barana Aute, a cultural center and museum village. A trail loops past small huts (ajoupas) where locals sometimes hold demonstrations for basket-weaving, calabash-carving, cassava baking and canoe building. The ajoupas orbit a larger communal building called karbet, which is used for song and dance performances. Walk further down the trail and you’ll arrive at the Isulukati Waterfall, an impressive cascade that tumbles down the countryside and into the sea.

Music: Feeling the beat at the World Creole Music Festival

For three days in late October, Roseau gets swept up in the head-spinning, feet-stomping beats of zouk, compa, soca, bouyon, afro beat, calypso and reggae during the annual World Creole Music Festival (dominicafestivals.com). Created in 1997, it’s the region’s only festival pulsating exclusively to a French-Caribbean beat. Previous festival lineupss have included such international hot shots as Kassav, Wyclef Jean, Third World and Tito Puente Jr alongside local luminaries like Gordon Henderson, who’s credited with revolutionizing Caribbean music back in the 1970s. The party kicks off in the daytime, with bands, food and exuberant dancing and singing taking over the narrow streets of downtown Roseau before the lucky ticketholders boogie on down to Windsor Park Sports Stadium. An opening drumming and dance spectacle whips the audience into a frenzy even before the first headliner hits the stage. Day 2? Repeat. Day 3? Repeat. Then rest.

Arts: Discovering Dominica’s soul in its galleries

Dominica has a small but thriving contemporary arts scene with several galleries located right in Roseau. On Independence St you’ll find Art Asylum, the space of Earl Etienne, the country’s most prominent artist (avirtualdominica.com). His boldly pigmented canvasses reflect themes rooted in local traditions, culture and landscapes and often show off his trademark technique called bouzaille, a method that utilizes carbon flame to apply forms to the canvas. Ellingworth Moses, another Dominican artist, keeps a gallery on Hillsborough St (emosesart.com); while his early work focused on nature and the interplay of light, he now seeks to capture the universality of the human experience through an abstract approach, often using thread to express the connection between humans and the environment.

North of Roseau, stop in Canefield to check out the latest showing at the gallery of the Old Mill Cultural Center, a community arts center and home base of the Dominica Cultural Division (divisionofculture.gov.dm). Just inland from here, off Imperial Rd, is the Antrim Valley Sculpture Studio of Roger Burnett, a Brit who traded his engineering job for a life as a sculptor and watercolorist 50 years ago, decamping to the Caribbean in the 1970s (sculpturestudiodominica.blogspot.de). Call ahead for a tour of his studio and dreamy tropical gardens, and maybe even to enjoy a homemade lunch cooked by his wife, Denise.