If you had been a visitor to our islands not long before Columbus you would have travelled by canoe. The village elder would have sent a host to greet you. On arriving at the large central house (carbet) of the village you would have been provided with a seat and tobacco, or a bed if you were old. To show great friendship, you would have exchanged names with your hosts. If you were special, you would have been given a feast at which all would have made merry with much cassava wine.
Amerindian Way Of Life
If unfolded cassava bread was given you , it would have meant you could have taken the leftovers along with you when you left! You would have eaten in silence without drinking. Only one man spoke at a time, whilst listeners hummed if they had approved of his words.Visitors were provided with special hammocks (hamaca) and a woman would have been given to paint your body with a natural paint (roucou) and dress your hair in the morning.
Father Breton's Dictionary
Father Breton was a missionary sent out from France to Guadeloupe about 1628 and later to Dominica in an attempt to convert the Island Caribs into Christians. He was unlucky in this task, but we are fortunate, as he wrote a Carib/French dictionary thus enabling future missionaries to carry on his work. This book, available for inspection in the museum, is absolutely invaluable to those that study the prehistory of our islands. It records the lifestyle of the last prehistoric people of the Lesser Antilles.
WE LIVE IN WALADLI The Amerindian name of Waladli was found in a French missionary's Amerindian dictionary that can now be inspected at the Museum. Since we speak English the spelling has been changed from the French orthography to English, as can be seen in the accompanying illustration.
According to the writings of Ferdinand Columbus, the son of Christopher, the earlier name of Antigua used by the Arawakan speaking people was YARUMAQUI.This word is believed to be derived from 'Yaruma', a plant from which canoes and rafts were made and 'Qui' an island. QUILADLI was later refined to WADADLI by a group of local musicians called Wadadli Experience Band.