Dominica has the largest indigenous Indian population in the East Caribbean. 3,7000 acres of the North-east coast, referred to as the Kalinago Territory, is their communal land. The culture (dances, traditions, legends and beliefs) continues to be preserved and the land maintains its sacred spiritual awe illustrated in stories passed on through generations. Visiting the territory and interacting with the extremely welcoming inhabitants will be an unforgettable experience. Here are a few recommendations of stops to make.
The Barana Aute is a re-created traditional Kalinago village located on the Cray River hamlet, one of 8 hamlets in the territory. It is the location to learn about the Kalinago culture and history; pick up some new dance moves; taste cassava wine; and buy handmade jewelry in addition to other things.
The Kalinagos are incredibly welcoming and happy to tell you about their culture and traditions.
L’Escalier Tete Chien is a striking and unique attraction in the Kalinago Territory where breathtaking natural beauty meets ancient legend. The legend states that a very large and mystical snake left the Manicou River in South America in search of a new home and arrived at Dominica. The snake entered the island at the southern end of the Kalinago Territory and went into one of the caves. It is believed he formed the pathway of irregular steps when emerging from the ocean. Follow the trail inland and it will lead you to a large cave high up in the Majini Mountain where it is believed that the snake still lives today.
A great time to visit is in the late evening right after the sun sets. That time when the waves become a little more temperamental and the colors of the sky change to light purples, reds and yellows and whatever other colors it decides to surprise you with. The place has a spiritual presence which calms and inspires awes at the same time. It is magical and oozes power!
To get to the territory, it is recommended to drive or take a taxi will likely cost 40 - 50 USD. To get there, enter Barana Aute in the navigation app or tell the taxi driver, it is a good starting point for the territory.
*Cover photo: Edna Kallon, Edna Explores, Sierra Leone