Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Dominica
Nearly all of the people on the island of Dominica are
of African descent, many of whose ancestors were brought
to the Caribbean during the slave trade. Due to this past, the people are of numerous
ethnic groups from Africa and the ethnicity of one person can be substantially different
from the next, although it seems most slaves arrived from West Africa. Among the
minority groups, most are a combination of American Indians and African. There is
also a important, but small group of Caribs, an American Indian group for which
the Caribbean is named.
English is the only official language in Dominica, although
French patois is commonly spoken in the home. French patois is a mix of numerous
languages, particularly French and English, but also contains aspects of numerous
other languages including many African languages brought to the Caribbean during
the slave trade. Although French patois is a common native language, many people
are also native English speakers and those who are not generally learn English in
schools so English is the primary language of communication across linguistic groups.