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St. LuciaWho named St. Lucia is questionable, but the island is obviously named after St. Lucia, commonly known in English as St. Lucy. St. Lucia's Saint Day, December 13, is widely celebrated in Italy.

Introduction:

St. Lucia is very mountainous and these mountains, which run north and south, dictate where and how a person can live. Due to these forest-covered mountains, nearly everyone on the island lives along the coasts, which are home to rivers and the nearby sea life. This landscape, and the ability to grow plants along the coasts, has dictated the lifestyle for people on the island for centuries, but the culture has changed dramatically over time.

With the arrival of the Europeans, primarily the French, the local Carib people were lost in large numbers, primarily due to diseases. The French and Caribs maintain fairly positive relations and when the French began planting sugarcane on the island most of the workers were indentured servants from France or were slaves from Africa, leaving the Caribs alone.

Despite the relatively good relations, the percentage of the indigenous population fell dramatically as African slaves soon dominated the island's population. The African slaves worked in the sugarcane fields and developed a culture based on French, Carib, and African pasts. Most of the people converted to Catholicism and spoke French, but they also maintained or adopted aspects of African art, music, and dance. While the Carib people and their culture survived this dramatic population change, the new influences also led to a slow decline in this culture as the Caribs later adopted many aspects of European or African culture and many intermarried the other people on the island, slowly ending most aspects of this culture.

After the French came the British and today the most obvious influence from the United Kingdom is that the people on St. Lucia primarily speak English. The British also influenced the culture and people, but again more noticeable is the representative government they established, which later put the power in the hands of the people, who are primarily of African descent. With this change in power the cultural aspects of the people are being magnified and the island nation has a growing identity and culture, which is rooted in Africa, but strongly influenced by the French, British, and to a lesser degree the Carib people.

Today the people of St. Lucia remain a mix of their past as they are primarily rural people of African descent, who speak English, are Catholic, and live like so much of the Caribbean in the way of celebrating with music, dancing, and foods, that have developed from all of the above influences.

Information for St. Lucia was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks