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Researchers recreate early colonial indigenous village

Researchers recreate  early colonial  indigenous village


Members of the public have been given a glimpse into the way of life of the indigenous people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

A model of an authentic Traditional Early Colonial Indigenous Village was unveiled yesterday at the National Public Library, as part of the events for the International Garifuna Summit being held{{more}} in St Vincent and the Grenadines this week.

This display was created by researchers at the Leiden University of Netherland, who based their design on archaeological findings of a village unearthed during excavation at the Argyle international airport site in 2010.

“We continue to have a mission to collect information relating to the heritage and history of St Vincent and the Grenadines so that we can share it with Vincentians and that it becomes an important source of information, particularly for the young people who need to know what the heritage and history of this country is,” said Zoila Ellis-Browne, the chairperson of the International Garifuna Summit Committee.

Browne opined that through this initiative, younger generations will build their awareness for the subject of history and “continue to be inspired by the past as they go into the future.”

Professor at Leiden University of Netherland Dr Corinne Hofman participated in the Argyle village excavation of 2010 and was instrumental in the procurement of the model on display.

In brief remarks, Hofman outlined the importance of having such pieces created and displayed for the public to see.

“Archaeological investigations have revealed an important indigenous settlement at Argyle that has shown the existence of inter-communicable, social, cultural dynamics during the early colonial period in the Lesser Antilles,” she said.

“Through these analyses, we have been able to show how these indigenous communities were living, built their houses and interacted with their supernatural world. We have also been able to document how and where certain raw materials as clays were collected, processed and used. Furthermore we have been able to understand how the indigenous community at Argyle moved across the landscape and exchanged goods and ideals with their neighbours and traded with the first European colonizers.”

The model of the village will continue to be displayed at the National Public Library once the International Garifuna Summit is over.

Director of Libraries Michelle King-Campbell expressed happiness in being able to house the display, as it will help in the execution of the library’s mission to preserve history for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“This will not only benefit the people of St Vincent in the recollection of their history, but it will also bring to life, especially for history students, what they would have read in their text books. This will in turn foster a new love for the subject of history, awareness to the field of archaeology and its importance in the rediscovery of history,” she said.

The week of events for the International Garifuna Summit began on March 8 and will continue for the rest of this week. All members of the public are invited to an official opening ceremony on Thursday, where various presentations featuring various aspects of the Garifuna heritage will be made.(BK)