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The Island of Dominica

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Frederick Miller Endlich
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Dominica was one of the favorite resorts of the Caribs. This warlike nation here found mountains and water, fish in plenty and fruits in the valleys. From their strongholds iii wild fastnesses they more than once issued upon aggressive warfare and severely harassed the settlers of neighboring islands. In the course of years, however, the Caribs have become greatly reduced in num bers, until to-day there is but a mere handful remaining. It is certainly a subject for serious reflection to note the almost com plete extermination of a once'powerful people by the advance of civilized measures and by superior instruments of aggressive warfare. In View of our'own vexed Indian question we may fee. Inclined to allow personal or national interests to warp judgment or to subvert justice. When, however, the same spectacle is seen from the standpoint of an unimpassioned observer, it assumes a totally different aspect. Dominica and Trinidad are said to con tain the last surviving Caribs. On the former island perhaps one thousand may still be living, on the latter not so large a number. Secluded in the mountains of the interior, they are but rarely seen at the settlements. Chivalrous as they formerly were, they have retained to some extent their tribal characteristics of vener ation for hereditary and accidental authority and good treatment of their women. These latter have been accustomed to wait upon the lords of creation most assiduously. And are rewarded by respect and far more consideration than is usually found among savages. In spite of former cannibalism the Caribs have often shown traits of greatness and magnanimity. At present they occupy a reservation set apart by the government. Peace ably passing their time, they devote their energies to the manh facture of exceedingly tasteful baskets. Double plaiting renders the latter waterproof, and the careful work bestowed upon them is recognized by the numerous uses to which they are put.

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