|Bordered by Florida to the west and Cuba to the south, lie the Bahamas. (map taken from The Cruising Guide to Abaco Bahamas 2016)|
|Statue of a Lucayan, also referred to as the Taino,|
|Pottery from era of Lucayan or Carib.|
Some time later, they were invaded by a warlike people that sailed across the water from the south, perhaps from the area of Venezuela or thereabouts. These invaders were called Caribs from which the word “cannibal” is derived. When the Caribs came, the Lucayans essentially disappeared, probably by the women being kidnapped and raped and by the murder and perhaps cannibalization of the men. There can be no darker moment in history for a people like the Lucayans who are now, no more.
|The Bahamas population is about 330,000. Most Bahamians are of West African descent. Many Haitians have migrated to the Bahamas as well, over the past few decades.|
|Gravestones resemble early New England/English markers. Graves appear to be more hallow however.|
With the search for religious freedom as the impetus, a group of English Puritans settled in The Bahamas along about 1649. They may have found that, but they also found they did not have enough to eat. The Massachusetts Bay Colony actually helped them out with a shipload of food and the Bahama Puritans repaid the Colony with brasileto wood. It must have fetched a handsome price because Massachusetts used that money to put toward land for a school, Harvard.
|Stories abound about pirates hiding their treasure around the islands.|
It must have been easy pickins to be a pirate in the Bahamas in the 1600 and 1700's. Shipping lanes to the American colonies were nearby. With its' shallow water and reefs that snatched unsuspecting ships loaded with booty,
|Statue commemorating the Loyalists who fled to the Bahamas. New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.|
|Princess Margaret. The Bahamas were a British colony until 1973.|
The descendants of those Loyalists are still here in the islands. They are of English, Scottish and Irish heritage. They tend therefore, to have blonde or reddish hair, blue eyes and fair skin. They have names like Lowe, Curry and Roberts. When they speak, their Bahamian accents lead me to ask for repetition as often as I do for any Bahamian of color. Linguistically speaking, this is an interesting place, and I would like to learn more about that—a 200 year old English speaking population that has stirred up that language with folks of African heritage in communities isolated from the influence of any major populations, at least until more recently. It’s unlike any spoken language I have previously heard. When two Bahamians are speaking to each other, it may be virtually impossible for me to glean even the topic of their conversation.
|Pineapple coconut jam. Coconut grows naturally.|
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas is on the tiny island of New Providence. The Bahamas also includes the Bimini Islands, the Berry Islands, and the long string of little reef islands that border the Atlantic which we have begun to visit beginning with Green Turtle Cay, Manjack Cay and now Guana Cay. Further southeast are Man o' War, Elbow Cay, Eleuthera, then the Exumas, followed by the Turks and Caicos. By the time one has passed through the Caicos, you may safely say you are in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is yet another 7000 islands representing 28 different countries. Fascinating stuff, huh?
|The Bahamas extend about 550 miles across the waters north of Cuba and east toward Hispaniola.|