History & Culture
St. Lucia has a rich culture that stems from a history of epic battles over this picturesque island. From the first inhabitants, the Arawak Indians to the Caribs who fought them off the island, St. Lucia has been coveted, fought for and won over many times. It was explored by Spain, then France and finally became a British territory in 1814 – after an Anglo-French rivalry that lasted over a century and a half. The island is now a fully independent country, having parted from its British ties in 1979.
The British impacted heavily on the islands language, educational system, legal and political structure. The French culture shines through in its art, music and dance and even the Creole patois language which is widely spoken by locals, apart from their main language: English. African culture was introduced with the arrival of slaves brought in to work on European Plantations. The majority of the island’s population descends from plantation slaves and this tradition and culture has remained strong through the years and is a major component in the island’s culture.
The result is the St. Lucia of today, a rich culture built from the various beliefs and traditions of all the many groups who in some way or form are part of its history. Evidence of the British and French heritage permeates in many aspects of everyday St. Lucian life.