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A Brief History of St. Lucian Culture

A Rich Heritage and Storied Past

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 during its longstanding history. First explored by Spain, then France, and finally becoming a British territory in 1814—after an Anglo-French rivalry that lasted over a century and a half—St. Lucia today is a thriving, fully independent country, having parted from its British ties in 1979.

The British played a pivotal role in influencing the language, educational system, and legal and political structures of St. Lucia, while French influences are prominent in the island’s art, music, and dance and even the Creole patois language which is widely spoken by locals, in addition to St. Lucia’s primary language: English. With the introduction of African culture shortly thereafter, the result is the diverse St. Lucia of today, built on innumerable influences, cultures, traditions, and beliefs.

From the local cuisine to the arts to everything in between, the diverse history of St. Lucia continues to permeate its culture today.