Who are the Kali'na people?

2 Answers

  • connie
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Kali'na people (historically Galibi or Carib) are an Amerindian ethnic group found in several countries on the Caribbean coast of South America. In language and culture they are Cariban. The origin of the name given them by Europeans, Galibi, is unknown. They prefer to be called Kali'na tilewuyu, i.e. "true Kali'na", partly to differentiate themselves from the half-blood Maroon-Kali'na inhabitants of Suriname.

    The part of South America where the Kali'na live is very sparsely populated, however this ethnic group is such an extreme minority in all of the countries in which they are well established that locally they are a majority only in certain very secluded areas. Their current geographic distribution covers only a small fraction of their Pre-Columbian territory.

    * In Brazil, they are especially localized in São José dos Galibi, a village founded in 1950 on the right bank of the Oyapock River opposite Saint-Georges in French Guiana by several families who came from the region of the Mana River. They are also in the capital of Amapá, Macapá, and in Pará, in Belém.[16]

    * In French Guiana, they are still present in significant numbers in their original territory, the region between the Maroni and the Mana rivers (in particular, the communities of Awala-Yalimapo, the only one where they are a majority, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Mana and Iracoubo), and the Amerindian village of Kourou as well as, in fewer numbers, the island of Cayenne.

    * In Suriname, they are a strong presence on the left bank of the Maroni River and on the banks of the Coppename River.

    * In Venezuela, the country where their numbers are the greatest, they can be found in two distinct zones: in the llanos of the Orinoco river valley

    They speak Kali'na, which belongs to the family of Cariban languages. This language is currently still spoken by more than 10,000 people in the coastal strip that stretches from Venezuela (5,000 speakers) to Brazil (100) passing through Guyana (475), Suriname (2,500) and French Guiana (3,000 people). Kali'na therefore remains a primarily oral language.

    Lacking a written form of language before the arrival of Europeans, Kali'na history was passed down orally from one generation to the next through tales of myth and legend. For a long time, the few Europeans studying the history of the Amerindian people of this area did not distinguish between the various Caribbean tribes. Once the period of exploration was over, interest in the study of these people dimished greatly and did not re-emerge until the end of the 20th century, when a few French expatriates, notably Gérard Collomb, became interested in the Kali'na, and the Kali'na themselves began to relate their history, in particular Félix Tiouka, president of the Association of Amerindians of French Guiana (AAGF), and his son Alexis.

    Making up for lack of written records, archaeologists have to date uncovered 273 Amerindian archeological sites on only 310 km² of the land recovered from the Sinnamary River by the Petit-Saut Dam. Some date back as far as two thousand years, establishing the antiquity of the Amerindian presence in this area. The weak historical clues available indicate that before 1492, the Kali'na inhabited the coast (from the mouth of the Amazon River to that of the Orinoco), dividing their territory with the Arawak, against whom they fought during their expansion toward the east and the Amazon River.

    In their first contact with Europeans, the Kali'na thought they were dealing with the spirits of the sea, Palanaki'i, a name they use to this day when referring to whites. One of the first consequences of the arrival of the Palanaki'i, as in the case of many other Native American peoples, was a decrease in population due to diseases brought over by the Europeans. The Kali'na quickly succumbed in large numbers, because their immune systems were not adapted to the viruses and bacteria of the Old World.

    “ At that time, the Kali'na knew only stone axes and hardwood machetes. These men brought with them axes and machetes of iron, they showed that they cut much better ... This time, the Palanaki'i had brought good things."


    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    cousins of the klingons perhaps?

    Source(s): who cares
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.