The Names of Our Places

This map came across my screen earlier today and I’ve been captivated by it. I’ve been trying to imagine how to make the sounds, how to say the words, and then to imagine what the word-pictures would conjure in the landscape.

My paternal Jamaican grandmother said that we are Arawak. That means I have a ‘blood memory’. These efforts to know who they were, what they did, and what they called things are deeply appreciated.

n.b. ‘Kalinago’ are also known as the ‘Carib’ or ‘Garifuna’. ‘Arawak’ are also known as the ‘Taino’. These are the people who the Europeans would have met centuries ago. They were largely massacred or exploited for labour.

Anguilla -Malliouhana- Arawak Arrow-Shaped Sea Serpent
St. Martin- Soualiga-Oualichi Arawak Land of Salt; Land of Beautiful women; St. Barts -Ouanalao-Arawak-Toad on Top
Saba -Siba -Amonhana-Arawak The Rock
St. Eustatius-Aloi-Arawak -Cashew Tree
Saint Croix -Ay Ay -Taino -The River
Saint Kitts -Liamuiga -Kalinago -Fertile Land
Nevis -Oualie Kalinago -Land of Beautiful Water
Montserrat- Alliouagana- Kalinago-Land of Prickly Bush
Barbuda -Wa’omoni-Kalinago -Land of the herons (broader interpretation: Land of the large birds)
Antigua -Waladli -Kalinago – Land of Fish Oil
Redonda – Ocananmanrou -Kalinago -Unknown
Guadeloupe – Karukera -Kalinago -Island of Beautiful Waters
Marie Galante -Aichi &
Touloukaera -Kalinago
& Arawak – Unknown
Dominica – Wai’tukubuli -Kalinago -Tall is Her Body
Martinique -Madinina -Kalinago Land of Flowers
St. Lucia -Hewanorra -Iyanola -Kalinago -Land of the Iguana
Saint Vincent -Hairoun – Kalinago – Land of the Blessed
Bequia – Becouya -Kalinago -Island of the Clouds
Canouan – Cannouan -Kalinago -Island of Turtles
Carriacou – Kayryouacou -Kalinago -Island of Reefs
Grenada -Camerhogne Kalinago / Galibi? -Conception Island 
Hispaniola (Haiti &DR) -Ayiti or Kiskeya -Taino -Rough earth, Mother of all lands, land of the mountains

Cuba -Cobao -Taino -where fertile land is abundant’ or ‘great place’ 
Puerto Rico -Borikén -Taino -Land of the Valiant and Noble Lord
Jamaica – Xaymaca-Taino Land of Wood and Water or Land of Springs; Barbados -Ichirouganaim -Arawak – Red land/island with white teeth (reef Red land/island with white teeth (reefs); Tobago – Tobago-Kalinago / Galibi? -Tobacco Pipe; Trinidad Kairi Lele -Kalinago-Land of the Hummingbird

By kateemo

I'm an expat, though I'm not sure of where or what at any given time. I'm currently living in London. I moved here in June 2008 for love (and hopefully money) after living for most of my life in the States (the United ones). I was born in Jamaica many years ago, before Dancehall went global.

I'm the heart, hands and brain of Sargasso Trading Company, so I spend my days making beautiful, lovely smelling natural cosmetics.

As a lifelong lover of words, I also enjoy my freelance work as a content specialist.

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