A brief history of Grenada:
Original name: Kamahagne (Camahagne)
Size: 132 sq mi
Original inhabanits: Kalinago (called Caribs by the invading Europeans colonizers. The word Carib was coined from the Kalinago’s (Carib) word Karibna, a word meaning, “person”.)
The religion of the Kalinago people was nature centered. They believe in a phenomenon they called Maybouya or Evil Spirits. The Kalinago’s society was setup with Buyeis or Shamans who were the healers of the society.
Kamahagne was colonized from 1498 to 1958. It went through a number of name changes by the competing Europeans invading nations. It was name Conception Island, in honor of the Virgin Mary, by Cristobal (Christopher) Colon (Columbus). The Spanish name it Granada and the British, after taking control, change it to Grenada. Grenada is a tri-island state, which includes Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Grenada is divided into 6 parishes and 5 towns.
Parishes: St. George, St. John, St. Mark, St. Patrick, St. Andrew, St. David
Note: St. David is the only parish without a town.
Towns: St. George, Gouyave, Victoria, Sauteurs, Grenville.
Grenada’s Capital: St. George
The first attempt to settled Kamahagne (Grenada) was in 1609. Two Hundred and Eight (208) English men mounted this attempt. The settlement was named Megrin Town. Shortly afterwards, however, these English men had to abandon the settlement because the Kalinago (Galibia) people was having none of this incursion and constantly harassed them. In 1639 the French tried their luck in settling the island, but was also booted from the island. It was not until 1650 that the Galibia people were bribed (some say the island was purchase) by Governer Du Parquet of Martinique with a few hatchets and some glass beads. Governor Du Parquet then quickly set up a French settlement of 200 French men. Within a year after the bribery, the French violently descended on the locals. Men, women and children were brutally murdered. Under fear, the remaining Galibia people, rather than surrendering to the French, find a cliff, at Sauteurs Bay (St. Patrick), and flung (leap) themselves of the cliff to their death. (Note: the idea that all the remaining Galibia people killed themselves, living no traces of these people on the island, is in question). Today this cliff is known as Leapers Hill.
The French rule lasted until 1762, loosing out to British. In fact, both European invaders, the British and the French, battled constantly for the control of Grenada with the island changing hands many times. Eventually Grenada was ceded to British control in 1783 in the Treaty of Versailles and remains under British control until independence.
After years of colonized control, Grenada became part of the West Indies Federation, being an active member from 1958 to 1962. In 1967, Grenada attained “Associated State of the UK”status. Under Associated State of the UK’s rule, the United Kingdom (England) was responsible for Grenada’s defense but Grenada was responsible for her own internal affairs. Independent came for Grenada in 1974 under the leadership of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy who became Grenada’s first Prime Minister.
Today Grenada is still part of what is called the "Common Wealth." Under this rule, the Queen of England remains Grenada Head of State. A figurehead called the "Governor General" represents the Queen on the island. The Queen of England herself appoints Governor General.
1979: The New Jewel Movement (NJM) under the leadership of Maurice Bishop, overthrow Eric Gairy’s regime.
1983: The New Jewel Movement (NJM), after some years of rule, develops dispute between Maurice Bishop and high-ranking members of the NJM, and around October 19, 1983, high-ranking official, Bernard Coard, backed by some members of the army led a coup against Maurice Bishop, which resulted in the assignation of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. And on October 25, 1983, Grenada was invaded by the United States.
The first religion of Grenada was that believe by its original inhabitants. The Kalinago people's religion was base on nature. They believe in a phenomenon they called Maybouya, which means 'evil spirits'. The Kalinago's society was setup with Buyeis, a word meaning 'Shamans'. These Shamans were the spiritual leaders and healers of the community.
Today the Grenadian population is 89% to 90% Christians, 50% are of the Roman Catholic cult.
The culture of Grenada today is of certainly mixed origin. Its most dominant roots are of the African culture. In Carriacou there is the celebration called Big Drum Dance, a heavily African influenced celebration. Indeed the colonizers' (the British and the French) cultures have significant influences. In addition, there seems to be traces of the Kalinago's culture.
Music: The main music of Grenada is Calypso and Soca. Both these music genera are deeply rooted in African redeem.