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Portal:Caribbean

The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
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Playa de Cayo Levantado
Location Caribbean.png

The Caribbean (/ˌkærɪˈbən, kəˈrɪbiən/, locally /ˈkærɪbiæn/) (Spanish: El Caribe; French: la Caraïbe; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region has more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays (see the list of Caribbean islands). Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: The Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago on the north and the Lesser Antilles and the on the south and east (which includes the Leeward Antilles). They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago (the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands), which are sometimes considered Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.

Geopolitically, the islands of the Caribbean (the West Indies) are often regarded as a region of North America, though sometimes they are included in Central America or left as a region of their own. and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. Read more...

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Robert Nesta Marley, OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley's contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade. Over the course of his career Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism.

Born in Nine Mile, British Jamaica, Marley began his professional musical career in 1963, after forming Bob Marley and the Wailers. The group released its debut studio album The Wailing Wailers in 1965, which contained the single "One Love/People Get Ready"; the song was popular worldwide, and established the group as a rising figure in reggae. The Wailers subsequently released eleven further studio albums; while initially employing louder instrumentation and singing, the group began engaging in rhythmic-based song construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which coincided with the singer's conversion to Rastafarianism. During this period Marley relocated to London, and the group typified their musical shift with the release of the album The Best of The Wailers (1971). Read more...

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Jamaica (/əˈmkə/ (About this soundlisten)) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies some 215 kilometres (134 mi) to the north-west.

Originally inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people were either killed or died of diseases to which they had no immunity, and the Spanish thus forcibly transplanted large numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it, renaming it Jamaica. Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with a plantation economy dependent on the African slaves and later their descendants. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British began utilising Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. Read more...

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The beers of the Caribbean are unique to each island in the region, although many are variants of the same style. Each island generally brews its own unique pale lager, the occasional stout, and often a non-alcoholic malta beverage. Contract-brewing of international beers is also common, with Heineken Pilsener and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout being the most popular.

The beers vary between the islands to suit the taste and the brewing method used. Read more...

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Adult of the subspecies sclateri perching on a nest box

The golden swallow (Tachycineta euchrysea) is a passerine in the swallow family, Hirundinidae. Two subspecies are recognised, the Jamaican T. e. euchrysea and T. e. sclateri of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). It usually inhabits the hills on the interior of islands, preferring open country. Currently, this swallow is restricted to isolated montane forests that primarily consist of the Hispaniolan pine. This species is considered to be a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); the nominate subspecies, T. e. euchrysea, is likely extinct. The exact cause of extinction is unknown, but likely factors include predation by introduced mammals and habitat loss, although the habitat loss theory is not supported by much evidence. The last sighting of the nominate subspecies was in Hardwar Gap (located on the boundary between Saint Andrew and Portland parishes), with three birds being seen on 8 June 1989.

A relatively small swallow, the nominate subspecies has bronze upperparts and bronze sides of the head. The ears and lores are duller and the forehead area is more green than bronze. The shoulders, back, rump, and uppertail-coverts are, on the other hand, a coppery-bronze colour. The lesser and median coverts are more coppery, with the greater and primary-wing-coverts being more of a dusky green. The primaries, secondaries, and tail are a dusky bronze-green. The underparts are mostly white. The legs, feet, and irides are dark brown, and the bill is black. The female is similar but with its breast, and occasionally throat and undertail-coverts, being mottled grey-brown. The juvenile is also mottled-grey brown, in addition to it being duller overall. The extant subspecies, T. e. sclateri, is primarily differentiated by its more deeply forked tail, blue-green forehead and uppertail-coverts, and blue-black wings and tail. Read more...

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Voters queue to cast their vote during the Haitian general election, 2006
Credit: Robert Miller

Voters queue to cast their vote during the Haitian general election, 2006

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Indo-Caribbean music is the musical traditions of the Indo-Caribbean people of the Caribbean music area. Indo-Caribbean music is most common in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname.

Indo-Caribbean traditional music often reflects the Bhojpuri heritage of many Indo-Caribbeans; women's folk songs are especially reflective of the . These include folk songs for childbirth (sohar), humorous and light-hearted songs for a bride's family to insult the groom's (gali), funereal songs (nirgun) and matkor. Other women's folk songs are seasonal and are performed at festivals like the phagwah and holi. Instrumentation consists mostly of the dhantal, a metal rod and claper, and the dholak, a two-headed barrel drum. Traditional Hindu bhajans are also common. Read more...

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