Monday, December 23, 2013

History and Culture

The peaceful calm of St. Kitts and Nevis--that tranquil atmosphere which in Nevis especially edges toward slumber--suggests nothing of the extraordinary histories of these two islands. For centuries, St. Kitts and Nevis occupied a critical position in the European struggle for the West Indies, combining exceptional wealth as sugar colonies with a vital strategic position as gateways to the Caribbean. As a result, the struggles and conflicts that marked their history are among the most decisive episodes in Caribbean history. 
Both St. Kitts and Nevis are volcanic islands, a fact to which they owe their dramatic central mountains, their rather unpredictable geologic history, and their lush tropical vegetation. In fact, St. Kitts' pre-Columbian Carib inhabitants knew their island asLiamuiga, or "fertile land," a reference to the island's rich and productive volcanic soil. Today that name graces St. Kitts' central peak, a 3,792-foot extinct volcano.