Mélange Travel and Lifestyle Magazine February 2021 | Page 124

Colonialism brought names to the Kalinago people with which they cannot identify - names with no significance to their ancestry . Some now choose to honour their heritage by relinquishing the non-traditional name given at birth , replacing it with one that allows them to identify with their culture , a significant reclaimation of what colonialism sought to erase .
In the village , there exists a list of Kalinago names and their meaning . An elder is the custodian of that list which is circulated to those have expressed an interest in relinquishing their colonial name .
The name change is done with a Naming Ceremony held on a night when there ’ s a full moon . This spiritual ceremony is officiated by the village Shaman and includes drumming and a smoke ceremony . Several people may have name changed on that night . The ceremony usually lasts for about an hour and is followed by a celebration which includes traditional food such as cassava , and drink , such as Wicu , a traditional beer made in the village .
Villa Ayahora is the host venue for many Naming Ceremonies . The owner once had a non-Kalinago name , Louis Patrick Hill . That was later changed to reflect his heritage . He is now Nichie Abo , which means ‘ Bold ’.
Some of the name changes may be ceremonial only , while others may chose to make it legal , duly registered and appearing on official documents .
Wedding ceremonies are also held at Villa Ayahora .
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