Carriacou’s History | Discover Carriacou | About the Islands

Carriacou’s History

The earliest written records dating back to 1656, suggest that the Kalinago (Caribs) named Carriacou ‘Kayryouacou’ - meaning ‘land surrounded by reef’s. Discoveries of pottery tools reveal that Arawaks from South America were the first settlers on the island, followed by various waves and ending with the Kalinago.

The French were the first European settlers in Carriacou around the 1740s. In 1763, it was surrendered along with Grenada to the British. Although the majority of Carriacou’s inhabitants are of African descent, European influences can still be found in the way Carriacouians live and also in the names of our towns, cities and people.

On the shores of Carriacou, you will see rows of locally built boats, from small fishing sloops to large trading schooners. The village of Windward was home to a group of Scottish boat builders who settled in Carriacou during the 19th century and passed on their practices, which are still used in boat building today. You can still witness boats being built in the traditional way on the beaches of Carriacou.

Carriacouians today earn their living through rearing their own livestock, farming, growing corn and mainly fishing. Previously, they produced their own cotton, indigo, sugar, limes, coffee and cocoa.