Welcome to Cap Juluca
"The Rainbow God"

Petroglyph found in the fascinating Cavern is Cap Juluca - "The Rainbow God"
 

Welcome to Cap Juluca "The Rainbow God"Petroglyph found in the fascinating Cavern is Cap Juluca - "The Rainbow God". This emblem carved into the limestone column facing east is essentially an arc with solar orb flanked by chevron lines.
One of Anguilla's leading and internationally acclaimed resorts had taken it's name and emblem from this Amerindian god.


The Amerindian Cultures of Anguilla.

Text courtesy of Nik Douglas.
Welcome to Cap Juluca "The Rainbow God"Archaeological research in Anguilla began in 1979, when a team from the US Virgin Islands did a survey and found nineteen sites having Amerindian potential.

 

The Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society, founded in 1981, organized field trips to monitor these and locate additional sites, and collected cultural artifacts whenever areas were impacted by development projects. Within a short time, the known Amerindian sites on Anguilla and the offshore keys (Dog Island and Scrub Island) expanded to more than forty, including the remains of entire villages, small habitations, cultivated areas, outposts and caves. More than 60,000 of Anguilla’s Amerindian artifacts have now been collected and properly documented, funded by a grant from Unesco.

 

Welcome to Cap Juluca "The Rainbow God"Perhaps the earliest Amerindian site on Anguilla, which was thriving some 3300 years ago, is located at a remote North Eastern part of the island. We are not sure who these “archaic” people were or exactly where they came from. But they must have been skilled mariners, arriving from far away on rafts or in canoes. They hunted, fished and gathered various foods such as whelk, conch, oysters, clams, fish, crabs and birds, the remains of which have been found. Also recovered from this important “pre-ceramic” or “archaic” site are unusual shell vessels, shell tools, flints, worked coral, a stone ornamental weight and part of a stone axe. The recovered artifacts suggest these people were from a “Ciboney” (stone age) culture originating in mainland South America. We don’t know how long they lived here as most traces of these earliest Anguillians were obliterated by later settlers.

 

Welcome to Cap Juluca "The Rainbow God"Almost all of Anguilla’s Amerindian village sites are scattered with numerous pottery fragments (called shards), which are clearly from later “Arawak” cultures transplanted here from mainland South America. We don’t know for sure at what period Anguilla was first settled by these ceramic-making Amerindians, who first entered the chain of East Caribbean islands around the 1st century AD, island-hopping over the centuries from Trinidad to here and beyond. The early types of Arawak island pottery were generally of fine quality, often beautifully decorated with red ochre and white over-painting referred to as “White on Red”. Some were ornamented with animal or bird heads and stylized body parts, and most likely were used in a ceremonial context. Anguillian early Arawak cultural sites where “White on Red” pottery has been recovered include Sandy Ground, Rendezvous Bay, Shoal Bay and The Fountain, and most were first settled or used between the 5th to 8th centuries AD. Later on, other types of pottery were created, including incised, “cross-hatched” and model-decorated ceremonial wares and huge amounts of undecorated multi-functional vessels such as jars, jugs, cooking pots, bowls, plates and griddles.

Welcome to Cap Juluca "The Rainbow God"Anguilla’s Arawak cultures thrived here for at least a thousand years and settled most parts of the island. At their peak, during the so-called “Golden Age” around 1000 to 1400 AD, the Arawak population here was about the same number as the present. These peaceful pre-Columbian people, also known as Tainos (meaning “peace”), were sea-farers and cultivators. They built both large and small canoes in which they moved freely from island to island, and were experts in hybriding and cultivating plants including important staple crops such as corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, beans, squash, gourds and pineapple, as well as useful materials such as cotton and tobacco. They had nets, fished the reefs and the deep seas, gathered from the shores, made hammocks, created the barbeque and named the hurricane. Their culture had an elaborate mythology, pleasing music and dances, a ball-game, fine weaving, basketry and pottery, and a political system based on Chiefdoms.

 

Scientists from several US, European and Caribbean institutions have done important field-work in Anguilla. Dr. James Peterson showed that many of the Arawak/Taino ceramics found here incorporated materials brought from other islands. Recently, John Crock from the University of Pittsburgh was awarded a doctorate from his thesis that in Amerindian times Anguilla was a regionally significant ceremonial center - a hub in a cultural, economic and political network which traded high-status ceremonial artifacts made here from imported raw materials to communities on neighboring islands. Pyramidical-shaped “zemi” spirit power images done from imported extremely hard stones were made in Anguilla en masse and exported, so were axes made from imported green stones. Anguilla’s Arawaks also made wooden idols with shell inlays, bone snuff tubes, sophisticated shell jewelry and exquisite shell “masks” symbols of chiefly power and authority.

 

Anguilla has two very important Arawak-culture ceremonial cave sites. “The Fountain”, located above the Western end of Shoal Bay, is a spectacular cave with fresh water pools, an array of petroglyphs, and a large carved stalagmite representing Jocahu, the Arawak Indian Creator Deity. In 1985 the Government of Anguilla acquired the cave and the adjoining land for development as a National Park and Amerindian museum. The site is now awaiting formal inclusion as one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites. A second major ceremonial cave with a water source - “Big Spring”, was also discovered and many petroglyphs and a rock carving recorded; located near to Island Harbour, a first phase of conservation and development has already been completed.

 

The Arawak settlements on Anguilla were very extensive and lasted up to the entry of Christopher Columbus into the Caribbean, which was wrongly named; the Arawaks and their antecedents were in the region for at least 3000 years, so it should rightly be called “The Arawakean”.

 

The Caribs, a different and very war-like Amerindian tribe from South America, raided into and migrated through some parts of the chain of islands just prior to the time of Columbus. A Carib raid on Anguilla, coming from Dominica and St. Vincent, occurred in 1656. But thus far there is no evidence of any permanent Carib settlements here.

Anguilla’s Arawak heritage will no doubt become a significant ingredient of our tourism product. The establishment of a National Museum, The Fountain show cave and National Park, and the Big Spring National Park, as well as ongoing archaeological field schools and the development of other Amerindian sites on the island, will add to our attractions and at the same time entertain and educate Anguillians, visitors and residents.

By Nik Douglas. Please visit his gallery "World Art & Antiques Gallery" is based in Anguilla. They are experts at locating and acquiring unique art objects and assembling theme collections.

 

They offer our valued customers a comprehensive collectors service customized to their interests, budget and needs, and maintain a substantial inventory at all times, with items from a broad spectrum of cultures. They unconditionally guarantee the authenticity and title of everything we sell.

 

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