Barbados’ Arawak Princess

princess marian.jpgChelsea St. Rose, a student from the visual and performing arts division of the Barbados Community College, wrote an article on the story of Shoko Laliwa, known as the “Arawak Princess” providing background information on this valiant woman.

Before they were known as Arawaks they were called “Lokono”. The name Arawaks was given in 1935 by a Swedish archaeologist, Seren Loven (Logie, 2002-2014). [. . .]

Tribal community

Like most countries today, the Arawaks or Lokono group of people had their own culture and customs which are still retained today. They grew tobacco and used it, as they saw it as a way of sending up their prayers to God, and also it was a form of medicine.

[. . .] Shoko Laliwa, or ‘Little Yellow Butterfly’, was the last daughter and only living child of the elderly Hereditary Chief Amorotahe Hauvarira or Flying Harpy Eagle. He was chief of the Eagle Clan Lokono-Arawaks in Guyana.

Arawak Princess

As was their custom, the chief could not pass on his status to his daughter, but with time, she was labelled “Arawak Princess” by the English Colonial society in Guyana. In those days, indigenous peoples would not have been called ‘prince’ or ‘princess,’ but known just as the son or daughter of the chief.  Marian was able to witness the changing lifestyle of her people.

Unfortunately, little did she know that this would have been the last of the Lokono-Arawak Tribe in Guyana. [. . .]

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