Welcome to the official website of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust

Meet our predecessors


Christopher Columbus set sail, another great migration in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines was taking shape. Using dugout canoes, an ancient people began moving up the island chain of the Caribbean from South America, arriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines around 160 AD. The name given to these people is Saladoid because they seem to have originated near a place now called Saladero on the Orinoco River.

The Saladoid people were skilled weavers, stone workers and canoe builders. They grew and processed Cassava as a staple crop and built strong houses out of materials from the forest. They maintained links with other groups, though trade and migration and these influences can be seen in the different styles of their pottery.

Long before the cruise ships began to dock in Kingstown, before the slave ships forced the migration of thousands of people, over a thousand years before
Whereas in other islands such as Cuba and the Bahamas, the indigenous population was wiped out, through diseases brought by the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas and by the grueling slave labour system of the Spanish Empire, St Vincent remained untouched by European settlement until the early 18th century.

Before colonization by the French and the British, slaves settled in St Vincent, some having been shipwrecked when a slave ship sank off Bequia, others having escaped from other islands. These African slaves intermarried with the indigenous population and were the descendants of the “Black Carib” population from which many modern Vincentians are descended.

In the far north of the island of St Vincent, you can still find communities descended from the original indigenous population.

There are various ways you can experience the life of the Saladoid people and their descendants. Once such way is to visit a petrolgyph, where mystical religious pictures are carved into huge volcanic rocks. A visit to the National Archaeological Collection, cared for by the Trust at the Carnegie Building in Kingstown, is a fascinating way of learning about everyday life for the original inhabitants of St Vincent. The collection includes cassava griddles and other cooking implements, jewelry, tools and ceramics.

carnegie 4

Places to visit to learn more

 The Layou Petroglyph Park

Carnegie Building

Other Petroglyphs are located at :

• Barrouallie

• Petit Bordel

• Chateaubelaire

• Buccament

• Colonaire

• Sharpes Stream

• Peter’s Hope

• Lowman’s Bay

• Canouan

• Petit St Vincent

Read about the National Trust's efforts to preserve Indigeneous Heritage here

Securing the Yambou 1 Petrogylph

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player