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One of our best known events occurs on the final day of Carnival and is called Vaval.

“[Vaval is] The spirit of Carnival, an effigy representing the spirit of Carnival. In the neighbouring French islands and in certain villages of Dominica revelers celebrate “Téwé Vaval” on the afternoon of Ash Wednesday, to symbolically bury or burn the spirit of Carnival. In the Kalinago Territory and at Dublanc, effigies of Vaval, made of old clothes, fiber stuffing and cloth or cardboard masks are paraded along the roadways and burned at sunset marking the end of revelry and the beginning of Lent. The practice dates from early Christian Europe and was brought to Dominica from the French islands where it is a very popular climax to the Carnival season.”
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Kalinago Week is celebrated during the week of September 19th each year. The annual Miss Kalinago and Princess Natari shows are part of the Kalinago Week celebrations.
The Roots of Kaliango Week
Kalinago Week ia an observance which dates back to September 19th, 1930. At that time, the Kalinago people were actively engaged in trading with the neighbouring French Territories of Marie Galante and Guadeloupe where local produce was traded for goods such as tobacco, sugar and rum.

The local authourities in Dominica then felt the Kalinago people were engaging in illegal trading activities among other concerns and moved to address these problems. This development lead to retaliation by the Kalinago community which resulted in two Kalinago men, Dudley John and Royer Frederick, being shot dead and three others being injured.

Kalinago Week Today
Today, Kalinago Week is an attempt not merely to rekindle the past, but more significantly to foster a sense of pride and dignity among today’s Kalinago.

Every year, since 1981, during the week of September 19th, several activities are staged in the Kalinago Territory with one goal in mind, that is to build a stronger bond among all Kalinagos.

For more information on Kalinago Week, please contact the Kalinago Council ( or the Kalinago Barana Aute (

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