Caribbean

In 18th-century Venice, Carnival masks created a temporary feeling of equality between the ruling class and the lower classes.

A Brief History of How Carnival Is Celebrated Around the World

Here’s how Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans, and Quebec City mark the pre-Lenten season

Where does the ocean end and the sky begin? It’s a little hard to tell as the sun sets on Aruba’s Baby Beach.

These Inviting Photos Capture the Beauty of the Caribbean

The stunning shots will make you wish you were there

An illustration of Lucayan divers spearfishing for parrotfish, turtles and conch

How Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Secrets of the Bahamas' First Inhabitants

Spanish colonizers enslaved the Lucayans, putting an end to their lineage by 1530

Lionel Licorish, a 23-year-old sailor from Barbados, spent 14 hours keeping a lifeboat afloat in stormy conditions and swimming through shark-infested waters to rescue survivors of the Vestris disaster.

The Black Sailor Whose Heroic Actions During a Shipwreck Made Him an Instant Celebrity of the Roaring Twenties

Lionel Licorish earned accolades for rescuing as many as 20 passengers from the wreckage of the S.S. "Vestris"

Many of the new additions depict characters from Spicemas, Grenada’s annual carnival celebration.

See the Newest Underwater Sculptures Residing on the Floor of the Caribbean

Originally created in 2006, the Molinière Underwater Sculpture Park recently added 31 new pieces off the coast of the island of Grenada

Taíno cacique Francisco Ramírez Rojas beats a palm frond to drive away bad spirits at a seaside ceremony of thanksgiving. A three-sided idol known as La Muñequina is thought to represent the Taíno belief that spirits of the dead are present among the living.

Who Were the Taíno, the Original Inhabitants of Columbus’ Island Colonies?

The Native people of Hispaniola were long believed to have died out. But a journalist's search for their descendants turned up surprising results

Caribbean reef sharks are as comfortable cruising coastal coral reefs as diving 1,000 feet into the depths. 

Efforts to Bring Back the Caribbean Reef Shark May Become a Conservation Success Story

The endangered creature is a target for fishing off the coast of the Bahamas—and a magnet for ecotourists who just might save it

Icon of the Seas successfully passed an initial round of sea trials.

The World's Largest Cruise Ship Is Nearly 1,200 Feet Long

Scheduled to debut in January, the vessel can accommodate 5,600 guests and 2,350 crew members

King Willem-Alexander lays a wreath as part of a ceremony on the Netherlands' National Remembrance Day of Slavery, during which he gave a speech apologizing for the country's involvement in the slave trade.

Dutch King Apologizes for the Netherlands' Role in the Slave Trade

The monarch's statement coincided with the 150th anniversary of slavery's abolition in the country's colonies

Master potter Alice Chéveres in her Taíno pottery workshop in Cabachuelas, Morovis, Puerto Rico.

How Artisans in Puerto Rico Sustain Native Culture

A photographer returns to his native island to document a handful of artists devoted to preserving its rich creative traditions

Diadema antillarum sea urchins in the Caribbean Sea

Scientists Solve a Sea Urchin Murder Mystery

A microscopic parasite that has been killing the Caribbean creatures since last year might also be at fault for a population collapse four decades ago

The 17th-century fort at Portobelo, built by enslaved laborers, overlooks the bay area where some of the earliest maroons settled after gaining their freedom.

A New Discovery Puts Panama as the Site of the First Successful Slave Rebellion

Deep in the archives, a historian rescues the tale of brave maroons

Artist's rendering of John Canoe (Jan Kwaw), the Ahanta king who likely inspired the Bahamas' Junkanoo festival

The Gold Coast King Who Fought the Might of Europe's Slave Traders

New research reveals links between the 18th-century Ahanta leader John Canoe and the Caribbean festival Junkanoo

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

The anchor of Industry, a whaling ship that sank in 1836 in the Gulf of Mexico 

A Shipwreck, a Robot and an Archival Treasure Hunt Reveal the Diverse History of the Whaling Industry

Free Black Americans and Native Americans once worked on the "Industry," a whaling ship whose wreck was recently identified in the Gulf of Mexico

Sidney Poitier, pictured here in 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival, died Friday, January 7. He was 94. 

How Sidney Poitier Rewrote the Script for Black Actors in Hollywood

Smithsonian curators reflect on the legacy of the late Poitier, who starred in 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner'

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye will lead design of the new Heritage District, a center dedicated to teaching about the history and impact of the transatlantic slave trade.

After Breaking Ties With Britain, Barbados Announces Heritage District Tracing Slavery's Toll

The four-phase project will include a museum, global research center and memorial

Barbados officially became a republic early Tuesday morning, casting off Elizabeth II as head of state and swearing in Sandra Mason as the country's new president.

Barbados Breaks With Elizabeth II to Become the World's Newest Republic

The Caribbean island removed the British monarch as head of state but will remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Hispaniolan boa appeared smaller than any other boa the researchers had seen before.

For the First Time in 133 Years, a New Species of Boa Was Discovered in the Dominican Republic

The small snake may be one of the smallest boas in the world

Archaeologists work at the site of the former Golden Rock Plantation, where researchers recently found an 18th-century graveyard that holds the remains of at least 48 enslaved Africans.

Remains of Enslaved People Found at Site of 18th-Century Caribbean Plantation

Archaeologists conducting excavations on the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius have discovered 48 skeletons to date

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