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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The religious history of the island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the eastern Caribbean Sea is complex and indelibly linked to issues of migration, displacement, colonization, slavery, and the search for nationhood and freedom. The first inhabitants were the Taintos (Arawaks), a group of agricultural people who originated from the Orinoco Basin in South America. They were replaced by the Callinagoes (Caribs) who also migrated from South America. The religious beliefs of both the Taintos and the Callinagoes are characterized as Amerindian shamanism: having a Supreme Being, who did not directly interact with the people; lesser divine being(s), who exerted power over their daily lives; and priests, who functioned as spiritual intermediaries between the deity and humans.

With the arrival of the Europeans ...

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