Trinidad Fun Facts
By: Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnuauth, Esq.
Some fun facts for the most fun island:
Name: Trinidad’s original Arawak name was Iëre, meaning hummingbird. The contemporary name is a shortened version of Christopher Columbus’ name La Isla de la Trinidad. He named the island on his third voyage to the New World. The Kalinago tribe called Tobago Aloubaéra, for the giant snake in Dominica. Columbus named Tobago, Belaforme, meaning beauty from a distance. The name "Tobago” likely derives from the Spanish’s Tabaco.
Geology: Trinidad is a small island with many beautiful landforms. There are hills, plains, beaches, rivers, and waterfalls. The Northern Range (of hills) covers about 25% of Trinidad. El Cerro del Aripo (3,084 ft.) is the highest point of the Northern Range in Arima. The Northern Range also includes the highest waterfall, Maracas.
Carnival: Panorama and Carnival are huge celebrations in Trinidad. Panorama is a steel-pan competition. Around the same time as Panorama, Carnival is held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Carnival has its roots in the French Catholic ritual of Shrovetide (where Hedonism was celebrated prior to Lent) and West African culture. It was initially only for upper class whites. It wasn’t until emancipation that Africans, and later Indians, took Carnival and made it their own.
Politics: The islands were mainly inhabited by the Arawak and Carib Amerindians. The former was a more peaceful tribe and the latter was known for their willingness to war. The islands were taken by Spain following Columbus' discovery. In 1797, the British invaded Trinidad and Spain surrendered without a fight. When Britain colonized Trinidad and Tobago, sugar was the dominant industry. The sugar industry boomed because of slave labor, indentured servant labor, and later factories. In 1962, Trinidad & Tobago gained independence from Britain. Eric Williams served as the first prime minister until his death in 1981. He is often regarded as the “Father of the Nation.”
Economy: In the 1900s, the agricultural market was surpassed by the modern oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry still reigns today. An energy expert opined that the future of the nation is natural gas: “In the long run, gas has more potential[.] Trinidad is sitting on many wells that are gas prone rather than oil rich.” Moreover, the Minister of Energy announced in September that the Broadside well in TTDAA3 will be the deepest drill depth in Trinidad. The announcement is important because it highlights progress in Trinidad’s hydrocarbon exploration.
Conclusion: Trinidad’s modern history began with foreign rule. Once independent, Trinidad’s society flourished. Trinidad is encouraged to continue its growth/fun by protecting women and civilians, and minimizing outside interference in its oil and tourism industries.
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. is a trial-winning business and trademark attorney. She primarily helps new and small businesses with trademarks, formation, and name clearance searches. She writes articles on the importance of trademarks, trademark law updates, and also West Indian history (with an emphasis on India, Trinidad, Guyana, and the United States).
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