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About Saint Lucia > Our Culture > The People

The People
Religion
The People
Folk Music and Dance

The People of Saint Lucia

Approximately 85% of all St. Lucians are of pure African decent. There is a small percentage of mixed African, British, French, East Indian, and Carib ancestry, and a pure group from East Indian and European decent. Combined, the overall population of St. Lucia is approximately 160,000 with at least one-third of that amount living in the Castries-Gros Islet region and its suburbs.

St. Lucians share a French Creole heritage which stems from British and French as well as Catholic colonial domination. While not quite bilingual (French/English) the people observe and celebrate all Catholic feast days, as well as African based festivals and English national holidays. The official and dominant language is English however, French Creole or Patios is a native language which is widely used throughout. The Creole language is used by many as a way of presenting figurative expressions and to a lessor extent, phrases which are known to be proverbs which once influenced the lives and motives of our ancestors.

In the rural communities of St. Lucia, many of these figurative expressions and phrases continue to form part of the traditional “conte” which essentially, is the telling of folk tales in small groups at nights or during a “la Veillèe” where mourners are comforted throughout the night through prayers and by the popular “quick-quack” stories from senior members of the community. In some cases, community living is still highlighted by the “coup de main” which is a form of cooperative effort in planting gardens, building timber homes, or any community related project.

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