Discovery Day will be celebrated on Monday May 20th in the Cayman Islands and even though the main focus will be the 60th Year Coat of Arms celebration, we must pause to remember a bit of our history. Our future is orchestrated by our past and the seeds we sow today will eventually bear fruit.
This holiday commemorates the ‘discovery’ of the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by Christopher Columbus in 1503.
“Some historians question whether Columbus was really the first person to set eyes on the Cayman Islands; a full year prior to Columbus’ journey, the three islands appeared on the 1502 Cantino map. Moreover, Queen Isabella of Spain authorized four other voyages to the New World in 1499. Aside from these facts, even if Columbus was the first European explorer to set foot in Cayman, at the time of his visit there were as many as a million Carib, Taino and Arawak Indians living in the adjacent coastal areas around the Islands. Archival research suggests that Cayman is a word of Carib-Indian origin (meaning crocodile). The Caribs and Taino were proficient mariners, and they were known to make ocean journeys in canoes up to 80ft in length. (The New Resident)”
The picture in this article is a replica of the Carib Indian’s canoe and was taken from the book “A Voyage out of Time” by Mike Grudowski. The close resemblance to the “Cat Boat” is truly amazing and caused me to ponder our true origins.
In addition, we encourage our readers to develop an interest in history, particularly Cayman history, as history sometimes has a tendency to repeat itself.