The Bahamas are an idyllic Caribbean destination, yet there’s much more to this archipelago than just beaches of white sand.
Lucayans were among the original inhabitants of these islands and introduced many familiar English terms such as barbecue, hurricane and guava into our language.
1. The Lucayan Taino were the first inhabitants of the Bahamas
The Lucayans (pronounced lu-KIE-an) were one of the oldest Native American groups that flourished in the Bahamas, representing one branch of Taino who had come over from South America and settled there.
Lucayans were known for their tall, symmetrical bodies and noble personalities. Socially, the Lucayans had an hereditary leader known as caciques who provided leadership within their villages as well as addressed any problems that arose – this often involved both genders being represented within this social structure.
Hunters, fishermen, and farmers. Fishing was done both for food and trade; cassava, agave, peanuts, beans, wild fruit such as guava, mammee apple, guineps scarlet plums and tamarinds as well as land crabs were grown on farms.
These Lucayans were adept at crafting dugout canoes and trading with neighboring islands – including Long Island, Great and Little Exuma Islands and Inagua Islands within the Bahamas.
As with other Native American cultures, the Lucayans developed and utilized an assortment of tools. Most were stone chopping implements; others included jadeitite celts and mauls.
They were an animist people, holding to the belief that all living things had spirit. They held strong beliefs in natural phenomena such as hurricanes and held strong reverence for their ancestors – called Zemis – thought to have originated from caves or caverns.
Their burial practices mirrored those of other Native American tribes; they placed the dead in caves or burial places marked with petroglyphs or rock carvings as they lay to rest.
Today, artifacts from Lucayan villages can still be found across the Bahamas; examples include pottery and stone axes.
Lucayans lived in multi-family groups within thatched circular huts (known as caney), eating an abundant diet of wild fruits and vegetables as well as crops like cassava, arrowroot, sweet potatoes beans peanuts. For protein they used nets made of cotton or hooks made from bone or shell.
2. The Bahamas is home to the world’s second-deepest blue hole
Are you an avid scuba diver who’s looking for an exciting addition to their vacation? Consider visiting one of The Bahamas’ many blue holes, which offer some incredible scuba diving. While their appearance might appear mythical from above ground level, these geological formations actually serve as entrances into subterranean sinkholes and caves below water.
Karst sinkholes were formed by rainwater seeping through fractures in limestone bedrock into the water table during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Ice Age when sea levels were much lower and vertical holes filled with water before their ceiling collapsed and opened into deeper and cavernous waters.
Dragon Holes can be found around the world, such as Central America, the Caribbean region and even the Philippines. Of all of them however, none is deeper than the one located in South China Sea – called The Dragon Hole.
These sinkholes typically appear circular at first glance, but quickly widen once they dive deeper. Yacht charters for scuba divers often stop by these mysterious caverns as a highlight of any diving expedition.
Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island stands as one of the deepest blue holes in the world and is a popular scuba dive spot. At 663 feet deep, its name honors its Bahamian owners – who also happen to be popular freediving enthusiasts.
If diving is not for you, snorkeling at the entrance to a hole may provide an enjoyable way to see its magnificent coral reef environment.
Visit Hamilton’s Cave on Andros for a truly unique scuba diving experience, complete with freshwater spring, stalactites, and stalagmites – an extremely popular dive site and must-see sight for anyone traveling to The Bahamas!
Are You Exploring Underwater Wonders on Your Yacht Charter? Your broker can assist in selecting an excellent dive center and qualified divemaster who will ensure a hassle-free adventure onboard your vessel.
3. Hemingway once lived in The Bahamas
Hemingway made frequent trips to The Bahamas, particularly Bimini Island where he would spend many days fishing for blue marlin. He described his time fishing for giant blue marlin in his novel The Old Man and the Sea; today Bimini is famed for its beautiful beaches, stunning dive sites, and vibrant nightlife scene.
Hemingway enjoyed swimming, walking and hiking. He read extensively to further his understanding of different cultures and peoples. Additionally, Hemingway was an accomplished cook, regularly experimenting with different cuisines. Finally, He had a keen interest in art history – including Cezanne’s paintings as well as Monet’s.
Though Hemingway is best-known for his novels, he was also an exceptional short story writer renowned for creating classic American literature in short story form. For this work, He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and widely considered to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century.
Hemingway passed away in 1961, yet his writing still resonates with us today. Many of his books have been made into films with Islands in the Stream starring George C. Scott and Claire Bloom being one of them.
Hemingway was not only an esteemed novelist but also renowned short story writer and journalist. His spare and economical style had an enormous effect on 20th-century writing, inspiring countless later writers.
Hemingway’s writing was deeply shaped by his travel experiences and it is this sense of place which has made him so beloved among modern readers. His stories often feature characters whose lives are profoundly affected by what lies outside their door.
Hemingway’s stories often have an incredible emotional impact, using an understated narrative style to convey both his emotions and character motivations.
The Bahamas are an idyllic Caribbean Sea island chain, popularly visited by tourists looking for an adventurous or relaxing Caribbean vacation spot. Their white sand and crystal blue waters make the Bahamas the ideal location for both romantic and family getaways alike.
As well as offering an idyllic tropical escape for visitors to holiday, the Bahamas are also home to an abundant culture. Boasting strong musical roots – particularly Goombay and Junkanoo dance traditions – Goombay and Junkanoo traditions have a significant place in Bahamian life and are celebrated at numerous local festivals each year.
4. The Tropic of Cancer passes through The Bahamas
The Tropic of Cancer runs directly through The Bahamas, an island nation situated in the Caribbean. Home to over 700 islands and over 2,500 cays, The Bahamas are considered one of the Caribbean’s largest archipelagos.
If you’re searching for an idyllic beach and the chance to capture famous geographical lines in one photograph, head to Tropic of Cancer Beach on Exuma. This white powder sand crescent beach is one of the longest on Little Exuma and one of The Bahamas’ prettiest spots.
As this is the only location in The Bahamas with a tropical beach that crosses directly over the Tropic of Cancer latitude line, if you’re seeking some fun photos look no further.
The Tropic of Cancer is a virtual line extending across Mexico, the Bahamas, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India, marking its northern edge and taking its name from Cancer constellation’s depiction as a crab-like shape in the sky.
Although first identified 2000 years ago, this imaginary line remains an integral component of Earth’s geography. Being the northernmost tropic means that in the Northern Hemisphere you can experience summer when the sun directly overheard on June 21st (known as summer solstice).
Enjoy winter in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun peaks directly over our planet on December 21st; therefore, tropical regions play a critical role in our ecology and climate.
As well as the equator, other imaginary lines exist on Earth’s surface – some of the more well-known being the Arctic Circle, Prime Meridian and International Date Line.
An interesting fact about India is that the Tropic of Cancer passes through eight states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal Tripura and Mizoram.
The Tropic of Cancer is an imaginary line located just north of the Equator that serves to determine where sunlight will shine directly overhead at noon on June 21st. Unlike an equator, however, which marks continent boundaries, tropics do not define any such limits between continents or countries.