The islanders have a rich history of cultural intrigue, slavery, war with colonial powers, — leading to a referendum for independence in 1979. Before colonization the Caribs (named by Columbus) ruled the island but were defeated by a group known as the Black Caribs, who later put up a fierce resistance to the British. Most Vincentians are the descendants of African slaves brought to the island to work on plantations. There also are a few white descendants of English colonists, as well as some East Indians, Carib Indians, and a sizable minority of mixed race. The country’s official language is English, but listening on the dollar bus I could understand about one in three words – making interpretation a guessing game. Here is a glimpse of their lives in picture.