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date: 14 November 2019

Caribbean Islands.locked

  • Janet Henshall Momsen,
  • C. J. M. R. Gullick,
  • Kusha Haraksingh,
  • Liliana Herrera,
  • Alissandra Cummins,
  • C. C. McKee,
  • Ricardo E. Alegria
  •  and Mela Pons-Alegria


Archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, comprising numerous islands scattered in a wide arc stretching from Cuba to Aruba. The islands may be divided into three groups: the Greater Antilles, consisting of Cuba, Hispaniola (divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, and Jamaica; the chain of small islands from the Virgin Islands to Aruba known as the Lesser Antilles; and the islands to the north of the Greater Antilles that form the Bahamas (see fig.). This article discusses the major cultures found throughout the Caribbean Islands and their influence and importance within the region. For more detailed surveys of specific arts and artists, see the individual islands’ surveys.

Janet Henshall Momsen, C. J. M. R. Gullick and Kusha Haraksingh, bibliography contributed by Liliana Herrera

The islands cover a total land area of 234,000 sq. km, and their geology falls into three areas: the faultblock mountains of the Greater Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, and the islands close to the north coast of South America; the volcanic peaks of the inner arc of the Lesser Antilles; and the limestone plateaux of parts of Cuba, the Bahamas, and the outer arc of the Lesser Antilles. The climate is marine tropical, with local variations based on wind direction and altitude. There is a risk of hurricanes in summer months. Rainfall largely determines vegetation, but most of the original forest has been cleared for cultivation....

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