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Society, Ethnology, Anthropology, Sociology, Security, Age of Majority
Language (Bahamianese, Bahamian dialect/slang)
Humour/jokes, quiz

Society, Ethnology, Anthropology, Sociology, Security

see also Books - Historical photos - History (slavery etc.) - Haiti history
see also Earth Trend Country Profile > Population

The Bahamian Identity
Noted black Bahamian playwright Winston V. Saunders describes the new consciousness of Bahamian identity in this way: Culture in the Bahamas today is an amalgam of our British heritage, our African heritage, and the effects of our closeness to North America. Our language is English ... Our courts follow the English system ... We wear [English and European fashions] with consistency ... Marry the above with the practice of obeah, the gyrating movements of the ring-play, the pulsating rhythm of junkanoo and the goatskin drum, the hand-clapping jumpers, the use of bush medicine ... and you almost have a Bahamian. The final touches come in the form of the American jerry curl, the American afro, American television. (Source: encarta africana
XX what is a ring-play and what are jerry curls...?


02.01.01 "Becoming a true Bahamian" Nassau Guardian - scan at
27.10.03 "On race" by Nicolette Bethel, social anthropologist, lectures at COB) Nassau Guardian
11.11.03 "Racial reconciliation" by Apostle Cecric Moss, Senior Pastor Nassau Guardian
01.12.03 "On the mind" - what is Bahamian? Nassau Guardian - Editorial by Nicolette Bethel
05.02.04 "The plight of children born to Haitian parents in The Bahamas" Nassau Guardian
16.03.04 "The sale of condoms - Embarrassed? Man on the street interview" Nassau Guardian
19.03.04 "Same sex unions illegal" Nassau Guardian
17.05.04 "Sir Sidney, UNESCO head to address schoolchildren" Nassau Guardian
20.05.04 "UN (UNESCO) seeks closer ties - Fight against slavery,intolerance launched" Nassau Guardian
20.05.04 "Govt Has No Problem With Gay Cruise " B2B
01.06.04 "Gay tourist ship arrives " Nassau Guardian
02.06.04 "Gays get 'open arms' welcome" Nassau Guardian
24.06.04 "Gays are not born as such - Dr Munroe" Nassau Guardian
06.07.04 "Fluctuating population growth" Nassau Guardian
09.07.04 "Anti gay cruise rally set for Sunday" Nassau Guardian
13.07.04 "'Homosexuality running strong in Parliament' rally told - No votes for gays in next election demands pastor" Nassau Guardian
14.07.04 "Gay cruise visitors to take in local tours" Nassau Guardian
14.07.04 "BCC responds to Wilchcombe statement on gay cruise protests" Nassau Guardian
15.07.04 "Opposition wants clarity on homosexual claim" Nassau Guardian
16.07.04 "U.S. concerned for cruise passengers' safety - Gay Family Values Cruise" Nassau Guardian
20.07.04 "Miffed gay cruisers hold back on spending" Nassau Guardian
05.08.04 "Hotel: racism claims false [Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay, Great Exuma]" Nassau Guardian
26.08.04 "Statelessness = rejection - Examining the impact of not belonging to any country" Nassau Guardian
16.09.04 "Andre: Paradise Lost - interview with a homeless " Nassau Guardian - what is a "joneser": Cincinnati Post
08.11.04 "Nassau experts advise humanitarian approach to addressing The Mud and Pigeon Pea issue" Freeport News
09.11.04 "IOM conference gets underway - Peet urges 'harmonised approach to migration'" Nassau Guardian
05.12.04 "Friction in Bahamian groups in NY [Bahamian American Association Inc., The Bahamian American Cultural Society and the Sons and Daughters of Andros]" Nassau Guardian
09.12.04 "It's not the Welcome Centre [abuse allegations at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre]" Nassau Guardian
15.12.04 "No dog food - Cuban Consul general says claim is outrageous" Nassau Guardian
15.12.04 "Illegal squatters warned" Nassau Guardian
16.12.04 "Amnesty to issue third report - Group not satisfied with Detention Centre probe " Nassau Guardian

16.12.04 "Re-Imagine" Nassau Guardian
21.12.04 "Amnesty Int'l seeks inquiry -Third report calls for independent Detention Centre probe" Nassau Guardian
22.12.04 "Bahamian Christmas" Nassau Guardian
22.12.04 "Tales from the crisis centre" Nassau Guardian

03.01.05 "Former CC president urges citizenship for persons born here" Freeport News
05.01.05 "A vision for a better Bahamas in 2005 by Sen. Tommy Turnquest" Nassau Guardian
17.01.05 "Gibson Squatters must go - Gov't to conduct occupational survey of residents " Nassau Guardian
18.01.05 "Bahamian work ethics praised" Freeport News
18.01.05 "Minister Peet considering permanent residency for long-term farm workers" Freeport News
24.01.05 "Squatters Multiplying - the Haitian shantytowns in the heart of Kool Acres in eastern New Providence seem to get bigger every year." Bahama Journal
25.01.05 "Task force quizzed - Rights group says Detention Centre probe must be independent " Nassau Guardian
31.01.05 "Nassau Village Riot Inquiry sought" Nassau Guardian
31.01.05 "Riot indicates social fabric torn apart, says Stuart" Nassau Guardian
01.02 05 "Homes, sweet homes - 680 homes on the drawing board for 2005 " Nassau Guardian
04.02.05 "UN agency to produce report on illegal immigrants" Nassau Guardian
07.02.05 "Is Abaco the nation's bellwether island?" Freeport News
10.02.05 "Zero tolerance - Pratt says violence will not be tolerated " Nassau Guardian
10.02.05 "Illegal immigrants must go says Miller" Nassau Guardian

14.02.05 "Illegal immigrants warned - 268 nabbed in Abaco, GB, NP over 3 day period " Nassau Guardian
15.02.05 "A 'cri de coeur' for Bahamian respect - an extraordinary day in Bahamian-Haitian relations in Abaco... " Freeport News

17.02.05 "Forty-three low cost homes in three months" Nassau Guardian
17.02.05 "MP: Slumlords exploiting illegal immigrant problem" Nassau Guardian
17.02.05 "Should you rent or buy?" Nassau Guardian
21.02.05 "The last straw - Illegal Haitian and Jamaican vendors being removed " Nassau Guardian
23.02.05 "Immigration says apprehension of illegal workers in Abaco 'constant'" Nassau Guardian
26.02.05 "Teaching young men to 'wait' until marriage" Nassau Guardian
10.03.05 "Bahamas abstains in UN vote on cloning" Nassau Guardian
15.03.05 "Arawak Cay 'eyesore' - A 'Haitian marketplace,' says businessman " Nassau Guardian  

17.07.07 "Urban Renewal officers back" Nassau Guardian 

17.07.07 "Blacks are an anomaly in China" Nassau Guardian

11.09.07 "Homosexuality & the Church" Nassau Guardian

11.09.07 "The Bahamas & China worlds apart" Nassau Guardian

More Bahamian "insights"

Speech by The Hon. Fred A. Mitchell, 5th May 2003,  "What it means to be Bahamian" (not available anymore)

Native Life -  Favorite Bahamian Foods / Things we do / You know you're a native if... / Sip-Sip and local slang
Attitudes toward marriage in the Bahama Islands

fcse Family & Consumer Sciences - as taught at Bahamian schools (course outline of Queen's college)
(e.g. see also course outlines of religion and history)

Biscottiland (Bruce Scott) - Bahamas update No. 1 - 28,  Bruce Scott worked as Associate Art Director and Art Director for Dupuch from 2001-2003. Jump from page to page. Broken links > change URL yourself to next page number, e.g. .../8_bu.html)

Nassauvians (Nassaubians?), Eleutherans, Long Islanders, MICALians, Androsians, Biminites, Exumian....
?but how do you call people from New Providence, PI, Grand Bahama, Freeport, Cat Island, San Salvador, etc

Nick-Names of people originating from different family islands:

"... Sheep-runner, Beagle, Sigillian, Crab ..." - more? which belongs to which island? source
"You can be a crab with eight legs and two biters from Andros or a pink flamingo from Inagua or sheep runner from Long Island, once you are a Bahamian under the constitution you can run for any political office in the country" source


Miscellaneous Institutions

Bahamas Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1999 (US State Dep)
Bethel Nicolette, Anthropologist
Caribbean Islands, a country study (LOC) mostly 1987, see also FAQ
(same content but other layout: > search for [Bahamas])
Refugee Report

African American Electronic Texts
Afrocentric Experience
CAFRA Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action
Creole Links
Demographical data & Social Watch reportsee statistics
Ethnologue report
BHS Bahamas Humane Society
BUBL BUlletin Board for Libraries - Bahamas Links
CAC Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink
IYP Bahamas action partner
NAACP The official website of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Southern Area of the Links
UNCF United Negro College Fund Telethon
Unicef Social Indicator Less Populous Countries
VICS Virtual Institute of Caribbean Studies (lots of Caribbean Studies links!)

(Imperial Life-)List of Bahamian Social Organisations
(Imperial Life-)List of Useful Numbers

see also RBPF - RBDF - BASRA - US Coast Guard - US/Caribbean police/defense - laws, general - Customs Dep (Min of Finance) - Road Traffic Dep (Min of Transport and Aviation) - Dep of Immigration (Min of Labour and Immigration)

see here for consumer organizations
see here for disaster relief / hurricanes

18.03.04 "'Problem' drug countries" Nassau Guardian
25.05.04 "Fraudulent letters major concern - BIFS seminar told" Nassau Guardian
20.09.04 "Youth Against Violence – getting results - This is the first in a series of gang-related stories" Nassau Guardian
04.10.04 "New Providence gangs - an overview" Nassau Guardian
27.10.04 "Drug smugglers beware - With increased U.S. Coast Guard intelligence traffickers having hard time doing business" Nassau Guardian
29.11.04 "U.S. Ambassador affirms respect for Inagua report- Reiterates appreciation of OPBAT's importance" Nassau Guardian
20.01.05 "Not Happy - Pratt says crime figures remain 'unacceptably high' " Nassau Guardian
25.01.05 "An alternative trail - BASH [The Bahamas Association of Social Health] unveils Earth Village programme" Nassau Guardian

31.01.05 "Law enforcement agencies hold annual service - Law enforcement agencies represented included the Police, Customs, Immigration and Road Traffic." Freeport News

14.02.05 "Drug trafficking and urban renewal successes featured - The Institute for Social Justice'" Nassau Guardian 

17.07.07 "List of 2007 murder victims" Nassau Guardian

18.09.07 "Geographic location may keep Bahamas on U.S.A.'s drug list" Nassau Guardian

"The Bahamas may never get off the United States' list of major drug-producing and transiting countries because the country's prime location and diversity make it nearly impossible to ward off traffickers, according to David Foran, Narcotics Affairs Director in the U.S. Embassy. Foran said even if drug production in The Bahamas ceased, it would be difficult for the country to be totally excluded from the list. "You have the location issue, the diversity and the spread of the 700 islands and cays and some that are uninhibited, so it's hard to control that," he said Monday during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy. Every fiscal year, the President of the U.S. makes a determination on major drug transit and illicit-drug-producing countries. This year, The Bahamas, along with 19 other countries including Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Mexico, Nigeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, India, Guatemala, Venezuela, Ecuador, Laos, Paraguay and Afghanistan were included on that list presented yesterday by President George Bush. However, according to Foran, The Bahamas' presence on the list was not an adverse reflection of the government's efforts to counter trafficking or production, nor its cooperation with the United States. In fact, he said there was no country in the Caribbean whose police and defense forces cooperated more closely with the U.S. to counter the drug trade, than The Bahamas. "The Bahamian Police Force is first-rate and takes very seriously its efforts to fight drug trafficking," he said, adding that The Bahamas was on the list primarily because it is positioned between the South American producers of cocaine and the North American U.S. consumers of cocaine. "And in order to get it (drugs) from point A, the place of production, to point B, the place of use, one of the main routes is obviously through the Caribbean and The Bahamas being at the doorstep of the U.S., it's going to be in that group." He reported that while the U.S. government was very satisfied with the level of cooperation from The Bahamas, there was still concern about the trend of cultivation of marijuana in the Family Islands. But the upsurge in marijuana seizures this year have been "pretty positive", he noted. "What we're finding with [the marijuana] fields that are growing on the Family Islands, the local people notify the police, so that's a positive aspect," said Foran. During the "cowboy drug years" the late 1970s to early 1980s about 70 percent of all U.S. bound cocaine came through The Bahamas. The current estimates are about 10 percent, Foran reported. Those figures speak to the efforts of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defense forces, coupled with the determination of the Progressive Liberty Party and Free National Movement governments to counter the transit of drugs, he said. But even with the efforts of the government, there has been a slight increase in the cocaine that traffickers are attempting to transit through The Bahamas. Foran could not give exact figures, but he attributed the increase to the demand for drugs in Hispaniola. Burma and Venezuela were identified by U.S. President George Bush as the two countries that have "failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counter-narcotics agreements." Meanwhile, India was said to have "an exemplary record on controlling its licit opium production and distributions process, despite formidable challenges to its efforts." According to the President, Nigeria and Ecuador have made progress."


INCSR International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2002 - 2003 - 2004
Safe Bahamas
Youth Empowerment & Skills Training YEAST
YAV Youth Against Violence
YAV Youth Against Violence, featuring Carlos Reid

Urban Renewal Programme
Press Release re Programme 
Perry Christie Demands Reinstatement of Urban Renewal  

Crime and Safety
see also US Consulat Information Sheet etc. here

During the 1980s and early 1990s Nassau suffered a small wave of gun violence, mostly as a result of the drug trade. These days things have calmed down and the tourist-friendly zones around Nassau, Cable Beach, Paradise Island and Freeport-Lucaya are fairly safe . Nevertheless, petty crimes like hotel-room theft and pickpocketing do occur. Visitors should exercise caution in Nassau after dark and avoid suburbs like Over-the-Hill and Fox, which still have problems. Drug dealers may also frequent touristed areas, and visitors should be aware that Bahamian drug laws are harsher than those in North America or Europe, with long prison sentences always a possibility.
The streets of Nassau and Freeport tend to empty out rather early in the evening, and visitors, especially women, should avoid venturing out alone there after dark. Places like the neighbourhood Over-the-Hill in Nassau have experienced a recent spurt of gun violence , and tourists should exercise reasonable precautions before heading out alone. source: travelingo/Rough Guide

Age of  majority / majority age, age of consent, legal age
(various sources)
I do not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained herein

Age of simple majority
The legal age of majority (civil legal age) is eighteen (18) years.

Age of consent for sexual activity
The legal age for consenting to a sexual activity is sixteen (16) years.

Age of consent for marriage
The legal age for consenting to marriage is eighteen (18) years.

The legal age in the Bahamas for consumption of alcoholic beverages and gambling
is 18.

<>Minimum legal age of criminal responsibility
is 10 years

Service Clubs (and similar organizations)
Pilot Club Nassau
Rotary Freeport
Lions Club  > club locator (large button on main site) > search by country "Bahamas" > search by name: enter Freeport or Nassau
Rotary Club of South East Nassau  

Free Masonry (A.F. & A.M.; M.F. & A.M.don't seem to have websites)
United Grand Lodge of England
Free Masonry MWPHGL
Free Masonry Grand Lodge of Scotland
Free Masonry Prince of Peace Grand Lodge (no website) MW Prince of Peace Grand Lodge A.F.& A.M. - Nassau - 77 21 W 25 5 N - source
+++Article 02.02.04 "Freemasonry in The Bahamas" (The might and the myths) Nassau Guardian

The Gentlemen's Club (also about The Bahamas Beautillion Committee and Sigma Pi Phi)
Lyford Cay Foundation

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Bahamas

Scout Bahamas
The 55th Nassau Company of Girls Guides

Conchs, Conchy Joe
see also Conch recipes - Fisheries

"One [historic body] is descendants of the group that originally settled these islands with their small group of slaves.  Those whites were called “Conchs” and no doubt that expression is the beginning of today’s “Conchy Joe” What it means to be a Bahamian (Minister F Mitchell, 5.5.03)
"I am a conchy joe Bahamian" > "She describes herself as a conchy joe Bahamian.  That means according to her that her culture dates back to the white Bahamians who were here before the Loyalists came  from America in 1783." (F Mitchell, Senator, 28.9.00)
"In the Bahamas, Conchy Joe is a derogatory term for a white person or a non-white person who acts white. The origin of the expression is uncertain. In one posting on the Web, someone who called himself a Conchy Joe (and proudly too)  "lite brite and damn near white."
"The white settlers arriving in Eleuthera from England wanted more religious freedom. Many were religious zealots or revolutionaries seeking refuge, contributing to the laissez-faire propensities of the colonists. These adventurers were cockney fisher folk and became known as Conchs, named after a shellfish found abundantly in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. These seafaring Conchs migrated from the Bahamas to Key West and up the Florida Keys." Source
Key West Conchs: "In the early 1800's Bahamians began immigrating to Key West. These immigrants were called Conchs. Why they were called Conch's depends on who you ask. Perhaps they were named after the large sea snail they like to eat called Conch. Maybe they were named after the horn they made out of the Conch shell."


Asue / Esusu / Susu / Sou Sou

Asue or Esusu - the art of saving collectively (source)

esusu associations (informal savings clubs) as a source of initial funding. Indigenous saving and credit associations such as esusu may be conducive to local resource accumulation and productive agricultural investment (source)

In West Africa, for instance, there is the Yoruban institution called the esusu, where a group of friends or relatives pool their savings as seed money fro the founding of small businesses. (source)

"Sou-sou" or susu is the name of the informal African-based banking system in Trinidad. "Han" is the designated sum of money that each member receives. This (Han) is based on several factors: 1. the number of members in the susu, 2. the amount of their weekly/monthly deposit, which remains stable, and the duration of the susu. These factors are determined and agreed upon by the participating members at the beginning of a susu. In The Bahamas its name is 'asue.' (source in google archive)

It is unfortunate that in celebrat­ing Emancipation Day there is no mention of the Africans, who by using their marketable skills and the West African saving system “Sou Sou”, managed to save formidable sums such as the £500 (or its equiva­lent) to purchase freedom for them­selves, their families, and, as in the case of the first Islamic people of this country (the Mandingo), other members of their tribe, before 1834. source

(search with google for more info about "Sou Sou" - there is only little info on the internet about the other expressions) 


Language (Bahamianese, Bahamian dialect / slang)

+++Article 1.9.03 "Bahamianese 101" Nassau Guardian

How to address a  Bahamian? - (formal) "Etiquette & Behavior"  (informal: "Bahamians greet with a smile")

Bahamians greet people with a proper British "good morning," "good afternoon," or "good evening." When approaching an islander to ask directions or information, preface your request with such a greeting, and ask "how are you?" Smile, and don't rush into a conversation, even if you're running late. Humor is a wonderful way to relate to the islanders, but don't force it. Don't try to talk their dialect unless you are adept at it. This takes long exposure to the culture. source Fodors

Tipp: experience Bahamian slang on locals' message boards, such as iBahamian and Bahamascope

some slang expressions
...more (under construction, of course)

Potcake - A "potcake" is the Bahamian term for the thick, congealed food that remains in the bottom of a pot of peas and rice after several reheatings. Traditionally, Bahamians feed potcake to the outdoor, indigenous dogs that freely populate the Bahamas. Hence the dogs have come to be known as Potcakes, with a capital P. source snip

Overview by the Ministry of Tourism
Abaco (Linguistics North Carolina State Uni)
Hackert, outline re Predication in Bahamian Creole English
Scottish influence (Farquharson/Ferguson), San Salvador

P Glinton-Meicholas Talking Ol' Story (Oral Tradition of the Bahamas)
Dictionary of Bahamian English by John A. Holm (more details e.g. on
Percival, linguistic cat's story) :))

Taino dictionary (Taino-Spanish) - spoken Taino (Taino-English/-Spanish)

see here for Creolization
The Gullah people
The Gullah/Geechee-Sierra Leone Connection
The Gullah Creole Language
>According to Lowcountry scholar Sherman Pyatt (1999), the word "Gullah" refers to the language and customs whereas the word "Geechie" refer to the people.

Pidgins and creoles - Theories of Origin
Mark Sebba (Univ Lancaster UK), Creole English and Black English

Ebonics Wikipedia
African American English
Ebonics, African-American Vernacular English (AAVE)
Ebonics, AAVE - Definitions

Yoruba see here

Pidgin, Creole - some linguistic definitions

pidgin:  A lingua franca that consists of a hybrid language, greatly reduced in grammatical and lexical structure, developed as a consequence of contact between two or more speech communities.
creole:  A creole is a language that develops as generations of speakers use what began as a pidgin language as their primary language. Thus it develops the syntactic, lexical, and morphological sophistication required by any language functioning as the primary language of a speech community.
lingua franca - a common language used by speakers of different languages; "Koine is a dialect of ancient Greek that was the lingua franca of the empire of Alexander the Great and was widely spoken throughout the eastern Mediterranean area in Roman times" source: thefreedictionary
creolization: In the context of linguistics, for example, creolization occurs when two or more languages converge to form a new, indigenous language.  (source: - link broken)
decreolisation: "... from systematic jargon to established pidgin, to creolisation then to decreolisation and finally to national standard ....  A history of English (rp = received pronunciation)


Humor/humour, jokes, quiz

Silvertorch Caribbean Humour
Silvertorch Bahamas Jottings
Silvertorch Caribbean Jottings
You know you Bahamian if...
You know you from Caribbean if ...
another "You know your native ...". see here
Bahamians in heaven
Roxice, Caribbean humour
(Andrew Carey) Drew's Basic rules for driving in the Bahamas Forum Jokes - at your own risk, some of the jokes are not "safe"
Bahamian Car Alarm

Silvertorch Bahamas Quiz
Quiz with Answer Key
! Black History Quiz here
Outline map see here

... black (hurricane) humour:

Top 10 reasons hurricane season is like Christmas
10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows)
9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season (camping gear, flashlights)
8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores.
7. Regular TV shows pre-empted for "specials".
6. Family coming to stay with you.
5. Family and friends from out of state calling.
4. Buying food you don't normally buy... and in large quantities.
3. Days off from work.
2. Candles.
And the number one reason Hurricane Season is like Christmas....
At some point you know you're going to have a tree in your house!
(found by peerpod in Jacksonville Community Msg Brd @

What did the hurricane say to the coconut tree ? Hold onto your nuts, this is no ordinary blowjob. 

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