The Bahamas covers 280,000 square miles. There are some 16 inhabited islands, all of which have their distinct personalities. By listing to the speech of a fellow bahamian one can place at the minimum which island they are from.
Culture of the Bahamas has influences from many locations. The food and spiritual bent of the Bahamas seems to come out of the bayous of Louisiana with bahamian dishes such as bahamian Stew being very much like Gumbo, or bahamian Chicken-n-rice being like Jambalaya. The fixation of older bahamians with Obeah and our custom of Junkanoo bear great resemblance to the traditions of Louisiana. Those traditions carry throughout the entire Bahamas but there are others that are distinct to certain islands.
Andros for example was settled by Black Seminole indians in the early nineteenth century. The resulting cultural impacts are easily seen today. Seminole baskets are still woven by the Androsians which include water baskets.
Abaco was settled by many loyal to the Crown after the US Civil War. These settlers brought with them boat building skills. Abaco boats are word famous, but few are built in traditional ways. They do produce fiberglass boats built using modern techniques that look and perform like the traditional Abaco Boat.
Eleuthera was the first bahamian island settled. A group of European Puritans calling themselves the “Eleutheran Adventurers” arrived on the shores of Eleuthera in 1648. Eleuthera is a great mix of technology and rural. With high speed internet available on the island and long deserted stretches of beaches lining the eastern side of the island a person can disconnect to the degree they’d like. The fishing from the southern end of Eleuthera is “off the hook.” There are knowledgeable local fishing guides and charter boats available.
There are other islands through the Bahamas that we will attempt to introduce you to over the next few months. I’m confident there is an island that fits your personal vacation needs.