Words and Photos by Erin MacLeod—
Dominica’s Carnival Queen, 19-year-old Nadira Lando, has another crown, that of Miss Caribbean World. Notably, she is the first Kalinago (as the Caribbean’s last remaining indigenous population are known) woman to win the title, representing her roots both orally, through her performance, and sartorially, with a costume featuring images of important Kalinago figures.
In presenting the different cultures from across the Caribbean, pageants like this prove to be a source of much debate and discussion about how each island presents itself, producing a great amount of national pride with each win. Exhibit A: the more than 200 comments about the contest already on Dominica News Online. Every island in the Caribbean is much more than the sun and sand tourist-brochure image, but smaller islands rarely get an opportunity to strut their stuff. However, Dominica’s been quite successful at Miss Caribbean World, taking the title three times in the past six years.