The Kwéyòl Heritage Foundation


In an ever-changing and fast paced world, the preservation of our heritage is central to reinforcing cultural identity and the continuation of traditions. Passed on from generation to generation our heritage forms a key component of our history, knowledge and values.

The Kwéyòl Heritage Foundation is a culturally conscious global organisation where we strive to increase the awareness and appreciation of Kwéyòl heritage, its traditions, language, events and the part it continues to play in Caribbean history and culture. We work with a diverse range of similarly minded partners that include businesses, governments, and charitable organisations, with a proactive open exchange of information, knowledge and ideas to help create and promote Kwéyòl related activities and events in a meaningful and high-impact way.

In recognition of Saint Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe’s shared Kwéyòl Heritage & Culture we, at the Kwéyòl Heritage Foundation, have created these four unique Crests. Each of these one of a kind Crests have been meticulously designed to incorporate not only the flags of these beautiful islands but the unifying and distinctive Madras fabric that the islands share an affinity with.

This year marks the first of our cultural preservation awards in the field of the Kwéyòl Heritage and Culture. For the Caribbean island’s of Dominica, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique these awards, given in the form of a prestigious lapel pin and wall hanging plaque, have been created to recognise, celebrate and promote individuals, businesses, organisations as well as those within the hospitality and tourism industry around the world who proactively promote and embrace authentic Caribbean cultural awareness. As well as to those who are committed to its preservation.

For those who may not know, Kwéyòl (Creole) specifically Antillean Creole is a French-based linguistic fusion of languages which includes elements of English and West African grammar and vocabulary, together with a few echoes of the early indigenous Carib and Arawak tribes who left their foot prints on the islands. Kwéyòl is still spoken today, in varying degrees, throughout many Lesser Antilles Caribbean countries most notably in Dominica, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique as well as St. Croix, French Guyana and Haiti.

The Wob Dwiyet is a style of ladies’ dress which began appearing in the French Caribbean islands towards the end of the 18th century. During these days of slavery, on Sundays and feast days the freed African women (also slaves), ditched their uniforms and used the little money that they made from selling their small garden allotments to make the Wob Dwiyet dress (creole, from the French ‘robe douiette’). The early dresses consisted of a floor length skirt of madras cloth worn over a white cotton chemise, trimmed at the neck with lace adorning the hem, sleeves and neck. Ribbon was threaded through the lace and chemise while foulards were created from pliable material. Using heavily starched lacy ribboned petticoats, propelled the West African tradition of lifting the skirt and flinging it carelessly over one arm making it a fashion statement, an action still witnessed today in cultural dances. A coloured cotton triangle sometimes white was draped over the bosom completing the French way of dressing. The Creole dress remains popular to this day and plays an important part as a national dress worn at various Independence day festivals and ‘Jounen Kwéyòl’ (Creole Day)