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Did you know according to the pre-1787 map, St. Lucia has two Ances la Voute?
One is located to the north-east of the island and the other below Ance la Raye. Le for de Latour’s map shows the first of these bays as Anse et Cul de Sac lavoutte, the second as Anse la voutte.
Would it all be the modification of the French word voute, meaning vault? Why were these bays given such a name?
Did you know the name Barre occurs in St. Lucia in various combinations e.g. Barre de l’Lisle, Barre Denis and Barre St. Joseph?
It would seem to be used in French: primarily to indicate an obstacle formed by sand, rocks etc, at the mouth of a river, at the entrance to a port or harbor.
In which it would correspond to the English expression: Harbor Bar. However, the term appears to have been applied in St. Luca to land obstacles.
One finds Principale barre ou montagne du Centre de l’Lisle on the 1787 map. The Barre de l’Lisle in fact is the ridge that separates the Grand Cul de Sac valley and the Mabouya Valley.
Barre Denis and Barre St. Joseph are also ridges; they may have taken their qualifying names from families which had property there.
Incidentally, the proper name between the inner and outer harbors at Marigot des Roseaux would seem to be La Barre.
Source: St. Lucia: The Romance of its Place Names by Rev. Fr. Charles Jesse – 1966
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]