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Although it makes sense to look for a Portuguese etymology for the word "Curaçao" it is very difficult to maintain that this is the true origin of this word. At the time of European contact with the natives on the island the Europeans mentioned that the island was called Curaçao (see Carlos Felice Cardot's Curazao Hispanico, p.7; Johan Hartog's Curacao, Jay Haviser's Amerindian Cultural Geography on Curaçao). The Curaçao people inhabiting the island and parts of the coast of what is today Venezuela already were using that name for the place and probably for themselves when the Europeans came to the island. Their ethnic name was probably related to the Great Kurassow (Crax rubra), a bird that was probably a totem for this group. The Great Kurassow is a bird that used to also exist on the island according to oral tradition. It still exists on the South American mainland. There is enough evidence in South America of other instances of Curassow clans. See, e.g. the book "Icons of power: feline symbolism in the Americas" by Nicholas J. Saunders, p. 108-109. To accept a Portuguese etymology would fly in the face of the existing archival documents that show that the word was tied to the island by the Spanish before the Portuguese set foot there and that it is of Amerindian origin.--ObaTango 23:06, 24 February 2008 (UTC) See also Wikipedia entry for Curaçao --ObaTango 04:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


Aren't the British and the American pronunciations changed? I'm afraid they are. Ferike333 11:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the late post. As far as I can see the British have tended to pronounce it with an "o" sound at the end and in American English the ending is "aw".--ObaTango 11:42, 19 September 2009 (UTC)