940. What Does “Curaçao” Mean Any Way?

The best way to describe “Curaçao” particularly in the US is “you know, like that blue liqueur” and “right next to Aruba! part of the ABC islands.”

But the nameCuraçao has deep colonial roots. Coração means Heart in Portuguese. Corazón in Spanish. Cœur in French. From the Latin, Cor.  I don’t know other countries named after “heart”… Pretty Awesome.

Rebecca Sarfatti thinks Curaçao stems from the Portuguese Curasion … to heal. Our first Portuguese and Spanish colonizers (1500s) where sea sick when they arrived on the island, so they’d tame their stomachs with Laraha (sour oranges).

But Laraha oranges are actually adapted immigrants…

After the Spaniards discovered our island in 1499, they transported Valencia oranges on their long sea voyages to cultivate local produce.  Laraha oranges are actually Valencia oranges; the much drier climate and soil conditions modified the juicy fruit to bitterness, hardly edible. The Laraha oranges grew wild and abandoned, too bitter even for our goats!

Decades later (the exact date unknown) someone discovered that the peels of the Laraha, dried by the sun, contained an etheric oil with an extraordinarily pleasing fragrance. After lots of experimentation with the oils as well as other ingredients (exotic spices), a recipe came to the Senior family, and they called it Curacao Liqueur!

And there are other speculations around our name…

Mercedes de Marchena read Hans W. Hannau’s The Netherlands Antilles published in the early 1970s, Hannau claims Curaçao was the name of one of the Arawak tribes on the island when the Spaniards arrived in 1499. Dolly Paiken claims Curaçao comes from Cura Hazado, a naughty priest who was fried for something he did.

You be the judge!

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in Manhattan but sometimes miss my first awesome island. Thanks for visiting!

One comment

  1. Pingback: 652. The Curaçao Name Generator | 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao

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