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This article was written on 15 Jun 2010, and is filled under To: Barbados.

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History and Culture of Barbados

The first inhabitants of Barbados were the Arawak Indians, who established their first settlements on the island soil around 350-400 BC. They were peaceful people and lived off farming, hunting, and fishing. They were then conquered by the Caribs, a nation of fierce warriors from Venezuela.

By the time the first British settlers arrived in Barbados in 1625, the Caribs had already vanished from the island, probably because of famine, disease, abduction, and enslavement by the Spanish or Portuguese. Tobacco and cotton plantations were established and the production handled mainly by European indentured servants. Sugar cane was introduced in the 1640s and paid indentured servants were replaced with cheaper African slaves.

Planters imported so many slaves from Africa that by the end of the 18th century the blacks outnumbered the whites by 10 to 1. Conditions in the plantations were brutal, and in 1816, the slaves staged a major revolt. The rebellion was eventually subdued, but growing unrest in Barbados and other islands, as well as pressures from the British public opinion who increasingly rejected slavery as cruel and inefficient, led to the abolition of slavery in 1834.

The decline of the sugar industry followed soon after tourism became the island’s main source of income. After 340 years of British rule, Barbados became independent in 1966.

With the period of slavery relegated to the history books, the island’s British legacy remains evident today in local manners, attitudes, customs and politics. Barbadians pray at the Anglican church, afternoon tea is a ritual, and the island’s greateast passion is for the sport of cricket. Their warm nature and spirituality ensure that you enjoy your stay in Barbados.

For more information about Barbados, visit Cheap All Inclusive Caribbean Vacation.

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