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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Antigua & Barbuda History and Culture




History
The nation's first settlers were the Siboneys (meaning 'stone-people') about 200 years ago. Around 1200 AD, they were forced out by the raiding Caribs, who ranged from all over the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua on his second trip to the Caribbean, in 1493 and named it after a church in Seville, Spain. When the British colonized Antigua in 1632, the island subsequently entered the sugar era.
By the end of the eighteenth century, Antigua had become an important strategic port as well as a valuable commercial colony, known as the 'Gateway to the Caribbean'.
Unlike most other Caribbean islands, which fell under the flags of different empires virtually every few decades, Antigua remained under the British government before gaining its independence in 1981.

Culture
Antigua's traditional West Indian roots are apparent in the architecture found around the island. Steel bands, limbo dances, calypso and reggae music are typical of any festivities. You can also see English influences in the island's social make-up, evident in the popularity of Anglicanism and cricket.
While Barbuda shares the West Indian culture of its larger neighbour, it has its own peculiar traits. Most of its population are descendants of a small group of slaves brought to the island in the late 1600s and somehow or other, they have turned out a population of inordinately tall people.


 

Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM








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