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Flag of Barbados Coat of arms of Barbados
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Pride and Industry"
Anthem: In Plenty and In Time of Need
Location of Barbados
(and largest city)
13°10′N 59°32′W
Official languages English
Government Constitutional monarchy
 -  Monarch Elizabeth II
 -  Governor-General Clifford Husbands
 -  Prime Minister Owen Arthur
Independence from the United Kingdom 
 -  Date 30 November 1966 
 -  Total 431 km² (199th)
167 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) negligible
 -  July 2005 estimate 279,254 (180th)
 -  Density 647 /km² (15th)
1,663 /sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
 -  Total $4.9 billion (152nd)
 -  Per capita $17,610 (39th)
HDI (2004) 0.879 (high) (31st)
Currency Barbadian dollar ($) (BBD)
Internet TLD .bb
Calling code +1-246

The country of Barbados which is situated just to the east of the Caribbean Sea, is an independent island nation in the western Atlantic Ocean. Found at roughly 13° North and 59° West, the country lies in the Southern Caribbean region where it is a part of the Lesser Antilles island-chain. Being that it is relatively close to the South American continent, Barbados is around 434 kilometres (270 miles) northeast of Venezuela. The closest island neighbours to Barbados are Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, Grenada to the south-west, and Trinidad and Tobago to the south which Barbados now shares and fixed official maritime boundary with.

Barbados' total land-area is about 430 square kilometres, (166 square miles), and is primarily low-lying, with some higher regions in the island's interior. The organic composition of Barbados is thought to be of non-volcanic origin and is predominantly composed of limestone-coral. The island's atmosphere is tropical with constant trade winds off the Atlantic Ocean serving to keep termperatures mild. Some more undeveloped areas of the country contain tropical Rainforests, marshes and mangrove swamps. Other parts of the island's interior which contribute to the agriculture industry, are dotted with large sugarcane estates and wide gently sloping pastures with many good views down to the sea coast.

Barbados has one of the highest standards of living and literacy rates in the developing world. Despite its small geographical size, Barbados constantly ranks in the top 30 (or 31) countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) rankings. It is currently ranked third in the Americas. The island is also a major tourist destination.


[edit] History

Main article: History of Barbados

The earliest inhabitants of Barbados were American nomads. Three waves of migrants moved north toward North America. The first wave was of the Saladoid-Barrancoid group, whom were farmers and fishermen, arrived by canoe from South America (Venezuela's Orinoco Valley) around 350 CE. The Arawak people were the second wave of migrants, arriving from South America around 800 CE. Arawak settlements on the island include Stroud Point, Chandler Bay, Saint Luke's Gully and Mapp's Cave. According to accounts by descendants of the aboriginal Arawak tribes on other local islands, the original name for Barbados was Ichirouganaim. In the thirteenth century, the Caribs arrived from South America in the third wave, displacing both the Arawak and the Salodoid-Barrancoid. For the next few centuries, the Caribs—like the Arawak and the Salodoid-Barrancoid—lived in isolation on the island.

The origin of the name Barbados is controversial. It is unknown whether the Spanish or the Portuguese were the first to discover and name the island. As early as 1511, the island is referred to as Isla de los Barbados (island of the bearded ones) in an official Spanish document. It is a matter of conjecture whether the word "bearded" refers to the long hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (ficus citrifolia) indigenous to the island, bearded Amerindians occupying the island, or, indeed, from foam spraying over the outlying reefs giving the impression of a beard. In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Vesconte de Maggiola showed and named Barbados in its correct position north of Tobago.

Spanish conquistadors seized many Caribs on Barbados and used them as slave labour on plantations. Other Caribs fled the island.

British sailors who landed on Barbados in 1625 at the site of present-day Holetown on the Caribbean coast found the island uninhabited. From the arrival of the first British settlers in 16271628 until independence in 1966, Barbados was under uninterrupted British control. Nevertheless, Barbados always enjoyed a large measure of local autonomy. Its House of Assembly began meeting in 1639. Among the initial important British figures was Sir William Courten.

Starting in the 1620s an increasing number of black slaves were brought to the isle. 5000 locals died of fever in 1647, and hundreds of slaves were executed by Royalist planters during the English Civil War in the 1640s, because they feared that the ideas of the Levellers might spread to the slave population if Parliament took control of Barbados.

The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl, after Agostino Brunias, 1779.
The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl, after Agostino Brunias, 1779.

Large numbers of Celtic people, mainly from Ireland and Scotland, went to Barbados as indentured servants. Over the next several centuries the Celtic population was used as a buffer between the Anglo-Saxon plantation owners and the larger African population, variously serving as members of the Colonial militia and playing a strong role as allies of the larger African slave population in a long string of colonial rebellions. As well, in 1659, the English shipped many Irishmen and Scots off to Barbados as slaves, and King James II and others of his dynasty also sent Scots and English off to the isle: for example, after the crushing of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. The modern descendants of this original slave population are sometimes derisively referred to as Red Legs, or locally 'ecky becky' and are some of the poorest inhabitants of modern Barbados. There has also been large scale intermarriage between the African and Celtic populations on the islands.

With the increase implementation of slave codes which created differential treatment between Africans and the White settlers, the island became increasingly unattractive to poor whites. Black or Slave codes in 1661, 1676, 1682, and 1688. In response to these codes several slave rebellions where attempted or planned during this time but none succeeded. However increasingly repressive legal system caused the gap between the treatment of typically white indentured servants and black slaves to increase. Imported slaves became much more attractive for the rich planters who would increasingly dominate the island not only economically but also politically. Some have speculated that because the Africans could withstand tropical diseases and the climate much better than the white slave population the white population decreased. This is inconsistent with that fact that many poor whites simply immigrated to neighbouring islands and remained in tropical climates. Nevertheless as those poor whites who had or acquired the means to emigrate often did so, and with the increased importation of African slave, Barbados turned from mainly Celtic in the seventeenth century to overwhelmingly black by the nineteenth century.

As the sugar industry developed into its main commercial enterprise, Barbados was divided into large plantation estates that replaced the small holdings of the early British settlers. Some of the displaced farmers moved to British colonies in North America, most notably South Carolina. To work the plantations, West Africans were transported and enslaved on Barbados and other Caribbean islands. The slave trade ceased in 1804. The continuation of slavery caused, in 1816, the largest major slave rebellion in the isle's history. One thousand people died in the revolt for freedom, with 144 slaves executed and 123 deported by the king's army. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire eighteen years later in 1834. In Barbados and the rest of the British West Indian colonies, full emancipation from slavery was preceded by an apprenticeship period that lasted six years.

However, plantation owners and merchants of British descent still dominated local politics, owing to the high income qualification required for voting. More than 70% of the population, many of them unenfranchised women, were excluded from the democratic process. It was not until the 1930s that the descendants of emancipated slaves began a movement for political rights. One of the leaders of this movement, Sir Grantley Adams, founded the Barbados Labour Party, then known as the Barbados Progressive League, in 1938. Though a staunch supporter of the monarchy, Adams and his party demanded more for the poor and for the people. Progress toward a more democratic government in Barbados was made in 1942, when the exclusive income qualification was lowered and women were given the right to vote. By 1949 governmental control was wrested from the planters and, in 1958, Adams became Premier of Barbados.

From 1958 to 1962, Barbados was one of the ten members of the West Indies Federation, an organisation doomed by nationalistic attitude and by the fact that its members, as colonies of Britain, held limited legislative power. Adams' leadership of the Federation (he served as its first and only "Prime Minister"), his failed attempts to form similar unions, and his continued defence of the monarchy demonstrated that he was no longer in touch with the needs of his country. Errol Walton Barrow, a fervent reformer, became the new people's advocate. Barrow had left the BLP and formed the Democratic Labour Party as a liberal alternative to Adams' conservative government. To this day, Barrow remains a beloved hero in the eyes of Barbadians, as it was he who instituted many of the reforms and programmes currently in place, including free education for all Barbadians, regardless of class or colour, and the School Meals system. By 1961, Barrow had replaced Adams as Premier and the DLP controlled the government.

With the Federation dissolved, Barbados had reverted to its former status, that of a self-governing colony. The island negotiated its own independence at a constitutional conference with the United Kingdom in June 1966. After years of peaceful and democratic progress, Barbados finally became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on November 30, 1966, with Errol Barrow its first Prime Minister.

[edit] Politics

Main article: Politics of Barbados

Barbados has been an independent state in the Commonwealth since November 30, 1966, and as such functions as a parliamentary democracy modelled after the British Westminster system. Its Parliament comprises thirty seats. The present government is proposing that Barbados become a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, with a ceremonial president replacing the British Sovereign. This issue is still being hotly debated as the island has been governmentally autonomous for decades and the Crown's position is strictly nominal.

Barbados is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) [which currently only pertains to Barbados and Guyana, and is expected to replace the UK Privy Council for the entire English speaking Caribbean eventually], and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

[edit] Geography

Map of Barbados
Beach near Bridgetown, Barbados.
Beach near Bridgetown, Barbados.
Main article: Geography of Barbados

Barbados is a relatively flat island, rising gently to the central highland region, the highest point being Mount Hillaby, in the Scotland district, at 336 metres (1,100 ft) above sea level. The island is located in a slightly eccentric position in the Atlantic Ocean, to the east of the other Caribbean islands. The climate is tropical, with a rainy season from June to October.

Barbados is often spared from the amount of tropical storms and hurricanes during the rainy season due to its far eastern location in the Atlantic Ocean pushing it just outside of the principal hurricane belt. The island does get brushed or hit about every three years and the average time between direct hurricane hits is just over twenty-six and a half years.

In the parish of Saint Michael lies Barbados' capital and chief city Bridgetown. Locally Bridgetown is sometimes referred to as "The City," but the most common reference is simply "Town". Other towns scattered across the island include Holetown, in the parish of Saint James; Oistins, in the parish of Christ Church; and Speightstown, in the parish of Saint Peter.

The island is 23 kilometres (14 mi) at its widest point, and about 34 kilometres (21 mi) long.

[edit] Administrative division: Parishes

Main article: Parishes of Barbados

Barbados is currently divided into eleven administrative parishes:

Parishes of Barbados Flag of Barbados
Christ Church | Saint Andrew | Saint George | Saint James | Saint John | Saint Joseph | Saint Lucy | Saint Michael | Saint Peter | Saint Philip | Saint Thomas

[edit] Economy

Main article: Economy of Barbados

Historically, the economy of Barbados had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but production in recent years has diversified into the manufacturing and tourism sectors. Offshore finance and information services have become increasingly important foreign exchange earners, and there is a healthy interest in the island's light manufacturing sector. In the last ten years the Government has been seen as business-friendly and economically sound. Since the late 1990s the island has seen an increasing construction boom, with the development and redevelopment of hotels, office complexes, and homes.

The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, encourage direct foreign investment, and privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. Unemployment has been reduced from high levels of around 14 percent in the past to under 10 percent currently.

The economy contracted in 2001 and 2002 due to slowdowns in tourism, consumer spending and the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but rebounded in 2003 and has shown growth since 2004. Traditional trading partners include Canada, the Caribbean Community (especially Trinidad and Tobago), the United Kingdom and the United States.

Business links and investment flows have become substantial, as of 2003 the island saw from Canada C$25 billion in investment holdings, placing it as one of Canada's top five destinations of Canadian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Businessman Eugene Melnyk of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, is said to be Barbados' richest permanent resident.

In 2004, it was announced that Barbados' Kensington Oval will be one of the final venues hosting the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

It is thought that the year 2006 will be one of the busiest years for building construction ever in Barbados, as the building-boom on the island has entered a final stage for several multi-million dollar projects across the island. [1].

[edit] Characteristics and tourist information

Main article: Tourism in Barbados

The island of Barbados has a single major airport, the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) (IATA identifier BGI). It receives daily flights by several major airlines from points around the globe, as well as several smaller regional commercial airlines and charters. The airport serves as the main air-transportation hub for the Eastern Caribbean. The airport is currently undergoing a US$100 million upgrade and expansion.

The island is well developed and there are many local hotels known internationally that offer world-class accommodation. Time-shares are available, and many of the smaller local hotels and private villas which dot the island have space available if booked in advance. The southern and western coasts of Barbados are popular, with the calm light blue Caribbean sea and their fine white and pinkish sandy beaches. Along the island's east coast the Atlantic Ocean side are tumbling waves which are perfect for light surfing, but a little bit risky due to under-tow currents. The 'Soup Bowl' near to Bathsheba is a very popular spot with surfers all year round.

Shopping districts are another treat in Barbados, with ample duty-free shopping. There is also a festive night-life available in mainly tourist areas such as the Saint Lawrence Gap. Other attractions include wildlife reserves, jewellery stores, scuba diving, helicopter rides, golf, festivals (the largest being the annual crop over festival July/Aug), sightseeing, cave exploration, exotic drinks and fine clothes shopping.

[edit] Attractions, landmarks and points of interest

Name / Parish Location:

- Christ Church

- St. Andrew

- St. George

- St. James

  • Folkestone Marine Park

- St. John

- St. Joseph

- St. Lucy

- St. Michael

- St. Peter

  • Barbados Wildlife Reserve
  • Farley Hill National Park

- St. Philip

  • Sunbury Plantation[1]

- St. Thomas

List of: Cities, towns and villages in Barbados.

[edit] Transport

Main article: Transport in Barbados

Transport on the island is good, with 'route taxis', called "ZR's" (pronounced "Zed-Rs"), travelling to most points on the island. These small buses can at times be crowded, but will usually take the more scenic routes to destinations. They generally depart from the capital Bridgetown or from Speightstown in the northern part of the island.

Buses are abundant in Barbados. There are three bus systems running seven days a week (though less frequently on Sundays), and a ride on any of them costs $1.50 BDS. The smaller buses from the two privately owned systems ("ZR's" and "minibuses") can give change; the larger blue buses from the government-operated Barbados Transport Board system cannot. Most routes require a connection in Bridgetown. However, if you wait long enough you might find a bus that bypasses the capital and takes you right to your destination. Drivers are generally happy to help you get where you're going, but some drivers within the competitive privately owned systems are reluctant to advise you to use competing services, even if those would be more suitable.

Competition for patrons extends to the bus terminals (sometimes just a parking lot full of buses); it is normal for the 'ZR' bus conductors to attempt to escort you to their vehicle and engage in loud altercations with other drivers and conductors, in competition for your patronage. These altercations, though sometimes dramatic, are less problematic than they usually seem to the unaccustomed.

Some hotels also provide visitors with shuttles to points of interest on the island. Hotel shuttles generally leave right outside the hotel lobby. The island also has an abundance of taxis for hire, although visitors staying on the island may find this an expensive option. Visitors also have the option of transport by car, presuming that they have a driver's licence (issued in their native country). There are several locally owned and operated vehicle rental agencies in Barbados but there are no multi-national car rental agencies such as Avis, Europcar or Hertz.

[edit] Demographics

Barbados has a population of about 279,000 and a growth rate of 0.33% (Mid-2005 estimates). Close to 90 percent of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as Bajan) are of African descent ("Afro-Bajans"), mostly descendants of the slave labourers on the sugar plantations. The remainder of the population includes groups of Europeans ("Anglo-Bajans" / "Euro-Bajans") mainly from Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Germany, Chinese locally known as Bajan-Chiney, Bajan Hindus from India and Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan, and an influential "Arab-Bajans" group mainly of Syrian and Lebanese descent. On the island are many people of Creole descent, a mixture of Afro-Caribbean and European descent and many Afro-Bajans do carry fractions of British, Irish and Portuguese descent within them. Others on the island are Hispanic, most coming from nearby South American neighbours Venezuela and Brazil (brazilians are not Hispanic, Brazil was colonized by Portugal), while others come from other Hispanic Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Other groups in Barbados include people from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and expatriates from Latin America. Barbadians who return after years of residence in the U.S. are called "Bajan Yankees"; this term is considered derogatory by some.

The country's official language is English, the local dialect of which is referred to as Bajan. While most Barbadians are Protestant Christians (67%), chiefly of the Anglican Church, there are other Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Hindu and Muslim minorities. Barbados is currently a chief destination for emigrants from the South American nation of Guyana. The biggest communities outside the Afro-Caribbean community are:

  1. The Indo-Guyanese, an important part of Barbadian economy due to the increase of immigrants from partner country Guyana. There are reports of a growing Indo-Bajan diaspora originating from Guyana and India. They introduced Soca-Chutney, Roti and many Indian dishes to Barbados' culture. Mostly from Southern India and Hindu states, these 'Desi' peoples are growing in size but smaller than the communities in Trinidad & Guyana, Hinduism is one of Barbados' growing religions.
  2. Euro-Bajans have settled in Barbados since the 1500s, originating from the England, Ireland, Scotland and Portugal. More commonly are known to be "White Bajans", although some carry Afro-Caribbean traces. Euro-Bajans introduced folk music, such as Irish music and Highland music while naming most of Barbados's regions, the name of the island originated from Iberia ("Los Barbados"). Other examples are "Scotland", a mountainous region; and "Trafalgar Square" in Bridgetown, now been renamed.
  3. Latinos and Hispanics from neighbouring Caribbean islands Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic have been steadily on the increase while Brazilians and Venezuelans have been in Barbados as far as the 1800s. Columbians been relocating to the island to escape poverty as well as Panamanians,Belizeans and Cubans. These countries however are not the first Hispanics to settle in Barbados, Spanish and Portuguese arrived in the 1500s and now most Barbadian schools have compulsory Spanish lessons to improve relations with Latin countries and people within the Caribbean. Samba, Merengue and Reggaeton has been introduced by the Latin Americans.
  4. Chinese-Barbadians (or, as they are known on the island, "Bajan-Chineys") are a small portion of Barbados' Asian demographics, smaller than the communities of Jamaica and Trinidad. Most if not all first arrived in the 1940s during the Second World War, originating mainly from the then British territory of Hong Kong. Many Chinese-Bajans have the surnames Chin, Chynn or Lee, although other surnames prevail in certain areas of the island. Chinese food and culture is becoming part of everyday Bajan culture.
  5. Lebanese and Syrians are the middle eastern community on the island and make up for 89% of the Muslim population in Barbados alone, there is a stereotype on the island that Middle-Eastern Barbadians are the most successful in business as well as the Chinese Bajans. During the Arab Israeli Wars, many Syrians and Lebanese headed for the West Indies to escape conflict and poverty in the middle east during the conflicts between nearby Israel and Palestine. Also Jewish people arrived in Barbados around the same time, thus creating the biggest synagogue in the West Indies.

[edit] Culture

Main article: Culture of Barbados
See also: Music of Barbados

The influence of the English on Barbados is more noticeable than on other islands in the West Indies. A good example of this is the island's national sport: cricket. Barbados has brought forth several great cricket players, including Garfield Sobers and Frank Worrell.

Citizens are officially called Barbadian, however residents of Barbados colloquially refer to themselves or the products of the country as "Bajan". The term "Bajan", may have come from a localized pronunciation of the word Barbadian which at times can sound more like "Bar-bajan". The term Barbadian is used less frequently than is "Bajan".

The largest carnival-like cultural event which takes place on the island is the Crop Over festival, only second in size to the carnival held in Trinidad and Tobago.[citation needed]

As is the case in many of the other Caribbean and Latin American countries, Crop Over is an important event for many people on the island, as well as the thousands of tourists that flock to the island to participate in the annual events.

The Crop Over festival which includes various musical competitions, and other traditional activities usually kicks into high gear from the beginning of July, and ends in its entirety with the costumed parade on Kadooment Day, held on the first Monday of August.

[edit] Sports in Barbados

There are several sports played in Barbados. As with many other Caribbean countries, cricket is more than arguably the favourite with the Bajan people.[citation needed] In addition to several warm-up matches and six "Super Eight" matches, Barbados will host the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup (scheduled to take place on Saturday 28 April, 2007).

In golf, the Barbados Open is an annual stop on the European Seniors Tour. The December 2006 the WGC-World Cup took place at the country's Sandy Lane resort on the Country Club course, an eighteen-hole course designed by Tom Fazio.

Barbados also has a national football team.

[edit] Facts

  • The island of Barbados was first recorded with the spelling Barbadoes. It also has the nickname "Little England" and the British colloquial nickname "Bimshire" (pronounced "Bim-shur").
  • Imperial Palm trees found conveniently planted on the island are not indigenous to Barbados but were imported and strategically placed to be used as land markers for the sugar mill plantations' main properties. They can be seen from great distances across the relatively flat terrain.
  • Although it has been declared the "most British" island in the Caribbean, Barbados was named by the Portuguese-explorer called Pedro Campos. British settlers first arrived eighty-four years after the Portuguese had left to continue their exploration of South America (Brazil).
  • One of the signatures on the original United States constitution was a Barbadian, as was the printer of the document [2].
  • Seven of the first twenty-one Governors of the U.S. states known as the Carolinas were Barbadians.
  • The 1652 United Kingdom-Barbados Treaty of Oistins guaranteed that Barbadians would have "No Taxation Without Representation" under the British Government [3].
  • During the 1800s, Barbados was said to be one of the healthiest countries in the World [4].
  • The first records of rum and grapefruit are said to have come from Barbados.
  • Barbados invented the music Soca-Samba, a fusion of Caribbean Soca and Brazilian Samba.
  • Brazilian Jews in exile introduced sugarcane to Barbados.
  • The British system of longitude was discovered by charting the distance between Portsmouth, England and Bridgetown, Barbados, by using the position of the sun in relation to both locations.
  • In 1884, through the Barbados Agricultural Society, Barbados attempted to become one of the earliest, albeit most distant provinces of Canada. This proposal of political association with Canada was later mooted yet again by several politicians of the Senate of Barbados in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • During the 1990s, at the suggestion of Trinidad and Tobago's Patrick Manning, Barbados attempted a political union with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The project stalled after the then Prime Minister of Barbados Lloyd Erskine Sandiford became ill and his party (the Democratic Labour Party) lost the next general election [5], [6]. Barbados continues to share close ties with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, claiming the highest number of Guyanese immigrants after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • Barbados had a United States military base based in the Parish of Saint Lucy at Harrisons Point, where secret projects such as Project HARP were carried out on Paragon Beach near the airport. It was said that loud explosions could be heard throughout much of the country and broke many windows [7].
  • In addition to being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Barbados also has one of the most dense road networks in the world. Although Barbados is only about 34 kilometres (21 mi) at its widest point, a trip from Six Cross Roads in St. Philip (south-east) to North Point in St. Lucy (north-central) can take one and a half hours or longer, thanks to the country's narrow, winding and rough roads.
  • Barbados has half as many registered cars as citizens in the country.
  • The first letter of a vehicle's license plate designates its usage or owner's registered parish of residence. Usage-wise, "Z" and "ZR" imply taxis; "H" implies rental cars; "B" implies buses and minibuses; "CD" implies consulate and/or diplomatic cars; and "3D" or "7D" imply defence force vehicles, while "ML" or "MT" with green plates usually imply military, police or government vehicles. As regards residence, "X" implies Christ Church; "A" implies St. Andrew; "G" implies St. George; "S" implies St. James; "J" implies St. John; "O" implies St. Joseph; "L" implies St. Lucy; "M" implies St. Michael; "E" implies St. Peter; "P" implies St. Philip; and "T" implies St. Thomas.
  • Barbados and Japan have the highest per capita occurrences of centenarians in the world  [8].
  • During her stay on the island in the late 1970s, singer Nina Simone had an affair with a well-known Prime Minister of Barbados. She describes the affair in her autobiography I Put A Spell On You (1992) and dedicated a song to him on A Single Woman (1993).[2]
  • Barbados originated from the Amazon basin and split from the South American continent during the last ice age, making it the most easterly island of the Caribbean. It sits on the edge of the South American plate.
  • Barbadian-Brazilian relations include the non-requirement of a visa of a Brazilian to work in Barbados.
  • Unlike virtually all other islands in the region, Barbados is not affected by hurricanes each and every year.
  • Barbados is one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean.

[edit] National symbols

[edit] Flower

A yellow and red Poinciana.
A yellow and red Poinciana.

The national flower is the Pride of Barbados Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw. which grows across the island of Barbados.

Barbados' coat of arms.
Barbados' coat of arms.

[edit] Flag

The trident centred within the flag is a representation of the mythological Neptune, the god of the sea. The trident, in its original unbroken form was taken from within the former colonial seal which itself was replaced by the current Coat of Arms. Used within the national flag, the left and right shafts of the trident was then designed as 'broken' representing the nation of Barbados breaking away from its historical and constitutional ties as a former colony.

The broken trident is set in a centred vertical band of gold representing the sands of Barbados' beaches. The gold band itself is surrounded on both sides by vertical bands of blue representing the sea and sky of Barbados.

The design for the flag was created by Mr. Grantley W. Prescod and was chosen from an open competition arranged by the Barbados government. Over a thousand entries were received [9].

[edit] Golden Shield

The Golden Shield in the Coat of Arms carries two "Pride of Barbados" flowers and the "bearded" fig tree (Ficus citrifolia or Ficus barbata) which was common on the island at the time of its settlement by the British and contributed to Barbados being so named.

[edit] Coat of arms

The coat of arms depicts two animals which are supporting the shield. On the left is a flying fish, symbolic of the fishing industry and sea-going past of Barbados. On the right is a pelican, symbolic of a small island named Pelican Island that once existed off the coast of Bridgetown. Above the shield is the helmet of Barbados with an extended arm clutching two sugar-cane stalks. The "cross" formation made by the cane stalks represents the cross upon which Saint Andrew was crucified. On the base of the Coat of Arms reads "Pride and Industry" in reference to the country's motto.

[edit] National heroes

There are ten Barbadan national heroes:[citation needed]

See also: List of Eastern Caribbean people

[edit] International rankings

Some information in this article has been taken from the CIA World Factbook, 2000 edition. This article contains material from the CIA World Factbook (2003 edition) which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.

[edit] See also




[edit] References

  1. ^ Gallery of Sunbury Plantation pics can be found here
  2. ^ Simone, Nina; Cleary, Stephen. I Put A Spell On You, Da Capo Press: 1992, ISBN 0-306-80525-1.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Scott, Caroline 1999. Insight Guide Barbados. Discovery Channel and Insight Guides; fourth edition, Singapore. ISBN 0-88729-033-7
  • O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson 2000. An Empire Divided - The American Revolution and the British Caribbean. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia ISBN 0-8122-1732-2
  • Hamshere, Cyril 1972. The British In the Caribbean. Harvard University Pres, Massachusetts USA. ISBN 0-674-08235-4
  • Rogozinski, Jan 1999. A Brief History of the Caribbean - From the Arawak and Carib to the Present. Revised version New York, USA. ISBN 0-8160-3811-2
  • Burns, Sir Alan 1965. History of the British West Indies. George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London England.

[edit] External links

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CIA World Factbook entry on Barbados Maps of Barbados 13.16° N -59.55° E

edit Topics of Barbados Flag of Barbados
History Windward Islands, Emancipation, West Indies Federation
Politics Government, Ministries and Agencies, Parliament, Political parties, Governor General, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Elections, Law, Foreign relations, Foreign policy, Judiciary, Constituencies
Geography Beaches, Parks, Rivers and ponds, Plants and Animals, Conservation, Districts and places, Parishes of Barbados, Cities, towns and villages
Economy Central Bank of Barbados, Barbadian dollar, Barbados Stock Exchange, Companies, Grantley Adams International Airport
Communications Radio stations in Barbados, CBC TV8
Culture Music, Language and Dialect, Holidays, Education, Sports, Barbadian organisations
Transport Highways of Barbados, Port of Bridgetown, Grantley Adams International Airport
Icons Flag of Barbados, Coat of arms
Other Police Force, National Library, Tourism, International rankings

Geographic locale
International membership and history