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Travel Guide 2   >   Barbados   >   History

   
 

Barbadian History


The first people to reach Barbados are believed to have been farmers and fishermen who arrived by canoe from South America, in approximately 350 AD. There are also known to have been at least two other subsequent waves of immigration from South America prior to the arrival of Europeans: Arawak people from at approximately 800 AD, and Caribs at around 1200 AD.

The first Europeans to reach the island were the Portuguese, who gave Barbados its name, which means "island of the bearded ones" - although it is not known whether "bearded" referred to island's inhabitants or some aspect of the natural landscape. The Portuguese soon conquered the islands, enslaved the indigenous people, and deported them to work on plantations in other Portuguese colonies.

The first English landing in Barbados took place in 1620, when Captain Cataline made a brief stop to collect water. A permanent landing followed in 1625, led by Captain Henry Powell of the ship Olive Blossom, in the area that is today Holetown. When the English arrived in Barbados, there were no indigenous inhabitants left on the islands, and little trace of them either. One of the few signs that the islands hand been inhabited before was a wooden bridge (which became known as "Indian Bridge"), at the site of what has subsequently become Bridgetown.

For the nearly 350 years, Barbados remained a British colony, finally gaining its independence on November 30th 1966. Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, although there are proposals to make the country into a republic. Barbados is also a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

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Books about Barbadian History


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The Barbadian Cultural Renaissance: Iconographic Reconstruction and Search for Identity

By Ralph A. Jemmott

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (406 pages)

The Barbadian Cultural Renaissance: Iconographic Reconstruction and Search for Identity
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Product Description:
This book examines the development of Barbadian Culture through the Arts during the period after Independence leading up to the year 2016, and is written and offered in recognition and celebration of Barbados' 50th anniversary of Independence. It is a retrospective on the state of cultural awareness over the past 50 years.

It is divided into three parts, the first of which examines an earlier belief in a 'non-existent Barbadian culture', and discusses the legitimacy of a Barbadian Cultural Renaissance and a 'gradual awakening after the year 1966. Part Two examines the 'iconographic reconstruction' of Barbadian culture, where the previously dominant Eurocentric values are partially replaced by an awareness of the cultural significance of the Black populace, and highlights the more significant contributions of certain 'cultural icons' over a period of 50 years. Part Three challenges the direction in which some aspects of Barbadian culture are heading. "To some degree it may reflect the writer's own cultural ambivalence between the more liberal ingredients... and the older more conservative aspects... What matters ultimately is that 'the culture' in the full sense speaks to those things that advance a genuinely humane enterprise and an enlightened progressivism consonant with human dignity."

"All is not lost; the author's conclusion inspires some sense of achievement and hope."
- Dr. Viola Davis -

Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba: Stories of Early Twentieth-Century Migration from Barbados

By Sharon Milagro Marshall

Ingramcontent
Paperback (219 pages)

Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba: Stories of Early Twentieth-Century Migration from Barbados
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  • Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba Stories of Early Twentieth Century Migration from Barbados
Product Description:
2016 Foreword INDIES Finalist

Barbadians were among the thousands of British West Indians who migrated to Cuba in the early twentieth century in search of work. They were drawn there by employment opportunities fuelled largely by US investment in Cuban sugar plantations. Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba: Stories of Early Twentieth-Century Migration from Barbados is their story. The migrants were citizens of the British Empire, and their ill-treatment in Cuba led to a diplomatic tiff between British and Cuban authorities. The author draws from contemporary newspaper articles, official records, journals and books to set the historical contexts which initiated this intra-Caribbean migratory wave. Through oral histories, it also gives voice to the migrants' compelling narratives of their experience in Cuba. One of the oral histories recorded in the book is that of the author's mother, who was born in Cuba of Barbadian parents.

Combermere School and the Barbadian Society

By Keith A P Sandiford

University of the West Indies Press
Paperback (178 pages)

Combermere School and the Barbadian Society
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Passage To England: Barbadian Londoners Speak of Home

By John Western

Brand: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Paperback (344 pages)

Passage To England: Barbadian Londoners Speak of Home
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Book by Western, John

Parkinson's Barbados: A collection of photographs of old Barbados (Barbados yesterday & today; no. 1)

By Henry Walter Parkinson

Barbadian Heritage Publications Trust
Paperback (56 pages)

Parkinson s Barbados: A collection of photographs of old Barbados (Barbados yesterday & today; no. 1)
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Barbados Yesterday & Today No. 1 Parkinson's Barbados

Panama Money in Barbados, 1900-1920

By Bonham C. Richardson

Univ of Tennessee Pr
Hardcover (283 pages)

Panama Money in Barbados, 1900-1920
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The Barbadian Rum Shop: The Other Watering Hole

By Peter Laurie

Macmillan Caribbean
Paperback (136 pages)

The Barbadian Rum Shop: The Other Watering Hole
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There are about a thousand rum shops in Barbados. "The Barbadian Rum Shop" has a dual purpose: to document these special watering holes in photographs and to provide a historical and cultural background to a unique Barbadian institution. It should also encourage Barbadians and visitors alike to experience first hand the exuberant and authentic atmosphere of the Barbadian rum shop.The first section of the book is the fascinating story of rum: where it began, how it is made and the many ways you can drink it. The second gives an insight into the brewing of Barbados' prize-winning beer, Banks - probably the most consumed drink in the rum shop! The third section is a brief social history of the rum shop that shows how this peculiar Barbadian combination of bar and grocery evolved into what it is today. Finally, and most importantly, are featured some of those special rum shops that the reader will find more than worth a visit, as much for the tasty food as the refreshing drink.This is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated guide to a unique Caribbean institution which rum lovers all over the world are sure to enjoy.

Little England: Plantation Society and Anglo-Barbadian Politics, 1627-1700

By Gary A. Puckrein

Brand: New York University Press
Hardcover (272 pages)

Little England: Plantation Society and Anglo-Barbadian Politics, 1627-1700
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NY 1984 First edition NYU. ISBN 0-8147-6587-4. Hardcover. Octavo, 235pp., cloth. Fine in Good plus, frayed, DJ.

Barbadian Music: Music of Barbados, Music History of Barbados, National Anthem of Barbados, the Merrymen, Royal Barbados Police Band, S

By LLC Books Not Available (Na)

General Books
Paperback

Barbadian Music: Music of Barbados, Music History of Barbados, National Anthem of Barbados, the Merrymen, Royal Barbados Police Band, S
 

Caribbean Treasure: A Trove of 18th-Century Barbadian Poetry and Prose: Volume 2: From the Barbados Gazette and the Barbados Mercury, 1783–1789

Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
Paperback (400 pages)
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Poems, essays, satires, and letters in the style of The Spectator provide an authentic portrait of many aspects of life in 18th-century Barbados in this anthology of writings drawn from newspapers, journals, and society newsletters of the time. While the writing ostensibly reveals the perspectives of the white slave-owning class, many authors wrote under pen names, and the dialogues presented about the legal rights of slaves suggest that these sources may have also received contributions from the free mulatto class. This inclusive anthology of 18th-century Barbadian letters demonstrates that a lively literary world existed alongside slavery.

This second volume provides glimpses into daily Barbadian life represented in the Barbados Mercury and Barbados Gazette.


 
 
 

 
 
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