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History

        Around the second century, B.C., an Amerindian people known as, "the Arawaks" reportedly left their home in Venezuela, and arrived in Antigua about 35 AD. Then around 1200 AD, another tribe of Amerindians, "the Caribs" of South America, began to make frequent raids on the islands from neighboring St. Kitts and Dominica, but never established a permanent residence.

        History suggests that Christopher Columbus sighted the islands in 1493. From the on, various Europeans, including the French, utilized the islands until the British settled them in 1632. In 1674, an English Colonizer, Sir Christopher Codrington was instrumental in introducing African peoples from the West Coast of Africa to work as slaves in the sugar plantations he established on the island. Today, Antigua and Barbuda's population, which numbers around, 70,000 is predominately of African descent, with the remainder consisting of British, American, Portuguese, Lebanese, and Syrian origin. However, the first proven date for mankind in Antigua and Barbuda was 1775 BC., after remains of the "Siboney" (meaning stone people) were conclusively found near Jolly Beach, on the western shore of Antigua.*

 

*Source: Permanent Mission of Antigua & Barbuda to the OAS
 

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Updated: 29 February 2008

 


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