Hispaniola History of a Caribbean Island
What happened to the native Tainos People? • In 1517 King Charles V of Spain authorized the draft of slaves. The native people of the island known as the Tainos were the first to be enslaved. • Those who escaped or survived fled to the mountains and mixed with escaped African Slaves (Maroons).
Zambos • The ethnic group that was a direct result of the mixture between the African Slaves and the Tainos were the Zambos. • French settlers to the island would later call the people of mixed African and Amerindian ancestry Marabou.
Piracy • As the “gateway” to the Caribbean, Hispaniola became a haven for Pirates. • French Pirate Jean Lafitte, who operated in New Orleans and Galveston was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti around 1782.
Colonization • In the 17th Century the Island of Hispaniola was divided into the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic) and the French Colony of Saint-Domingue (now the Republic of Haiti). • With it’s geographic position the island has always been battered by both hurricanes and earthquakes.
Culture on the Island • The Dominican Republic shares many characteristics with other former Spanish Colonies in the Caribbean such as Cuba and Puerto Rico. The Spanish Language & Catholicism are important cultural icons. • Haiti’s Language comes from both French and African roots, this has shaped the very unique cultural elements that thrive within Haiti today.
2010 Haiti Earthquake • Port-au-Prince was in the area with the most severe tremors. • Though its location did allow for aid to come by ship.
2010 Haiti Earthquake Cont. • The global community gave immediate support to the people of Haiti, but the millions of pounds of food sent after the earthquake had a negative effect on Haitian farmers, who could not compete and were driven into poverty.