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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda (Spanish for "Ancient" and "Bearded") is an island nation located on the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands – Antigua (pronounced /?n?ti???/) and Barbuda (/b?r?bju?d?/) – and a number of smaller islets. All are close neighbors within the middle of the Leeward Islands, and are located roughly 17 degrees north of the equator.

Antigua has a population of 82,000, comprising chiefly a mixture of people of West African, British, and Portuguese descent. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. To the south of Antigua and Barbuda lie the islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago. Montserrat lies to the southwest; Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Eustatius are to the west, and Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin and Anguilla are to the northwest.

Antigua was first settled by pre-agricultural Amerindians known as "Archaic People", commonly referred to as Ciboney, which means "stone people" in Arawakan. The earliest settlements on the island date to 2900 BC. They were succeeded by ceramic-using agriculturalist Saladoid people who migrated up the island chain from Venezuela. They were later replaced by Arawakan speakers, and around 1500 [BC?] by Island Caribs.
The Arawaks were the first well-documented group of Antiguans. The Arawaks called Antigua Wadadli, which means land of oil, perhaps a reference to eucalyptus oil extracted from eucalyptus trees. They paddled to the island by canoe (piragua) from Venezuela, ejected by the Caribs—another people indigenous to the area. Arawaks introduced agriculture to Antigua and Barbuda, raising, among other crops, the famous Antiguan "Black" pineapple. They also cultivated various other foods including corn, sweet potatoes (white with firmer flesh than the bright orange "sweet potato" used in the United States), chiles, guava, tobacco and cotton.
The bulk of the Arawaks left Antigua about 1100 A.D. Those who remained were subsequently raided by the Caribs. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Carib's superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most Arawak nations in the West Indies—enslaving some, and possibly cannibalizing others (though this is unclear because many sources dispute the fact that Indian societies cannibalised each other).
The Catholic Encyclopedia does make it clear that the European invaders had some difficulty identifying and differentiating between the various native peoples they encountered. As a result, the number and types of ethnic/tribal/national groups in existence at the time may be much more varied and numerous than the two mentioned in this Article.
According to A Brief History of the Caribbean (Jan Rogozinski, Penguin Putnam, Inc September 2000 ), European and African diseases, malnutrition and slavery eventually destroyed the vast majority of the Caribbean's native population. No researcher has conclusively proven any of these causes as the real reason for the destruction of West Indian natives. In fact, some historians believe that the psychological stress of slavery may also have played a part in the massive number of native deaths while in servitude. Others believe that the reportedly abundant, but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to severe malnutrition of the "Indians" who were used to a diet fortified with protein from sea-life.
The indigenous West Indians made excellent sea vessels that they used to sail the Atlantic and Caribbean. As a result, Caribs and Arawaks populated much of South American and the Caribbean Islands. Relatives of the Antiguan Arawaks and Caribs still live in various countries in South America, notably Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia. The smaller remaining native populations in the West Indies maintain a pride in their heritage.
The island of Antigua was named Wadadli by these natives and is today called "Land of Wadadli" by locals. Christopher Columbus landed on his second trip in 1493 and named the island Santa Maria de la Antigua after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Spain. Early settlement by the Spanish was replaced by English rule from 1632 (British rule from 1707 Acts of Union), with a French interlude in 1666. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834.
The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on November 1, 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda and the Right Honourable Vere Cornwall Bird became the first prime minister.

Geography of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda lie in the eastern arc of the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. Antigua is 650 km southeast of Puerto Rico; Barbuda lies 48 km due north of Antigua, and the

Luis Pales Matos

Luis Pales Matos

Luis Pales Matos was born on March 20, 1898, in Guayama, Puerto Rico, a small village with a predominantly black population. His father, Vicente Pales Anes, and his brothers, Vicente and Gustavo Pales Matos, were all poets laureate of Puerto Rico. His mother, Consuelo Matos Vicil, was also a poet. Vicente Pales Anes died in 1913, just after reciting his poem "El cementerio" (the cemetery). Luis Pales Matos read voraciously as a child and began writing poems at the age of thirteen. His self-published his first collection of poetry, Azaleas (1915) followed the modernist trend. It also depleted Pales's financial resources so that at age seventeen, he had to leave school to join the world of work. He supported himself variously, as a secretary, bookkeeper, journalist, civil servant, and teacher.

In 1918 Pales married Natividad Suliveres. They had a son, Eduardo, but the following year, Natividad died. Some of Pales's grief made its way into the poems of his second manuscript, El palacio en sombras (the darkened palace, 1919-20), which was not published. In 1921, Pales moved to San Juan, where he began sending his poems to magazines. With the writer Jose T. de Diego Padro, he created an avant-garde literary movement called "Diepalismo," (a combination of their names), which emphasized the musicality of language, especially through onomatopoeia. The movement produced one monaifesto and a single, collaboratively written poem: "Orquestacion Deipalica," which was published in El Imparcial in 1921. In 1925, he collected Canciones de la vida media (songs at mid-life), another manuscript which was to remain unpublished. In 1926, however, La Democracia published "Pueblo Negro" (black town), the first flowering of what was to become an influential and lasting movement: by blending rhythms, folklore, and words from African and Afro-Caribbean culture into the Spanish verse of Puerto Rico, Pales created a new genre of Latin American literature that came to be called Afro-Antillian poetry. In 1937, he published a collection of these poems as Tuntun de pasa y griferia (drumbeats of kink and blackness), which was recognized with an award from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. This collection also placed him, with Afro-Cuban poet Nicolas Guillen, as founder of the literary movement known as Negrismo. These poems also attracted some criticism toward Matos, who was white, for his appropriation of African elements. After Tuntun, he moved away from some of the Negrismo emphasis into more Antillean work that did not emphasize black themes. Luis Pales Matos is widely considered the most important lyric poet of Puerto Rico. His literary influence reached to the Greater Antilles, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In 1949 he began writing love poems to a woman he addressed as "Fini-Mele." In 1957 he published Poesia, 1915-1956 (1957). Until the time of his death, in 1959, he served as lecturer to the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico. He died in Santurce, Puerto Rico, of a heart attack.

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