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Columbus spotted the island now known as Dominica on a Sunday so named the country
Dominica, the Latin word for Sunday.
Dominica is a very mountainous island and because of
this there is very limited space, on which people can life. The people are fairly
limited to the coastal regions where they have access to both the water as well
as to some fertile lands and rivers from the mountains.
The Caribs were the largest group of people to have settled the island prior to
the arrival of the Europeans and, even after European
arrival, the Caribs maintained control over the island for a great number of years
as they could easily retreat into the mountains.
The flag of Dominica is very colorful;
the green represents the island's green vegetation, the yellow is symbolic of
the sunshine, citrus, bananas, and the Carib people, black represents the rich soils
and the ethnic African people, white symbolizes the waters on the island as well
as the purity of aspirations, and the red stands for social justice. On this background
is a large disk with a Sisserou Parrot, which can only be found in Dominica. Around
the parrot are ten stars, which represent the ten parishes (or administrative districts)
of the island.
Name: Commonwealth of Dominica
Independence: November 3, 1978
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Population: 73,286 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: African & others
Religion: Catholic & Protestant
Eventually this isolation ended as both the French and
British settled the island. With this settlement
the Caribs were enslaved or retreated into the mountains as slaves from
Africa were brought in to work the lands. These two European
groups altered the culture forever. Both English and French Patois are commonly
spoken and just over half the people are Catholic, a result from French influence.
The greatest influence these groups had was populating the island were
Africans. Today the majority of the population in Dominica
is of African descent or a mix of African and Carib descent. Today these people
run the country and the culture and way of life on the island is slowly finding
a more solid identity. Many people live along the coasts still and agriculture is
still the dominant industry, but land is limited. More importantly, there are no
true cities as this agricultural-based economy has led to a fairly rural population
who continues to live off the land.
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Map of Dominica:
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