Portal:Bahamas

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The Bahamas Portal

Flag of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
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The Bahamas Listeni/bəˈhɑːməz/, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets (rocks). It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States (nearest to the state of Florida). Its total land area is 13,939 km2 (5,382 sq mi), with an estimated population of 330,000.

The name Bahamas is of Lucayan Taino (Arawakan) derivation, although some historians believe it is from the Spanish bajamar, meaning “shallow water.” The islands occupy a position commanding the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the entire Central American region. Their strategic location has given the history of The Bahamas a unique and often striking character. It was there that Christopher Columbus made his original landfall in the Americas. The subsequent fate of the peaceful original inhabitants remains one of the more tragic episodes in the development of the entire region, while the early attempts at European-dominated settlement were marked by intense national rivalries, interspersed with long periods of lawlessness and piracy. As a result, the society and culture that has evolved in The Bahamas is a distinctive blend of European and African heritages, the latter a legacy of the slave trade and the introduction of the plantation system using African slaves.

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Bahamas Government House
Credit: Albert

The Yellow Elder is the National Flower of the Bahamas.

Did you know?

  • ...that Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling (pictured) is known as The Father of the Nation in the Bahamas as he lead the country to independence from the British in 1973?
  • ...that Junkanoo is a musical street masquerade, believed to be of West African origin, which occurs in many towns across the Bahamas and the Caribbean every Boxing Day and New Year's Day?

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