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During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to play sports. Eventually, the Arawak migrated from the mainland, followed by the Carib.

On 6 September 2017, the Category 5 Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the buildings on the island of Barbuda. Prior to European colonialism, Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit Antigua, in 1493.

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The Slave Act of 1723 made arbitrary murder of slaves a crime, but did not do much to ease their lives.

Unrest against enslavement among the Black Antiguans became increasingly common.

In 1729, a man named Hercules was hanged, drawn, and quartered and three others were burnt alive, for conspiring to kill the slave owner Crump and his family.

In 1736, an enslaved man called "Prince Klaas" (whose real name was Court) allegedly planned an uprising in which white slavers would be massacred.

Codrington guided development on the island as a profitable sugar colony.

For a large portion of Antigua history, the island was considered Britain's "Gateway to the Caribbean".

For example, a popular Antiguan dish, dukuna (), is a cooked paste made of cornmeal and water. As a result, the Arawak and Carib populated much of the South American and the Caribbean islands. Sir Christopher Codrington, an Englishman, established the first permanent European settlement.

Their descendants live throughout South America, particularly Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia. From that point on, Antigua history took a dramatic turn.

Many of these works feature what are now considered "traditional" motifs, such as pineapples, fish and stylized serpents.

By the mid-1770s, the number of slaves had increased to 37,500, up from 12,500 in 1713.

However, according to a Smithsonian Institution article, the West African slave population in the Caribbean also had a high mortality, which was compensated by regular imports of very high numbers of new slaves from West and Central Africa.

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