The nation of the Bahamas consists of more than 700 low-lying islands, keys, and rocks extending 500 miles (1 mile = 1.61 kilometers) southeast off the coast of Florida. The Bahamas was the site of Columbus's 1492 landfall in the New World. It was a British colony from 1783 to 1973. Now independent, it remains a member of the British Commonwealth.

The 37 inhabited islands have a population of about 300,000. About two thirds of the population reside on New Providence Island (the location of town of Nassau). More than 85% of the population have descended from African slaves—the majority of whom were of Yoruba ancestry. The slaves were imported directly from Africa or brought by slave-owning British loyalists following the American Revolution. In addition, ...

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