Pintona was named by the Spanish and it meant "the coloured" because the island was very colourful and vibrant. Thr original arawaks name is now lost.
Pintonas first known inhabitants were Arawaks, believed to have come from northern South America around 200-400 AD. Numerous archaeological sites on the island have produced specimens of the Arawaks' well-developed pottery. Caribs gradually replaced Arawaks during the period from 800 to 1000 BC.The Caribs had a complex society, with hereditary kings and shamans. Their war canoes could hold more than 100 men and were fast enough to catch a sailing ship. They were later feared by the invading Europeans for their ferocity in battle.
Early colonial historyEdit
Pintona was apparently discovered by Columbus in 1495, when he landed at Cape Columbus. He and his mwn gave it the name of "Isla Pintona" (the Painted Island) after seeing its vibrant colors. After circling the island he came to a sheltered bay which he named "Bahia del Salvador". In 1501, settlers under Jorge Perez y Garcia founded a settlement on that bay, which is now Port Benedict. Spanish settlement was small and only about 300 people lived on the island. Soon after, they brought in slaves to work sugar plantations in the interior. In 1700 French privateers started a small settlment on the west coast (now Lyon Beach). France stepped in an took the island From Spain in 1703 ithout firing a shot. They abandoned the settlement at port Benedict and concentrated at Lyon Beach. They founded the community of Cape Mariah in 1707 and Terrebonne Beach in 1714. In 1791 Pintona's black slaves staged an uprising and declared themselves independent, after seeing Haiti do the same. The Republic of Pintona (Republique du Pintonne) lasted until 1792, when Jean du Latournier and a force of French republican soldiers defeated the black at the Battle of Bonaire and returned control to France.
British colonial historyEdit
After the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna awarded the islands to Britain. They resettled Pt. Benedict, which was given its name after the island's first governor, Sir William Henry Stanhope Benedict. The British made the sugar plntations extremely profitable by converting them into rum distillers. In 1836 slavery was outlawed, but the poor blacks still had to work for their former masters in order to pay of the rent for their homes and land.
On June 29, 1935 Pintona gained independence from the United Kingdom. The first PM was Stanley Warren, the strongman who was in power until 1947. The young nation set up the Pintona Defence Force for protection, consisting of 50 land forces and 3 patrol boats. In 1939 WWII started and Pintona declared war on Germany. 200 soldiers served overseas, usually in non-combat roles. The war was quite actionless for Pintona, except for the aparent sighting of a German submarine of the coast of Sandy Bay in 1943. Development throughout thids period was not great and there were many poor. Warren's government attempted to fix the sitation but the country was short on funds. His conservative successors, Samuel Roberts and Charles Worrell (both CP, in power until 1965) did not create much social spendig. The New Wave Movement, elected into office in the 1970s attempted radical change by nationalizing and making the country a Republic in 1977. They left the commonwealth on August 10 but returned on December 20th. In 1978 Harlow was assasinated and the country reverted to being a commonwealth. Social spending in the late 70's and early 1980's led to better quality of life and an incrase in tourism. In the 2000's the country was ranked as one of the best in the Caribbean though it still faced povery and other issues.
Pintona is characterized by by its sandy beaches, found along the coast. The southern and western beaches (and waters) are the most tourist and swimmer friendly, as they are sandy and warm. The eastern seaboard is full of rockir beaches, strng undercurrents and colder waters. Th interior is dominated by Gun Hill, a 118m high hill located within Gun Hill National Park.
Pintona has been an independent country since 29 June November 1935. It functions as a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, modelled on the British Westminster system, with Elizabeth II, Queen of Pintona, as head of state, represented locally by the Governor-General, Winton Belgrand, and the Prime Minister, Gilbert Warren as the head of the government. The number of representatives within the House of Assembly is 25 seats. There are three parties in Pintona, the Centrist Party (centre-right/centrist), People's Party (leftist)and New Wave Movement (far left/populist).
Tourism is the largest source of revenue in the country. The largest touristic areas are the capital region (including Bonaire Beach), Aventador Beach and the Beaches District. More unknown to tourists, yet more beautiful are the few beaches between Foggy Bottom and Cape Mariah.
46,970 people live in Pintona, more than a quarter of them in Port Benedict. There are also 2000 tourists that live on a temporary basis here, mostly in beach homes in the south and west coasts. A full list of settlements in Pintona can be found here.
The official language is English, spoken by everyone on the island. About 40-60% of the people also speak a local creole (Patwa Pintoné) which is a remnant of the French colonil period.