Largest of the British Windward Islands, Dominica (or Sunday Island) was sighted by Columbus in November, 1493. For centuries British and French troops fought each other for its domination, and Britan eventually paid 65,000 dollars to France to get the French off the island. In 1805 Britan assumed control, yet it still had to deal with Carib uprisings, including a native war that broke out as late as 1930.

On March 1, 1967, Dominica got a new constitution and was declared a state in association with Britain. On November 3, 1978, it became independant and today is a republic and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (Formerly the British Commonwealth). It is governed by a president as head of state and a prime minister who is head of government.

Dominica, with a population of some 80,000, lies in the eastern Caribbean, between Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south. English is the offical language, but a French patois is widely spoken. The Caribs, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, live as a community on the north east of the island. The arts and craft of traditional basketry is still practiced and is unique to todays Carib community.