Hispaniola

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{island, water, area}
{country, population, people}
{land, century, early}
{area, part, region}
{language, word, form}
{city, population, household}
{line, north, south}
{son, year, death}
{day, year, event}
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Hispaniola (Spanish: La Española) is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west, and Puerto Rico to the east, directly within the hurricane belt. Hispaniola is perhaps most famous as the site of the first European colonies in the New World, colonies founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493. It is the tenth-most-populous island in the world, and the most populous in the Americas. It is the 22nd-largest island in the world.

Contents

Name

The island bears various names supposedly originated by its native people, the Taíno Amerindians. When Columbus took possession of the island in 1492 he named it La Isla Española, meaning "The Spanish Island", in Spanish.[2] Bartolomé de las Casas shortened the name to "Española", and when Pietro Martyr d'Anghiera detailed his account of the island in Latin, he translated the name as Hispaniola.[2] Because Anghiera's literary work was translated into English and French in a short period of time, the name "Hispaniola" is the most frequently used term in English-speaking countries for the island in scientific and cartographic works.

Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo and las Casas documented that the island was called Haití ("Mountainous Land") by the Taíno. D'Anghiera added another name, Quizqueia (supposedly "Mother of all Lands"), but later research shows that the word does not seem to derive from the original Arawak Taíno language.[3] Although the Taínos's use of Haití is verified and the name was used by all three historians, evidence suggests that it probably was not the Taíno name of the whole island. Haití was the Taíno name of a region (now known as Los Haitises) in the northeastern section of the present-day Dominican Republic. In the oldest documented map of the island, created by Andrés de Morales, that region is named Montes de Haití ("Haiti Mountains"). Las Casas apparently named the whole island Haití on the basis of that particular region;[4] d'Anghiera said that the name of one part was given to the whole island.[3]

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