Badu is a small island in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Suriname.


Early human inhabitance

Badu was presumably first reached by humans when Arawak families sailed there from Suriname after Carib raids. The earliest evidence of humans on the island dates back to around the 10th century AD. For at least 700 years the Arawak people lived on the island, their only contact with the outside world being trade with Arawaks on Aruba, but after this time Spanish explorers claimed the islands. For 8 years between 1605 and 1613, the Spanish held the islands and forced many Arawaks to change their ways to be more "European", but in return they were guaranteed protection from the Caribs.

Dutch colonization

In August of 1613, four Dutch Galleons from Guyana - armed with several Culverins and Falconets, and bristling with Dutch soldiers armed with muskets and halberds - took the island from the Spanish by force, and within a year all supporters of the Spanish had been killed or exported, securing the Dutch hold on Badu. The Dutch did not try to convert or change the natives, who still formed at least 60% of the islands population, rather than trade with them for their many interesting spices.

Many pirates often lodged in the northwestern bay of the island where no other humans went, but they were frequently captured or killed after leaving the island.

For 300 years the island remained Dutch, gradually changing into a more modern place as time moved on from the colonial period. The native Arawaks never gave up their religion, but many other aspects of their lives modernized along with the rest of the world. In 1934, a huge earthquake on the island destroyed the main town - Geel, or yellow, and the hurricane that followed rendered the island almost uninhabitable by humans. After this more than three quarters of the population had been killed, and most of the survivors moved away.

Modern times

Now around 100 of the ancient Arawaks live on the island, which has been made into a nature reserve for any endangered animal which can live on the island. Dutch law prevents more than 150 people to permanently inhabit the island at any one time in hope of making it more natural for the endangered species who live on it.

The island's golden age is still considered to have been the colonial age, when it was part of a huge trade route and served as the supplier of many smaller colonies and expeditions during their early stages.

Famous people

  • Miguel de Querizo - Spanish explorer who first charted the island.
  • Juan Castilla - Governor of the island for the first six years it was Spanish.
  • Arjan de Graff - Dutch captain who captured the island from the Spanish.
  • Maggie Dagger - Welsh pirate who controlled most of the dangerous northwest of the island for several years.
  • Willem Plockhoy - Dutch explorer who first charted the interior of the island and did much trade with the native Arawaks.

Age of Empires III

Geel, Badu's capital can be made as a home city on Age of Empires III and any of its expansions. The civilization should be Dutch, the city name Geel, Badu and the explorer's name Willem Plockhoy. The closest maps to Badu are Orinoco and Hispaniola.

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