Indian currency predating the rupee

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The origin is uncertain but several theories exist.

The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word commonly used by slaves and that it derives from the Igbo term bém from bé mụ́ meaning 'my home, kindred, kind', The words 'Bim' and 'Bimshire' are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries.

During the Cromwellian era (1650s) this included a large number of prisoners-of-war, vagrants and people who were illicitly kidnapped, who were forcibly transported to the island and sold as servants.

These last two groups were predominately Irish, as several thousand were infamously rounded up by English merchants and sold into servitude in Barbados and other Caribbean islands during this period.

From its English settlement and as Barbados' economy grew, Barbados maintained a relatively large measure of local autonomy first as a proprietary colony and later a crown colony. Among the island's earliest leading figures was the Anglo-Dutch Sir William Courten.

It is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (Ficus citrifolia), indigenous to the island, or to the allegedly bearded Caribs once inhabiting the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying reefs.Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island.In 2016, Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Barbados sixth in the Americas after Canada, the United States, Uruguay, Chile and the Bahamas.In the 13th century, the Kalinago (Island Caribs) arrived from South America.The Spanish and Portuguese briefly claimed Barbados from the late 16th to the 17th centuries.

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