Dominican Republic Facts

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* The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. * Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. * In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. * The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844 Music

* The music of the Dominican Republic is known primarily for merengue, though bachata, salsa and other forms are also popular. * Merengue is a musical genre native to the Dominican Republic. * Swift beats from güira or maracas percussion sections, and drums such as the tambora. * The accordion is also common, and is mostly heard in merengue típico. * Other instruments influences by Cuban son and mambo music frequently include a piano, saxophone, trombone and trumpet.

Location:| |
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti| | |
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Climate:| |
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall| | |
Terrain:| |
rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed| | |
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Natural hazards:| |
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts| | |
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Geography - note:| \|
shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti|

* Dominican cuisine is predominantly Spanish, Taíno, and African. * The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American...
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