For hundreds of years, sugar cane has been the leading cash crop of Barbados. From the air, tourists can see expansive fields of neatly-sown rows blanketing the countryside.
In colonial Barbados, Africans were shipped in as slave labor to work the fields. The majority of "Bajans," the natives of Barbados, are descendants of African slaves.
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society offers a glimpse into slave history, including the unique Bajan structures known as "chattel houses." Chattel means "movable property," referring to the tiny, makeshift homes that were set on a foundation of loose stones, so they could be easily moved. They were originally plantation homes for slaves.
A statue commemorates the emancipation of the slaves in 1834, more than 30 years before slaves were freed in the United States.
Many of the sugar cane plantations have become tourist attractions.