Souvenirs from Guadeloupe
As an overseas department of France, Guadeloupe offers visitors a chance to purchase French luxury items at a lower price than normal. Clothing, jewelry, perfume, crystal and china are just a few of the things offered to the tourist, as well as imported French cheese, candies, tinned meats and wine. Rows of postcards, T-shirts, magnets and key chains are also available in the upscale shops, and in the local markets. For those looking for a more authentic souvenir from Guadeloupe, hand painted fabrics are made into clothing and wall hangings, and handmade lace, created by the older island women, can be used to decorate tablecloths, pillows and apparel. You can also pick up woven items made from straw and wicker, such as baskets, purses, wallets, hats and small mats. Rum is the alcoholic beverage of the Caribbean, and it is practically mandatory to purchase at least one bottle of this amber colored liquid for a Guadeloupean souvenir.
Christopher Columbis was the first European to set foot on the island he named Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extremadura in 1493. In fact, he also discovered the pineapple here, but chose not to create a settlement. It wasn't until 1635 that Guadeloupe had a European settlement, under the charter of the French Company of the American Islands, and was annexed by the French government in 1674. Sugar trade made the island wealthy, and the landowners were unwilling to free their slaves in accordance with the aftermath of the French Revolution. After a traumatic slave rebellion in 1793, the landowners applied to Britain for assistance, who occupied the island until 1794. The British were forced out by a large slave rebellion, and the island was under control of the rebels until Napoleon crushed them. It then reverted back to British control, then to the Swedes, back to the British, and then finally to France with the Treaty of Paris of 1814.