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There was little if any intermarriage and little intermating between the two groups. Colonial discourses on African and Indian ancestral culture depicted Blacks as culturally "naked" and Indians possessing a culture, albeit an inferior one to European culture.These divisions dictated the course of national identity and nationalist politics. Perhaps for this reason, Blacks have emphasized Western learning and culture and Indians have emphasized the glories of their subcontinental past.The national motto is "Together we aspire, together we achieve." The national anthem features the line "Here every creed and race find an equal place," which is sung twice for emphasis.Some public holidays and celebrations emphasize group contributions to the nation, including Independence Day (31 August), Emancipation Day (1 August; commemorating the ending of slavery), and Indian Arrival Day (30 May). Claimed by Columbus for Spain, Trinidad was a forgotten Spanish colony for three hundred years.
Enslaved Africans arrived from varied ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups from along the West African coast, while Creole slaves spoke a French or English creole, depending on their islands of origin.
The island was called Iere, meaning "the land of the hummingbird," by its native Amerindian inhabitants.