Antigua (IPA: /ænˈtiːgə//an-tee-gah) is an island in the West Indies, Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. It is also known as Wadadli, which means approximately "our own". The island's circumference is about 87 kilometres (54 miles) and it has an area of 281 km² (108 square miles). It has a population of about 69,000 people as of July 2006. It is the largest of the Leeward Islands, and has a busy economy based on tourism, internet gambling, and education, including two medical schools.
Indigenous peoples like the Ciboney, Taíno, and Kalinago had lived on and around the island for a long time. But in 1493, Christopher Columbus became the first European to visit, and he renamed it Antigua after Mary, the mother of Jesus. The British came in 1632 and colonized the island. They brought slaves to the island from Africa who were forced to grow sugar cane. The slaves were legally freed in 1834.