Separate from the courtyard were the workers' houses with thatched roofs, and on some plantations also with walls made from coconut leaves.
The workers' houses often were divided into two parts: a sleeping room and a living room.
The government that gained power through a coup in 1977 had Marxist leanings and used rhetoric appropriate to that ideology.
The country has used a national rhetoric of development and the pioneering spirit, especially in regard to the development of the outer islands. The country was not inhabited when Europeans discovered and settled the islands.
The Seychelles Rupee (SRS) is the national currency. In 1960, fifty-six landowners held two-thirds of the agricultural land. Tuna fishing and canning are becoming increasingly important, as is aquaculture.
A small manufacturing sector is linked to the establishment of an international trade zone. Social stratification is symbolized largely by skin color and ethnic origin.
After the British prohibited slavery in 1835, the influx of African workers did not end because British warships captured Arab slavers and forced the liberated slaves to work on plantations as "apprentices" without pay.
The Gran'bla ("big whites") of French origin dominated the economy and political life, with a British colonial administration that at times was supportive but was often hostile to them.
The country became independent from Britain in 1976, with the exception of the islands retained as the British Indian Ocean Territory. The winner of the first election for the presidency, James Mancham, favored integration or close ties with Britain; his main opponent, France Albert René, saw this as a danger to the national identity, which he considered African. The Gran'bla wanted to reestablish ties with France.
This included Diego Garcia, which was developed as U. René toppled the first elected government in a coup in 1977 and established a one-party state that lasted until 1992.
After the opening of the international airport in 1971, tourism became important.
Segmentation of the economy into the tourism and plantation sectors developed. There was little scope for expansion of the plantation economy or for increases in wages, since the wage-paying potential was fixed by international prices of plantation crops.
The plantation sector declined, and agriculture now accounts for about 4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and less than 10 percent of the workforce.