GThe gourde or goud is the currency of Haiti. Its ISO 4217 code is HTG and it is divided into 100 centimes (French) or santim (Creole).
The word "gourde" is a French cognate for the Spanish term "gordo", from the "pesos gordos" (also known in English as "hard" pieces of eight, and in French as "piastres fortes espagnoles") in which colonial-era contracts within the Spanish sphere of influence were often denominated.
The first gourde was introduced in 1813 and replaced the livre at a rate of G 1 = 8 livres and 5 sous.
The island was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, who originated in South America. The first Europeans arrived on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, who initially believed he had found India or China. Columbus subsequently founded the first European settlement in the Americas, La Navidad, on what is now the northeastern coast of Haiti. The island was claimed by Spain and named La Española, forming part of the Spanish Empire until the early 17th century. However, competing claims and settlements by the French led to the western portion of the island being ceded to France in 1697, which was subsequently named Saint-Domingue. French colonists established lucrative sugarcane plantations, worked by vast numbers of slaves brought from Africa, which made the colony one of the richest in the world.