From the mid-17th century until 1807, slaves were imported to Barbados to work the sugarcane fields. After several rebellions, slavery was abolished in 1834 and laborers were given small plots to live. But when they were dismissed by the employer they had to evacuate their “rab land.” This gave rise to the chattel house. They were very small, wooden homes with high-pitched roofs and no eaves to defend against hurricanes. The louvered windows permitted airflow. They also sat unsecured on a rock foundation. This allowed the owner to dismantle and reassemble the home at another plantation. Few of these uniquely Barbadian buildings remain.