The early history of Suriname dates from 3000 BCE when Native Americans first inhabited the area. The Dutch acquired Suriname from the English, and European settlement in any numbers dates from the 17th century, when it was a plantation colony utilizing slavery for sugar cultivation. With abolition in the late 19th century, planters sought labor from China, Madeira, India, and Indonesia, which was also colonized by the Dutch. Dutch is Suriname's official language. Owing to its diverse population, it has also developed a creole language, Sranan.