About 95 percent of Haitians are of African origin. The remaining 5 percent are mulatto and other races.
The mulatto population makes up about half of the country's elite. French and Creole, which uses both
French colonial and West African phrases and words, are the official languages, the latter attaining that
status in 1987. The poorer class (about 90 percent of the population) speak Creole, while the elite speak
Haitian culture fuses African, French, and West Indian elements. Formerly a social divider, the Creole
language is now being used in attempts to define a national culture. The language is used in literature,
drama, music, dance, and some governmental functions. Haitian works of art are enjoying increasing
worldwide recognition. The country also has several outstanding libraries.