Amerindian peoples have existed in Trinidad for as long as 6,000 years before the arrival of Columbus, and numbered at least 40,000 at the time of Spanish settlement in 1592. All of Trinidad was populated by several tribes, Trinidad being a transit point in the Caribbean network of Amerindian trade and exchange.
Amerindians gave us the hammock (the word is from one of their languages) and techniques for making them from grass, reeds or cotton twine. Baskets of all kinds, including cunningly made water-proof ones, were another legacy .
They lived from hunting, fishing and gathering local fruit. As they were a nomadic people, sheltering in natural places such as caves, they have left almost no discernible traces of their time in Guadeloupe. It wasn’t until another 2,000 years later that the first ‘Arawak’ Indians settled in the Guadeloupe archipelago.
It is interesting to note that the ancestral Amerindian languages were first replaced by Spanish, then Patois/French Creole, which in turn has been mostly replaced by English and English Creole.
When the Europeans arrived, carrying germs which thrived in dense, semi-urban populations, the indigenous people of the Americas were effectively doomed. They had never experienced smallpox, measles or flu before, and the viruses tore through the continent, killing an estimated 90% of Native Americans .
Amerindians belonging to the Mongoloid group are believed to have crossed from Asia by way of the Bering Strait, an ice bridge joining Asia with the Americas, leaving during the fourth ice age following migrating prey. A talented people, Amerindians are known even today for their craftsmanship.
Fish heads, bones of fish, agouti, rice rat (Oryzomys spp.), iguana, birds, monkey, seashells (chip-chips, oysters, whelks) into a deep clay fire pot with peppers, sweet potatoes, cassava juice and fine cassava flour. Cassava bread and other meats were dipped into this stew.
Christopher Columbus landed on Trinidad , which he named for the Holy Trinity, in 1498 and found a land quietly inhabited by the Arawak and Carib Indians. It was nearly a century later that Europeans began to settle Trinidad ( called “leri&—land of the hummingbird—by the Amerindians ).
The Amerindians developed the canoe, the bow and arrow, and the ajoupa. Amerindian cuisine is enjoyed by many Trinidadians: Cassava bread and Farine; Warap; barbecued wild game; corn pastelles; coffee; cocoa; chadon beni.
The original name for the island in the Arawaks’ language was Iëre which meant ‘Land of the Hummingbird’. Christopher Columbus renamed it La Isla de la Trinidad (‘The Island of the Trinity’), fulfilling a vow he had made before setting out on his third voyage. This has since been shortened to Trinidad.
A number of tribes were pressed into Arima, however, the influx of foreigners did not wane and in 1783 Trinidad’s Amerindians were further displaced from their lands to make way for French planters and their African slaves. The Amerindian influence is still strong in modern Trinidad and Tobago .
The Ciboney were more or less killed off by other Amerindian (American Indian) peoples, as they are called, who moved into the islands. The Arawak probably came from northern South America, about 5,000 years ago. They settled on a number of the Caribbean islands, where they lived by farming.
(æmərɪndiən ) Word forms: plural Amerindians . Amerindian means the same as American Indian.