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Mondo's NAT # 047 - Arawak
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Native American Tribe series.
The Arawak Indians were the first Tribe of Indians that Christopher Columbus saw when he came to America. He first landed in the Bahamas, which lead to the eventual settlement by Europeans among the peace-loving Arawak.
It is believed that the original Indian tribes followed migrating herds of animals and then crossed Asia via the Bering Land Straight to Alaska, and then populated the planet. The route that the Arawak Indians took is believed to have originated on the eastern slopes of the Andes. Shortly thereafter they began to spread down the Amazon River and its tributaries, north into the Orinoco Valley, along the coast of Venezuela to Eastern Colombia, and the Guiana, and out into the Antilles. It is also stated that a few ventured to settle in and around the Florida Keys area during what is now referred to as the Spanish times.
It is said that a number of Arawak tribes have been extinct for several hundreds of years. What could have happened that would bring a population that once numbered 2 to 3 million down to just a few thousand by the early part of the 16th century? Throughout history the Arawak where subject to many hostile takeovers, diseases, enslavement, damage to food supplies and much more. Inevitably, by the end of the 16th century the Island Arawak had become extinct.
Sadly, the Arawak Indians have been eliminated or greatly reduced in number in many areas, some of which include the Caribbean, Guadeloupe, West Indies, Barbados, and the Virgin Islands. Their numbers have been slowly rising, so that today upwards of 30, 000 Arawak currently reside in Guyana, with a very small number existing in Suriname and French Guiana.
In order to understand the mass extinction of the Arawak tribe, we must understand that the Arawak population was just not given to warfare, despite a complex social organization. This made them a very easy target for the Spaniards or the Indian tribe known as the Caribs (for their cannibalistic nature) to enslave, take over or kill.
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Last Updated: on 11/22/2017 2:37:32 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (10:37 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum