Myths and Realities of Caribbean History

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-12
  • Publisher: Univ of Alabama Pr
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This book seeks to debunk eleven popular and prevalent myths about Caribbean history. Using archaeological evidence, it corrects many previous misconceptions promulgated by history books and oral tradition as they specifically relate to the pre-Colonial and European-contact periods. It informs popular audiences, as well as scholars, about the current state of archaeological/historical research in the Caribbean Basin and asserts the value of that research in fostering a better understanding of the regionrs"s past. Contrary to popular belief, the history of the Caribbean did not begin with the arrival of Europeans in 1492. It actually started 7,000 years ago with the infusion of Archaic groups from South America and the successive migrations of other peoples from Central America for about 2,000 years thereafter. In addition to discussing this rich cultural diversity of the Antillean past, Myths and Realities of Caribbean History debates the misuse of terms such as "Arawak" and "Ciboneys," and the validity of Carib cannibalism allegations.

Author Biography

Basil A. Reid is author of Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean and Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vii
Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Caribbean History Started with the Arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492p. 1
The Arawaks and Caribs Were the Two Major Groups in the Precolonial Caribbeanp. 11
Columbus Met Arawaks in the Northern Caribbeanp. 49
The Natives Encountered by Christopher Columbus in the Northern Caribbean Migrated from South Americap. 58
The Arawaks Were the First Potters and Farmers to Have Settled in the Caribbeanp. 75
The Ciboneys Lived in Western Cuba at the Time of Spanish Contactp. 83
The Island-Caribs Were Cannibalsp. 88
All the Amerindians Migrating from South America to the Caribbean Island-Hopped from the Continent to the Lesser and Greater Antillesp. 100
The Spanish Introduced Syphilis into the Caribbean and the New Worldp. 111
Christopher Columbus Wrote the Version of His Diario (Diary) That We Use Todayp. 117
The Spanish Colonists Brought "Civilization" to Native Societies in the Caribbeanp. 121
Conclusionp. 129
Glossaryp. 131
References Citedp. 137
Indexp. 151
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