January 7, 2013

Archaic People, Saladoid people, Arawaks, Caribs...

I'm trying to read the "History of" page for Antigua and Barbuda, which is a single country. It's today's country as we run through the list of 206 countries in the world. But this Wikipedia page is kind of a mess. There are names of various people who arrived in succeeding waves, mostly, it seems, paddling from Venezuela. I'm not quite picturing how one group "replaced" or "succeeded" another. But the earliest people were there by around 2900 BC. These were the "archaic people."
The Catholic Encyclopedia does make it clear that the European invaders had some difficulty identifying and differentiating between the various native peoples they encountered.
So maybe it's not just a Wikipedia problem. But you'd think by now they'd have sorted out who replaced whom, when, and how. Maybe not. Maybe my expectations for archaeology are excessive. And then there's the question: how/why did they leave?

No researcher has conclusively proven any of these causes as the real reason for the destruction of West Indian natives.
Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493, but the Caribs defended themselves. It was England that colonized the islands 1632.
Settlers raised tobacco, indigo, ginger, and sugarcane as cash crops.... [T]he sugar industry became so profitable that many farmers replaced other crops with sugar, making it the economic backbone of the islands. 
The English brought in African slaves to work in the sugar plantations.
During the 18th century, Antigua was used as the headquarters of the British Royal Navy Caribbean fleet....
... Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834, but remained economically dependent upon the plantation owners....

The islands achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1981, becoming the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. It remains part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and remains a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Antigua and Barbuda.

27 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I take that "archaic people" crack rather personally, having just turned 59.

traditionalguy said...

I believe that the baddest ones called the Caribs would track down, capture and eat the other tribes island by island.

So Columbus's men were welcomed as protectors, but the Spanish sailors had small pox that attacked all of the immune deficient tribes equally.

traditionalguy said...
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Hagar said...

Which people arrived where, when, and "replaced" who how are sensitive subjects most anywhere in the world.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean, as well as tropical climes around the world, they were greeted with yellow fever, malaria, dengue, sleeping sickness, and a list of communicable diseases as long as your arm, but I have never seen the claim put forth that the native peoples conducted germ warfare against the invaders. Why not? In spite of these plagues, Europeans persisted and prospered.

traditionalguy said...

The Braves centerfielder, later a Yankee, named Andruw Jones is an Arawak. He was an amazing player on defensive in Center Field and usually was hitting long home runs when he wasn't striking out.

Big Mike said...

And then there's the question: how/why did they leave?

Maybe they didn't leave. If the stories from 16th century European explorers were true, the Caribs probably ate them.

Tyrone Slothrop said...
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edutcher said...

Does it say the reason black slaves were imported was that the
Indians (particularly the Caribs) had been wiped out by disease?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean, as well as tropical climes around the world, they were greeted with yellow fever, malaria, dengue, sleeping sickness, and a list of communicable diseases as long as your arm, but I have never seen the claim put forth that the native peoples conducted germ warfare against the invaders. Why not? In spite of these plagues, Europeans persisted and prospered.

American Indians have lousy resistance to infectious disease - always around 90% mortality in an epidemic. Europeans seem to run about 30% during the various post-Renaissance plagues. Supposedly, blacks run a lot lower than that (one of the reasons the Army wanted the Buffalo Soldiers to fight in Cuba).

ironrailsironweights said...

When you get to nearby Trinidad and Tobago you'll come across something interesting: for a brief time in the 1600's it (at least the Tobago portion) was a colony of Latvia.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

While it's politically correct to say that the evil European conquerors wiped out all the peaceful, nature-loving indigenous inhabitants when they came to North America and the Caribbean, the truth is rather less dramatic: over the generations, most of the Indians were quietly subsumed into the white population via intermarriage.

Peter

James said...

The summary on Wikipedia isn't even close to complete....there's no mention of the alleged slave breeding that occurred on the Codrington estates in Barbuda. Antiguans and Barbudans swear that it actually happened.

If you visit the islands you'd soon notice that in general Barbudans are much taller and muscular than Antiguans. If I recall correctly, they have the second or third tallest average height in the world after the Netherlands.



The Braves centerfielder, later a Yankee, named Andruw Jones is an Arawak.

I highly doubt that; he doesn't look like any Arawak I know.

Sam L. said...

"The Braves centerfielder, later a Yankee, named Andruw Jones is an Arawak.

I highly doubt that; he doesn't look like any Arawak I know."

That's raaaaacist! Lizzie Warden gonna give you 40 whacks!

Darrell said...

Within the last decade or so, it was confirmed that there were at least three waves of immigration from Asia to North America over the land bridge--when it was above sea level--separated by thousands of years, the first ocurring roughly 15,000 years ago. Each subsequent arriving group did what most new arrivals had done throughout history--they attacked and killed those they found here or defended themselves from those protecting what they already had, sometimes unsuccessfully. Current DNA suggests that the farthest-flung groups were the most successful at defending what they had.

Synova said...

"And then there's the question: how/why did they leave?"

I suppose it's possible to do gene sequencing now to know for sure, but I doubt it was a matter of leaving. New waves of immigrants may herald a different identifiable culture, but cultures themselves change over thousands of years and people marry when new people arrive.

There doesn't have to be any "leave" involved.

sydney said...

I remember reading somewhere that the natives of those islands (who weren't really native, but immigrants from South America), never stayed long and went back to the mainland for two reasons: 1) disease and 2) the soil on the islands was easily exhausted so it was difficult to count on it for growing food.

Amartel said...

The reference to "archaic people" is a reference to the cultural development stages in North America as defined by archeologists. The first stage is "lithic," then "archaic," followed by three more stages. The development of agricultural communities is the stage after "archaic."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_period_in_North_America

I thought "archaic people" sounded a bit obnoxious.

Amartel said...
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Amartel said...

Piecing together pre-Columbian history in North America is tough sledding due to mass population wipe-out and cultural/political mythologizing.
Highly recommended: "1491" by Charles [?] Mann. I haven't read the follow up "1493" yet. Gave it as a gift this year and waiting for gift receipient to finish reading it so I can get it back. (There's a politically incorrect phrase for that sort of thing....)

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

I just got back from that area--St. Maarten, Guadelupe, Barbados. According to what I read about them, the Arawaks were very peaceful people, and moved around to get away from the Caribs. The Caribs were fierce and aggressive, and when they would move to an island where Arawaks lived, they would wipe them out.

Toy

BarryD said...

When I was a kid, I got fed a bunch of carob stuff.

Let me just say this. IT DOES NOT TASTE JUST LIKE CHOCOLATE, YOU STUPID HIPPIES.

Astro said...

"Saladoid People"?

It sounds like these are herbiverous aliens who came from the star Vega. But (in one of those lost-in-translation accidents) since the name 'Vegan' was in use, they chose the name 'Saladoid' instead.

Methadras said...

This is all you have to know. Human beings fall into 3 major, overarching racial catergories; Negroid, Mongoloid, Caucasoid.

End of line.

William said...

I always thought that the Romans were the first archaic people.

chickelit said...

Hurricane is an Arawakan word.

James said...
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Stephenie Schwartz said...

http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/BNCCde/stlucia/conference/papers/Clauzel2012.html

The Myth of Cannibalism and Warlike Caribs of the Lesser Antilles by Sylvester H. Clauzel