The Caribbean: A New World
On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on a small island he called San Salvador. Columbus believed he had reached the Indies, or the islands southwest of India that include Indonesia and Malaysia. Columbus died believing he had reached the east by sailing west, but instead he had discovered a “new world.”
San Salvador was one of the islands in the Caribbean Sea, a body of water between North America and South America. The islands of the Caribbean are part of the West Indies. The West Indies received its name because Columbus believed the native people of the Caribbean Islands were Indians.
The Caribbean Sea is named for the Carib, nomadic sea-faring warriors who lived in the region when Columbus arrived. The Carib drove out their enemies, the Arawaks. Only men spoke the Carib language, the women spoke Arawak. The Carib killed the men, but would keep the women as slaves. The Carib were believed to have eaten the flesh of the people they defeated. The word cannibal derives from an Arawak term for the Carib.
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Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on the Caribbean.