Amerindian Legacies in the Caribbean Essay

833 Words Dec 13th, 2013 4 Pages
Topic: “The Amerindians have left a legacy that forms part of the Caribbean Civilization.” Discuss.

The Amerindians have left a legacy that forms part of the Caribbean Civilization. The Amerindians were two groups of people having completely different personalities. One group was the Arawaks or Taino which occupied the Greater Antilles and the other was the Caribs or Kalinago which occupied the Lesser Antilles. The Arawaks were a very peaceful group of people; slim and short, but firmly built. The Caribs on the other hand were very aggressive people and were taller and had a bigger built than the Arawaks. The Caribs were also cannibals and some people assume that is why they were bigger than the Arawaks. Despite their differences in
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In some countries like Dominica and St. Vincent, animals named by the Amerindians still survive. The agouti (rat), manacou(opossum), touloulou(crab) and iguana are some of the animals that still have their Amerindian names. There are plenty more words that we use derived from the Amerindian languages. This contributed to us not being limited to the more “formal” languages of empire (Spanish, Dutch, English and French) and having our own varieties of Creole between Caribbean countries.
The Amerindians were excellent farmers and cooks. They left us a lot of crops and some of their cooking techniques. Both Arawaks and Caribs had diets of meat and vegetables, but the Arawaks had a more vegetable based diet and cultivated a lot more than the Caribs. They cultivated cassava (yuca), sweet potatoes (batata), corn (maize), squash, peanuts, pineapples, beans and peppers. Most of these are indigenous to the Americas but continued to grow thousands of years after in the Caribbean. The Amerindians ground the roots of the Cassava (yucca) into a powder in which they baked cassava bread. The Amerindians showed us how to cook; bake, boil, stew and barbeque (cook slowly over open fire). They also taught us how to remove the poison from the cassava roots so it can be made edible. Another thing they did was cook or roast the corn and eat it from the cob. They also grew tobacco

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