The last migrant group to settle in the Caribbean prior to the arrival
of the Europeans in 1492 were the Kalinago.
The Columbus mission found three native groups all of different derivation
and cultural achievements.
All three groups had entered the Caribbean from the region of South
America know as the Guianas.
These were the Ciboney, the Taino (Arawaks) and the Kalinago.
On record the Ciboney arrived about 300 B.C. followed by the Taino, ethnic
relatives, about 500 years later who by 650 A.D. had migrated northward
establishing large communities through the islands in the Greater Antilles.
Migration for the Kalinago started around 1000 A.D. and they continued to
arrive by the time Columbus's landfall.
When the Spanish arrived in the northern Caribbean, they found the Tainos already
in a defensive posture, yet later encountered the Kalinago who were much more
prepared for aggression and to wage a protracted war against the imperialist.
Both Kalinago an Tainos were well prepared for survival having inhabited the
islands for such a long time.
European colonial forces from the offset were more technologically prepared for
violent conflict due to determined maritime mobilization, capitalist finance, science
and technology and to further imperialist goals.
In the Greater Antilles, the Tainos waged a spirited military resistance campaign
although ineffective against Spanish forces. They were supported by the Kalinago.
In 1494 Columbus led a force of 400 armed men into the interior of Hispaniola
in search of gold, food and slaves. Taino Caciques mobilized for resistance.
Guacanagari, a leading Cacique marched with a few thousand men in 1494
against the spanish but was unsuccessful in the attempt.
The Spanish under Ponce de Leon were attacked frequently byTaino warriors
and many Spanish settlers were killed but the Taino and Kalinago were eventually
crushed in the counter assaults.
Taino fatalities were high and thousands were publicly executed and or killed
in the many battles.
However in the lesser Antilles Kaliinago were more successful in there campaigns
against the Spanish, and then the English and French thereby preserving their
freedom and maintaining control over their land and territory.
The Kalinago an their anti-colonial communities on the outskirts of the imperialist
slave plantations, constituted a major problem for slave owners and threatened
the very existence of colonizing missions......
(CORNER TALK REPORT)