The largest group within the Arawak Indians on the Caribbean islands, the , were visited by the Carib Indians, a warlike group from Venezuela in 1200. A peace-loving people, the Taino had treated neighboring Native Americans with , often supplying them with food. In return, their neighbors helped the Taino battle the Carib.
Once landed on their island in the in
1492, the Taino way of life was forever changed. Taino words such as canoe, hammock and hurricane tell us what little we know of their lifestyle.
European traders travelled across the deserts of central Asia, often on foot, to reach the . Looking for a water route to the Indies from Spain, Italian sea captain Christopher Columbus sailed . A secretive man, he kept two sea logs, one true, one false. Believing he had reached the Indies when he met the Taino, he called them "Indios."
The Columbian Exchange
On his return voyage to the Americas in 1493, Columbus
arrived with 17 ships filled with colonists, horses, cattle, sheep, seeds to grow crops, and tools, such as . The colonists carried that were new to the Americas. Columbus sailed to Spain with turkeys, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, avocados, peanuts, tobacco, and pineapple.
The Seeds of Change
The refer to maize, potatoes, sugar, horses, and diseases from Europe to the Americas. The first four "seeds" resulted in welcome changes: growth in food supply and population, and a greater ability to travel. The fifth seed--new the colonists unknowingly carried with them--caused many Native Americans to die.