In 1492, as Columbus and his crew set sail for the New World, now known as America, they discovered a series of small islands, now known as the Caribbean. When there, Columbus and co said they encountered a cannibalistic tribe of native Caribbean islanders known as Isla Canibas in the Bahamas.
As the story goes, these Caniba were attacking native Americans, who presumably wanted to eat them.
The word cannibals actually derives from Caniba – a word Columbus learned from native Americans.
Columbus’ Spanish successors subsequently changed the name of these people to Cariba – which is where
There has never been any direct evidence that the natives of the Caribbean islands were cannibals or that there were even humans on the islands at the time, but new research may prove Columbus’ tale to be true.
By analysing more than 100 skulls from the Caribbean islands which dated between the years 800 and 1542.
This seems to prove that the islands were indeed inhabited at the time of Columbus’s arrival.
Study co-author William Keegan, curator of Caribbean archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said: “I’ve spent years trying to prove Columbus wrong when he was right: There were Caribs in the northern Caribbean when he arrived.”
The study also revealed another fact. The native Caribbean people did not stem from Cuba, as was previously thought, but actually the northwest Amazon.
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It is believed they originally arrived in Hispaniola in 800 AD, then on to Jamaica before finally arriving in the Bahamas in 1000, meaning they were well established by the time Columbus arrived.
Ann Ross, a professor of biological sciences at North Carolina State University and the study’s lead author, said: “I had been stumped for years because I didn’t have this Bahamian component.
”Those remains were so key. This will change the perspective on the people and peopling of the Caribbean.”
Columbus was an Italian explorer, colonist and navigator who travelled on four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.
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His exact date of birth is unknown, only that it was before October 31, 1451, in Genoa. On one of his voyages, Columbus was exploring a route to the Far East when he discovered a sailing path to the Americas – which was then unknown to the ‘Old World’.
The ‘Old World’ consisted of Africa, Asia and Europe, before the ‘New World’ of the Americas and Oceania was discovered.
He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America and South America which opens the New World for conquest and settlement by the Europeans.
Since the late 20th century, Columbus was criticised for his initiation of colonisation and abuse of natives.