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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Trinidad and Tobago form the southernmost links in the chain of islands constituting the Lesser Antillean archipelago. They represent a natural gateway for human migration, exchange, and diffusion of culture from the mainland, particularly the Orinoco Valley, to the West Indies and vice versa, as well as to and from the coastal zone of Eastern Venezuela and the Guianas. Characterized by an extensive web of sea channels, rivers, lagoons, and estuaries, which formed the favorite channels of Amerindian communication and transport, the Trinidad and Tobago regions constituted a wide-ranging prehistoric to early historic interaction sphere that involved people of varying ethnic identities, levels of sociopolitical complexity, and cultural backgrounds. Intraisland communication primarily took place along Trinidad’s littoral. The island mass formed a barrier, reducing interior interaction. Throughout Ceramic times, the Amerindian communities of Trinidad and Tobago were involved in shifting regionwide exchange and communication networks apart from interacting with each other.

Keywords: Lesser Antillean archipelago, Orinoco Valley, human migration, Trinidad, Tobago, Amerindian communication

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