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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Based on an ethnohistorical perspective, this article suggests that the Island Caribs of the Lesser Antilles may be represented by four major periods: Period I (1492–c.1515), that of the earliest encounters that established their presence and identity; Period II (1515–c.1625), following the presence of Spain and the demise of the Taínos and the first European incursions in the Lesser Antilles until the first colonies and settlements of 1625, a long century of some five generations that is poorly known in historical documents; Period III (1625–c.1660), the period of French and English colonization that may be termed the “ethnographic period” because of abundant knowledge in the Caribs’ culture through the writings of French missionaries; and the last, Period IV (c.1660–1763), following on the slow demise of the Caribs, who become displaced and absorbed in the European occupation of the West Indies.

Keywords: Lesser Antilles, Carib archaeology, Island Caribs, Spain, English colonization, French missionaries

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