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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the full range of Arawak and closely related groups. It addresses four primary aspects of the diaspora: histories of studies on the Arawak; language groupings and history; archaeological evidence; and theoretical implications. The idea of an Arawak diaspora reflects a place in the Western imagination concerning the tropics, Amazonia, indigenous people, and their histories in the “Global South.” In other words, it is a model of long-term, large-scale sociohistorical phenomena and how they change through time. The Arawak diaspora is similar in age and scope to other early tropical diaspora, namely the Austronesian diaspora in the Pacific and the Bantu in Africa, which also reflect the movements and interactions of early root- and tree-crop agriculture, hierarchical systems of social value, and regional political integration.

Keywords: Arawak language, Arawak studies, Arawak diaspora, tropical diasporas, Austronesians, Bantu

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