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Carib

The Carib are a Native American tribe who historically lived in the Caribbean. They were noted for their aggressiveness and cannibalism and, in fact, delayed the settlement of Dominica, where a few thousand of them remain.

Some common words in use in English were borrowed from the Carib language, such as "hammock[?]," "iguana," and "maize."

The word "cannibalism" is derived from Caniba, another name for the Carib, although through a different process than word-borrowing. Although some Native Americans have practiced cannibalism (as have some Europeans), Christopher Columbus's characterization of the Carib as eaters of human flesh more likely reflected his desire to represent them as savages; in 1503 Queen Isabela ruled that only cannibals could be taken as slaves legally, which encouraged Europeans to identify various Native American groups as cannibals.

The Carib were at the time of European discovery aggressively advancing against the Taíno, who lived in the northern Caribbean.



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