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Pre-Colombian period

Pre- Colombian period


The Arawaks, the first human inhabitants of St. Maarten, originated from the Orinoco basin in Venezuela. Archaeological findings indicate their presence on the island between 600 –1200 AD. They made their living by fishing and harvesting wild fruits.


Stones and shells were used as tools. For transportation between the different islands canoes were used, called Piroques. Housing consisted of temporary settlements, (for example at Cupecoy on the Dutch side) or permanent housing, villages (for example at Hope Estate on the French side) The

 Arawaks were a spiritual people, they believed in the power of supernatural beings surrounding them.