Amerindian Tribes

Tobago was home to several Amerindian tribes before the arrival of Europeans. These tribes included the Arawaks, Caribs, and Waraos.

The Arawaks were the first known inhabitants of Tobago, and they arrived on the island around 500 AD. They were a peaceful people who lived off the land through fishing, hunting, and farming. They constructed homes made of wood and thatch, and their society was organized into clans and governed by a chief.

The Caribs, who were known for their aggressive nature, arrived on Tobago sometime in the 14th century, and they quickly established dominance over the Arawaks. They were skilled warriors and seafarers, and they used Tobago as a base for raiding nearby islands.

The Waraos, who were a seafaring people from the Orinoco Delta region of present-day Venezuela, also visited Tobago regularly for fishing and trading.

The arrival of European explorers and colonizers in the 16th century brought significant changes to Tobago’s indigenous population. The Spanish, French, Dutch, and British all established settlements on the island at various times, and they often used force to subjugate and exploit the native population. Many Amerindians were enslaved or forced to work on plantations, and their culture and way of life were eroded over time.

Today, there are few remaining traces of Tobago’s indigenous population, although some place names and archaeological sites serve as reminders of the island’s rich pre-colonial history. The Tobago Museum in Scarborough also has exhibits and information on the island’s indigenous peoples