The history of the Windward Islands ties in with the history of the Caribbean as a whole. Evidence of human settlement in the Caribbean dates back to 4500 BC, The Taino who originally occupied some of the Windward Islands were relatives of the Arawak people indigenous to the West Indies. When Christopher Columbus arrived in the 15th Century he made contact with the Arawak and Taino peoples.
The Carib people, after whom the Caribbean island group was ultimately named, gradually became the dominant native people in the region. This was due to a combination of their aptitude for warfare and also the fact that they occupied the Windward Island of Dominica (among others). This island and has a dense natural landscape which allowed some of the Caribs to hide from the incoming European settlers. After initial discovery by Columbus other European countries moved in to claim territories, extract resources and create settlements. This resulted in the deaths of many Caribbean inhabitants as the result of encountering European diseases to which they had no immunity and also to the harsh conditions which were imposed upon them.
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