Arawak: Indigenous Caribbeans

Whilst 62% of Puerto Ricans are the direct maternal descendants of the Arawaks’, little is known about the longest running ancestry of indigenous Caribbeans to date.

The Taíno have been extinct as a distinct population since the 16th century, though many people in the Caribbean have Taíno ancestry. A 2003 mitochondrial DNA study under the Taino genome project determined that 62% of people in Puerto Rico have direct-line maternal ancestry to Taíno or Arawakan ancestors.


There are about 10,000 Lokono- direct living descendant of the Arawaks, living primarily in the coastal areas of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, with an predicted greater number of Lokono living throughout the region.

The reason for this estimate is that archeologists have found Arawakan sites and traces of their language throughout the entirety of South America. Only Equador, Chile and Uruguay have yet to produce evidence that the Arawak’s dwelled in these modern nations.

Furthermore, unlike many indigenous groups in South America, and the Caribbean, the Lokono population is growing- making it the only known surviving case of genetically indigenous Caribbean’s to date.

Famous Arawak people

John P. Bennett – (Lokono), first Amerindian ordained as an Anglican priest in Guyana, linguist and author of An Arawak-English Dictionary (1989).

Stephen Campbell – (Lokono), first Amerindian Member of Parliament in Guyana.

George Simon – (Lokono), artist and archaeologist from Guyana.

In recent History, the most famous Arawakan is Jean La Rose, an indigenous Arawak Georgetown, Guyana who awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002 for her work in halting mining in Arawakan territories, saving Guyana’s forests and securing inhabitants full rights to traditional lands.

Arawakan Locations

Currently, there are five places in the Caribbean which have known ties to the Arawak language. There are:

Present Island Name

Indigenous Name



Malliouhana Arrow-Shaped Sea Serpent

St. Martin



Land of Salt

St. Barths






The Rock

St. Eustatius


Cashew Tree



What about Boriken for Puerto Rico, Haiti and Kiskeya for the big island of Hispanola and Cuba? These islands still retain thier original names on some level.

I didn’t know that is possible for a group DNA to disappear even if they mingle with other groups and have kids through marriage or even rape that it was very common.

You should have more information.

Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that the Yiano and Caribs were of Olmec ancestry and therefore of African descent and had occupied the region for over 30 centuries before the European genocide of the 15th century. Don’t be surprised because this is the true location of Atlantis and the people of this region are their descendants. Furthermore why don’t we examine the treasures that were stolen – hint (pieces of eight), aka ‘money’; Pyramids; sculptures of gold, diamonds and various crystals; and then compare them with the treasures stolen from Africa. No! there were no visit by ‘aliens’, just thieves as orchestrated by Pope Innocent in 1492. Ooops! I forgot he who wins the war writes the history, takes the pictures, even before the camera was invented, also gives the translation of the languages. Oh! and about the Caribs, please do not believe the myth that they were cannibals – fear mongering – proof shows that they did cremate in order to curtail the spread of diseases.

These are all Mongolian Lies

Wrong! Caribs are not black people end of story. The Garifuna who you dumb asses think were the original caribs are a mixed group. They will tell you themselves that you dont know what your talking about.


Can you guys direct me on where to read real artifacts ?? I would like to get to know more about my heritage .. thanks

it would be good if you had more information

Olmecs are not of African descent. Alot of afrocentric conspiracies are being debunked but they’re is still a few that hold true to absurd pseudo science ideology. Nonetheless, even if there is proven ancestry from Africa, it wouldn’t make them African.

actual Garifunas are people that have both african and native caribe ancestry. And Caribes decendenst are throughout the Circum Caribbean region, islands and continents.

I believe the Olmecs had giant statues built in their likeness to debunk those that can not believe they were Africans!

The Olmec statues were not built by Africans, which I assume you mean Sub-Saharan African. The features on the stones are clearly from the native people of that region. Saying that a statue is African simply on features alone is ignorant and completely false as many races of the human race share similar features in different degrees. With regard to the Garifunas, they are not ancient or native people of that region. They are mixed, primarily African and Carib (Native American) — their DNA is primarily Sub-Saharan African, but speak a Carib language in some areas with influences from various European languages. This is due to their interaction during colonial times.

There is a lady in Puerto Rico that is 100% taino arawak.

Nonetheless Native people were BLACK and the Olmecs were BLACK. They built the statues in likeness of who they were and based on the features of the statues, they were BLACK natives. Non native people cannot stand that Native people were black, there was no race before the Black race.

a bunch of false information in these comments that the Olmec were African when DNA has proven they were Amerindian & their descendants are still around today! big fat lips or thick features are not exclusive to Africans, with that same logic then they’re Asians then…& besides there is NO evidence of an African presence prior to 1492 Africans came along with the Spanish slave trade as slaves & also as free black conquistadors with their Spanish conquistador counterparts & the Taino were never Black or African they were Amerindian as well…SOME African Americans need to stop with the racist black washing everything as THEM, they’re acting no better then Eurocentric’s, TODAY the 61% mixed Puerto Rican descendants of the Taino are still here but are tri racially mixed, some with strong Indian phenotypes some not so much & some are lighter or darker, some have African or European mixed features paternally we’re African or Spanish & maternally with some Taino DNA

Oh! My God that is what we need now, to have the Black race claim Taino and Arawak Origins. You people really need to get your fact straight and research your own history before hijacking historical facts from other cultures. Please, Start with the Zulu nation and Go back and forth from there.

This claim is incorrect – “Whilst 62% of Puerto Ricans are the direct maternal descendants of the Arawaks, little is known about the longest-running ancestry of indigenous Caribbeans to date. Written by Abdul Rob 11/02/2016”

Please get your facts straight and stop claiming the history of other cultures.

Olmecs were NOT Africans but they were what we consider today as Black. People of the West Indies are NOT of African descent. They are MAJORITY Arawak and Carib descent. The Spanish also exiled black Indians from Spanish Florida as well as the French into the Caribbean as well. So the admixture of different aboriginal blacks of the Americas exist in the Caribbean.

Everybody/race has black ancestry are it’s a proven FACT Black are the original humans and the first to occupy most lands on this planet. The so-called Taino were and are black. as they are still here today, some mixed some not. You need black and yellow to make brown. Also if you’ve ever been to India you could clearly see why Columbus confused black natives with Indians. The so-called red Indian/false native looks nothing like the people of India and the two could never be confused. The so-call American Indian didn’t just pop up nor are they the original race, but black are.

You all can argue for as many years as you want. But the fact is that Humans all came from Africa whether you like it or not. Your personal feelings and racism can’t change the past.. Sorry, go cry a river now… Bye!!

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