The Indigenous peoples traveled in dugout canoes across the Caribbean Sea, visiting each other to maintain social ties. They exchanged marriage partners, foods, basketry, pottery, beads, pendants, stone tools, and ideas. Gold ornaments, foodstuffs, cotton, and exotic birds were the first items that were bartered with the Europeans for beads, bells, bowls, glass, metal tools, and textiles. Mixed object styles, foodways, and even new landscapes emerged from this interface of cultures.
In early colonial times the Caribbean served as a way to move the riches from America to Europe. European goods were taken to the Americas and sold. From Africa, people were violently removed and brought to the Caribbean. This was the beginning of one of the largest forced migrations in history. In geographical and commercial terms, the world became interconnected, with the Caribbean as the port of entry for the colonization of the American continent.
Map of the Caribbean with Indigenous names for the peoples, languages and islands registered from early colonial times onwards.