At the time of the European discovery of the islands of the Caribbean three Native American tribes lived on the islands: the Arawak in the Bahamas, Cuba and Hispaniola; the Carib, an aggressive tribe that was moving into Arawak territory and the Ciboney a primitive tribe that shared Cuba with the Arawaks.
The European arrive
During the first voyage of Christopher Columbus contact was made with the friendly Arawak in the Bahamas, Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola. A few returned to Spain with Columbus. Small amounts of gold were found being used as personal ornaments and in objects such as masks and belts.