The Arawaks were though to have first settled on the borderland between Bolivia, Peru and the forests between the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers. They migrated northeast to Venezuela and Guyana, where some settled while the rest pushed across the Caribbean.
They usually settled on the first island they came to and after a few years they would move again. The reason for this is still somewhat of a mystery today. A sound reason for this sort of ‘behavior’ was that the coast and islands gave rise to a much easier life in comparison with the harsh jungle climate and equally dangerous animals. The soils may have been easier to cultivate and maybe because the population was growing, more land was needed to farm, hunt and fish. By about 1000 A.D., almost every island had an Arawak village along their coast or beside the rivers. This type of settlement pattern began to change as the Caribs began their movement into the Caribbean as well.
By the time Columbus arrived in the west, the island Arawaks were divided into several groups. In the west, the Lucayanos occupied the Bahamas, the Borequinos were in Puerto Rico and the Tainos lived in Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti. Note that “taino” is an Arawak word meaning peace. Barbados and Trinidad in the east was settled by the Ignerian Arawaks.