The island of Marajo is ‘like a cork in the mouth of the Amazon’ and, in 1000 CE, its Arua inhabitants supported a vibrant urbanized lifestyle from pisciculture, corralling vast catches by damming floodwaters. Across the continent, the Chincha, in coastal Peru, were also fishermen, harvesting anchovy from the sea and using guano as fertilizer. Along the continent’s northern seaboard, the warlike Carib emerged from their hearthlands along the Orinoco River to supplant the docile Arawak, with their signature manioc griddles, from the coasts of Guyana and the eastern Caribbean. The Chibcha of the Colombian Andes formed a series of complex city-states and were skilled metallurgists, as were the Mixtec of Mexico, united around this time by the warrior king Eight Deer Jaguar Claw. The Maya confederacy of Mayapan, and the Chimú of Peru were in their prime, while, in the Caribbean, the Taino were beginning to colonize the Cuba of the Ciboney.
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