The Grenadines are believed to have first been inhabited
by the Ciboney, as long as 7000 years ago, who were a race of primitive
hunter-gatherers. They were displaced by the Arawaks around 2000 years
ago. The Arawaks originated from South America and traveled in small crafts.
They were advanced in agriculture and pottery. The Caribs arrived around
1000 A.D. There are many petroglyphs which detail the history of the Caribs.
In the 19th century the British colonized the area
and a large sugar cane industry was developed on the nearby St. Vincent,
and boat building and whaling became important industries on Bequia.
The sugar industry declined throughout the 20th century.
This resulted in a diversification of agricultural industries. Bananas,
arrowroot, nutmeg, as well as many vegetables and fruits have become staples
of the islands economy. In 1969, St. Vincent and the Grenadines became
a British Associated State. This included complete internal autonomy. They
became an independant nation on October 27, 1979.
Early English settlers