For a time the Borinquenos, aided by Caribs from the neighbouring islands, threatened to destroy all vestiges of white occupation in Porto Rico, but in the end the Spaniards prevailed.
Here a remnant of the Borinquenos, assisted by the Caribs, maintained a severe struggle with the conquerors, but in the end their Indian allies were subdued by English and French corsairs, and the unfortunate natives of Porto Rico were left alone to experience the full effect of forced labour, disastrous hurricanes, natural plagues and new diseases introduced by the conquerors.
In Tahiti and Tonga clothing might be discarded without offence, provided the individual were tattooed; and among the Caribs a woman might leave the hut without her girdle but not unpainted.
Hitherto the Spaniards had met only the weak islanders, or the more robust cannibal Caribs, both alike pure savages.
The Caribs were the Haidas of the Caribbean Sea and northern South America.
Among the Caribs a like social order prevailed; indeed, their family system is identical with the totem system of North American Indians.
The Caribs, holding a certain section of the river, named it the Ibirinoco, corrupted by the Spaniards into Orinoco.
The governor of Martinique, du Parquet, purchased it in 1650, and the French were well received by the Caribs, whom they afterwards extirpated with the greatest cruelty.