The Arawak or Taino people had populated the Caribbean islands for many centuries when Christopher Columbus first arrived. These people lived in houses that were made of wood and thatch and shaped in the form of a bell. In addition, they were large enough to hols as many as ten households. There principle food was cassava bread which was made from the yucca plant. They also kept large aquatic farms that housed as many as a thousand sea turtles. A single fertile female sea turtle can lay up to 500 eggs each season.
Also, fascinating was there method of fishing. They used plant derivatives to knock out fish, and when the fish floated to the surface, the Taino scooped them up with a net. They also trained suckerfish or remora fish to swim with a string attached to their tails. These suckerfish would swim over and attach themselves with their sucker to a turtle. Then once attached, the Taino fishermen would real the turtle into the boat.