The Awaraks

This passage details the lives of the Awarak people.

Lexile Level: 810L

Categories: History People & Places Animals & Nature


The Awaraks were the first Native American people encountered by Christopher Columbus and early Spanish explorers. The Awaraks lived on the island that now is home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There were hundreds of thousands of Awaraks. They lived in long, oblong huts where hundreds slept. They mainly ate seafood since they lived on an island. They fished in large groups, catching fish in big nets. They had small boats that were mainly used in very shallow water. They ate fruit too. They planted banana trees and other fruit trees. They did not have any weapons for war since they had no neighbors with whom to fight. They wore earrings made from the colorful seashells that they found in the sea. Sometimes they would wear earrings made of tiny flakes of gold that they found in the inland rivers.


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