Some names of Animals and Plants in Papiamentu
The Dutch deportation of Curaçao Caquetío Indians to Venezuela in 1634 is often interpreted as having ended the Indigenous presence on Curaçao. While this diminished the Caquetío presence on the island, some Indigenous people always remained. The first slaves, freed slaves, and some Europeans as well, were in contact with the Caquetío. Thus, even though there were not many Indians, they were definitely present and part of the substratum when Papiamentu was formed. These Indians were in contact with Aruba and Venezuela, which they could more easily reach than Bonaire. A small Indian village in western Curaçao still existed in 1677 and probably lasted until the early 18th century. In Aruba and Bonaire the Caquetío remained. Thus some original Caquetío words can be found in Papiamentu. These are mostly names of local plants and animals and toponyms. The frequent use of the /Σ/ ‘shi’ sound could also be a Caquetío influence in Papiamentu.