The earliest known Bahamians were Lucayans (who named the island
chain after themselves), as well as Caribs and Arawaks.
During his 1492 voyage to the "New" World, Christopher Columbus
landed on either Guanahani (now San Salvador) or a more Southerly
Island called Samana Cay.
Eventually, the island group came to be known as Bahama, derived
from baja mar, meaning "shallow sea" in Spanish. Caribs and Arawaks
were enslaved by the newly arrived Europeans.
However, they resisted, and, not long after Europe became aware
that these islands existed, the outsiders had succeeded in wiping
out virtually all of the original inhabitants. In 1503 white settlers
began enslaving Africans who had been controlled by the Portuguese.
Fifteen years later, Africans were purchased directly from Africa's
Guinea Coast and imported to the New World.