The Caribs roamed the heavily forested regions of the interior.
Between the Corentyne and Waini rivers lived the Arawaks, a friendly, peace-loving native group whose people were the first to greet Christopher Columbus in other areas of the Caribbean.
With a slave labor force, which consisted of men and women forcibly removed from their native Africa, the farms began to grow in size and in yield.
In 1782 the French seized power and governed for two years, during which time they created the new town of Longchamps at the mouth of the Demerara River.Guyana is an Amerindian word that means "land of [many] waters." The Europeans first used the name to refer to the triangle formed by the Orinoco, Amazon, and Negro rivers.The British used "Guiana"—an English spelling of the same Amerindian name—to refer to their New World colony.The Cooperative Republic of Guyana—formerly the colony of British Guiana—is a country the size of its former colonial master, Great Britain, and slightly bigger than the state of Kansas.As one of many Caribbean nations, Guyana is often assumed to be an island rather than a continental country.Amerindian, Chinese, Portuguese, and British peoples all have contributed to the cultural heritage of the land.