There are different theories about the origin of the name Aruba. Most probably the name is of Indian origin, two words joined together like ora (shell) and oubao(island), so that would mean Shell Island. Another explanation would be the combination of uru (canoe) and oubao(island), which could be explained by the fact that the Indians used canoes on the sea and that's how they have populated Aruba.
But other theories claim the name Aruba comes from Spanish, oro hubo (there was gold); however, this contradicts the findings of the Spaniards when they discovered Aruba.
The first mention of a name that resembles Aruba is on a map from 1562, where it says Orua. On other maps from the 16th and 17th century, names like Oruba, Ouraba, Uruba and Arouba are to be found.
Very little is known about the original inhabitants of Aruba. Excavations show that the island has been populated for hundreds of years before it was discovered by the Spaniards. This period is called the pre-Colombian era. The primitive population of Aruba consisted of Arowak Indians. Archeological research has demonstrated that our island was populated by Indians who had the same culture as the inhabitants of the South-American continent. Further evidence of the supposition of the South-American origins of the Indians is to be found in the primitive drawings that have been discovered in a lot of places, mostly at the entrance to caves. Moreover, the dead were buried in large urns, like it was the case in Amazonia.
Archeological research has taken place since the end of the 19ty century, when the Dutch priest Van Koolwijk discovered Indian drawings and made excavations from 1880 till 1886. The first archaeologist who performed excavations on Aruba was De Josselin de Jong in 1923 in Santa Cruz. P. Wagenaar Hummelinck studied and made an inventory of locations with rock drawings. After those, several amateur archeologists made finds and registered them, like Ringma (1957, Canashito), Mario Odor, Thomas Angela (Sta Cruz), Johnny Dania (idem), Huib Bongers (1962, Savaneta) and Ewald Biemans.
In the eighties, archeologist Egbert Boerstra was director of the Archeologic Museum Aruba (AMA). He performed excavations in Santa Cruz, Tanki Flip and Malmok. In 1988 cooperation was established between the University of Leiden and the AMA. Dr. A.H. Versteeg performed several large scale projects, amongst which the one at Tanki Flip (1994).
|the Spaniards, the Dutch|
|Aloe, Gold, phosphate|
|World War II|
|Political parties and elections|
|the Country Aruba|
|Monumenten en Musea|
|Old Aruba Photos|
|Rebecca Roos Documentaires|
|Dr. Meiners' fotoalbum|