The Arawaks lived along Layou Bay long before Columbus discovered the island. They left behind primitive etches in rocks dating back to 300 to 600 AD. The Amerindian artwork can be admired a short distance from the Leeward Highway at the Layou Petroglyph Park. Layou was an early French settlement. They abandoned their colony after continuous battles with the Caribs (they called themselves Kalina). Once the British took control of the island in 1763, the land around Layou was devoted to sugarcane plantations predominately managed by three estates. Today, the small village has a population of about 150 people.