Miami and the Miami River get their name from the Mayaimi people, who lived by Lake Okeechobee. In their own language Mayaimi means “big water.” The Mayaimi lived in large mounded villages of 30-40 people and dug many canals as passageways for their canoes.
At the beginning of the 18th century, raids from British colonists devastated the Mayaimi. In 1710, some Mayaimi were among the 280 refugees that arrived in Cuba fleeing the violence.
Any survivors of the Mayaimi were presumed to have been evacuated to Cuba when Spain ceded control of Florida in the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
– Margaret Willard, The 100 Companies