A word applied to those who eat human flesh. The usual derivation is Caribbee, corrupted into Canibbee, supposed to be man-eaters. Some of the tribes of these islands have no r.
—Columbus.The natives live in great fear of the canibals (i.e. Caribals, or people of Cariba).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Cannibal from Infoplease: