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The Ciboney, or Siboney, were a Taíno
Taíno
people of Cuba. A Western Taíno
Taíno
group living in central Cuba
Cuba
during the 15th and 16th centuries, they had a dialect and culture distinct from the Classic Taíno
Taíno
in the eastern part of the island, though much of the Ciboney territory was under the control of the eastern chiefs. Confusion in the historical sources led 20th-century scholars to apply the name "Ciboney" to the non- Taíno
Taíno
Guanahatabey
Guanahatabey
of western Cuba
Cuba
and various archaic cultures around the Caribbean, but this is deprecated.

Ciboney
Ciboney
was the region of Cuba
Cuba
inhabited by the Western Taíno
Taíno
group.

Contents

1 History 2 Confusion with the Guanahatabey 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References

History[edit] At the time of Spanish colonization, the Ciboney
Ciboney
were the most populous group in Cuba. They inhabited the central part of the island, between western Pinar del Río Province
Pinar del Río Province
and eastern Oriente Province.[1] Bartolomé de las Casas, who lived among the Ciboney
Ciboney
in the early 16th century, related that their dialect and culture was similar to that of the Lucayans
Lucayans
of the present-day Bahamas.[2] As such, scholars classify the Ciboney
Ciboney
as a Western Taíno
Taíno
group, associating them with the peoples of the Bahamas, Jamaica, and westernmost Hispaniola, while distinguishing them from the Classic Taíno
Taíno
of eastern Cuba, most of Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico.[3] In addition to the Classic Taíno
Taíno
in eastern Cuba, the Ciboney
Ciboney
shared the island with the Guanahatabey, an archaic people inhabiting western Pinar del Río
Pinar del Río
Province.[4] The Ciboney
Ciboney
spoke a dialect of the Taíno language conventionally known as Ciboney
Ciboney
Taíno; it was distinct from, but mutually intelligible with, Classic Taíno.[5] The Ciboney
Ciboney
were the dominant population in Cuba
Cuba
until around 1450.[6] Las Casas states that unlike the highly organized Classic Taíno
Taíno
to the east, the Ciboney
Ciboney
had no integrated chiefdoms or wider political structure.[7] In the mid-15th century, Classic Taíno
Taíno
from Hispaniola began migrating into eastern Cuba, overcoming the native Ciboney. These "Cuban Taíno" established chiefdoms concentrated in Oriente Province, though they established settlements as far west as Havana Province.[6] However, the Cuban Taíno
Taíno
never established an island-wide political structure as existed in Hispaniola
Hispaniola
and Puerto Rico.[7] Classic Taíno
Taíno
migration from Hispaniola
Hispaniola
to Cuba
Cuba
increased after Spanish contact, with many Taíno
Taíno
leaving to escape the Spanish incursion. Notably, Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Taíno
Taíno
chief Hatuey
Hatuey
fled to Cuba
Cuba
with most of his people; he remained there until the Spanish captured and executed him.[2] Following the Spanish conquest of Cuba
Cuba
in 1511 under Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the population of all native groups declined precipitously until they had disappeared as distinct groups by the end of the century.[8] Confusion with the Guanahatabey[edit] In the 20th century, misreadings of the historical record led scholars to confuse the Ciboney
Ciboney
with both a neighboring group, the Guanahatabey, and with archaic-level populations around the Caribbean. Las Casas referred to both the Ciboney
Ciboney
and the Guanahatabey, but he was clear they were different: the Guanahatabey
Guanahatabey
were a primitive society of hunter-gatherers in western Cuba, and they spoke a separate language distinct from Taíno. A confusion of the sources led archaeologists to use the term "Ciboney" for the aceramic (lacking pottery) archaeological sites found on various Caribbean
Caribbean
islands. As many of these were found in the former Guanahatabey
Guanahatabey
territory, the term became associated with the historical non-Taíno Guanahatabey.[9][10] Scholars recognized the error in the 1980s and have restored the name "Ciboney" to the Western Taíno
Taíno
people of Cuba.[11] See also[edit]

Pre-Arawakan languages of the Greater Antilles Siboney, Cuba, a town in eastern Cuba

Notes[edit]

^ Granberry and Vescelius, p. 20, 23. ^ a b Granberry and Vescelius, p. 20. ^ Granberry and Vescelius, p. 9, 21. ^ Granberry and Vescelius, pp. 18–19. ^ Granberry and Vescelius, p. 21. ^ a b Granberry and Vescelius, pp. 20–21. ^ a b Granberry and Vescelius, p. 9. ^ Saunders, p. xvii. ^ Saunders, pp. 122–123. ^ Rouse, pp. 20–21. ^ Granberry and Vescelius, pp. 22–23.

References[edit]

Granberry, Julian; Vescelius, Gary (1992). Languages of the Pre-Columbian Antilles. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 081735123X.  Rouse, Irving (1992). The Tainos. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300051816.  Saunders, Nicholas J. (2005). The Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archeology and Traditional Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576077012. 

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