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The Taíno
Taíno
people were one of the most populous of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late 15th century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Hispaniola
Hispaniola
( Haiti
Haiti
and the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico. Cuba’s largest indigenous group was the Ciboney
Ciboney
(or Siboney) inhabiting the central part of the island, while other Taínos dominated the eastern part. In the Greater Antilles, the northern Lesser Antilles, and The Bahamas, they were known as the Lucayans.[1] They spoke the Taíno language
Taíno language
(an Arawakan language), which contained traces of earlier languages which were supplanted by Taíno. The ancestors of the Taíno
Taíno
entered the Caribbean from South America and their culture is closely linked to that of Mesoamericans.[2] At the time of contact, the Taíno
Taíno
were divided into three broad groups, known as the Western Taíno
Taíno
(Jamaica, most of Cuba, and the Bahamas), the Classic Taíno
Taíno
( Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and Hispaniola, which today is made up of the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
and Haiti) and the Eastern Taíno
Taíno
(northern Lesser Antilles). Taíno groups were in conflict with the Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles. At the time of Columbus' arrival in 1492, there were five Taíno chiefdoms and territories on Hispaniola
Hispaniola
(Dominican Republic), each led by a principal Cacique
Cacique
(chieftain), to whom tribute was paid. Ayiti ("land of high mountains") was the indigenous Taíno
Taíno
name for the island of Hispaniola, which (on the Western side) has retained its name as Haïti in French. Cuba, the largest island of the Antilles, was originally divided into 29 chiefdoms. Most of the native settlements later became the site of Spanish colonial cities retaining the original Taíno
Taíno
names, including Havana, Batabanó, Camagüey, Baracoa, and Bayamo.[3] The name Cuba comes from the Taíno
Taíno
language, although the exact meaning of the name is unclear. It can be translated as "where fertile land is abundant" (cubao), or a "great place" (coabana). Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
was also divided into chiefdoms. As the hereditary head chief of Taíno
Taíno
nation, the cacique received significant tribute. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the largest Taíno
Taíno
population centers may have had more than 3,000 people each.[4] The Taíno
Taíno
were historically enemies of the neighboring Carib nations, a different group which also had its origins in South America
South America
and lived mainly in the Lesser Antilles.[5] The relationship between the rival groups has been the subject of many studies. For much of the 15th century, the Taíno
Taíno
tribe was being driven to the northeast in the Caribbean because of raids by the Carib. Women were taken as captives, resulting in many Carib women speaking Taíno.[6] The Spaniards
Spaniards
who arrived in the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic) in 1492, and later in Puerto Rico, did not bring women on their first expeditions. Since the arrival of the conquistadores, Taíno
Taíno
women were kidnapped and some were enslaved and traded amongst the Spaniards. The rape of Taíno
Taíno
women in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic) by the Spanish was common, resulting in mestizo children.[7][8][9] Scholars suggest there was also substantial mestizaje (racial and cultural mixing) in Cuba, and several Indian pueblos survived into the 19th century. The Taíno
Taíno
became nearly extinct as a culture following settlement by Spanish colonists, primarily due to infectious diseases for which they had no immunity. The first recorded smallpox outbreak in Hispaniola was in either December 1518 or January 1519.[10] This smallpox epidemic killed almost 90% of the Native Americans who had not already perished.[11] Warfare and harsh enslavement by the colonists also caused many deaths.[12] By 1548, the Taíno
Taíno
population had declined to fewer than 500. Starting in about 1840, there have been attempts to create a quasi-indigenous Taíno
Taíno
identity in rural areas of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This trend accelerated among the Puerto Rican community in the mainland United States
United States
in the 1960s.[13] At the 2010 U.S. census, 1,098 people in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
identified themselves as "Puerto Rican Indian," 1,410 identified as "Spanish American Indian," and 9,399 identified as "Taíno." In total, 35,856 Puerto Ricans
Puerto Ricans
considered themselves Native American.[14]

Contents

1 Terminology 2 Origins 3 Culture 4 Food and agriculture 5 Spirituality 6 Spaniards
Spaniards
and Taíno 7 Women 8 Depopulation 9 Taíno
Taíno
heritage in modern times 10 See also 11 Notes 12 Further reading 13 Further reading 14 External links

Terminology[edit]

Reconstruction of a Taíno
Taíno
village in Cuba

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The name was used by the indigenous of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
to indicate they were "good, noble" people.[15] The Taíno
Taíno
people, or Taíno
Taíno
culture, has been classified by some authorities as belonging to the Arawak, as their language was considered to belong to the Arawak language family, the languages of which were present throughout the Caribbean, and much of Central and South America. The early ethnohistorian Daniel Garrison Brinton called the Taíno
Taíno
people the "Island Arawak".[16] Nevertheless, contemporary scholars have recognized that the Taíno had developed a distinct language and culture. Taíno
Taíno
and Arawak appellations have been used with numerous and contradictory meanings by writers, travelers, historians, linguists, and anthropologists. Often they were used interchangeably; "Taíno" has been applied to the Greater Antillean nation only, or including the Bahamian nations, or adding the Leeward Islands
Leeward Islands
nations, or all those excluding the Puerto Rican and Leeward nations. Similarly, "Island Taíno" has been used to refer to those living in the Windward Islands only, to the northern Caribbean inhabitants only, as well as to the population of the entire Caribbean. Modern historians, linguists and anthropologists now hold that the term Taíno
Taíno
should refer to all the Taíno/Arawak nations except for the Caribs, who are not seen to belong to the same people. Linguists continue to debate whether the Carib language is an Arawakan dialect or creole language, or perhaps an individual language, with an Arawakan pidgin used for communication purposes. Rouse classifies as Taíno
Taíno
all inhabitants of the Greater Antilles (except the western tip of Cuba), the Bahamian archipelago, and the northern Lesser Antilles. He subdivides the Taíno
Taíno
into three main groups: Classic Taíno, mostly from Haiti, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the Dominican Republic; Western Taíno, or sub-Taíno, for population from Jamaica, Cuba
Cuba
(except for the western tip) and the Bahamian archipelago; and Eastern Taíno
Taíno
for those from the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
to Montserrat.[17] Origins[edit]

The Guanahatabey
Guanahatabey
region in relation to Taíno
Taíno
and Island Carib
Island Carib
groups

Two schools of thought have emerged regarding the origin of the indigenous people of the Caribbean.

One group of scholars contends that the ancestors of the Taíno
Taíno
came from the center of the Amazon Basin, and are related to the Yanomama. This is indicated by linguistic, cultural and ceramic evidence. They migrated to the Orinoco
Orinoco
valley on the north coast. From there they reached the Caribbean by way of what is now Guyana
Guyana
and Venezuela
Venezuela
into Trinidad, proceeding along the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
to Cuba
Cuba
and the Bahamian archipelago. Evidence that supports this theory includes the tracing of the ancestral cultures of these people to the Orinoco Valley and their languages to the Amazon Basin.[18][19][20] The alternate theory, known as the circum-Caribbean theory, contends that the ancestors of the Taíno
Taíno
diffused from the Colombian Andes. Julian H. Steward, who originated this concept, suggests a migration from the Andes to the Caribbean and a parallel migration into Central America and into the Guianas, Venezuela, and the Amazon Basin
Amazon Basin
of South America.[18]

Taíno
Taíno
culture as documented is believed to have developed in the Caribbean. The Taíno
Taíno
creation story says that they emerged from caves in a sacred mountain on present-day Hispaniola.[21] In Puerto Rico, 21st century studies have shown a high proportion of people having Amerindian
Amerindian
MtDNA. Of the two major haplotypes found, one does not exist in the Taíno
Taíno
ancestral group, so other Native American people are also part of this genetic ancestry.[19] Culture[edit]

Dujo, a wooden ceremonial chair crafted by Taínos.

Taíno
Taíno
society was divided into two classes: naborias (commoners) and nitaínos (nobles). These were governed by male chiefs known as caciques, who inherited their position through their mother's noble line. The nitaínos functioned as sub-caciques in villages, overseeing naborias work. Caciques were advised by priests/healers known as bohiques. Caciques enjoyed the privilege of wearing golden pendants called guanín, living in square bohíos, instead of the round ones of ordinary villagers, and sitting on wooden stools to be above the guests they received.[22] Bohiques were extolled for their healing powers and ability to speak with gods. They were consulted and granted the Taíno
Taíno
permission to engage in important tasks. The Taíno
Taíno
had a matrilineal system of kinship, descent and inheritance. When a male heir was not present, the inheritance or succession would go to the oldest male child of the deceased's sister. The Taíno
Taíno
had avunculocal post-marital residence, meaning a newly married couple lived in the household of the maternal uncle. He was more important in the lives of his niece's children than their biological father; the uncle introduced the boys to men's societies. Some Taíno
Taíno
practiced polygamy. Men, and sometimes women, might have two or three spouses. A few caciques had as many as 30 wives. The Taíno
Taíno
women were highly skilled in agriculture. The people depended on it, but the men also fished and hunted. They made fishing nets and ropes from cotton and palm. Their dugout canoes (kanoa) were made in various sizes, which could hold from 2 to 150 people. An average-sized canoe would hold about 15–20 people. They used bows and arrows for hunting, and developed the use of poisons on their arrowheads. A frequently worn hair style for women featured bangs in front and longer hair in back. They sometimes wore gold jewelry, paint, and/or shells. Taíno
Taíno
men and unmarried women were usually naked although women wore a small cotton apron after marriage called a nagua.[23] The Taíno
Taíno
lived in settlements called yucayeques, which varied in size depending on the location. Those in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and Hispaniola
Hispaniola
were the largest, and those in the Bahamas were the smallest. In the center of a typical village was a central plaza, used for various social activities such as games, festivals, religious rituals, and public ceremonies. These plazas had many shapes, including oval, rectangular, and narrow and elongated. Ceremonies where the deeds of the ancestors were celebrated, called areitos, were performed here.[24] Often, the general population lived in large circular buildings (bohios), constructed with wooden poles, woven straw, and palm leaves. These houses, built surrounding the central plaza, could hold 10-15 families each.[25] The cacique and his family lived in rectangular buildings (caney) of similar construction, with wooden porches. Taíno home furnishings included cotton hammocks (hamaca), sleeping and sitting mats made of palms, wooden chairs (dujo or duho) with woven seats, platforms, and cradles for children.

Caguana Ceremonial ball court (batey), outlined with stones.

The Taíno
Taíno
played a ceremonial ball game called batey. Opposing teams had 10 to 30 players per team and used a solid rubber ball. Normally, the teams were composed of men, but occasionally women played the game as well.[26] The Classic Taíno
Taíno
played in the village's center plaza or on especially designed rectangular ball courts called batey. Games on the batey are believed to have been used for conflict resolution between communities. The most elaborate ball courts are found at chiefdoms' boundaries.[27] Often, chiefs made wagers on the possible outcome of a game.[26] Taíno
Taíno
spoke an Arawakan language
Arawakan language
and used an early form of writing Proto-writing
Proto-writing
in the form of petroglyph.[28] Some of the words used by them, such as barbacoa ("barbecue"), hamaca ("hammock"), kanoa ("canoe"), tabaco ("tobacco"), yuca, batata ("sweet potato"), and juracán ("hurricane"), have been incorporated into Spanish and English. For warfare, the men made wooden war clubs, which they called a macana. It was about one inch thick and was similar to the coco macaque. Food and agriculture[edit]

Cassava, starchy (yuca) roots, the Taínos' main crop

Taíno
Taíno
staples included vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish. There were no large animals native to the Caribbean, but they captured and ate small animals, such as hutias and other mammals, earthworms, lizards, turtles, and birds. Manatees
Manatees
were speared and fish were caught in nets, speared, trapped in weirs, or caught with hook and line. Wild parrots were decoyed with domesticated birds, and iguanas were taken from trees and other vegetation. The Taíno
Taíno
stored live animals until they were ready to be consumed: fish and turtles were stored in weirs, and hutias and dogs were stored in corrals.[29] Due to this lack of large game, the Taíno
Taíno
people became very skilled fishermen. One technique was to hook a remora, also known as a suckerfish, to a line secured to a canoe and wait for the fish to attach itself to a larger fish or even a sea turtle. Once this happened, men would jump into the water and bring in their assisted catch. Another method used by the Taínos was to take shredded stems and roots of poisonous senna shrubs and throw them into nearby streams or rivers. Upon eating the bait, the fish were stunned just long enough to allow the fishermen to gather them in. This poison did not affect the edibility of the fish. Taíno
Taíno
youth, mostly young boys, also collected mussels and oysters in shallow waters and within the mangroves.[30] Taíno
Taíno
groups in the more developed islands, such as Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica, relied more on agriculture (farming and other jobs). Fields for important root crops, such as the staple yuca, were prepared by heaping up mounds of soil, called conucos. This improved soil drainage and fertility as well as delaying erosion, allowing for longer storage of crops in the ground. Less important crops such as corn were raised in simple clearings created by slash and burn technique. Typically, conucos were three feet high and nine feet in circumference and were arranged in rows.[31] The primary root crop was yuca/cassava, a woody shrub cultivated for its edible and starchy tuberous root. It was planted using a coa, a kind of hoe made completely from wood. Women processed the poisonous variety of cassava by squeezing it to extract the toxic juices. Then they would grind the roots into flour for baking bread. Batata (sweet potato) was the next most important root crop.[31] Contrary to mainland practices, corn was not ground into flour and baked into bread, but was cooked and eaten off the cob. Corn bread becomes moldy faster than cassava bread in the high humidity of the Caribbean. Corn was also used to make an alcoholic beverage known as chicha.[32] The Taíno
Taíno
grew squash, beans, peppers, peanuts, and pineapples. Tobacco, calabashes (West Indian pumpkins) and cotton were grown around the houses. Other fruits and vegetables, such as palm nuts, guavas, and Zamia
Zamia
roots, were collected from the wild.[31] Spirituality[edit]

Taíno
Taíno
zemí sculpture from Walters Art Museum.

Taíno
Taíno
spirituality centered on the worship of zemís. A zemí is a spirit or ancestor (the word "god" is a misnomer but will be used henceforth for better understanding). The major Taíno
Taíno
gods are Yúcahu
Yúcahu
and Atabey. Yúcahu,[33] which means spirit of cassava, was the god of cassava – the Taínos' main crop – and the sea. Atabey,[34] mother of Yúcahu, was the goddess of the moon, fresh waters and fertility. The minor Taíno
Taíno
gods related to the growing of cassava, the process of life, creation and death. Baibrama was a minor god worshiped for his assistance in growing cassava and curing people from its poisonous juice. Boinayel and his twin brother Márohu were the gods of rain and fair weather, respectively.[35] Guabancex was the non-nurturing aspect of the goddess Atabey who had control over natural disasters. Juracán is often identified as the god of storms but the word simply means hurricane in the Taíno
Taíno
language. Guabancex had two assistants: Guataubá, a messenger who created hurricane winds, and Coatrisquie who created floodwaters.[36] Maquetaurie Guayaba or Maketaori Guayaba was the god of Coaybay or Coabey, the land of the dead. Opiyelguabirán', a dog-shaped god, watched over the dead. Deminán Caracaracol, a male cultural hero from which the Taíno
Taíno
believed themselves to be descended, was worshipped as a zemí.[35] Macocael was a cultural hero worshipped as a god, who had failed to guard the mountain from which human beings arose. He was punished by being turned into stone, or a bird, a frog, or a reptile, depending on interpretation of the myth.

Zemí, a physical object housing a god, spirit, or ancestor Lombards Museum

Zemí was also the name the people gave to their physical representations of the gods, whether objects or drawings. They were made in many forms and materials and have been found in a variety of settings. The majority of zemís were crafted from wood but stone, bone, shell, pottery, and cotton were also used.[37] Zemí petroglyphs were carved on rocks in streams, ball courts, and on stalagmites in caves. Cemí pictographs were found on secular objects such as pottery, and on tattoos. Yucahú, the god of cassava, was represented with a three-pointed zemí, which could be found in conucos to increase the yield of cassava. Wood and stone zemís have been found in caves in Hispaniola
Hispaniola
and Jamaica.[38] Cemís are sometimes represented by toads, turtles, fishes, snakes, and various abstract and human-like faces.

Cohoba Spoon, 1200-1500 Brooklyn Museum

Rock petroglyph overlaid with chalk in the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

Some zemís are accompanied by a small table or tray, which is believed to be a receptacle for hallucinogenic snuff called cohoba, prepared from the beans of a species of Piptadenia
Piptadenia
tree. These trays have been found with ornately carved snuff tubes. Before certain ceremonies, Taínos would purify themselves, either by inducing vomiting with a swallowing stick or by fasting.[39] After communal bread was served, first to the zemí, then to the cacique, and then to the common people, the people would sing the village epic to the accompaniment of maraca and other instruments. One Taíno
Taíno
oral tradition explains that the Sun and Moon
Moon
come out of caves. Another story tells of people who once lived in caves and only came out at night, because it was believed that the Sun would transform them. The Taíno
Taíno
believed they were descended from the union of Deminán Caracaracol and a female turtle. The origin of the oceans is described in the story of a huge flood, which occurred when a father murdered his son (who was about to murder the father). The father put the son's bones into a gourd or calabash. When the bones turned into fish, the gourd broke, and all the water of the world came pouring out. Taínos believed that Jupias, the souls of the dead, would go to Coaybay, the underworld, and there they rest by day. At night they would assume the form of bats and eat the guava fruit. Spaniards
Spaniards
and Taíno[edit] Columbus and his crew, landing on an island in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, were the first Europeans to encounter the Taíno
Taíno
people. Columbus described the Taínos as a physically tall, well-proportioned people, with a noble and kind personality. Columbus wrote:

They traded with us and gave us everything they had, with good will ... they took great delight in pleasing us ... They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal...Your highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people ... They love their neighbours as themselves, and they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are gentle and always laughing. — [40]

At this time, the neighbors of the Taíno
Taíno
were the Guanahatabeys in the western tip of Cuba, the Island-Caribs in the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
from Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
to Grenada, and the Calusa
Calusa
and Ais nations of Florida. The Taíno
Taíno
called the island Guanahaní which Columbus renamed as San Salvador (Spanish for "Holy Savior"). Columbus called the Taíno "Indians", a reference that has grown to encompass all the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. A group of Taíno
Taíno
people accompanied Columbus on his return voyage back to Spain.[41] On Columbus' second voyage, he began to require tribute from the Taíno
Taíno
in Hispaniola. According to Kirkpatrick Sale, each adult over 14 years of age was expected to deliver a hawks bell full of gold every three months, or when this was lacking, twenty-five pounds of spun cotton. If this tribute was not brought, the Spanish cut off the hands of the Taíno
Taíno
and left them to bleed to death.[42] These cruel practices inspired many revolts by the Taíno
Taíno
and campaigns against the Spanish —some being successful, some not. In 1511, several caciques in Puerto Rico, such as Agüeybaná II, Arasibo, Hayuya, Jumacao, Urayoán, Guarionex, and Orocobix, allied with the Carib and tried to oust the Spaniards. The revolt was suppressed by the Indio-Spanish forces of Governor Juan Ponce de León.[43] Hatuey, a Taíno
Taíno
chieftain who had fled from Hispaniola
Hispaniola
to Cuba
Cuba
with 400 natives to unite the Cuban natives, was burned at the stake on February 2, 1512. In Hispaniola, a Taíno
Taíno
chieftain named Enriquillo
Enriquillo
mobilized over 3,000 Taíno
Taíno
in a successful rebellion in the 1520s. These Taíno
Taíno
were accorded land and a charter from the royal administration. Despite the small Spanish military presence in the region, they often used diplomatic divisions and, with help from powerful native allies, controlled most of the region.[44][45] In exchange for a seasonal salary, religious and language education, the Taíno
Taíno
were required to work for Spanish and Indian land owners. This system of labor was part of the encomienda. Women[edit] Taíno
Taíno
society was based on a matrilineal system, meaning that descent was traced through the mother and that women lived together with other women and their children apart from the men. Because of this Taíno women seem to have had a lot of control over their lives, their co-villagers and their bodies.[46] Since they lived separately from men, they were able to decide when they wanted to involve in sexual contact. This is in part what shaped the views of conquistadors who came in contact with Taíno
Taíno
culture. They reportedly perceived women as “macho women” who had strong control over the men. Most historical evidence suggests that, although unclear, it seems that Taíno
Taíno
gender roles were non exclusive to most of the activities done in their community. Taíno
Taíno
women played an important role in intercultural interaction between Spaniards
Spaniards
and the Taíno
Taíno
people. When Taíno
Taíno
men were fighting intervention from other groups, women were left back home turning into the primary food producers or ritual specialists.[47] Women seem to have participated in all levels of the Taíno
Taíno
political hierarchy, they went up to occupy roles as high up as being caciques.[48] This meant that Taíno
Taíno
women could potentially give permission to other Taíno
Taíno
men and women to take on important tasks and that they could too make important choices for the village.[49] There is evidence that suggests that the women who were wealthier among the tribe collected crafted goods that they would then use for trade or as gifts. Despite women being seemingly independent in Taíno
Taíno
society, coming into the era of contact Spaniards
Spaniards
took Taíno
Taíno
women as an exchange item, putting them in a non-autonomous position. Dr. Chanca, a physician who traveled with Christopher Columbus, reported in a letter that Spaniards
Spaniards
took as many women as they possibly could and kept them as concubines.[50] Some sources report that, despite women being free and powerful before the contact era, they became the first commodities up for Spaniards
Spaniards
to trade, or often steal. This marked the beginning of a lifetime of theft and abuse of Taíno
Taíno
women.[51] Depopulation[edit] Early population estimates of Hispaniola, probably the most populous island inhabited by Taínos, range from 100,000 to 1,000,000 people. The maximum estimates for Jamaica
Jamaica
and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
are 600,000 people.[52] The Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas
(who had lived in Santo Domingo) wrote in his 1561 multi-volume History of the Indies:[53]

There were 60,000 people living on this island [when I arrived in 1508], including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this?

Researchers today doubt Las Casas' figures for the pre-contact levels of the Taíno
Taíno
population, considering them an exaggeration. For example, Anderson Córdova estimates a maximum of 500,000 people inhabiting the island.[54] The Taíno
Taíno
population estimates vary a great deal, from a few hundred thousand up to 8,000,000.[55] They had no resistance to Old World
Old World
diseases, notably smallpox.[56] The encomienda system brought many Taíno
Taíno
to work in the fields and mines in exchange for Spanish protection,[57] education, and a seasonal salary.[58] Under the pretense of searching for gold and other materials,[59] many Spaniards
Spaniards
took advantage of the regions now under control of the anaborios and Spanish encomenderos to exploit the native population by seizing their land and wealth. It would take some time before the Taíno
Taíno
revolted against their oppressors — both Indian and Spanish alike — and many military campaigns before Emperor Charles V eradicated the encomienda system as a form of slavery.[60][61] In thirty years, between 80% and 90% of the Taíno
Taíno
population died.[62] Because of the increased number of people (Spanish) on the island, there was a higher demand for food. Taíno
Taíno
cultivation was converted to Spanish methods. In hopes of frustrating the Spanish, some Taínos refused to plant or harvest their crops. The supply of food became so low in 1495 and 1496 that some 50,000 died from the severity of the famine.[63] Historians have determined that the massive decline was due more to infectious disease outbreaks than any warfare or direct attacks.[64][65] By 1507 their numbers had shrunk to 60,000. Scholars believe that epidemic disease (smallpox, influenza, measles, and typhus) was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the indigenous people.[66][67][68] Taíno
Taíno
heritage in modern times[edit] Groups of people currently identify as Taíno, most notably among the Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans, both on the islands and on United States
United States
mainland. Some scholars, such as Jalil Sued Badillo, an ethnohistorian at the University of Puerto Rico, assert that although the official Spanish histories speak of the disappearance of the Taínos as a ethnic identification, many survivors left descendants usually by intermarrying with other ethnic groups. Recent research revealed a high percentage of mixed or tri-racial ancestry in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the Dominican Republic. Those claiming Taíno
Taíno
ancestry also have Spanish ancestry or African ancestry, and often both. Frank Moya Pons, a Dominican historian, documented that Spanish colonists intermarried with Taíno
Taíno
women. Over time, some of their mixed descendants intermarried with Africans, creating a tri-racial Creole culture. 1514 census records reveal that 40% of Spanish men on the island of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
had Taíno
Taíno
wives. Ethnohistorian Lynne Guitar writes that the Taíno
Taíno
were declared extinct in Spanish documents as early as the 16th century; however, individual Taínos continued to appear in wills and legal records for several decades after the arrival of the Spaniards.[69] Evidence suggests that some Taíno
Taíno
men and African women inter-married and lived in relatively isolated Maroon communities in the interior of the islands, where they evolved into a hybrid rural or campesino population with little or no interference from the Spanish authorities. Scholars also note that contemporary rural Dominicans retain Taíno
Taíno
linguistic features, agricultural practices, food ways, medicine, fishing practices, technology, architecture, oral history, and religious views. However, these cultural traits are often looked down upon by urbanites as backwards.[69] Sixteen “autosomal” studies of peoples in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora (mostly Puerto Ricans) have shown that between 10-20% of their DNA is indigenous, with some individuals having slightly higher scores and others having lower scores or no indigenous DNA at all.[70] A recent study of a population in eastern Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
where the majority of persons tested claimed Taíno ancestry and pedigree showed that they had 61% mtDNA (distant maternal ancestry) and 0% y-chromosome DNA (distant paternal ancestry) demonstrating as expected that this is a hybrid creole population.[71] Groups, such as the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken Puerto Rico (1970), the Taíno
Taíno
Nation of the Antilles
Antilles
N.Y.C. (1993), United Confederation of Taíno
Taíno
People N.Y.C (1998) and El Pueblo Guatu Ma-Cu A Borikén Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
(2000), have been established to foster Taíno culture.[citation needed] Taíno
Taíno
activists have created two unique writing scripts. The scripts are used to write Spanish, not a retained language from pre-Columbian ancestors.[72] The organization Guaka-kú teaches and uses their script among their own members. The LGTK (Liga Guakía Taína-ké) has promoted teaching their script among elementary and middle school students to strengthen their interest in Taíno
Taíno
identity.[citation needed] In February 2018, a DNA study from an ancient tooth determined that the Taínos have living descendants in Puerto Rico, indicating that they were not extinct as previously thought.[73] See also[edit]

Enriquillo, rebel cacique Ciboney West Indies Hupia, spirit of the dead Indigenous Amerindian
Amerindian
genetics Island Caribs Juracán, God of chaos List of Taínos Pomier Caves Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center Yúcahu, central Taíno
Taíno
deity Zemi, deity, spirit, or sculptural representation

Notes[edit]

^ Alegría, Ricardo E. "Taínos" in Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Encyclopedia vol. 1, p. 345. New York: Simon and Schuster 1992. ^ http://indigenouscaribbean.ning.com/group/archaeologyofthecircumcaribbean/forum/topics/mounting-evidence-of-mayataino ^ Art and Archaeology of Pre-Columbian Cuba ^ Taíno
Taíno
Museum. "Taíno". Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ Saunders, Nicholas J. The Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archaeology and Traditional Culture. ABC-CLIO, 2005: xi, xv. ISBN 978-1-57607-701-6 ^ 1492 and Multiculturalism. Archived 2009-12-22 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Guitar, Lynne. "Criollos: The Birth of a Dynamic New Indo-Afro-European People and Culture on Hispaniola". Kacike. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2011.  ^ Léger 1907, p. 23. ^ Accilien et al. 2003, p. 12. ^ Alfred W. Crosby, The Columbian Exchange
Columbian Exchange
Westport, 1972, p. 47. ^ Abbot 2010. ^ Chrisp 2006, p. 34. ^ Alexandra Aikhenvald (2012) Languages of the Amazon, Oxford University Press ^ "American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes in the United States
United States
and Puerto Rico: 2010 (CPH-T-6)". census.gov. Census bureau. 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2016.  ^ Alegría, "Taínos" vol. 1, p. 345. ^ Daniel Garrison Brinton
Daniel Garrison Brinton
(1871). "The Arawack language of Guiana in its linguistic and ethnological relations". Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ Rouse 1992, p. 7. ^ a b Rouse, pp. 30–48. ^ a b Martínez-Cruzado, JC; Toro-Labrador, G; Ho-Fung, V; et al. (Aug 2001). "Mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals substantial Native American ancestry in Puerto Rico". Hum Biol. 73 (4): 491–511. doi:10.1353/hub.2001.0056. PMID 11512677. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link) ^ Lorena Madrigal, Madrigal (2006). Human biology of Afro-Caribbean populations. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-521-81931-2.  ^ Rouse, p. 16. ^ "Caciques, nobles and their regalia". elmuseo.org. Archived from the original on 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2006-11-09.  ^ Beding, Silvio, ed. (1002). The Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Encyclopedia (ebook ed.). Palgrave MacMillan. p. 346. ISBN 978-1-349-12573-9. Retrieved 11 April 2017.  ^ Rouse, p. 15. ^ Alegría, "Tainos" p. 346. ^ a b Alegría, p.348. ^ Rouse, p. 15 ^ http://www.tainoage.com/meaning.html ^ Rouse, p. 13. ^ Jacobs, Francine (1992). The Taínos: The People Who Welcomed Columbus. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 26. ISBN 0-399-22116-6.  ^ a b c Rouse, p.12. ^ Duke, Guy S. "Continuity, Cultural Dynamics, and Alcohol: The Reinterpretation of Identity through Chicha
Chicha
in the Andes". Identity Crisis: Archaeological Perspectives on Social Identity. academia.edu.  ^ The Taínos of Quisqueya (Dominican Republic) called him "Yucahú Bagua Maorocotí", which means "White Yuca, great and powerful as the sea and the mountains". ^ Other names for this goddess include Guabancex, Atabei, Atabeyra, Atabex, and Guimazoa. ^ a b Rouse, p. 119. ^ Rouse, p. 121. ^ Rouse, pp. 13, 118. ^ Rouse, p. 118. ^ Rouse, p. 14. ^ Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise, p. 100, ISBN 0-333-57479-6 ^ Allen, John Logan (1997). North American Exploration: A New World Disclosed. Volume: 1. University of Nebraska Press. p. 13.  ^ Kirkpatrick Sale, "The Conquest of Paradise", p. 155, ISBN 0-333-57479-6 ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 143. Retrieved 31 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 132. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 199. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  ^ Saunders, Nicholas J. Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archeology and Traditional Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Web. ^ Dale, Corrine H., and J. H. E. Paine. Women on the Edge: Ethnicity and Gender in Short Stories by American Women. New York: Garland Pub., 1999. Web. ^ Taylor, Patrick, and Frederick I. Case. The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions Volume 1: A-L; Volume 2: M-Z. Baltimore: U of Illinois, 2015. Web. Chapter title Taínos. ^ Deagan, Kathleen (2004). "Reconsidering Taino Social Dynamics after Spanish Conquest: Gender and Class in Culture Contact Studies". American Antiquity. 69 (4): 597. doi:10.2307/4128440.  ^ Hotep, Amon. "Women." Race and History.com TAINO Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. ^ Sloan, Kathryn A. Women's Roles in Latin America and the Caribbean. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2011. Web. ^ Rouse, p.7. ^ "Endless War
War
of Domination". Student-Employee Assistance Program Against Chemical Dependency. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-02.  ^ Karen Anderson Córdova (1990). Hispaniola
Hispaniola
and Puerto Rico: Indian Acculturation and Heterogeneity, 1492–1550 (PhD dissertation). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International.  ^ "The Taíno
Taíno
Indians: Native Americans of the Caribbean". The Healing Center On-Line. Retrieved 2007-10-02.  ^ Citation Needed ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 112. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 182. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 111. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 143. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ David M. Traboulay. Columbus and Las Casas: the conquest and Christianization of America, 1492–1566. p. 44. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ "La tragédie des Taïnos", in L'Histoire n°322, July–August 2007, p. 16. ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 108. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ Anghiera Pietro Martire D'. De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. p. 160. Retrieved 21 July 2010.  ^ Arthur C. Aufderheide; Conrado Rodríguez-Martín; Odin Langsjoen (1998). The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 204. ISBN 978-0-521-55203-5.  ^ Watts, Sheldon (2003). Disease and medicine in world history. Routledge. pp. 86, 91. ISBN 978-0-415-27816-4.  ^ Schimmer, Russell. "Puerto Rico". Genocide Studies Program. Yale University.  ^ Raudzens, George (2003). Technology, Disease, and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries. Brill. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-391-04206-3.  ^ a b Guitar 2000. ^ Haslip-Viera, Gabriel (2014). Race, Identity and Indigenous Politics: Puerto Rican Neo-Taínos in the Diaspora and the Island. Latino Studies Press. pp. 111–117.  ^ Vilar, Miguel G.; et al. (July 2014). "Genetic diversity in Puerto Rico and its implications for the peopling of the island and the Caribbean". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 155 (3): 352–68. doi:10.1002/ajpa.22569. PMID 25043798.  ^ Sherina Feliciano-Santos. 2011. An Inconceivable Indigeneity: The Historical, Cultural, and Interactional Dimensions of Puerto Rican Activism. University of Michigan, doctoral dissertation. [1] ^ Taíno: 'Extinct' Indigenous Americans Never Actually Disappeared, Ancient Tooth Reveals

Further reading[edit]

Abbot, Elizabeth (1 April 2010). Sugar: A Bitterweet History. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59020-772-7. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 

Accilien, Cécile; Adams, Jessica; Méléance, Elmide (2006). Revolutionary Freedoms: A History of Survival, Strength and Imagination in Haiti. Paintings by Ulrick Jean-Pierre. Educa Vision Inc. ISBN 978-1-58432-293-1. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 

Léger, Jacques Nicolas (1907). Haiti, Her History and Her Detractors. Neale Publishing Company. Retrieved 21 February 2013.  wikisource

Rouse, Irving (1992). The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05696-6.  Ricardo Alegría (April 1951). "The Ball Game Played by the Aborigines of the Antilles". American Antiquity. 16 (4): 348–352. doi:10.2307/276984.  Guitar L (2000). "Criollos: The Birth of a Dynamic New Indo-Afro-European People and Culture on Hispaniola". Kacike. Caribbean Amerindian
Amerindian
Centrelink. 1 (1): 1–17. ISSN 1562-5028.  Guitar, Lynne; Ferbel-Azcarate, Pedro; Estevez, Jorge (2006). "Ocama-Daca Taíno
Taíno
(Hear Me, I Am Taíno): Taíno
Taíno
Survival on Hispaniola, Focusing on the Dominican Republic". In Forte, Maximilian C. Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean: Amerindian Survival and Revival. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. ISBN 978-0820474885.  DeRLAS. "Some important research contributions of Genetics to the study of Population History and Anthropology in Puerto Rico". Newark, Delaware: Delaware Review of Latin American Studies. August 15, 2000. "The Role of Cohoba in Taíno
Taíno
Shamanism", Constantino M. Torres in Eleusis No. 1 (1998) "Shamanic Inebriants in South American Archaeology: Recent Investigations" Constantino M. Torres in Eleusis No. 5 (2001) Tinker, T & Freeland, M. 2008. "Thief, Slave Trader, Murderer: Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
and Caribbean Population Decline". Wicazo Sa Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring, 2008: 25-50. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database on 23 Sept. 2008. "Taínos: Alive and well in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the United States?"

Further reading[edit]

Guitar, Lynne. "Documenting the Myth
Myth
of Taíno
Taíno
Extinction". Kacike.  The art heritage of Puerto Rico, pre-Columbian to present. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio. 1973.  (Chapter 1: "The Art of the Taino Indians of Puerto Rico")

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taíno.

Statehood Issue Stirs Passions About Puerto Rican Identity. Island Thresholds, Peabody Essex Museum's interactive feature, showcases the work of Caribbean artists and their exploration of culture and identity. Taíno
Taíno
Diccionary, A dictionary of words of the indigenous peoples of caribbean from the encyclopedia "Clásicos de Puerto Rico, second edition, publisher, Ediciones Latinoamericanas. S.A., 1972" compiled by Puerto Rican historian Dr. Cayetano Coll y Toste of the "Real Academia de la Historia". 2011 Smithsonian article on Taíno
Taíno
culture remnant in the Dominican Republic

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