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The Taino People of the Caribbean Are NOT Extinct

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Author Topic: The Taino People of the Caribbean Are NOT Extinct  (Read 10119 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2008, 10:28:45 am »

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Bianca
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« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2008, 10:31:21 am »









The symbolism that these carved and painted images represent is difficult to interpret,
but they include both anthropomorphic (human forms) and animal imagery.

Hartford Cave on Rum Cay in the Bahamas is one of the most elaborately decorated and
included the representation of a canoe paddle (until it was hacked out of the wall and
brought to the New World Museum on San Salvador!).

Painted images on the walls of caves in the Dominican Republic are especially evocative.

One scene depicts the cohoba ritual in which the cacique ingested a hallucinogenic snuff
to induce a trance that facilitated his communication with the spirits.

When viewed in the flickering of torchlight the images appear to come alive.
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Bianca
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« Reply #47 on: March 01, 2008, 10:38:10 am »









One of the questions we are frequently asked is,

"Where did they bury their dead?"

Unfortunately, we do not have a complete answer.

In some places the Tainos buried their dead in cemeteries.

At El Chorro de Ma’ta in Cuba and Maisabel in Puerto Rico, the dead were buried beneath
the central plaza. This burial location reflects a close association of the dead with their
ancestral homeland. Knowledge of previous burials at Maisabel was so complete that, des-
pite hundreds of interments over a period of 800 years, not one disturbed a previous burial.

Evidence for formal cemeteries is lacking from the Bahama archipelago. To date, all of the
burials in the Bahamas have been found in caves.

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Bianca
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« Reply #48 on: March 01, 2008, 10:40:07 am »









Blue holes and sinkholes (xawei), caves whose vault has collapsed to expose subterran-
ean lakes, are also associated with ritual activities.

Cottage Pond on North Caicos is a perfectly circular inland blue hole that measures 165
feet across and sits in a beautiful natural depression that supports rare plant and animal
species.

It has a 30 foot layer of freshwater that was certainly valued by the Lucayan inhabitants.

The Nature Reserve is open to the public and easy to access and one of the many sites
worth visiting on North Caicos.
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Bianca
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« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2008, 10:42:24 am »









Human burials have been found underwater in caverns and blue holes on Grand Bahama,
Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera and Providenciales.

In addition, a small wooden canoe was recovered from a blue hole on Andros, and the ex-
tremely well preserved skeletons of crocodiles, tortoises and birds recently were found in
a sinkhole on Abaco.

The most spectacular finds come from caves and caverns in Parque National del Este, in
the eastern Dominican Republic.

This region of Hispaniola is quite arid, and water sources are limited.

It is therefore not surprising that a substantial number of broken ceramic bottles used to
collect water (potizas) have been found in several flooded caverns.

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« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2008, 10:46:30 am »









Yet water collection was not the only activity associated with these flooded caverns
and sinkholes.

Divers have also found decorated pottery bowls that are poorly suited for water collection.
And the objects recovered from the Manantial de la Aleta are reminiscent of the sacred
cenote at Chichen Itza (the Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula).

A wide variety of objects were "sacrificed" in this sinkhole, and the anoxic (lacking oxygen)
waters surrounding the finds have resulted in a remarkable state of preservation.

Along with pottery vessels, stone tools, complete baskets (haba and makuto), cordage
(cabuya), wooden handles for stone axes, and a war club (macana) have been observed
in the sediments at the bottom of this sinkhole.

To date, only a few of the objects have been retrieved because they require special conser-
vation techniques that are of limited availability in the Dominican Republic. This discovery has
opened an entirely new vista into the world of the Tainos.


(For more information on these finds, see volumes 2 and 3 of the

 Journal of Caribbean Archaeology at:

www.flmnh.ufl.edu/JCA/current.htm.)
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Bianca
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« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2008, 10:49:05 am »








Objects recovered from caves figured prominently in the early days of Caribbean archaeology.

Over the years most archaeologists have turned away from caves to open-air sites, where
a more complete record of Taino lifeways is preserved.

With the development of new techniques for safely exploring submerged caverns and the
development of formal techniques for studying rock art, these portals to the subterranean
waters are once again receiving the attention they so richly deserve.





Dr. Bill Keegan is Curator of Caribbean Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History,
University of Florida, Gainesville.

Dr. Betsy Carlson is an Archaeologist at Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc.,
Gainesville, Florida.

Winter 2006-7


http://www.timespub.tc/index.php?id=424
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 10:50:00 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2008, 09:00:56 am »



These images of Taíno gods, carved at least 500 years ago, have caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to radically alter dam construction plans on Puerto Rico's Portugues River. (Courtesy David Diener)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 09:02:26 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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