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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 10352 times)
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« on: February 29, 2008, 08:42:42 am »

Taino People Submit Shadow Report to UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


UCTP Taino News - The United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos (CGTB), and the Caney Quinto Mundo (CQM) submitted a joint Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) in January, 2008. The UNCERD is the "Treaty Monitoring Body" for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). It monitors compliance of the countries, which have ratified the Convention with its provisions, including the United States (US).

The historic report, the first of its kind ever submitted by Taino People, provides verifiable examples of human rights violations and racial discrimination against Taino People by the governments of the US and Puerto Rico. These violations include the destruction of sacred sites, threats to spiritual and cultural practices, and environmental racism. The report also shows that the Taino attempts to meet with government representatives to resolve these issues have all but been ignored. The report will be considered in the upcoming examination of the US by the UNCERD during its 72nd Session 18 February – 7 March 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UTCP, CGTB, and CQM also submitted specific information to the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), which has been included in the IITC's "Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report" to the UNCERD. The IITC also submitted this extensive report in January 2008 in coordination with the Western Shoshone Defense Project.

"It was important to submit our information in the consolidated report along with other indigenous peoples because it gives context to our individual claims" stated UCTP representative DeAnna Sarobei Rivera. The Director of the Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange (TLCEE), a program associated with the Native Nations Law and Policy Center at the UCLA School of Law, Sarobei Rivera was one of the lead writers of the Taino submissions.

Alberto Saldamando, IITC General Counsel, who co-coordinated the development of the report stated, "In compiling this report to the UNCERD, it was clear that the institutionalization of racism and discrimination against Native Peoples is ingrained at every level of US society. The data and the many inputs we received from Tribes, Native Peoples and individuals vividly demonstrate that racial discrimination thrives in schools, universities, prisons and in the so-called administration of justice in the US, at every level of government and society at large."

"Our rights as Indigenous People in Puerto Rico and the Diaspora are affected by U.S. policy and before this time, our voice has never been heard during these important proceedings. These reports ensure that we as a People are taken seriously" stated Mildred Caraira Gandia, a UCTP representative in the state of Florida.

Caraira along with Sarobei Rivera were part of the Taino report’s drafting team, which also included Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Liza O'Reilly, and Roberto Mucaro Borrero. The drafting team incorporated testimony of Taino individuals and organizations from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora into the over 30 page joint submission.

Naniki Reyes Ocasio of the Caney Quinto Mundo stated "The completion of our Joint Shadow Report is another step forward in our struggle to denounce colonization, human rights violations and the racial discrimination directed against us as we continue to defend our rights as Indigenous Peoples for past, present and future generations."

Taino People in Puerto Rico and throughout the Diaspora now await the UNCERD's response to their submission.

UCTPTN 02.19.2008

Taino Beaded Cemi Figure from
Kiskeya (Dominican Republic)
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 08:45:10 am »

The UCTP flag represents a unified Taino Nation reaching out in solidarity across the waters in all the
sacred directions to our relations on other islands, lands, and beyond.

The flag symbol was created for and gifted to the UCTP By Taino Artist: Marie "Nana" Crooke.


A News Service dedicated to increasing the visibility of Taino
and other Indigenous Peoples from throughout the Caribbean
region and the Diaspora in the Spirit of Our Ancestors.

Map  appears  courtesy of Mountain High Maps


The Taíno world was centered in the Greater Antilles but extended throughout the Caribbean Region.

Interaction and trade was facilitated by the great sea-faring ability of the indigenous islanders.
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 08:54:15 am »

                                      Large Ancient Settlement Unearthed in Puerto Rico

Kelly Hearn
for National Geographic News

Bodies, structures, and rock art thought to belong to an indigenous pre-Columbian culture have been un-
earthed at an ancient settlement in Puerto Rico, officials recently announced.

Archaeologists say the complex—which dates from A.D. 600 to 1500—could be the most significant of
its kind in the Caribbean.

"This is a very well preserved site," said Aida Belén Rivera-Ruiz, director of Puerto Rico's State Office of
Historic Preservation.

"The site seems to show two occupations: a pre-Taino and a Taino settlement."

The Taino are thought to be a subgroup of the Arawak Indians who migrated to the Caribbean from
Mexico or South America hundreds of years ago, experts say.

They were among the first tribes to encounter Europeans.

Huge Plaza

The ancient Taino settlement was discovered in southern Puerto Rico.

Archaeologists have known since 1985 that the area contained indigenous artifacts.

But the scope of the site became clear only recently, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began con-
struction on a new dam meant to protect the region from flooding.

Perhaps the most significant find is a large plaza covering an area of about 130 by 160 feet
(40 by 50 meters).

Rivera-Ruiz said the plaza appears to be a batey, a rectangular area around which the Taino built
their settlements.

The plaza, which contains stones etched with ancient petroglyphs, might have been a court used
for ceremonial rituals or ball games.

"If this information is confirmed, this would be the largest known indigenous batey in the Caribbean,"
Rivera-Ruiz said.

Roberto Mucaro Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People, agreed.

The site "could be the largest ancient Taino cultural area found not only in Puerto Rico but through-
out the Caribbean," Borrero said.

And petroglyphs of a masculine figure with frog legs could prove especially important in understand-
ing the culture's roots, he added.

"They could reveal evidence of direct links between the Taino and the Mayan peoples," he said, al-
though other experts strongly refute that the two cultures are related.
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 09:00:48 am »

Storm of Controversy

Confusion and criticisms are already swirling amidst excitement over the findings.

Initial reports about bodies found in several graves at the site suggest that the people were
in unique positions.

The bodies were "buried facedown with the legs bent at the knees—a style never seen before
the region," the Associated Press reported.

But Miguel Rodriguez, a member of the Puerto Rican government's archaeological council, said
burial positioning isn't unheard of in the area.

Kit Wesler, a Taino expert at Murray State University in Kentucky, also said that the "facedown
position is unusual but probably not unprecedented."

Rivera-Ruiz of the state preservation office stressed that any claims about the uniqueness of the
burial arrangements must await a full excavation and studies of any funerary objects.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based New South Associates—a private archaeology company contracted
by the Corps of Engineers to salvage the site—is at the center of controversy over their exca-
vation methods.

According to AP, the company had initially been using a bulldozer that caused damage to
centuries-old bones.

Members of the Taino who visited the dig on Saturday "witnessed damage to the site, parti-
cularly to some human remains and stones" that was apparently caused by a backhoe, Taino
representative Borrero said.

Rodriguez was adamant that the company should be pulled off the project.

"This is a textbook case of what they shouldn't do," he said. "They are using mostly diggers
and bulldozers and they must stop."

Rodriguez also accused the company of violating Puerto Rican law by failing to register artifacts
it had taken off the island.

"They haven't told us anything about the materials, so they are not following the rules," he said.

An official from New South Associates said the Corps did not permit them to answer press inquiries.

But Rivera-Ruiz, of Puerto Rico's historic conservation office, defended the Corps and its contractor.

"The contractor was originally hired by the Corps of Engineers to conduct a salvage data recovery
operation on a site that was essentially doomed," she said via email.

"Once preservation became an option, the scope and invasive nature of the project was shifted
in favor of the more low-key, less intrusive hand excavation of already exposed features."

About 80 percent of the site will be left intact, Rivera-Ruiz added, allowing for the long-term
preservation of most of the site.

She added that Puerto Rico's State Historic Preservation Office has overseen the company's
operation, and the parties are complying with the law.

And Corps spokesperson David McCullough told National Geographic News via email that his
agency stands behind New South Associates and is reworking its plans based on the new

"When the Corps recognized the extreme significance of this site," he said, "we redesigned
the parts of the dam project that would create the greatest adverse effect to the site."

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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 09:08:18 am »

            Puerto Rican Archaeologists Accuse U.S. Army Corps Of Taking Artifacts Without Permission

The Associated Press

Puerto Rican archaeologists on Monday accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of illegally
shipping two dozen newly discovered pre-Columbian artifacts off the island without permission.

Diana Lopez, a University of Puerto Rico archaeologist, said the Army Corps should be fined
for sending ceramic pieces, stone tools and bones, which may date from 600 A.D. to 1500 A.D.,
to Atlanta for testing without approval from a local archaeology council.

"They never told us that they were going to take those pieces," said Miguel Rodriguez, a mem-
ber of the council who claimed such tests could have been done on the island.

Jose Rosado, chief of the corps' San Juan construction office, has promised that engineers will
return the pieces to Puerto Rico once tests determine their origin and value. Calls and e-mails
to his office went unanswered Monday.

The artifacts were discovered earlier this month when an Army Corps team began work on a
dam project in southern Puerto Rico. Archaeologists said the find could shed light on most
aspects of Indian life in the region, from sacred rituals to eating habits.

They called for a halt to the corps' heavy digging, which they warned could expose the pre-
Colombian site to wind and rain.

Posted by UCTP TAINO NEWS at 12:50 PM   
Labels: Puerto Rico, Taino, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UCTP
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 06:15:12 pm »

This page consists of a "work in progress" undertaken by CAC editor Jorge Baracutei Estevez.

The reader will find below a list of  references annotated with materials extracted from those

The aim is to demonstrate that Taíno cultural and biological  survival in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica,
the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico has  in fact been documented over the past five cen-
turies. The hope is that by bringing these materials to light, researchers and  others will be-
gin to pay greater attention to Taíno survival and begin to revise, if not reject, dominant theo-
ries of Taíno extinction.

“Inside every mestizo there is either one dead Indian, or an Indian waiting to re-emerge.”

 Jose Barreiro

 “I don’t make excuses for them, they don’t  deserve any. But, in a world that only leaves
 room for heroes and demons, so much of this story has been left untold.”

 Alysia Bennet



In 1519 Cacique Enriquillo rebelled against the Spanish, in a war that lasted until 1533. This
was a major victory for the Taíno. The Spanish were defeated and went on to sign the first
treaty between a Native people and a European government in this hemisphere.

Enriquillo was given land for his people in the area known as Boya. Another Cacique, Murcio,
also rebelled against the Spanish and fought until 1545 and was also given lands for his people
to live in. The Murcio war lasted 25 years. In Audiencia de Santo Domingo 77 Polemica de En-
riquillo, 487-488 Spanish text in utrera. From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships be-
tween Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century”
dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee.

The death rate in the first quarter century of European occupation was, no doubt, staggering,
as it was among other Native populations elsewhere, but especially in the tropics. Even small-
pox, however, did not claim all of the remaining Taínos as some Spaniards claimed in their re-
ports, petitions and testimonies to the crown. That all the Indians had died as a result of small-
pox epidemics is as difficult to believe as this report to the crown: damages from three hurri-
canes that struck the island in 1545, have left “not one tree, not one piece of sugar cane, nor
yuca, nor maize, nor bohio, every thing has been destroyed. Marte Manuscritos de Juan Bau
-tista Munoz, Vol. 1, 412 . From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between In-
dians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation,
December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee.

In June of 1547 Dr. Montano was given the responsibility of seeing the new laws (to protect
the Indians) were enforced on Hispaniola. He demanded that all the Spaniards with Indians to
produce either legal title proving said Indians were slaves, or set them free. He counts only
150 Indians for all of Hispaniola. Utrera, Historia military, Vol. 1, 367-371. . From Lynne Guitar’s
“Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Alonso Lopez de Cerrato wrote in 1548 that in the
“city” of Santo Domingo “everyone sells Indians like Negroes, especially Indian women to be
kept as mistresses”. But none of these Indians appear in the census, neither as freedmen or
slaves. Perhaps in more ways than one, the Indians were treated “like Negroes” and were in-
cluded in African categories- not because of their color but because of their status. Letter
to the Crown dated March 7, 1548, Marte Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Munoz, Vol. 1,

In 1555 four entire Pueblos of Indios in the Puerto Plata region of the DR that no one previous-
ly knew about were found by the Spanish and all were in peripheral areas well outside of Spanish
control, which proves that the Spanish could only count the people that were in areas they
controlled. CDIU, Vol 18. 10 Consejo de Indias advisory dated July 31, 1556. The Consejo de
Indias advised the crown that none of the Indians of “those” Pueblos should be moved or divi-
ded among the Spaniards, but that priests should be sent to indoctrinate them into the Catho-
lic Faith. From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and
Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998,
Nashville, Tennessee.

The Spanish raided the island of Jamaica for slaves almost from the very beginning. But In the
Census of 1570, Spanish sources mention an unspecified number of Taínos still living in Jamaica.
Angel Rosenblat, In “La Poblacion Indigena y el mestizaje en America” 2 Volumes (Buenos Aires:
Editorial Nova, 1954, as it appears in “A brief history of the Caribbean” by Jan Ragozinski,
page 45, 1992.

Yet “another” village of Indians exists some 8 leagues from this city, they are old and with-
out children, writes the archbishop Andres De Carvajal to the Spanish Monarchy in 1571. As
it appears in “La Encyopedia de la Cultura Dominicana” book B, page 282.

Irving Rouse writes in “The Arawak”, for the Handbook of South American Indians, page 518,
1948, that in 1585 Sir Francis Drake visited the Island of Hispaniola and reports that not a
single Indian was left alive. Yet….

Fray Juan González de Mendoza in his book, published in 1586, wrote that fewer than 200
Indians still lived on Hispaniola, where "most [residents] are mestizos, sons of indias and Spa-
niards, or negroes." Fray Juan González de Mendoza, Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos
y costumbres del gran Reyno de la China (Madrid, 1586), as presented in Juan López de Vela-
sco, Relaciones geográficas de Santo Domingo, ed. Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi (Santo Domingo:
Editora del Caribe, 1970), 8, . From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between
Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” disser-
tation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee. And again in 1650 Friar Domingo of the Domi-
nican Republic finds 50 “wild Indians living near the vicinity of his church. As it appears in
the Census of 1650, Dominican Republic.

In 1543 it was reported to the King of Spain by the bishop of San Juan, that there were but
60 Native Indians remaining in the entire island of Puerto Rico. Yet when the Earl of Cumber-
land, who had captured San Juan, fled the island, the King of Spain sent an armada, comman-
ded by General Don Francisco Coloma, to re-conquer the colony in 1599, and was surprised
to find the city of San Juan inhabited almost entirely of Indians. As it appears in “The Islands,
the world of the Puerto Ricans, by Stan Steiner, page 17, 1974.

The Black Legend has done much harm to the Taíno. Much of the Taíno story has remained
untold the past 500 years because the black legend painted them entirely out of the picture
of the history and culture that developed in the Spanish Antilles. The Taínos, the legend con-
tinues, were the ultimate victims--pushed into extinction, wiped clean from the face of the
Earth, a very dramatic statement, but not true. Dr. Lynne Guitar, 1998.
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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 06:36:16 pm »


According to Herbert W. Krieger, Jeffreys describes 100 natives living in Haiti in 1730.
In “Aborigines of the Island of Hispaniola” page 478, 1930

 Alexandre Oliver Exquemelian reported in the 1770’s that the Buccaneers and their “Indian
tracker” companions were all over the Island of Hispaniola. Alexandre Oliver Exquemelian
“The buccaneers of America: A true account of The most remarkable assaults committed
by the English and the French Buccaneers against the Spaniards in America (Santo Domingo:
Editorial Taller, 1992).

 Jose Alvarez de Peralta writes that, at the time of the treaty between Spain and France
on June 3, 1777 at Aranjuez, the Dominican population was, not counting the Haitian side,
400,000. The break down was as follows: blancos (white).....................................................................100,000
Mestizos de Raza India y Blanca........................................100, 000
Mestizos de Raza India y Negro............................................60,000
Negros.......................................................................................70, 000

Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi In, Relaciones geográficas de Santo Domingo Vol 1, P.162.

 Medric Louis Elie Moreau de Saint Mery, reported that in 1783 he observed that there were
certain “Creoles who have hair like that of Indians and “pretend” to be descendants of the
primitive natives on his visit to the Eastern, Spanish side of the Island. In “Descripcion de
la parte Espanola de Santo Domingo, trans”. C Armando Rodriguez (Santo Domingo: Editora
Montalvo, 1944) 95 and 50 respectively

 Modesta- Slave girl from the Dominican Republic sold in 1783
Buyer's Name: Morales
Seller's Name: Labie
Year Document was created: 1783
Origin: Santo Domingo
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including hapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 In the 1787 census under governor Toribio Montes in Puerto Rico, over 2300 “pure” Indians
are listed living in the Central Cordillera, yet in the census of 1800, there are no categories
for Indians or mixed blood Indians. What do appear in place of Indians are Freemen of color
or “pardo”. As it appears in the 1787 census of Puerto Rico. According to historian Salvador

 Felipe- Slave boy from Jamaica sold in 1793
Buyer's Name: Laburthe y Barriere
Seller's Name: Leblanc
Year Document was created: 1793
Origin: Jamaica
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Adele- Slave girl from Haiti sold in 1811
Buyer's Name: Morel/Seller's Name: Pradine
Year Document was created: 1811
Origin: St Domingue/Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Benoit- Slave boy from Haiti sold in 1811
Buyer's Name: Reynaud
Seller's Name: Bidet Renoulleau
Year Document was created: 1811
Origin: St Domingue
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Adelle-Slave girl from Haiti sold in 1816
Buyer's Name: Rondeau
Seller's Name: Montas
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: St Domingue
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Camire- Slave boy from Cuba sold in 1816
Buyer's Name: Malus
Seller's Name: Lapeyere
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: Cuba
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Dorotee-Slave girl from Jamaica sold in 1816
Buyer's Name: LeBlanc
Seller's Name: Dispan
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: Jamaica
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Pointe Coupee/ by
Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Celestine- Slave girl from Cuba sold in 1817
Estate's (Deceased Master) Name: Seguin
Buyer's Name: Borel
Year Document was created: 1817
Origin: Cuba
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

So much so that the national complexion of skin and general physiognomic traits may well be
described as being alight brown, approaching the copper color of the North American abori-
gines, straight black hair in the case of the females, glossy and in luxurious profusion and a
combination of features resulting from about an equal blending of the African, Caucasian and
-Indian physiognomies. The very visible traits of the latter would seem to indicate, although
we are not aware of the existence of any other evidence of it, that the aboriginal race instead
of having been entirely exterminated, had been particularly amalgamated. In “The Dominican
Republic in the Island of St. Domigue” by S. A. Kendall, page 243, 1849

The “pure” race wholly died in (Hispaniola) at the latter end of the “last” century; but their
characteristic features and luxuriant hair, are still to be traced among their descendants,
from intercourse with Europeans, Africans and colored people. These are still called Indios.
In Harper's statistical gazetteer of the world / by J. Calvin Smith ; Illustrated by seven maps.
Publication date: 1855.Collection: Making of America Books
May the devil take me, if I happen see him around here. These damned Indians can never
be seen; as soon as they are here they disappear, and when we think they have been defeat-
ed, they re-appear shooting even more. And they are not bad shots either. They have spent
their entire lives hunting, so wherever they aim, one has no choice but to make the sign of
the cross. By an anonymous Spanish soldier to his family in 1864 during the War for Dominican
Restoration which began August 16, 1863 as it appears in

Few “genuine” representatives of the indigenous race can be found in the Dominican Republic.
In “The American Encyclopædia: Publication date: 1873-76.Collection: Making of America Books

The population of the Dominican Republic is one tenth white, Spaniards of un-mixed descent,
and the rest a mixture of Spanish, Indian and Negro with a small number of pure Negroes. In
Johnson's new universal Encyclopedia: a scientific and popular treasury of useful knowledge
... Editors-in-chief. Frederick A.P. Barnard ... [and] Arnold Guyot ... With numerous contribu-
tions from writers of distinguished eminence in every department of letters and science in
the United States and in Europe...Publication date: 1875-1878.

 Although at their entrance the Spaniards found some 2,000,00 Natives, Negro slaves had
to be introduced as early as 1522; by 1711 there were only 21,000 natives. In “The Globe
encyclopaedia of universal information”. Edited by John M. Ross. Publication date: 1876-79.
Collection: Making of America Books.

 In the mid 1800’s a Spanish ship rescued 200 Yucatan Indians who had been stranded by
the French on Tortuga Island. These Indians were taken to live at the town of Boya, per-
haps, because there was an Indian contingent already there? In “La Encyopedia de la Cultura
Dominicana”, book B, page 282.

 In 1882 a 91-year-old woman by the name of Josefa Gonzalez, who along with other neigh-
bors affirmed that the Cacique Enriquillo and his wife Mencia are buried in a tomb in the cen-
ter of the church in the town of Boya. General Don Pedro Santana who after being elected
President of the Dominican Republic, assigned a pension to another Indian woman who claim-
ed to be a descendant of one of the other chiefs under Enriquillo, and also lived in Boya.
Manuel De Jesus Galvan, in Enriquillo page 480, 1882.

 In Haiti, Santo Domingo and in New Mexican Pueblos old Indian rites are wonderfully mixed
with Christian ceremonials. Hence we have on one and the same day mass and tablet dan-
ces-church services followed by dances in which old time mythological personages appear.
James Walter Fewkes, In “On Zemes from Santo Domingo” Pepper collection: foot note,
page 1, 1891

 There are still half breed Indians living in the town of Boya, Dominican Republic, notes Fred-
erick Albion Ober, in “Aborigines of the West Indies” 1895, page 289. Proc. Amer. Antiq. Soc.
n.s. vol. 9 pp. Worcester, Mass.

 War Diaries of Jose Marti: Part 1- From MonteCristi, Dominican Republic to Cap-Haitian,
February 14, 1895, page 354

…La Esperanza, made famous by Columbus’s route, is a hamlet of palms and yaguas on a
wholesome stretch of level ground encircled by mountains. La Providencia (Providence) was
the name of the first general store back in Guayubin, the one that belonged to a Puerto
Rican husband, who had some yellowing antique, medical books and a fresh young Indian
girl with marble profile, an uneasy smile, and flaming eyes, who approached our stirrups to
hand cigars up to us. And in La Esperanza we dismounted in front of La Delicia. From within,
General Candelario Lozano, his hair too long and his pants too short, comes to open the
gate- “la pueita” is how he says puerta- for our mounts. He isn’t wearing socks and his shoes
are made of leather, He hangs up his hammock…War Diaries, Cuba, April 23, 1895 Page 389….
”But why do these Cubans fight against Cubans? I’ve seen that it isn’t a matter of opinion or
some impossible affection for Spain.” “They fight, the pigs, they fight like that for the peso
they’re paid, one peso a day, less the lodging that’s deducted. They’re the bad seed of the
little villages, or men who have a crime to pay for, or tramps who don’t want to work, and
a handful of Indians from Baitiquiri and Cajueri…Page 390-Since el Palenque they’ve been
following our tracks closely. Garridos Indians could fall on us here. Jose Marti, Selected Writ-
ings, edited and translated by Esther Allen, 2002, Penguin Classics

 “The one of most interest is the indio, or that of the descendants of Inhabitants found on
the island at its discovery and settlement. They form a great mass of the country laborers
over the island, especially in the centre and northeastern section. They have much of the
serious appearance of the North American Indian, with his high cheek bones, but their color
is less red and more swarthy.” M.W. Harrington’s , Porto Rico and the Porto Ricans, Catholic
world, volume 70, Issue 416, page 174.
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 06:49:45 pm »


As a result with their battles with the Spanish, of disease and emigration to other islands, of
hard labor in the mines, and other unaccustomed drudgery, the Native population of Puerto
Rico rapidly disappeared, so that in 1543 it was reported to the King of Spain by the bishop
of San Juan, that there were but 60 Native Indians remaining in the island. At this time there
are few traces of them remaining, at least this census has not discovered any. Still in such
matters no census can vie with the trained observer, and therefore attention must be called
to the following statements of Captain W.S. Shuyler in a report onAugust 30, 1899: while work
was being done on the roads, I had the occasion to watch crowds of 700 or 800 men gathered
around the pay tables at Las Marias, La Vega, and Anasco. The frequency of the Indian type
was very noticeable. While its almost certain that there is today no single Indian of pure stock
in PR it is equally sure that the type can be seen every where in the mountain settlements.
At San German I noticed a woman whose color, hair, and features were true Indian as seen in
the Southwest of the US. (report of General George W. Davis) .War Department Census Of
Puerto Rico 1899, LT. COL J.P. Sanger, Inspector-General, Director. Government Printing
office 1900

 Stewart Culin reported that upon his arrival to eastern Cuba to investigate rumors of wild
Indians living in the mountains, he finds that the Indian phenotype was everywhere and very
pronounced. He also asserted that on his way to the Indian village of Yateras, he stopped
at a plantation called “La Sorpresa” where he met the owner, “a white Cuban man”, Senor
Eugenio Ysalgue, who, living near the Indians was expected to know something definite
about them. Mr. Ysalgue who was part Mexican, asserted that the Indians of Yateras were
actually Indians that had been brought over by Spanish soldiers from the Dominican Republic
some sixty years earlier (this is 1902). Some ten families of Indians were taken to Cuba from
the DR where they eventually intermarried with the Indians already living there. Bulletin of
the Free Museum of Science and Art of the University of Pennsylvania. Vol. 111 Philadelphia,
May 1902,No. 4.

 Between the years 1898- 1912, 62 children from the “Porto Rican Tribe” were placed in
the Carlisle Indian School of Pennsylvania. To date, no one knows exactly why these child-
ren were placed there, what is known is that the criteria for being a student at the school
was that you had to be Indian. Valerie Nanaturey Vargas In “The Carlisle 62” Native Ameri-
cas magazine, page 23, winter 2000. Also Barbara Landis at the Cumberland Historical So-
ciety, who originally researched the names of all 62 children and Mr. Bobby Gonzalez who
independently researched the story at the Huntington Free Library in New York and passed
on his findings to Jorge Estevez of the National Museum of the American Indian who did
further research on the Carlisle 62. note: Sonia M. Rosa has a published paper on the Car-
lisle 62 in the Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink’s “Issues in Caribbean Amerindian studies” http://Http://

 Walter J Fewkes writes: El Yunque, where marked Indian features were casually observed
everywhere, especially in the isolated mountainous regions, where the inhabitants still
preserve Indian features to a marked degree. In“The Aborigines of Porto Rico” 1913. John-
son re-print corporation, USA 1970, p. 24-25 Further:

 In the Cibao and Higuey provinces likewise the natives resisted with desperation. Henri-
quillo, the last cacique of Santo Domingo, was never subdued, but was given the pueblo
of Boya, north of the capital, where the descendants of the early Natives still live. The
Aborigines of Porto Rico 1913. Johnson re-print corporation, USA 1970, page 31.

 We now come to the class of people though smallest in numbers, interest us the most-
descendants of the original Indians. They are not so rare either in the Baracoa district,
for one will pass many persons of strongly Indian features in a days journey in almost
any direction. All however, have more or less Spanish blood although once in a while a
type that looks almost pure may be seen. Mixtures with Negro blood will not be consi-
dered. These people still make and use a few articles of aboriginal character, while their
houses, their methods of agriculture, and, to a large extent, their mode of life, are still
quite Indian. In “Cuba Before Columbus” Vol. 1&2 for the Museum of the American Indian,
Heye Foundation, 1920.

 G. Jimenez Rivera, school inspector for District no. 41 Northern Department of Santiago.
Dominican Republic reported that the people living in the campos around San Jose de las
Matas are mostly of white/Indian descent as are the people of the towns of Janico and
Najayo etc. In Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi “Lengua y Folklore ”April 12, 1922

 Today there no pure Taínos writes Sven Loven, Mestizos are found in the rural towns
of Oriente plateau in Cuba, also in the woods ofEl Yunque massif on Puerto Rico, page
499. He writes further: the Taínos were a people that long ago became extinct. Such
relics in the form of objects still used, or ancient superstitions occurring in folklore, as
may still be found among their mestizo “descendants” in the Yunque Rainforest, of Orien-
te in Cuba, or among the Negro interbred population of the Dominican Republic.
Summary page 657 in Origins of Tainian Culture, Sven Loven, 1935.

 In 1948 Dr Jose de Jesus Alvarez concluded after a study based on A-B-O blood groups,
that the “Indian mestizo ” did in fact exist in the Dominican Republic. He found that 57%
of the Dominicans studied had a predominance of Blood type O, M and Rh¹ which is high-
est among American Indians. He also stated that in places where the people displayed
strong Indian features (like the mountain communities and isolated regions, there was be-
tween 54 and 70 percent Indian descent. As reported to the “American Anthropologist”
1951 page 127 titled “Studies on the A-B-O, M-N and Rh-Hr blood factors in the Domini-
can Republic, with special reference to the problem of admixture. Also in EME EME Vol 2,
No 8 Sept-Oct. 1973

 In 1949 Bertita Harding writes: What appears most noteworthy about the entire district
of Constanza, Dominican Republic is the fact that the population has remained almost
pure Indian. Almonds shaped eyes, aquiline features, straight black hair, and high cheek-
bones all bear the stamp of Taíno and Carib strains. In “The Land Columbus Loved”
Bertita Harding, 1949 Chapter 21, p141

 Dr. David de Jongh who was interviewed by Taíno/Ciboney activist Mr. Jorge Louis Salt
says: “it is quite obvious that Indians still remain in Oriente, Cuba, his conclusion coming
after an O blood Type group study he conducted in that region of Cuba, in the 1950’s.
LC CONTROL NO. 72214899 TYPE OF MATERIAL: book (print, Microform, electronics,
et.c) BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Gates, Reginald Ruggles, 1882‑1962 (from old catalog) Race
Crossing (Roma, Instituto "Gregorio Mendel," 1961?) (25)‑153 p. illus. col.). ports. 29 cm.
CALL NUMBER: RB155.D37 pars 2 Copy 1 REQUEST IN: book service: Jefferson (Main Eur
Hip LHG) or Adams 5th Fl. STATUS: not charged DATABASE NAME: library of Congress
Online Catalog UBLICATION IN ENTITLED Studies of interracial crossing VI. The Indian
remnants in eastern Cuba, Genetica 27, 65‑96 (1954).

Don Joaquin Priego writes that unquestionably there are many Dominicans who show truly
Taíno Indian phenotypes, and calls for a thorough investigation into this matter.
In “Cultura Taína” page 43,1967.

 A man may not know that he is Indian. A man may know and not admit he is Indian. “But
it does not matter”. The ignorance of your father and mother does not change who you
are, he said. “No matter what a Puerto Riqueno decided he is. It already has been decided
for him. Interview with an Elder in Caguana,” The Islands, the world of the Puerto Ricans,
by Stan Steiner, page 9, 1974.

 The Natives of the island, the so-called “Taino” Indians, who never called themselves that
since it was not their name-hidden in their mountain villages, beneath whatever cultural
guises most effectively disguised them, were not about to reveal themselves in writing.
Like many conquered tribal people they decided it was safer to be “nonexistent”.
“The Islands: The worlds of the Puerto Ricans” by Stan Steiner. Page 499

 Studies on the so called “shovel shaped incisors” conducted in the town of Sabana de
los Javieres , indicated that between 35 and 40 percent of Dominicans in this town
(many of which were aware of Native ancestry) had shovel shaped teeth which is a
trait found in Native Americans and Asians. Hernan Omos Cordones, in Boletin (15)
Museo del Hombre Dominicano. 1980

 There was also an admixture of Negro, white and Arawak blood that produced many
exotic types. In both the Spanish and French areas of the island, there developed a
legal system of grading such mixtures. There were samboes, mullatos, mestizos quad-
roons and octoroons, each having different legal rights. But since statistics were not
reliably kept, if at all, we can only guess at the evolution of race in Hispaniola. In
“A Dominican Chronicle” by Carlton Alexander, second edition,page 54, 1986 Impreso
Editorio, Stanton.

 Abstract:  Previous studies performed at Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (1982)
confirmed the Incidence of Shovel Shaped teeth, taurodontism and dentis invaginatus in
the population of the Dominican Republic. Precise genetic transmission mechanism of sho-
vel shaped teeth has not yet been established, although heredity by dominant autosomas
is very probable. It is necessary to establish prevalence and distribution among modern
races and the eventual value as criteria for the differentiation among the populations. No
previous studies have been conducted with relatives of the 1st or 2nd degree. This has
only been established by brothers. There is a noticeable incidence of Shovel shaped teeth
in the Dominican Republic’s actual population, in the different ethnic groups, due perhaps
to the racial mixture established in our country since the first days of colonization.
F. Mornab Laucer, in Boletin (20) 1987 page 17, Museo del Hombre Dominicano.

Bernardo Boyrie De Vega, writes of the many Taíno elements found in modern Dominican
Culture. In “La herencia Indigena en la cultura Dominicana de hoy” Ensayos sobre la cul-
tura Dominicana, 1988.

 They withdrew into the mountains, later intermarrying with the escaped black slaves and
deserting Spanish soldiers. They later became the rural proletariat. Indeed, their imprint is
still visible in the faces and stature of many Puerto Ricans as well as in the Islands language.
 In “The Puerto Rican Houses in Socio-historical Perspective” by Carol F. Joppling page 11,

Dr Rivero De la Calle who studied the natives of eastern Cuba in 1964, as did Dr. V. Gins-
burg in 1967 who came to the same conclusion: the Taínos did in fact survive in Eastern
Cuba. As reported to the Cuban Publication “Granma” News letter #4, August 13, 1989

 Maya Derin’s Study of Haiti was one of the first to point out the many areas of “cultural
convergence” among the Taíno and African Peoples who were brought to the island as
slaves. Derin, Divine Horsemen: The living Gods of Haiti. 1964 (New York: McPherson &
Co. 1991. See especially 61-67 and appendix B, 271-286.

 "The persistence of a Taíno genetic component in contemporary Dominican life, along
with the survival of certain undeniably indigenous beliefs and traditions (kept alive in ru-
ral areas and passed along through oral tradition) requires the recognition of a native sub-
stratum in our midst today in: “Trans-culturation in the contact period and contemporary
Columbian Consequences”, by Garcia Arevalo, 1990 page 275

 “Although the Taino population of Hispaniola was “wiped” out within thirty years of the
discovery, it is as though the Tainos had left their mode of life embedded in the land, to
be reenacted in a surprisingly similar form by the campesinos now”. Rich soil, a benign
climate, and plants of predictable yield guarantee basic survival, although today on a
threadbare level..... Pucho asks me a lot about the Tainos-- I once read him from Las
Casas the descriptions of their common crops and agricultural practices, and he was as
startled as I was that everything was all still growing within shouting distance, that we
were more or less enacting the Tainos' agricultural patterns, using their words, living
more or less as they did except for our clothes and our discontents. In “Reflections:
Waiting for Columbus" by Alastair Reid in "The New Yorker" (February 24, 1992, pp.

 Dr. Irving Rouse, although first stating that the Taínos are “extinct”, goes on to say
that people claiming to be of Taíno descent have survived on all three of the Spanish
speaking islands of the Caribbean, and that they have in fact retained cultural, biologi-
cal and linguistic traits of their Taíno ancestors. Irving Rouse, In “The Taínos, The Rise
and Fall of the People that Met Columbus”, page 161, 1992.

 We never disappeared as a people or as a culture. As a new people we made ourselves
one with the European and with the African, and as a culture our customs and know-
ledge fused with theirs, creating an unreal but certain us. The Dominican Taínos still
live 500 years later. Only knowing truly what we were can we see what we want. E.
Antonio De Moya, In “Animacion Sociocultural y Polisintesis en la Transformacion del
Sistema Educativo Dominicano,” Revista de Educacion , Santo Domingo, 1993, P 10.

 In any case I discovered that Native Americans had been legally defined as mulattoes
in Virginia in 1705, without having any African ancestry. Thus I knew that the dictiona-
ries were wrong and that there was a lot that was hidden away from view by the way
most authors had written about the Southern United States, about slavery, and about
colored people. I later discovered also, that the same thing was true as regards the
Caribbean, Brazil and much more of the rest of the Americas. Quoting from page 2.
The term Mestizo does not appear in the Nebrija dictionaries o c.1495 or 1520 although
mezcla, mesturar and related words are included. Mestico also is not a word found in
Santa Rosa de Virterbo’s study of medieval Portuguese language. Its first known appear-
ance is in Cordoso’s Portuguese dictionary (1560’s Nearly 68 years after contact) when
it is equated with Latin Ibira (corrected to Hybris, hybrida) in the 1643 edition. Quoting
from page 125 Surprisingly such an important term as “mulatto” seems never to have
been systematically studied historically. This is, as we shall see, a sad example of schol-
arly oversight since the term mulatto, like most racial terms, has not had a static or sin-
gle meaning. We have already seen that mulatto in the sixteenth century was treated
as being the equivalent of ‘hybrid’ and thus applicable to many kinds of persons. It is
necessary to be more precise, however, in terms of the changing meanings of this word.
Quoting from page 131 “Africans and Native Americans, The Language of Race and the
Evolution of Red-Black Peoples” by Jack D. Forbes, Illini Books edition 1993

 It is true that much of the Taíno culture has been lost due to destruction by the con-
quistadors or absorption into the dominant Puerto Rican culture. The latter observation
is often unknown, however, even by Puerto Ricans themselves who have been condi-
tioned to believe that the Taínos were completely wiped out. It is my contention that
Taíno Customs and beliefs provide the extensive roots of Puerto Rican culture. Only by
nourishing these roots with recognition and preservation can the Puerto Rican people
nurture a strong positive self- identity. Toni-Ann Ramos’s thesis UMI # 1376047 pages
82-83, 1995

 These few strands of indigenous culture were not perceived as such in the conscious-
ness of the Puerto Rican people until anthropologists and members of independence mo-
vements began to rescue Puerto Rico's indigenous roots in recent years. However, even
now, a type of discrimination creeps in, ranking Taíno culture "lower" or "more primitive"
than the Aztec, Maya, or Inca civilizations. In spite of the efforts to reconstruct indige-
nous life in Puerto Rico as it was before the arrival of Columbus (extensive anthropolo-
gical work, two museums), it remains an artifact of the past and few people feel a
connection to it. In Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, or Ecuador large indigenous populations
have managed to survive in spite of genocide and repression. Puerto Rico's indigenous
legacy has been assimilated, however, although a visit to the Taíno museums in Puerto
Rico help to identify those elements of everyday life that Puerto Ricans owe to our indi-
genous ancestors. Moreover, identification of indigenous communities in the Caribbean
(Cuba, Dominica, St. Vincent, Trinidad) is opening new doors to the real history of that
region Piri Thomas. "Puerto Rico - 500 years of oppression." Social Justice Summer 1992:

In a letter to Dr. Richard Morrow of Brisas Del Mar, Luiquillo Puerto Rico:
Dear Dr. Morrow,
We are pleased to inform you that since 1993, when Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictio-
nary, Tenth Edition was first published, the word extinct has not appeared in our definit-
ion of the Taíno people. It has been retained only in the definition of the Taíno Language.
Here is the entry as it appears therein:

Tai-no, n pl Taíno or Taínos [sp] (ca1895)

1: member of an aboriginal Arawakan people of the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas 2:
the extinct language of the Taíno people.

We certainly appreciate your concern about this, and we thank you for the information
you have supplied in this regard.


James G. Lowe
Merriam Webster
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The treaty with Enriquillo resulted in the settlement of the Indian community at Boya, in
south central Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic). About 4,000 Indian people settled in
the free Indian community, where Enriquillo officiated until his death a year later. The
Boya community persisted and, although intermarriage and migration eroded Indian juris-
diction, Indian ancestry persists in the families of the region today. Around the time of
the settlement with Enriquillo, other Taino groups, in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto
Rico, sought refuge in the mountains of their respective lands, and thus small enclaves
of Taino ancestors survived, some into the 20th century. Of course, the Taino people,
in intermarriage with Iberians and Africans, are a major genetic root of the contempo-
rary Greater Antillean population. The Greater Caribbean islands were under Spanish domi-
nation until the end of the 19th century. In “The Indian Chronicles” by Jose Barreiro, Page
295 Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, Houston Texas 77204-2090

 There is a continuity in Caribbean history: from the Amerindian to the contemporary Anti-
llean, despite clashes and splits, a culture has been transmitted and progressively enrich-
ed by contributions of the different peoples. Several Amerindian words are being used in
present languages. Manioc (yuca) tobacco and many other commodities have been trans-
mitted, as well as the know-how of their preparation. Ordinary items, fishing techniques,
beliefs and imagery have kept their mark. Thus, the Indian is worshipped in a special way
in the voodoo of the Dominican Republic. The civilization of these first Amerindian inhabit
ants represents the basis of the creole cultures of the Antilles. In “Presents Caraibes,
5000 ans d’histoire amerindienne”, Guadalupe 1994, Directional regionale des affairs cultu-
rales de Guadalupe, Service regionale de L’archeologie 14, rue Maurice Marie-Claire 100
BASSE-TERRE, tele (590)81 48 82

 Dr. Peter J. Ferbel writes: The People of the Sierra region in general, and from cacique,
Moncion in particular, are distinctive in their physical appearance. While no anthropome-
tric studies have been made, they appear to have bloodlines stronger in Indian and mes-
tizo origin than other places in the Dominican Republic, page 156……….In Essence, an ad-
mission of the survival of the Taíno is a critique of the state control of history and natio-
nal identity. Dr. Peter J. Ferbel in “The politics of Taíno Indian identity in the post Quin-
centennial Dominican Republic” page 168 and 169. 1996 UMI Dissertation Services #9604952

 The history studied and taught for four hundred years in the Caribbean tended to focus
on the past of the mother country rather than the pre-history history of the specific Island;
indigenous culture was thus unimportant for national identity. In “Ancient Caribbean”
page xxxvi, by John M Weeks and Peter Ferbel. 1997

At the turn of the millennium, centuries after their presumed extinction, the reassertion
of Indigenous identity and the exploration of culture and life ways of the indigenous an-
cestors are increasingly visible trends in the population of the Caribbean Islands and in
their North American diaspora. Jose Barreiro in “Taino Ascendant Extinction, Continuities
and Reassertions” page 1, 1997 Mimeograph.

 The Numerous and Diverse Indigenous people who lived in the Caribbean at the time of
European conquest play a more important role in contemporary Caribbean society than
might be suggested by any listing of the “contributions” they have made to Caribbean
culture. Beyond the sum of all the surviving traits, words, myths, plants and practices,
the importance of the fist people of the Caribbean is more far-reaching than is widely re-
cognized. The descendants of the Indians still live in the islands and play an important
political and social role. In “The Indigenous People of the Caribbean” Edited by Samuel
M. Wilson Chapter 21, page 206, 1997

 What of all the Taínos and mestizos who fled to the mountains or other peripheral regions
of the islands to avoid Spanish Domination? How could the Spaniards count people who
were not under their control, people who hiding from them? How did this affect the
“accurate census”? Dr Lynne Guitar, in “Cultural Genesis: Relationships among Indians,
Africans, and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, First half of the 1600th century. 1998

 Today many Dominicans retain physical characteristics of their Taíno heritage--- so many
in fact, that they are overlooked, just accepted as “Dominicans” except for those who
are specifically looking for them. Dr. Lynne Guitar in “Cultural Genesis: Relationships
among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, first half of the sixteenth
century, page 315, 1998.

 The documented discovery of Taíno survival has given me the reputation here in the
Dominican Republic of a “crack pot.” It pains me, but I can live with that because my
discoveries have provided me with deep personal satisfaction on several levels. It is
not often that the work of an historian who specializes in the sixteenth century has
direct bearing on the modern day. But these documented discoveries do, for they pro-
vide modern-day Taínos--several of whom I now count among my dearest friends--with
the historical evidence that they have been lacking to date. I am excited to be part of
the ongoing battle that Modern-day Taínos are fighting. I am happy to provide them
with this documentary evidence as ammunition to reclaim their rightful heritage, not as
the pitiable victims of genocide in the New World, but as one of the most influential--
and therefore most victorious--groups of Indian people in all of the Americas. Guariquen
- Author’s Afterward on Taino Survival “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians,
Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation,
December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee. (included in original version of author’s dissertation).
Mimeograph obtained from author, Dr. Lynne Guitar, 1998

 In its definition on what constitutes an American Indian, the American Indian Archaeo-
logical Institute states that “Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and other Latin Americans may
also be American Indians. Concord MA 1998.

 Escaped slaves, called Maroons, mingled in mountain hideaways with indigenous Taino
people. Both peoples had much in common. Taino memories are still evoked by stone
celts placed on altars. Other Native American traces persist in Vodou as well, from
words to musical instruments, dance and dress styles, and weaponry. Although discrete
Taino survivals are difficult to isolate, the secret Bizango rites keep alive the history of
the intermingling, as do bands of Rara performers during their post-carnival celebrations.
In “The Sacred Arts of Haitian Voodou” exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New
York City, 1998-1999.

 It might therefore come as a surprise to some to learn of the many “new” Taino organ-
izations which have appeared, as if out of nowhere, in recent years in Puerto Rico, Cuba
and the Dominican Republic, or when one “discovers” that Island Carib life is being cele-
brated on a regular basis in Trinidad and Tobago, at the annual Santa Rosa Festival
(see article in this issue). Yet in 1989, Cultural Survival magazine reported a populat-
ion of over 1000 descendants of the Taino, referred to as Cubenos by Bartolome De
Las Casas in the 1500’s, living in the far east of that island in the vicinity of Baracoa.
For various reasons, the existence of an Indian population in Cuba has been vehemently
denied by both government sources and academics for most of this century, and the
belief persists that they were exterminated by 1550. In the view of many Cubans, such
people cease to be Indians if they intermix with African or Europeans, or if they exhibit
any western affectations. In“The Indigenous People of the Caribbean. Cultural Survival
Magazine” Issue 23.4 December 31, 1999 by Ian S. McIntosh

 In March 1999 Dr. Juan C. Martinez Cruzado a biology professor at the University of
Puerto Rico in Mayaguez conducted A Mitochondrial DNA sequencing study on 800
people to determine how much, if any, Native American blood could still be found in
the modern Puerto Rican people. To his and everyone else’s surprise, 61 % of the
people studied showed definite Taíno MT-DNA. In fact even people with no obvious
Native phenotype or knowledge of Indian ancestry also showed high degrees of Mito-
chondria stemming from a Native American female ancestor. The Results showed that
most of the Modern Puerto Ricans with Indian ancestry were mostly Haplo group A or C.
Although some of the genetic markers undoubtedly came from Natives brought to the
island as slaves from other parts of the Americas, most of these were of Haplo groups
B or D which are not present in Taino DNA and were scarce in the recent findings. The
amount of Mitochondrial DNA found suggests that Intermarriage between Tainos and
the Spanish/Africans was obviously much higher than anyone ever suspected. In 1970’s
Don Ricardo Alegria conducted a study on shovel shaped incisors and found that 35%
of all the students he tested had this native “trait” also. In Human Biology, v.73, no 4,
pp 491-5111, August 2001. First appeared in his paper, “Ethnic-contributions the Puerto
Rican mitochondrial gene pool”. March, 1999, also in

In fact, the supposed extinction of the Taíno people by the Spanish has been an import-
ant part of nationalist projects in the Caribbean, used by Indigenistas to accentuate the
brutality of the conquest and by “white” elites to emphasize hispanidad, much as in many
Latin American countries the “disappearance” of the indigenous populations is not very
nostalgically mourned as an unfortunate but long past side effect of European contact,
which on the whole is viewed in a positive light. In “The beaded Zemi and the role of the
circulation of objects in the conquest of the Caribbean and its contemporary reinterpretat
ion” Alyshia Galvez, May 10, 1999, New York University, Department of Anthropology,
page 13.

 There is substantial evidence that there exists an Indo-Cuban population in the town
of Yateras and certain villages of the Sierra Maestra region that were established Indian
villages during the conquest period. As it appears in “Panchito, Cacique de la Montana,
Testimonio Guajiro-Taino de Franciso Ramirez Rojas”page 19 by Jose Barreiro, Ediciones
Catedral, Santiago De Cuba, 2001.

 Understand that this fascination with investigating, preserving, educating, and recog-
nizing the truth about our Taino past has only just begun. This wonderful obsession has
governed our lives for so many years, we hope that it converts itself into a slogan of a
life transformed by the past. Thesis conclusion, Acercamiento a los mitos y leyendas
Taínos en la literatura puertorriquena y caribena (Spanish text) by, Sonia Migdalia Rosa-
AAT 1415939

 There is a sociological and human event occurring in the world today.Thousands with
ancestral consciousness are awakening all over the planet and the Caribbean is no ex-
ception. We are witnessing the culmination of a dynamic that began hundreds of years
ago manifesting stronger each time in people whose origins are in the Antilles. The Taino
phenomenon occurs not only in the Caribbean but in the United States as well. In North
America this phenomenon is especially evident in people of Puerto Rican, Dominican and
Cuban origins. In "El Mensaje del Cemi, El despertar de la conciencia Neo-Taina" by Dr.
Jose Munoz Vasquez 2002 1st edition, un-published. Available through:

Cassava (bitter and sweet) is widely consumed around the islands of the Caribbean,
but I have not seen such wide spread use of cassava anywhere else as in the Domi-
nican Republic. You can find it anywhere in many forms on this side of Hispaniola.
Marisol Villanueva in “The New Old World, CAZABI Gift of the Americas” p.18 limited
special edition published in by Inter-Americas / Society of Arts and Letters of the
Americas. Also part of the “New Old World : Living beyond the Myth “ exhibit, mounted
in 2002 at the George Gustav Heye Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the
American Indian.
However they were not fully exterminated, as history has led us to believe. In 1655
when the English expelled the Spaniards , Tainos were still recorded as living in Jamaica.
It was noted at this time that rural farmers spoke a dialect that was mixture of Spanish,
Taino and African languages. Later archaeologists were to discover English lead shot
amongst Taino artifacts , and almost 60 years earlier in 1596 English privateer Sir Anthony
Shirley sacked St Jago de la Vega

 ( later Spanish Town) , after being guided there by Taino tribesmen. Further archaeolo-
gical finds were later to confirm that Taino extinction was a myth , although being en-
slaved and cruelly treated by Europeans some Taino did survive. Many escaped into the
mountains to coexist with the Maroons , where still today many non African plants are
used medicinally , plants that were once part of the Taino pharmacology. Hammocks also
are still made in Accompong in the Taino fashion , proving that the Taino still survived ,
for many years after the Spanish had left ,with the Maroons in the mountains of inland
Jamaica. In “ The Taino of Jamaica” A brief history of the Indigenous population of
Jamaica by Glenn Woodley, 2002 -

 In the proposed study, an attempt will be made to determine under which measures and
circumstances a multidisciplinary study could provide relevant information on a segment
of the Puerto Rican-Dominican population claiming a Taino heritage, and the historical-
cultural implications of such claims. In addition, the proposed study attempts to under-
standing the most important socio-cultural, historical, and bio-geophysical transformat-
ions that have left their imprint on the landscape and people of Boriquen and Quisqueya.
Although understanding these transformations is crucial for the overall study, we are still
left with the challenge of proving common heritage and disproving the total extermination
theory. Without a doubt, genetic testing fills both voids by establishing a shared DNA or
 blood-link. However, it is the multidisciplinary evidence that will assist in the reinterpre-
tation and redefinition of Taino history and culture, respectively. By Carlalynne C.
Melendez, 2003

  He and other guides also take visitors to villages where Taino descendants remain. One
such concentration of descendants is in the coastal town of Manglito, northwest of Bara-
coa. "My father was an Indian," said longtime resident Walquimides Hernández Sevilla, 74.
"Most of the people here have at least some Taino blood. But some don't admit it or it
doesn't matter to them."
His neighbor, for instance, said she almost never thinks of her Indian past.
"I have too many problems for that," said Marta Lores Arias, 42. "My husband died five
months ago. My house needs a roof. And somebody stole my two pigs." An Indian revival
in Cuba”? By Tracey Eaton/The Dallas Morning News Monday, July 14, 2003
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« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 07:15:07 pm »

Although the 1816 census scores 33% of the Aruba inhabitants as full-blooded Indians,
after 1820 only whites, blacks and colored people are mentioned as ethnic components
(Hartog, 1961;Alofs, 1996;Dijkhoff,1997). We hope to show that this poorly defined ca-
tegory of colored people not only covered Afro-European mulattos but mostly included
mestizos and Amerindians. The persistence of substantial proportion of Amerindian gene-
tic ancestry in Arubans may explain the current high prevelances of health-related con-
ditions that are common in Amerindians, such as diabetes (Muneta et al.,1993; Rama-
chandran,1994;Lee et al., 1 995), pterygium (Hilgers, 1959), and lactase deficiency
(Caskey et al.,1977; Newcomer et al., 1977). In the “Caribbean Journal of Science”,
Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Aruba: Strong Maternal Ancestry of Closely Related Ame-
rindians and implications for the peopling of Northwestern Venezuela, Gladys Toro-Lab-
rador, Oswald R. Wever and Juan Martinez-Cruzado, Vol 39, No 1, 11-22, 2003 College
of the Arts and Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

 In August 2002 biologist Juan Martinez Cruzado of Puerto Rico along with Arlene Alvarez,
 Lynne Guitar, Peter Ferbel and Glenis Tavares extracted DNA samples from randomly
picked individuals in the Dominican Republicle (180 samples). Of these 27 percent re-
sulted in positive Native American DNA. Just like in the Puerto Rican findings of 1999
most were Haplo groups A and C with very little B or D. Dr. Cruzado suggested that in
the more remote areas of the Dominican Republic there would probably be even higher
numbers. The Dominican Republic being such a large island with over 9 million people
would require a wider study in order to get an accurate percentage of the amount of
Indian ancestry on the island. To date no funding has been acquired to continue this
study on the island. In “Era Taina su tatarabuela? By Miryam Lopez, Areito section of
the HOY newspaper 08/24/2003

 On March 22 and 23, 2003, more than 900 people attended an historic two-day event
held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Taíno
and Carib community members from across the Caribbean were invited to participate in
the museum’s Expressive culture Series program. Participants included: Dr. Jose Barreiro
(Taíno) representing Cuba, Prosper Paris (Carib) representing the island of Waitikubuli
(Dominica), Nina M. R. Aponte (Taíno) representing Boriken (Puerto Rico), Ricardo Bharath
(Carib) representing Cairi (Trinidad), and Cándida Peralta (Taíno) representing Quisqueya
(Dominican Republic). Celebrating the Continuance of the Indigenous Caribbean Cultures:
Review of an Exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian. KACIKE: The
Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology [On-line Journal].
Jorge Estevez(2003). Available at:

 As a consequence of the New Laws (1542) that gave the Aboriginal People total freedom,
some small villages were created in which surviving groups of Tainos and their descendants
resided in. So is the case of the towns of Boya and Banica (where in 1744 “one can see
some Indians still”) in what is now the Dominican Republic and also in Guanabacoa, Cuba.
As it appears in “Tainos and Caribs, the aboriginal cultures of the Antilles, page 244” by
Sebastian Robiou Lamarche. Editorial punto y coma Apartado 19802, San Juan , Puerto Rico
00910. 2003

 The people from Ancestry-by-DNA Print Genomics a DNA testing facility based in
Florida state the following  The AncestryByDNA provides you with a simple and objective
description of your ancestral origins. The test gives you an estimated percentage of an-
cestry from the four major historical population groups: Native American, Sub-Saharan,
European and East Asian. For people of more complex admixture, (i.e. 4-population ad-
mixture, such as 30% European, 30% African, 20% Native American and 20% East Asian,
which might be obtained from a person with a Dominican father and a Philippine mother),
the MLE is computed using a more complex 4-D methodology. Because the triangle plot
projects the results in terms of most likely 3-population mixture results, and because indi-
viduals of 4-way admixture are obviously more complex, on a group-by-group basis, the
bar graph is more informative for the latter. 5/27/04
High levels of admixture are highly characteristic of recent admixture events and various
populations show systematic types of admixtures. The average African American shows
20% European admixture, and Caribbean Hispanics tend to show significant European,
Native American and African admixture. Non-African Hispanics tend to show relatively
even European/Native American admixture with some showing more (even all) European,
and others more (even all) Native American 5/27/04. Can be found @

 Hartmann fired off a dozen more questions as part of his effort to complete the first
census of the descendants of the Taino Indians, an indigenous group that once thrived
in this remote region of eastern Cuba and later were thought to be extinct. "Julio is a mix-
ture of Spanish and Indian like many people," explained Hartmann, a historian and Taino
expert. "I want to eliminate the myth once and for all that the Indians were extinguished
in Cuba." Chicago Tribune Article, August 17 2004 “Historians work to set record straight
on Cuba's Taino Indians BY GARY MARX

 "From an archaeological perspective, Taino cultural continuity and Spanish cultural trans-
formation in sixteenth-century Hispaniola suggests that contact-induced cultural change
in household domestic practice was largely unidirectional--from Taino to Spaniard." She
found very few European artifacts in the Post-Contact Era Taino site, despite their near-
ness to the Spanish town of Puerto Real (just a few kilometers away). Quoting from page
621; "This is consistent with Anderson-Cordova's suggestion that most Tainos retreated
to their home villages when not working in labor drafts, and were largely insulated there
from the Spaniards (1990). It also supports the suggestion of Taino indifference to and
rejection of Spanish cultural elements and values." In, American Antiquity, published by
the Society of American Archaeology, Vol 69, No 4, 2004, pages 597-626.

 This is certainly the situation in the Caribbean Antilles, for though the lifeblood of the
earlier people does indeed flow through the veins of present-day Antillian people, with
rare exceptions their earlier cultures and languages have disappeared through the passa-
ge of time…. Chapter 1, page 2..………. The testing of such a hypothesis will necessitate
considerably more archeological and linguistic research. A very important analytical dimens-
ion which might and should be added-not addressed to date by Antillean specialists- would
be the gathering of serological and DNA evidence from both the living populations of the
Greater Antilles and from pre-European skeletal remains. Both sources hitherto ignored
data are readily available to the qualified analyst. Chapter 5, page 50. In “The Languages
of the Pre-Columbian Antilles” by Julian Granberry and Gary S. Vescelius, The University
of the Alabama press, September, 2004

 If the Indians became extinct during the first 60 years of the conquest, then where did
La India Maria come from? Why are our neighbors from Barahona of Morovis called the
Indians of Cabachuelas? How is it that my mother still prepared casabe bread for break-
fast? Why was it that the first home my family lived in was a Bohio? How is it that four
 hundred years after the supposed extinction of the Indians we still eat the same foods
they did?.... In " El Sonido del Caracol" by Tina Casanova, authors notes, Publicaciones
Puertorriquenas, inc. 2005


Though most of the Tainos of Hispaniola now comprised of Haiti and the Dominican Repu-
blic) vanished in the Americas first genocide, there are many traces left of them today.
Remnants of Taino life include hammocks, barbecue and tobacco. Among the Taino words
are hurricane, canoe, tuna and iguana. It is believed that most if not all of Hispaniola's
Tainos were exterminated, but there are groups of people in the Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico and Cuba who identify themselves as Taino. Some have even proven them-
selves to be legitimate descendants of the Taino through DNA tests. In the Royal Diaries,
Anacaona, Golden Flower 1490 (fiction), Historical note, by Edwidge Danticat 2005 
Special thanks to Joe and Evelyn Garcia (Taino) of Seattle Washington.

 ..... THEY ARE TRYING TO EVADE THEIR “BLACKNESS” (Can anyone cite a representative
number of examples to support the assertion? If Indians  with "one drop" of African blood
are evading their "blackness" by proclaiming themselves Indian, then what do we say of
Africans with "one drop" of Indian blood who proclaim themselves African?). Indeed, "black"
is taken as the "normal", "natural", and unquestionable default identity of Caribbean peoples
in such arguments, and anyone claiming a distinct history must be motivated by a sinister,
separatist agenda. Lurking in the background are unexamined and thus unquestioned attach-
ments to outdated ideas of assimilation and evolution, better suited to the era of scientific
racism than the post-colonial period. In “Searching for a Center in the Digital Ether:
Notes on the Indigenous Caribbean Resurgence on the Internet. In “Indigenous Resur-
gence in the Contemporary Caribbean” Edited by Maximillian C. Forte 2006

 Ponce, Puerto Rico- Tonight an Indian couple from the Indigenous Ceremonial Center of
Tibes will marry in a moonlight ritual which various tribes and the general Puerto Rican
people are invited, announced the tribes Medicine Man. “This ritual forms part of the 23rd
anniversary of celebration Indigenous Ceremonial Center of Tibes and also contains the
dramatization of a child’s baptism” says Louis Sanchez Garcia, organizer of the actitivites
and medicine man. The activity commences at 7:30 p.m. At this hour the invited guests
will be taken to the Yucayeque (village) where the ceremony will begin and the guests
will be able to appreciate Taino Indian petroglyphs. Other Tainos invited included the
tribes of Vega Alta, San Juan and Ponce as well as Cacique Yahureibo of Aguadilla. More
than 70 indigenous people are expected to attend. Rito Nupcial Y Bautismo En El Centro
Ceremonial Tibes By Sandra Caquías in El Nuevo Dia San Juan News Paper, Sunday May 1,
 2005, End.scaquias@elnuevodia

In New York, Florida and Puerto Rico, people of Caribbean indigenous ancestry have re-
organized related families of the Taino Nation of the Antilles, giving way to a growing
cultural revitalization movement that counts many prominent representatives. Whereas
in times past, immigrants to the United States were only too happy to leave behind the
''old country,'' to Americanize themselves into the new ''melting pot,'' the new immigrants
from Latin America are not only sustaining their ties to their country of origin, but the indi-
genous among them are keen to maintain and consciously revitalize their ancestral identities.
Editorial: Being Conscious of origins of Indian affairs, © Indian Country Today May 26, 2005.
All Rights Reserved by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

 While the Tainos were once pushed to the edge of extinction, their capacity for adaption
has ensured their survivability during the last 500 years of radical socio-political changes
in the Antilles. Likewise, their tenacity to preserve their cultural identity has brought about
their emergence from historical shadows to reclaim their rightful place side by side with
other Native Amnerican cultures that have made invaluable contributions to the shaping
of the Americas. Members within the blossoming Taino community will continue to promote
their deeply imbedded traditions by educating today’s youth. In return, the youth of today
will continue to retell their Taino legends for generations to come. In “Return of the legend
keepers: Revival of the Taino Nation of Puerto Rico, by Cheryl A. McCabe, page 68, Univer-
sity College University of Denver, MALS 4901: Capstone project, September 18, 2006.

 Although the Taino language is not spoken anymore, contrary to popular belief the Taino
people still exist. I won't go into much detail over the controversy but I will say this: just
because a person is wearing blue jeans instead of a loincloth and may be mixed rather than
full-blooded doesn't mean they are not Taino. I'll leave it at that, though feel free to ask
more questions and debate it in the forum. The territory of the Taino covered all the islands
from Cuba all the way to the island of Antigua. By K Marie Josephs

 In the early days, the island natives used to socialize and network with one another. This
particular characteristic of socializing among other island natives is not exclusively practic-
ed by just the decendents of the Garifuna who are still numerous in Central America. This
pattern of African, Carib and Arawak intermingling is repeated from South America (Surinam
& Guyana, North Brazil) all the way to the present day Central America. This mixture is also
visible throughout the Caribbean and North America (Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas,
Barbados, British Virgin Island, Grenada, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad &
Tobago and U.S. Virgin Island). The following countries are excluded because they exclusi-
vely claim only Arawak lineage: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Cuba, Haiti
(Hispaniola) and Puerto Rico (Boriken). It is unknown why these countries only claim to be
descendants of the Arawak and not also the Carib. The country of Dominica was also ex-
cluded because they solely claim to be descendants of the Caribs. It is obvious that at
some point in time these two indigenous groups coexisted and intermarried throughout the
Greater and Lesser Antilles. The Garifuna people are kin to both the Arawak and Carib
natives. Written by Cheryl L. Noralez

 The author is referring to Roberto's father Don Melchor: "...During his childhood, until he
turned fifteen in 1898, Puerto Rico was still under Spanish domain. His relatives were poor
farmers and sugar-cane workers of black and Taino Indian blood." page 19 in the book
Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss. 2006 Thank
you, Bobby Gonzalez for bringing this to my attention.

Latinos? Indios? The following is a short excerpt of the soon to be published book Voice
of the Hawk by Edna Gordon, a Seneca elder:  "I hear’m bein’ called ‘Latinos,’ whatever
that is. What’s ‘Latino’ anyway? No one I ever knew spoke this ‘Latino’. They’re also
callin’m ‘Hispanics,’ whatever that is, and ‘Mexicans’ or ‘Puerto Ricans’ or ‘Colombians’
and so on. Also they get called ‘illegals’ and ‘wetbacks’ and worse than that....... Well,
I'll you a little secret: these folks ain’t nothin’ else but Indian People! That’s right, Indians!
All them hundreds of millions of people livin’ south of the Rio Grande down in Mexico and
Central and South America. Look at’m. They’re Indians! You can see it in their faces and
in their color. They got more Indian blood in’m than a lot o’ Indian folks right here in this
country today......"

The following is taken from "The Taino of Jamaica: A Brief History of the Indigenous Popu-
lation of Jamaica: "The Taino were the first people of the New World to encounter the Euro-
peans as they expanded westwards , and soon were to face harsh slavery and virtual ex-
tinction. However they were not fully exterminated, as history has led us to believe. In
1655 when the English expelled the Spaniards, Tainos were still recorded as living in Jam-
aica. It was noted at this time that rural farmers spoke a dialect that was mixture of Spa-
nish, Taino and African languages. Later archaeologists were to discover English lead shot
amongst Taino artifacts , and almost 60 years earlier in 1596 English privateer Sir Anthony
Shirley sacked St Jago de la Vega (later Spanish Town) , after being guided there by Taino
tribesmen. Further archaeological finds were later to confirm that Taino extinction was a
myth , although being enslaved and cruelly treated by Europeans some Taino did survive.
Many escaped into the mountains to coexist with the Maroons, where still today many
non African plants are used medicinally, plants that were once part of the Taino pharma
cology. Hammocks also are still made in Accompong in the Taino fashion, proving that the
Taino still survived, for many years after the Spanish had left ,with the Maroons in the
mountains of inland Jamaica."(
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:46:58 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 07:29:37 pm »


My argument is that the extinction theme has become part of a familiar story, an ideo-
logical narrative of Western progress, of traditions succumbing to modernity, of "weaker"
peoples giving way to "stronger" ones, of sloth giving way to industry. We are therefore
dealing with a particular theory of history, with its own selection of suitable facts,
rather than an accurate and impartial record of events. Besides that, it has been a
useful theory of history, when viewed in the context of various political and economic
projects characteristic of modernization in the colonial world. Extinction, a theme emer
ging from the intertwining of numerous accounts, reports, chronicles, essays and travel
writings, can be viewed as having led to the creation of a convenient historical trope.
The trope of the vanishing Indian was often consciously used by colonialist historio-
graphers (and somewhat less so by their modem successors) as a standard and routine
motif that has been assigned and attached to indigeneity not just in the Caribbean, but
across the Americas. It is a recurring theme of the ever-disappearing Amerindian that
could serve a range of sometimes contradictory interests, whether symbolic or material,
or both. As part of a larger mythology of Western progress, the extinction story carried
the great weight of a universalizing discourse whose inherent ambitions corresponded
with the expansionist outreach of colonizers. That it should survive for so long in the
Caribbean is due, in good part, to the entrenched view of the Caribbean as a primarily
novel, Western, cultural creation. Extinction: Ideologies Against Indigeneity in the

*New*One night, when Moore was entertaining friends at his harborside cinder-block
house in Cap-HaÔtien—he lives there with his wife, Pat, a nurse from Nebraska with
16 years' service in Haiti's rural clinics—the conversation turned to the fate of the
Taino. "The Taino really weren't all wiped out," Moore said. "There are groups in New
York, Puerto Rico and Cuba who call themselves the descendants. They're reviving the
language and ceremonies and want the world to know 'Hey, we're still here.'" "The de-
scendants in Haiti are secretive," a visiting archaeologist chimed in. The Lost Fort of
Columbus By Frances Maclean Photographs by Les Stone Smithsonian magazine,
January 2008

(1) Wendolyn Midlow Hall recognized a similar pattern in her study of Louisiana 400
years later. “The extent of race mixture and emancipation in French Louisiana has
been minimized by the excessive reliance upon Spanish censuses, which overlooked
the passing of mixed bloods into the ‘White race.’” Midlow Hall, Africans in Colonial
Louisiana : the development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century ,
Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press 1992, 239.


(2) Susan B. Parker’s studies have demonstrated that Indians in St. Augustine Florida,
were consistently undercounted because of the individuals and families who moved in-
to the town and became Spanish, “to all effects and purposes”. She even uncovered
documentary evidence of two ladinoized Indians Francisco and Antonio Xavier, who
married white women, which runs counter to the widely accepted assumption that
“marriages between Spaniards and Indians were always between Spanish males and
Indian females”. Susan R. Parker “Spanish St Augustine’s Urban Indians” in El Escri-
bano: the St Augustine Journal of History 30 (1993) 2 and 5.

(3) In many cases , those containers of straw, wood, gourds and ceramics were made
in the traditional ways but in shapes that were modified by the new cultural influences
and with reduced (or missing) artistic embellishment. See in particular. Kathleen Deegan:
Sixteenth century Spanish -American colonization the Southeastern US and the Carib-
bean in Columbian consequences ed . David Hurst Thomas (DC Smithsonian Press),
1990 225-250.


(4) The offspring of Spanish men by Indian women "was regarded as in no way racially
different from the Spaniards," writes Hugh Thomas about colonial Cuba. He notes, how-
ever, that "imperial-born Spaniards... from the beginning" were held to be socially
superior. Hugh Thomas, Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom (New York: Harper and Row,
1971), 1,512. Sidney Mintz agrees, noting that the colonists were virtually "color-blind
--so far as getting the job done was concerned." He stresses demographic and econ-
omic forces as the categoric differentiators throughout the colonial era. Mintz, Caribbean
Transformations (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 66. Richard
Boyer found political forces to be the strongest differentiators in seventeenth-century
Mexico. "A common mistake," he writes, "... has been to assume that the designations
are descriptive rather than political." Boyer, "Negotiating Calidad: The Everyday Struggle
for Status in Seventeenth-Century Mexico," an unpublished paper presented at the Society
for Historical Archaeology conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Vancouver,
 BC, Jan 1994, 3. See also Leonico Cabrero, "Visión del indio americano en tiempos de
Carlos V," in Cuadernos hispanoamericanos 107-108 (Nov-Dec 1958): 168-180; Douglas
Cope, The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebian Society in Colonial Mexico City (Madison:
University of Wisconsin Press, 1994); Lewis Hanke, "Indians and Spaniards in the New
World: A Personal View," in Attitudes of Colonial Powers Toward the American Indian,
ed. Howard Peckham and Charles Gibson (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press,
1969): 4-18; Elizabeth Anne Kuznesof, "Ethnic and Gender Influences on 'Spanish'
Creole Society in Colonial Spanish America," in Colonial Latin American Review 4(1),
1995: 153-175; Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and
Structures," in Implicit Understandings: Observing, reporting, and reflecting on the en-
counters between Europeans and other peoples in the Early Modern Era, ed. Stuart
B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 96-133; Magnus Mörner,
Estratificación social Hispanoamericana durante el periodo colonial (Stolkholm: Insti-
tute of Latin American Studies, Nov 1980); Anthony Pagden, Lords of all the World:
Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c. 1500-c. 1800 (New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 1995); Danilo de los Santos and Valentina Peguero, "Visión cul-
tural en La Española del siglo XVI," in Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos 5(26), Sep-Oct
1976: 3-10; Stuart B. Schwartz, "Colonial Identities and the Sociedad de Castas, in
Colonial Latin American Review 4(1), 1995: 185-201; and Emilio Willems, "Race, sex,
and miscegenation," Chapter 5 in Latin American Culture: An Anthropological Synthe-
sis (New York: Harper & Row, 1975: 5-50.


(5) Male immigrants from Iberia to the Indies outnumbered females by a 17:1 ratio
through 1539, although more Spanish females began arriving afterward. Peter Boyd-
Bowman estimated that only 308 out of 5,481 Spanish immigrants to the New World
between 1493 and 1519 were female. The overall ratio from 1493-1580 was 7.2:1.
Boyd-Bowman, Patterns of Spanish Emigration to the New World (1493-1580) (Buffa-
lo, NY: Council on International Studies, State University of New York, April 1973).
See also Analola Borges, "La mujer-pobladora en los orígenes Americanos," in Anuario
de Estudios Hispanoamericanos (1972): 389-444; and Richard Konetzke, "La emigra-
ción de mujeres españolas a América durante la época colonial," in Revista Internacio-
nal de Sociología 3(9-10), 1-28: 1945.


(6) Nearly every royal document dealing with the importation of African slaves to Hispa-
niola in the sixteenth century mandates ratios of one female to every three males--or
more. See, for example, Archivo General de Indias (hereafter, AGI), Indiferente General
424, L21, which contains hundreds of slave permit records from May 21, 1547-August
27, 1549. For more detail about African women on Hispaniola, see Celsa Albert Batista,
Mujer y esclavitud en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Ediciones CEDEE, 1993). For the
African woman who founded the dispensary, see page 19.


(7) The first documentary evidence of the word "cimarron" used to refer to runaway
Indians is a letter written by Gonzalo de Guzmán to the crown on Sep 18, 1530. AGI,
Audiencia de Santo Domingo 54, R1, No. 34; available in Colección de documentos iné-
ditos relativos al descubrimiento, conquista y organización de las antiguas posesiones
españoles en Ultramar, 25 volumes (Madrid: Establecimiento Tipográfico, 1885-1932)
(hereafter, CDIU), Vol. 2(4), 145-148. By mid-decade, the term was in common use
and can be found in many documents as synonymous with "indios alzados," which was
defined as Indians who ran away or who otherwise resisted or refused to be subjugat-
ed, and "indios bravos," which implied "wild" or "savage" Indians. By 1544, cimarron was
also used in the documents as synonymous with "negros alzados." See José Juan Arrom
and Manuel A. García-Arévalo, Cimarron (Santo Domingo: Fundación García-Arévalo,
1986) and Carlos Esteban Deive, Los guerrilleros negros: Esclavos fugitivos y cimarro-
nes en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1989), 12.
Esteban Mira Caballos, however, notes that in the earlier decades of the island's con-
quest, the Spanish documents recognized only two kinds of Indian resistance and made
a clear distinction between them: Indios alzados, he writes, were those Indians who
fought, refusing to accept Spanish domination. They were punished with enslavement.
Indians who simply fled from their encomenderos, however--if caught--were whipped
and put back to work. Mira Caballos, "El pleito Diego Colón-Francisco de Solís: El primer
proceso por malos tratos a los indios en La Española (1509)," in Anuario de Estudios
Americanos 50(2), 1993, 320.


(Cool The Calusa Indians and the Tekesta Indians of South Florida were taken to Guana-
bacoa (a suburb of Havana) around the 1700’s. There is a letter that Cacique Carlos
of the Calusa had written with the help of a friar to the governor of Havana -- to send
ships to pick up his people (copy of the letter is in the Archives in Spain) there may be
a copy in D.C. as well.At that time, the Florida Indians spoke Spanish and were Chris-
tianized.The Florida Indians and the Spanish lived side by side, so during the invasion
of the English from the North.Cacique Carlos of the Calusa and the Tekesta were trans-
ported to Havana -- the archives in Havana still has the genealogy records dating back
to the time.One of the surnames assigned was Perez. Private conversation with Mr. Jorge
Louis Salt of Florida,December 12, 2001.


The following is excerpted from page 5 of the book Puerto Rico: The Trials of the Oldest
Colony in the New World by José Trías Monge, Yale University Press, 1997, New Haven
and London.


"When colonization started in earnest in 1508, the Spaniards, undoubtedly for evange-
lical reasons, distributed the Indians as slaves among themselves ... Being unaccusto-
med to good, Christian hard work, the taínos (sic) died in great numbers ..."
"Soon the Spaniards had to resort to African slavery, and turned their attention to sa-
ving the souls of the blacks."
Note: These are not quotes from a 16th century European. These are the writings and
beliefs of a contemporary "scholar."

We are not and have never been extinct, our presence has always been felt in the Carib-
bean throughout the centuries, and now the whole world is beginning to take notice.
Western civilization however is rapidly encroaching on our homelands, and into our cam-
pos. Our campesino life ways are rapidly changing and disappearing, our Taino ways and
knowledge are today, truly in danger. Curiously this comes at a time when many Caribbean
people are aggressively searching out their Native roots and there is staunch native reaffir-
mation. If it is to be so, that we, the Taino and our culture will become extinct one day,
the whole world must know, that at this time, in this place, we were relentless in assert-
ing our Nativeness and strived to tell the world of who we were, and that we were still
here at this time, and that at least…we tried. Random thoughts running through Jorge’s
head one crazy afternoon, Jorge Estevez 2001.

Side notes

 The Spanish seemed to be harsher than the English, French, Dutch or Portuguese in
their views of what constitutes Native people. I find it curious that on the islands that
were held by the English or Dutch, Native ancestry is accepted as fact, while on the
larger islands where survival was more easily attainable, the denial of Taino Heritage
is strong. I came to this conclusion after reading about the native people of Aruba,
Dominica, Saint Lucia and Trinidad. Jorge Estevez 2002.

This page was created: Saturday, 03 April, 2004

Revised: Seven times since Wednesday, 26 May, 2004

Last Update: Friday, 03 March, 2006
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:45:47 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2008, 08:33:53 pm »


                                             Parrandas, Areitos Transformed

by Domingo Hernandez De Jesus (Turey)

Our ancestors worshiped in both private and public ways. Areitos were celebrations which honored not only the Spirits but also the persons hosting it along with the invited guests. Epic songs were sung and danced to. Tekina were the ceremonial leaders of the Epic songs that recounted both the deeds and the exploits of the ancestors. There was however also room for the creation of new songs and dances. The Spanish documented that the Casica Anacaona was famous for her compositions and choreography for the Areitos. They even mention in one account that she organized an Areito where over a thousand maidens danced in honor of the Spanish. These celebrations took place in the Batey. That is the area where the sacred ball game was played. It was important that all creation witness the Areito. Song and dance were a form of prayer. It was a way for the community to be and move as one. It connected everyone to the common ancestor and reinforced the sense of kinship. Every important event in human life was celebrated with an Areito.

With the conquest by the Spaniards the Areitos proved too dangerous so they were soon outlawed. Organized gatherings were not allowed except under the leadership of Catholic priests or a devote convert and then only for the purpose of teaching the Christian faith. The need for a substitute way of celebration, that met the need of the people to express themselves was noted. Parrandas were brought from Spain to meet this need. It was a tool used to reinforce the Christian doctrine while at the same time allowing people their self expression and the need to worship through song and dance. The Parrandas of Boriken began to look and feel different from what was done in Spain. Our Parrandas had indigenous elements within a Christian context. The Taino and their decendants still played their maracas and guiros only now there was a Spanish guitar. The celebrations still took place outdoors under the night sky. The dancing often took place in the front yards of the Bohios and to this day this area of the home is still called Batey. The songs were still mostly a form of prayer that was taken from home to home until the wee hours of the morning.

The songs that were sung at these Parrandas were originally of a religious nature and many continue so to the present day. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are sung about but with a Taino/Jibaro flavor. After a time the Jibaro began to improvise new songs, not only about religion but also about their joys and sorrows. Women have also been known to be great improvisers of the sytles sung for Parrandas. When I hear a woman sing decimas I hear Anacaona underneath the Spanish trappings and my heart stirs.

We read about the Caribs or the Garifuna as many are called today and we find reference to their "Paranda" (same word as our's but only spelled with one R) as one form of traditional Carib music. There are some differences in that they use three drums and turtle shell rattles. Their Paranda is also stationary in that they sing and dance in one location while we go from house to house. It can not be denied however that both styles of Parandas have similar roots and purpose.

Today there are many recordings of the traditional Jibaro music. The songs often speak of our Taino ancestors. The sounds of the guiro and the maraca is always constant and consistent in the background. It is there reminding us and connecting us to the Areitos of old. The guiro and maraca in fact are everywhere in our Boricua music. Almost every piece of Salsa music has them. However we've heard them for so long that we stop noticing. It is the same with many other Taino cultural expressions. If you eat viandas (root vegs) with fish, or corn, beans or pumpkins, you are eating traditional foods. If you use achiote to color your food or just cook an old fasion sancocho (ajiaco) you are connecting. If you've ever attended a Parranda or had a Spiritist blow cigar smoke on you or you prayed in front of your grandmother's home shrine, then you were connecting.

The following Décima is of my own inspiration. Written in the traditional way. It has ten lines with 8 syllables per stanza.

Le Lo Lai Le Lo Le ay Le Lo Lai Le Lo Le
Hoy estamos recordando,
Hoy estamos recordando,
Las costumbre del abuelo
De Yukiyu un te quiero
llevo cuan flor entre labios
En Boriken hay Quaribos
En Boriken hay Quariches
La voz del Coqui me dice
Daca Taino Taino.


Le Lo Lai Le Lo Le
Today we are remembering
Today we are remembering
The customs of the grand father
An " I love you" from Yukiyu
I carry as a flower on my lips.
Boriken has brave men.
Boriken has brave women
The voice of the coqui frog says
I am Taino, I am Taino.

I'm sharing this today in the hopes that we become more aware of how much of our culture we really still retain. My dear friends, try to remember this as you celebrate the coming holiday season. Our unique cultural expressions are there just beneath the surface, all we have to do is take a second look.

In Peace
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 08:39:44 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2008, 08:44:51 pm »

                                        A Note on Tainos: Whither Progress?

By José Barreiro,
from Northeast Indian Quarterly,
pp. 66-77
Fall, 1990

Author's note: An appreciation is due John Mohawk, who contributed to an early version of
this article.

References in the body of the text refer to the Select Bibliography which follows this article.

All ilIustrations except the photograph on page 76 are taken from Onelio Jorge Cardoso, Los Indocubanos. Havana: Gente Nueva, 1982.

Christopher Columbus, whose name literally means "Christ-bearing colonizer," wrote in his diary shortly after the landfall that he and his sailors saw "naked men" (there were also women), whom they found "very healthy-looking." Landing at Guanahani, in the Bahamas, and sailing on to Cuba and Bohio (Haiti/Santo Domingo), renamed Española, Columbus soon noted a widespread language and system of beliefs and lifeways. Conferring with various caciques (chiefs), he heard them call themselves "Taino." (Tyler 1988)

Taino culture was dominant throughout the Caribbean, a sea and island world that was in turn cradle of Taino civilization. In agriculture, seafaring and cosmology, Ciboney and Guanahatabey (western Cuba), Macorix and/or Ciguayo (Bohio) and even Carib (Lesser Antilles) all followed the material and much of the psycho-spiritual framework of the Taino. The original Caribbeans spoke Arawak. The people of the Arawak language family still comprise one of the more widespread American Indigenous cultures, with relatively large kinship nations in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America. Throughout the Caribbean, usually in remote mountain ranges and coastal promontories, remnant groups and communities of Taino-Arawak and Carib descendants survive to the present. Aspects of the animistic and material culture of the Taino-Arawak have been adopted by the mestizo populations of the Caribbean and are interwoven into the Euro-African fabric of the islands' folk universe.

The word Taino meant "men of the good," and from most indications the Tainos were good. Coupled to the lush and hospitable islands over millennium, and a half, the indigenous people of "La Taina" developed a culture where the human personality was gentle. Among the Taino at the time of contact, by all accounts, generosity and kindness were dominant values. Among the Taino peoples, as with most indigenous lifeways, the physical culture was geared toward a sustainable interaction with the natural surroundings. The Taino's culture has been designated as "primitive" by western scholarship, yet it prescribed a lifeway that strove to feed all the people, and a spirituality that respected, in ceremony most of their main animal and food sources, as well as the natural forces like climate, season and weather. The Taino lived respectfully in a bountiful place and so their nature was bountiful. (Jane 1930)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 06:08:26 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2008, 06:09:46 am »

The naked people Columbus first sighted lived in an island world of rainforests and tropical weather, and adventure and fishing legends at sea. Theirs was a land of generous abundance by global terms. They could build a dwelling from a single tree (the Royal Palm) and from several others (gommier, ceiba), a canoe that could carry more than one hundred people.

The houses (bohios) were (and are today among Dominican and Cuban Cuajiros) made of palm tree, trunk and thatch lashed together in a rectangle or sometimes a circle pattern. The islands still have millions of royal and other useful palm trees, from which bohios by the hundreds of thousands could be built. The wood of the Royal Palm is still today considered the most resistant to tropical rot, lasting untreated as long as ninety years. 1

The Tainos lived in the shadows of a diverse forest so biologically remarkable as to be almost unimaginable to us, and, indeed, the biological transformation of their world was so complete in the intervening centuries that we may never again know how the land or the life of the land appeared in detail. What we do know is that their world would appear to us, as it did to the Spanish of the fifteenth century, as a tropical paradise. It was not heaven on earth, but it was one of those places that was reasonably close.

The Taino world, for the most part, had some of the appearance that modern imaginations ascribe to the South Pacific islands. The people lived in small, clean villages of neatly appointed thatch dwellings along rivers inland and on the coasts. They were a handsome people who had no need of clothing for warmth. They liked to bathe often, which prompted a Spanish royal law forbidding the practice; "for we are informed it does them much harm," wrote Queen Isabella. Their general physical appearance was consistent with the appearance of other Indians of the Americas. They were rarely taller than five feet six inches which would make them rather small to modern North American eyes. They painted their bodies with earth dyes and adorned themselves with shells and metals. Men and women chiefs often wore gold in the ears and nose, or as pendants around the neck. Some had tattoos.
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2008, 06:11:13 am »

From all early descriptions the Tainos were a healthy people who showed no signs of distress from hunger or want. The Tainos, whose color was olive-brown to copper, reminded Columbus of the people of the Canary Islands, who were neither white nor black. He noted their thick, black hair, short in front and long in back, and that it fell over muscular shoulders. On some islands, the women wore short cotton skirts after taking a permanent man but in others all the people went naked. In parts of Cuba and Santo Domingo, some of the caciques, village or clan and nation chiefs, wore a type of tunic on ceremonial occasions, but they saw no apparent need to cover their breasts or genitals and they were totally natural about it. The Taino had plenty of cotton, which they wove into mats, hammocks and small sails and numerous "bejucos" or fiber ropes. (Tyler 1988)

The Taino islands provided a vast array of edible fruits. The Arawaks made specific use of many types of trees and plants from an estimated floral and faunal range of 5,800 species. The jagua tree they used for dyeing cotton, the jocuma and the guama for making rope, the jucaro for underwater construction, the royal palm for buildings and specific other trees for boats, spears, digging tools, chairs, bowls, baskets and other woven mats (in this art they flourished), cotton cloth (for hammocks), large fishing nets and good hooks made of large fish bones. Inspecting deserted seashore camps, Spanish sailors found what they judged to be excellent nets and small fishing canoes stored in water-tight sheds. Further upriver in the villages, they saw large fields of corn, yucca, beans and fruit orchards covering whole valleys. They walked through the squares of villages, all recently swept clean, where they saw many kinds of drying tubers, grains and herbs, and sunlight-tight storage sheds with shelves packed with thousands of dried cassava (casahe or cazabi) torts. In one village, sailors found large cakes of fine wax, a local product. (Rivero 1966)

The Taino were a sea-going people and took pride in their courage on the high ocean as well as their skill in finding their way around their world. They visited one another constantly. Columbus was often astonished at finding lone Indian fishermen sailing in the open ocean as he made his way among the islands. Once, a canoe of Taino men followed him from island to island until one of their relatives, held captive on Columbus's flagship, jumped over the side to be spirited away.
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