Before the Tainos : The Archaics • “Archaics” were the first people in the Caribbean. • They were hunter and gatherers who used stone tools. • They came from both Central and South America into the Caribbean and met around Puerto Rico or Hispaniola by 2000 BC
Before the Tainos : The Saladoids • The next group to arrive was the Saladoids, who had pottery and were farmers. • They migrated from South America starting around 4000 BC and had reached as far as Puerto Rico by 200 BC.
The Tainos • These two groups mixed and changed culturally to become what archaeologists call “Ostionoid” people by 600- 900AD. • They became the Tainos the Europeans encountered by 1200 AD. ( The Tainos were still evolving and changing when Columbus arrived).
The Tainos • Taino means good people. • Tai = good • no is a pluralizing suffix used for people • Dominated the island boriken (Spanish boriquen), (Puerto Rico)“the land of the brave lord”.
Taino Society • They were divided into two classes. • Natainos = noble upper class • Naborias= commoners • Communities were ruled by chiefs or caciques, and the large island of Puerto Rico or Hispaniola, had between 5 and 20 chiefs or caciques (chiefdoms).
Food • Tainos ate a variety of food including casaba (a bread made from manioc plant), fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish, turtles, manatees, birds, and hutia (small rodent).
Builders • Taino villages included two different kinds of houses made of plants and trees, a round type called caney, and rectangular houses called a bohio. • Large trees were used to build canoes in which long trips between islands could be made. • They made many things they needed out of clay.
Myths and Religion • Taino’s myth and religious beliefs was expressed through their art. • One of the most important religious objects was the Zemi, which were idols with spirits. • One common type of zemi was the three pointer that were believed to house ancestral spirits. • Different animals were also associated with different part of Taino religious beliefs. • Ex. Turtle and owl • Both animals and human figures related to Taino beliefs could be found carved in stones, this form of art is called petroglyph.
Ex. The turtle, which was found in Taino body stamps and carvings, was associated with the Taino creation story, in which a male hero and female turtle create the world. • Ex. The owl which were often found on amulets and pottery, were thought to be spirits of the dead.
Trigonolito • YocahuVaguadaMaorocoti: God of fertility. “Spirit of the Yucca and the sea. Mryucador. ” He was buried in the conucos cassava; main food of the native Taino, to fertilize the soil.
God of Labour • Recreation brothers Guillen, based on Taino art. The potiza carrying on his back, representing the hard work you were subjected aboriginal Americans as a result of conquest
ItivaTahuvava • Goddess Mother Earth. Mother of twins representing the four cardinal points or “the four winds.”
Behique • “Witch Doctor”, Shaman. It represents the wisest character in the Taino tribe, knowing all the plants and medicinal substances responsible for curing diseases, director of the rite of cohoba. If left to a dying patient, the relatives of the dead killed clobbered.
CemiBoinayel • God of Rain. Large tears emerging from their eyes as a sign of water that will govern the field to fertilize the cultivation of cassava.
Moon Goddess • Sale of a cave of the country chieftain Mautiatibuel (son of dawn) or “Lord of the Dawn”, which returns to hide, while the sun rises from there.
Sun God • Sale of a cave of the country’s chief Mautiatibuel (son of dawn) or “Lord of the Dawn”, which returns to hide, while the moon comes out of there.
God of force • Recreation brothers Guillen, based on Taino art. The trunk that rose, represents the willpower of the people for being free.
God of Cohoba • Main deity Taíno. The plate of his head was used to move the dust that was inhaled hallucinogen in ceremonies regligiosas (rite of cohoba).
Taino Life • Included many ceremonies that brought the community together or provided direction in time of stress. • If the community was confronting an important issue, caciques or shamans would try to connect with the spirit world through something called the cohoba ceremony, in which hallucinogenic drug was inhaled and the spirits (in form of a Zemi) could then be consulted for advice.
Other important events included dances, held in special plazas or areytos, and ball games, which took place in stone lined courts called bateys.
Taino Language • The Taino Indians also enriched language. More than 150 words of Taino root are used in Puerto Rican Spanish today and in other parts of the world.