~~July 21, 2015~~
TAINO INDIAN CULTURE
Taíno Indians, a subgroup of the Arawakan Indians (a group of American Indians in northeastern South America), inhabited the Greater Antilles (comprising Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola [Haiti and the Dominican Republic], and Puerto Rico) in the Caribbean Sea at the time when Christopher Columbus’ arrived to the New World.
The Taíno culture impressed both the Spanish (who observed it) and modern sociologists. The Arawakan achievements included construction of ceremonial ball parks whose boundaries were marked by upright stone dolmens, development of a universal language, and creation of a complicated religious cosmology.
There was a hierarchy of deities who inhabited the sky; Yocahu was the supreme Creator. Another god, Jurakán, was perpetually angry and ruled the power of the hurricane. Other mythological figures were the gods Zemi and Maboya. The zemis, a god of both sexes, were represented by icons in the form of human and animal figures, and collars made of wood, stone, bones, and human remains.
Taíno Indians believed that being in the good graces of their zemis protected them from disease, hurricanes, or disaster in war. They therefore served cassava (manioc) bread as well as beverages and tobacco to their zemis as propitiatory offerings. Maboyas, on the other hand, was a nocturnal deity who destroyed the crops and was feared by all the natives, to the extent that elaborate sacrifices were offered to placate him.
Myths and traditions were perpetuated through ceremonial dances (areytos), drumbeats, oral traditions, and a ceremonial ball game played between opposing teams (of 10 to 30 players per team) with a rubber ball; winning this game was thought to bring a good harvest and strong, healthy children.
The Taíno Indians lived in theocratic kingdoms and had a hierarchically arranged chiefs or caciques. The Taínos were divided in three social classes: the naborias (work class), the nitaínos or sub-chiefs and noblemen which includes the bohiques or priests and medicine men and the caciques or chiefs, each village or yucayeque had one.
Their complexion were bronze-colored, average stature, dark, flowing, coarse hair, and large and slightly oblique dark eyes. Men generally went naked or wore a breech cloth, called nagua, single women walked around naked and married women an apron to over their genitals, made of cotton or palm fibers. The length of which was a sign of rank. Both sexes painted themselves on special occasions; they wore earrings, nose rings, and necklaces, which were sometimes made of gold. Taíno crafts were few; some pottery and baskets were made, and stone, marble and wood were worked skillfully.
At their arrival the Spaniards expected the Taíno Indians to acknowledge the sovereignty of the king of Spain by payment of gold tribute, to work and supply provisions of food and to observe Christian ways. The Taínos rebelled most notably in 1511, when several caciques (Indian leaders) conspired to oust the Spaniards.
They were joined in this uprising by their traditional enemies, the Caribs. Their weapons, however, were no match against Spanish horses and firearms and the revolt was soon ended brutally by the Spanish forces of Governor Juan Ponce de León.
“As it appears in … full read/full credit”
~~THE LOST TRIBE OF EPHRAIM~~
~~Published on Dec 26, 2013~~
We have the universal right to self determination.
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