What is taino?
What Does taino Mean
Taíno is the name of the aboriginal people who resided in the Antilles and the Bahamas when the expedition led by Christopher Columbus arrived on the American continent. Historians claim that the Tainos came to the region from South America , traveling between islands and assimilating or conquering the peoples already in the area.
The Tainos are part of the group of Amerindians , Indo-Americans or Native Americans , which is the name given to those populations originating from the American territory.
When Columbus arrived in America , the island of Santo Domingo (also known as Hispaniola ) was divided into five chiefdoms. In this way, five caciques directed these lands and received tributes from the rest of the Taínos.
The company taína had bohiques , nitaínos and naborias , as well as caciques . These were the social strata in which the population was divided according to their origins and their functions.
The Tainos were monotheists and animists . Regarding their economy, they cultivated cassava ( manioc ), peanuts ( peanuts ), tobacco , cotton and corn ; they hunted birds and rodents; and they developed fishing.
Today the Taino people are considered extinct. The diseases brought by the Europeans dwindled the population in great numbers, and those who survived moved away from their usual place of residence. The miscegenation and acculturation ended the existence of the Tainos as such.
It is important to know that there is what is called the Taíno language, which, as you might imagine, is an indigenous language that was spoken in the Antilles during the Spanish Conquest, although now it is absolutely disappeared.
According to the studies that have been preserved from that time, carried out by such important figures as the Spanish philologist and friar Bartolomé de las Casas, there were two variants of this language. On the one hand, there was Western Taino, which was spoken in the southwestern part of Hispaniola and in the area of Cuba, and, on the other hand, there was classical Taino. This was the one that predominated in the rest of the aforementioned Hispaniola, in eastern Cuba and in Puerto Rico, fundamentally.
It should be noted that several Spanish words, such as sweet potato , canoe , hammock and canoe , come from the Taíno language , which was part of the Macroarahuacan family .
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore other relevant data about the Taino culture such as the following:
-Its citizens were great sculptors, having bequeathed us the most interesting works such as various idols.
-Physically it is said that their men and women were short, had coppery skin, had very thick lips and their faces were wide. All this without overlooking her black hair, her marked cheekbones and that they were practically naked, except for a few small skirts that they wore.
-The chief, who we have mentioned previously, was a man who, among many other things, was distinguished by having a gold record on what was his chest.
-One of the most unique customs that the Taíno culture had consisted of undertaking the artificial deformation of the skull using palm boards.