Most Puerto Ricans know, or think they know, their ethnic and racial history: a blending of Taino (Indian), Spanish and African. According to the study funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, 61 percent of all Puerto Ricans have Amerindian mitochondrial DNA, 27 percent have African and 12 percent Caucasian.
The Taíno were considered extinct as a people at the end of the century. But, since about 1840, activists have worked to create a quasi-indigenous Taíno identity in rural areas of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
Taino ~ Indigenous People of the Caribbean The Taino are not a federally recognized tribal nation. In fact, in Puerto Rico many people believe the Taino are extinct.
The Taíno were declared extinct shortly after 1565 when a census shows just 200 Indians living on Hispaniola, now the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The census records and historical accounts are very clear: There were no Indians left in the Caribbean after 1802.
As a result, Puerto Rican bloodlines and culture evolved through a mixing of the Spanish, African, and indigenous Taíno and Carib Indian races that shared the island. Today, many Puerto Rican towns retain their Taíno names, such as Utuado, Mayagüez and Caguas.
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.
Taíno religion, as recorded by late 15th and 16th century Spaniards, centered on a supreme creator god and a fertility goddess. The creator god is Yúcahu Maórocoti and he governs the growth of the staple food, the cassava. The goddess is Attabeira, who governs water, rivers, and seas.
On your second voyage to the Indies, you ordered your men to round up Taí- nos and had over 500 shipped to Spain as slaves. You told your men to help them- selves to the remaining Taíno captives, which they did. This act alone killed several hundred Taínos.
The name Taíno was given by Columbus. When he met some native men, they said ” Taíno, Taíno “, meaning “We are good, noble”. Columbus thought that taíno was the name of the people. Rouse divides the Taínos into three main groups. One is the Classic Taíno, from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native? All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name.
They are known to us today as the Wendat (also known as Huron,) Neutral-Wenro, Erie, Laurentian (or St. Lawrence Iroquoian,) Susquehannock, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Tuscarora, Nottaway, and Cherokee.
The Taíno were an Arawak people who were the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida. At the time of European contact in the late 15th century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), and Puerto Rico.
The Tainos, who are generally referred to as Arawaks, are recognized as the earliest recorded inhabitants of Jamaica. In appearance the Taino were short and muscular and had a brown olive complexion and straight hair. They wore little clothes but decorated their bodies with dyes.
Spanish colonial-era caciques. Cacique comes from the Taíno word kassiquan, meaning “to keep house”. In 1555 the word entered the English language as “prince”. In Taíno culture, the cacique rank was hereditary and sometimes established through democratic means.
The Taino had an elaborate system of religious beliefs and rituals that involved the worship of spirits (zemis) by means of carved representations. They also had a complex social order, with a government of hereditary chiefs and subchiefs and classes of nobles, commoners, and slaves.