Caciques and Cemi Idols

Author: José R. Oliver
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817355154
Format: PDF, ePub
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Caciques and Cemi Idolstakes a close look at the relationship between humans and other (non-human) beings that are imbued with cemí power, specifically within the Taíno inter-island cultural sphere encompassing Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Caciques and Cemi Idols

Author: José R. Oliver
Publisher: University Alabama Press
ISBN: 9780817316365
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Cemís are both portable artifacts and embodiments of persons or spirit, which the Taínos and other natives of the Greater Antilles (ca. AD 1000-1550) regarded as numinous beings with supernatural or magic powers. This volume takes a close look at the relationship between humans and other (non-human) beings that are imbued with cemí power, specifically within the Taíno inter-island cultural sphere encompassing Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The relationships address the important questions of identity and personhood of the cemí icons and their human “owners” and the implications of cemí gift-giving and gift-taking that sustains a complex web of relationships between caciques (chiefs) of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Oliver provides a careful analysis of the four major forms of cemís—three-pointed stones, large stone heads, stone collars, and elbow stones—as well as face masks, which provide an interesting contrast to the stone heads. He finds evidence for his interpretation of human and cemí interactions from a critical review of 16th-century Spanish ethnohistoric documents, especially the Relación Acerca de las Antigüedades de los Indios written by Friar Ramón Pané in 1497–1498 under orders from Christopher Columbus. Buttressed by examples of native resistance and syncretism, the volume discusses the iconoclastic conflicts and the relationship between the icons and the human beings. Focusing on this and on the various contexts in which the relationships were enacted, Oliver reveals how the cemís were central to the exercise of native political power. Such cemís were considered a direct threat to the hegemony of the Spanish conquerors, as these potent objects were seen as allies in the native resistance to the onslaught of Christendom with its icons of saints and virgins.

The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Archaeology

Author: William F. Keegan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199875073
Format: PDF
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The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Archaeology provides an overview of archaeological investigations in the insular Caribbean, understood here as the islands whose shores surround the Caribbean Sea and the islands of the Bahama Archipelago. Though these islands were never isolated from the surrounding mainland, their histories are sufficiently diverse to warrant their identification as distinct areas of culture. Over the past 20 years, Caribbean archaeology has been transformed from a focus on reconstructing culture histories to one on the mobility and exchange expressed in cultural and social dynamics. This Handbook brings together, for the first time, examples of the best research conducted by scholars from across the globe to address the complexity of the Caribbean past. The Handbook is divided into five sections. Part I, Islands of History and the Precolonial History of the Caribbean Islands, provides an introduction to Caribbean Archaeology and its history. The papers in the following Ethnohistory section address the diversity of cultural practices expressed in the insular Caribbean and develop historical descriptions in concert with archaeological evidence in order to place language, social organization, and the native Ta?nos and Island Caribs in perspective. The following section, Culture History, provides the latest research on specific geographical locations and cross-cultural engagements, from Jamaica and the Bahama archigelago to the Saladoid and the Isthmo-Antillean Engagements. Creating History, the fourth section, includes papers on specific issues related to the field, such as Zooarchaeology, Rock Art, and DNA analysis, among others. The final section, World History, centers on the consequences of European colonization.

Islands at the Crossroads

Author: L. Antonio Curet
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 081735655X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Scholars from the Caribbean, the United States and Europe who look beyond cultural boundaries and colonial frontiers to explore the ways in which both distant and more intimate sociocultural, political and economic interactions have shaped Caribbean societies from 7,000 years ago to today. Simultaneous.

Microbes and Other Shamanic Beings

Author: César E. Giraldo Herrera
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319713183
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Shamanism is commonly understood through reference to spirits and souls. However, these terms were introduced by Christian missionaries as part of the colonial effort of conversion. So, rather than trying to comprehend shamanism through medieval European concepts, this book examines it through ideas that started developing in the West after encountering Amerindian shamans. Microbes and Other Shamanic Beings develops three major arguments: First, since their earliest accounts Amerindian shamanic notions have had more in common with current microbial ecology than with Christian religious beliefs. Second, the human senses allow the unaided perception of the microbial world; for example, entoptic vision allows one to see microscopic objects flowing through the retina and shamans employ techniques that enhance precisely these kinds of perception. Lastly, the theory that some diseases are produced by living agents acquired through contagion was proposed right after Contact in relation to syphilis, an important subject of pre-Contact Amerindian medicine and mythology, which was treasured and translated by European physicians. Despite these early translations, the West took four centuries to rediscover germs and bring microbiology into mainstream science. Giraldo Herrera reclaims this knowledge and lays the fundaments for an ethnomicrobiology. It will appeal to anyone curious about shamanism and willing to take it seriously and to those enquiring about the microbiome, our relations with microbes and the long history behind them.

Surviving Spanish Conquest

Author: Karen F. Anderson-Córdova
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817319468
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"An ethnohistoric and archaeological study of the transformations that occurred in Indian communities during the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico from 1492 to 1550"--

Ancient Borinquen

Author: Peter E. Siegel
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817352384
Format: PDF, ePub
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Native American cultures of Puerto Rico prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1493. A book on the prehistory of a modern geopolitical entity is artificial. It is unlikely that prehistoric occupants recognized the same boundaries and responded to the same political forces that operated in the formation of current nations, states, or cities. Yet, archaeologists traditionally have produced such volumes and they generally represent anchors for ongoing research in a specific region, in this case the island of Puerto Rico, its immediate neighbors, and the wider Caribbean basin. To varying degrees, this work addresses issues and draws data from beyond the boundaries of Puerto Rico because in prehistoric times the water between islands likely was not viewed as a boundary in our modern sense of the term. The last few decades have witnessed a growth of intense archaeological research on the island, from material culture in the form of lithics, ceramics, and rock art; to nutritional, architecture, and environmental studies; to rituals and social patterns; to the aftermath of Conquest. Ancient Borinquen provides a comprehensive overview of recent thinking, new data, syntheses, and insights into current Puerto Rican archaeology, and it reflects and illuminates similar concerns elsewhere in the West Indies, lowland South America, and Central America.

Myths and Realities of Caribbean History

Author: Basil A. Reid
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817355340
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book seeks to debunk eleven popular and prevalent myths about Caribbean history. Using archaeological evidence, it corrects many previous misconceptions promulgated by history books and oral tradition as they specifically relate to the pre-Colonial and European-contact periods. It informs popular audiences, as well as scholars, about the current state of archaeological/historical research in the Caribbean Basin and asserts the value of that research in fostering a better understanding of the region’s past. Contrary to popular belief, the history of the Caribbean did not begin with the arrival of Europeans in 1492. It actually started 7,000 years ago with the infusion of Archaic groups from South America and the successive migrations of other peoples from Central America for about 2,000 years thereafter. In addition to discussing this rich cultural diversity of the Antillean past, Myths and Realities of Caribbean History debates the misuse of terms such as “Arawak” and “Ciboneys,” and the validity of Carib cannibalism allegations.

Cave of the Jagua

Author: Antonio M. Stevens Arroyo
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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"In his new Introduction to this edition, Stevens-Arroyo analyzes significant new research, provides a guide to the important scientific findings of mitochondrial DNA among contemporary Caribbean peoples, offers additional evidence supporting his original argument that the Tainos were not exterminated in the 16th century, and initiates discussion of still unresolved issues. This edition of Cave of the Jagua considers Neo-Taino movements, explores the meanings of Taino spirituality, and emphasizes the significance of that message to the contemporary world."--Jacket.

Ta no Indian Myth and Practice

Author: William F. Keegan
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780813030388
Format: PDF
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Applying the legend of the "stranger king" to Caonabó, the mythologized Taíno chief of the Hispaniola settlement Columbus invaded in 1492, Keegan examines how myths come to resonate as history--created by the chaotic interactions of the individuals who lived the events of the past as well as those who write and read about them. The "stranger king" story told in many cultures is that of a foreigner who comes from across the water, marries the king's daughter, and deposes the king. In this story, Caonabó, the most important Taíno chief at the time of European conquest, claimed to be imbued with Taíno divinity, while Columbus, determined to establish a settlement called La Navidad, described himself as the "Christbearer." Keegan's ambitious historical analysis--knitting evidence from Spanish colonial documents together with data gathered from the archaeological record--provides a new perspective on the encounters between the two men as they vied for control of the settlement, a survey of the early interactions of the Taínos and Spanish people, and a complex view of the interpretive role played by historians and archaeologists. Presenting a new theoretical framework based on chaos and complexity theories, this book argues for a more comprehensive philosophy of archaeology in which oral myths, primary source texts, and archaeological studies can work together to reconstruct a particularly rich view of the past.