Taino vs Kalinago

Topics: Taíno, Cacique, Carib Pages: 7 (1808 words) Published: March 25, 2014
Usually located near the sea or river either on a plain or on the hillside overlooking the sea. Territories settled:

Usually located near the sea on the windward side of the island to guard against surprise attacks. Territories settled:

Taino society had a strong class structure. The most important persons enjoyed certain privileges as well as power. Taino had a hierarchical society.


Village Headman


The Taínos were divided in three social classes.  The naborias (work class), the nitaínos (sub-chiefs and noblemen) which include the bohiques (priests and medicine men), and the caciques (chiefs) Appearance:

Brown skinned, medium height, plump, and decorated. Straight black hair, usually worn long, with a fringe/bang. The men were generally naked, but the women sometimes wore short skirts or long skirts for the cacique’s wife. Men and women alike adorned their bodies with paint and shells and other decorations

Made of wooden framework of firmly tied posts, covered with reed and thatch, built to withstand hurricane. In all Taino settlements several families shared one house called the CANEYE. It was round, sometimes had window and did not have a smoke hole.

The Cacique’s house (BOHIO) was often larger than the caneye and was rectangular in shape and sometimes had a porch The house of the cacique contained only his family. However, given the number of wives he might have, this constituted a huge family. The round houses of the common people were also large. Each one had about 10-15 men and their whole families. Thus any Taino home might house a hundred people.  The houses did not contain much furniture. People slept in cotton hammocks or simply on mats of banana leaves. They also made wooden chairs with woven seats, couches and built cradles for their children.  Recreational Activities:

Taino had many festivals. Eg for the naming of a baby, the Tainos believed that a child without a name would meet great misfortune. The wedding of a cacique, the inauguration of a cacique, harvest time and being victorious in battle were also times of great festivities.

At these festivities the Tainos would have singing and dancing to the music of drums, reed pipes and wooden gongs.

Tainos also had a ball game called batos/batu, which they played on a flat court found in the middle of the village, called batey The batey is surrounded by huge stone slabs with carvings.

The Arawak/Taino were polytheists and their gods were called zemi. The zemi controlled various functions of the universe. There were three primary religious practices:  Religious worship and obeisance to the zemi themselves

Dancing in the village court during special festivals of thanksgiving or petition Medicine men, or priests, consulting the zemi for advice and healing. This was done in public ceremonies with song and dance. The Zemis were sacred images made from clay, cotton, wood or stone and took the form of human, reptiles or reptiles. Each home had a special place of honour for their zemi, which was placed on a table. As chief priests the cacique was responsible for taking care of the village zemi. During religious ceremonies the cacique smoked tobacco and inhaled other herbal drugs to get messages from the spirit. Family Life:

The Tainos lived and worked together. The caneye housed up to 10 different families. The family also cultivated crops together.

In a warlike society as this a son was highly valued. All decisions for the village was made by men making it a patriarchal society.

War Leader/Obutu

Tibutuli Hauthe

Priests & Elders

Warriors & Hunters

Kalinagos were taller than the Tainos. Brown in complexion. Men went around naked while women wore loin cloth Stronger than the Taino due to...
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