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Encyclopedia > Arawak
Arowak woman (John Gabriel Stedman)
Arowak woman (John Gabriel Stedman)

The term Arawak (from aru, the Lokono word for cassava flour), was used to designate the Amerindians encountered by the Spanish in the West Indies. These include the Taíno, who occupied the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas (Lucayan) and Bimini Florida, the Nepoya and Suppoyo of Trinidad and the Igneri, who were supposed to have preceded the Caribs in the Lesser Antilles, together with related groups (including the Lokono) which lived along the eastern coast of South America as far south as what is now Brazil. The group belongs to the Arawakan language family and they were the natives Christopher Columbus encountered when he first landed in the Americas. The Spanish described them as a peaceful people. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 336 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (826 × 1472 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 336 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (826 × 1472 pixel, file size: 1. ... John Gabriel Stedman (1747-1797) was a Scottish adventurer, son of a Scottish father and Dutch mother. ... Yuca redirects here. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ... For other uses, see Taino (disambiguation). ... Location of the Greater Antilles (green) in relation to the rest of the Caribbean The islands of the Caribbean Sea, collectively known as the West Indies are sorted by size and location into the Bahamas (or Lucayan archipelago), the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles. ... The Lucayan were those Arawak which inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus landing. ... Bimini Island from space, June 1998 Map of the Bahamas with the Biminis positioned center left (click to enlarge). ... For other uses, see Trinidad (disambiguation). ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... This article is about the Island Carib, who lived on the islands of the Caribbean. ... Location of the Lesser Antilles (green) in relation to the rest of the Caribbean Islands of the Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles, also known as the Caribbees,[1] are part of the Antilles, which together with the Bahamas and Greater Antilles form the West Indies. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... The Arawakan languages are an indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator, colonizer, and explorer and one of the first Europeans to explore the Americas after the Vikings. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...



On the islands of the Caribbean, the Taino very easily grew crops. They grew them in a conuco, a large mound devised for farming. They packed the conuco with leaves to prevent soil erosion and planted a large variety of crops to ensure that some of them would grow, whatever weather prevailed. Yuca (cassava) was a staple food, and grew easily in a tropical climate. They also grew maize. They used large, stable, slow boats to take goods for trade to the Mesoamerican civilizations and inter-island travel but used smaller, faster but less stable boats for intra-island shore travel. Yuca redirects here. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... This article is about the culture area. ...


Since the agriculture and trade was so good, the Taíno had plenty of extra time to make crafts and play games. One of these games, called Batéy, was similar to soccer. With plenty of leisure, the Taíno devoted their energy to creative activities such as pottery, basket weaving, cotton weaving, stone tools and even stone sculpture. Men and women painted their bodies and wore jewelry made of gold, stone, bone, and shell. They also participated in informal feasts and dances. The Taíno drank alcohol made from fermented corn, and they used tobacco in cigars. Soccer redirects here. ... Sculptor redirects here. ... Jewelry (the American spelling; spelled jewellery in Commonwealth English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. ... Shredded tobacco leaf for pipe smoking Tobacco can also be pressed into plugs and sliced into flakes Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. ...

The Taino developed the hammock (the name derives from the Taíno term hamaca), which was first encountered by Europeans on Hispaniola. They were readily adopted as a convenient means to increase the crew capacity of ships and improved the sanitary conditions of the sleeping quarters; old straw — which was commonly used for bedding in earlier times — quickly became rotten and infested by parasites in the damp and cramped crew quarters of sailing ships. The cottoncloth hammocks could be easily washed if they became soiled. Garden hammock A couple in a hammock on the beach The hammock is a fabric sling used for sleeping or resting. ... Early map of Hispaniola Hispaniola (from Spanish, La Española) is the second-largest and most populous island of the Antilles, lying between the islands of Cuba to the west, and Puerto Rico to the east. ...

Religion, government, foreign affairs ,food

The Taino had organized systems of religion and government. They believed in good and evil spirits, which could inhabit human bodies and natural objects. They sought to control these spirits through their priests or shamans. Specifically, Shaman (saman) is a term in Evenk, Manchu and other Manchu-Tungus languages for an intellectual and spiritual figure; who usually possess power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, one of which is analogous to the function of a healer in other cultures. ...

The Taino's political system was hierarchical, in which the islands were broken up into groups, each island in turn was divided into provinces ruled by chiefs known as caciques. The provinces were allocated into districts ruled by a sub-chief and each village was ruled by a head-man.

Their socio-political rivals within the Caribbean were the Caribs and the Ciboneys. The Caribs were considered aggressive, while the Ciboneys were considered docile. The Taino used the Ciboney for slave labor. The Taino treated the peaceful Ciboney as a subjected people, having already pushed them to the extreme fringes of their territory. The Carib were attempting to expand their territory in the Lesser Antilles, which entailed the ethnic cleansing of the Ciboney and Taino people, as the Caribs were known to torture and kill all non-Carib males, taking the females as slave-wives. And slave wives means sex slaves This article is about the Island Carib, who lived on the islands of the Caribbean. ... Ciboney (also Siboney) is a word derived from the Caribbean Indian language of the Arawak. ... Location of the Lesser Antilles (green) in relation to the rest of the Caribbean Islands of the Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles, also known as the Caribbees,[1] are part of the Antilles, which together with the Bahamas and Greater Antilles form the West Indies. ...

Population decline

Columbus, in his log, noted:

"They brought us balls of cotton thread and parrots and darts and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them...I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, but I saw that the idea was not to their liking."

The main catalyst for Taino society's drastic decline was due to smallpox. Constant attacks by Carib tribes and harsh treatment by the Spaniards accelerated the process. Taino society collapsed, but their bloodlines became woven in with those of new settlers, mainly Europeans and Africans. Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a contagious disease unique to humans. ...


Most scholars believe that of the Island populations of Ciboney, Taino and Carib, only the Carib survive today. On the mainland of South America there are some 2,450 (1980 census) Arawaks living in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana with 2,051 in Suriname. The Caribs on mainland South America number 10,225 (2000 WCD) in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana. The majority of the populations of Puerto Rico and Aruba are descended in part from the Arawaks — Taino in the case of the former.

See also

The Cariban languages are an indigenous language family of South America. ... Maipurean (also Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúre, Arawakan, Arahuacan, Maipuran Arawakan, mainstream Arawakan, Arawakan proper) is a language family of that spans from the Caribbean and Central America to every country in South America excepting Uruguay and Chile. ... The Arawakan languages (also Arahuacan, Arawakanas, Arahuacano, Maipurean, Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúrean) are a hypothetical indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... Carib family (by John Gabriel Stedman) Drawing of a Carib woman Carib, Island Carib or Kalinago people, after whom the Caribbean Sea was named, live in the Lesser Antilles islands. ... For other uses, see Taino (disambiguation). ... Garífuna is a spanish term for the people and language of the Garínagu. ... The reconstruction of Taíno village, Cuba The Taíno are pre-Colombian indigenous inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and some of the Lesser Antilles. ... Ciboney (also Siboney) is a word derived from the Caribbean Indian language of the Arawak. ...


  Results from FactBites:
Arawak (567 words)
The route that the Arawak or Taino Indians took is believed to have originated on the eastern slopes of the Andes.
In order to understand the mass extinction of the Arawak tribe, we must understand that the Arawak population was just not given to warfare, despite a complex social organization.
Although the Arawak people were often (except for a few tribes) divided into four separate classes, conflict was minimal within the tribe and culture.
Arawak - MSN Encarta (382 words)
Arawak, a once-predominant group of Native Americans originally inhabiting an area that stretched from present-day Florida down through the islands of the West Indies and the coastal area of South America as far as southern Brazil.
The Arawak were the first natives of the Americas encountered by the Italian-Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus.
The Arawak population in the West Indies fell from a probable 2 to 3 million to a few thousand by the early 16th century; by the end of that century, island Arawak were extinct.
  More results at FactBites »



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