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By Samuel M. Wilson

In 1492 the island of Hispaniola used to be inhabited by way of the Taino, an Indian staff whose ancestors had moved into the Caribbean archipelago from lowland South the US greater than 1,500 years sooner than. They have been geared up politically into huge cacicazgos, or chiefdoms, comprising 70 or extra villages less than the authority of a paramount cacique, or leader. From the 1st voyage on, Columbus made Hispaniola his basic base for operations within the New international. Over the next many years, sickness, struggle, famine, and enslavement caused the destruction of the Taino chiefdoms and virtually thoroughly annihilated the aboriginal inhabitants of the island.

 

This publication examines the early years of the touch interval within the Caribbean and in narrative shape reconstructs the social and political association of the Taino. Wilson describes intimately the interactions among the Taino and the Spaniards, with precise recognition paid to the constitution and functioning of the Taino chiefdoms. by means of delivering additional info from archaeology and up to date ethnography, he builds a wealthy context in which to appreciate the Taino and their responses to the Europeans.

The Taino are in particular vital in a brand new international context simply because they symbolize a society present process quick sociopolitical swap and changing into extra complicated via time. The early touch interval on Hispaniola supplies us a wealthy ethnohistorical glimpse of the political techniques of a fancy New global society earlier than and during its destruction led to through the arriving of the Europeans.

 

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