Tainos, also known as Arawaks, the Caribbean islands, 900 C.E.--1492

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Friend One Here (linked)
Friend Two Here (linked)
Friend Three Here (linked)
Spanish {they were friendly at first...}


Our technology consisted of a bow and arrow, spears, and other hand-made weapons that were assembled with parts found in our environment. Up to the point that the Spanish arrived on our shores, we were only trading similar materials between our villages and not engaging in long-distance trade. When they came over, we were able to obtain trade goods such as glass, beads, and metal tools that we had previously never encountered.


Our culture circulated around the nature of our surroundings. Living in the Carribean islands encouraged very little clothing if at all, which were made out of leaves. We had an affinity for music and cultivated crops such as manioc while living in small villages controlled by chiefs. At the same time, we had the tradition of smoking and eating the bodies of the enemies we killed. After our virtual annhilation by Spanish settlers, the words "canoe", "hammock", "hurricane", "barbecue", "maize", and "tobacco" all survived as derivatives of our native language.


We worshipped nature and figures of the natural world because we had no complicated necessity for religion as a means of controlling our own people and therefore did not need to use God as a justification for control. In addition, our connection and lifestyle in the natural world discouraged us from worshipping forces other than the ones that allow us to live. We were polytheistic and looked to many different symbolic gods and goddesses to reinforce our respect for nature.


Blog 1: 1492
After the Spanish traded their goods with us, our situation went downhill. Instead of considering us as equals, we were exploited for cheap labor in gold mines established by the Spanish settlers in institutions called encomiendas. Under the control of encomenderos, we were encouraged to become Christian and our rebellions were quickly crushed by the forces of horse-riding Spanish swordsmen. In addition to slaughter by combat, the diseases that the Spanish carried quickly eliminated our people, who were not resistant to the diseases of the Spanish and died because of smallpox breakouts. With the elimination of our people and the preservation of some of our words, our Carribean homeland eventually became inhabited by European landholders and cheap labor in the form of African slaves.
Blog 2: 1492
I was just eating some of the remains of battle spoils when I saw those silver men come onto the shore. Amazing! They were covered in something so shiny that it made my eyes hurt and the skin peeking from beneath the silver was as white as clouds. They were not very colorful though. When they came up to us we noticed that they had long silver spears with some sort of handle, and we were so intrigued that we offered them jewelry and other things to trade. They took our things eagerly with wide-toothed faces.
Blog 3: 500 C.E.
I just took out the canoe today to gather some fish for tonight's dinner. I couldn't go very far out though. The canoe was only small enough to fit me, and I had to remain extremely still to keep it from tipping over...the waves also got bumpier as I went farther out to sea, so that the canoe soon started thrashing me about, up to the point that I became seriously afraid and decided it would be best to turn back. I had already managed to catch some fish and it would be pointless to swim back to shore and lose both the canoe and the fish. So I braced myself and rowed as carefully as I could back to shore.

The Wall

Hey Tainos! Glad you agree with our views on polytheism! It's the way to go! Don't know if you guys have ever tried it, but, human sacrifices are pretty sweet. They definitely make the gods very happy. Try it sometime. I'm sure you have some extra prisoners or slaves lying around. It's the perfect solution! Keeps population down, makes the gods happy, what more do you need?

Let's trade sometime, maybe in the future. -Aztecs

Bentley, Jerry H and Ziegler, Herbert F, Traditions and encounters: A global perspective on the past, Published by McGraw Hill, Copyright 2006, 2003, 2000
Tainos Caribs, copyright kwabs.com, www.kwabs.com/./ tainosdance3.gif
Google image search--map of tainos