The Culture of the Taino Term Paper by scribbler

A look at the culture of the Taino tribe of Hispaniola at the time of Columbus and after.
# 151688 | 1,727 words | 6 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Aug 29, 2012 in Native-American Studies (General) , Anthropology (Indigenous)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper describes the customs and culture of the indigenous Taino tribe of Hispaniola prior to and following their encounter with Christopher Columbus. First, the paper describes the customs of this group of native peoples, highlighting the differences between their family structure and that of the Europeans. The paper further describes the Taino as part of a larger Native American nation, and cites research about them. Next, the paper explores the Taino's religious practices. Particular emphasis is given to their concept of death, the afterlife and spirits. The paper concludes by describing how the Taino were a gentle people, which is most likely what led to their demise at the hands of European settlers.

From the Paper:

"Columbus had little regard for the long history of the Taino natives, only wishing to convert these "savages." Yet, the Taino, a major subgroup of the Arawak Indians, had flourished here for centuries. Arawak is a common language group of several different peoples who lived in areas stretching from Venezuela throughout the Caribbean and Central America and over to Florida. The Taino is believed to be one of the largest of the Arawak-speaking people who lived on the island of Hispaniola. These people are often known as Arawak/Taino (Oliver, 2009).
"The Taino Indians of the Greater Antille descended from South American people who, over almost 5,000 years, had traveled from the central Amazon to northeastern South America and then on to the Caribbean archipelago (Oliver, 2009). Their name "Taino" means "noble" or "prudent." According to Corbett, a historian who has studied this language group, the Arawak/Taino society was a peaceful hierarchical society. Each society was considered a small kingdom that was led by a "cacique." When Columbus arrived, five different kingdoms lived on Hispaniola. Each of the kingdoms was polygamous, with most men having two or three wives and the "caciques" having as many as thirty..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alexander, Hartley Burr (2008). Latin-American. The Mythology of All Races. Whitefish, MT Kessinger.
  • Oliver, J.R. (2009). Caciques and Cemi Idols: The Web Spun by Taino Rulers Tuscaloosa, AL, University of Alabama.
  • Pane, Ram (1999) An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians. Ed. Jose Juan Arrom. Trans. Susan C. Griswold. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Siegel, P.E. (2008) Taino Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 3(2), 291-293.
  • Stevens-Arroyo, A. M. (2006) Cave of the Jagua: The Mythological World of the Tainos. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Culture of the Taino (2012, August 29) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Culture of the Taino" 29 August 2012. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>