This page consists of a "work in progress" undertaken by Union Higuayagua founder Jorge Baracutei Estevez. The reader will find below a list of references annotated with materials extracted from those items.  The aim is to demonstrate that Taíno cultural and biological  survival in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico has  in fact been documented over the past five centuries. The hope is that by bringing these materials to light, researchers and  others will begin to pay greater attention to Taíno survival and begin to revise if not reject dominant theories of Taíno extinction.

“Inside every mestizo there is either one dead Indian, or an Indian waiting to re-emerge.”

 Jose Barreiro
 “I don’t make excuses for them, they don’t  deserve any. But, in a world that only leaves  room for heroes and demons, so much of this story has been left untold.”
 Alysia Bennet



In 1519 Cacique Enriquillo rebelled against the Spanish, in a war that lasted until 1533. This was a major victory for the Taíno. The Spanish were defeated and went on to sign the first treaty between a Native people and a European government in this hemisphere. Enriquillo was given land for his people in the area known as Boya. Another Cacique, Murcio also rebelled against the Spanish and fought until 1545 and was also given lands for his people to live in. The Murcio war lasted 25 years. In Audiencia de Santo Domingo 77 Polemica de Enriquillo, 487-488 Spanish text in utrera. From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee.

The death rate in the first quarter century of European occupation was, no doubt, staggering, as it was among other Native populations elsewhere, but especially in the tropics. Even smallpox, however, did not claim all of the remaining Taínos as some Spaniards claimed in their reports, petitions and testimonies to the crown. That all the Indians had died as a result of smallpox epidemics is as difficult to believe as this report to the crown: damages from three hurricanes that struck the island in 1545, have left “not one tree, not one piece of sugar cane, nor yuca, nor maize, nor bohio, every thing has been destroyed. Marte Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Munoz, Vol. 1, 412 . From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee.

In June of 1547 Dr. Montano was given the responsibility of seeing the new laws (to protect the Indians) were enforced on Hispaniola. He demanded that all the Spaniards with Indians to produce either legal title proving said Indians were slaves, or set them free. He counts only 150 Indians for all of Hispaniola. Utrera, Historia military, Vol. 1, 367-371. . From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Alonso Lopez de Cerrato wrote in 1548 that in the “city” of Santo Domingo “everyone sells Indians like Negroes, especially Indian women to be kept as mistresses”. But none of these Indians appear in the census, neither as freedmen or slaves. Perhaps in more ways than one, the Indians were treated “like Negroes” and were included in African categories- not because of their color but because of their status. Letter to the Crown dated March 7, 1548, Marte Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Munoz, Vol. 1, 420-421

In 1555 four entire Pueblos of Indios in the Puerto Plata region of the DR that no one previously knew about were found by the Spanish and all were in peripheral areas well outside of Spanish control, which proves that the Spanish could only count the people that were in areas they controlled. CDIU, Vol 18. 10 Consejo de Indias advisory dated July 31, 1556. The Consejo de Indias advised the crown that none of the Indians of “those” Pueblos should be moved or divided among the Spaniards, but that priests should be sent to indoctrinate them into the Catholic Faith. From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee.

The Spanish raided the island of Jamaica for slaves almost from the very beginning. But In the Census of 1570, Spanish sources mention an unspecified number of Taínos still living in Jamaica. Angel Rosenblat, In “La Poblacion Indigena y el mestizaje en America” 2 Volumes (Buenos Aires: Editorial Nova, 1954, as it appears in “A brief history of the Caribbean” by Jan Ragozinski, page 45, 1992.

Yet “another” village of Indians exists some 8 leagues from this city, they are old and without children, writes the archbishop Andres De Carvajal to the Spanish Monarchy in 1571. As it appears in “La Encyopedia de la Cultura Dominicana” book B, page 282.

Irving Rouse reports in “The Arawak”, for the Handbook of South American Indians, page 518, 1948, that in 1585 Sir Francis Drake visited the Island of Hispaniola and reports that not a single Indian was left alive. Yet….
Fray Juan González de Mendoza in his book, published in 1586, wrote that fewer than 200 Indians still lived on Hispaniola, where "most [residents] are mestizos, sons of indias and Spaniards, or negroes." Fray Juan González de Mendoza, Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos y costumbres del gran Reyno de la China (Madrid, 1586), as presented in Juan López de Velasco, Relaciones geográficas de Santo Domingo, ed. Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi (Santo Domingo: Editora del Caribe, 1970), 8, . From Lynne Guitar’s “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee. And again in 1650 Friar Domingo of the Dominican Republic finds 50 “wild Indians living near the vicinity of his church. As it appears in the Census of 1650, Dominican Republic.

In 1543 it was reported to the King of Spain by the bishop of San Juan, that there were but 60 Native Indians remaining in the entire island of Puerto Rico. Yet when the Earl of Cumberland, who had captured San Juan, fled the island, the King of Spain sent an armada, commanded by General Don Francisco Coloma, to re-conquer the colony in 1599, and was surprised to find the city of San Juan inhabited almost entirely of Indians. As it appears in “The Islands, the world of the Puerto Ricans, by Stan Steiner, page 17, 1974.

The Black Legend has done much harm to the Taíno. Much of the Taíno story has remained untold the past 500 years because the black legend painted them entirely out of the picture of the history and culture that developed in the Spanish Antilles. The Taínos, the legend continues, were the ultimate victims--pushed into extinction, wiped clean from the face of the Earth, a very dramatic statement, but not true. Dr. Lynne Guitar, 1998.



According to Herbert W. Krieger, Jeffreys describes 100 natives living in Haiti in 1730. In “Aborigines of the Island of Hispaniola” page 478, 1930


 Alexandre Oliver Exquemelian reported in the 1770’s that the Buccaneers and their “Indian tracker” companions were all over the Island of Hispaniola. Alexandre Oliver Exquemelian “The buccaneers of America: A true account of The most remarkable assaults committed by the English and the French Buccaneers against the Spaniards in America (Santo Domingo: Editorial Taller, 1992).


 Jose Alvarez de Peralta writes that, at the time of the treaty between Spain and France on June 3, 1777 at Aranjuez, the Dominican population was, not counting the Haitian side, 400,000. The break down was as follows: blancos (white).....................................................................100,000
Mestizos de Raza India y Blanca........................................100, 000
Mestizos de Raza India y Negro............................................60,000
Negros.......................................................................................70, 000

Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi In, Relaciones geográficas de Santo Domingo Vol 1, P.162.


 Medric Louis Elie Moreau de Saint Mery, reported that in 1783 he observed that there were certain “Creoles who have hair like that of Indians and “pretend” to be descendants of the primitive natives on his visit to the Eastern, Spanish side of the Island. In “Descripcion de la parte Espanola de Santo Domingo, trans”. C Armando Rodriguez (Santo Domingo: Editora Montalvo, 1944) 95 and 50 respectively


 Modesta- Slave girl from the Dominican Republic sold in 1783
Buyer's Name: Morales
Seller's Name: Labie
Year Document was created: 1783
Origin: Santo Domingo
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including hapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall


 In the 1787 census under governor Toribio Montes in Puerto Rico, over 2300 “pure” Indians are listed living in the Central Cordillera, yet in the census of 1800, there are no categories for Indians or mixed blood Indians. What do appear in place of Indians are Freemen of color or “pardo”. As it appears in the 1787 census of Puerto Rico. According to historian Salvador Brau.


 Felipe- Slave boy from Jamaica sold in 1793
Buyer's Name: Laburthe y Barriere
Seller's Name: Leblanc
Year Document was created: 1793
Origin: Jamaica
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Adele- Slave girl from Haiti sold in 1811
Buyer's Name: Morel/Seller's Name: Pradine
Year Document was created: 1811
Origin: St Domingue/Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Benoit- Slave boy from Haiti sold in 1811
Buyer's Name: Reynaud
Seller's Name: Bidet Renoulleau
Year Document was created: 1811
Origin: St Domingue
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Adelle-Slave girl from Haitisold in 1816
Buyer's Name: Rondeau
Seller's Name: Montas
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: St Domingue
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Camire- Slave boy from Cuba sold in 1816
Buyer's Name: Malus
Seller's Name: Lapeyere
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: Cuba
Gender: male
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Dorotee-Slave girl from Jamaica sold in 1816
Buyer's Name: LeBlanc
Seller's Name: Dispan
Year Document was created: 1816
Origin: Jamaica
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Pointe Coupee/ by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 Celestine- Slave girl from Cuba sold in 1817
Estate's (Deceased Master) Name: Seguin
Buyer's Name: Borel
Year Document was created: 1817
Origin: Cuba
Gender: female
Racial Designation: grif-usually means mixed black and Indian
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825] by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall


So much so that the national complexion of skin and general physiognomic traits may well be described as being alight brown, approaching the copper color of the North American aborigines, straight black hair in the case of the females, glossy and in luxurious profusion and a combination of features resulting from about an equal blending of the African, Caucasian and -Indian physiognomies. The very visible traits of the latter would seem to indicate, although we are not aware of the existence of any other evidence of it, that the aboriginal race instead of having been entirely exterminated, had been particularly amalgamated. In “The Dominican Republic in the Island of St. Domigue” by S. A. Kendall, page 243, 1849


The “pure” race wholly died in (Hispaniola) at the latter end of the “last” century; but their characteristic features and luxuriant hair, are still to be traced among their descendants, from intercourse with Europeans, Africans and colored people. These are still called Indios. In Harper's statistical gazetteer of the world / by J. Calvin Smith ; Illustrated by seven maps. Publication date: 1855.Collection: Making of America Books
May the devil take me, if I happen see him around here. These damned Indians can never be seen; as soon as they are here they disappear, and when we think they have been defeated, they re-appear shooting even more. And they are not bad shots either. They have spent their entire lives hunting, so wherever they aim, one has no choice but to make the sign of the cross. By an anonymous Spanish soldier to his family in 1864 during the War for Dominican Restoration which began August 16, 1863 as it appears in


Few “genuine” representatives of the indigenous race can be found in the Dominican Republic. In “The American Encyclopædia: Publication date: 1873-76.Collection: Making of America Books
The population of the Dominican Republic is one tenth white, Spaniards of un-mixed descent, and the rest a mixture of Spanish, Indian and Negro with a small number of pure Negroes. In Johnson's new universal Encyclopedia: a scientific and popular treasury of useful knowledge ... Editors-in-chief. Frederick A.P. Barnard ... [and] Arnold Guyot ... With numerous contributions from writers of distinguished eminence in every department of letters and science in the United States and in Europe...Publication date: 1875-1878


 Although at their entrance the Spaniards found some 2,000,00 Natives, Negro slaves had to be introduced as early as 1522; by 1711 there were only 21,000 natives. In “The Globe encyclopaedia of universal information”. Edited by John M. Ross. Publication date: 1876-79. Collection: Making of America Books.


 In the mid 1800’s a Spanish ship rescued 200 Yucatan Indians who had been stranded by the French on TortugaIsland. These Indians were taken to live at the town of Boya, perhaps, because there was an Indian contingent already there? In “La Encyopedia de la Cultura Dominicana”, book B, page 282.


 In 1882 a 91-year-old woman by the name of Josefa Gonzalez, who along with other neighbors affirmed that the Cacique Enriquillo and his wife Mencia are buried in a tomb in the center of the church in the town of Boya. General Don Pedro Santana who after being elected President of the Dominican Republic, assigned a pension to another Indian woman who claimed to be a descendant of one of the other chiefs under Enriquillo, and also lived in Boya. Manuel De Jesus Galvan, in Enriquillo page 480, 1882.



 In Haiti, Santo Domingo and in New Mexican Pueblos old Indian rites are wonderfully mixed with Christian ceremonials. Hence we have on one and the same day mass and tablet dances-church services followed by dances in which old time mythological personages appear. James Walter Fewkes, In “On Zemes from Santo Domingo” Pepper collection: foot note, page 1, 1891


 There are still half breed Indians living in the town of Boya, Dominican Republic, notes Frederick Albion Ober, in “Aborigines of the West Indies” 1895, page 289. Proc. Amer. Antiq. Soc. n.s. vol. 9 pp. Worcester, Mass.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- War Diaries of Jose Marti: Part 1- From MonteCristi, Dominican Republic to Cap-Haitian, February 14, 1895, page 354


…La Esperanza, made famous by Columbus’s route, is a hamlet of palms and yaguas on a wholesome stretch of level ground encircled by mountains. La Providencia (Providence) was the name of the first general store back in Guayubin, the one that belonged to a Puerto Rican husband, who had some yellowing antique, medical books and a fresh young Indian girl with marble profile, an uneasy smile, and flaming eyes, who approached our stirrups to hand cigars up to us. And in La Esperanza we dismounted in front of La Delicia. From within, General Candelario Lozano, his hair too long and his pants too short, comes to open the gate- “la pueita” is how he says puerta- for our mounts. He isn’t wearing socks and his shoes are made of leather, He hangs up his hammock…War Diaries, Cuba, April 23, 1895 Page 389….”But why do these Cubans fight against Cubans? I’ve seen that it isn’t a matter of opinion or some impossible affection for Spain.” “They fight, the pigs, they fight like that for the peso they’re paid, one peso a day, less the lodging that’s deducted. They’re the bad seed of the little villages, or men who have a crime to pay for, or tramps who don’t want to work, and a handful of Indians from Baitiquiri and Cajueri…Page 390-Since el Palenque they’ve been following our tracks closely. Garridos Indians could fall on us here. Jose Marti, Selected Writings, edited and translated by Esther Allen, 2002, Penguin Classics


 “The one of most interest is the indio, or that of the descendants of Inhabitants found on the island at its discovery and settlement. They form a great mass of the country laborers over the island, especially in the centre and northeastern section. They have much of the serious appearance of the North American Indian, with his high cheek bones, but their color is less red and more swarthy.” M.W. Harrington’s , Porto Rico and the Porto Ricans, Catholic world, volume 70, Issue 416, page 174.



As a result with their battles with the Spanish, of disease and emigration to other islands, of hard labor in the mines, and other unaccustomed drudgery, the Native population of Puerto Rico rapidly disappeared, so that in 1543 it was reported to the King of Spain by the bishop of San Juan, that there were but 60 Native Indians remaining in the island. At this time there are few traces of them remaining, at least this census has not discovered any. Still in such matters no census can vie with the trained observer, and therefore attention must be called to the following statements of Captain W.S. Shuyler in a report onAugust 30, 1899: while work was being done on the roads, I had the occasion to watch crowds of 700 or 800 men gathered around the pay tables at Las Marias, La Vega, and Anasco. The frequency of the Indian type was very noticeable. While its almost certain that there is today no single Indian of pure stock in PR it is equally sure that the type can be seen every where in the mountain settlements. At San German I noticed a woman whose color, hair, and features were true Indian as seen in the Southwest of the US. (report of General George W. Davis) .War Department Census Of Puerto Rico 1899, LT. COL J.P. Sanger, Inspector-General, Director. Government Printing office 1900

 Stewart Culin reported that upon his arrival to eastern Cuba to investigate rumors of wild Indians living in the mountains, he finds that the Indian phenotype was everywhere and very pronounced. He also asserted that on his way to the Indian village of Yateras, he stopped at a plantation called “La Sorpresa” where he met the owner, “a white Cuban man”, Senor Eugenio Ysalgue, who, living near the Indians was expected to know something definite about them. Mr. Ysalgue who was part Mexican, asserted that the Indians of Yateras were actually Indians that had been brought over by Spanish soldiers from the Dominican Republic some sixty years earlier (this is 1902). Some ten families of Indians were taken to Cuba from the DR where they eventually intermarried with the Indians already living there. Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science and Art of the University of Pennsylvania. Vol. 111 Philadelphia, May 1902,No. 4.

 Between the years 1898- 1912, 62 children from the “Porto Rican Tribe” were placed in the CarlisleIndianSchool of Pennsylvania. To date, no one knows exactly why these children were placed there, what is known is that the criteria for being a student at the school was that you had to be Indian. Valerie Nanaturey Vargas In “The Carlisle 62” Native Americas magazine, page 23, winter 2000. Also Barbara Landis at the Cumberland Historical Society, who originally researched the names of all 62 children and Mr. Bobby Gonzalez who independently researched the story at the Huntington Free Library in New York and passed on his findings to Jorge Estevez of the National Museum of the American Indian who did further research on the Carlisle 62. note: Sonia M. Rosa has a published paper on the Carlisle 62 in the Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink’s “Issues in Caribbean Amerindian studies” Http://

 Walter J Fewkes writes: El Yunque, where marked Indian features were casually observed everywhere, especially in the isolated mountainous regions, where the inhabitants still preserve Indian features to a marked degree. In“The Aborigines of Porto Rico” 1913. Johnson re-print corporation, USA 1970, p. 24-25 Further:

 In the Cibao and Higuey provinces likewise the natives resisted with desperation. Henriquillo, the last cacique of Santo Domingo, was never subdued, but was given the pueblo of Boya, north of the capital, where the descendants of the early Natives still live. The Aborigines of Porto Rico 1913. Johnson re-print corporation, USA 1970, page 31.

 We now come to the class of people though smallest in numbers, interest us the most-descendants of the original Indians. They are not so rare either in the Baracoa district, for one will pass many persons of strongly Indian features in a days journey in almost any direction. All however, have more or less Spanish blood although once in a while a type that looks almost pure may be seen. Mixtures with Negro blood will not be considered. These people still make and use a few articles of aboriginal character, while their houses, their methods of agriculture, and, to a large extent, their mode of life, are still quite Indian. In “Cuba Before Columbus” Vol. 1&2 for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1920.

 G. Jimenez Rivera, school inspector for District no. 41 Northern Department of Santiago. Dominican Republic reported that the people living in the campos around San Jose de las Matas are mostly of white/Indian descent as are the people of the towns of Janico and Najayo etc. In Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi “Lengua y Folklore ”April 12, 1922

 Today there no pure Taínos writes Sven Loven, Mestizos are found in the rural towns of Oriente plateau in Cuba, also in the woods ofEl Yunque massif on Puerto Rico, page 499. He writes further: the Taínos were a people that long ago became extinct. Such relics in the form of objects still used, or ancient superstitions occurring in folklore, as may still be found among their mestizo “descendants” in the Yunque Rainforest, of Oriente in Cuba, or among the Negro interbred population of the Dominican Republic. Summary page 657 in Origins of Tainian Culture, Sven Loven, 1935.

 In 1948 Dr Jose de Jesus Alvarez concluded after a study based on A-B-O blood groups, that the “Indian mestizo ” did in fact exist in the Dominican Republic. He found that 57% of the Dominicans studied had a predominance of Blood type O, M and Rh¹ which is highest among American Indians. He also stated that in places where the people displayed strong Indian features (like the mountain communities and isolated regions, there was between 54 and 70 percent Indian descent. As reported to the “American Anthropologist” 1951 page 127 titled “Studies on the A-B-O, M-N and Rh-Hr blood factors in the Dominican Republic, with special reference to the problem of admixture. Also in EME EME Vol 2, No 8 Sept-Oct. 1973

 In 1949 Bertita Harding writes: What appears most noteworthy about the entire district of Constanza, Dominican Republic is the fact that the population has remained almost pure Indian. Almonds shaped eyes, aquiline features, straight black hair, and high cheekbones all bear the stamp of Taíno and Carib strains. In “The Land Columbus Loved” Bertita Harding, 1949 Chapter 21, p141

 Dr. David de Jongh who was interviewed by Taíno/Ciboney activist Mr. Jorge Louis Salt says: “it is quite obvious that Indians still remain in Oriente, Cuba, his conclusion coming after an O blood Type group study he conducted in that region of Cuba, in the 1950’s. LC CONTROL NO. 72214899 TYPE OF MATERIAL: book (print, Microform, electronics,et.c) BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Gates, Reginald Ruggles, 1882‑1962 (from old catalog) Race Crossing (Roma, Instituto "Gregorio Mendel," 1961?) (25)‑153 p. illus. col.). ports. 29 cm. CALL NUMBER: RB155.D37 pars 2 Copy 1 REQUEST IN: book service: Jefferson (Main Eur Hip LHG) or Adams 5th Fl. STATUS: not charged DATABASE NAME: library of Congress Online Catalog UBLICATION IN ENTITLED Studies of interracial crossing VI. The Indian remnants in eastern Cuba, Genetica 27, 65‑96 (1954).

Don Joaquin Priego writes that unquestionably there are many Dominicans who show truly Taíno Indian phenotypes, and calls for a thorough investigation into this matter. In “Cultura Taína” page 43,1967.

 A man may not know that he is Indian. A man may know and not admit he is Indian. “But it does not matter”. The ignorance of your father and mother does not change who you are, he said. “No matter what a Puerto Riqueno decided he is. It already has been decided for him. Interview with an Elder in Caguana,The Islands, the world of the Puerto Ricans, by Stan Steiner, page 9, 1974.

 The Natives of the island, the so-called “Taino” Indians, who never called themselves that since it was not their name-hidden in their mountain villages, beneath whatever cultural guises most effectively disguised them, were not about to reveal themselves in writing. Like many conquered tribal people they decided it was safer to be “nonexistent”. “The Islands: The worlds of the Puerto Ricans” by Stan Steiner. Page 499

 Studies on the so called “shovel shaped incisors” conducted in the town of Sabana de los Javieres , indicated that between 35 and 40 percent of Dominicans in this town (many of which were aware of Native ancestry) had shovel shaped teeth which is a trait found in Native Americans and Asians. Hernan Omos Cordones, in Boletin (15) Museo del Hombre Dominicano. 1980

 There was also an admixture of Negro, white and Arawak blood that produced many exotic types. In both the Spanish and French areas of the island, there developed a legal system of grading such mixtures. There were samboes, mullatos, mestizos quadroons and octoroons, each having different legal rights. But since statistics were not reliably kept, if at all, we can only guess at the evolution of race in Hispaniola. In “A Dominican Chronicle” by Carlton Alexander, second edition,page 54, 1986 Impreso Editorio, Stanton.

 Abstract:  Previous studies performed at Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (1982) confirmed the Incidence of Shovel Shaped teeth, taurodontism and dentis invaginatus in the population of the Dominican Republic. Precise genetic transmission mechanism of shovel shaped teeth has not yet been established, although heredity by dominant autosomas is very probable. It is necessary to establish prevalence and distribution among modern races and the eventual value as criteria for the differentiation among the populations. No previous studies have been conducted with relatives of the 1st or 2nd degree. This has only been established by brothers. There is a noticeable incidence of Shovel shaped teeth in the Dominican Republic’s actual population, in the different ethnic groups, due perhaps to the racial mixture established in our country since the first days of colonization.F. Mornab Laucer, in Boletin (20) 1987 page 17, Museo del Hombre Dominicano.

Bernardo Boyrie De Vega, writes of the many Taíno elements found in modern Dominican Culture. In “La herencia Indigena en la cultura Dominicana de hoy” Ensayos sobre la cultura Dominicana, 1988.

 They withdrew into the mountains, later intermarrying with the escaped black slaves and deserting Spanish soldiers. They later became the rural proletariat. Indeed, their imprint is still visible in the faces and stature of many Puerto Ricans as well as in the Islands language. In “The Puerto Rican Houses in Socio-historical Perspective” by Carol F. Joppling page 11, 1988

Dr Rivero De la Calle who studied the natives of eastern Cuba in 1964, as did Dr. V. Ginsburg in 1967 who came to the same conclusion: the Taínos did in fact survive in Eastern Cuba. As reported to the Cuban Publication “Granma” News letter #4, August 13, 1989

 Maya Derin’s Study of Haiti was one of the first to point out the many areas of “cultural convergence” among the Taíno and African Peoples who were brought to the island as slaves. Derin, Divine Horsemen: The living Gods of Haiti. 1964 (New York: McPherson & Co. 1991. See especially 61-67 and appendix B, 271-286.

 "The persistence of a Taíno genetic component in contemporary Dominican life, along with the survival of certain undeniably indigenous beliefs and traditions (kept alive in rural areas and passed along through oral tradition) requires the recognition of a native substratum in our midst today in: “Trans-culturation in the contact period and contemporary Columbian Consequences”, by Garcia Arevalo, 1990 page 275

 “Although the Taino population of Hispaniola was “wiped” out within thirty years of the discovery, it is as though the Tainos had left their mode of life embedded in the land, to be reenacted in a surprisingly similar form by the campesinos now”. Rich soil, a benign climate, and plants of predictable yield guarantee basic survival, although today on a threadbare level..... Pucho asks me a lot about the Tainos-- I once read him from Las Casas the descriptions of their common crops and agricultural practices, and he was as startled as I was that everything was all still growing within shouting distance, that we were more or less enacting the Tainos' agricultural patterns, using their words, living more or less as they did except for our clothes and our discontents. In “Reflections: Waiting for Columbus" by Alastair Reid in "The New Yorker" (February 24, 1992, pp. 57-75)

 Dr. Irving Rouse, although first stating that the Taínos are “extinct”, goes on to say that people claiming to be of Taíno descent have survived on all three of the Spanish speaking islands of the Caribbean, and that they have in fact retained cultural, biological and linguistic traits of their Taíno ancestors. Irving Rouse, In “The Taínos, The Rise and Fall of the People that Met Columbus”, page 161, 1992.

 We never disappeared as a people or as a culture. As a new people we made ourselves one with the European and with the African, and as a culture our customs and knowledge fused with theirs, creating an unreal but certain us. The Dominican Taínos still live 500 years later. Only knowing truly what we were can we see what we want. E. Antonio De Moya, In “Animacion Sociocultural y Polisintesis en la Transformacion del Sistema Educativo Dominicano,” Revista de Educacion , Santo Domingo, 1993, P 10.

 In any case I discovered that Native Americans had been legally defined as mulattoes in Virginia in 1705, without having any African ancestry. Thus I knew that the dictionaries were wrong and that there was a lot that was hidden away from view by the way most authors had written about the Southern United States, about slavery, and about colored people. I later discovered also, that the same thing was true as regards the Caribbean, Brazil and much more of the rest of the Americas. Quoting from page 2. The term Mestizo does not appear in the Nebrija dictionaries o c.1495 or 1520 although mezcla, mesturar and related words are included. Mesticoalso is not a word found in Santa Rosa de Virterbo’s study of medieval Portuguese language. Its first known appearance is in Cordoso’s Portuguese dictionary (1560’s Nearly 68 years after contact) when it is equated with Latin Ibira (corrected to Hybris, hybrida) in the 1643 edition. Quoting from page 125 Surprisingly such an important term as mulatto seems never to have been systematically studied historically. This is, as we shall see, a sad example of scholarly oversight since the term mulatto, like most racial terms, has not had a static or single meaning. We have already seen that mulattoin the sixteenth century was treated as being the equivalent of ‘hybrid’ and thus applicable to many kinds of persons. It is necessary to be more precise, however, in terms of the changing meanings of this word. Quoting from page 131 “Africans and Native Americans, The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples” by Jack D. Forbes, Illini Books edition 1993

 It is true that much of the Taíno culture has been lost due to destruction by the conquistadors or absorption into the dominant Puerto Rican culture. The latter observation is often unknown, however, even by Puerto Ricans themselves who have been conditioned to believe that the Taínos were completely wiped out. It is my contention that Taíno Customs and beliefs provide the extensive roots of Puerto Rican culture. Only by nourishing these roots with recognition and preservation can the Puerto Rican people nurture a strong positive self- identity. Toni-Ann Ramos’s thesis UMI # 1376047 pages 82-83, 1995

 These few strands of indigenous culture were not perceived as such in the consciousness of the Puerto Rican people until anthropologists and members of independence movements began to rescue Puerto Rico's indigenous roots in recent years. However, even now, a type of discrimination creeps in, ranking Taíno culture "lower" or "more primitive" than the Aztec, Maya, or Inca civilizations. In spite of the efforts to reconstruct indigenous life in Puerto Rico as it was before the arrival of Columbus (extensive anthropological work, two museums), it remains an artifact of the past and few people feel a connection to it. In Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, or Ecuador large indigenous populations have managed to survive in spite of genocide and repression. Puerto Rico's indigenous legacy has been assimilated, however, although a visit to the Taíno museums in Puerto Rico help to identify those elements of everyday life that Puerto Ricans owe to our indigenous ancestors. Moreover, identification of indigenous communities in the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominica, St. Vincent, Trinidad) is opening new doors to the real history of that region Piri Thomas. "Puerto Rico - 500 years of oppression." Social Justice Summer 1992: 73-75.

In a letter to Dr. Richard Morrow of Brisas Del Mar, Luiquillo Puerto Rico:
Dear Dr. Morrow,
We are pleased to inform you that since 1993, when Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition was first published, the word extinct has not appeared in our definition of the Taíno people. It has been retained only in the definition of the Taíno Language. Here is the entry as it appears therein:
Tai-no, n pl Taíno or Taínos [sp] (ca1895)
1: member of an aboriginal Arawakan people of the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas 2: the extinct language of the Taíno people.
We certainly appreciate your concern about this, and we thank you for the information you have supplied in this regard.
James G. Lowe
Merriam Webster


POSTSCRIPT- the treaty with Enriquillo resulted in the settlement of the Indian community at Boya, in south central Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic). About 4,000 Indian people settled in the free Indian community, where Enriquillo officiated until his death a year later. The Boya community persisted and, although intermarriage and migration eroded Indian jurisdiction, Indian ancestry persists in the families of the region today. Around the time of the settlement with Enriquillo, other Taino groups, in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, sought refuge in the mountains of their respective lands, and thus small enclaves of Taino ancestors survived, some into the 20th century. Of course, the Taino people, in intermarriage with Iberians and Africans, are a major genetic root of the contemporary Greater Antillean population. The Greater Caribbean islands were under Spanish domination until the end of the 19th century. In “The Indian Chronicles” by Jose Barreiro, Page 295 Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, Houston Texas 77204-2090

 There is a continuity in Caribbean history: from the Amerindian to the contemporary Antillean, despite clashes and splits, a culture has been transmitted and progressively enriched by contributions of the different peoples. Several Amerindian words are being used in present languages. Manioc (yuca) tobacco and many other commodities have been transmitted, as well as the know-how of their preparation. Ordinary items, fishing techniques, beliefs and imagery have kept their mark. Thus, the Indian is worshipped in a special way in the voodoo of the Dominican Republic. The civilization of these first Amerindian inhabitants represents the basis of the creole cultures of the Antilles. In “Presents Caraibes, 5000 ans d’histoire amerindienne”, Guadalupe 1994, Directional regionale des affairs culturales de Guadalupe, Service regionale de L’archeologie 14, rue Maurice Marie-Claire 100 BASSE-TERRE, tele (590)81 48 82

 Dr. Peter J. Ferbel writes: The People of the Sierra region in general, and from cacique, Moncion in particular, are distinctive in their physical appearance. While no anthropometric studies have been made, they appear to have bloodlines stronger in Indian and mestizo origin than other places in the Dominican Republic, page 156……….In Essence, an admission of the survival of the Taíno is a critique of the state control of history and national identity. Dr. Peter J. Ferbel in “The politics of Taíno Indian identity in the post Quincentennial Dominican Republic” page 168 and 169. 1996 UMI Dissertation Services #9604952

 The history studied and taught for four hundred years in the Caribbean tended to focus on the past of the mother country rather than the pre-history history of the specific Island; indigenous culture was thus unimportant for national identity. In “Ancient Caribbean” page xxxvi, by John M Weeks and Peter Ferbel. 1997

At the turn of the millennium, centuries after their presumed extinction, the reassertion of Indigenous identity and the exploration of culture and life ways of the indigenous ancestors are increasingly visible trends in the population of the CaribbeanIslands and in their North American diaspora. Jose Barreiro in “Taino Ascendant Extinction, Continuities and Reassertions” page 1, 1997 Mimeograph.

 The Numerous and Diverse Indigenous people who lived in the Caribbean at the time of European conquest play a more important role in contemporary Caribbean society than might be suggested by any listing of the “contributions” they have made to Caribbean culture. Beyond the sum of all the surviving traits, words, myths, plants and practices, the importance of the fist people of the Caribbean is more far-reaching than is widely recognized. The descendants of the Indians still live in the islands and play an important political and social role. In “The Indigenous People of the Caribbean” Edited by Samuel M. Wilson Chapter 21, page 206, 1997

 What of all the Taínos and mestizos who fled to the mountains or other peripheral regions of the islands to avoid Spanish Domination? How could the Spaniards count people who were not under their control, people who hiding from them? How did this affect the “accurate census”? Dr Lynne Guitar, in “Cultural Genesis: Relationships among Indians, Africans, and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, First half of the 1600th century. 1998

 Today many Dominicans retain physical characteristics of their Taíno heritage--- so many in fact, that they are overlooked, just accepted as “Dominicans” except for those who are specifically looking for them. Dr. Lynne Guitar in “Cultural Genesis: Relationships among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, first half of the sixteenth century, page 315, 1998.

 The documented discovery of Taíno survival has given me the reputation here in the Dominican Republic of a “crack pot.” It pains me, but I can live with that because my discoveries have provided me with deep personal satisfaction on several levels. It is not often that the work of an historian who specializes in the sixteenth century has direct bearing on the modern day. But these documented discoveries do, for they provide modern-day Taínos--several of whom I now count among my dearest friends--with the historical evidence that they have been lacking to date. I am excited to be part of the ongoing battle that Modern-day Taínos are fighting. I am happy to provide them with this documentary evidence as ammunition to reclaim their rightful heritage, not as the pitiable victims of genocide in the New World, but as one of the most influential--and therefore most victorious--groups of Indian people in all of the Americas. Guariquen- Author’s Afterward on Taino Survival “Cultural Genesis: Relationships between Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola in the first half sixteenth century” dissertation, December 1998, Nashville, Tennessee. (included in original version of author’s dissertation). Mimeograph obtained from author, Dr. Lynne Guitar, 1998

 In its definition on what constitutes an American Indian, the American Indian Archaeological Institute states that “Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and other Latin Americans may also be American Indians. Concord MA 1998.

 Escaped slaves, called Maroons, mingled in mountain hideaways with indigenous Taino people. Both peoples had much in common. Taino memories are still evoked by stone celts placed on altars. Other Native American traces persist in Vodou as well, from words to musical instruments, dance and dress styles, and weaponry. Although discrete Taino survivals are difficult to isolate, the secret Bizango rites keep alive the history of the intermingling, as do bands of Rara performers during their post-carnival celebrations. In “The Sacred Arts of Haitian Voodou” exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, 1998-1999.

 It might therefore come as a surprise to some to learn of the many “new” Taino organizations which have appeared, as if out of nowhere, in recent years in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, or when one “discovers” that Island Carib life is being celebrated on a regular basis in Trinidad and Tobago, at the annual Santa Rosa Festival (see article in this issue). Yet in 1989, Cultural Survival magazine reported a population of over 1000 descendants of the Taino, referred to as Cubenos by Bartolome De Las Casas in the 1500’s, living in the far east of that island in the vicinity of Baracoa. For various reasons, the existence of an Indian population in Cuba has been vehemently denied by both government sources and academics for most of this century, and the belief persists that they were exterminated by 1550. In the view of many Cubans, such people cease to be Indians if they intermix with African or Europeans, or if they exhibit any western affectations. In“The Indigenous People of the Caribbean. Cultural Survival Magazine” Issue 23.4 December 31, 1999 by Ian S. McIntosh

 In March 1999 Dr. Juan C. Martinez Cruzado a biology professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez conducted A Mitochondrial DNA sequencing study on 800 people to determine how much, if any, Native American blood could still be found in the modern Puerto Rican people. To his and everyone else’s surprise, 61 % of the people studied showed definite Taíno MT-DNA. In fact even people with no obvious Native phenotype or knowledge of Indian ancestry also showed high degrees of Mitochondria stemming from a Native American female ancestor. The Results showed that most of the Modern Puerto Ricans with Indian ancestry were mostly Haplo group A or C. Although some of the genetic markers undoubtedly came from Natives brought to the island as slaves from other parts of the Americas, most of these were of Haplo groups B or D which are not present in Taino DNA and were scarce in the recent findings. The amount of Mitochondrial DNA found suggests that Intermarriage between Tainos and the Spanish/Africans was obviously much higher than anyone ever suspected. In 1970’s Don Ricardo Alegria conducted a study on shovel shaped incisors and found that 35 percent of all the students he tested had this native “trait” also. In Human Biology, v.73, no 4, pp 491-5111, August 2001. First appeared in his paper, “Ethnic-contributions the Puerto Rican mitochondrial gene pool”. March, 1999, also in

In fact, the supposed extinction of the Taíno people by the Spanish has been an important part of nationalist projects in the Caribbean, used by Indigenistas to accentuate the brutality of the conquest and by “white” elites to emphasize hispanidad, much as in many Latin American countries the “disappearance” of the indigenous populations is not very nostalgically mourned as an unfortunate but long past side effect of European contact, which on the whole is viewed in a positive light. In “The beaded Zemi and the role of the circulation of objects in the conquest of the Caribbean and its contemporary reinterpretation” Alyshia Galvez, May 10, 1999, New York University, Department of Anthropology, page 13.

 There is substantial evidence that there exists an Indo-Cuban population in the town of Yateras and certain villages of the Sierra Maestra region that were established Indian villages during the conquest period. As it appears in “Panchito, Cacique de la Montana, Testimonio Guajiro-Taino de Franciso Ramirez Rojas”page 19 by Jose Barreiro, Ediciones Catedral, Santiago De Cuba, 2001.

 Understand that this fascination with investigating, preserving, educating, and recognizing the truth about our Taino past has only just begun. This wonderful obsession has governed our lives for so many years, we hope that it converts itself into a slogan of a life transformed by the past.Thesis conclusion, Acercamiento a los mitos y leyendas Taínos en la literatura puertorriquena y caribena (Spanish text) by, Sonia Migdalia Rosa-Velez;, MA,UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO, MAYAGUEZ (PUERTO RICO), 2002, 329 pages AAT 1415939

 There is a sociological and human event occurring in the world today.Thousands with ancestral consciousness are awakening all over the planet and the Caribbean is no exception. We are witnessing the culmination of a dynamic that began hundreds of years ago manifesting stronger each time in people whose origins are in the Antilles. The Taino phenomenon occurs not only in the Caribbean but in the United States as well. In North America this phenomenon is especially evident in people of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban origins. In "El Mensaje del Cemi, El despertar de la conciencia Neo-Taina" by Dr. Jose Munoz Vasquez 2002 1st edition, un-published. Available through:

Cassava (bitter and sweet) is widely consumed around the islands of the Caribbean, but I have not seen such wide spread use of cassava anywhere else as in the Dominican Republic. You can find it anywhere in many forms on this side of Hispaniola. Marisol Villanueva in “The New Old World, CAZABI Gift of the Americas” p.18 limited special edition published in by Inter-Americas / Society of Arts and Letters of the Americas. Also part of the “New Old World : Living beyond the Myth “ exhibit, mounted in 2002 at the George Gustav Heye Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
However they were not fully exterminated, as history has led us to believe. In 1655 when the English expelled the Spaniards , Tainos were still recorded as living in Jamaica. It was noted at this time that rural farmers spoke a dialect that was mixture of Spanish, Taino and African languages. Later archaeologists were to discover English lead shot amongst Taino artifacts , and almost 60 years earlier in 1596 English privateer Sir Anthony Shirley sacked St Jago de la Vega

 ( later SpanishTown) , after being guided there by Taino tribesmen. Further archaeological finds were later to confirm that Taino extinction was a myth , although being enslaved and cruelly treated by Europeans some Taino did survive. Many escaped into the mountains to coexist with the Maroons , where still today many non African plants are used medicinally , plants that were once part of the Taino pharmacology. Hammocks also are still made in Accompong in the Taino fashion , proving that the Taino still survived , for many years after the Spanish had left ,with the Maroons in the mountains of inland Jamaica. In “ The Taino of Jamaica” A brief history of the Indigenous population of Jamaica by Glenn Woodley, 2002 -

 In the proposed study, an attempt will be made to determine under which measures and circumstances a multidisciplinary study could provide relevant information on a segment of the Puerto Rican-Dominican population claiming a Taino heritage, and the historical-cultural implications of such claims. In addition, the proposed study attempts to understanding the most important socio-cultural, historical, and bio-geophysical transformations that have left their imprint on the landscape and people of Boriquen and Quisqueya. Although understanding these transformations is crucial for the overall study, we are still left with the challenge of proving common heritage and disproving the total extermination theory. Without a doubt, genetic testing fills both voids by establishing a shared DNA or blood-link. However, it is the multidisciplinary evidence that will assist in the reinterpretation and redefinition of Taino history and culture, respectively. By Carlalynne C. Melendez, 2003

  He and other guides also take visitors to villages where Taino descendants remain. One such concentration of descendants is in the coastal town of Manglito, northwest of Baracoa. "My father was an Indian," said longtime resident Walquimides Hernández Sevilla, 74. "Most of the people here have at least some Taino blood. But some don't admit it or it doesn't matter to them."
His neighbor, for instance, said she almost never thinks of her Indian past.
"I have too many problems for that," said Marta Lores Arias, 42. "My husband died five months ago. My house needs a roof. And somebody stole my two pigs." An Indian revival in Cuba”? By Tracey Eaton/The Dallas Morning News Monday, July 14, 2003


Although the 1816 census scores 33% of the Aruba inhabitants as full-blooded Indians, after 1820 only whites, blacks and colored people are mentioned as ethnic components (Hartog, 1961;Alofs, 1996;Dijkhoff,1997). We hope to show that this poorly defined category of colored people not only covered Afro-European mulattos but mostly included mestizos and Amerindians. The persistence of substantial proportion of Amerindian genetic ancestry in Arubans may explain the current high prevelances of health-related conditions that are common in Amerindians, such as diabetes (Muneta et al.,1993; Ramachandran,1994;Lee et al., 1 995), pterygium (Hilgers, 1959), and lactase deficiency (Caskey et al.,1977; Newcomer et al., 1977). In the “Caribbean Journal of Science”, Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Aruba: Strong Maternal Ancestry of Closely Related Amerindians and implications for the peopling of Northwestern Venezuela, Gladys Toro-Labrador, Oswald R. Wever and Juan Martinez-Cruzado, Vol 39, No 1, 11-22, 2003 College of the Arts and Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

 In August 2002 biologist Juan Martinez Cruzado of Puerto Rico along with Arlene Alvarez , Lynne Guitar, Peter Ferbel and Glenis Tavares extracted DNA samples from randomly picked individuals in the Dominican Republicle (180 samples). Of these 27 percent resulted in positive Native American DNA. Just like in the Puerto Rican findings of 1999 most were Haplo groups A and C with very little B or D. Dr. Cruzado suggested that in the more remote areas of the Dominican Republic there would probably be even higher numbers. The Dominican Republic being such a large island with over 9 million people would require a wider study in order to get an accurate percentage of the amount of Indian ancestry on the island. To date no funding has been acquired to continue this study on the island. In “Era Taina su tatarabuela? By Miryam Lopez, Areito section of the HOY newspaper 08/24/2003

 On March 22 and 23, 2003, more than 900 people attended an historic two-day event held at the SmithsonianNationalMuseum of the American Indian in New York City. Taíno and Carib community members from across the Caribbean were invited to participate in the museum’s Expressive culture Series program. Participants included: Dr. Jose Barreiro (Taíno) representing Cuba, Prosper Paris (Carib) representing the island of Waitikubuli (Dominica), Nina M. R. Aponte (Taíno) representing Boriken (Puerto Rico), Ricardo Bharath (Carib) representing Cairi (Trinidad), and Cándida Peralta (Taíno) representing Quisqueya (Dominican Republic). Celebrating the Continuance of the Indigenous Caribbean Cultures: Review of an Exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian. KACIKE: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology [On-line Journal]. Jorge Estevez(2003). Available at:

 As a consequence of the New Laws (1542) that gave the Aboriginal People total freedom, some small villages were created in which surviving groups of Tainos and their descendants resided in. So is the case of the towns of Boya and Banica (where in 1744 “one can see some Indians still”) in what is now the Dominican Republic and also in Guanabacoa, Cuba. As it appears in “Tainos and Caribs, the aboriginal cultures of the Antilles, page 244” by Sebastian Robiou Lamarche. Editorial punto y coma Apartado 19802, San Juan , Puerto Rico 00910. 2003

 The people from Ancestry-by-DNA Print Genomics a DNA testing facility based in Florida state the following  The AncestryByDNA provides you with a simple and objective description of your ancestral origins. The test gives you an estimated percentage of ancestry from the four major historical population groups: Native American, Sub-Saharan, European and East Asian. For people of more complex admixture, (i.e. 4-population admixture, such as 30% European, 30% African, 20% Native American and 20% East Asian, which might be obtained from a person with a Dominican father and a Philippine mother), the MLE is computed using a more complex 4-D methodology. Because the triangle plot projects the results in terms of most likely 3-population mixture results, and because individuals of 4-way admixture are obviously more complex, on a group-by-group basis, the bar graph is more informative for the latter. 5/27/04
High levels of admixture are highly characteristic of recent admixture events and various populations show systematic types of admixtures. The average African American shows 20% European admixture, and Caribbean Hispanics tend to show significant European, Native American and African admixture. Non-African Hispanics tend to show relatively even European/Native American admixture with some showing more (even all) European, and others more (even all) Native American 5/27/04. Can be found @

 Hartmann fired off a dozen more questions as part of his effort to complete the first census of the descendants of the Taino Indians, an indigenous group that once thrived in this remote region of eastern Cuba and later were thought to be extinct. "Julio is a mixture of Spanish and Indian like many people," explained Hartmann, a historian and Taino expert. "I want to eliminate the myth once and for all that the Indians were extinguished in Cuba." Chicago Tribune Article, August 17 2004 “Historians work to set record straight on Cuba's Taino Indians BY GARY MARX

 "From an archaeological perspective, Taino cultural continuity and Spanish cultural transformation in sixteenth-century Hispaniola suggests that contact-induced cultural change in household domestic practice was largely unidirectional--from Taino to Spaniard." She found very few European artifacts in the Post-Contact Era Taino site, despite their nearness to the Spanish town of Puerto Real (just a few kilometers away). Quoting from page 621; "This is consistent with Anderson-Cordova's suggestion that most Tainos retreated to their home villages when not working in labor drafts, and were largely insulated there from the Spaniards (1990). It also supports the suggestion of Taino indifference to and rejection of Spanish cultural elements and values." In, American Antiquity, published by the Society of American Archaeology, Vol 69, No 4, 2004, pages 597-626.

 This is certainly the situation in the Caribbean Antilles, for though the lifeblood of the earlier people does indeed flow through the veins of present-day Antillian people, with rare exceptions their earlier cultures and languages have disappeared through the passage of time…. Chapter 1, page 2..………. The testing of such a hypothesis will necessitate considerably more archeological and linguistic research. A very important analytical dimension which might and should be added-not addressed to date by Antillean specialists- would be the gathering of serological and DNA evidence from both the living populations of the Greater Antilles and from pre-European skeletal remains. Both sources hitherto ignored data are readily available to the qualified analyst. Chapter 5, page 50. In “The Languages of the Pre-Columbian Antilles” by Julian Granberry and Gary S. Vescelius, The University of the Alabama press, September, 2004

 If the Indians became extinct during the first 60 years of the conquest, then where did La India Maria come from? Why are our neighbors from Barahona of Morovis called the Indians of Cabachuelas? How is it that my mother still prepared casabe bread for breakfast? Why was it that the first home my family lived in was a Bohio? How is it that four hundred years after the supposed extinction of the Indians we still eat the same foods they did?.... In " El Sonido del Caracol" by Tina Casanova, authors notes, Publicaciones Puertorriquenas, inc. 2005


Though most of the Tainos of Hispaniola now comprised of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) vanished in the Americas first genocide, there are many traces left of them today. Remnants of Taino life include hammocks, barbecue and tobacco. Among the Taino words are hurricane, canoe, tuna and iguana. It is believed that most if not all of Hispaniola's Tainos were exterminated, but there are groups of people in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba who identify themselves as Taino. Some have even proven themselves to be legitimate descendants of the Taino through DNA tests. In the Royal Diaries, Anacaona, Golden Flower 1490 (fiction), Historical note, by Edwidge Danticat 2005  Special thanks to Joe and Evelyn Garcia (Taino) of Seattle Washington.

 ..... THEY ARE TRYING TO EVADE THEIR “BLACKNESS” (Can anyone cite a representative number of examples to support the assertion? If Indians  with "one drop" of African blood are evading their "blackness" by proclaiming themselves Indian, then what do we say of Africans with "one drop" of Indian blood who proclaim themselves African?). Indeed, "black" is taken as the "normal", "natural", and unquestionable default identity of Caribbean peoples in such arguments, and anyone claiming a distinct history must be motivated by a sinister, separatist agenda. Lurking in the background are unexamined and thus unquestioned attachments to outdated ideas of assimilation and evolution, better suited to the era of scientific racism than the post-colonial period. In “Searching for a Center in the Digital Ether: Notes on the Indigenous Caribbean Resurgence on the Internet. In “Indigenous Resrugence in the Contemporary Caribbean” Edited by Maximillian C. Forte 2006

 Ponce, Puerto Rico- Tonight an Indian couple from the Indigenous Ceremonial Center of Tibes will marry in a moonlight ritual which various tribes and the general Puerto Rican people are invited, announced the tribes Medicine Man. “This ritual forms part of the 23rd anniversary of celebration Indigenous Ceremonial Center of Tibes and also contains the dramatization of a child’s baptism” says Louis Sanchez Garcia, organizer of the actitivites and medicine man. The activity commences at 7:30 p.m. At this hour the invited guests will be taken to the Yucayeque (village) where the ceremony will begin and the guests will be able to appreciate Taino Indian petroglyphs. Other Tainos invited included the tribes of Vega Alta, San Juan and Ponce as well as Cacique Yahureibo of Aguadilla. More than 70 indigenous people are expected to attend. Rito Nupcial Y Bautismo En El Centro Ceremonial Tibes By Sandra Caquías in El Nuevo Dia San Juan News Paper, Sunday May 1, 2005, End.scaquias@elnuevodia

In New York, Florida and Puerto Rico, people of Caribbean indigenous ancestry have re-organized related families of the Taino Nation of the Antilles, giving way to a growing cultural revitalization movement that counts many prominent representatives. Whereas in times past, immigrants to the United States were only too happy to leave behind the ''old country,'' to Americanize themselves into the new ''melting pot,'' the new immigrants from Latin America are not only sustaining their ties to their country of origin, but the indigenous among them are keen to maintain and consciously revitalize their ancestral identities. Editorial: Being Conscious of origins of Indian affairs, © Indian Country Today May 26, 2005. All Rights Reserved by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

 While the Tainos were once pushed to the edge of extinction, their capacity for adaption has ensured their survivability during the last 500 years of radical socio-political changes in the Antilles. Likewise, their tenacity to preserve their cultural identity has brought about their emergence from historical shadows to reclaim their rightful place side by side with other Native Amnerican cultures that have made invaluable contributions to the shaping of the Americas. Members within the blossoming Taino community will continue to promote their deeply imbedded traditions by educating today’s youth. In return, the youth of today will continue to retell their Taino legends for generations to come. In “Return of the legend keepers: Revival of the Taino Nation of Puerto Rico, by Cheryl A. McCabe, page 68, University College University of Denver, MALS 4901: Capstone project, September 18, 2006.

 Although the Taino language is not spoken anymore, contrary to popular belief the Taino people still exist. I won't go into much detail over the controversy but I will say this: just because a person is wearing blue jeans instead of a loincloth and may be mixed rather than full-blooded doesn't mean they are not Taino. I'll leave it at that, though feel free to ask more questions and debate it in the forum. The territory of the Taino covered all the islands from Cuba all the way to the island of Antigua. By K Marie Josephs

 In the early days, the island natives used to socialize and network with one another. This particular characteristic of socializing among other island natives is not exclusively practiced by just the decendents of the Garifuna who are still numerous in Central America. This pattern of African, Carib and Arawak intermingling is repeated from South America (Surinam & Guyana, North Brazil) all the way to the present day Central America. This mixture is also visible throughout the Caribbean and North America (Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Island, Grenada, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and U.S. Virgin Island). The following countries are excluded because they exclusively claim only Arawak lineage: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Cuba, Haiti (Hispaniola) and Puerto Rico (Boriken). It is unknown why these countries only claim to be descendants of the Arawak and not also the Carib. The country of Dominica was also excluded because they solely claim to be descendants of the Caribs. It is obvious that at some point in time these two indigenous groups coexisted and intermarried throughout the Greater and Lesser Antilles. The Garifuna people are kin to both the Arawak and Carib natives. Written by Cheryl L. Noralez

 The author is referring to Roberto's father Don Melchor: "...During his childhood, until he turned fifteen in 1898, Puerto Rico was still under Spanish domain. His relatives were poor farmers and sugar-cane workers of black and Taino Indian blood." page 19 in the book Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss. 2006 Thank you, Bobby Gonzalez for bringing this to my attention.

Latinos? Indios? The following is a short excerpt of the soon to be published book Voice of the Hawk by Edna Gordon, a Seneca elder:  "I hear’m bein’ called ‘Latinos,’ whatever that is. What’s ‘Latino’ anyway? No one I ever knew spoke this ‘Latino’. They’re also callin’m ‘Hispanics,’ whatever that is, and ‘Mexicans’ or ‘Puerto Ricans’ or ‘Colombians’ and so on. Also they get called ‘illegals’ and ‘wetbacks’ and worse than that....... Well, I'll you a little secret: these folks ain’t nothin’ else but Indian People! That’s right, Indians! All them hundreds of millions of people livin’ south of the Rio Grande down in Mexico and Central and South America. Look at’m. They’re Indians! You can see it in their faces and in their color. They got more Indian blood in’m than a lot o’ Indian folks right here in this country today......"

The following is taken from "The Taino of Jamaica: A Brief History of the Indigenous Population of Jamaica: "The Taino were the first people of the New World to encounter the Europeans as they expanded westwards , and soon were to face harsh slavery and virtual extinction. However they were not fully exterminated, as history has led us to believe. In 1655 when the English expelled the Spaniards, Tainos were still recorded as living in Jamaica. It was noted at this time that rural farmers spoke a dialect that was mixture of Spanish, Taino and African languages. Later archaeologists were to discover English lead shot amongst Taino artifacts , and almost 60 years earlier in 1596 English privateer Sir Anthony Shirley sacked St Jago de la Vega (later Spanish Town) , after being guided there by Taino tribesmen. Further archaeological finds were later to confirm that Taino extinction was a myth , although being enslaved and cruelly treated by Europeans some Taino did survive. Many escaped into the mountains to coexist with the Maroons, where still today many non African plants are used medicinally, plants that were once part of the Taino pharmacology. Hammocks also are still made in Accompong in the Taino fashion, proving that the Taino still survived, for many years after the Spanish had left ,with the Maroons in the mountains of inland Jamaica."(


*New* My argument is that the extinction theme has become part of a familiar story, an ideological narrative of Western progress, of traditionssuccumbing to modernity, of "weaker" peoples giving way to "stronger" ones, of sloth giving way to industry. We are therefore dealing with a particular theory of history, with its own selection of suitable facts, rather than an accurate and impartial record of events. Besides that, it has been a useful theory of history, when viewed in the context of various political and economic projects characteristic of modernization in the colonial world. Extinction, a theme emerging from the intertwining of numerous accounts, reports, chronicles, essays and travel writings, can be viewed as having led to the creation of a convenient historical trope. The trope of the vanishing Indian was often consciously used by colonialist historiographers (and somewhat less so by their modem successors) as a standard and routine motif that has been assigned and attached to indigeneity not just in the Caribbean, but across the Americas. It is a recurring theme of the ever-disappearing Amerindian that could serve a range of sometimes contradictory interests, whether symbolic or material, or both. As part of a larger mythology of Western progress, the extinction story carried the great weight of a universalizing discourse whose inherent ambitions corresponded with the expansionist outreach of colonizers. That it should survive for so long in the Caribbean is due, in good part, to the entrenched view of the Caribbean as a primarily novel, Western, cultural creation. Extinction: Ideologies Against Indigeneity in the Caribbean. 

*New*One night, when Moore was entertaining friends at his harborside cinder-block house in Cap-HaÔtien—he lives there with his wife, Pat, a nurse from Nebraska with 16 years' service in Haiti's rural clinics—the conversation turned to the fate of the Taino. "The Taino really weren't all wiped out," Moore said. "There are groups in New York, Puerto Rico and Cuba who call themselves the descendants. They're reviving the language and ceremonies and want the world to know 'Hey, we're still here.'" "The descendants in Haiti are secretive," a visiting archaeologist chimed in. The Lost Fort of Columbus By Frances Maclean Photographs by Les Stone Smithsonian magazine, January 2008

(1) Wendolyn Midlow Hall recognized a similar pattern in her study of Louisiana 400 years later. “The extent of race mixture and emancipation in French Louisiana has been minimized by the excessive reliance upon Spanish censuses, which overlooked the passing of mixed bloods into the ‘White race.’” Midlow Hall, Africans in Colonial Louisiana : the development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century , Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press 1992, 239.


(2) Susan B. Parker’s studies have demonstrated that Indians in St. Augustine Florida, were consistently undercounted because of the individuals and families who moved into the town and became Spanish, “to all effects and purposes”. She even uncovered documentary evidence of two ladinoized Indians Francisco and Antonio Xavier, who married white women, which runs counter to the widely accepted assumption that “marriages between Spaniards and Indians were always between Spanish males and Indian females”. Susan R. Parker “Spanish St Augustine’s Urban Indians” in El Escribano: the St Augustine Journal of History 30 (1993) 2 and 5.

(3) In many cases , those containers of straw, wood, gourds and ceramics were made in the traditional ways but in shapes that were modified by the new cultural influences and with reduced (or missing) artistic embellishment. See in particular. Kathleen Deegan: Sixteenth century Spanish -American colonization the Southeastern US and the Caribbean in Columbian consequences ed . David Hurst Thomas (DC Smithsonian Press), 1990 225-250.


(4) The offspring of Spanish men by Indian women "was regarded as in no way racially different from the Spaniards," writes Hugh Thomas about colonial Cuba. He notes, however, that "imperial-born Spaniards... from the beginning" were held to be socially superior. Hugh Thomas, Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), 1,512. Sidney Mintz agrees, noting that the colonists were virtually "color-blind--so far as getting the job done was concerned." He stresses demographic and economic forces as the categoric differentiators throughout the colonial era. Mintz, Caribbean Transformations (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 66. Richard Boyer found political forces to be the strongest differentiators in seventeenth-century Mexico. "A common mistake," he writes, "... has been to assume that the designations are descriptive rather than political." Boyer, "Negotiating Calidad: The Everyday Struggle for Status in Seventeenth-Century Mexico," an unpublished paper presented at the Society for Historical Archaeology conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Vancouver, BC, Jan 1994, 3. See also Leonico Cabrero, "Visión del indio americano en tiempos de Carlos V," in Cuadernos hispanoamericanos 107-108 (Nov-Dec 1958): 168-180; Douglas Cope, The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebian Society in Colonial Mexico City (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994); Lewis Hanke, "Indians and Spaniards in the New World: A Personal View," in Attitudes of Colonial Powers Toward the American Indian, ed. Howard Peckham and Charles Gibson (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1969): 4-18; Elizabeth Anne Kuznesof, "Ethnic and Gender Influences on 'Spanish' Creole Society in Colonial Spanish America," in Colonial Latin American Review 4(1), 1995: 153-175; Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and Structures," in Implicit Understandings: Observing, reporting, and reflecting on the encounters between Europeans and other peoples in the Early Modern Era, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 96-133; Magnus Mörner, Estratificación social Hispanoamericana durante el periodo colonial (Stolkholm: Institute of Latin American Studies, Nov 1980); Anthony Pagden, Lords of all the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c. 1500-c. 1800 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995); Danilo de los Santos and Valentina Peguero, "Visión cultural en La Española del siglo XVI," in Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos 5(26), Sep-Oct 1976: 3-10; Stuart B. Schwartz, "Colonial Identities and the Sociedad de Castas, in Colonial Latin American Review 4(1), 1995: 185-201; and Emilio Willems, "Race, sex, and miscegenation," Chapter 5 in Latin American Culture: An Anthropological Synthesis (New York: Harper & Row, 1975: 5-50.


(5) Male immigrants from Iberia to the Indies outnumbered females by a 17:1 ratio through 1539, although more Spanish females began arriving afterward. Peter Boyd-Bowman estimated that only 308 out of 5,481 Spanish immigrants to the New World between 1493 and 1519 were female. The overall ratio from 1493-1580 was 7.2:1. Boyd-Bowman, Patterns of Spanish Emigration to the New World (1493-1580) (Buffalo, NY: Council on International Studies, State University of New York, April 1973). See also Analola Borges, "La mujer-pobladora en los orígenes Americanos," in Anuario de Estudios Hispanoamericanos (1972): 389-444; and Richard Konetzke, "La emigración de mujeres españolas a América durante la época colonial," in Revista Internacional de Sociología 3(9-10), 1-28: 1945.


(6) Nearly every royal document dealing with the importation of African slaves to Hispaniola in the sixteenth century mandates ratios of one female to every three males--or more. See, for example, Archivo General de Indias (hereafter, AGI), Indiferente General 424, L21, which contains hundreds of slave permit records from May 21, 1547-August 27, 1549. For more detail about African women on Hispaniola, see Celsa Albert Batista, Mujer y esclavitud en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Ediciones CEDEE, 1993). For the African woman who founded the dispensary, see page 19.


(7) The first documentary evidence of the word "cimarron" used to refer to runaway Indians is a letter written by Gonzalo de Guzmán to the crown on Sep 18, 1530. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo 54, R1, No. 34; available in Colección de documentos inéditos relativos al descubrimiento, conquista y organización de las antiguas posesiones españoles en Ultramar, 25 volumes (Madrid: Establecimiento Tipográfico, 1885-1932) (hereafter, CDIU), Vol. 2(4), 145-148. By mid-decade, the term was in common use and can be found in many documents as synonymous with "indios alzados," which was defined as Indians who ran away or who otherwise resisted or refused to be subjugated, and "indios bravos," which implied "wild" or "savage" Indians. By 1544, cimarron was also used in the documents as synonymous with "negros alzados." See José Juan Arrom and Manuel A. García-Arévalo, Cimarron (Santo Domingo: Fundación García-Arévalo, 1986) and Carlos Esteban Deive, Los guerrilleros negros: Esclavos fugitivos y cimarrones en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1989), 12. Esteban Mira Caballos, however, notes that in the earlier decades of the island's conquest, the Spanish documents recognized only two kinds of Indian resistance and made a clear distinction between them: Indios alzados, he writes, were those Indians who fought, refusing to accept Spanish domination. They were punished with enslavement. Indians who simply fled from their encomenderos, however--if caught--were whipped and put back to work. Mira Caballos, "El pleito Diego Colón-Francisco de Solís: El primer proceso por malos tratos a los indios en La Española (1509)," in Anuario de Estudios Americanos 50(2), 1993, 320.


(8) The Calusa Indians and the Tekesta Indians of South Florida were taken to Guanabacoa (a suburb of Havana) around the 1700’s. There is a letter that Cacique Carlos of the Calusa had written with the help of a friar to the governor of Havana -- to send ships to pick up his people (copy of the letter is in the Archives in Spain) there may be a copy in D.C. as well.At that time, the Florida Indians spoke Spanish and were Christianized.The Florida Indians and the Spanish lived side by side, so during the invasion of the English from the North.Cacique Carlos of the Calusa and the Tekesta were transported to Havana -- the archives in Havana still has the genealogy records dating back to the time.One of the surnames assigned was Perez. Private conversation with Mr. Jorge Louis Salt of Florida,December 12, 2001.


The following is excerpted from page 5 of the book Puerto Rico: The Trials of the Oldest Colony in the New World by José Trías Monge, Yale University Press, 1997, New Haven and London.


"When colonization started in earnest in 1508, the Spaniards, undoubtedly for evangelical reasons, distributed the Indians as slaves among themselves ... Being unaccustomed to good, Christian hard work, the taínos (sic) died in great numbers ..."
"Soon the Spaniards had to resort to African slavery, and turned their attention to saving the souls of the blacks."
Note: These are not quotes from a 16th century European. These are the writings and beliefs of a contemporary "scholar."

We are not and have never been extinct, our presence has always been felt in the Caribbean throughout the centuries, and now the whole world is beginning to take notice. Western civilization however is rapidly encroaching on our homelands, and into our campos. Our campesino life ways are rapidly changing and disappearing, our Taino ways and knowledge are today, truly in danger. Curiously this comes at a time when many Caribbean people are aggressively searching out their Native roots and there is staunch native reaffirmation. If it is to be so, that we, the Taino and our culture will become extinct one day, the whole world must know, that at this time, in this place, we were relentless in asserting our Nativeness and strived to tell the world of who we were, and that we were still here at this time, and that at least…we tried. Random thoughts running through Jorge’s head one crazy afternoon, Jorge Estevez 2001.

Side notes 

 The Spanish seemed to be harsher than the English, French, Dutch or Portuguese in their views of what constitutes Native people. I find it curious that on the islands that were held by the English or Dutch, Native ancestry is accepted as fact, while on the larger islands where survival was more easily attainable, the denial of Taino Heritage is strong. I came to this conclusion after reading about the native people of Aruba, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Trinidad. Jorge Estevez 2002.