What religion did the Tainos practice?

Asked By: Dinorah Avetisov | Last Updated: 2nd April, 2020
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Religion. The Arawak/Taíno were polytheists and their gods were called Zemi. The zemi controlled various functions of the universe, very much like Greek gods did, or like later Haitian Voodoo lwa. However, they do not seem to have had particular personalities like the Greek and Haitian gods/spirits do.

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Just so, what did the Tainos worship?

Taíno religion centered on the worship of zemís or cemís. Cemís were either gods, spirits, or ancestors. There were two supreme gods: Yúcahu, which means spirit of cassava, was the god of cassava (the Taínos main crop) and the sea and Atabey, mother of Yúcahu, was the goddess of fresh waters and fertility.

Furthermore, what clothes did the Tainos wear? The American Native Chronicles 2nd. The men wore a cotton loincloth or were naked most of the time. It was custom for unmarried Taíno woman to wear a headband, while married women wore short white skirts (naguea) at a length that indicated the wearer's rank. The men wore a cotton loincloth or we…

Keeping this in consideration, what religion did the Arawaks practice?

Religion. The Arawak believed in many gods, or Zemi, who controlled different aspects of life, and also the afterlife in which the good would receive recognition for their goodness. Supposedly, the cacique had a closer connection to the gods, so he was the religious leader and also the medic.

What God did the Tainos fear?

Atabey is the supreme goddess of the Taínos (native peoples at the pre-Columbian era), one of two supreme deities in the Taíno religion.

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Do Tainos still exist?

The Taíno were considered extinct at the end of the century. However, since about 1840, there have been attempts to create a quasi-indigenous Taíno identity in rural areas of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This trend accelerated among Puerto Rican communities in the mainland United States in the 1960s.

How did the Tainos look like?

In appearance the Taino were short and muscular and had a brown olive complexion and straight hair. They wore little clothes but decorated their bodies with dyes. “The Tainos also cultivated cotton and they had a process by which they wove it and were able to make hammocks.

What does Taino mean in Spanish?

The name Taíno was given by Columbus. When he met some native men, they said "Taíno, Taíno", meaning "We are good, noble". Columbus thought that Taíno was the name of the people. Rouse divides the Taínos into three main groups. One is the Classic Taíno, from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

What happened to the Arawaks?

The Taino, an Arawak subgroup, were the first native peoples encountered by Christopher Columbus on Hispaniola. The island Arawak were virtually wiped out by Old World diseases to which they had no immunity. A small number of mainland Arawak survive in South America.

What does zemis mean?


A zemi or cemi was a deity or ancestral spirit, and a sculptural object housing the spirit, among the Taíno people of the Caribbean. They were also created by indigenous South American cultures.

How were the Tainos organized and governed?

The Taíno of Hispaniola were politically organized at the time of contact into at least five hereditary chiefdoms called cacicazgos. Each casicazgo had a clearly recognized territory, a system of regional chiefs (caciques) and sub-chiefs, and a paramount ruler.

How many Tainos are left?

' The answer was none. They are gone.” Alegría paused before adding: “Some remained probablybut it was not that many.” Possibly as many as three million souls—some 85 percent of the Taíno population—had vanished by the early 1500s, according to a controversial extrapolation from Spanish records.

What did the Tainos call Puerto Rico?

Sometime during the 1520s, the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the port (Puerto Rico) became San Juan. After a Taíno uprising in 1511, a second settlement, San Germán, was founded on the southwestern part of the island.

Did the Caribs eat the Arawaks?

“From analysing their diet we have found no evidence that Caribs ever ate humans.” The site is one of few known to have supported every age of mankind from the Arawaks to the present day.

Are the Arawaks extinct?


Overview. Arawaks, one of the first Peoples of the Circum-Caribbean, southern North America, Central America and northern South America, are falsely said to be extinct (Provost, 2001), and this leads to the challenge of non-existence.

What was the Caribs religion?

Religion. The Caribs are believed to have practiced polytheism. As the Spanish began to colonise the Caribbean area, they wanted to convert the natives to Catholicism.

Who were the Caribs and Arawaks?

The Island Carib, who were warlike (and allegedly cannibalistic), were immigrants from the mainland who, after driving the Arawak from the Lesser Antilles, were expanding when the Spanish arrived. Peculiarly, the Carib language was spoken only by the men; women spoke Arawak.

What did the Tainos do for fun?

The Taino also made pottery, baskets, and implements of stone and wood. A favourite form of recreation was a ball game played on rectangular courts. The Taino had an elaborate system of religious beliefs and rituals that involved the worship of spirits (zemis) by means of carved representations.

Who were the Amerindians in the Caribbean?


Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean
  • The indigenous peoples of the Caribbean included the Taíno, the Island Caribs of the Lesser Antilles, and the Guanahatabey of western Cuba.
  • Some scholars consider it important to distinguish the Taíno from the neo-Taíno nations of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola, and the Lucayan of the Bahamas and Jamaica.