History

Topics: Maya civilization, Taíno, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: November 28, 2013
Comparison of the three indigenous groups.

When Christopher Columbus voyaged to the Caribbean, there were groups of people living there. These people were known as the indigenous people. They are separated into three groups, the Tainos, the Kalinagos and the Mayans. The Kalinagos and Tainos, also known as Caribs and Arawaks respectively, are called the Amerindians. Although they all lived in the Caribbean, they had different economic, social and religious practices. Their ways of living were different but there were some similarities, and they were also even more advanced than others with technology and architecture.

The Tainos also known as the Arawaks were the largest of the three indigenous groups, however there settlements were smaller than that of the Mayans and widespread. They had bronze-coloured skin, average stature, dark, flowing, curse hair and large, slightly oblique dark eyes. They were generally naked, unmarried women went naked, married ones wore a flap over their genitals (the length of the flap determined their rank). They settled in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, The Lesser Antilles (before they were chased out by the Kalinagos) and The Virgin Islands. Their chief, who was known as the Cacique, lived in large rectangular buildings, whereas commoners lived in circular buildings. They settled on mountains to see when the war-like Kalinagos were coming or near rivers and creeks to escape from them easily. Their households contained extended families. The Tainos however, did not practice polygamy. They used a cultivation method called conuco with their agriculture. Conuco is a form of agriculture based on mounds of earth and dug drains, which prevented erosion in the fields and improved drainage to help their crops grow. Their main crop was cassava, they hunted, gathered and fished for their food, and they also traded on a small scale. Their political hierarchy was separated into four levels, cacique (the chief), naborias...
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