Taino Indians Essay, Research Paper
DRAFT The towns and houses of the Tainos Indians were built in an irregular manner and without streets, aside from the plaza in front of the cacique s house(cacique is the king o the tribe). The houses of a town stood on separate platforms and not merely on their own piles. Also the horizontal beams of the platform rested on the usual Indian forked piles. When Columbus visited another town in his second voyage of a very strange sort, it was situated on a bay of the West Coast of Puerto Rico that had abundance in fish. Therefore, a way bordered on both sides with hedges of interlacing plants led from the plaza from this Puerto Rican town, the residence of the cacique, down to the sea where there was a construction which the Spanish took to be a watch tower. The cacique with his wife and concubines lived in the spacious cacique residence located in the plaza. Apart from the plaza and the house of their cacique, the town s people dwelt in houses accommodating several families. They lived in a bell form type of house commonly 30 to 40 feet deep without bathrooms from 10 to 15 men with their wives and families.Due to Spanish influence houses with a rectangular form with roof having a roof beam appeared in Espa ola an island of the Caribbean. Still this form of house existed in earlier Indians times; therefore, must have a tendency to advance from western regions and probably also from southern ones nearer to the Amazon, to the northeast part of South America. The transition from the polygonal to the rectangular house was only revolutionary in appearance. The general Tainan name for houses was buhio . Probably the Tainos could dispense with raised floors, as they did not live in regions where there were annual inundations, and understood how to select places for settlement with good drainage. If the Tainos did not raised floors on their houses, it is certain that it was not because they did not understand the art of building platforms on pile work. All the evidence collected until now seems to indicate that the pile building of the Tainos was developed from South America resources.
The house furnishings of the Tainos can be divided into three categories: such things as have the character of furniture, articles used in the preparation and consumption of food, and receptacles for purposes of conservation. The Duho is a wooden chair with a relatively short seat, comparatively flat and the legs joined by means of runners found on the True Arawaks. Often it has in front or at both sides the head of an animal and it is intended for the caciques or distinguished honored guests. Hammocks were made of cotton and its length was from 6 to 8 feet long. In connection with the high development of cotton raising and the abundant supply of agave, The Tainos had gotten away from the ancient Arawak hammocks of fiber. Still, that such existed in the regions where the cultivation of cotton did not flourish.The household utensils for the preparation of the food of the Tainos and its consumption consisted first of all of clay vessels and the calabashes that were used as drinking and for bailing scopes for boats. It is singular that he production of wooden bowls among the Tainos stood on a high level. The occurrence of wooden dishes among the Tainos must therefore be placed in connection with influences from southwestern Florida. The basket-work does not seem to have been so well developed among the Tainos as among the Island Caribs, or in Guiana. The baskets were made of bihao leaves, which were put together so close that the water would not pass through making it an impermeable receptacle. The Taino used the baskets to put clothes in or to store whatever they wanted to.