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Taino Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean

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Of Arawak descent, the Tai­no — whose ancestors migrated to the Caribbean from the Amazon Basin in South America during the sixth century — were the first people encountered by Christopher Columbus. Although they ceased to exist as an autonomous society within sixty years of the arrival of Spanish colonizers, the Tai­no — skilled agriculturists and navigators and accomplished weavers, potters, and carvers — developed a complex political, religious, and social system, and made a substantial contribution to the biological, cultural, and linguistic makeup of large areas of the Caribbean. To this date, Caribbean communities in the Antilles and in New York and other large American cities exhibit the survival of Tai­no practices in their worldviews, religious beliefs, language, music, and food.

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