Taino History

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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Until recently, the majority of what I’ve read about the Taínos is that they were mostly wiped out. Within the past couple of weeks, I’ve been seeing more lately about how they (and other tribes) went into hiding and survived to a degree in remote regions of the Caribbean.
My Dominican husbands 23andMe test shows 3-6% Native American ancestry, which we assume is from the Caribbean , possibly even Taino. This is a very common result.
I would be interested in learning more about the history of the Taínos/Arawak and other Indigenous groups of Hispañola. Google is great. So is DR1, I hope.
 
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Goliath94K

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If you understand Spanish, you should check out the YT channel Kiskeya Life. They have done multiple videos on Tainos and MANY other DR related topics. They made a video 4 months ago about how the Tainos language sounded and that there are people trying to "revive" the Taino language.
If you do understand spanish you will LOVE this channel... HOURS worth of DR history!
Kiskeya Life: https://www.youtube.com/c/KiskeyaLifeTV/videos

Regarding DNA my Ancestry results gave me a 12% Taino DNA and im from the Cibao ( La Vega ).
 
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NALs

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According to this article, one of the prerequisites to be accepted as a Native American in many tribes in the USA and Canada is to have even less Native American ancestry than the typical Dominican has (which ranges from 4% to 11%.) Apparently, this is known as "Blood Quantum." It shows pictures of many Americans that belong to Native American tribes.

Another thing it brings to oight is that the place in the Caribbean with the most Native American ancestry based on DNA test results is Puerto Rico followed by the Dominican Republic and in a third place Cuba. Then it really drops off in the rest of the Caribbean to basically becoming nothing. Even on Hispaniola there is a marked difference between Native American ancestry in Dominicans and those in Haitians.


When I went to La Isabela many years ago, the guide pointed towards an area with many white crosses and said that's the first cemetery in the Americas. Based on genetic studies that some Italian scientists had done by taking to Italy samples of the skeletons found buried there, among the result was that it consist of a mixture between Europeans and Native Americans. Everyone there was buried in the Christian custom including having their arms and hands in an X manner across the chest. Then he took us to see an exposed skeleton in the tomb of one of the guys that accompanied Christopher Columbus in his voyage (genetic tests revealed he was Italian like Columbus himself.) Sure enough, the skeleton had its arms crossed in a X pattern across his chest. No doubt that is one of the first Europeans buried in this hemisphere.

The point is that the Spaniards and the Tainos begsn their union from the start and most of the Native American ancestry found in Dominicans probably go back to that era. It would also explain why there is such a difference in Native American ancestry between Dominicans and Haitians. The latter came into existence because centuries earlier the ancestors of the formers were forcibly removed from the western part and had all their town and campos destroyed by the Spanish government. Most were moved further east, which ironically the two most dense areas of the DR either are the areas where they were settled or very close. When the French arrived and settled the western part, basically it was devoid of people but had plenty of wild cattle. In fact, the absense of people and towns, the abundance of the wild cattles, and the demand for hides in Europe with very good profits is the reason the French settled the northwestern part in the first place. Most of the Native American ancestry had to be mixed in Dominicabs by the time of the Devastaciones de Osorio in 1606 or around there. Today, many are direct descendants of these people, even if they don't know it.
 
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NALs

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This is what Moreau de St Mary says regarding a segment of the population claiming Taino ancestry. This was in the 1790's and while he was from Martinique, he lived the bulk of his life in Cap François (modern Cap Haitien) and was the owner of several plantations in the north of Haiti. He wrote two works of two volumes each, one discribing every aspect of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and the Spanish part of Santo Domingo (DR,) though the real purpose on the Dominican volumes was to show the French government what it could gain if it was to takeover the Spanish part of the island. This part was basically virgin territory since it had a small population, most was devoid of people. Simply wilderness and mostly covered in forest that remained untouched since Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

5qYnol.jpg


What he seemed to jot be aware is that when the Spanish government made peace with Enriquillo, presumably the first official peace treaty between a European power and Native Americans, is that in the agreement was to settle his people hiding in the Bahoruco Mountains to Sabana Grande de Boyá. There is still near there a small church there from that era that the Spanish government built for them. The Spanish government aslo granted all of them the right to call themselves indians, including those that evidently were mixed. In an attempt to conserve them, Spaniards and blacks were strictly forbidden from settling in Boyá, that village was only for the indians. The irony is that there had to be many people elsewhere with some Native American ancestry too, judging by how widespread Native American ancestry is among Dominicans, which doesn't corresponds to a particular color, hair type, features. Almost every Dominican gets those Native American ancestry in DNA tests.

In essence, what the Spanish government did was something similar to what is now done in the USA with things like the "Blood Quantum," though I'm very sure those given the right to call themselves indians at least looked somewhat like the indians. There were no DNA tests back then, so appearance had to weight heavily in these matters.
 
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Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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If you understand Spanish, you should check out the YT channel Kiskeya Life. They have done multiple videos on Tainos and MANY other DR related topics. They made a video 4 months ago about how the Tainos language sounded and that there are people trying to "revive" the Taino language.
If you do understand spanish you will LOVE this channel... HOURS worth of DR history!
Kiskeya Life: https://www.youtube.com/c/KiskeyaLifeTV/videos

Regarding DNA my Ancestry results gave me a 12% Taino DNA and im from the Cibao ( La Vega ).
Wow! 12% is fairly significant. I also read that there were separate Indigenous groups called Ciguaya from Samana and Guanahatabey, but I don’t remember where they were from. That might just be from Wikipedia, I’m not sure.
My Spanish needs work but I’ll definitely check out that channel.
Thank you for the info. Goliath.
 

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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I read that the Taino fled for the mountains of Puerto Rico and hid there for decades, which is why modern day Puerto Ricans have higher Indigenous DNA results.

Blood quantum is a highly contentious subject with modern day Indigenous people. Not to go too far off topic, but there is basically a cataloging or hierarchical system of blood quantum or Indian Status developed by the Canadian to government. Historically, rights have been based on this. For example, prior to 1985(86?), if a Status woman married a non-status man, she lost her rights. The same was not true for a Status man. This particular situation has been rectified, but the larger system remains. Various classifications exist based on parentage, such as 61A, 61B, 61C, and so on. A person with 61C status will have one Status parent and one non-status parent. Their rights are dependent upon the band they belong to. 61A people have what I suppose could be called “full”status. The difference between 61A and 61C is often whether ancestors signed treaties or not, certainly nothing to do with blood quantum.
My source is that I taught across the hall from a 61A Native history expert for the larger part of my teaching career.
My point is that blood quantum is not typically respected within modern North American Indigenous communities.
Despite all that, the actual measurable blood quantum of Caribbean people is very interesting.
 

AlterEgo

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Wow! 12% is fairly significant. I also read that there were separate Indigenous groups called Ciguaya from Samana and Guanahatabey, but I don’t remember where they were from. That might just be from Wikipedia, I’m not sure.
My Spanish needs work but I’ll definitely check out that channel.
Thank you for the info. Goliath.
12% is highest I’ve heard so far. On Ancestry’s latest update Mr AE has 5% indigenous Haiti/DR and 1% indigenous Central American. He used to have 9% before the upgrade.
 
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NALs

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Wow! 12% is fairly significant. I also read that there were separate Indigenous groups called Ciguaya from Samana and Guanahatabey, but I don’t remember where they were from. That might just be from Wikipedia, I’m not sure.
My Spanish needs work but I’ll definitely check out that channel.
Thank you for the info. Goliath.
They were all genetically the same. The difference was cultural. The same with the Caribs, which were cannibals and of whome the sea is named after. There is basically no genetic difference with the rest of the Native Americans in the Caribbean.

That's different from what was experienced in Mexico where DNA based studies now show that there was (and is) a very large diversity of Native American DNA with not much mixture between neighboring tribes. These findings are also land tied, meaning that people from a particular tribe or mixed with them for the most part are still found in the same geographic area.
 

NALs

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I read that the Taino fled for the mountains of Puerto Rico and hid there for decades, which is why modern day Puerto Ricans have higher Indigenous DNA results.

Blood quantum is a highly contentious subject with modern day Indigenous people. Not to go too far off topic, but there is basically a cataloging or hierarchical system of blood quantum or Indian Status developed by the Canadian to government. Historically, rights have been based on this. For example, prior to 1985(86?), if a Status woman married a non-status man, she lost her rights. The same was not true for a Status man. This particular situation has been rectified, but the larger system remains. Various classifications exist based on parentage, such as 61A, 61B, 61C, and so on. A person with 61C status will have one Status parent and one non-status parent. Their rights are dependent upon the band they belong to. 61A people have what I suppose could be called “full”status. The difference between 61A and 61C is often whether ancestors signed treaties or not, certainly nothing to do with blood quantum.
My source is that I taught across the hall from a 61A Native history expert for the larger part of my teaching career.
My point is that blood quantum is not typically respected within modern North American Indigenous communities.
Despite all that, the actual measurable blood quantum of Caribbean people is very interesting.
Puerto Rico also received many Dominicans, particularly at the end of the XVIII and beginning of the XIX centuries. Many of those that left had to have sizable Taino DNA too. There are still neighborhoods in various Puerto Rican towns that were created by these Dominican immigrants and named them with the places they were from. For example, in Arecibo there is one of this type of neighborhood called Higüey. Unlike in Cuba, Dominicana settled all over PR. The first piano in Puerto Rico was taken by a Santo Domingo family that left the DR at that time.

With that said, Puerto Rico is the only island in the Caribbean where the most of the mitochondrialDNA is Native American. Elsewhere most is African. Paternal Y-DNA though is mostly European in Puerto Rico, DR, and Cuba; but in people from elsewhere in the Caribbean it's also African. This difference is also true on Hispaniola with Dominicans showing a Europe-Africa lineages, but among Haitians it's mostly African-African.

The same happen with Cuba, especially places like Camagüey and eastern Cuba. Many last names in Camagüey began to first appear there after Dominicans began to arrive at that time (Pichardo, Redondo, etc.) One of Cuba's most well known poets José María Heredia, often called "Cantor del Niágara" and there is a plaque of him at Niagara Falls in Canada, was from Santiago de Cuba son of Dominican parents that felt forced to leave the island during one of the Haitian Invasions and settled there. He is considered to be the national poet of Cuba. Also certain places in western Cuba received a sizable number of Dominicans, such as Matanzas and La Habana. Certain last names such as Del Monte (there is even a street in Havana), Escoto and others originally arrived in Cuba as the patriarchs were from Santiago de los Caballeros.
 

NY2STI

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Puerto Rico also received many Dominicans, particularly at the end of the XVIII and beginning of the XIX centuries. Many of those that left had to have sizable Taino DNA too. There are still neighborhoods in various Puerto Rican towns that were created by these Dominican immigrants and named them with the places they were from. For example, in Arecibo there is one of this type of neighborhood called Higüey. Unlike in Cuba, Dominicana settled all over PR. The first piano in Puerto Rico was taken by a Santo Domingo family that left the DR at that time.

With that said, Puerto Rico is the only island in the Caribbean where the most of the mitochondrialDNA is Native American. Elsewhere most is African. Paternal Y-DNA though is mostly European in Puerto Rico, DR, and Cuba; but in people from elsewhere in the Caribbean it's also African. This difference is also true on Hispaniola with Dominicans showing a Europe-Africa lineages, but among Haitians it's mostly African-African.

The same happen with Cuba, especially places like Camagüey and eastern Cuba. Many last names in Camagüey began to first appear there after Dominicans began to arrive at that time (Pichardo, Redondo, etc.) One of Cuba's most well known poets José María Heredia, often called "Cantor del Niágara" and there is a plaque of him at Niagara Falls in Canada, was from Santiago de Cuba son of Dominican parents that felt forced to leave the island during one of the Haitian Invasions and settled there. He is considered to be the national poet of Cuba. Also certain places in western Cuba received a sizable number of Dominicans, such as Matanzas and La Habana. Certain last names such as Del Monte (there is even a street in Havana), Escoto and others originally arrived in Cuba as the patriarchs were from Santiago de los Caballeros.
Have you ever written a book? If so, what is the name? I would like to buy several. En serio.
 

keepcoming

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Your knowledge on this subject based on what you have posted is incredible. I have always found this a very interesting topic. Especially since I have been trying to get my spouse to do the Ancestry test.
 

Naked_Snake

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This is what Moreau de St Mary says regarding a segment of the population claiming Taino ancestry. This was in the 1790's and while he was from Martinique, he lived the bulk of his life in Cap François (modern Cap Haitien) and was the owner of several plantations in the north of Haiti. He wrote two works of two volumes each, one discribing every aspect of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and the Spanish part of Santo Domingo (DR,) though the real purpose on the Dominican volumes was to show the French government what it could gain if it was to takeover the Spanish part of the island. This part was basically virgin territory since it had a small population, most was devoid of people. Simply wilderness and mostly covered in forest that remained untouched since Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

5qYnol.jpg


What he seemed to jot be aware is that when the Spanish government made peace with Enriquillo, presumably the first official peace treaty between a European power and Native Americans, is that in the agreement was to settle his people hiding in the Bahoruco Mountains to Sabana Grande de Boyá. There is still near there a small church there from that era that the Spanish government built for them. The Spanish government aslo granted all of them the right to call themselves indians, including those that evidently were mixed. In an attempt to conserve them, Spaniards and blacks were strictly forbidden from settling in Boyá, that village was only for the indians. The irony is that there had to be many people elsewhere with some Native American ancestry too, judging by how widespread Native American ancestry is among Dominicans, which doesn't corresponds to a particular color, hair type, features. Almost every Dominican gets those Native American ancestry in DNA tests.

In essence, what the Spanish government did was something similar to what is now done in the USA with things like the "Blood Quantum," though I'm very sure those given the right to call themselves indians at least looked somewhat like the indians. There were no DNA tests back then, so appearance had to weight heavily in these matters.
Just a couple of years after peace was signed with Enriquillo, French pirate attacks would be inaugurated (in August 1535, to be exact). Ironically, they would make landfall in Yaguana, which is Leogane today.
 
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Naked_Snake

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12% is highest I’ve heard so far. On Ancestry’s latest update Mr AE has 5% indigenous Haiti/DR and 1% indigenous Central American. He used to have 9% before the upgrade.
23AndMe also did an update, but in my case it only fell 3 decimal points (From 8% to 7.7%). On the third party calculators from the site Gedmatch (try it up some day, you will like all the experimenting making runs with the different calculators there) this percentage of Amerind ancestry of mine ranges from 6 to 8.5%, more or less, but it is definitely real. A great grandpappy (or mommy) of mine was mostly Amerind between the late XVIIIth century and early XIXth century, which is far down the line than most purported historians in academia today (Vega and Moya Pons chief among them) give as the date of the supposed Amerindian extinction happening (mid XVIth century).
 
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Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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Puerto Rico also received many Dominicans, particularly at the end of the XVIII and beginning of the XIX centuries. Many of those that left had to have sizable Taino DNA too. There are still neighborhoods in various Puerto Rican towns that were created by these Dominican immigrants and named them with the places they were from. For example, in Arecibo there is one of this type of neighborhood called Higüey. Unlike in Cuba, Dominicana settled all over PR. The first piano in Puerto Rico was taken by a Santo Domingo family that left the DR at that time.

With that said, Puerto Rico is the only island in the Caribbean where the most of the mitochondrialDNA is Native American. Elsewhere most is African. Paternal Y-DNA though is mostly European in Puerto Rico, DR, and Cuba; but in people from elsewhere in the Caribbean it's also African. This difference is also true on Hispaniola with Dominicans showing a Europe-Africa lineages, but among Haitians it's mostly African-African.

The same happen with Cuba, especially places like Camagüey and eastern Cuba. Many last names in Camagüey began to first appear there after Dominicans began to arrive at that time (Pichardo, Redondo, etc.) One of Cuba's most well known poets José María Heredia, often called "Cantor del Niágara" and there is a plaque of him at Niagara Falls in Canada, was from Santiago de Cuba son of Dominican parents that felt forced to leave the island during one of the Haitian Invasions and settled there. He is considered to be the national poet of Cuba. Also certain places in western Cuba received a sizable number of Dominicans, such as Matanzas and La Habana. Certain last names such as Del Monte (there is even a street in Havana), Escoto and others originally arrived in Cuba as the patriarchs were from Santiago de los Caballeros.
I also think a book would be very interesting NALs. Your specific knowledge would probably be difficult to find with what is out there at present.
 
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NY2STI

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Perhaps other mods could collaborate; they each bring something to the table. To give NALS a little more work, either the book should be bilingual or there should be a separate Spanish edition. I think Dominicans of all ages - but especially adults - would benefit from learning a little more about their history.