The Taino: A Constantly Evolving Caribbean Identity
When researcher Jorge Estevez visited the Smithsonian as a boy, he saw a sign that stated his people had “disappeared” four centuries before. How did this claim become conventional wisdom? To get to know the history of the Taino people is to understand the effects of brutal colonization combined with historical misinformation — and the process of cultural fusion, which created a people with roots tied to indigenous Caribbean, European, and African ancestors. Estevez guides us through the story of the Taino people, while Irka Mateo explains some of their spiritual beliefs. Meanwhile, Valerie Varga, Estevez’s wife, shares some of the destinations that are important to the Taino along with tips on how to visit them as a mindful tourist.
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