Asynchronous Blog Post on Tainos: Myth and Cosmology (Chapter 8)

In the comment section down below pick ONE of the options and write a response (200-words minimum). The deadline is 9/9 before the class:

OPTION ONE

Expand on how the yucayeques or Taino villages had a social and cosmological organization. (122-125)

OPTION TWO

Describe and explain the importance of areíto ceremonies and ball games in Taino societies? (Pages 119-122; 125-128)

*Recommended Video:
Once Upon a Time in Puerto Rico (Daniel Ramirez, 2016)

4:40- 7:40 (Areito sequence)

OPTION THREE

Why Chacuey in the Dominican Republic is considered an important site to understand the Tainos’ perceptions of time and astronomical knowledge? (Pages 129-132)

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about chapter eight do you want to bring into the discussion?

28 thoughts on “Asynchronous Blog Post on Tainos: Myth and Cosmology (Chapter 8)”

  1. Areíto ceremonies are when a group of people come together and dance to the rhythm of the music. While dancing they drink and sing notes said by the guide. The reason why they do this is that they are singing about their history whether it is the past or recent like the mythical character who gave their lives to creations or how woodpeckers create women from asexual beings. The reason why they recite myths in the rituals like Areíto is so they can relieve the history of their gods and heroes. Taino societies also play ball games. One game, in particular, is comprised of two teams either man or woman or same-sex or even perhaps two clans. The ball has to be kept in the air with your knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, etc only thing you are not allowed to use is your hand. This ball game may have been related to the origin of the universe however its actual purpose is unknown as it was not recorded at the time and it only proof is that most plazas are astrologically oriented.

  2. The Taino were able to recreate “moments in life of their gods and heroes” by “reciting the myths in rituals”, which meant they were able to see their origins. The batey, the central plaza of the village, is their sacred place to practice their rituals. The Taino people celebrated their main rituals at certain times of the year. The village most likely had social and cosmological organization because of the way it was structured. In the society, “four streets were divided in the form of a cross”, which intercepted with the central plaza. The Taino houses has a circular structure shape and “oriented in a dominant westerly direction.” Also, each house was rebuilt in the same spot for over centuries. The Taino society used a method called geomancy to measure and layout the location of villages and ceremonial centers in order “to be in harmony with the cosmic forces of nature.” The locations were decided based on closeness to rivers, the sea, or in areas that served multiple purposes. Ceremonial plazas evolved over time and were “commonly located on a plateau near a river or stream” and had mountainous backgrounds. Being near flowing water had a symbolic purpose, which was to “evoke the origin of the celestial water.” Additionally, the plazas symbolically “maintained a relationship with Cauta, the central axis of creation.” It is concluded that the batey could be “symbolically linked with the axis mundi, the Center, the magical mountain, and the essential water.” Batey also means ball game in their language.

    1. I agree with your response and love how you incorporated the way Taino people would use the skies to guide them in their way of living. This was done with their homes being built in the shape of a circle, their plaza being a cross, and so on. I believe they let the skies guide them because in Chapter 8 it was discussed that in chacuey the area was chosen specifically because of information the sky would give them of the upcoming seasons. I believe the Tainos built and did everything for a reason. As it was said in the video they know how to live without harming mother nature, unlike how the rest of the world lives today. This just shows to me that the Taino people were very evolved in their way of living in harmony with their surroundings.

      Their ability to pass down their history to younger generations through song and dance is very impressive to me as well since now most generations only see their past through word of mouth. Most of the time they stay uninterested since they don’t realize the importance of keeping their history alive. This way of passing down their history not only keeps the younger generations involved but also reminds the older generations on why it is important to pass it down.

  3. (Pages 119-122)
    The areíto ceremonies were essentially the passing of the torch on to the next generations. The Taino’s transmitted from generation to generation their songs and dance traditions, oral literature, beliefs about the origin, feet of the past etcetera. The purpose of the telling of these stories is to allow the next generation to be aware of the importance of the ritual by having them experience the ceremony for themselves and what it entails for their people past, present, and future. Realistically these ceremonies are a main source of connection between their people and heritage that can always be lost or stolen from them.

    (Pages 125-128)
    The Taino’s play a sort of ball game where you have to keep the ball in the air with any part of your body except your hands, it’s a game that takes extreme agility and physical dexterity. Games such as these possibly had a deeper importance in society than games would in ours, these games could be used to determine the outcome of a criminals life or how harsh of a punishment they would receive. Alongside that these games could also have a deeper connection to societies outside of their own and could influence the way other societies decide the fates of people.

    1. Option 4

      Hi Javaun,
      I enjoyed your description of the areito ceremonies, emphasizing the intention to pass tradition, culture, and history to future generations. I think the author’s addition that “the real and imaginary merged into a new, ideal reality” (page 119) also infuses more meaning into this ritual. The intention of the areito to envision and preserve heritage for the future reminds me of modern-day movie sequels or remakes. These subsequent movies are expected to infuse something new into the movie franchise, as well as display similar themes and elements that make the franchise memorable. How “the areito allowed Tainos to return to a sacred time” (page 122) is similar to what that these movies strive to instill in their audience.
      As for the Taino ball game, I am interested in how you say these games can “influence the way other societies decide the fates of people.” I liken this game to how gladiators in Rome engaged in battles to the death to survive, but I wonder how these would be seen from other societies. Perhaps it was seen as barbaric and motivated other cultures to not use ‘playful’ means to decide people’s fate. Nonetheless, it is inspiring how this ball game still exists in certain countries today, showing their resilience and importance to the cultures.

  4. Option 2

    Areíto ceremonies are carried out by people who hold each other’s hands or interlace arms and follow a guide who steps in rows or a circle along to various instruments. The importance of the areíto ceremony is to not forget and honor the history of the mythical characters “whose sacrifice gave way to the various stages of creation.” (Lamarche 119) During the ceremony, they idolize the transformation of the mutilated “hero” into fish. They also remember the four twins who encountered fire and caused a flood and the Sun and Moon who emerged from the underworld from the Great Serpent. The ceremony is to remember and celebrate their history and the characters that helped create it. The ball game the Taino play is made up of two teams who have to keep the ball in the air without using their hands. The ball game requires a lot of agility and dexterity. A theory suggests that the ball game has a cosmological connotation and is supported because the plazas are astronomically oriented. On the other hand in some conditions the game served as a way to make a decision on an issue, an example being the life or death of a prisoner.

  5. Option Two
    The areito is the traditional ceremony to the Tainos. During this ceremony, they will drank, danced, repeating the verses and play the instruments. They also told their myths, gods and heroes through oral literature during the areito ceremony. This areito ceremony is very important for the Tainos society because they pass on their history from generation to generation through this ceremony. Tainos’s descendants can learn about their beliefs, past feats, the genealogies of cacique, and history. It allows their history to be preserved and passed on, not to disappear. And when they relive their mythology in the ceremony, it’s as if they will back to that sacred time and experience it. This gives the Tainos a deeper understanding of their faith. (Pages 119-122).

    Taino has a ball game, which is played at a big plaza and is played by two teams. Taino’s ball game is a game that requires you to be flexible. People can hit the ball by use their knees, buttocks, elbows, hops or shoulders, but can not use their hands. This ball game is important to Taino because this ball game can decide the life of a prisoners. A person’s fate can be decided through this ball game. (page 125-128)

    1. I agree with everything you had stated. I would like to add on that their culture stood out to me the most as the reading went by. I believe the cultural presence was seen right from the pictures the reading has. They show creativity, passion, and especially their knowledge of what they believed was accurate during their time. We can not forget to mention the richness of the “religious beliefs, strange rituals, and exotic art”. I have watched some of the documentary and everything you mentioned in the responses was represented. I see people still preserve their natural lands and their culture. They keep stone art and structures as they were instead of tearing them down. Many people fight to keep landmarks like this out of “tourist”. Simply, because they want to pass on their culture to the next generation like you mentioned. As an outsider looking in, I believe it’s impressive for them to keep their own culture alive. The reading also expresses the knowledge of the sky and earth and how they related to one another. But aside from that they also played a ball game which seems really familiar to “sports” we play now, volleyball. We might have different rules but it is a similar concept. Goes to show how history is passed down and changes as time goes by.

  6. option 2:
    (119-122) The Tainos had a traditional ceremony called The Areito, this was very important to them because it has been transmitted through generations. From singing and dance traditions, to loads of instruments being played, as well as enjoying the night with drinks and food, they passed down these amazing aspects of their history so the later generations can learn their cultural roots. Celebrating the Areito allows for preservation of their history through word of mouth, artifacts used earlier on, and sharing stories of the times in their history. later taino generations would recreate some of the stories passed down through generations.
    (125-127) Ball games were played by the Tainos which was traditional through out South Africa before European invasion and was introduced during the first migrations of the agro ceramic people. The game was played by two teams composed of men ,women or both, which then the verdict of the game was keep the ball in the air using all parts of the body except for the hands. The game was played in the center plaza which was sometimes astronomically oriented, this lead for researchers to believe that this ball game had a cosmological connotation.

    1. option four-

      Hi, Natalie- your interpretation for (p.199-122) on the Areito, covered many ways that the Taino people have shown appreciation for the importance of the Areito- I like the fact that you brought up the ceremony, which of course, is the main source of how the Areito’s wisdom, and culture was passed down from person to person in each village. I agree that the Areito ceremony was a tradition that held a lot of meaning to the Taino people, but not only because it was passed down from generation to generation. You mentioned the singing and dance traditions, tons of historical instruments, as well as the drinks and food that come along with the festival- but I believe that there is more depth into what the main importance of the Areito and the ceremony really is. The ceremony not only was responsible for the preservation of their history, but as well as for being a main contributor to the Taino people’s amazing intricate memory that they all developed over time, which of course dumbs down to what is really important about the Areito and the ceremony itself, the Areito ceremony holds a lot of meaning because it helped the Taino people not only socially, but mentally as well.
      As for the importance of the Ball games that took place in the ‘batey’, I believe it originated from South America before the arrival of the Europeans, and I think it was definitely interesting how this practice could be seen as having a cosmological connotation, just because of its placement in the village. The way that the ball games were played as well interested me, the game required lots of agility and physical dexterity. I think that the Areito ceremony- and the ball games that took place in Taino villages definitely has signified how physically and mentally on point the Taino people were.

  7. Option 1
    The Taino villages seemed to have a social organization based on how they created their plaza in the center of the village. Furthermore, Lamarche’s interpretation of the way these plazas are built and arranged further supports this idea who stated “the division of space into four streets in the form of a cross, whose vertex crossed the central plaza and divided into four the area of the village, suggests that the village space was ruled by symbolic and social organizational elements”(Lamarche 122). Lamarche is saying how there is a clear purpose to the way these plazas are created and not just that but they purposely include a cross across the plaza to show a form of protection this plaza brings to the rest of the village. Furthermore, Taino villages also had a cosmological organization as it’s very likely the huts in these villages were made in the image of the Taino cosmos. Also if the Taino villages continued the South American tradition that the housing reflected the cosmology the influence can be clearly seen in Taino housing. In this case the bohío or hut symbolized the shape of the celestial vault and the central post symbolized the central axis that show the three levels of the universe.

  8. Option 2
    Areito ceremonies were important in Taino societies because it was a gathering where the society celebrated their culture and history. “The Areito was the ritual through which the Tainos remembered and transmitted generation to generation their song and dance traditions, oral literature, beliefs about the origins, feats of the past, cacique genealogies, and memories of good and bad times.” (119). The ceremonies were simultaneously an exchange of past and recent history and celebration. The society danced recited myths and drank for hours on end while holding hands. This exchange was shared with different sets of people in society. The celebration could be an all-male event, all-female, or a mixed-gender gathering. This ceremony was important because it was a way for society to pass down information and history. The Taino societies were able to relive their origins and return to a time that’s sacred. Their sociability and solidarity as a community were important for society as well during the Areito ceremonies.
    The ball games in Taino societies were a game where two teams of mixed-gender players passed a ball around using anything but their hands. The ball games are thought to be “a cosmological connotation that was hidden” (126). This game was more than a game of kicking a ball around for Taino societies. This game would be used to make difficult decisions. It is a game of great importance because it would help decide on what the future of a person or society would be. An example of a decision that was made through the help of a game was whether to grant life or death to a prisoner.

  9. Option 1
    (122-125) Although little evidence exists about the Taino organization, historians have used archives to support that Taino villages had social and cosmological organizations. According to Las Casas, the Tainos had a plaza, and “in the middle, they cut and made four broad streets in the form of a cross” (122). The division of the plaza indicates that the Taino villages had social organization components. Because this division of space correlates with those of other cultures in South America, historians infer that the streets were divided based on social groups or clans. La Casa’s description of the villages proves that the Tainos had a social organization that was likely based on a hierarchy that started with the Cacique. Along with a social organization, the Tainos also had a cosmological organization. The village housing was a representation of the Taino cosmos. For example, the bohío’s circular form was built to mirror the shape of the celestial vault, and the center symbolized the central axis, which conveys the three levels of the universe. Furthermore, research has shown that the Tainos rebuilt the same hut on the same spot. This shows the Tainos valued cosmological organizations. It was a way of connecting and communicating with ancestors and the spiritual world.

  10. Option 2: Describing areito cermonies and ball game in Taino societies?

    – The Areito ceremonies is a tradition that gets passed from generation to generation. They passed on songs, dances, traditions, and the history of the culture. The ceremonies consist of the Tainos linking arms following a guide taking synchronized steps to the rhythm of the instruments.

    – The ball game consisted of mixed gender teams where you can’t touch the ball with your hands. You can only use elbows, knees, etc. It is said that the ball game is a ‘astronomically oriented’ making it believed to be ‘cosmological connotation’. The ball game is played in the plaza and was important to determine the life or death of a prisoner. Ball game is ‘the culmination of an Antillean historical process’.

  11. Option two:

    Taino societies had an important ritual that included a variety of different activities called the areíto ceremony. The ceremony involves people of both sexes or only people of the same sex and they sing, drink, and dance to the rhythm of several instruments being played. The Taino sung and used their songs as an oral transmission of their past events and mythology. They also passed on traditions, shared beliefs, talked about memories and even the experiences of mythical characters. Therefore, the areíto cermonies had great value and importance to the Taino societies because they were able to pass on traditions from generation to generation and share stories to the younger generations about how mythological creatures helped form the origins of the world.

    Taino societies also had ball games which were played by teams consisting of men, women, or both. They had to keep a ball up in the air using any part of their body except their hands. These ball games were important to the Taino because the game is believed to be correlated with Taino cosmology since certain ceremonial plazas were astronomically orientated. On some occasions, they were even used as a decision decider; for example, the life or death of a prisoner. The ball game also has historical value since it was created as a result of the convergence with Mesoamerica.

  12. (Option 2)
    Describe and explain the importance of areíto ceremonies and ball games in Taino societies

    The Taino areito ceremonies are a collection of festivities that the Taino society conducts that “enables” them to connect back to their sacred time. By gathering people of the society that share the same sex, they dance and sing all in harmony to not only recreate the sacred grounds in the past but to also leave an impression on the future. By doing so assures that the Areito ceremonies will be passed on along with its aged knowledge that won’t be forgotten.

    The ball game as played in Taino society, revolves around a sport that requires great agility and dexterity and was theorized to hold many important relations around the Taino beliefs. It was a game that revolved around a ball to be kept in the air while using any body part besides the hand. The game was believed to hold cosmological relations due to the fact that the plaza at which it was played on contained astrological orientation. It was also believed to hold important decisions including the verdict of a prisoner whether it be life or death.

  13. Option 2:
    The areito ceremony is when people in the same clans gather together hand in hand and dance to the rhythm of their traditional instruments such as mayohabao, maracas and the flute. The purpose of this celebration is to worship the heroes that sacrificed themselves for the creation of their posterity. They believe what they possess now is through the success of those heroes. People in the areito ceremonies talks about their beliefs, such as how Taino women was first created by woodpecker as asexual human beings, and how the night is dangerous as bats and owls creep out from the underworld. The Tainos also have great interest in ball games. Each ball game would have two teams, and they are either men, women, a mix between genders and teams can be from different clans. There are also strict rules for ball games, including that, “the ball…had to be kept in the air by hitting it with knee, buttocks, elbow, hips or shoulders, but no hand,” (page 126). Ball games are important to the Trinos because it will help them to stay in contact with other clans and tribes, as well as other important decisions depending on which side wins the game to determine the well-being of a prisoner.

  14. Option 2 :
    The areíto ceremony was a gathering of the Tainos people. In this gathering, they would play music, dance, and drink until they were burnt out. They told tales about creatures and would talk about their history to everyone. It is a tradition that they did that was passed down for generations. The importance of it was how they were able to have these gatherings where they are able to speak about their history and talk to the new generation and pass down traditions. The ball game that the Taino people played was very popular throughout South America. It required two teams who could have men, women, or both in that team. They were allowed to use every body part other than their hands. It is important as it could potentially seal the fate of whether a prisoner is going to live or die.

  15. I would like to expand on your comment. I believe it is very important for not just the Tainos, but for enslaved people to remember their history and pass down traditions. I believe this provides a key to unlocking many doors of identity and information. It is nothing new that enslave Africans and other ethnicities were stripped from their humanity when entering, the “New World”. But, can you imagine the colonizers sucessfully getting rid of our history? To elaborate, enslave people became well-trained puppets to colonizers? Sounds scary right? History isn’t only about events that happened in the past, are memories, laughter, and tradition that are shared amongst other people. To continue, knowing who you came from is knowing who you are and what you stand for.

  16. Areíto is a very important ceremony of the Taino tribe. Areito is to tell and commemorate the heroic deeds of the Taino ancestors, chiefs, gods and cemis. Areítos involves lyrics and choreography, and is often accompanied by various instruments. They performed in the central square of the village, with local community members and members of neighboring communities participating.Taino’s ball games consist of two teams of men or women,people need to keep the ball in the air with any part other than the hands, most squares are astrological-oriented, which makes people think that this game may be related to the origin of the universe.

  17. The Chacuey in the Dominican Republic is considered an important site to understand the Tainos’ perceptions of time and astronomical knowledge for example how it affected agriculture. Aside from celebrating ‘areito’ every year, the relationship between the astronomical and climatological cycles are grounds to have agricultural ceremonial activities such as the distribution of species of sacred cassava. The way the Tianos perceived time and the astronomical aspects of our world seemed so advanced “Tianos would have found a way to project cosmic times and the time of the gods onto a space constructed by human beings”(131). In other words connecting the divine and human in the same space time.
    Monuments, and another forms of constructions that took place during this time was never just to look nice but in fact held a higher purpose. Roads were made in forms of constellations, leading to to the equinoxes. The monuments found required at the time; integration of the knowledge of time and space. “The main stars can be analyzed in their spatial dimension, projecting their position in space and onto the megalithic contractions…(131)” The calendar of course made the biggest impact to the lives of Tianos’ integrating the summer and winter solstice.

  18. Chacuey in the Dominican Republic is considered an important site to understand the Tainos’ perceptions of time and astronomical knowledge because of the way how the Chacuey was built by the Tainos. The way how the Chacuey was built was in a very specific manner with many well thought out coordinates. The reason why the Tainos built the plaza that way is because they had the sun in mind, “The Western portal seems to have been the center of astronomical observations since the rise of the sun and the ascent of the several consultations has can be seen from here to correspond with their Eastern facing outline of the Plaza (129). The plaza helps the Tainos in many different ways for example telling time by creating By creating this Plaza with residents of the sun they were able to tell the time of the year it was and as a result it was able to help them with their agricultural ceremonial calendar. As a result they also knew what time of the year to celebrate areito, “Perhaps towards the beginning of the year or at the start of the Agricultural cycle.” (131) Many other types of celebrations occurred based on how the Sun cast amongst the Plaza this demonstrates the amount of astronomical knowledge the Tainos how because they were able to build a plaza based on the sun and use that to help them determine what time of the year it was and give them more clear perception of time.

  19. Option two:

    Areíto ceremonies in Taino societies were rituals where Tainos shared and passed down “songs, dance traditions, oral literature, beliefs about the originas, feats of the past, cacique genealogies, and memories of good and bad times” (page 119). They were carried out by both sexes, separated among the same sex or between clans. This was crucial to Taino culture because it allowed for younger generations to experience and learn of the different traditions and stories firsthand so that they can pass it on when they’re older. Without this ritual, Tainos’ background and culture would be forgotten and wiped. This ritual gives an opportunity for these societies and their livelihood to remain in the past, present and future.

    People from either sex composed teams to play ball games whose objective was to keep the ball in the air, “by hitting it with knees, buttocks, elbows, hips or shoulders, but no hands” (page 126). It took great agility and physical dexterity in order to play this game. Aside from the sport of this game, it was crucial in serving to make an important decision that would determine the life or death of a prisoner. They used a ball game to decide the fate of the guilty.

  20. Option 3

    Chacuey in the Dominican Republic is considered an important site to understand the Tainos’ perceptions of time and astronomical knowledge because of the plazas because Oslavdo Garcia Goyco was the first site to provide astronomical orientations in the ceremonial plazas in Tibes and Caguana. It’s an ellipsoidal construction that was built on a flat land next to Chacuey River. The western and eastern portals have been used to make astronomical observations regarding the movement of the sun on daily, monthly, and even yearly basis. Some of the examples of what was observed using that site are: Fall and Spring equinox, Summer and Winter Solstice, and most importantly the Pleiades and zenith of Chacuey. Pleiades is thought to be considered a beginning of the year and a privileged time of the year. Using all the things natives observed from the skies, they decided what holiday it is or when is it a time to collect their harvest. So basically it was like a modern day calendar. In fact this construction did not only help the Tainos to orientate in time, but also helped to advance their studies and knowledge. It is most likely that people in Tainos prospered in geometry and astronomy. Therefore Chacuey was a very important facility which provided many opportunities for the Native Americans.

  21. The importance of the areito ceremony was to unify the clans together. Everyone together drank and celebrated together and sang songs for hours and hours on end.This ceremony is important because it was a ritual where the Taínos remembered their traditions, readings,and beliefs of years and years ago. They remembered the good and bad times all within that time frame. The ball game was a game where people would try and keep the ball in the air.This was important because it would pretty much determine the life span of a prisoner or anyone who was in trouble during that time. It was used to decide someone’s fate whether or not they are guilty or innocent.

  22. The Areíto ceremony are rituals that Tainos have passed down from generation to generation. They carry out songs, dances, beliefs, memories, etc. Throughout the ceremony a lot of history and belief comes into play, they take the real and the imaginary and create an ideal reality. For instance, they reference mythical creatures they believe made sacrifices leading the various stages of creation. One of these creatures would be the cemí baraguabale which comes from a species that transforms itself to become a trunk, this allows them to slip away when being tied. These rituals would allow the Tainos to relive significant moments of their gods and heroes times, returning to scared times. For this event to be held, it had to have been located in a significant location, this would be the “batey”(central plaza). Not only is the Batey refered to as the central plaza, its also refered to as the”ball game.” The ball game comes from a tradition scattered all through South America. The objective of the game is to keep the ball (which is made from vegetable resins) in the air hitting it with most parts of your body minus the hands. This was played by two teams, men, women, or both. Although its just a game, it was to be taken serious as the game was to serve important decisions, for example, wether a prisoner receives a death sentence. It is to be believed the location of the batey was significant as it was possibly symbolically linked to the “Axis mundi, the center, the magical, and the essential water.” this was probably to evoke the celestial water, were children transformed into frogs or slippery creatures became women. over all both the batey and ceremony held great importance to Tainos belief and history.

  23. The areíto ceremonies were rituals that were practiced in the Taino society and were passed down through generations. The song and dance that were performed during the areíto ceremonies were accompanied by a large drum named mayohabao and they danced to the rhythm of the drum in a circle. The ritual was also accompanied by other instruments such as the flute and maracas to create even more harmony while they sang and tried to evoke the sounds of the cosmos. During the ceremony, the Tainos would make references to the mythical creatures that sacrificed themselves to create the stages of creation. The areíto is important to the Tainos because it allowed them to stay connected to the “significant moments in the life of their gods and heroes. In other words, the areíto allowed Tainos to return to a sacred time”(122) and maintaining that sacred practice is important to keep their ritual alive. The ball games were played by two teams and the ball had to be kept in the air without using your hands. Since the ball game took place in a ceremonial plaza; the ceremonial plazas are “astronomically orientated” (126) and gave the ball games a mass amount of importance, enough to make a life or death decision of a prisoner.

  24. Option 1- The structure of Taino villages was heavily influenced by cosmological patterns, and the idea of being the center of the universe. Following their belief that their civilization was the center of the universe, land was divided by four streets in the shape of the cross. By creating a visual cross with a grand plaza at the center, the Taino incorporated their beliefs into their architecture. This symbolism also had a social connotation, because the center plaza was reserved for the caney, which was a temple and house for the caciqué. By placing the single most important building in the center set up a precedent for the rest of the civilization, which caused a hierarchy to form. The rest of the land was occupied by the nitaínos, behiques, and naborías, but the details of their standings in the social hierarchy aren’t known.

    Even the shapes used in Taino architecture have a relationship to space. Bothe the Bohio and Caney were bell or cone shaped structures, each with a singular point on top. It is believed that these designs were inspired by the Taino cosmos and celestial vault. Even the center pole in these structures, which seems like just another support beam, has a cultural meaning. In reality, the pole was a representation of the sacred center, which is the central axis of the lawyers of the universe. Almost all aspects of Taino civilization was somehow influenced by their belief system.

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