Taino

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The Taino were an indigenous people of Hispaniola, first encountered by Christopher Columbus when he arrived in 1492. Their population was decimated soon after the Spanish arrived by disease and war. Modern researchers estimate there were originally between 60,000 and 8 million Taino on the island. By 1514, the Spanish counted the number of Indians in Hispaniola "for the purpose of allocating them among colonists as laborers," finding only 26,000 Taino. [1] A mere 34 years later, in 1548, fewer than 500 Taino remain on Hispaniola.[2]

War with Europeans

Columbus left 38 men behind on Hispaniola when he returned to Spain on Christmas Day of 1492.[3] When he returned, he found the settlement (La Navidad) in ruins and dead bodies of both Spanish and Taino. The Taino told him that the Spanish had "angered their neighbors by raping some women and murdering some men" and a conflict had ensued.[4]

Conflict continues once Columbus founds the settlement of La Isabela in January 1494.[5] After failing to grow food to provide for themselves, the Spanish in the settlement steal from the Taino, provoking an ongoing war with no side definitively winning.[6] Once he leaves for Spain in 1496, Columbus does not return to La Isabela.[7]

Disease Epidemics

In 1493, the fist recorded epidemic, perhaps swine flu, hits the Taino in Hispaniola.[8] More disease followed, such as smallpox, which ravaged the island in 1518.[9]

Articles and Resources

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References

  1. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 11.
  2. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 11.
  3. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 7.
  4. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 7-8.
  5. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 5.
  6. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 8.
  7. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 9.
  8. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 11.
  9. Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 11.