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An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians: A New Edition, with an Introductory Study, Notes, and Appendices by José Juan Arrom [NOOK Book]

Overview

Accompanying Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1494 was a young Spanish friar named Ramón Pané. The friar’s assignment was to live among the “Indians” whom Columbus had “discovered” on the island of Hispaniola (today the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic), to learn their language, and to write a record of their lives and beliefs. While the culture of these indigenous people—who came to be known as the Taíno—is now extinct, the written record completed by Pané around 1498 has ...
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An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians: A New Edition, with an Introductory Study, Notes, and Appendices by José Juan Arrom

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Overview

Accompanying Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1494 was a young Spanish friar named Ramón Pané. The friar’s assignment was to live among the “Indians” whom Columbus had “discovered” on the island of Hispaniola (today the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic), to learn their language, and to write a record of their lives and beliefs. While the culture of these indigenous people—who came to be known as the Taíno—is now extinct, the written record completed by Pané around 1498 has survived. This volume makes Pané’s landmark Account—the first book written in a European language on American soil—available in an annotated English edition.

Edited by the noted Hispanist José Juan Arrom, Pané’s report is the only surviving direct source of information about the myths, ceremonies, and lives of the New World inhabitants whom Columbus first encountered. The friar’s text contains many linguistic and cultural observations, including descriptions of the Taíno people’s healing rituals and their beliefs about their souls after death. Pané provides the first known description of the use of the hallucinogen cohoba, and he recounts the use of idols in ritual ceremonies. The names, functions, and attributes of native gods; the mythological origin of the aboriginal people’s attitudes toward sex and gender; and their rich stories of creation are described as well.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[This book] is important for the way in which it anticipates some of the main issues concerning the production of Latin American literature.”—Roberto González Echevarría, author of Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative

“[This is a] highly accessible English translation. . . [of] the earliest work dealing exclusively with the indigenous inhabitants of the New World.”—Patricia Seed, Rice University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822382546
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/1999
  • Series: Chronicles of the New World Encounter
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,257,126
  • File size: 517 KB

Meet the Author

Fray Ramon Pané, a self-described “poor friar of the Order of Saint Jerome,” arrived in Hispaniola with Christopher Columbus in 1494 where he spent the next two years living with and recording the lives of its indigenous inhabitants.

José Juan Arrom is Professor Emeritus of Latin American Literature at Yale University and the author of numerous books, including Imaginación del Nuevo Mundo.

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Table of Contents


CONTENTS

Acknowledgments


Introduction to the English Edition


Introductory Study


AN ACCOUNT OF THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE INDIANS

An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians, Diligently Gathered by Fray Ramón, a Man Who Knows Their Language, by Order of the Admiral

I
Concerning the place from which the Indians have come and in what manner


II
How the men were separated from the women


III
How the indignant Guahayona resolved to leave, seeing that those men whom he had sent to gather the digo for bathing did not return


IV


V
How afterwards there were once again women on the said Island of Hispaniola, which before was called Haiti, and the inhabitants call it by this name; and they called it and the other islands Bohío


VI
How Guahayona returned to the said Cauta, from where he had taken the women


VII
How there were once again women on the aforementioned Island of Haití, which is now called Hispaniola


VIII
How they found a solution so that they would be women


IX
How they say the sea was made


X
How the four identical sons of Itiba Cahubaba, who died in childbirth, went together to take Yaya's gourd, which held his son Yayael, who had been transformed into fishes, and none dared to seize it except Deminán Caracaracol, who took it down, and everyone ate their fill of fish


XI
Concerning what happened to the four brothers when they were fleeing from Yaya


XII
Concerning what they believe about the dead wandering about, and what they are like, and what they do


XIII
Concerning the shape they say the dead have


XIV
Concerning whence they deduce this and who leads them to hold such a belief


XV
Concerning the observances of these Indian behiques, and how they practice medicine and teach the people, and in their medicinal cures they are often deceived


XVI
Concerning what the said behiques do


XVII
How the aforesaid physicians have at times been deceived


XVIII
How the relatives of the dead man take revenge when they have got an answer by means of the spell of the drinks

[XVIII BIS]
How they find out what they want from the one whom they have burned, and how they take revenge



XIX
How they make and keep the zemis made of wood or of stone


XX
Concerning the zemi Buya and Aiba, who they say was burned when there was war, and afterwards, when they washed him with yuca juice, he grew arms, and his eyes reappeared, and his body grew


XXI
Concerning Guamarete's zemi


XXII
Concerning another zemi called Opiyelguobirán, which was in the possession of a preeminent man called Sabananiobabo, who had many subjects under his command


XXIII
Concerning another zemi whose name was Guabancex


XXIV
Concerning what they believe about another zemi whose name was Baraguabael


XXV
Concerning the things they affirm were told by two principal caciques of the Island of Hispaniola, one called Cacibaquel, father of the aforesaid Guarionex, and the other Guamanacoel

[XXV BIS]
How we left to go to the country of the aforesaid Mabiatué—that is, I, Fray Ramón Pané, a humble friar, Fray Juan de Borgoña of the Order of Saint Francis, and Juan Mateo, the first man to receive the holy baptismal water on the Island of Hispaniola



XXVI
Concerning what happened to the images and the miracle God worked to show his power




Appendix A.
Christopher Columbus


Appendix B.
Pietro Martire d'Anghiera


Appendix C.
Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas


Bibliographic Note


Index of Taíno Words and Names

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