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Origins of the Tainan Culture, West Indies


When originally published in German in 1924, this volume was hailed as the first modern, comprehensive archaeological overview of an emerging area of the world. Yes, the Caribbean islands had long been known and owned, occupied, or traded among by the economically advanced nations of the world. However, the original inhabitants—as well as their artifacts, languages, and culture—had been treated by explorers and entrepreneurs alike as either slaves or hindrances to progress, and were used or eliminated. There was ...

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When originally published in German in 1924, this volume was hailed as the first modern, comprehensive archaeological overview of an emerging area of the world. Yes, the Caribbean islands had long been known and owned, occupied, or traded among by the economically advanced nations of the world. However, the original inhabitants—as well as their artifacts, languages, and culture—had been treated by explorers and entrepreneurs alike as either slaves or hindrances to progress, and were used or eliminated. There was no publication that treated seriously the region and the peoples until this work. In the following ten years, additional pertinent publications emerged, along with a request to translate the original into Spanish. Based on those recent publications, Loven decided to update and reissue the work in English, which he thought to be the future international language of scholarship. This work is a classic, with enduring interpretations, broad geographic range, and an eager audience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The book is virtually a requisite for all research in the field of Antillean archaeology. Apparently every work with any bearing upon the subject, especially the oldest historical sources, has been digested, and the footnote references are multitudinous. Each cultural element, tangible archaeological object or trait, is treated exhaustively; its resemblances and possible connections traced throughout the Americas; and conclusions as to its point of origin, development and migration reached." --J. Alden Mason of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, in American Anthropologist

"Lovén [is] one of the principal writers on the prehistory of the West Indies..." --Cornelius Osgood, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817356378
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 6/27/2010
  • Series: Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 728
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sven Lov én (1875-1948) was a Swedish anthropologist.

L. Antonio Curet is Associate Curator of Archaeology at the Field Museum, Chicago, and coeditor of Islands at the Crossroads: Migration, Seafaring, and Interaction in the Caribbean and Tibes: People, Power, and Ritual at the Center of the Cosmos.

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Table of Contents

Preface XI

List of abbreviations, Terminology IX

Chapter I Immigrations and Indian Elements in the West Indies 1

The Guanahatabeyes 3

The Arawak Race on the Continent 27

Paria 29

Trinidad 32

The Mazoriges or Ciguayos in Northeastern Santo Domingo 42

The Calinas in Contact with the Tainos in the Antilles 51

The Transmarine Communication of the Tainos with Yucatan 58

Florida 61

Haiti known in Cumaná and Paria, Intercourse among the Tainos 68

The Territorial Extension of the Cacicazgos, Puerto Rico 71

Española 72

Higuey 73

The Territory of the Maçoriges 74

Maguá 75

Marien 76

Maguana 77

Xaraguá 78

Cuba 79

Jamaica 84

The Bahamas 85

Chapter II Ancient Indian Monuments in the West Indies 86

Plazas 86

Middens and Shell Heaps 100

Caves, Caves as Dwellings and Places of Resort 120

Burial Caves 123

Shrines 125

Chapter III Stone Artifacts, Celts, Adzes, and Axes. Flint Artifacts 135

Celts 136

Trinidad 143

Lesser Antilles, Tobago 144

Grenada, St. Vincent 145

St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Barbados 147

St. Kitts-Nevis 148

Virgin Islands and St. Croix 149

Vieques, Puerto Rico 150

Española, Bahamas 151

Cuba, Jamaica 152

Hafting of the celts 153

Monolithic axes: Cuba 155

Puerto Rico, Española, Bahama Islands, Guadeloupe, Tennessee 156

Alabama, Arkansas, Coast between Santa Marta and Rio Hacha, Mosquito Coast, Nicaragua Highland 157

Engraved Celts: St. Thomas, Española, Cuba 162

Bahamas 163

The Grinding of Butt until Flat, Conclusions about the Distribution of Celts in the West Indies 165

Grooved West Indian Celts: St. Vincent, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo 170

Axes 171

Trinidad 183

Lesser Antilles, Barbados, Grenada 184

St. Vincent 185

St. Lucia, Martinique and Dominica, Guadeloupe 190

St. Kitts-Nevis 192

St. Croix 195

Puerto Rico, Española 196

Cuba 197

The axe with marginal notches 198

The T-form axe 203

Native factors in the genesis of the Axe 207

Flint 210

Guadeloupe 211

St. Kitts, Cuba 212

Santo Domingo 215

Caicos Islands 218

Jamaica 219

The Flint Culture on the Antilles 222

Chapter IV Ceramics 224

Ancon 227

Northern Argentine 228

The Parana Delta, Chimay 229

Teffé 230

Manaos 231

Baixo Iriry and Santarem 232

Venezuela 234

Lake Tacarigua 235

Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire 237

Margarita 239

The Coast regions of northern British Guiana 240

The more recent pottery in Venezuela and Guiana, The Orinoco 245

True Caribs in Guiana, Guaribiche 248

The Island-Caribs 249

The pottery of the Island-Arawaks: Trinidad 250

Barbados 258

Grenada and the Grenadines 259

St. Vincent 262

Guadeloupe 264

St. Kitts-Nevis 265

Virgin Islands 271

Vieques, Puerto Rico 278

Española 287

Cuba 313

The Buhama Islands 320

Jamaica 322

Influences on Tainan Ceramics from Southeastern States 327

Summary 333

Chapter V Towns and houses 336

Chapter VI Agriculture. Culture-Plants 350

Agriculture 350

Manioc 358

Ages, Batatas 368

Yahutia, Arrow-root 369

Maize 370

Metates 376

Puerto Rico, Cuba 380

Without information as to origin 381

Rep. of Haiti, Santo Domingo or Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico 382

Peanuts, Beans 385

Tobacco 386

Coca 398

Cotton 400

Other plants for spinning and twisting 401

Gardens and fruits 402

Summary of fruit trees 404

Pineapple 405

Spices 406

Plants furnishing colours for body-painting 407

Goaconax, Herbs used in washing. Cultivated medicinal herbs 408

Calabashes, Wild plants used by the Tainos 409

Rubber, Yuca dulce 412

Chapter VII Navigation, boats, oars, fishing, hunting, and weapons 414

Fishing 420

Hunting 431

Preparation of fish and meat 438

Aparatus for striking fire 439

Meals, Weapons 440

Spear-Throwers 441

Bow 446

Arrows 449

Clubs 451

Tactics of war 453

Chapter VIII Household Furniture 455

The duho 455

Hammocks 457

Loom 458

Utensils 459

Baskets 461

Mats 462

Chapter IX Gold. Ornaments. Dress. Treatment of the body. Musical instruments 463

Guanin 468

Silver and copper 473

Stone beads 474

Shell fretwork and engraving 479

Deformation of head 488

Modes of hairdressing, Body Painting 490

Tattooing, Musical instruments 492

Maraca 493

Drums, Wind instruments 495

Chapter X Social Conditions 498

Classes of society and rank 498

Naborias 499

The Commoners 501

The Tainos 502

The Caziques 503

Dance and festivals 519

The game of ball 524

Mariage and sexual conditions 526

Prostitution 528

Transvestites 529

Division of work 532

Crime and Punishment 533

Diseases and means of cure 535

Chapter XI Burial Customs 541

Burial customs with general diffusion on the Tainan islands.

A Direct burials with the skeleton in a contracted sitting or flexed position.

a In excavated graves 544

b Burial in crouching posture within a raised mound 546

c Cacique-burial in a grave furnished with wooden supports, over which is an arch of branches topped with earth. The cacique sits on a duho 549

d Direct burial in caves with the skeleton in flexed position 551

B Secondary Tainan head burials

a The head in basket kept under the roof of the hut

b The head in clay vessel in a cave 552

c The head without receptacle in caves

d Skulls in a row on a bed in cave, bones underneath

II. Local forms of burial, originating from the Southern States

1 Burial in midden in an inverted clay bowl, especially of child 553

2 Bundle Burial Cremation 555

Chapter XII Religion 560

The idea of God 563

Man's first appearance on earth 565

The people of the mythical age 567

Conceptions as to souls and post-existences 573

Medicine-men 575

Zemíism and zemí figures 578

Cotton images 597

Wooden images: Santo Domingo, Cuba, Jamaica 598

The West Indies 599

Stone images 603

Monoliths, Immovable stone images 605

Figurines: Jamaica, Cuba Caico, Islands, Santo Domingo 607

Puerto Rico, St. Croix 608

Pottery idols 614

Ceremonial purifications 620

Cultus 624

Masks 625

Masks of shell, Stone masks and stone heads 626

Three-pointers 628

Stone collars 633

Elbow stones 640

Pestles 641

Earthenware pestles, Zemíistic ornamentation 645

Earthenware stamps: Cuba, Santo Domingo 646

Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Barbados, Grenadines, Trinidad 647

Roller stamps 649

Flat stamps 650

Summary 657

Addenda 697

1 On effects of tobacco

2 The myth of Women's Island

Plates I-XIX

Map Showing the Indian West Indies

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