Taíno Artifacts

The Taínos of Hispañola—were an indigenous people of the Greater Antilles. A subgroup of the Arawakan indigenous people of the Caribbean and South America. It is believed that the Arawak settled the Caribbean via the Orinoco region (present day Guyana and Venezuela).

Cemi de la Cohoba
"Cemi de la Cohoba" c. 1000-1400 CE.
Talla en madera de Guayacán / Guaiac Wood carving. 71.1 x 26.7 cm.

Like most indigenous societies, the early Tainos that arrived on Hispañola were hunter-gatherers and fishermen. This way of life influenced the tools created by their first craftsmen, such as; weapons, cultivation, ornamental and burial items.

Carbon dating of artifacts found throughout the Caribbean suggests that the Tainos have been creating decorative items from as early as 4000 BCE.

"Hacha Mariposoide" (Butterfly Hatchet), c. 2500-1000 BCE.
Litica / Lithic. 15.4 x 11.8 x 3.4 cm

A deeply spiritual people, the Taínos honored their various gods and ancestral spirits with artifacts created from objects, such as; wood, stone, bones and shells. Many of these artistic relics survive today in various museums around the world. In the Dominican Republic, cultural centers such as Centro Leon Jimenes and the Museo Arqueologico Regional Altos de Chavón house some of the largest collections of Taino artifacts.

Pectoral c. 350-1500 AD.
"Pectoral" c. 350-1500 CE.
Tallada en Concha /Conch carving. 9 x 9.5 x 7 cm.
"Idolo Antropomorfo" c. 350-1500 CE.
Tallado en madera/wood carving. 19 x 9.7 x 12.5 cm.
"Cabeza Macorix" 350-1500 CE.
Litica / Lithic, 17 x 10 x 26.5 cm.
"Olla navicular" c. 350-1500 CE.
Madera / Wood, 8.6 x 24 x 12 cm.
"Potiza" c. 350-1500 CE.
Barro / Clay, 25 x 18 x 11 cm.

Sources: Images and information gathered through the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes and the Museo Arqueológico Regional Altos de Chavón.