Taíno Heritage in Modern Times

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Taíno heritage in modern times Many people identify themselves as descendants of the Taínos, most notably among the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, both on the islands and on the United States mainland. The concept of living Taíno has proved controversial, as the historical canon has for so long declared the Taíno to be extinct.[44] Some scholars, such as Jalil Sued Badillo, an ethnohistorian at the University of Puerto Rico, assert that the official Spanish historical record speak of the disappearance of the Taínos. Certainly there are no full blood Taíno people alive today, but recent research does point towards a large mestizo population. Frank Moya Pons, a Dominican historian documented that Spanish colonists intermarried with Taíno women, and, over time, these mestizo descendants intermarried with Africans, creating a tri-racial Creole culture. 1514 census records reveal that 40% of Spanish men in the Dominican Republic had Taíno wives.[44] Ethnohistorian Lynne Guitar writes that Taínos were declared extinct in Spanish documents as early as the 16th century; however, Taíno Indians kept appearing in wills and legal records in the ensuing years.[44] Anthropologist and archaeologist Dr. Pedro J. Ferbel Azacarate writes that Taínos and Africans lived in isolated Maroon communities, evolving into a rural population with predominantly Taíno cultural influences. Ferbel documents that even contemporary rural Dominicans retain Taíno linguistic features, agricultural practices, foodways, medicine, fishing practices, technology, architecture, oral history, and religious views. However, these cultural traits are often looked down upon by urbanites as being backwards.[44] "It's surprising just how many Taino traditions, customs, and practices have been continued," says David Cintron, who wrote his graduate thesis on the Taíno revitalization movement. "We simply take for
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