For almost half a century the first people to welcome Columbus into the New World lay dormant. Widespread belief held that the Tainos were virtually extinct. But that would be underestimating a people as strong and proud as the Taino. On November 18, 1993, five hundred years to the day after they had made contact, the Taino descendants reunited in Puerto Rico, at the El Batey Ceremonial de Caguanas. Presently, they remain united under one governing body- the Grand Council of the United Confederation of Taino People. There are also various local tribal organizations, to which I have tried to provide links. (See below) The Tainos today have two national days of observance. November 18 ("Guaroco") is a celebration of their final day of freedom. November 19 ("Guahji") marks the beginning of Taino Slavery. It was on this day that they lost their God given freedom. On November 19, Tainos ask that all Catholic churches silence their steeple bells in an act of respect for the massacred Taino.
Thank you for visiting my Taino page, a research project I did for a class at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) entitled "Geography of Central America and the Caribbean." I am so glad I chose to learn about the Taino people. When most people think of brutality among entire nations, they think of the Jews during World War II, the Africans during slavery, or even North American tribes such as the Cherokee and Sioux. But not many remember the Taino. I know that from now on, I will have an enormous respect for them, and I will be sure to give them a moment of silence on November 19.
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Peter, MN 56082