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DNA Samples[edit]

The DNA samples that show that 63% of the subjects tested possess Native American ancestry is not reliable proof of Native American ancestry for the Puerto Rican population as a whole. Puerto Rico has a population of 4 million people. Nor does there seem to be a wide variety of geographical locations represented. I would like to know how many other studies of this kind were done, and by what other Universities, organizations or Scholars. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LightingBug (talkcontribs) 04:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The problem with this scenario, and the reason I have edited the section on Taino in modern times, is that this was according to a mitochondrial DNA test, which does not indicate amount of ancestry, but rather that one has a distant female ancestor of that type, which can be generations upon generations ago. So, 62% of boricuas (Puerto Ricans) can have a far less than 1% Amerindian heritage. Gee, white American Southerners typically have a smattering of Native (in some areas) or black ancestry (in other areas of the South), but it is so miniscule as to not qualify describing them them (in an encyclopedia) as anything other than lily white. Most Puerto Ricans are of varying proportions of white and black descent. There are, however, a few boricuas from certain locales who truly are of noticeable mixed Native and white descent and we need more exposition here, more history told. I'm dying for someone who has done anthropological studies on the island but they seem to be few and far between.
Next, there is a contributor who keeps saying "the tribe" requires DNA tests. The definition of a Native American tribe is very well defined in the USA and unincorporated territories, and even in our neighboring countries such as Mexico and Canada. Persons or groups claiming to be a "tribe" on Wikipedia must define who they are and how they self-govern or at the very least how they affiliate in the case of legitimate unrecognized groups with true tribal continuity (see Pamunkey, Mattaponi, and Apalachee for a better example. Although I am sure (but not certain) there are persons in Central/North Florida who may feel they are of Timucua descent, there is no such TRIBAL entity. Tribe implies continuity and governance, not just affinity with one's purported ancestors. Please cite to your "tribe's" homepage and membership criteria. --Noopinonada (talk) 04:40, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Modern Taíno Tribes[edit]

It's outrageous that the people who say WE are extinct are mad and do not possess the proper command of English or spelling. Furthermore, these so called "facts" are taken from books from the conquerors (Spanish and American). I, on the other hand, am a native Cuban, part Taino. If anyone of you naysayers have ever traveled to Cuba (which I doubt) or any of the former nations of the Caribbean where my ancestors inhabited, I think you would change your minds. I have relatives in Cuba that I travel every other year to see.

I have visited with my family and we have gone to where other clans live mainly in (Las montañas de Oriente) they live moch like on reservations like in the US and are referred to as las batas blancas so        

when you do research on the subject at least get the so call facts straight in plain words you don't know what the hell you talking about. yes there are no full bloods but you can say that about ALL of the Americas, yes we are mestizos in Cuba,but most of humanity is in it ?? so i will direct you to theses sites > > — Preceding unsigned comment added by Luis2112 (talkcontribs) 03:05, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

To whom it may concern, I would like to offically contest and protest this untrue public statement about the Taino people by someone whom had edited and added this statement on the Wikipedia section on the Modern Taino Tribe, as the statement found below is an absoultly untrue and without any real crediable documented proof. I here demand that it be removed or it shall be contest in a federal court as a public slanderous untrue statement and your company will have to show and provide the legal proof of burden.

"Some Taíno groups are known to 'adopt' other native traditions (mainly North American Plains Indian)." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Japerez (talkcontribs) 01:02, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

The three organizations mentioned above are not Indian Tribes nor has it been proven that they are legitimite authorities on Taíno culture. There are unfortunately today, no legitimite authorities on authentic Taíno culture. Even historians and scholars can only learn so much from historical records. The Government of the Jatibonicu Taino PeopleTaíno Nation of the Antilles (1993), the United Confederation of Taíno People, and the Jatibonicu Taino People are heritage groups composed of people of dubious Taíno ancestry. There may however be remnants of Taíno culture in Puerto Rico that blended with African and Spanish traditions. If anyone knows of authentic Taíno traditions that still exist, I would like to here them.

I would also like to add that the Spaniards, in additino to bringing in African slaves to Puerto Rico and other parts of the Carribean, also brought in Indian labor from the Yucatan peninsula, and from other areas of Latin America such as Venezuala to replace the Taíno labor, whome were almost brought to the brink of extinction because of abuse, and disease. So the DNA test cannot specify Taino ancestry, only Indian ancestry.

Academics say the modern-day Taino are descended from a 19th-century movement island intellectuals launched to stir nationalism against Spain and are maintained by mainland Puerto Ricans to downplay their African heritage. There is most likely however, a minority of people in Puerto Rico and in the Carribean who do have Taíno ancestry from many generations ago but it is something that would be almost impossible to prove or disprove today because the vast majority of Taino traditions and cultural knowledge has been lost to time and the traditions that did survive tended to mix with Spainiard/European and African traditions. LightingBug (talk) 02:01, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I didn't see your post; you nail it on the head to a certain degree. However, I am certain that there are mestizos of varying proportions in certain enclaves in the Caribbean, especially the very Eastern tip of Cuba and the Southern Dominican Republic, as well as a small portion of mountain-dominated central PR. National Geographic conducted an interesting study a few years ago on Eastern Cuba and the Taino descent. You may have to google it to read further. --Noopinonada (talk) 04:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Lightningbug's comment above pretty much sums up the issue as it is. The heritage groups listed above are pretty much what one would define in Indian country as "wannabes." There may in fact be a few persons who have Taino ancestry, and that's pretty much it. It is not verifiable or provable that it is even Taino (and not some other group the Spanish imported to PR), and even if it were, there is has been no true tribal entity. There is no government or tribe that is Taino. As far as I have gleaned, some of the heritage groups listed in the article are just that, heritage associations, who may have incorporated in the states where they are located, just like a business or restaurant can do. Incorporation does not create tribal status or tribal government status.
These heritage groups are the same as the gazillion native heritage groups in the USA: they are not a tribe, only recently came together to pay hommage to supposed ancestry, and are not Indian by any stretch. What is the excuse with recently resurging wannabe groups? Usually "hiding out" and "in the mountains" and such. I'd like to hear these groups' theory. (talk) 00:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Its really sad to read that prejudice and racism against the descendants of the Taino people of today is still alive as it was some 500 years ago. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, you are confusing the reporting of historical fact in an encyclopedia with your own self-defined concept of "racism" and "prejudice." I, for one, am a brown-skinned person. The Taino as a tribe (no tribal continuity, no governance, and certainly no culture or language more than a typical Caribbean might have) have not existed for many hundreds of years. Just because you are interested in the cultural history of Puerto Rico, and you think you may be of some proportion Taino ancestry does NOT make you Taino. To give you a lucid example of the ludicrous assertion you make, I will quote from Wikipedia's article on African-Americans: "With the help of geneticists, the historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. put African-American ancestry in these terms: "58 percent of African Americans have at least 12.5 percent European ancestry (equivalent of one great-grandparent)." The last time checked, 60% of African Americans don't run around telling people they are white simply because they may have some white ancestry. If you want to user a few Taino words like "batey" and "areito," (like all boricuas, Cubans, and Domincans use) or even look up some more words from a Taino dictionary or Bartolome de las Casas writings and play, "let's pretend we are Native American," then by all means you do that in your heritage group, social club, or family picnics. But do not use Wikipedia as your soapbox and try to distort historical fact. This is an encyclopedia and it is not open to personal opinions. (talk) 00:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

slaugter of the tianos by who chrisopher columbus —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

All Tainos are extinct, this is a fact, it is not racistic to say the truth. “The Jatibonicù Taino Tribal Band of New Jersey" are in no way descendants from the historic Tainos, simpley because they are not related. Writing false information in wikipedia wont give them tribal nation status with the US government, ok ? Simply because legislators base their decisions on facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 31 August 2010 (UTC)


I removed the proposal to merge Zemi in the main Taíno article after expanding the Zemi article enough that it can stand on its own. -Uyvsdi (talk) 19:49, 19 September 2009 (UTC)Uyvsdi

Latest edits on Taino modern identity[edit]

I'm quite astonished that so much fact about current Caribbean culture has been proposed by some contributors, specifically Uyvsdi, as "proof" of Taino existence in modern times. It is stunning to see that use of Native American customs now makes one Native American in the Caribbean basin. As far as I know, eating cornbread, grits, chestnuts, hominy and wild leeks (ramps) never made a white hillbilly Cherokee, but I guess that is now not the case. Taino cultural customs and vocabulary are VERY widespread throughout the Caribbean, as are Southeastern tribal culture (Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, you name it) spead throughout the South, and other tribal customs, names, and Indian food use spread throughout the whole of the USA. Being a fraction Indian does not make you Indian. Being a fraction Taino does not and will not make me Indian. Of course, I am sure, as most Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and dark Cubans are, that my very curled hair is in fact Taino, as is my skin color. I seem to remember many pcitures of Native Americans with afros and such. Let's stop the game and shoot for accuracy in an encyclopedia.-- (talk) 01:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Accuracy in an encyclopedia is derived from citing scholarly secondary sources and listing multiple points of view, which are present in the article. Find scholarly sources - personal opinion is insufficient. -Uyvsdi (talk) 02:01, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Uyvsdi
Unfortunately, you are confusing claims of Taino ancestry with evidence of Amerindian mitochondrial DNA in Caribbean populations. One can claim to be Taino all they want, but this is not cited nor proved in the article as it is today. Amerindian mitochondrial DNA is certainly present in the Caribbean, and this is impossible to deny. What we are shooting for here is a cite to back up claims that it is Taino, as well as cites to back up claims that Taino culture, not the typical Caribbean amalgamation, has somehow surived in various locales in the Caribbean region. The former is not provable, especially considering the enormous importation of Natives from the srrounding regions to make up for the unrepentant slaughter, death by disease and abuse of Tainos, including Neo-tainos such as Ciboneys and Lucayans. Please cite to something showing that this is in fact Taino ancestry we are describing, or at least make the language more neutral...such as allowing descent from Taino to be described as a "claim." I will wholeheartedly concur with you if you can offer some cites to prove that said claims of being Taino, and not just of some other Native American descent, is correct.-- (talk) 00:43, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I provided quotes and references from scholarly journals. I encourage you to do the same. -Uyvsdi (talk) 06:55, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Uyvsdi

Why dont you post your “The Jatibonicù Taino Tribal Band of New Jersey” mebership card instead, because your "quotes and references from scholarly journals" are just bogus, fake informations, only written to change public opinion, and give you and give the “The Jatibonicù Taino Tribal Band of New Jersey” tribal nation status. Everybody can write something like that, but it will not be based on facts, please refrain from posting lies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Being more than 70% Taino does make you native american, According to federal law determination is made by individual tribes with the most common being 1/8 or more. I don't use US Native American customs because I know nothing of it. All I have is oral tradition passed down by my grandparents. it's funny how people identify me a Puertorican, as hispanic, We are mostly Native 60%+/-, Black 20%+/-, French and Spanish 20%+/- in that order. I can only speak for myself I still have artifacts given to me by my great-great grandmother that I have seen in encyclopedias myself. It can be argued that being 20%+/- European does not make you european does it? Just because you lost your identity through assimilation does not negate your heritage. We may be different from our ancestors but we are still Boricuas. Also the claim by the OP of importation of other natives to the islands is silly since Tainos were very racist and would not mix with other tribes. The only reason they mixed with europeans was because of rape. Htij143 (talk) 14:06, 17 November 2013 (UTC)htij143

Boriquen / Boricua / Taino[edit]

I took History some time ago, but as far as I recall, the Taino are a cultural stage and belong to the same group of people as the Pre-Tainos and Igneri did. They are all Central American Indians closely related or belonging to, the Arawaks. Also, they were not Christians so the translation given here of Boriken as something "blah blah Land of the Lord blah" is completely inaccurate and as a Puertorrican it is the FIRST time I have ever heard them term translated. I also eliminated the sentence mentioning that they called themeselves "Boricuas". I believe the term Boricua is a modern term, perhaps even originating in New York as a corruption of Borinqueño", as I can't recall any mention of the word in popular art or culture in the mainland of Puerto Rico, and it is (to this date) commonly used in more colloquial terms, while Borinqueño or Borincano are used a bit more formally...

In any event, I doubt that the Tainos would call themselves anything. The concept of property and individuality was brought on by Europeans. I have serious doubts about the idea that they would answer "Oh yes we are Boricua.". The concept of "tribes", "culture" and "group of people" where probably very alien to them. It is more likely that the Spaniards came up with the word and coined the term based on the fact that the natives called the place Boriquen.

I invite anyone with the knowledge to come in and add to the article, but please use proper citations. --Reefpicker (talk) 18:32, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Yateras Indians[edit]

For those who claim that there are no Taino left, how do you explain the Yateras Indians of eastern Cuba? You can read all about them in the anthology "Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean" by Maximillian Forte, in the chapter “Panchito, Mountain Cacique: Cuban Taino Survivals" by Jose Barreiro. There are historical records of the Yateras Indians fighting for the Spanish in the colonial revolts of the 19th Century. They consider themselves Taino descendants and have been regarded as Indians by their neighbors.

Also, why do skeptics hold Taino claims to such unreasonably high standards? It seems as if you want modern Tainos to be exactly the same as their Pre-Columbian ancestors, whereas many officially-recognized Native Americans in the United States have mixed ancestry, no longer speak their indigenous languages, and live Westernized lifestyles. A great example of this is the Mashantucket Pequot. -- (talk) 01:14, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

[redacted] The Taino have dies out, this is tragic, but it is nearly comical how certaing political persons and "tribes" try to change history just to get what they want. Maybe we should start an "Tribe of Atlantis" or something like that.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

That's an ad hominem argument that does not refute any of the actual evidence presented in Forte's book. "History is written by the winners" and does not always reflect reality. The fact of the matter is that DNA evidence has conclusively demonstrated that Taino heritage has survived in the Caribbean, just as it has proven that the Anglo-Saxons merely assimilated the indigenous Britons rather than outright replacing them in England. The story of the Yateras Indians is not all that different from the growing number of recognized Native American tribes that emerged from tri-racial isolates in the eastern United States. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Allowing information about organizations[edit]

I do not believe it is misappropriate for a fraternity to use Taino imagery. As they embrace several aspects of Taino culture and celebrate the culture in various ways. As the section is titled “Taíno heritage in modern times” it is important to note and describe organization that celebrate or feel some type of connection to that culture. Specifically, when an organization embraces a Taino native as it’s symbol of cultural pride. The addition does not make any outlandish claims but instead just notes that this organization has embraced the Taino people as there symbol. Monarca7 (talk) 07:06, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

The appropriation Taíno imagery may or may not be offensive but it's not notable (unless published in secondary sources; for instance if it was involved in a court case). -Uyvsdi (talk) 07:19, 28 December 2010 (UTC)Uyvsdi
I did not delete your discussion but moved it to the bottom. -Uyvsdi (talk) 18:19, 28 December 2010 (UTC)Uyvsdi


The recent move of this article was not discussed at all, despite the article being actively edited by a large number of editors. A (correctly performed) move to Taíno people is fine with me personally, but the disambiguation info needs to go to Taíno (disambiguation) and Taíno should redirect to Taíno people, since it is hands down the primary article for "Taíno." -Uyvsdi (talk) 16:47, 6 June 2011 (UTC)Uyvsdi

That's fine. I'm overriding the dab page though to preserve its page history.
But really? There are only seven articles which link to "Taíno", while over 500 link to "Taíno people", so what's wrong with keeping "Taíno" as the dab page? Isn't that what we normally do in such situations? — kwami (talk) 19:43, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Look at actual page view statistics as well. "Taíno" got 12,745 hits in the last 30 days, and the majority of those people are looking for an article, not a disambiguation page. Taíno language received 1926 page views in the last 30 days; Taínos_(film) received 488; Taino_(VA) received 181; the other links don't even use "Taíno" in their article title. Taíno people received 20,529 page views. Taíno people is clearly and demonstrably the primary topic for Taíno, so it should redirect to that page. -Uyvsdi (talk) 21:18, 6 June 2011 (UTC)Uyvsdi

Possible problem with sentence[edit]

I just reverted the unexplained deletion of the sentence, "Despite this massive decline in population, it is safe to say that there simply wasn't enough of a Spanish military presence to be attributed to the large reduction of native manpower," from the section on Population decline. That sentence appears to have two citations just for itself. I do not have ready access to the sources, so I cannot verify that the cited sources support the statement. However, the statement seems to me to be awkwardly worded and not encyclopedic in tone. Any suggestions? -- Donald Albury 23:09, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Dominican girls[edit]

Shouldn't it be told that the two Dominican girls are actually mulattoes, and not Indians? Ok, it's told that it's carnival, but it's still misleading. --Lecen (talk) 00:37, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Introductory Material[edit]

"Cuba, the smallest island of the Antilles ...." This can't be correct. Probably "largest" is meant but I don't know. OldAndTired (talk) 21:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Missing reference[edit]

Please give complete refernce to "Chrisp 2006, p. 34." --Finn Bjørklid (talk) 22:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Recent IP edit (rape vs interbreeding, etc.)[edit]

There's an IP changing this article who has obviously read What Became of the Taíno?, watched a tv program on it, or something similar. Unfortunately they aren't using sources and are leaving the article a bit of a mess. I don't know if anyone feels up to fixing this, but I don't have time at the moment or really the background. Doug Weller (talk) 11:21, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

More recent IP edits

An editor has replaced the word "raped" with the euphemism "interbred", giving the following changing explanations:

  • (Changed "raped" to "interbred with", since the former choice of word seems to be concerned more with advancing a decolonization narrative than accurately describing the reality of the situation)
  • (Extrapolating from the source you're referencing that "the Spanish did bad things to the Taino" equates to "the interbreeding of Spaniards and Taino was characterized mostly / entirely by rape" is intellectually dishonest)
  • (I'm asserting that the picture which results from how it's used in this context is a caricature. Rape was a component of the interbreeding process, not its sole constituent, as is suggested by the current edit.)

I reviewed the cited sources (3 in the lead after the occurrence of the word "rape", a couple more in the 'Women' section of the article), and while I didn't find a single instance of the word "interbred", I did find many instances of "rape" / "outraged" / "Raped" / "trampled on the chastity". Now, I'm sure the "reality of the situation" changed over time, as sources attest. According to records, the first 39 Spanish raped. They were soon killed. Later expeditions arrived, more women were raped, and many were "taken" - and the sources do not mean in the "Do you take this woman to be your wife" manner - forcibly taken. Some Taino women did indeed enter into marriage with the Spanish, and some with Africans, but we must keep in mind that within the first decade after arrival, the Taino society of millions dwindled down to scattered tribes of mere hundreds. We can certainly describe the details of the "interbreeding" that occurred between the Spanish & Taino & Africans, but we can't sanitize out rape, abductions, and exploitations when they feature so prominently in the reliable sources. And perhaps of further concern is that such sanitization of history to legitimize such brutality has been happening over time, as noted repeatedly in our Accilien source, perhaps exemplified by the Guitar paper submission.

If one aspect of the inter-relationships between groups of people should be expanded, we don't start by removing another reliably sourced aspect. I'd be happy to work with the IP editor on this content. Xenophrenic (talk) 21:31, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Upon reviewing your detailed explanation above, I recognize that my editing efforts here were misguided.
What I originally perceived myself to be doing was correcting an exaggeration: my animating impulse was the perception that the article as written was saying something like "the development of the mixed-ethnicity population of the Caribbean was characterized almost entirely by sexual violence committed by the Spanish against the Taíno / other indigenous groups", which struck me as a misrepresentation. After reviewing your above response, though, I recognize that:
  • That was not quite what the paragraph as written was trying to argue.
  • The narrower point that WAS being made was, as you outlined, supported by the provided sources (which I confess I did not thoroughly review before).
  • Though I perceived myself to be acting in the interest of objectivity, the effect that was in reality achieved was, as you said, sanitization.
I thank you for taking the time to deconstruct my misguided effort here, and apologize for my unscholarly and amateurish blundering. -- (talk) 13:53, 28 July 2017 (UTC)