There have been moments in history when groups of people have been almost completely killed off. The Taino people are an example of a culture almost completely killed off. The Taino people were the ones to meet columbus when he reached the island he named espanola now known as Dominican Republic/Haiti. These Native Americans occupied most of the caribbean. the Native Americans believed in multiple deities, all referred to as zemis,and in the existence of an afterlife(DonQuijote). The tainos were very artistic and creative, they would paint caves, sculpted pottery, woven belts and bohios “cone shaped house that could house up to 15 families at once”(donquijote). Tainos learned not only to live naturally but also to follow the ancient ways of gentleness. They did not like to fight they would rather have had peace. In a ceremony called guatiao, or exchange of names, outsiders from other islands were encouraged to accept the peaceful and prosperous ways of the Tainos. The main value of the peace pact was to share the soil and the harvest(Magee, Bernice E.) Besides the peace pact ceremony, the Tainos also performed spiritual ceremonies called areitos in which they recited stories of their ancestors in song and dance. These took place at the plaza.Sometimes areitos were combined with a sacred ritual called the cohoba, they would clean out their bodies by drinking an herbal tea that would make them sick, they would then inhale dust so that they would be more in touch with the ancestors. When they had done this ritual they would receive messages or gain knowledge of what would happen in their future(Magee, Bernice E.)The Europeans while searching the world for new land came across an island they named espanola in the caribbean. The europeans were catholic  and only believed in one god. Columbus meeting the Taino was the first step of the rite of passage because he was impressed by their generosity which would be a reason for their downfall(Robert M.Poole).the Taino gave the travelers food, gifts, and shelter. The europeans and taino coexisted for some time until the Spaniards removed men from villages to work in gold mines and colonial plantations. This kept the Taíno from planting the crops that had fed them for centuries. The generosity the taino had always preached had a dreadful outcome, they were starved and many died from diseases europeans had brought. This was the second step of the rite of passage when europeans began destroying a culture that had been cultivated for hundreds of years.In time, many Taino women married spaniards, combining the genes of the New World and Old World to create a new mixed population(M.Poole). The europeans had also brought over africans as slaves during those times causing even more people of different races to mix. The african slaves brought over to espanola with the combination of the taino made a lot of what haiti is today. 95% of haiti is of afro-haitian descent which are descendants african slaves brought over by the french to work on plantations.  This is the third step of the rite of passage because most of the taino culture was lost when they died out and many had switched to christianity. About 85 percent of the Taíno population had vanished by the early 1500s, according to a controversial findings from Spanish records. As the Indian population faded, so did Taíno as a living culture(M.Poole). Many words still used nowadays such as barbeque,hammock, tobacco and hurricane derived from the tainos native language(DonQuijote). There are still caribbeans to this day that dont like europeans because of what they did to the gentle Tainos in the past. Some say that the Tainos were savages and killed many europeans but research goes against it. Research suggest that there are still about 5000 Indians left living in Cuba(Smithsonian). Many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans still look at themselves as either Indian or a mix of indian, African and European. In Dominican Republic the history of the Tainos is still being taught(family). Puerto Ricans have been found to have the highest percentage of Native American dna compared to other countries(Martinez). In conclusion The rite of passage for the tainos were that they were supposed to die out in order for new generations of mixed ethnicities to immerge. Many caribbeans still hold a grudge against the spanish because of what they did to the tainos but most of their dna is made up of the people they criticize. The tainos faced the rite of passage every ethnicity has and will face in the future when race won’t be a thing of the future but of the past as more ethnicities mix, certain people will be forgotten only those that make a mark on the world will be remembered.  Although the world of the Tainos, with its loving and gentle ways, was nearly destroyed long ago, much Taino culture has survived in the Caribbean. Taino blood runs in the veins of the mestizo, a person of mixed European and Native American descent(Magee, Bernice E).

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