THE TAINO RACE OF
AMERICAN INDIAN PEOPLE
IS FAR FROM EXTINCT
was given by
when the men
"In other words a majority of Puerto Ricans have Taino blood," Cruzado said. " ... the people were not extinguished. The people were assimilated into a new colonial order and became mixed. ...That's what Puerto Ricans are: Indians mixed with Africans and Spaniards."
He added that 200 years ago, Taino culture was very strong. A study in those times would show that 80% had Indian heritage. In fact, Tainos appear in a military census from the 1790s. They had been considered extinct until the 2,000 Indians were found living in a northwestern mountain region.
"These were Indians who the Spanish had placed on the tiny island of Mona (just off the western coast of Puerto Rico) who survived in isolation and then were brought over," Cruzado said.
Visit the website for the Concilio Taíno Guatu-Ma-cu A Borikén
Martinez Cruzado noted that customs and history have been handed down through oral tradition. Even today, many Taino use their own medicinal plants and farming methods. This is especially true of the areas once known as Indieras, or Indian Zones.
Dr. Cruzado's study was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
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