The Indigenous People of the Caribbean

Edited by Samuel M. Wilson

Foreword by Jerald T. Milanich, Series Editor
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"A survey of the current state of study of indigenous Caribbean people by archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists. . . . Emphasizes that even though indigenous people were the victims of genocide, they helped to establish a persistent pattern of relations between other Caribbean settlers and their environment, and became central symbols of Caribbean identity and resistance to colonialism. . . . Strongly recommended for every library concerned with Caribbean and native American studies."--Choice

"An excellent introduction to native peoples of the Caribbean region. . . . Will be useful to anthropologists, historians, and other social scientists working in the Caribbean."--Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Museum of Natural History

This volume brings together nineteen Caribbean specialists to produce the first general introduction to the indigenous peoples of that region. Writing for both general and academic audiences, contributors provide an authoritative, up-to-date picture of these fascinating peoples--their social organization, religion, language, lifeways, and contribution to the culture of their modern descendants--in what is ultimately a comprehensive reader on Caribbean archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnology.

1. Introduction, Samuel M. Wilson
Part 1: Background to the Archaeology and Ethnohistory of the Caribbean
2. The Study of Aboriginal Peoples: Multiple Ways of Knowing, Ricardo Alegría
3. The Lesser Antilles Before Columbus, Louis Allaire
Part 2: The Encounter
4. The Biological Impacts of 1492, Richard L. Cunningham
5. The Salt River Site, St. Croix, at the Time of the Encounter, Birgit Faber Morse
6. European Views of the Aboriginal Population, Alissandra Cummins
Part 3: The First Migration of Village Farmers, 500 B.C. to A.D. 800
7. Settlement Strategies in the Early Ceramic Age, Jay B. Haviser
8. The Ceramics, Art, and Material Culture of the Early Ceramic Period in the Caribbean Islands, Elizabeth Righter
9. Religious Beliefs of the Saladoid People, Miguel Rodríguez
10. Maritime Trade in the Prehistoric Eastern Caribbean, David R. Watters
11. Notes on Ancient Caribbean Art and Mythology, Henry Petitjean Roget
Part 4: The Taino of the Greater Antilles on the Eve of Conquest
12. "No Man (or Woman) Is an Island": Elements of Taino Social Organization, William F. Keegan
13. Taino, Island Carib, and Prehistoric Amerindian Economies in the West Indies: Tropical Forest Adaptations to Island Environments, James B. Petersen
14. The Material Culture of the Taino Indians, Ignacio Olazagasti
15. The Taino Cosmos, José R. Oliver
16. Some Observations on the Taino Language, Arnold R. Highfield
17. The Taino Vision: A Study in the Exchange of Misunderstanding, Henry Petitjean Roget
Part 5: The Island Caribs of the Lesser Antilles
18. The Caribs of the Lesser Antilles, Louis Allaire
19. Language and Gender among the Kalinago of 15th Century St. Croix, Vincent O. Cooper
Part 6: Indigenous Resistance and Survival
20. The Garifuna of Central America, Nancie L. Gonzalez
21. The Legacy of the Indigenous People of the Caribbean, Samuel M. Wilson
22. Five Hundred Years of Indigenous Resistance, Garnette Joseph

Samuel M. Wilson is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin. He is author of Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus (1990), coeditor of Ethnohistory and Archaeology: Approaches to Postcontact Change in the Americas (1993), and a contributing editor and columnist for Natural History magazine.

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"A survey of the current state of study of indifenous Caribbean people by archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists. . . . [an] important collection . . . Strongly recommended for every library concerned with Caribbean and Native American studies." -- Choice

"This book should be read by specialists, and I recommend it as an ideal text or reader for a class on indigenous peoples and cultures of the Caribbean."
--Latin American Antiquity

"Scholars and students can look to this volume as a jumping-off work to immerse themselves in the basic scholarship and utilize the useful bibliography. Ultimately, this volume should be of great interest to those studying Amerindian and Caribbean history for the simple utility of having a quick reference on central aspects of pre-contact migration, as well as Carib and Taino cultures." -- H-Net Review

"Caribbean peoples, particularly those of Indian descent, as well as students of this region, have long needed a text such as the present multiauthored book on the indigenous Caribbean. The Virgin Islands Humanities Council is to be commended for targeting these audiences, and the editor for producing this book. . . . [It] fills a large gap in the literature."
--Hispanic American Historical Review

"A valuable overview, grouping together the main issues in one place in the form of a comprehensive reader."
--New West Indian Guide

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