By Ennis B. Edmonds, Michelle A. Gonzalez

The colonial historical past of the Caribbean created a context during which many faiths, from indigenous to African-based to Christian, intermingled with each other, making a wealthy range of spiritual existence. Caribbean non secular historical past bargains the 1st finished spiritual background of the region.Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez commence their exploration with the spiritual traditions of the Amerindians who flourished sooner than touch with ecu colonizers, then aspect the transplantation of Catholic and Protestant Christianity and their centuries of struggles to turn into vital to the Caribbean’s spiritual ethos, and hint the 20th century penetration of yankee Evangelical Christianity, relatively in its Pentecostal and Holiness iterations. Caribbean non secular historical past additionally illuminates the impression of Africans and their descendants at the shaping of such spiritual traditions as Vodou, Santeria, Revival Zion, religious Baptists, and Rastafari, and the luck of Indian indentured employees and their descendants in reconstituting Hindu and Islamic practices of their new environment.Paying cautious awareness to the region’s social and political historical past, Edmonds and Gonzalez current a one-volume panoramic advent to this religiously vivid a part of the realm.

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Other items likely to be found in Tainos’ houses were storage containers made of gourds or straw and ceremonial stools called duhos that were used by caciques as symbols of their status. Each village was governed by a cacique, or chief, who exercised political, moral, and sometimes spiritual leadership and influence. Along with upholding the cultural traditions of the village, the cacique was responsible for defending the village against attacks and for maintaining diplomatic relationship with outsiders.

At other times, Amerindians in boats came to his ships or followed him from place to place. For hunting (and fighting), the Amerindians employed bone or stone-tipped spears (the Caribs had poisoned tipped arrows), traps, and clubs. The most sought-after species were birds (Columbus reported in his journals that these were in abundance everywhere in the Caribbean), rodent-like hutias, land and sea turtles, and large manatees or sea cows. 10 As hunters and gatherers, the Ciboneys/Guanahatabeys seem not to have developed any complex social and political systems.

Symbolic representations of zemis often appeared on ceramic vessels and Amerindians and Spanish Catholics in Contact | 23 artistic creations; often, such vessels were receptacles for the bones of dead relatives who were venerated by the living. According to Taino beliefs, zemis aided humans in the affairs of life. Some assisted with human fertility; some produced rain and ensured the bounty of the fields; others were responsible for ensuring good fishing and hunting and the successful pursuit of warfare.

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