1200 AD 1500 AD - Middle America and Caribbean
|Object:||Taino Zemi Grandes Antilles|
|Century/ Timeframe:||1200 AD 1500 AD|
|Dimensions (in cm):||11 cm x 7 cm x 5 cm - 330 gr|
|Condition:||Good Condition, See Photo|
|Origin:||Middle America and Caribbean|
Taino - Greater Antilles - Anthropozoomorphic -
Representing a zoomorphic trigonolith
The top is adorned with a bird's head with a robust beak.
On the front tip the legs of the bird are joined; the back is smooth.
On each side you can see the folded wings with feathers represented by traditional glyphs.
The head is that of a bird with a long and powerful beak. Hollow eyes, open nostrils
Taino Culture - Dominican Republic, 1200-1500 AD
Stone of greyish colour, pretty patina
The Taino were an ethnic group of the Arawak peoples, who were the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Florida. At the time of contact with Europeans at the end of the 15th century, the Taino were the principal inhabitants of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and Puerto Rico. They spoke a distinct language, the Taino language. Among the Taino of the Caribbean, a zemi was a deity or an ancestral spirit; In addition, the term also includes the sculpture which houses the spirit. The Taino religion, as it has been recorded by the Spaniards at the end of the 15th and 16th centuries, was focused on a supreme creator god and a fertility goddess. The creator god was known under the name of Yúcahu Maórocoti, responsible for the growth of the base nutrient, manioc. The goddess was Attabeira, who regulated and dominated water, rivers and seas. The lower gods who ruled over the other forces of nature were also zemis. The spirits of the ancestors were also considered as zemis and were honoured, in particular those of the chiefs or leaders. Bones or skulls were often incorporated into sculptures of zemis. Zemis would also be consulted for guidance and healing. At these ceremonies of consultation, the zemi images could be painted or tattooed on the bodies of the priests. Zemis were usually carved from a wide variety of materials, including bones, clay, wood, shell, sandstone and other types of stone. They were found in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and other islands of the Caribbean. Some are quite large, up to 1 m in height. Some might be effigies of birds, snakes, alligators and other animals, but especially human effigies. We believe that the Taino people hid their ceremonial objects in caves, to keep them away from the Spaniards, or destroyed them to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Spaniards.
Taino communities were the first people that Columbus met during his exploration of Hispaniola in 1492. The traditional pre-Columbian research concentrated on continental societies, like the Incas, the Aztecs and the Mayans, but since the 1950s, Taino culture became more and more sophisticated, deserving more detailed studies. Politically, the Taino were divided into distinct communities led by chiefs (caciques) whose power had increased significantly at the time of the arrival of the Spanish. Religiously, the Taino were polytheists and worshipped a pantheon of gods that were supposed to control the natural elements. The cult of the ancestors was also important and the deification of deceased leaders reinforced the political authority of their successors. An elaborate ritual system was developed to honour and appease the deities (zemis) and this probably provides the context for this object.
- Taino "peuple d'amour" (Thierry Cruckert Bernard Michaut France)
- Taino "art of the gods" (Larry Roberts USA)
- Art Taino (Jacques Kerchache France)
- Joyaux de l'Art Taino (République Dominicaine)
- The Tainos Rise and Decline of the people who greeted Colombus (Irving Rouse)
- Arts and Archeology of Precolumbian Cuba (Ramon D Moure and Manuel Rivero de la Calle)
- The Barakat Collection
|Member since:||October 11, 2016|
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