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The Taino and the Spanish

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The Taino and the Spanish


Cristóbal Colón landed on an unknown island in the Caribbean on October 10, 1492. He planted banners in the beach claiming the land for the Spanish throne. Colón’s perceptions and interactions with the indigenous people, the Taino, sparked the events that lead to the colonization of the Americas. Colón’s perceptions of the Taino were misinterpreted by him. His misconceptions about the Taino were built from a compilation of his own expectations, readings of other explorers, and strong religious influence in Western Europe. The Taino also misunderstood the Spanish as well. Their false beliefs about the Spanish were driven by their religious beliefs as well as their mythology. Through misunderstandings backed by the religions, physical appearances, and the histories of both the Taino and the Spanish, the Taino believed that the Spanish were god-like figures that fell from the sky, while the Taino were perceived by the Spanish as simplistic, uncultured natives, that would be easily converted to Christianity and used as servants (Wilson, Hispanola p. 48-49)....


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...Cristobal. The Diario of Cristóbal Colón’s Voyage to America, Transcription and Translation Oliver Dunn and James E. Kelley Jr.

de Las Casas, Bartolomé. The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account. Translation, Briffault, Herma, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London © 1992.

Quesada, Miguel. Miguel Quesada, “Spain 1492: Social values and structures,” Stuart Schwartz, ed. Implicit Understandings, Cambridge University Press.

The Mission. Directed by Joffé, Roland. Written Credits, Bolt, Robert. Genre, Drama. ©1986.

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