Technolgy in The Kalinagos,Taino and Mayan Cultures
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Taino had very simple life styles but they had some technological advances. Some examples are Hut building, Fishing and Pottery.
Hut building – there were larger huts built with a center pole, which gave extra support to the roof. It was considered important for resisting heavy gales. It had no windows and doors. Wooden posts were placed firmly in the ground to form a circle about five paces apart and laced together with springy branches and grass. Transverse beams were tied on top of the posts, and a pole placed in the center of the structure. The center pole and the transverse beams were then connected with thin poles, and these were covered with grass or palm leaves to form a conical roof.
Fishing- Arawaks used nets, lines with hooks, a bone or turtle shell and harpoons to capture fish. In Cuba artificial pools were created to keep excess fish until they were needed .The Arawaks used the sucking fish (Remora).
Pottery- this was made from the local red, brown and gray clays. Pots were not glazed but decorated with markings different for each village. They were made in shapes of frogs, birds or heads with wide eyes and large ears for handles.
Basketwork cylinders – These were made to extract the poisonous juice of cassava. Cassava was the Arawaks main food, they made cassava cakes, pepperpot with cassava and a sauce called cassareep.
They painted their bodies to protect against the heat and insect bites made from vegetable dye and oil.
Fishing arrows and Spears were tipped with shell and bone and battle arrows were tipped with fire and poison.
Boat Building- Caribs’ canoes might have been up to 6 metres long. It was made out of tree trunks. The trunk was charred then hollowed with stone axes and left to season, after which it was buried in moist sand. Bars were placed across the opening to the force out the sides and it was left in place until wood had dried and hardened. Then triangular boards were wedged at the bow and stern so that the water could not enter the boat, and the sides were raised by fastening sticks bound with fibres and coated with gum to the upper edges. If this type of canoe overturned it did not sink, but instead could be righted by the paddlers but instead rocked to slash out the water.
The Maya were the most advanced of the three Amerindian groups. They built beautiful structures and were very good mathematicians.
Calendar- The Maya built round observatories from which their priests could observe the movement of stars and planets. Here they developed calendars. Their calendar was as accurate as the one we use today. The Maya had a 365 day year. This was called a haab, and consisted 18 months or uinals, each of twenty days (kins). There was a five year period, which was considered as an unlucky period called uayeb. The Maya also had a sacred calendar, which had 260 days. The Maya had another calendar called the long count. This was a method of reckoning time by counting every single day from the beginning of Maya History.
Pyramids- some were two hundred and twenty nine feet and were made of limestone cemented together with powdered limestone.
Weapons-Spears and clubs tipped with obsidian, they used slings with stones the size of eggs, and feathered shields to protect themselves and Mayan soldiers used tough padded cotton jackets to protect their chest.
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