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Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2

Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2

Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2: The Taino people of the Caribbean were the first people of the Americas to greet Christopher Columbus. But, as Dr Jago Cooper reveals, they had a multicultural society complete with drug-infused rituals, strange skulls and amazing navigation. In deep caverns and turquoise seas, Jago uncovers their hidden history.



 

 

Dr Jago Cooper explores the rise and fall of the forgotten civilisations of Central America. His quest takes him from the crystal-blue seas of the Caribbean to the New World’s most impressive pyramids, flying over the smoking volcanoes of Costa Rica and travelling deep underground in the caves of central Mexico. He travels in the footsteps of these peoples to reveal their secrets and unearth the astonishing cultures that flourished amongst some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world.

 

Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2

 

The Taíno were indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of what is now Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, and the northern Lesser Antilles. The Taíno were the first New World peoples encountered by Christopher Columbus during his 1492 voyage. They spoke the Taíno language, a division of the Arawakan language group. Many Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans have Taíno mitochondrial DNA, showing that they are descendants through the direct female lines.

Several peoples currently identify as Taíno or Taíno descendants. Most notably, some Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Cubans, both on the Caribbean islands themselves and on the United States mainland identify themselves with this group. However, it is controversial as to whether Taíno culture has actually survived, or whether it gradually blended into a shared cultural identity which is descended from African, Spanish, and Taíno cultures, but which can no longer be truly identified with the historic Taíno culture.

Taíno society was divided into two classes: naborias (commoners) and nitaínos (nobles). They were governed by male chiefs known as Caciques, who inherited their position through their mother’s noble line. (This was a matrilineal kinship system, with social status passed through the female lines.) The nitaínos functioned as sub-caciques in villages, overseeing the work of naborias. Caciques were advised by priests/healers known as bohiques. Caciques enjoyed the privilege of wearing golden pendants called guanín, living in square bohíos, instead of the round ones of ordinary villagers, and sitting on wooden stools to be above the guests they received. Bohiques were extolled for their healing powers and ability to speak with deities. They were consulted and granted the Taíno permission to engage in important tasks.

 

 

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Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2
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Lost Kingdoms of Central America episode 2: The Taino people of the Caribbean were the first people of the Americas to greet Christopher Columbus.

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