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Caribbean Religious HistoryAn Introduction$
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Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814722343

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814722343.001.0001

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Amerindians and Spanish Catholics in Contact

Amerindians and Spanish Catholics in Contact

(p.15) 2 Amerindians and Spanish Catholics in Contact
Caribbean Religious History

Ennis B. Edmonds

Michelle A. Gonzalez

NYU Press

Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that the islands of the Caribbean and the Bahamas have been continuously occupied since 4000 B.C.E. From that time on, repeated waves of migrations brought various groups to the area. By the time Columbus arrived in 1492, the Caribbean showed evidence of the dynamics of such migrations and interactions in the various groups living there. By far the dominant group, both numerically and culturally, was the Tainos, who likely migrated from South America and occupied the Greater Antilles in the northwestern Caribbean, the Bahamas, and probably the northern tip of the Lesser Antilles. This chapter discusses Taino religions and the nature and results of the contact between their practitioners and the early Spanish settlers. Topics covered include the origins and way of life of indigenous Caribbean people; Amerindian economy and social structure; Amerindian religious beliefs and practices; Spanish colonization and the subjugation; and conversion and protection of the Amerindians.

Keywords:   Taino religions, Caribbean religion, Bahamas, Spanish settlers, indigenous Caribbean people, Amerindians, colonization

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