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Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 00:43:42 -0400
Sender: Taino-L Taino interest forum <TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: TAINO-L Digest - 27 Oct 1998 to 28 Oct 1998 (#1998-159)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 21:27:56 -1000
From: Tony Castanha <castanha@HAWAII.EDU>
Subject: Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor of Time Magazine

By Tony Castanha <castanha@HAWAII.EDU>
October 26, 1998


In your recent piece titled "Before Columbus," you write that the Taino have been "rescued from the ignoble status of footnotes" of the past 500 years. Yes, you're right, the many myth and lies passed down through the centuries are being unraveled. However, you don't mention the continued presence and modern cultural resurgence among indigenous Caribe and Taino descendants, the inevitable result of a cultural revitalization among indigenous peoples worldwide.

The material "museum culture" of archaeology and the notion of "extinction" often go hand-in-hand. The Spanish censuses taken on the island of Boriken (Puerto Rico) between 1765 and 1799 reveal over 2000 indigenous ("indigena") inhabitants from but ONE area of the mountain region called Maricao (Delgado 1977). This is just one example disproving the "almost overnight" destruction theory. The indigenous peoples of the Caribbean today, and in the diaspora, are the CHILDREN of the pre-Columbian inhabitants, who carry the same noble spirit of their ancestors which is exactly what these ancestors had hoped for.

Tony Castanha

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