[Documents menu] Documents menu

From TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU Sat Oct 21 07:28:04 2000
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 00:39:19 -0400
Sender: Taino-L Taino interest forum <TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: TAINO-L Digest - 19 Oct 2000 to 20 Oct 2000 (#2000-188)

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 12:55:54 -0400
From: Principal Chief Pedro Guanikeyu Torres <jttn@TAINO-TRIBE.ORG>
Subject: PreColumbian Pottery in the Antilles

Pottery in the Antilles

Athena Review, Vol. 1, no. 3,
[20 October 2000]

The larger Caribbean islands, the Greater Antilles, were settled by Arawak-speaking tribes from South America from 100 BC onward. This era, the Neo-Indian period, is characterized by pottery and agriculture brought from the Orinoco region to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola (today's Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

The earliest-known pottery in the Greater Antilles is from the Saladoid tradition, named for the Saladero site near the Orinoco mouth. Ceramic vessels from this tradition are decorated with white-on-red negative painting and incised lines, often showing organic or rounded geometric forms. Also associated with the Saladoid tradition are abundant manioc graters.

The next major pottery tradition in the Caribbean, called the Barrancoid (also derived from the lower Orinoco) has broad-line incision on smooth surfaces, with appliques of zoomorphic themes or fanciful animals. This spread through the Antilles after about AD 700.

A third pottery tradition, called the Ostionoid, developed after AD 600 in the Greater Antilles as a modified version of the Saladoid. The center of origin appears to be Puerto Rico, which contains a number of important Neo-Indian sites, many with ballcourts and other elements of cultural complexity. Finally, further modifications of the earlier styles led to the Chicoid pottery tradition, which after ca. AD 1200 spread throughout Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. The Taino culture that Columbus encountered in AD 1492 was part of this tradition.