Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction by Ennis B. Edmonds, Michelle A. Gonzalez

By Ennis B. Edmonds, Michelle A. Gonzalez

The colonial heritage of the Caribbean created a context within which many faiths, from indigenous to African-based to Christian, intermingled with each other, making a wealthy range of spiritual existence. Caribbean non secular heritage bargains the 1st accomplished spiritual heritage of the region.Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez start their exploration with the spiritual traditions of the Amerindians who flourished sooner than touch with ecu colonizers, then aspect the transplantation of Catholic and Protestant Christianity and their centuries of struggles to develop into critical to the Caribbean’s non secular ethos, and hint the 20th century penetration of yank Evangelical Christianity, quite in its Pentecostal and Holiness iterations. Caribbean spiritual heritage additionally illuminates the impression of Africans and their descendants at the shaping of such spiritual traditions as Vodou, Santeria, Revival Zion, religious Baptists, and Rastafari, and the luck of Indian indentured employees and their descendants in reconstituting Hindu and Islamic practices of their new environment.Paying cautious realization to the region’s social and political heritage, Edmonds and Gonzalez current a one-volume panoramic advent to this religiously bright a part of the area.

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Puerto Rico had a graduated system but only one paramount cacique, Agüeybana. While information on the social conventions governing succession to the position of cacique is somewhat sparse, the indication is that it was matrilineal and avuncular. That is, the lineage continued through the mother’s family, and boys were raised by their maternal uncles, the eldest of whom would be the cacique’s successor. However, under some circumstances, women were elevated to the position of cacica. What those circumstances were is unclear, but at the time of contact with the Spaniards, Taino women were reported as occupying this position.

Typically, the whole village was laid out around a central plaza that was in front of the cacique’s residence. Hammocks were the main items of furniture in these houses. Used for sleeping, these were made of woven cotton and ropes fashioned from tree barks. In some cases, especially for the caciques, houses contained a raised platform for sleeping. Other items likely to be found in Tainos’ houses were storage containers made of gourds or straw and ceremonial stools called duhos that were used by caciques as symbols of their status.

He made a fourth voyage to the Americas from 1502 to 1504, during which he explored the northern coast of Central America. Spanish officials in the Caribbean treated him shabbily, refusing him entrance to Santo Domingo even though his ships needed repairs, and refusing to come to his aid while he was stranded in Jamaica for a year. After returning to Spain in 1504, Columbus lived in relative seclusion, battling illness and contending with the Crown to receive the 10 percent of the riches of the Indies he had been promised in the documents that authorized the first voyage of exploration.

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