The Mythology and Religion of the Taínos is an analysis and summary of the beliefs and rituals of the Taíno people, who were the predominant culture in the Greater Antilles, or “West Indies,” at the moment of the Europeans’ arrival. In this fascinating book, text and image join to provide both the general public and the scholar an essential work in the bibliography of the indigenous people of the Antilles.
At the moment of Contact, the Taínos’ mythical time, with its periods of creation, the obtention of cultural assets, and the establishment of the structure and norms of society, was interlinked with historical time. Their powerful, sacred cemíes preserved the spirits of the deities and other mythical figures of the past, allowing the Taínos to maintain contact with the time of the origins. When, during the ritual of the cohoba, the cacique, or chief, communicated with those higher beings, he became the mediator between the deities and society.
Thus, the power that legitimized the Taíno religion and social order was made visible in the triad cemíes-cohoba-cacique.Sebastián Robiou Lamarche, whose previous books include Encuentro con la mitología taína (1992), Taínos y Caribes: las culturas aborígenes antillanas (2003), Mitología y religion de los Taínos (2016) and Tainos and Caribs (2019), has a doctorate in history from the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean (San Juan, P.R.).Andrew Hurley is the translator of a wide range of literary and academic works, including the collected fictions of Jorge Luis Borges, the selected prose writings of Rubén Darío, and Reinaldo Arenas’ Pentagonía novels.