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Running head: HAITI CULTURE AND HISTORY
Haiti Culture and History
HAITI CULTURE AND HISTORY
Haiti Culture and History
Much of what scholars discuss about most regions in the contemporary society is often
related to the post-colonial era largely due to the availability of significant information about
Colonialism. The approach to understanding history from such a biased perspective has often led
most scholars to overlook the foundations of various regions, which in turn skews the
understanding of the cultures therein towards the changes experienced post the colonization
period. Acknowledging the aboriginal cultures makes it clear that there were settlement and
societies existed appropriately before the colonization era, and were actively engaged in some of
the activities whose significance increased following foreign invasion. The same case applies to
Haiti, in which case there were people living on the Island even before Christopher Columbus
arrived and spread information to Europe about the Island’s existence.
The Taino were the indigenous people on the Island of Haiti and engaged in as many
practices as any community would do. Studies on their history and consequent historic artifacts
indicate that the Taino were originally farmers, who migrated to the Haiti region at around 250
BC (Saunders, 2005). Additionally, they were of strong religious views and believed in the
existence of a life after death, as has been determined from the approach used in the creation of
certain artifacts and wooden products from the community. Additionally, canoes determined to
have been made by the Taino indicate that they were efficient sailors, and actively engaged in
trade with other islands in the region, using the canoes as travel vessels across the Caribbean
waters. Ultimately, the Taino people were not an idle community and were actively engaged in
the development of their society through various economic and social activities.
Christopher Columbus announcement of the existence of the Island and other regions in
the Americas attracted interest from Europe for the exploration of the Caribbean Islands, with the
effect of influencing the Taino culture. Consequently, the arrival of Spanish colonialists to Haiti
largely interrupted the Taino welfare as they were largely forced to work as slave labor on
Spanish firms (Saunders, 2005). However, they were well acquainted with the region and had
successfully thwarted the first Spanish settlement in the 1520s. However, they ultimately had to
give up as the colonialists had access to superior technology, which made it difficult to
successfully attack and raid their camps. However, it would be important to note the change that
the invasion of Haiti had caused the aboriginal culture of the Taino.
In essence, the name Taino means “good people” w...