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Columbus's Outpost among the TainosSpain and America at La Isabela, 1493-1498$
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Kathleen Deagan and Jose Maria Cruxent

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300090406

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300090406.001.0001

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Reluctant Hosts: The Taínos of Hispaniola

Reluctant Hosts: The Taínos of Hispaniola

(p.23) Chapter 3 Reluctant Hosts: The Taínos of Hispaniola
Columbus's Outpost among the Tainos

Kathleen Deagan

José María Cruxent

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on “American Indians,” the term by which the indigenous people of the Americas have been known in Western literature since 1492. They had occupied the Western Hemisphere for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. It was Columbus himself who initiated the use of that term in his mistaken assumption that he had reached the offshore islands of India, referring to them as Yndios and their islands as las Yndias in the journal of the first voyage. Sixteenth-century Europeans and present-day writers alike refer to the native inhabitants of the Greater Antilles as Tainos, a word used by the people themselves to mean “good people” or “good men and not cannibals.” Most of what is known about the Tainos is based on the accounts and descriptions of a relatively few fifteenth- and sixteenth-century European observers, and an ever-increasing body of archaeological information.

Keywords:   indigenous people, American Indians, Western Hemisphere, Yndios, las Yndias, Tainos, archaeological information

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