The Sun, the Moon, the Stars Historical Context

Junot Díaz
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Pre-Columbian Culture and Peoples

When Christopher Columbus first arrived on Hispaniola, the former name for what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, there were an estimated 400,000 indigenous Taino Indians inhabiting the island. The word Taino means "men of the good," for the Taino were a gentle race of people whose lives where inextricably linked with their natural surroundings. The Tainos were a seafaring people who lived on the verge of dense jungle, but they also developed sophisticated agricultural practices that produced cassava, corn, squash, and peanuts. They wandered about naked, their bodies decorated with colorful dyes made from earth, and they bathed in the rivers near their homes, which were constructed of thatch and Royal Palm. They greeted Columbus and his men with the kindness and generosity that were honored Taino values. However, the Taino population decreased rapidly as a result of exposure to disease brought by...

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This section contains 651 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sun, the Moon, the Stars Study Guide
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The Sun, the Moon, the Stars from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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