Where are the Arawaks Today?


The Arawaks
The Arawaks of the Caribbean have largely been considered to have been killed by the genocide committed by the Spanish shortly after arriving: "Within half a century after 1492 the Aboriginal population of many of the islands was approaching extinction." (source)Today, there are about 16,000 Arawaks still living, but in South America, not the Caribbean. Instead, they mostly live in Guyana with some in Suriname, French Guiana, and Venezuela. (source)

The Taino of Puerto Rico
In recent years, there has been a movement of people claiming that they are Taino in Puerto Rico. This movement asserts that they were not completely forced into extinction and that they are the descendents of the few Taino to survive the Spanish. Taino descendants identify themselves not only in Puerto Rico, but also "Cuba...the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Florida, New York, California, Hawaii, and even Spain." (source)



This video discusses the Tainos of Puerto Rico today. It provides not only information about those who claim to be descendants, but the descendants themselves. (source)

The Puerto Rican have also come together at the El Batey Ceremonial de Caguanas and are united under the Grand Council of the United Confederation of Taino People. They have two national days of observance: November18 ("Guaroco") is the celebration of their final day of freedom and November 19 ("Guahji") marks the beginning of Taino Slavery. (source)

While it is not certain how many Taino descendants there are or if they are even Tanio, there is a large population of people identify with the Indians. In fact, they even have their own facebook page, claiming they are still here and deserve recognition as Taino people.

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(source)