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Here you will find some notes, remarks, observations, words and names (with etymological interpretation) on the language and culture of the ISLAND-ARAWAKS commonly known as TAINOS* Compiled by Alfred Carrada - Completed August 2003
I started collecting Island-Arawak (Taino) artifacts more that twenty years ago. Although I grew up in the West Indies I did not become fully acquainted wit this culture until I made a holiday trip to Santo Domingo in the late Seventies. I became fascinated and bewitched by the beautiful and intriguing objects made by the Taino artisans, and collecting these objects became a passion that took a life of its own. At the same time I began collecting Taino artifacts I started to acquaint myself with their culture by reading whatever material I could get may hands on. The first book I read was Fred Olsen's "On the Trail of the Arawaks" and it was an eye opener for me. I also became very intrigued by what the meaning of geographical, topographical and historical Indian names could mean. I had read that according to Julian Granberry "words in Arawakan languages are monosyllabic” and so, with this in mind I began to make notes that would help me reach an etymological meaning to some of their names and words. So, here are the names and words I found relevant to my quest, with my etymological root value interpration; as well as information I came across that I found of interest. I am publishing my findings in the internet in case that someone other than myself finds it interesting and worth looking into it.
*The Taino are considered to be only the people associated with the Boca Chica culture; i.e. 1000 A.C. (ninth century); the precursors of the Taino were the Saladoid, Huecoid and Ostionoid (all of them ethnic Arawaks), whose language and culture were an integral part of Taino society.