|Countries Spain Colonized|
Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean that is rich in history and culture. Its warmth and beauty makes it very attractive. The people have witnesssed and felt how power has helped them or hurt their lives. Puerto Rico consists of one main island and smaller ones named Vieques, Mona, and Culebra. Some of its major crops are sugar cane, coffee, avocados, and bananas. Its people have also had access to oranges, coconuts, pineapples, plantains and tobacco. Unfortunately hurricanes occur often. Puerto Ricans have to learn how to deal with and protect themselves from these storms. In this unique and beautiful land there has always been a struggle for power; for example, Tainos used their intelligence to practice cultural rituals in their society, Spaniards used violence and fear to control Puerto Rico and colonial life, and Taino and African slaves rebelled through the use of voice and violence. Puerto Ricans have developed from a blend of Taino-Arawak, African, and European culture. The earliest people to migrate to Puerto Rico were the Taino-Arawak. Puerto Rico is known to be a "mestizaje" (blending of several cultures). In Loiza Aldea, Guayama, and Ponce, clothing, arts and crafts, food, and religion show influences of African Culture. Some traditional music heard are the bomba and plena. Some popular music heard is salsa that originated from Cuba and merengue that orginated from Domincan Republic. The Tainos lived in Puerto Rico as much as 1200 years ago. Plant life is very rich as it has poncioas, coconut trees, and palm trees.
Tainos used their intelligence to practice cultural rituals in their society. Edit
Puerto Rico might be called the island of the Tainos. The Tainos strongly believe in caciques and cacicas.The role of the cacique or cacica was to organize the the religions and way of life. The females had the same amount of rights and had a say even though they were females. The most important god was Bagua Yucague Morocotti. As a symbol of power,the Tainos wore a gold disc called a guanin. In the daily life of the Taino, the men hunted for fish,and small reptiles. In the daily life of the womean, they had more jobs than the males. They made bowl,statuettes, and Utensils out of clay. They wove hammocks, bandages and string out of cotton, prepared food and medicine. They also harvested food and picked seeds out of trees. These jobs demonstrate power because all these people did these things even though they knew they weren't getting paid. They did these things out of determination. If the females didn't prepare medicine, their children would have gotten sick and died. The children would of also died of starvation if the females never knew how to harvest and prepare food.
The Spaniards demonstrate power through fear and violence Edit
When the Spanish came and invaded Borinquen, they demolished the religion of the Tainos and killed many Tainos. When Christopher Colombus made his second voyage to Borinquen he renamed San Juan, "San Juan Bautista" meaning Sant John the Baptist. Around the 1500's The Spanish built a fortress called El Morro. Not only did the Spanish try to colonize Puerto Rico, the Dutch and the English attempted but failed. When Juan Ponce De Leon was in power, his Spanish soldiers attacked and killed Tainos with dogs and their artillery. Many Tainos escaped by canoe and other were rushed off the island or in a forbidden jungle. Many Spaniards brought diseases likem Smallpox, Syphillis,and Influenza. The Spaniard's said "No Tainos shall be respected nor recogonized, their religion shall be forbidden. Spanish men were sent to live with Taino women. They passed on their language (Spanish) religion (Roman Catholism)and way of life to the children of the Taino and the Taino women themselves. Some Spanish men tried to have children with women. Some were raped if they refused to have any relations with them. The native Tainos saw the Spanish as strange creature from the sky and sea. The Tainos described some of the Spanish as pale faced birds and some looked like sea serpants. The Tainos had no match against the Spanish modern weapons. The Tainos had stones and spears and the Spanish had steel weapons.
The Tainos and African Slaves revolt through the use of violence and voice Edit
The Tainos and Africans were getting tired of being pushed around and belittled, they revolted. Many Tainos burned Spanish forts, and destroyed gold mines. In 1510 there was another revolt. Many more Tainos died. Any slaves who rebelled or tried to escape were punished by torture. Many of them were hung or beheaded and beaten to death. Around the 1700's the Spanish made royal decrees against the black slaves. For example, black slaves couldn't marry a another person of a different race. Another decree was that black slaves could marry those who were free and be declared emancipated.
In conclusion, the island of Puerto Rico went through so many things to become independent and the they fell into the grip of the United States and became their commonwealth due to the Spanish American War of 1898. The U.S. ship Maine blew up in Spanish harbor and the Americans thought that the Spanish did it so then the war began. The Spanish Armada lost due to their weapons and had no chance against the American artillery. Due to the treaty of 1898, the United States then made Puerto Rico a commonwealth. The Tainos tried so hard to fight for their independence and never achieved until this day.
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