A Day with the Taíno People of Cuba

Amongst the first to inhabit Cuba, the Taíno people play a central role in maintaining the authentic culture of the country. Traditionally, a society of hunter and gatherers they are responsible for bringing highly skilled agricultural practices to the Caribbean island. They are known not only for their agricultural contributions in Cuba but also for their pottery, woodcarvings and polishing stone to make tools and other essential artifacts.

The origin of the island’s name, “Cuba” is suspected to be from the Taíno language meaning either “great place” or “where fertile land is abundant”.

The Taíno, meaning “good people” were some of the first indigenous peoples to interact with Christopher Columbus. Later, Spain made an effort to eradicate them but, rightfully so, faced much resistance.

The strongest opposition came from Cacique (Chief) Hatuey in Cuba’s first official city of Baracoa. Hatuey, on the trail of Diego Velázquez lead over 400 canoes to the shores of the island and warned its people of Spain’s impending invasion. In this action he became the first fighter against colonialism in the New World. He is celebrated as Cuba’s first national hero and today is commemorated in Baracoa with a memorial statue.

During Cross Cultural Journey Foundation’s December journey, Past, Present and Future, enjoy an opportunity to spend the day with the Taíno people and gain insight into the lives of these resilient people. This day trip to visit the Kiribá Indian village with a well-known historian is a true highlight only available with the Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation.

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