The Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project explores the culture, history, and legacy of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean islands. In particular, this project focuses on the Taíno, the inhabitants of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas, who were the first Native American people to encounter, as well as to resist (often with the help of enslaved Africans), Spanish colonization after 1492. This initiative offers new perspectives on the Taíno and related neighboring ethnic groups prior to European contact using the Smithsonian’s first-rate (yet rarely studied or displayed) archeological collections, while it explores and contextualizes the growing attention to indigeneity currently emerging in the Caribbean, and in U.S. communities of Caribbean origin.
This project is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Natural History and an international, interdisciplinary network of scholars. An exhibition on the Taíno legacy is planned for 2014 in the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian. A public program series initiated in 2011 will continue through the exhibition opening, and plans for a traveling exhibition will be evaluated in the future.
Collaborating Smithsonian Units
Ranald Woodaman (Principal Investigator)
Smithsonian Latino Center
National Museum of the American Indian
Jake Homiak National Museum of Natural History