(1993). The Taino’s: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus. New York: Yale University Press. Irving Rouse, the author of the book titled: ‘The Taino’s was a professor at Yale University and was in the field of…
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Different scholars studying the Taino people have given different accounts regarding their origin, some tracing them back to Orinoco valley in Amazonia because of the way they speak, others claiming the group originated from the Andes region based on ecological evidence.
Rouse is undoubtedly among the best archeologists that ever lived in the Caribbean. This is because of the outstanding contributions he made to the field of anthropology and archeology. He wrote and published different literature material about the Caribbean’s pre-historic times. He worked and researched on various materials for over 50 years, hence rising to the top of his carrier in Archeology. Due to the nature of his work, Irving gained a lot of popularity, and in the same measure, critics due to his controversial finding. Most of the critics of his works have indicated he positivist approach to ideas is irrational, that he lacks perspectives in his theoretical work, and that he does not provide a clear cut distinction in his works, between archeology and ethno-history. Irving’s work, however, cannot be denied as a massive contributor to development of archeology especially in the Caribbean. His school of thought is still useful to date, and is being studied and used by other archeologists. The main theme of the book is the “The history and genesis of the Tainos”. The book expounds on the theme to try and decipher the hidden story of this unique people and their beginnings.
‘The Taino’s’ is a book that contains a total of six chapters, followed by an epilogue. Chapter one of the book provides a detailed introduction and several matters of importance are raised in the chapter. Among the matters diversely discussed in chapter 1 include the ethnic groups, natural settings, preliminary historical inferences, historical resources and the survey of the people’s culture, one that critics indicate is misplaced and misguiding.
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