Published on December 10, 2012 by Carol
Editor: Gabriel Haslip-Viera
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This stimulating and timely collection examines the Taíno revival movement, a grassroots conglomeration of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos who promote or have adopted the culture and pedigree of the pre-Columbian Taíno Indian population of Puerto Rico and the western Caribbean. The Taínos became a symbol of Puerto Rican identity in the 19th century, when local governments and intellectuals began to appropriate the Taínos for the conception of a socially and racially balanced Puerto Rican society.
Modern critics now claim that the Taíno heritage has been canonized through state-sponsored institutions, such as festivals, museums, and textbooks, at the expense of blacks. In the past, officials, alarmed at the black majorities on other Caribbean Islands, tried to “whiten” Puerto Rican society by calling all people of color Taínos. Others complain that the Taíno revival lost its fervor, evolving from an anti-colonialist movement to a mere fashionable trend over the years.