What lies beneath....?

Submitted byJeeraik009 onThu, 10/11/2012 - 06:53

An exhibition of Taino artifacts Treasures of the Ancestral Spirits closes today after a brief six-day display at the Spanish Court Hotel here in Kingston. The private collection of just thirty-five pieces of carved work provides fresh insight into the culture and creativity of Jamaica's original inhabitants and reminds us of how short our occupancy of this island has been since the advent of slavery and colonialism. The Taino's lived here in relative peace, long before the Spanish, British, African slaves, Middle Eastern merchants and indentured Asians created a new and more volotile society here. These native indians, indigenous to the Caribbean and larger continents of North, South and Central America lived close to the land as well as the sea. Their relationship to the spirit world and natural environment is revealed in their intricately carved stonework such as the three ceremonial bowls shown here. Prior to this, displays of Taino work had been limited to mainly woodwork in the collections of the Institute and National Gallery of Jamaica and the contentious zemes held by the British Museum. These pieces from the past, said to be excavated from areas around Dallas Mountain, Yallahs Valley and Port Maria demonstrate that there is a lot more of this culture to be discovered, if we have the resources to dig deeper. Let's hope that the appropriate research and funding can be found to validate their authenticity.