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Introduction To Psychology Essay

1274 words - 6 pages

1. Who were the peoples whom Europeans came into contact with in American in 1492?

The peoples who Europeans came into contact with in the American in fourteen ninety two is the Ciboney or Guanahacabible. They also met the three major Caribbean groups whom they labelled Arawak, Caribs and Maya.

2. Choose one South American indigenous group and one Caribbean indigenous group. How were they described by European explorers/ invaders [refer to appearance, religious, beliefs, gender role and political system]?

One South American indigenous group is the Taino. The Taino were very religious people, and they had very distinctive theological ideas. They expressed their religious ...view middle of the document...

The exact theological relationship between chiefs who ruled the villages, gods and the community remains unclear. However we do know that the chiefs had considerable political and social power and this was based on the belief that they had been empowered by a divine spirit.

Politics
As in all civilisations the Taino political system varied from place to place. The size of communities was clearly and important determining factor in politics. The small settlements in the Lesser Antilles were organised in a similar way with minor variations, in comparison with the large settlements in the Greater Antilles.

All communities were ruled by a chief or cacique, no matter their size. The chief was usually male and was not a military person but a civic leader with responsibility for judicial or legal, cultural, political and religious functions.

Gender roles
To be effective conuco planning and management required skilful decision-making, and the recruitment of organised labour within the family. Men and women were assigned different roles, indicating developed ideas about gender and production. Young men did infrastructural work on the conuco. They felled threes, cleared the hand-dug drains, heaped the soil and planted the crops. Women took day-to-day care of the crops the clearing of weeds and the watering of planted seeds and roots. Children helped with clearing the crops of pest, weeding to clear crops of parasitic vines and chasing away birds.

Taino women would leave their villages at dawn so that they could complete a day’s labour by midday and avoid the afternoon sun and heat. So the management role of women in agriculture was very important. Women made important decisions that influenced the yield of the output of the conuco. They needed to have an in-depth understanding of relationship between crops and soil, and how different plants related to each other within the same field.

Appearance
They were describe by Columbus in letters as “naked as the day they were born”.

One Caribbean indigenous group is the Kalinago

Religion/ beliefs
The kalinago did not have spirit gods called Zemis. Their religion was entirely centred on the individual relationship with the spiritual self. Each person had a personal spirit deity or god, which took many physical forms. They offered material goods, such as water and food, to their personal deity.

They believed that the world was divided into good and evil spirits that fought each other for supremacy and that the individual mind was the battle field of this struggle. In their society, they supported persons who functioned as priest or shamans. It was their duty to help the different spirits reach reconciliation. In other words, the priest’s task was to settle conflict between people and maintain harmony within the community.

So the Kalinago did not have hereditary ruling families from which a cacique was selected. Their society was much less hierarchical than...

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