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Taino: A Novel Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Taino: A Novel + The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus + Tales of the Taíno Gods/Cuentos de los dioses taínos (Multilingual Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Presently a senior fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Jose Barreiro is a novelist, essayist, and an activist of nearly four decades on American indigenous hemispheric themes. In 1974 Barreiro was enlisted by John Mohawk to help produce the national Native Newspaper Akwesasne Notes, published by the traditional Mohawk Nation. For ten years, they served as joint coordinators on numerous indigenous human rights and community building campaigns. Barreiro was editor of Cornell University's Akwe:kon Press from 1984 to 2002, and later was senior editor of Indian Country Today. Barriero is a member of the Taino Nation of the Antilles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555917615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555917616
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Presently a senior fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Jose Barreiro is a novelist, essayist, and an activist of nearly four decades on American indigenous hemispheric themes. In 1974 Barreiro was enlisted by John Mohawk to help produce the national Native Newspaper Akwesasne Notes, published by the traditional Mohawk Nation. For ten years, they served as joint coordinators on numerous indigenous human rights and community building campaigns. Barreiro was editor of Cornell University's Akwe:kon Press from 1984 to 2002, and later was senior editor of Indian Country Today. Barriero is a member of the Taino Nation of the Antilles.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey G. on January 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Using real historic fact to guide the story, Barreriro takes liberties to bring the lost experience of the Taino people back to life. Some of the liberties Barreriro takes may be incorrect, but others must be the closest perspective we have to real Taino memoir.
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By John D. Gardner on January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some have said that imagery precedes language in the human mind, that a story will convey a message better than an abstract collection of words, and this observation has been referred to as "the power of myth". Here we have a book that will deliver the facts in a way that will come alive in the reader's mind. The reader will be placed inside the mind of a Taino, as he recounts his own firsthand actual experiences that occurred during the period of 1492 to about 1550 or so. This Taino was an interpreter to Columbus for the early years of the conquest, and later a protege of friar Las Casas, and this is his own recount of the events.

The Taino may at first glance seem like a minor event in the history of mankind, until one realizes that it is also the first sustained and premeditated contact between two civilizations. The Americas was the leading edge of the Great Human Migration, the first European contact with the Americas was the intersection of two groups of human beings, one that had been stuck in Europe for 10,000 years, and the other who had been on the move. Two groups that have evolved in two completely different ways. And a big clash ensued.
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Format: Paperback
José Barreiro does a wonderful job of weaving history into a novel of first contact (and the consequences of that contact!). You feel connected to the Tainos and especially to the protagonist Guaikán. Las Casas, a hero to indigenous people for his tireless advocacy of native rights, is presented with honesty. He was a Christian, a priest and a Westerner whose philosophy and principles often clashed with the people he meant to save. Tainos are presented for the complex, intelligent and resourceful people that they are (!). Pa'Lante!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A 3 1/2 star rating is more deserved. It is easy to read while providing a variety of information on the arrival and subsequent travels of Columbus as well as the Taíno culture. My biggest question is: how reliable is it?
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I had to read this for a history class. I'll admit it was a little tough to get into. It was pretty repetitive the first few folios, but gets more exciting in the second half. I got the jest that it was pretty historically accurate. I wouldn't necessarily read it for pleasure, but if you enjoy historical narratives, this would be one to pick up.
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