Taino ritual seat

07.02.2010 - By A History of the World in 100 Objects

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The history of humanity as told through one hundred objects from the British Museum. This week the Museum's director, Neil MacGregor, is exploring high status objects from across the world around 700 years ago.

Today he tells the story of a beautifully carved ritual seat - an object which has survived the destruction of the Caribbean culture that produced. This four legged wooden stool, or duho, with its long shape and wide-eyed face probably belonged to a chief, or "cacique" of the Taino people of the Caribbean. Taino was a term used to describe a spectrum of peoples who originated in South America and who populated the whole region, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Neil tells the story of the Taino speaking people and their demise following the arrival of Europeans. The archaeologist Jose Oliver looks at how the Taino spread around the Caribbean while the Puerto Rican scholar Gabriel Haslip-Vieira explains their impact on the region today.

Producer: Anthony Denselow

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