The Taino civilization was decimated by Christopher Columbus and other European explorers during first contact, but the legacy of these people, who inhabited what is today called the Caribbean, continues to this day.
In a small exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, titled Arte del mar: Artistic Exchange in the Caribbean
, Assistant Curator James Doyle showcases some of the rare wooden objects
, along with the intricate gold pieces, fascinating stone stools, and other objects that have survived over the centuries. He explains what makes the artistic objects of the Taíno unique, why bats and other animals are common in the imagery, and what we know about a civilization that was drastically impacted by the devastation and genocide of European colonization.
– Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief