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Title: Treasures ... of black wood, brilliantly polished : five examples of Taino sculpture from the tenth-sixteenth century Caribbean.

Author: Ostapkowicz, Joanna; Wiedenhoeft, Alex; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Ribechini, Erika; Wilson, Samuel; Brock, Fiona; Higham, Tom

Date: 2011

Source: Antiquity. Vol. 85 (2011): p. 942-959.

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: Five wooden sculptures from the pre-contact Caribbean, long held in museum collections, are here dated and given a context for the first time. The examples studied were made from dense Guaiacum wood, carved, polished and inlaid with shell fastened with resin. Dating the heartwood, sapwood and resins takes key examples of ‘Classic’ Ta´ýno art back to the tenth century AD, and suggests that some objects were treasured and refurbished over centuries. The authors discuss the symbolic properties of the wood and the long-lived biographies of some iconic sculptures.

Keywords: Caribbean, Taino, wood, sculpture, tenth–sixteenth centuries AD, ethnohistory, Caribbean art, carving, decorative arts, figure sculpture, wood sculpture, American sculpture, ancient sculpture, ethnology, Cuba, Ta´ýno sculpture, Ta´ýno art, Ta´ýno Indians, antiquity, Ta´ýno wood-carving, wood-carving, Hispaniola, Caribbean Americans, art, Guaiacum, prehistoric antiquities, Indians of the West Indies, wood identification, cultural property, cultural heritage

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Ostapkowicz, Joanna; Wiedenhoeft, Alex; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Ribechini, Erika; Wilson, Samuel; Brock, Fiona; Higham, Tom; 2011. Treasures ... of black wood, brilliantly polished : five examples of Taino sculpture from the tenth-sixteenth century Caribbean. Antiquity. Vol. 85 (2011): p. 942-959.

 


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