By D. H. Figueredo, Frank Argote-Freyre
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Additional resources for A Brief History of the Caribbean (Brief History)
Regardless of Hakluyt’s concerns with Spanish abuse of the indigenous populations and his call for Protestant teachings in the New World to combat Catholic indoctrination, the real lure was the wealth of the region and the potential treasure for England. For most of the 16th century, the European powers were not ready to pose direct challenges to Spanish rule. One deterrent was the knowledge of Spanish might and their proven efficiency and cruelty in the art of conquest. After all, two conquistadores, Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) in Mexico and Francisco Pizarro (1478–1541) in Peru, had annihilated the Aztec and Inca Empires with just several hundred men.
The presence of Taino women in Island Carib society influenced it significantly, and evidence of this is seen in the similarity in pottery and home furnishings. In addition to cassava agriculture, the Caribs ate fish, lizards, crabs, and beans, and they brewed beer. Always ready to move, they did not build large villages or communities the way the Tainos did but favored small gatherings of family members. Research suggests that they lived in sexually segregated housing, with men in a large residence in the center of the village.
Eager to end Anacaona’s rule, Spanish governor Nicolás de Ovando tricked her into meeting him in September 1503. The princess arranged a banquet to welcome her guests, but Ovando ambushed her unarmed warriors and captured the princess. As a display of Spanish power, Ovando sentenced the princess to death by public hanging. Hatuey, acclaimed by the Dominican Republic, admired in Cuba, and honored by Haitians, became a symbol of liberty in the fight against Spanish oppression. The chief of a region in Hispaniola called Guahabá, Hatuey fought unsuccessfully against the Spanish.
A Brief History of the Caribbean (Brief History) by D. H. Figueredo, Frank Argote-Freyre