Mesoamerican, patterns. The evidence is conclusive about the later: presence of Taino/Saladoid jewelry, celts, etc. made using Mesoamerican raw materials. However,the quantity is fairly small compared to the amount of jewelry, tools, etc. that were madeusing local materials. Then we must conclude that these imported materials were used tocraft special tools and jewelry, either for small elites or for specific religious practices,and not for every-day use by the general Taino population.Regarding the organic imports: honey and beeswax were, as mentioned already, observedfirst-hand by the Spanish in Cuba and even then identified as likely imports fromYucatan, so it is safe to conclude that these were indeed Mesoamerican/Mayan imports.See link below:
Maya beekeeping in Cozumel Island, off Yucatan.
http://www.famsi.org/reports/02016/index.htmlHowever, it is hard to envision that these were the only, or even the most important,organic products imported by the Taino. I think it is almost certain that leather and pelts(deer, jaguar, tapir, monkey and others) were imported by the Taino. Besides the small
(rodent about the size of a modern domestic cat) and manatees, the islands of theCaribbean lacked large indigenous species of animals whose hides could be used to makeleather. Jaguar teeth were discovered at La Hueca in Vieques, and although these mostlikely came from South America as opposed to Mesoamerica, this is still evidence thatthe Taino/Arawak people did import these animal parts.The Maya and other Mesoamerican peoples were masters at the use of feathers in textilesand for adornment. The Spanish chroniclers do mention that the Taino, especially the
(chieftains), wore colorful feather headdresses; the Mesoamerican mainland hadfar more species of birds with attractive feathers than were available in the Caribbeanislands, so it is likely that the Taino did imported these as ornaments.There have been finds of macaw feathers from southern Mexico and Mesoamericaimported by the Anazasi and Hohokam people of Arizona and New Mexico, so we knowfor a fact that these goods were traded across hundreds of miles in pre-conquest America.The Maya also produced colorful textiles for garments; while the Taino wore few clothes,they may had used the colorful Mesoamerican textiles for cemis, for adornment by elites,or for clothing worn by the common folk on special occasions. See link below:
Analysis of Rare Textiles from Honduras Ruins Suggests Mayans Produced Fine Fabrics
Other products perhaps imported from Mesoamerica may include c
resin, used asincense; dyes and medicinal herbs.
While it is relatively easy to review the many products from the advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica that the Taino may find attractive, it is a bit harder to speculate on what2