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

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

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

Publication Year: 2011  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4714-1A

Abstract: 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 Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,487 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/14/2011

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 39445
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.
Research Botanist

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