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The Tainos have usually been described as coastal-dwelling and living off the marine resources, eating fish and shellfish. The Tainos have disappeared as a separate race in Jamaica, but their genetic and cultural heritage may linger more than we realize. Genetic analysis in Puerto Rico suggests that 61% of the population have Taino ancestors! Evidence suggests that Tainos came far inland, possibly to escape from the marauding Caribs, and that their diet may have included snails and other terrestrial animals. Since “Jamaica is Snail Paradise and Cockpit Country is Heaven within” (Dr Gary Rosenberg 2005), this is a nice link between Cockpit Country’s special biodiversity and the first inhabitants of the Island. Many of the routes through and around Cockpit Country were probably of Taino origin, including the Spanish route from Martha Brae to Bluefields. An Taino is certainly a (minor) part of the story of Mahogany Hall (see Spanish Themes).

The Arawak relics (mostly middens - “rubbish heaps”) are not particularly spectacular: the Arawak theme probably needs to be part of a wider context to appeal to tourism interests.

middenArawak middens (“rubbish heaps”) have been found in the Sherwood Area and elsewhere along north Cockpit Country. They contain broken clay pots and such things as snail shells. There are also carvings (petroglyphs) in Pantrepant Cave (privately owned) which are reputed to be of Arawak origin.

Because all artefacts represent important archaeological heritage, they must not be disturbed:  Jamaica Natural Heritage Trust must be contacted when new relics are found.

Other Cockpit Country themes which may interest you are: