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Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 
WashiiKjtoii, D. C, Jamiarij ;J!K IDOC. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Twenty- 
fifth Annual Report of tlae Bureau of American Eth- 

The preliminary portion comprises an account of the 
operations of the Bureau during ""he fiscal year ending 
June 30, 190-1, and is followed by tA,o memoirs by Jesse 
Walter Fewkes, "The Aborigines of i^orto Rico and 
Neighboring Islands" and ''Certain Antiquities of East- 
ern Mexico." 

Permit me to express my appreciation of your aid in 
the work under my charge. 

Very respectfully, yours, 

W. H. Holmes, Chief, 
Mr Richard Rathbun, 

Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Institittion. 




Introduction ix 

Exjiotiition work xi 

Field work xiii 

OflSce work xviii 

Special researches and work x i x 

Collections xxi 

Illustrations xxii 

Publications xxiii 

Editorial work xxiii 

Library „ xxiv 

Clerical work xxiv 

Property xxv 

Financial statement xxv 

Accompanyinu; papers xx vi 


The aljoriginea of Porto Rico and neighboring islands, by Jesse Walter 

Fewkes (plates i-xciii, figures 1-43) 1 

Certain antiquities of eastern Mexico, liy Jesse AValter Fewkes (plates xciv- 

cxxix, figures 44-70) 221 

Index 285 






W. H. Holmes, Chief 


The operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
for the fiscal year ending June 3U, 1904, conducted in 
accordance with the act of Congress making provisions 
for continuing researches relating to the American 
Indians, under the direction of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, have heen carried out, with minor modifications, 
in accordance with ]ilans of operations si;bmitted, the 
first on June 11 and the second on September 26, and 
duly approved by the Secretary. The first plan provided 
for the month of July only. The Smithsonian Institu- 
tion was engaged in an examination into the affairs of 
the Bureau, and until this was brought to a conclusion it 
was not regarded as feasible to formulate plans for the 
year. The plan for July was extended to the months of 
August and September, and on the 1st of October a plan 
of operations for the remaining nftie months of the year 
was submitted and duly approved by the Secretary. 

On July 31 Mr W J McGee, ethnologist in charge, ten- 
dered his resignation, which was accepted, and the posi- 
tion of ethnologist in charge was aiscontinued. 

The research work has been carried forward L-y a per- 
manent force of eight scientific employees, and a numlier 
of temporary assistants have lieen engaged for |)oriods of 


varying length, both in the office and among the tribes. 
Field operations were interfered with to some extent 
during the early months of the year, the presence ot the 
various ethnologists being required in the office in con- 
nection with the examination referred to above. 

During the year five memliers of the staff prosecuted 
systematic researches in the field, and the sections of the 
country visited by these and by special assistants include 
Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, California, New Mex- 
ico, Oklahoma, Indian Territory, and the West Indies. 
Mr James Mooney was in the field eleven months, Mrs 
M. C. Stevenson nearly six months, Dr J. Walter Fewkes 
five months, Dr John R. Swanton six months, and Mr 
H. H. St. Clair, 2d, four months — a total of thirty -two 

The researches have dealt more or less directly with a 
large part of the anthropological field, and more esjiecially 
with the history and archeology of the precolumbian 
tribes of the West Indies ; with the social, religious, and 
esthetic activities of the tribes of the Great Plains ; with 
the mythology, social institutions, ceremonies, and art of 
the Pueblo Indians; with the languages, mythology, and 
art of the Alaskan tribes, and with the languages of cer- 
tain vanishing tribal remnants dwelling in northern Cali- 
fornia. The collecting of ethnological and archeological 
specimens and of data relating thereto, especially in the 
field of symbolism as embodied in art, has received special 
attention from the field workers. 

The scientific researches and work carried on in the 
office were of exceptional importance, particularly in 
connection with the compilation of the Handbook of the 
Indians, the preparation of a Handbook of American 
Languages, the compilation of an archeological map of 
the United States, the study of visiting delegations of 
Indians, and the preparation of exhibits for the Loui- 
siana Purchase Exposition. The editorial and library 
work, the cataloguing of manuscripts, the preparation of 
illustrations, and the general clerical work have been 
carried forward in the usual manner. 


It \Yas found impractical )le, on account of the restricted 
resources of tlie Bureau, to provide for all the hranehes of 
work referred to in the ])lan of operations for the year. 
The transcription of the Motul Dictionary was not resumed, 
and the cataloguing of hooks and photographic negatives 
has not received the attention it deserves. The lack of a 
permanent force sufficient to cover all the ground was 
compensated for in part, however, hy the temporary em- 
ployment of special expert help in directions in which it 
could l)e made most effective. 


The preparation of an exhibit for the Louisiana Pur- 
chase Exposition, begun during the preceding year, was 
continued, and completed shortly after the opening of the 
exposition in May. This work was under the personal 
supervision of the Chief, Avho at the same time had charge 
of the preparation of an extensive exhibit for the Depart- 
ment of Anthropology of the United States National 
Museum. As the allotment of $2,000, made hy the Gov- 
ernment Board for the Bureau exhibit, was too small to 
warrant the assemblage of an extensive display, and as 
the space assigned was small, it was decided to confine 
the exhibit to illustrations of the present field researches 
of the scientific corps of the Bureau. 

Seeking a subject that would he well within the range 
of the Bureau's legitimate field, yet susceptible of effect- 
ive presentation by means of objective material, it was 
decided to take up and illustrate as the chief topic the 
mythic symbolism of various tribes as embodied in their 
decorative art. Prominent among the concepts thus em- 
bodied are the various forms of animal and plant life, 
clouds, lightning, rain, sun, moon, and stars, as well as 
various monsters existing only in the imagination. These 
motives are interwoven with the thought and life of the 
people, and are introduced freely into their various arts. 
The forms taken by them are exceedingly varied, under- 
going modifications with the different peoples, and assum- 
ing distinct forms in each art according to the nature and 


form of the object, the method employed in execution, 
and the purpose in view. 

In selecting the exhibits only the most important sym - 
bolic concejits of the tribes represented were chosen, 
and for each of these concepts a group of exhibits was 
assembled, consisting of a limited number of specimens 
of native workmanship in carving, modeling, painting, 
and engraving, and a series of the native designs drawn 
out in colors on a flat surface and associated with the 
specimens in the exhibit as a means of further elucidating 
the strange modifications everywhere displayed. 

The series of motives selected to illustrate the symbolic 
decoration of the Zuhi include the bird, the butterfly, the 
cornflower insect, the dragon-fly, the serpent, the tadpole 
and the frog, and the mountain lion ; the human form and 
various monsters ; vegetal forms ; and sundry cosmic phe- 
nomena, such as clouds, lightning, rain, sun, moon, stars, 
and the planets. Doctor S wanton selected from the art 
of the Northwest coast tribes a series of interesting sub- 
jects, including the killer-whale, the hawk, the eagle, the 
thunderbird, and other monsters of land and sea. Doctor 
Fewkes presented the artistic symbolism of the ancient 
Hopi of Arizona in series of illustrations, including the 
human form, the serpent, the mountain lion, the tadpole 
and frog, the butterfly, the bird, the sunflower, and the 
heavenly bodies. 

These exhibits were supplemented by a series of designs 
and objects selected by Dr Franz Boas to illustrate the 
varied symbolism associated with a given motive or design 
by different tribes and peoples. 

In addition to these systematic exhibits, two other im- 
portant collections were presented. The archeological 
researches by Doctor Fewkes in the West Indies were 
represented by a large series of typical relics of art in 
stone, bone, shell, wood, and clay, selected from the ex- 
tensive collections made during three winters' research 
among these islands. This series is without question the 
most complete yet brought together to represent the pre- 
columbian culture of the Carib and Arawak peoples, who 


were practically extermiuated by the Spanish invaders. 
Mr Mooney, who is engaged in the stndy of the heraldry 
system of the Great Plains tribes, nndertook to prepare a 
series of exhibits illustrating this hitherto undeveloped 
branch of research. The exhibit consists of shields and 
models of shields and tipis embellished with the heraldic 
symbols of the native owners, skins showing elaborate 
designs in brilliant colors executed by native artists, and 
numerous other specimens having a bearing on this phase 
of the aboriginal culture of the Great Plains. 

The preparation of an extensive exhibit for the National 
Museum gave the Chief the opportunity of assembling a 
large series of exhibits illustrating the higher achieve- 
ments of the American race in various branches of art, 
including architecture, sculpture, plastic art, carving, 
basketry, feather work, and weaving. A leading feature 
of the work consisted of restorations of a number of the 
great ruined buildings of Mexico and Yucatan. Five 
models of buildings were made : One on a scale of one- 
twelfth, one on a scale of one -eighteenth, and three on a 
scale of one twenty -fourth; and much time and research 
were expended in collating data and in determining the 
details of construction and embellishment. Working 
plans for use in the building of these models were pre- 
pared by Mr De Lancey Gill, and the models were con- 
structed by Mr H. W. Hendley and Mr W. H. Gill. 


Mr James Mooney, ethnologist, remained in the field 
during nearly the entire fiscal year, dividing his time 
between the Kiowa and the Cheyenne, with tlieir asso- 
ciated tribes in western Oklahoma, in accordance with 
the existing joint agreement between the Bui-eau and the 
Field Columbian Museum. The two tribes referred to 
occupy adjoining reservations recently opened to white 
settlement, with agencies aboiit 100 miles apart. 

During July, 1903, Mr Mooney was operating chiefly in 
the Cheyenne camp, spending a week in attendance at the 


great annual sun dance, where he succeeded in obtaining 
the first photographs ever made of the skull -dragging 
ceremony, and o1)tained for the National Museum the 
sacred bulfalo skull used on the altar of the dance. 
Shortly afterwai'd he was recalled to Washington, where 
he remained until October, returning to the field in time 
to witness the tomahawk dance of the Arapaho — an inter- 
esting ceremony held only at intervals of several years, on 
the occasion of the promotion of the young men of a cer- 
tain military society from a lower to a higher degree. 
Headquarters having been temporarily established at 
Darlington, the Cheyenne -Arapaho agency, the winter 
months were spent in gathering additional Cheyenne 
information and in putting the final touches on a series 
of Kiowa models, to be included in the Bureau's exhibit 
at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Early in March 
Mr Mooney removed to his permanent headquarters at 
Mount Scott, in the Kiowa country. Work was continued 
on the Exposition exhibit, which was shipped to St Louis 
before the close of the month. About the middle of June 
he was instructed to proceed to St Louis to complete the 
installation of this material; and, after spending a num- 
ber of days in the study of the aboriginal exhibits of the 
Exposition, he returned to the Kiowa country to continue 
his researches there. 

Dr J. W. Fewkes, ethnologist, remained in Washington 
during the first half of the year, engaged in the comple- 
tion of his report on the previous winter's field work in 
Porto Rico and Santo Domingo, and in Januar}% 1904, he 
again proceeded to the West Indies with instructions to 
make a reconnoissance of the great chain of islands con- 
necting Florida with the eastern shore of Venezuela, for 
the purpose of obtaining a general view of the antiquities 
and remaining tribal remnants. In January Doctor 
Fewkes reached Cuba, where he spent six weeks examin- 
ing local collections, especially those in Havana and San- 
tiago; he also visited Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Puerto 
Principe, and made excursions from the city of Santiago 


to settlements where a few Indians still lived. The small 
collections of prehistoric objects obtained in eastern Culja 
were found to resemble those of the neighboring island 
of Santo Domingo, l)ut to differ distinctly from those of 
the western extremity of Cuba. From Santiago Doctor 
Fewkes proceeded by way of Jamaica to Trinidad, where he 
remained three weeks and gathered a small collection of 
archeological and ethnological objects and obtained data 
regarding the former inhabitants of the island and the 
present condition of survivors now living in the town of 
Arima. Here he obtained some information regarding 
the "fire walk," or the "fire pass," of the cooly residents 
of the island. From Trinidad he proceeded through the 
Lesser Antilles to Porto Rico, remaining, respectively, 
one or more days at Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent, and 
St Thomas, and obtaining prehistoric objects on several 
of these islands. 

March and April were spent by Doctor Fewkes mainly 
on the southern side of the island of Porto Rico, in visit- 
ing caves and shell heaps and other sites of prehistoric 
occupancy. Extensive shell heaps were found at Cayito, 
near Salinas, and at the Coamo baths, on the estate of 
Sehor Usera. Several caves showing evidence of former 
occu])anc5' were found near Ponce. He purchased in Ponce 
the important collection of Sehor Neumann, containing 
several stone collars, rare idols, complete pieces of pottery, 
and other objects. The whole collection made by Doctor 
Fewkes, including ethnological and archeological objects, 
numbers 630 specimens. 

Since his return to Washington, in May, Doctor Few^kes 
has been occuj^ied with the preparation of a final report 
of his expeditions to the West Indies during the last three 

Mrs M. C. Stevenson, ethnologist, was engaged during 
the first six months of the year in completing her mono- 
graph on the Zuni Indians and in preparing it for the 
press. In January she set out for New Mexico with the 
view of continuing her researches in certain directions, 

25 ETH — 07 II ' 


especially with respect to the relation of the Zuhi people 
to other tribes of the general region. Chief attention was 
given to the mythological system and to the ceremonial 
dances, which followed in qnick succession during the late 
winter and the early spring months. 

Mrs Stevenson found the x>eople of Zuni much changed 
in recent years. The former gentleness of character and 
the marked courtesy of the primitive aborigines have en- 
tirely disappeared, except with a few of the older men and 
women, the desire of sordid gain engendered by contact 
with the whites outweighing every other motive. 

Mrs Stevenson was commissioned to collect material 
illustrative of her researches in Zuhi, to form part of the 
Bureau's exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 
the special topic being the religious symbolism embodied 
in the various arts, such as pottery, textiles, basketry, and 
in costumes, altars, images, and other ceremonial objects. 
Her study of this subject, heretofore much neglected, was 
thorough, and the signification of nearly every symbol now 
used by the Zuni was obtained. She observed that, while 
the officers of the secret fraternities have a thorough un- 
derstanding of the symbolism associated with their altars, 
few persons know the meanings of the designs employed 
in pottery and the other useful arts, the artists themselves 
having little appreciation of the poetic imagery involved 
in the various figures. Mrs Stevenson believes that the 
original significance of the decorative motives of the Zuhi 
people will soon be lost by them. 

Aside from her systematic researches a number of spe- 
cial subjects were investigated by Mrs Stevenson, includ- 
ing the irrigation system of the Zuhi at Ojo Caliente, the 
manufacture and use of native dyeing materials, the prepa- 
ration of i)igments, etc. 

Early in August Dr John R. Swanton, ethnologist, sub- 
mitted a typewritten copy of the Haida texts obtained at 
Skidegate, Queen Charlotte islands, during the winter of 
1900-1901, with acconii)anying translations. Subsequently 
he was engaged in copying and translating a second set of 


texts obtained atMasset, Queen Charlotte islands, during- 
the same expedition. 

On December 16 Doctor Swanton returned to the North- 
west coast to engage in field work, particularly among the 
Tlingit Indians of Alaska. From January 9 to March 21 
he was at 8itka among the northern Tlingit, and from 
then until May 5 among the southern members of that 
family. On the way thither he engaged in some inci- 
dental work among the Haida, and during the season col- 
lected about one hundred Tlingit myths, as well as much 
ethnologic material in other branches. One of Doctor 
Swanton's main objects in this expedition was to define 
the relations between the Haida and Tlingit peo})les, 
looking to the possibility of a genetic relationship between 
them. A final conclusion on this point can not yet be 
given, but it was discovered that many of the resem- 
blances noted between the two languages are due to an 
early residence of the Tlingit opposite the Haida on the 
coast now occupied by the Tsimshian. This fact, already 
partially recognized, and now practically demonstrated by 
Doctor Swanton, results in limiting the origin of much 
of the culture on this coast to the immediate neighbor- 
hood of Hecate strait, northern British Columbia. An 
important contribution to the general subject of clan 
organization was made by the discovery of a small Tlingit 
group who practise marriage with either of the two great 

Since his return to the office Doctor Swanton has been 
engaged, first, in revising the Tlingit material for the 
Handbook of Indian Tribes, in the light of the fresh 
information gained during his recent trip; and, second, 
in copying the texts taken among the Tlingit. 

Mr H. H. St Clair, 2d, special assistant in philology, 
visited northern California and southern Oregon early in 
the year, for the purpose of collecting data among the 
Rogue River, the Coos, and other tribal remnants of which 
a few individuals survive in that region, and a number of 
valuable vocabularies were recorded. 



Mr J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, has continued the 
preparation and proof reading of i^art 1 of his monograph 
on Iroquoian Cosniologj% which is to appear in the Twenty - 
first Annual Report. The reading of the galleys of the 
interlinear translation and the free English translations of 
the Onondaga, the Seneca, and the Mohawk versions of 
this cosmology occupied a large portion of his time during 
the year. Extensive revision was required on account of 
the premature transmission of the manuscript to the 
printer in 1902. This caused much delay, but it was con- 
sidered advisable to permit the delay rather than to have 
the paper ])ublished in unsatisfactory form. 

As custodian of linguistic manuscripts, Mr Hewitt, 
assisted by Miss Smedes, continued the work of revising 
and bringing up to date the card catalogue of the lin- 
guistic and other manuscripts in the archives of the 
Bureau. This card catalogue was originally prepared in 
189G-97 by Mr Hewitt, with the assistance 'of the late 
Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, and in this work the manuscripts 
were classified under three main heads : First, the author 
or collector; second, the tribe, band, or village; and, 
third, the linguistic family — all under one alphabet. The 
cross -reference catalogue of the names of tribes and vil- 
lages noted in the manusci'ipts is of great use for com- 
parison and research and for determining the numlier and 
distribution of the manuscripts among the various lin- 
guistic families. In the present revision the work con- 
sists in making a duplicate copy of the card descriptive 
of the manuscript, which duplicate is pasted on the jacket 
or package containing the manuscript. A numlier is 
affixed to the original card, to the duplicate, and to the 
manuscript itself for the purpose of ready identification. 
New cards are being made for manuscripts acquired since 
the completion of the original catalogue in 1897. This 
scheme has lieen applied to the manuscriijts belonging to 
the Algonquian, the Athapascan, and the Iroquoian fam- 


ilies, aud the work is far advanced. All the cards of the 
original catalogue have been copied in duplicate. 

Previous to the death of Maj. J. W. Powell, late 
Director of this Bureau, the linguistic data, chiefly Sho- 
shonean, collected personally by him in the field, were 
not placed in the archives of the office ; but since that 
time this material has been incorporated with the official 
manuscripts of the Bureau. A portion of it has not yet 
been catalogued. 

Mr Hewitt has been called on to do considerable work 
on the Ii'oquoian family for the Handbook of Indian 
Tribes, and much of the correspondence of the Bureau 
relating to linguistics has been placed in his hands. 

During the year Dr Cyrus Thomas, ethnologist, was 
engaged mainly on the Handbook of Indian Tribes, under 
the direction of Mr F. W. Hodge. The work consisted 
in preparing for final editing some of the families not 
finished at the commencement of the year and in reex- 
amining the cards that had been previously passed over 
(to N) for the purpose of inserting any omitted titles 
and cross references. During the early part of the 
year considerable time was devoted by Doctor Thomas 
to the reading of final proofs of his second paper on 
the Mayan Calendai' Systems, which is to appear in the 
Twenty -second Annual Report. . 

Dr A. S. CTatschet was engaged during the year in his 
linguistic work, mainly on the Algonquian texts, and some 
advance has been made in the compilation of the diction - 
ary and grammar of the Peoria language. In addition. 
Doctor Gatschet was called on for information in his par- 
ticiilar field for correspondents of the Bureau. 


Under the direction of Dr Franz Boas, honorary phi- 
lologist of the Bureau, considerable progress has been made 
in the preparation of the Handbook of American Lan- 
guages. Doctor Boas has not been able to devote any 
great portion of his own time to the work during the year, 


but it has been fully outlined, and a number of collabo- 
rators have begun the preparation of special papers. The 
introductory chapters of the Handbook are assigned to 
Doctor Boas. 

Mr F. W. Hodge, of the Smithsonian Institution, has 
continued in charge of the Handbook of Indian Trilies, 
and substantial progress has Ijeen made in its compilation. 
Much time has been consumed in revising and verifying 
the work of former years and in bringing the whole to a 
uniform standard. Mr Hodge has been assisted by Dr 
Cyrus Thomas, ethnologist; Mr Frank Huntington, 
editorial assistant, and Mrs Nichols, typewriter, and has 
received contributions from numerous authors, including 
members of the Bureau and others intrusted with the 
treatment of special topics. The work on the Handl)Ook 
has been delayed by lack of sufficient funds for the employ- 
ment of expert assistants. 

Mr Stewart Culin, of the Brooklyn Institute Museum, 
has completed and submitted his monograph on American 
Indian Games, and this great work was placed in the 
hands of the editor of the Bureau at the close of the year. 

The plan of operations for the year included the provi- 
sion that the Bureau should undertake the preparation of 
a measure for the preservation of our national antiquities, 
for submission to Congress. The Smithsonian Institution 
had previously interested itself in this subject, and, that 
it might be prepared with a knowledge of what other 
countries had done in this direction, it was determined to 
make a study of the entire subject, and Mr J. D. McGuire 
was temporarily engaged to make investigations and for- 
mulate a measure. This step was taken and in due course 
the measure was presented in the House and Senate. 
In prosecuting this woi'k translations ^ere made of the 
laws of various countries, including Mexico, France, Ger- 
many, Italy, Sweden, Egypt, and Turkey, and others were 
thoroughly studied. Mr McGuire also collated much 
material relating to governmental sui)|)ort of anthro]io]ogic 
science in various countries. Later he took up and made 
much progress in the preparation of an archeological map 


of the United States, devoting his attention chiefly to the 
Middle Atlantic coast section. 

Each year, especially during the winter season, when 
Congress is in session, numerous delegations of Indians 
visit Washington. It has lieen customary to have photo- 
graphs made of members of these delegations in the 
Bureau laboratory, but heretofore the work has not been 
systematized. As proposed in the plan of operations, 
careful attention was given to this subject during the year. 
Mr Andrew John, an Iroquois Indian, resident in Wash- 
ington, was employed to interview and make the acquaint- 
ance of all delegations on their arrival, with the view of 
conducting them to the laboratories of the Bureau and 
the National Museum, where arrangements were made to 
have measurements and i)hotographs taken, and plaster 
masks also made of all who were willing to submit to the 
process. In the absence of proper laboratories in the 
Bureau for all except the photograjihic work, the delega- 
tions were in the main conducted to the laboratories of 
the National Museum, where every facility was afforded. 
The results of the year's work have been most satisfac- 
tory : One hundred and ten 8 by 10 negatives were made 
by Mr Smillie and his assistants ; measurements of 32 
individuals were takeii by Dr Ales Hrdlicka in the phys- 
ical laboratory ; and masks of 20 individuals were made 
by Mr William Palmer. The following is a list of the 
principal delegations, with the number conducted to the 
la])oratories in each case: 

Yankton Sioux 3 Osage 5 

Iowa 5 Yakima 3 

Creeks 5 Sisseton Sioux 4 

Sauk and Fox 2 Oglala Sioux 2 

Nez Perces 2 | Yankton Sioux 11 

Osage 4 ' 


The collections of ethnological and archeological speci- 
mens made during the year are exceptionally important. 
A special effort was made to obtain material for the pur- 
pose of illustrating the researches of the Bureau, at the 


Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Valuable additions along 
this line were obtained by Doctor Fewkes in the West 
Indies, by Mrs Stevenson in the Pueblo country, by Doctor 
Svfanton in Alaska and British Columbia, and by Mr 
Mooney in Oklahoma and Indian Territory. Seven hini- 
dred and seventy -eight specimens have been transferred 
to the National Museum, and such of these as were 
required for the purpose were sent to the Exposition. 
Other collections were forwarded directly to the Exposi- 
tion and have not been transferred. 

In order that collections made by the Bureau may 
receive immediate attention with respect to preservation 
from moths and other insects, and with the view of hav- 
ing them pi'operly and promptly catalogued, they are 
placed, on arrival in Washington, in the hands of the head 
curator of anthropology of the National Museum, who 
has at hand all necessary facilities for preservation and 
record. It is understood, however, that these collections 
are at all times to be at the disposal of the Bureau for 
purposes of study and illustration. In all, about 1,000 
specimens, mostly of exceptional value, have been acquired 
during the year. 


The work of the illustrations division remained in charge 
of Mr De Lancey Gill. Illustrations for two annual 
reports — the Twenty -third and Twenty -fourth — and for 
Bulletin 28 were edited and prepared for transmittal to 
the Public Printer; 137 drawings for the illustration of 
these volumes were made, and 900 engravings for the 
same were examined and necessary corrections indicated. 
In the photographic branch of the Avork, wherein Mr Gill 
was assisted, as heretofore, by Mr Henry Walther, 1G6 
negatives were taken, 132 films exposed in the field were 
developed, and 1,373 prints were made. 

Mr Gill was also called on to assist in preparing exhibits 
for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, and made during 
the year detailed plans required in the construction of 
models of the Temple of the Cross at Palenque and the 


Castillo at Chiehenltza, and also of two models illustrating 
in actual dimensions the remarkable sculptural embellish- 
ments characteristic of the ancient Mayan architecture. 


The Twentieth Annual Report and Part i of the 
Twenty -second Report have been issued during the 
year, the former in March and the latter in May, 1904. 
The Twenty-first and Part ii of the Twenty-second are 
in press. The Twenty-third was submitted for publica- 
tion on February 23, and Bulletin 28 was sent to the 
Public Printer on March 31, 190-1. 

Publications are sent to two classes of recipients : First, 
regularly, without special request, to working anthro- 
pologists, public libraries, scientific societies, institutions 
of learning, and to other persons or institutions able to 
contribute to the work of the Bureau, publications, eth- 
nologic specimens, or desirable data; second, to other 
persons or institutions in response to special rerpiests, 
usually indorsed by Members of Congress. During the 
year 1,946 copies of the Twentieth Annual Report have 
been sent to regular recipients, and 2,500 miscellaneous 
volumes and pam])hlets have been distributed in response 
to about an equal number of special requests. More than 
250 of these requests have come through Congressmen, 
and about 500 volumes have been sent in response. One 
hundred and fifteen copies of Part i of the Twenty -second 
Annual Report have been sent out. 


Mr Herbert S. Wood has had charge of the editorial 
work during the year, being assisted in several instances 
by Dr Elbert J. Benton, Mr E. G. Farrell (courteously 
detailed for the work by the Grovernment Printing Office) , 
and Mr William Barnum. The editorial work for the 
year has consisted chiefly in the reading of proofs of the 
Twenty-first and Twenty-second Annual Reports, and 
the preparation for printing of the Twenty -third Annual 



At the time of the removal of the Bureau of American 
Etlmology from the United States Geological Snrvey 
building, in 1893, the volumes belonging to the Bureau 
numbered about 2,500. Through exchange and purchase 
the growth of the library has been, on the whole, satis- 
factory. The librarj' now contains 12,165 bound volumes, 
about 6,500 pamphlets, and a large number of unbound 
periodicals. In the purchase of books care has be6n used 
to add only such works as bear on the subject of anthro- 
pology Avith special reference to the American Indians, 
although volumes relating to kindred subjects are received 
through exchange. 

The accessions for the year number 302 bound volumes, 
about 500 pamphlets, and the regular issues of more than 
500 periodicals. 


The clerical work of the Bureau has lieen intrusted 
largely to Mr J. B. Clayton, who on June 1, 1904, with 
the approval of the Civil Service Commission, received 
the designation of head clerk. Mr Clayton has had per- 
sonal charge of the financial work of the Bureau, includ- 
ing the purchase of supplies and the preparation of 
accounts, and the care of property. 

The clerical w^ork during the year included the regis- 
tration and cataloguing of letters, the preparation of 
re])lies to letters, and the keeping of miscellaneous 
records. The method described in the report for the 
previous year as having been adopted has been employed 
during this year, and the clerical work of the Bureau is 
kept up to date. As a rule, letters are answered the 
same day that they are received, and it is only where 
technical information is called for that any delay ensues. 
The letters in regard to publications, finances, field work, 
and miscellaneous information cover 2,835 pages in the 
pi'ess-copy letter books. 

Miss E. R. Smedes has given excellent service in con- 
nection with the general correspondence of the Bureau. 


The clerical work of the library has been satisfactorily 
performed by Miss Ella Leary. 

The very considerable work involved in the care and 
distribution of publications has been in charge of Miss 
May S. Clark, who has efficientlj' met the BiTreau's needs 
in this direction. 

Mrs F. S. Nichols was certified Ijy the Civil Service 
Commission for temporary work in connection with the 
Handbook of Indian Tribes, and Misses Postley, Strat- 
ton, and Taliaferro were employed for brief periods in 
the same work. 


The property of the Bureau is comprised in seven 
classes: (1) Office furniture and appliances. (2) Field 
outfits. (3) Ethnological manuscripts and other docu- 
ments. (4) Photographs, drawings, paintings, and 
engravings. (5) A working librar3^ (6) Collections 
held temporarily by collaborators for use in research. 
(7) Undistributed residue of the editions of Bureau 


Appropriation by Congress for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904, " For 
continuing ethnological researches among the American Imlians uniler 
the direction of the Smithsonian Institution^, including salaries or com- 
pensation of all necessary emplcf\'ees and the purchase of necessary 
books and periodicals, forty thousand dollars, of which sum not exceed- 
ing one thousand five hundred dollars may be used for rent of build- 
ing " {sundry civil act, March 3, 1903) $40, 000. 00 

Salaries or compensation of employees $27, 716. 20 

Special services 8719. 25 

Traveling expenses 3, 363. 43 

Ethnologic specimens 995. 11 

Illustrations 59. 20 

]\Ianuscripts 1, 886. 36 

Books and ijeriodioals for library 197. 93 

Rental 1, 375. 00 

Furniture 131. 83 

Lighting 1.55. 04 

Stationery and supplies 782. 16 

Freight 186. 64 

Postage an<l telegraph and telephon'e 43. 18 

Printing and binding 159. 54 

Miscellaneous. 322. 13 

10, 376. SO 

Total disbursements 38, 093. 06 

Balance July 1, 1904, to meet outstanding liabilities 1, 906. 94 



The acquisition of the island of Porto Rico at the close 
of the late war with Spain greatly increased both popular 
and scientific interest in Antillean archeology and eth- 
nology throughout the United States. In order to meet 
the growing demand for more literature on these subjects 
the Smithsonian Institution in 1898 reprinted Professor 
Mason's valuable catalogues of the Latimer and Guesde 
collections. As is well known, the former was regarded 
for many years as the most valuable collection of Porto 
Rican antiquities in existence. It was desirable, how- 
ever, to gather new data to serve in interpreting some of 
the enigmatical objects that it contains. Field work in 
the West Indies was inaugurated ])y the Bureau in 1900, 
when the late Director, Maj. J. W. Powell, accompanied 
by Prof. W. H. Holmes, made a brief reconnoissance of 
Cuba and Jamaica. In the siting of 1901 and the winters 
of the two years next following, the Antillean field work 
was assigned to Dr J. Walter Fewkes, who visited, in the 
course of his work, the islands of Cuba, Santo Domingo, 
the Lesser Antilles, and Porto Rico. 

The ol)jective archeological material from Porto Rico 
in the National Museum has been more than doubled liy 
these excursions, and now includes, in addition to the 
famous Latimer collection, the collections of Neumann, 
Zeno Gandia, Archbishop Merino, and others from Santo 
Domingo and the Lesser Antilles. The data for the ac- 
companying report are drawn, therefore, from the largest 
and most representative collection of Porto Rican arche- 
ological material in the world. 

Doctor Fewkes's report, enlarged by data from miiseum 
material, forms the first of the accompanying papers. In 
his treatment of the subject the author has made use 
of three sources of information — ethnological, historical, 
and archeological. Under the blighting influence of 
human slavery the aborigines of Porto Rico rapidly dis- 
appeared or were absorbed by incoming races, so that 
their indigenous culture was lost in the first century after 


tlieir discovery. Information regarding tlieir culture 
derived from the ethnological method of ol>servation is 
fragmentary or vague, consisting mainly of folklore sur- 
viving among the country people. Historical accounts of 
the early islanders are likewise scanty, their culture hav- 
ing attracted less attention than that of the aborigines of 
Haiti, where most of the historians have collected their 
information. Archeological objects are the main sources 
from which we may now hope to interpret aboriginal 
Porto Rican life in prehistoric and early historic times. 
Doctor Fewkes gives due prominence to this source in 
his report, bringing, when possible, pertinent ethnolog- 
ical and historical evidences to the support of the archeo- 
logical data. By the use of these three- methods before 
mentioned he is able to present a picture of the charac- 
teristic culture of the aborigines of one of the most 
important of our insular possessions. It appears that the 
peculiar culture of the Antilles was indigenous as well as 
tyi»ical. While it may have originated on the neighl)or- 
ing continent under local influences acting on isolated 
communities, it has assumed a characteristic type. Porto 
Rico and Haiti are particularly favorable places to study 
this type, being situated at the geographical center or 
focus of that culture, the influence of which can be 
traced to neighboring islands and recognized in artifacts 
as far north as Florida. In his report Doctor Fewkes 
defines the salient features of a typical Antillean culture. 
He gives abundant figures and descriptions of enigmat- 
ical objects, such as stone collars and three -jjointed stone 
idols, peculiar to this culture area, and points out the 
characteristics of bone, shell, and wooden artifacts from 
this region, adding new figures and descriptions of x>ot- 
tery likewise peculiar to the region. 

The original people of Porto Rico and the other West 
Indies are sup]»osed to have come from Venezuela and to 
have been originally a l)raiich of the great Arawakan 
stock of South America. The typical culture of the 
Antilles, originated and developed among these people, 


was later more or less changed by inroads of migratory 
Carib, a mongrel race that swarmed out of the Orinoco 
valley and practically submerged the less warlike inhab - 
itants of the Lesser Antilles, exerting sporadically an 
inflnence felt as far as the mainland of North America. 

The second article, also by Doctor Fewkes, is a prelimi- 
nary report on his reconnoissance in eastern Mexico in 
the winter of 190-1-5. The field expenses of this expedi- 
tion were met l)y the Smithsonian Institution , and although 
the exploration was limited to a few months' field work, 
important observations were made which are here re- 
corded. The purpose of the work was to gather material 
bearing on a possible relationshiji between the peoples 
who built the mounds of the lower Mississippi and the 
pueblos of the Southwest, and the inhabitants of the 
Mexican Gulf coast, known as the Totonac and Huaxtec. 
For a study of the former the antiquities of a zone ex- 
tending from Jalapa to Cempoalan was chosen, and for 
the latter the region at the mouth of the Panuco river, 
near Tampico. 

In this report Doctor Fewkes describes for the first 
time the ruins of Cempoalan, a Totonac metropolis vis- 
ited by Cortes. He also considers briefly clusters of earth 
mounds at Texolo and Xicochimalco, which are likewise 
regarded as Totonac. By courtesy of 8r Teodoro Dehesa, 
governor of Vera Cruz, Doctor Fewkes was able to study 
the magnificent Dehesa collection at Jalapa, which con- 
tains many problematical objects characteristic of the 
Totonac, including stone yokes, paddle -shaped stones, 
and pottery objects of various forms. Some of these, as 
the remarkable paddle -shaped stones, compare favorably 
in an artistic way with the best stonework of the Ameri- 
can aborigines. 

The so-called temple mounds of the Totonac, near 
Jalai)a, were found to be dui)licated as far north as 
Aldama, in Tamaulipas, or in territory formerly inhabited 
by the Huaxtec. Descriptions of objects from these 
mounds close the report. 


The sti'iicture of the earth mounds of eastern Mexico 
shows that they were foundations of buildings and are 
not composed of fallen walls. Their form is pyramidal, 
closely resembling that of so-called temple mounds in the 
southern part of the United States. There is also a gen- 
eral resemblance in artifacts found in the mounds of the 
two regions, but the resemblance is apparently not suffi- 
ciently close to warrant the drawing of conclusions 
regarding the degree of relationship or the extent of 
the communication that existed between the peo]:)les of 
these regions. The indications are, however, that the 
relationship of the tribes of eastern Mexico with the 
mound -building tribes of our Southern states was much 
closer than with the peoples of the arid region of the 
Southwest, or even with those of the plateau tribes of 
northern Mexico. 


25 ETH— 07 1 





Introduction 17 

Physioal features of Porto Rico :^1 

Precolumbian population 2'S 

Present descendants of the Porto Hii'an Indians 2i 

Race and kinsliip ... 2ti 

Bodily characteristics 2S 

Mental and moral cliaracteristics :il 

(iovernment 83 

Political divisions 35 

Houses 41 

Thatched with grasses 43 

Thatched with palm leaves 44 

With palm leaves on walls, and straw-thatched roofs 45 

With slabs of palm wood on walls 45 

Secular customs 47 

Naming children; marriage customs 47 

Hunting and fishing - 48 

Agriculture 50 

Religion 53 

Zemiism 54 

Zemis of wood 57 

Zemis of stone 58 

Zemis of cotton cloth ini'losing bones 58 

Zemis painted on their bodies and faces 58 

Priesthood 59 

Divination liO 

iledicine practices 61 

Narcotics G3 

Rites and ceremonies lU 

Ceremony to bring crops lit; 

Survival of ceremony in modern dances 1)8 

Burial ceremonies 69 

Myths 72 

Traditions of origin 74 

A modern legend 75 

The name Borinquen 76 

Archeological sites 78 

Dance plazas 79 

Shell heaps 85 

Caves 87 

Archeological objects 89 

Celts 92 

Enigmatical stones 97 



Archeological objects — Continued. Page 

Pestles 99 

Mortars 105 

Beads and pendants 10s 

Stone balls 110 

Three-pointed stones Ill 

Type with head on anterior and legs on posterior projection Ill 

Type with face between anterior and conoid projection 121 

Type with conoid projection moditied into a head , 125 

Smooth stones 127 

Interpretation 128 

Semicircular stones 132 

Stone heads 133 

Disks with human faces 135 

Stone amulets iSS 

Pictographs 1-18 

River pictographs 150 

Cave pictographs - 155 

Stone collars 159 

Massive collars 162 

Slender collars 163 

Theories of the use of stone collars 167 

Elbow stones 1"-' 

Knobbed heads 1 74 

Pillar stones 175 

Large stone idols 178 

Pottery 1 79 

Shell and bone carvings 192 

Wooden objects 194 

Cassava graters 194 

Dance object 194 

Swallowing-sticks '- 195 

Ceremonial baton 195 

Idols '. 196 

Stools 202 

Canoes 207 

Other objects - - - 209 

Gold objects - - - 211 

Basketry and textiles 212 

Conclusions 214 

I L L U 8 T R A T I N S 

Plate I. Skull:^ from .Santo Domingo, showina; artificially flattened fore- 
heads (Imbert collection). 
II. Houses in process of con.struction, Luquillo: 
a, Framework without covering. 
h, With straw on sides; roof not covered. 

c, With sides covered; roof partially thatched, sho\\ina 
method of fastening thatch. 

d, e, Completed Porto Eican houses, with thatched roof ami 

/, Typical street in Porto Rican village, showing poorer 

III. Porto Rican houses with thatched roofs, and sides covered with 

]ialm-leaf sheaths, or yagwii:. 

IV. Porto Rican houses: 

a, n', Fishermen's houses on the dunes at Arecibo. 

/), With walls of split palm trunks, roofs of thatch, near 

r, d, e, Of the Gibaros in the mountain districts. 
V. Porto Rican house inhabited by negroes. 
VI. Negro house in Porto Rico, with walls constructed of palm 

leaves and roof thatched. 
VII. Carib houses at Arinia, Trinidad, British West Indies. 
VIII. Carib house at St Vincent, British West Indies, with group 
of Carib making baskets. 
IX. Carib war dance (Picard). 
X. Ceremonial dance of the Haitians to the Earth Goddess 

( Picard) . 
XI. Petaloid stone implements and chisels. 
XII. Petaloid stone imjilements, Porto Rico. 

XIII. Stone axes: 

a, b, r, d, Porto Rico. 

f, /, g, h, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Merino collection). 

XIV. Monolithic implements, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Merino 

collection I . 
XV. Ceremonial stone hatchets: 

a, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Jlerino collection), 
'j, Cuba (Santiago Museum). 
XVI. Problematical stone objects: 
a, dales, Porto Rico. 
h, c, d, Porto Rico (Latimer collection). 
XVII. Stone axes from St 'N'incent, British West Indies. 



Platk XVIII. Stone axes from St \"incent, British "West Indies. 

XIX. Stone axes from St Vincent, British West Indies. 

XX. Stone axes from St Vincent, British West Indies. 

XXI. Stone axes from St Vincent, British West Indies. 

XXII. Petaloid stone implements, Cuba. 

XXIII. Stone objects of various forms: 

o. Disk with su]>erficial markings (Archbishop Merino 

h,f, Problematical specimens (Latimer collection). 

c. Ovate specimen (Archbishop Merino collection). 

(/, Disk with superficial grooves (Archbishop Merino col- 

e, Ceremonial baton (Gabb collection). 

g, Polishing stone. 

h, Unknown implement (Archbishop Merino collection). 

i, Serpent (Archbishoii Merino collection). 

j, Cylinder (Archbishop Merino collection). 

A-, Curved specimen, St Vincent. 
♦ /, Conical specimen of unknown meaning. 

XXIV. Stone pestles, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Meriiio collection). 

a, 6, Lateral and top views of specimen, with figure lying 

on liack. 
c, (/, Front and side views of specimen, showing head and 

body at end of handle. 
e, /, Front and side views of specimen with disk mucli 

g, h. Front and side views of specimen, witli animal ligiue 

at end of handle. 
i-,j. Front and side views of specimen witli figure on end of 

XXV. Stone pestles (Archbishop Meriiio collection): 

It, Elongated specimen with rude head on one end. 
h. Rude specimen without head, 
c, With globular enlargement at one end. 
rf. With eyes on one end. 
e, With animal on one end. 
/, g, h, i, Rude si)ecimens without decoration. 
XXVI. Stone pestles: 

a, With large base (Archbishop Merino collection). 
h, With globular ))ase( Archbishop Merino collection). 

c, With human face (I^atimer collection). 

d, I, Rude specimens (.\rchbishop Merino collection,. 

e, With the handle cut in imitation of a human being 
(Archbishop Meriiio collection). 

/, AVith human head on end of handle ( .Archbishop Merino 

g, With rude human head on one end ( Archbishop Merino 

/(, In form of idol (.\rchbishop Merii'io collection). 

?', In form of binl (Archljishop Merino collection). 

j, Rude specimen, St Vincent, British West Indies (Ober 

k, Rude specimen in form of idol (.\rchbishop i\Ierino col- 
lection) . 


Platk XXVII. Stone pestles («-/, Imbert collection, /»-/, Hall collection): 
a-d, Front and side views of specimens with heads. 
e-!i, s, t, Front and side views of specimens with globnlar bases. 
i, j, Side and back of bird-formed specimen. 
k, Disk-shaped specimen. 
I, Duinb-liell shaped specimen. 
in, p, With human faces. 

n, Elongated specimen, witli conical apjiendage to the head. 
0, With head; ears prominent. 
q, With two terminal disks. 
)', With swollen handle; conical head. 
XXVIII. Stone mortars: 

a, h, c, d, Small specimens, Porto Rico. 

e, Large specimen, top view (Archbishop Merino collection). 
./', Broken collar (has been used as a pestle). 
XXIX. Stone mortars: 

a, h. Top and bottom views of fragment from Santo I)omingo 

(Neumann collection), 
c, d, Pigment grinders. 

e. Elongated (Archbishop Merino collection). 
XXX. Stone implements: 

a, Rubber or grinder with forked handle (Archbishop Merino 

li, Rubber or grinder. 

c, d, Rubbers (Latimer collection). 
XXXI. Miscellaneous stone objects: 

a, Beads and pendants, Porto Rico. 
h, c, Cylinders, Porto Rico. 

d, Ball with eyelet (Archbishop Meriiio collection). 
(', f, g, Balls, Porto Rico. 

XXXII. Three-pointed stone of the first type: 
a, Side view. 
h, Top view. 

XXXIII. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a'. Lateral and face views of specimen with low coniial 

b, I/, Lateral and face views of specimen with rounde<l conical 

c, c', Lateral and face views of siiecimen. 

d, d', Lateral and face views of specimen, showing promi- 
nent ears and chin. 

XXXIV. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

c(, a', Lateral and face views of specimen with very sujcioth 

surface (Latimer collection). 
6, 6', Lateral and face views of specimen with curved base, 

sliowing patches of varnish (Latimer collection). 

c, c', Lateral and side views of specimen (Latimer collection). 

d, d', Lateral and side views of specimen with rude head 
(Neumann collection). 

XXXV. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a', Lateral and front views of specimen showing decorated 

band over eyes. 
h, b', Lateral and front views of specimen (Latimer collection) . 


Plate XXXV — Continued. 

'•, c\ Lateral and front views of specimen witli prominent 

(/, d' , Lateral an<l front views of .specimen, .'^anto Domingo 
(Archbishop Merino collection). 
XXXVI. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a' . Lateral and face views of specimen with broken side 

(Xeumann collection). 
6, V , h" , Warped specimen fi-om side, face, and top (Latimer 
XXXVII. Three-pointed stones of the first type; 

a, a', Lateral and face views of specimen with two pits on 

each side (Latimer collection). 
//, ?/', Lateral and face views of specimen (Latimer collection), 
r, c' , (■" , Fragment from side, face, and base (Latimer collec- 
XXXVIII. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

<i. a', h, '/, Face and lateral views of two fragments (Latimer 
collection ) . 

c, r', Lateral and face views (Latimer collectioji) . 

d, e, Two specimens with very much eroded surfaces. 
XXXIX. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a', a", Top, lateral, and face views of specimen with depres- 
sion in the top of the conical projection ( Latimer collection). 
h, h' , Lateral and face views of specimen with flat face (Lati- 
mer collection), 
r, c', Lateral and face views of specimen with depressions in 
the side (Latimer collection). 
XL. Lateral and top views of a three-pointed stone of the first type. 
XLI. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a', Lateral and face views of a fragment. 
h, I/, Lateral and face views of lizard-formed specimen. 
'•, c'. Lateral and face views of lizard-formed specimen (Zoller 
XLII. Three-pointed stones of the first type (Latimer collection): 
a-h' , Lateral and face views of specimen with lizard head. 

c, &, Lateral and face views of specimen with bird head. , 

d, d' , Lateral and face views of specimen with rude face. 
XLIII. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

a, a', Lateral and top views of a lizard-headed specimen 
(Zoller collection). 

b, h', Lateral and face views of a bird-headed specimen, 
duck-shaped (Latimer collection). 

c, c', Lateral and face views of a bird-headed specimen, with 
two lateral pits (Neumann collection). 

XLIV. Three-pointed stones of the first type: 

(/, (/', Bird-shaped specimen (Neumann collection). 
h, b', Witli bird head (Latimer collection), 
c, (/, c", Face, lateral, and rear views of an owl-headed speci- 
men (Latimer collection). 
XLV. Three-pointed stones of the second type: 

a, a', Lateral and face views (Latimer collection). 

6, ?/, Lateral and face views. 

c, c', Lateral and face views of specimen with appendages. 


Plate XLVI. Lateral and top views of a three-pointed stone of the second 
type (Latimer collection). 
XLVII. Lateral and rear views of a three-pointed stone of the second 

XLVII L Lateral and top views of a three-pointed stone of the third 
type ( Archbishop Merino collection). 
XLIX. Lateral ( r; ) and fop (i, I/) views of a three-pointed stone of the 
third type (Neumann collection). 
]>. Three-pointed stones and stone disks: 

a. Lateral view of a specimen of the third type (Archljisliojj 

Meriiio collection). 
h, h', Lateral and face views of stone heail. 
<; d, i; Three-pointed specimens of tlie fourth type. 
/, /', ij, </', Face and side views of semicircular specimens with 
LI. Stone heads (Latimer collection) : 

a, a', h, h', Lateral and front views. 
LII. Stone heads: 

a, a', Front and lateral views of .stone head (Latimer col- 
lection) . 

b, h', Front and lateral views of mask-like stone face. 
LIII. Stone heads: 

a, n'. Front and lateral views. 

h, h', c, c', Front and lateral views (Latimer collection). 
LIV. Stone heads: 

a, a', Front and lateral views of rude head with neck. 

h, b', Front and lateral views of head (Latimer collection). 

c, c', Fnmt and lateral views of disk. 
LV. Stone disks with faces: 

ri, a', Front and lateral views of face. 

b, c, Front view of face, 
rf, Fragment of face. 

e, Fragment of face (Neumann collection). 
LVI. Stone fetishes: 

a, a', Front and lateral views of bird (Neumann collection). 
Ii, Lateral view of bird or scorpion, Trinidad, British West 
LVII. Stone amulets, Porto Rico. 
LVIII. Stone amulets; 

a, a', Lateral and top views of animal of unknown character, 
Trinidad, British West Indies. 

b, Twin amulet, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Meriiio col- 

f, c', d, d', Front and lateral views. 
LIX. Stone annilets, Santo Domingo: 

(I, ci/ c, <■/ d, d', Front and lateral views (Hall collection). 

}i, h', h", Front, lateral, and rear views (Hall collection). 

<". «'> 'J< ff'i Front and lateral views (Imbert collection). 

/, Front view (Imbert collection). 

h, /(', //', Side, front, and rear views (Imbert collection). 

1, /', Lateral and ventral views (Hall collection). 

.?,/>/'> Ventral, lateral, and dorsal views (Hall collection). 


Plate LX, pt 1. Porto Rican river pictography: 

II, Bowlder with pictograplis, near I'tuado. 
h, c, With horivs on head. 

d, e, Of sun. 

/, g, i, Of unknown meaning. 
h, From "El Salto del Merovis." 
LX, pt '-'. Porto Rican river pictography: 
k, n, p, Human faces. 
/, Representing the moon. 
hi, Representing face. 
0, Two spirals, water symbol. 
(], Representing head. 
r, Representing human head and l)ody. 
s, Face with circle. 
/, Human head and body. 
u, V, «', Of unknown meaning. 
LXI. Porto Rican pictographs: 

a, b, c, d, From cave near Ponce. 

e, f, rj, From eastern end of Porto Rico. 

LXII. Carib pictographs, St Vincent, British Wes^t Indies. 
LXIII. Massive stone collars. 
LXIV. Massive stone collar: 
c(, Front view. 
h, Side view. 
LXV. Massive stone collars. 
LXVI. Slender ovat* stone collars: 
II, (Latimer collection). 
h, Well-polished collar (Neumann collection). 

c, Simple collar (Latimer collection). 

d, With heart-shaped projection (Latimer collection). 
LXVIL Slender ovate stone collars (Latimer collection!: 

((, h, d, With decorated panel borders, 
c. With head on projection. 
LXVHL Panels of slender ovate collars ( Ijatimer collection): 

a, Partially decorated panel. 

b, Sun figures. 

c, Unknow'n figures. 
LXIX. Stone collar and elbow stone: 

a, Stone collar with attached three-pointed stone. 

b, //, Face and lateral views of an elbow stone (Latimer col- 
lection ) . 

LXX. Pillar stones: 

fi, With face, body, and appendages cut in relief. 

b, With face in relief (Latinjer collection). 

c, With face and part of the body cut in relief (Gabb collec- 
tion ) . 

d, With face cut in outline (Latimer collection). 

LXXL Fragments of pillar stones with head or face in relief (Latimer 
LXX 1 1. Stone idols from Cuba: 

a, a', Front and lateral views of s]iecimen made of coral rock 
(Santiago Museum) 


















h, Engraved stone, Xipe bay. 

c, Specimen made of coral rock, in form of pestle (Santiago 
de Cuba Museum). 
Handles of pottery from Cueva de las Ciolondrinas, Porto Kico. 
Pottery heads, fragments of bowls, Santo Domingo. 
Pottery fragments of bowls, Santo Domingo. 
Pottery from Santo Domingo: 

a, a', Front and lateral view.s of a kneeling figure made of clay. 

h, c. Small bowls (Archbishop ^lerifio collection). 
Pottery from Porto Rico and Santo Domingo: 

a, a', Top and side views of bowl from near Utnado, P:)rto 

Ii, Lateral view of a globular Ixjwl, Porto Kic(j. 

c. Rough bowl with two handles, Utuado. 

(/, t/'. Two fragments of a dish from Porto Rico. 

c, (■', Top and lateral views of a bowl with two heads (Arch- 
bishop Merifio collection). 
Lateral and to]) viewsof an effigy vase from Aguas Buenas, Porto 

Front and top views of bird-effigy bowl from western eml of 

Porto Rico (Xeumann collection). 
\'ases from Santo Domingo: 

II, <i', a", Front, lateral, and top view.sof mammi-formed spe<-i- 
men (Archbishop Merino collection). 

Ji, //, Lateral and front views of bowl with relief decoration. 

r, </, Bottle-shaped vessels (Archbisnop Merino collection). 
Bottle-shaped vases and bowl from Santo I)omingo (Imbert col- 

(I, ((', Front and lateral views of buttle vase with perforation 
<jn one siile of neck. 

h, Vase with head represented on side of neck. 

c. Bowl with opposite elevations on the rim. 

'/, Fragment of Hat bowl or dish. 
Pottery objects: 

fi, Image made of burnt clay, Santo Domingo (Desangles 

h, c, d, Three fragments from Nipe bay, Cuba. 

e-i, k-iii, Fragments from Santo Domingo (Archhishoji Merino 

,/, Sjiecimen purchased by author. 
Potter}- from the West Indies: 

((, Shallow bowl or dish. 

b, Elongated dish with heads on opposite rims. 

c, il, e, f, Flat bowls and shell-shaped pottery, St Ivitts, 
British West Indies. 

Pottery from Grenada, British West Indies: 
a-d, Fragments of bowls or vases. 
e, /, Clay heads. 
Pottery from Trinidad, British West Indies (Museum, Port of 
Spain ) : 
o, Interior of decorated dish. 

b, b', b". Lateral, top, and front viewsof turtle-shaped etiigy 


Plate LXXXVI. Pottery objects and stone spindle whorl: 

((, Cylinder for stamping pottery (Archbishop Merino collec- 

h, I/, Obverse and reverse of a stamp with inscribed designs 
(Archbishop Merino collection). 

r, Spindle whorl (Latimer collection). 
LXXXVII. .Stone, shell, and bone objects: 

'(, Necklace of stone beads with attached shell jicndant, 
Utuado, Porto Rico. 

h, Cut-shell objects, Cueva de las Golondrinas, Porto Rico. 

c, Carved shell (Archbishop Merifio collection). 

d, d', d". Swallow stick made of bone (Archbisho]i Merino 

e, Shell mask (Latimer collection). 

/, Friintal amulet made of shell (Archbishop Merino collec- 
tion) . 
r/, Fi'ontal amulet made of bone (Archbishop Merino collec- 
tion) . 
LXXXVIII, pt 1. Wooden sticks and idols: 

<(, \i, c, d, Ends of curved swallow sticks (Imbert collection). 

e, Decoration on the side of one of the swallow sticks of above 

f, g. Idols, Jamaica, British West Indies. 

/(, /(', Front antl side views of idol, Jamaica, British AVest 
LXXXVIII, pt 2. Swallow sticks and stool or duho (Imbert collection). 
LXXXIX. Wooden batons: 

a, Ornamented planting dibble (Neumann collection). 
'/, h', Lateral and front views of the end of a ceremonial baton 
(Gabb collection). 
XC. Wooden images and idols: 

((, a', Lateral and top views of turtle, St Vincent (Ober collec- 
h. Serpent, Santo Domingo. 

r, c', r", Front, back, and lateral views of idol (Imbert collec- 
tion ) . 
XCI. Wooden idols: 

a, a', Front and lateral \iews of twin idols seated in a 

h, y. Front and lateral views of idol, Caicos, or Turks 
XCII. Stone stools, iir duhos: 

(I, <i', a", Top, lateral, and bottom views (Latimer collection). 
h, I/, Lateral and front views of duho with back (Latimer col- 
XCIII. A\'ooden stools, or duhos: 

a, a' , a", Front, lateral, and back \'iews of dulio of human 

form (Dr Llenas collection). 
h, h', Lateral view of specimen (Imbert collection). 
c, Top view of specimen from Turks island, 
rf, Lateral view; the accompanying figures show incised 
decoration (Latimer collection). 



Figure 1. Circular liouse (after Oviedo) 43 

2. Keotangiilar house ( after Oviedo ) 44 

3. Stone ax from St Vincent 95 

4. Stone ax from St Yinceut 95 

4a. Stone object from St Vincent 99 

5. Stone pestle from Santo Domingo 100 

6. Double-headed pestle from Santo Domingo 101 

7. Pestle from Santo Domingo 101 

8. Small idol from Santo Domingo 102 

9. Pestle from Porto Rico 102 

10. Pestle from Porto Rico 103 

11. Pestle from Santo Domingo 104 

12. Pestle from Santo Domingo 104 

1 3. Bird -shaped pestle from Santo Domingo 1 05 

14. Bird-shaped pestle from Santo Domingo ] 05 

1.5. Amulet 109 

16. Amulet (side view) 109 

17. Three-pointed stone of first type 112 

18. Three-pointed stone of first type 118 

19. Three-pointed stone of first type 119 

20. Bird-form three-pointed stone 120 

21. Three-pointed stone of second type 122 

22. Three-pointed stone of second type 123 

23. Three-pointed stone of second type 123 

24. Pictographs from St Kitts, British West Indies 158 

25. Schematic drawing of a slender oblique stone collar 160 

26. Stone collar (front view ) 165 

27. Stone collar (side view ) 165 

28. Stone head (Imbert collection) 174 

29. Stone ball with face in relief ( Imbert collection ) 1 75 

30. Side view of ball with face ( Imbert collection ) 175 

31. Stone ball with knobs ( Imbert collection) 175 

32. Stone with head in relief 1 76 

33. Pictograph on pillarstone 176 

34. Fragment of a bowl 181 

35. Vase with handle, from sketch (Latimer collection) 182 

36. Bird-effigy bowl (Neumann collection) 185 

37. Stone bird ( Yunghannis collection) 194 

38. Wooden idol, Santo Domingo 202 

39. Wooden dulio, side view (from Mason) 203 

40. Stone dnho (from Mason ) ■. 206 

41. Canoe (from Oviedo) 208 

42. Wooden mortar 210 

43. Zemi made of cotton cloth (from Cronau) 214 



By Jesse AValter Fewkes 



Tlie author of the following monog'niph was commissioned l)y the 
Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology to visit the island of 
Porto Rico in 1902, and to continue the exploration in 1903 and 19U4. 
The object of these visits was the collection of data and specimens 
that would shed light on the prehistoric inhabitants of this West Indian 
island which had lately come into the possession of the United States. 
The first visit was a reconnoissance, preliminary to the more extended 
study that followed on the two visits referred to, in 1903 and 1904. 
The work in 1902 was limited to Porto Rico, but the fact became 
e\'ident, as it progressed, that the problem of the character of the 
aboriginal Antillcans could not be satisfactorily solved from material 
collected on any one of the manj' West Indian islands. A special 
examination of neighboring islands for comparative studies ])ecame 
necessary. With this object in view the author was directed in 19(;)3 
to make a short trip to Haiti and in 19(i4 to visit Cuba, Trinidad, and 
the Lesser Antilles, which, extending from South America to Porto 
Rico, formed a natural wa_y of interconununication or migration of 
pi-imitive races. The gathering of material in these excursions was 
especially successful, and important prehistoric objects from several 
of the islands visited were added to the existing collection in the 
National Museum. A general summary of the results of the expedition 
of 1903 has already been published in the SiiiitJisonicoi Miscelluneoufi 
Collections," but this preliminary report was limited and only partiallj- 
indicates the extent of the work performed or the amount and signiti- 
cance of the material collected. An enumeration of the latter, embrac- 
ing more than 1,200 specimens, comprises the important collection of 
Archbishop INIerino, of Santo Domingo, and those of Sefiores Zeno Gan- 
dia, Neumann Gandia, Angelis, and Fernandez, of Porto Rico. These 

aprelimiuary Ri?port nii an Aroheological Trip to the West Indies (xlv, no. 1429, 1904). 
25 ETH— 07 2 17 


important acquisitions, with the many specimens obtained one or two 
at a time by excavations or purchase, equaled in number the "West 
Indian objects previously existino- in the ymithsonian collection, 
which was ali'eady one of the largest in the world. 

The collection made in 1904 was numerically somewhat smaller than 
that of 1!M)3, Init not less important. It contains several unique 
specimens that add greatly to the value of the material already acquired. 
Small collections were brought from Cul)a, Trinidad, Barbados, St 
Vincent, and Grenada. The Neumann collection, which was the 
largest purchased in 1904, contains several rare specimens of types of 
stone artifacts hitherto unrepresented in the United States National 
Museum. Among the important objects obtained this year (1904) 
are a tine etfigy vase, three three-pointed idols pi'esented by Senor 
ZoUer, of the Aguirre Central, near Ponce, and a collection of stone 
implements from St Vincent, presented by Mr Jacobson, of Port of 
Spain, Trinidad. While the collections now in Washington serve as 
the l)asis of this article, the author has drawn some of his material 
from published descriptions of Porto Rican prehistoric objects in the 
museums at New York, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, and London. 

The author is indebted for assistance in his West Indian field work 
to many friends, among whom should be specially mentioned Maj. 
J. W. Powell, late Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology; 
Ur W J McGee, formerly ethnologist in charge, and Prof. W. H. 
Holmes, the present Chief. Numerous courtesies were extended to 
him by officials in Porto Kico, as well as by local archeologists in that 
and other islands. He talvcs this opportunity to exj^ress his thanks 
to all those to whom he has been indebted in the preparation of this 

He is indebted to Senor Ramon Imbert, of Puerto Plata, Santo 
Domingo, for an opportunity to stud\' the latter's collection and to make 
use of sketches of several specimens; also to Seiior Llenas, of Santiago 
de los Caballeros, and to many others. Unfortunately, he has not ))een 
able to examine the West Indian antiquities in European museums, 
with the important exception of a few stone idols and implements in 
the Museo Anjueologico, jNladrid. These objects and some others 
exhibited in the Exposicion Historico in that city in 1892 were exam- 
ined by the author, who was able at that time to make sketches of 
the most suggestive, which are pictured in the following pages. He 
regrets that he has not been able to see several small private collections 
of which he has information — those made by Mr Suchert, Herr Knig, 
M. Pinart, and others. The best collection still remaining in Porto 
Rico is owned by Padre Nazario, of Guayanilla, but there are several 
smaller ones containing instructive material. Visits were made to 
Guayanilla, where the author was hospitably received by Padre 
Nazario and shown his collection, the result of a lifelong interest in 


Porto Rican archeology. It is particular!}' rich in unique amulets and 
three-pointed stones and has some rare pottery objects and a few stone 
collars. The manj' hieroglyphic markings on the stones that are most 
highl\- prized by the owner were also examined by the autlior, who 
does not consider them very ancient. In addition the author studied 
collections in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, St Christopher, Barbados, 
and in other places. Moreover, supplementary reading and study shed 
some light on the signiticance of several specimens the use and mean- 
ing of which had not been interpreted in the field. 

A survey of all the results of his study and collecting, and compari- 
son with the rich material available for tiiat purpose in the Smithsonian 
Institution, led the author to the belief that a comprehensive report 
would be a desirable addition to the existing information on this 
important subject and an aid to later students in this field of research. 

It became 'evident on the very threshold of the preparation of this 
report that there exists no comprehensive memoir in English on this 
subject, and it was therefore regarded as desirable to enlarge its scope 
so as to cover the whole ground; in other words, to give it a mono- 
graphic form as far as possible, including- the material available in the 
Smithsonian Institution. For this reason there is here added to descrip- 
tions of new objects a review of those in the Latimer collection, so well 
described by Professor Mason, whereby this work is made comprehen- 
sive and, it is hoped, exhaustive, so far as the Washington collection 
is concerned. 

The author has used thi-ee methods of gathering knowledge on the 
subject of this memoir: (1) The historical, (2) the ethnological, and (3) 
the archeological. 

The historical method deals with the' published descriptions of the 
Indians by contemporaries of the discoverers — men like Las Casas," 
who saw the aborigines before their manners and customs had sufl'ered 
ver}' great changes. Documents specially describing the natives of 
Porto Rico are few, but, as the same or a closely related race 
inhabited the neighboring islands, it is legitimate to bring as an aid 
to this method of research descriptions, which are many, of the 
natives of these adjacent islands. It ma}^ be said in passing that all 
accounts of the natives of Porto Rico are derived largely from the 
writings of Las Casas, Ramon Pane, Benzoni, Oviedo, and Peter 
ilartyr, who have given detailed accounts of the natives of Haiti, 
adding that whatever is true of the aborigines of this island holds also 

nObras del Obispo de la Ciudad Real de Chiapa en las Indias, Sevilla, 1552. Reprinted as Historia 
de las Indias, escrita por Fray Bartolom^ de las Casas, Obispo de Chiapa, i-v, JIadrid, 1875. 

Las Casas was born in Seville, Spain, in 1474, and died in 156G. He aeeompanied Ovando to Haiti 
and lived in the New World oft and on for sixty years. His history wsis written between the years 
l.=>27 and 1539. The writings of this sympathetic friend of the Indians are full of most valuable data 
regarding the manners and customs of the aboriginal West Indians. He knew them from personal 
acquaintance, and recorded his observations with completeness and accuracy. The history of Las 
Casas contains quotations from Columbus's diary of his tirst voyage, constituting a mine of information 
regarding the aborigines not previously published. 


concerning those of Porto Rico. There are in fact no extensive 
special descriptions of the Porto Rican Indians earlier than the History 
of Porto Rico by Inigo/' published at the close of the eighteenth 
century, and as at that time the race had practically disappeared, the 
chapter on the native culture in this account was compiled largely 
from Oviedo and Las Casas. The historical method reveals many 
customs which are incomprehensible to historians unless they are 
familiar with the light that modern ethnology sheds on the comparative 
culture of races. 

The archeological method supplements the historical, revealing the 
prehistoric condition of the island and the culture of the inhabitants 
before written records were made by Europeans. This method deals 
with stone implements, idols, pictographs, mortuary objects, human 
skeletons, and the like, including all the most enduring material evi- 
dences of man's prehistoric presence which occur in great numbers 
throughout the island. 

The ethnological method considers the survivals in the bodily form 
and mental characters of the existing natives; their peculiar customs, 
characteristic words, music, and legends, all that is included in the 
comprehensive term foIMore, the old-fashioned waj's of life peculiar 
to the island. It deals likewise with survivals of languaga in names 
of places, animals, plants, and objects, including all aboriginal and many 
dialectic names peculiar to the modern islanders. 

The anthropologist maj' approach his subject by the three methods 
above mentioned, any one of which reveals enough material to be 
made the basis of a special article; a knowledge of prehistoric Porto 
Rican culture may be derived from them all. Naturally, each method 
has its restrictions. The present population is composed of several 
amalgamated races, and we find in folklore'' at the present day evi- 
dences of all these races. Archeologj' is perhaps the most reliable 
source of information; but even the objects found in the ground, thor- 

aFray Inigo Abbad y Lasierra, Historia Geogr&fica, Civil y Natural de la Isla de San Juan Bautista 
de Puerto Rico. nueva-edici6n, anotada en la parte hist6rica y continuada en la estadistica y eeon6mica 
por Joa6 Julian de Acosta y Calbo, pp. i-vii, 1-508, Puerto Rico, 1866. The first edition of Inigo's 
Historia was edited in 1788 by Don Antonio Villadaros de Sotomayor. The work was republished in 
1830 in San Juan, Porto Rico, by Don Pedro TomAs de C6rdova, secretary of the governor and captain- 
general of the island, and a third edition, containing Acosta's notes, appeared in Porto Rico in 186ti. 
English translations of the portions pertaining to the aborigines are found in Report of the Census of 
Porto Rico, 1899. See also Mr F. Bedwell's consular report, 1879, and First .\nnual Report of Charles 
H. Allen, governor of Porto Rico, p. 1-445, Washington, 1901. 

.\ccording to Don J. J. .Vcosta, Fray Inigo Abbad y Lasierra belonged to the Benedictine order and 
wrote his Historia for the Count of Florida Blanca in the reign of Charles III. In the Acosta edition 
use was made of a manuscript then owned by Don Domingo del Monte, which, as is stated in a note, 
passed to the distinguished Cuban litterateur, Jos6 Antonio Echeverria, by whom it was later presented 
to the order on August 2.5, 1782. 

The First .\nnual Register of Porto Rico (San Juan, 1901) contains an incomplete bibliography of 
the island. Many Spanish titles of books are translated into English. 

^ Francisco del Valle Aleles, El Campesino Puertoriqueno, sus Condiciones. Revista Puertori- 
quena, ii and ill, 1887 and 1888. Manuel .\. Alonso, Manners and Customs of the People of Porto 
Rico, 2d ed., 2 v. M. Fernandez Juncog, Costumbres y Tradiciones, Puerto Rico, 1882. See also Col. 
George D. Flinter, An Account of the Present State of the Island of Porto Rico, London, 1834; and 
Bon Pedro TomAs de C6rdova, Memorias GeogrAfieas, Hist6ricas, Eeonomicas y Estadisticas de la 
Isla de Puerto Rico, 18S0. 


oiighly native as they appear, may have 1)een the property of races 
other than the prehi.storic Porto Kieau. 

Of the three methods of treating the subject, the archeological, 
wliich is followed in the main in this report, also offers a good oppor- 
tunity for original work; but data are drawn from historical and 
ethnographical sources to give the memoir a more comprehensive 
character, and are introduced when necessary to interpret the mean- 
ing of archeological objects. 


The culture of a people is largely determined b}- its environment. 
The climate, fauna, tiora, geology, and other physical conditions are 
important elements of this environment. Isolation, with consequent 
freedom from attack of foes, bj' which jiure blood is retained for a 
considerable time, develops characteristic cultures in different parts 
of the world which vary with physiographical conditions. A brief 
description of the physical features of Porto Rico naturally precedes, 
therefore, a studj- of the culture of its aboriginal inhabitants. 

Porto Rico, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, is situated in the 
Tropics, between North and South America. Its greatest length fi'om 
east to west is a little more than 100 miles and its width about 3(3, the 
area being approximately 3,600 square miles." There are no islands 
near Poi'to Rico in the Atlantic ocean on the north, and the watery 
waste of the Caribbean sea sepai'ates it from South America on the 
south, so that access from either direction implies extensive knowledge 
of ocean navigation. Near its eastern end begins the Lesser Antilles, 
a chain of islands, one almost in sight of another, extending southward 
to the mouth of the Orinoco, in Venezuela. On the west a compara- 
tively narrow strait separates Porto Rico from Haiti, which in turn 
lies not far from Cuba. In short, the island of Porto Rico maj- be said 
to be situated midway in the chain of islands connecting Florida and 

A chain of mountains, culminating at an altitude of about four 
thousand feet in the Yunque at the eastern end, crosses the island from 
east to west. These mountains are formed iu part of calcareous rock, 
and contain many caves. On the north and south sides of the moun- 
tainous backbone there are small parallel ranges of rounded hills, 
skirted by low land along the coasts. The shores have a few good har- 
bors, into which flow several rivers and lagoons that offer favorable 
places for that peculiar fluviatile culture cliaracteristic of people like 
those who live on the delta at the mouth of the Orinoco and around 

a W. M. Elliott, Report of the Commissioner of the Interior for Porto Rico to the Secretary of the 
Interior, Washington. 1900. 

See also JIanuel Ubeda y Delgado, Isla de Puerto Rico, Estudio Histurico-geogrAfico, l^uerto* 
Eico, 1878. 


Lake Maracaibo. The caves along tlie north coast are large, and the 
beaches afford good landings and camping resorts, the sites of the 
latter being generally indicated by shell heaps of some size. 

The winter is never cold in Porto Rico. The trees and plants yield 
edible food throughout the year, removing one stimulus to store 
a food supply that is felt by the primitive agriculturist of the Tem- 
pei'ate zones. An inducement to economy of food and to a devel- 
opment of high culture thereb}' is rarely found in the Tropics." Veg- 
etable food is available at all- times. There are seasons for planting 
and liarvesting, but no arid deserts to disappoint the agriculturist. 
The land is well watered, inviting tillage at all times. The tempera- 
ture in Porto Rico never falls to a point where men need firewood to 
keep them warm or closed houses to shield them from cold. The only 
shelter one requires is a protection from rain and sun. 

Both the fauna and the flora of the West Indies are South American 
in their affinities, and animals and plants such as belong to that part 
of the continent served the natives for food. Of indigenous animals 
there may be mentioned the agouti, utia, bats, and various lizards, as 
the iguanas. It is not saying too uuich to aHirm that the majority of 
large indigenous animals capable of being utilized as food by the 
natives were derived from South America. The same statement 
applies to native plants and trees whicii served for food, raiment, 
houses, and canoes, and to those that f urnislied fibers. Among others 
may be mentioned maize, manioc, yams, potatoes, cotton, various 
palms and other woods, like the ceiba, and numerous native tree 

Large mammals capable of domestication were wanting and a supply 
of food animals adequate to support a great population did not exist. 
The marine fauna of Porto Rico available for economic purposes was 
large. The manatee was an inhabitant of the lagoons and river mouths. 
Man}' edible fishes lived near the shore and in the rivers, and the 
lagoons abounded in mollusks, crabs, and turtles, tempting to a fisher- 
man's life. In many places along the shore there are deposits of shells 
and fragments of oUas and other broken pieces of pottery mixed with 
bones of birds and fishes. The greatest of these deposits, according to 
Doctor Stahl * measuring more than 2 meters in height, is at the Cueva 
de las Golondrinas, near the mouth of the Kio Manati. The contents 
of these shell heaps imply that mollusks, birds, and fishes constituted 
a considerable part of the food of the people inhabiting the coast. 

(' It must, however, be remembered that the highest prehistoric culture of America developed 
within llie Tropics. 

("Augustin Stahl, Los Indios Borinquenos. Estudioa Etnogr4flcos, p. 1-206, pi. i-iv, Puerto Rico, 
1889. Doctor Stahl's collection, a catalogue of which is given in this important work, is now in the 
Museum of Natural History, New York. 



The Europeans who first landed on the shores of Porto Rico reported 
the island to be densely peopled. The early Spanish voyagers state that 
the population was distril)uted over the whole island, but that it was 
thickly settled in the littoral tracts and along the banks of the rivers. 
It has been estimated that the population was 200,000, " probably too 
large a number, though a consei'vative estimate would still make pre- 
historic Porto Kico a populous island. 

According to Oviedo,'' the cacique Guarionex led 3,00i» waf-riors to 
the assault of the Spanish town founded by Sotomaj' or on the western 
end of the island. Supposing that the women, children, and other 
nonbelligerents of this territory were not included in this enumeration, 
a conservative estimate would make the population of this end of the 
island in the years 1510 and 1511 at least 10,000. Considering tliat 
this command of Guarionex was drawn, not from the whole island, 
but only from the western end, it is reasonable to conclude that if the 
remaining population of Porto Rico were equally dense the number of 
natives amounted to at least 30,000. 

Frequent wars and epidemics, however, rapidly decimated them 
after their discovery, while a system of repartimientos, or division of 
them as slaves among the Spaniards, speedily diminished still further 
the number of natives, so that the race was practically extei-minated 
in a few years. Before their extinction Indians were brought to Porto 
Rico from neighboring islands,'' and Kongo Africans were introduced 
from across the ocean, .so that it is impossible to estimate with pre- 
cision the size of the aboriginal population at the time the reparti- 
mientos were made. 

It is said that 5,500 Indians were divided among Europeans,'' but 
this number could hardlj- have included the whole native population and 
takes no account of those in the mountains who had not been conquered. 

a Inigo (see his Historla, cited in footnote, p. 20) estimates the number as 600,000, which Senor Bran, 
the best authority on the subject, reduces to 16,000. 

bGonzalo Fern^indez de Oviedo y Valdez, Historia General y Natural de las Indias. Oviedo was 
born in Madrid in 1-17S. After having been a page of Prince Juan, son of Ferdinand and Isabella, he 
lived in America in different capacities, ami was ultimately appointed first historiographer of the 
Indies. His Historia General y Natural de las Indias was printed in 50 volumes, the first 19 of which 
were first published in 1535. In 1517 he reprinted this first part in Valladoliil, adding another vol- 
ume called Naufragios. .\nother edition was published in 1557. This w^ork is of the greatest impor- 
tance for the study of the aborigines of the West Indies, as Oviedo personally saw the natives whom 
he describes. Portions of his history, including book ItJ and certain chapters of other books pertain- 
ing to Porto Rico, were reprinted in 1854 by Tapia y Rivera, Biblioteca de Puerto Rico que contiene 
varios documentos de los siglos xv, xvi, xvir, y xviii, p. 1-587, and index, 1-14, Puerto Rico, 1854. 

fG6mara says that in twenty years the Spaniards took into slavery from the Lucayan ^Bahama) 
islands 40,000 persons, representing to them that they were taking them to Paradise. 

rfR. A. Van Middetdyk, in his History of Porto Rico (New York, 1903), says that this number was 
" certified by Sancho VelJisquez, the judge appointed in 1515 to rectify the distribution made by Ceron 
and Moscoso, and by Captain Melarejo in his memorial drawn up in 1582." 


Sefior Brau," the most reliable historian of tiie island, gives the 
following- data regarding the distribution of Indians in 1511-12 after 
the affair at Jacucco. taken from the IMufioz documents: Haciendas of 
their royal highnesses, 500; Baltasar de Castro, the factor, 200; 
Miguel Diaz, the chief constable, 200; Juan Ceron, the major, 150; 
Diego Morales, bachelor at law, 150; Amador de Lares, 150; Louis 
Sotoma^'or, 100; Miguel Diaz Daux, factor, 200; municipal council, 
100; Sebastian de la Gama, 90; Gil de Malpartida, 7o; Juan Bono (a 
mei'chant), 70; Juan Velasquez, 70; Antonio deRivadeneya, GO; Gracian 
Cansino, 60; Louis de Apueyo, 00; the apothecary, 50; Francisco 
Cereceda, 50; to -iO other individuals (40 each), 1,600; distributed in 
1509-10 to 9 persons, 1,060; total, 5,100. The tigures given in the 
enumeration of slaves sometimes include those introduced from other 
islands. Thus, in 1511 the cacique Jamaica Arecibo, with 200 Indian.s, 
was assigned to Lope Conchillos, hut how many of the lattei- were 
natives of Porto Kico does not appear. Arecibo himself was from 
Jamaica. It is impossible to arrive at any very close estimate of the 
population of prehistoric Porto Rico from Spanish accounts, l)ut 
30,000 is jjrobably as close an estimate as can be made from the avail- 
able data. 


The visits made by the author were too limited to determine what 
parts of the island are best suited for a study of the purest survivals 
of the former race, but marked Indian features were casually observed 
everywhere, especially in the isolated mountainous regions. 

The lofty mountain called El Yunque is reputed to have l)een the 
home of the last cacicjue, and the inhabitants in its neighborliood ai'e 
certainly among the most primitive on the island. This region has 
lieen visited by Sefior Federico A'all y Spinosa, who has published in 
one of the San Juan daily papers a legend of aboriginal character 
obtained on his visit. There is in this part of the island a range of 
mountains called the Carib mountains that may ha\e received its name 
from the fact that Carib were once numerous at this end of tlie island. 
The inhaliitants in this region still pi-eser\e Indian features to a 
marked degree, but whether Borinqueno or Carib is not evident. 

It is pi'obable that the entire mountainous interior of Porto Rico, 
from the eastern to the western end, was the last refuge of the aboi'ig- 
inal Indian population, and the names of the various caciques that are 
applied to sections of the mountain chain support this belief. The 

CI Salvador Brau, Puerto Rico y su Histuria; inve.stigacioiiey criticas. 2d cd.. p. 1—104, Valencia, 1.S94. 
This important work contains n cop.v of the Columbus letter sent from Lisbon to the Catholic kings 
on his return from his first voyage, also a description of '■ Boriqucn " from Istoria de las Indias con 
la oonquista de Mexico, 1552, by Francisco Lopez de Gomara, from the original in the library of 
Bcato Jiian de Rivera, Colegio del Corpus Cristi, Valencia. See also Puerto Rico en Sevilla, Puerto 
Kico, 1896; and History of Porto Rico, New York, 1903. 


maps given in the late census repoi't (1899)" siiow that the negro pop- 
ulation predominates over the white in the eastern half of the island. 
It is important to determine how much admixture of Indian blood l)v 
intermarriage has taken place in tiie two regions. 

^lanj of tlie inhabitants of a mountainous section called Indiera, at 
the western end of the island, also have pronounced Indian features, 
and we may expect to find in that region many legends, curious cus- 
toms, and woi'ds directly traceable to the aborigines. Indiera lies in 
the mountains between the tributaries of the Guabano river, called 
Prietas and Blanco, south of Lares and east of Marias. The name 
Indiera, Indian land, is significant, and manj' archeological objects have 
been found in this region. Several contractors who have employed 
large numbers of laborers in building roads have noticed the pre- 
dominance of Indian features in the mountains near Utuado and 
Comerio, where careful investigation may reveal individuals with 
comparatively pure Indian blood. 

It must be borne in mind, however, that indications of Indian ances- 
try in these regions are not necessarily evidences that those bearing 
them are descendants of native aborigines, for in the early history of 
the island, as is stated above, Indians were brought to Porto Rico 
from Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Lesser 
Antilles. The Carib were introduced as slaves, and they also had 
left many of their descendants in Porto Rico before the advent of the 
Spaniard. So great was this admixture of Carib blood that Oviedo 
speaks of Porto Rico as one of the Carib islands. 

The distinctive aboriginal culture was practicalU* destroyed before 
these Indian slaves were introduced, so that we may say that it disap- 
peared immediatel}' following the discover\- of the island. But no 
people can be suddenly destroj^ed in this way; it may lose its distinct 
culture but its blood is not so easily exterminated. When the 
natives died out the new peoples from the Bahamas and other islands, 
negroes from various parts of Africa, and other races, replaced them, 
but not before considerable intermixture had resulted. 

The Spaniards had children by Indian women to a limited extent, 
the blacks intermarried with them, and the Indians introduced became 
fathers of children born of Porto Kican women, so that there e.xiston 
the island to-day survivals of the crossing of several ditierent races. 

\\'ith this amalgamation of races came a mingling of as man}' 
forms of culture and the iiitroduction of customs foreign to the abo- 
riginal life of the island. Thus it has come about that, side by side 
with primitive American customs, there survive those whose parent- 
age is traceable to Spanish, African, and other foreign sources. The 
folklore of Spain exists side by side or mingled witii that of Africa 
and of the various West Indian islands from which this composite race 

a Lieut. Col. J. p. Sanger, Report on the Census of Porto Rico, p. 1-417, Washington, D. C, 1899. 


To separate that which is characteristically Porto Ricaii from later 
introductions thus becomes no easy task — almost impossible, indeed. 
Fortunately, it is possible to bring to our aid. in a solution of this 
problem, comparative ethnology and archeology, which teach that the 
Borin([uen Indians were of the same race as those of the other West 
Indian islands. From a study of the surviving Indians in these other 
islands we can determine the indigenous by eliminating the intro- 
duced. Historical accounts ma}' also help us "in the same direction, 
but we should alwa3's bear in mind that evidences of Indian bodily 
features in modern inhabitants of Porto Rico, while suggestive, are not 
necessarily indications of the survival of prehistoric peoples whose 
ancestors lived on the island at the time of its discovery. 


Among the first words heard by the comrades of Columbus when 
they landed in Guadeloupe were ^'Ta'inol talnb!'''' "■ Peace! peace!" or 
"We are friends." The designation ''^tulnd^^ has been used l)y several 
writers as a characteristic name for the Antillean race. Since it is l)oth 
significant and euphonious, it may be adopted as a convenient substi- 
tute for the adjective "Antillean" to designate a cultural type. The 
author applies the term to the original sedentary people of the West 
Indies, as distinguished from the Carib, or any mixture of the two, 
such us is found in the southern islands and certain littoral regions of 
the Greater Antilles. 

In a general way, the prehistoric Porto Rican aborigines may be 
said to have been a mixed Tainan race, closelj' related to the people of 
Haiti and Cuba, but considerably modified by Carib infiuences in the 
eastern sections of the island. Mona, the neighboring island on the 
west, now belonging to the United States, was once well populated by 
Indians, although at present (19(.);3) it has only a solitary human occu- 
pant — a light-house keeper. This small island formerly had a mission 
and was inhabited by Tainans, while the natives of Vieques and 
Culebra, islands ofi' the east coast, were Carib. 

The Borinqueiios, or aboriginal Porto Ricans, thus had affinities on 
the one side with Tainans of the neighboring island, Santo Domingo, 
and on the other with the insular Carib, whose outposts were the 
islands Culebra and Viecjues. It should be borne in mind that the 
insular Carib diti'ered somewhat in language, blood, and culture from 
those of the mainland of South America, since most of them were the 
ofispring of Carib fathers and Tainan mothers, who were slaves. The 
captive Tainan women incorporated their arts in the Carib life, natu- 
rally developing a close similarity between the various mixed Carib 
and Tainan cultures. The resemblance of the prehistoric inhabitants 
of Porto Rico to the Tainans of Haiti and eastern Cuba was com- 


mented upon l)v L;is Casus and Oviedo, who deelarc tlmt in customs 
and language these ishinders were very niueh alike. 

The accounts of the Indians of Haiti are more complete than those 
of the Porto Kican Indians, for the early writers generally made their 
homes on that island, and naturally were more familiar with its natives 
than with those of the islands on either side. It has been customary 
to till out imperfect knowle<lye of the Porto Ricans l)y regarding- them 
as identical with the Haitians, especially since Oviedo himself has stated 
that the culture of the two peoples was practically the same. The 
older writers recognized some differences, Oviedo remarks that, while 
the inhabitants of Porto Rico were essentially like the Haitians, they 
were unlike them in being- archers who did not poison their arrows 
with her})s. He says that in their worship and in their dances (ki; /fo.s) 
and ball games, in navigating- canoes, in agriculture, tishing, and build- 
ing* houses and hammocks, in marriage customs, subjection to caciques, 
witchcraft, and in many other things the one people (Borin(|uenos) 
were verj' like the othei- (Haitians). One statement of Oviedo that 
should be emphasized as separating- the Borinquen Indians from the 
people of the three other Greater Antilles is that they were more 
given to war and more adept in the use of Carib weapons, a charac- 
teristic that can be traced either to contact with the Carib or to a 
greater proportion of Carib blood, for the aborigines of Porto Rico 
were more closely related to the Carib than were the Tainan people 
of Cuba and Haiti. 

At the time of the discovery of America the insular Carib possessed 
a culture resembling in many respects that of the Tainans and some- 
what unlike that of the Carib of the continent of South America. 
These insular people were confined at that time to the chain of islands 
called the Lesser Antilles, extending- from South America to Porto 
Rico. They made many raids on the peaceful inhabitants of the other 
islands, but, except in Porto Rico, their influence on the Greater 
Antilles was not sufficient to modify pjrofoundly the existing culture. 
Apparently this Carib modification had replaced or submerged a pre- 
vious culture on the Lesser Antilles, the Tainan men having been 
killed and their women appropriated as wives of the conquerors," who 
left in their offspring a mixture of Carib blood with that of the peace- 
ful islanders and produced corresponding modification of culture in 
the eastern part of Borinquen. 

There is direct as well as indirect evidence that the population of the 
eastern end of the island of Porto Rico was somewhat different in blood 
from that of the western. The neighboring island Vieques, only a 
short distance away, was practicallj' Carib, and hostile warriors from 

a In this account of prehistoric Porto Rico the author includes the islands of Jlona and Vieques, 
the former inhabited by Tainan Indians, the latter by true insular Carib. For differences in culture 
at the opposite ends of Cuba see his article on the Prehistoric Culture of Cuba, in Amcrtcau Anthro- 
pologist, VI, n. s., October-December, 1904. 


it were continually raiding the adjucent coast of Porto Rico. As the 
iiuirauders numbered many hundreds, and as their raids were frequent, 
it is natural that the people of this end of the island should have devel- 
oped more warlike habits through constant affrays with this persistent 
enemy. It is probable that many of these Carib married Porto Rican 
wt)men, settled on the island, and never returned to their former home. 

On several maps of Porto Rico we find the name ''Carib mountains " 
atfixed to sierras in the east end of the island. This, like other place 
names, such as Guarabo, is of CariVj derivation and points to Carib 
influences. Porto Rico itself was called a Carib island by several 
writers, and Porto Rican women whom the Carib took prisoners and 
made slaves had children of mixed Tainan and Carib blood. The two 
peoples wei'e not contiiuially hostile, for the chief of the Carib aided 
the Borinqueiios in the battle of the Yauco river, a fact which would 
suggest kinship. 

There is no indication in the earlj- accounts that the Carib of Vie- 
ques assimilated with the western provinces, although they raided the 
Spanish settlements there, but that the inhabitants of eastern Porto 
Rico when discovered were partiality Carib can hardlj- be questioned. 

We have no definite information regarding the extent of prehistoric 
Carib raids on Porto Rico, but we may judge of their frequency by a 
few references to the Carib attacks after the Spaniards had made 
settlements on the island. In 1.520, according to a letter from Baltazar 
de Castro," 5 canoes of Carib, with 150 men, landed at the mouth of 
the Humacao, at the eastern end of the island, burned houses and 
killed several men, Spaniards and natives. In 1529, on the 18th of 
September, in the middle of the night, S great canoes of Carib entered 
the bay, or harbor, of San Juan, where they killed 3 negroes and 
caused great fear. In 1530 they made a descent with 500 men, in 11 
canoes, on the eastern end of the island, capturing and killing several 
men and women and carrying off' 25 negroes, who, it is supposed, were 
afterward eaten. 

In the reprisals against Vieques 15 or l(i Carib villages, each aver- 
aging 20 houses, were burned and 300 persons were killed, ] S large and 
20 small canoes being destroyed. In 1504 the Carib made a fierce 
attack on the pueblo Loisa and other places on the north coast of 
Porto Rico. 


Writers who followed Oviedo appear to have used his account indis- 
criminately in their descriptions of the mental and bodily character- 
istics of the islanders of Porto Rico, Haiti, and Cuba. Among these 
may be mentioned Ifiigo, Charlevoix, and perhaps Gomara. Fray 
Ifiigo says that the Indians of Porto Rico were copper-colored, short 

"See Inigo's Historia, cited in footnote, p. 20. 


in stature, well proportioned, with flat noses, wide nostrils, bad teeth, 
and a skull flat in front and rear, it heing pressed into shape at 
the time of their birth, and that tliev had lono-. thick, black, coarse 

Charlevoix saj-s:" "These islanders (Haitians) were of nicdiuni 
height, but well shajjen, their color a reddish, the face being gross 
and hideous, their nostrils verj^ open, the hair on the head long, but 
absent on the rest of the body, hardly any forehead, the teeth dirty 
and black, and an indescribable fierceness of the eyes. The color of 
the skin was partly due to a constant application of pigment and the 
heat of the sun, to which their naked bodies were always exposed. 
The}' flattened their heads by art, thus reducing the size of their fore- 
head, which pleased them greatly. To do this their mothers took care 
to hold them tightly pressed between their hands or between two little 
boards, which, by degrees, flattened the head, whereby the skull hard- 
ened in a molded shape. Their skulls were so thick that the Spaniards 
often broke their swords in hitting them. It is eas}^ to see that this 
operation changed the physiognoni}' entirely and contril)uted much to 
their ferocious appearance." 

Francisco Thamara,* who wrote in 1556, says of the inhabitants of 
the West Indies, "lately discovered," that "the natives have a chest- 
nut color and are of less stature than the Spaniards. They have nar- 
row foreheads, made so artificially by pressure on the sides of the 
head, so that the eyes protrude. The nostrils are wide open and the 
whites of their e^^es somewhat pronounced. They have no beards, and 
their bodies for the most part are hairless. Thev have straight black 
hair, fine and well cared for, but do not have good teeth, on account of 
the cooked bread and roots which thej' eat." 

No well-authenticated skulls and skeletons from prehistoric Porto 
Rico have yet been described, and Init few skeletal remains have been 
found in the adjacent islands, Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica,'' Until mate- 
rial of this kind is available it is not possible to form an}- definite 
ideas on this subject. According to Bachiller y Morales, human bones 
have been found by Andres Stanislas in Porto Rico, and the author 
has been informed that human skulls and bones, exhumed from caves 

aPierre Francois Xavier tic Charlevoix, Histoire de I'lsle Espagnole ou de S. Domingue, i, ii, 
Paris, 1730. This valuable account of the neighboring island of Espanola or .Santo Domingo, now 
Haiti, said to have heen written by Fere, is one of the most important works on the early history and 
the aborigines of Santo Domingo. 

''Libro de las Costvmbres de Todas las Gentes del Mvndo y de las Indias, Tradvzido y Copilado 
por el Bachiller Francisco Thamara Cathedatico de Cadis, p. 1-350, Antwerp, 1556. This rare book is 
mainly a compilation from Ovicdo in American matters, dealing especially with the customs of the 
aborigines of Espanola. It has much value, considering the probability that the author obtained 
information at first hand from those who had lately been in the West Indies, and contains some 
material not elsewhere mentioned. 

c Senor Neumann mentions skulls found in the Cueva del Consejo by Hjalmarson and carried to the 
museum of Stockholm. He mentions also the finding of others by Pinart. The author has found 
several fragments of Indian skulls in his excavations near Utuado, but these are too incomplete for 


and burial inouncls in the region about Arecil)o. have been earried to 
Europe; it is hoped that, if descriptions of them have not yet appeai'ed, 
they will soon be pulilished. 

^Vhilo osteological data from Porto Rico arc very scanty, we arc not 
wholly ignorant of Borinquen somatology. The several skulls from 
Cuba, Haiti, and the Bahamas that have been described afford a good 
idea of the craniological characters of the same race/' 

Several aboriginal skulls have been discovered and descril)ed liy 
Poey, Montone, and other Cuban somatologists. Some of these crania 
now in the University Museum and the Royal Academj' at Havana^ 
are incrusted with limestone, and bear every evidence of great age. 
Certain Lncayan skulls examined by Prof. W. K. Brooks'' "are arti- 
ficially flattened to so great an extent that the distinction between the 
frontal and the coronal portion of the frontal bone is obliterated, the 
male skulls being somewhat more flattened than the female."' The 
probabilities are that the Porto Rican Indian crania will be found to 
resemble those of the other islanders, the essential measurements of 
which are recorded in the works mentioned.. The accompanying illus- 
tration (plate i) represents two aboriginal skulls from the eastern end 
of Haiti. 

As the island Vieques and possibly Culebra. both of which are now 
parts of our West Indian colony, were inliabited b\' Carib, and as 
Carib features were prominent in the eastern parts of Porto Rico, a 
description of the l)odily features of these Indians naturallj' interests 
the student of the anthropology of oui- island possessions. Davies in 
1666 gave the following accoimt of the physical features of these Indians: 
"The Caribl)eans are a handsome, well-shaped jieople, of a smiling 
countenance, middle stature, having broad shoulders and high buttocks; 
. . . their mouths are not over large, and their teeth are perfectly 
white and close. True it is, their complexion is of an olive color, 
naturally; their foreheads and noses are flat, not naturally, but by 
artifice, for their mothers crush them down at their birth, as also 
during the time they suckle them, imagining it a kind of beaut}' and 
perfection. They have large and thick feet, because the}' go barefoot, 
but they are, withal, so hard that they defy woods and rocks. . . . 
They are great lovers of cleanliness, bathing every day; are generous 
and hospitable. . . . Like many natives, they eradicate the beard 

a A. C. Haddon, Note on the Craniology of the Aborigines of Jamaica. Journal of the Jnstitufe o/ 
Jamaica, II, no. 4, p. 23, 24, July, 1897. Sir William H. Flower, On Recently DiscoTcred Remains 
of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jamaica, Nature, Oct. 17, 189.1. 

Sciior Imbert has kindly sent the author a y>hotograph of undescribed prehistoric skulls from 
Haiti. (Plate i.) 

'■'These skulls, of which several wcro obtained," writes Ober, "are brachycephalic, having a 
ci'phalic index of about SK), one of them showing 93.75, another 90, and all with more or less pro- 
nounced frontal depressions, artificially produced." 

cOn the Lucayan Indians. Memoirs of National Academy of Sciences, 10th Memoir, iv, 215-223. 
Washington, D. C, 1889. 



and the hair un otlier parts of the body. . . . The}' compressed 
the skulls of the new-born infants, . . . dyeing their bodies with 
roucoii, which makes them red all over.''" 


Natives of the diti'erent islands, and even those of different parts of 
the same island, differed somewhat in disposition and character. Some 
were peaceful and guileless and received the Spaniards with feelings 
of reverence, believing they had descended from heaven. In other 
islands they fled, and in some the}' contested the landing of Columbus. 
In certain parts of Haiti, as in the province of Ciguex, the whole 
territory was devastated and the people were almost exterminated 
before they were subjugated. In the Cibao and Higuez provinces 
likewise the natives resisted with desperation. Henriquillo, the " last 
cacique" of Santo Domingo, was never subdued, but was given the 
pueblo Boya, north of the capital, where the descendants of the early 
natives still live. The aboriginal Porto Ricans also fought bravely 
for the possession of theii- island until overpowered l)y their foes. 

Of the mental and moral traits of the ancient Borinqueiios we may 
form a good judgment from early i-ecords. A sense of justice and 
traits of heroism, admirable in any race, were strong among these 
people and widely spread. No one who reads the Spanish records, 
which can hardly be called prejudiced in favor of the aborigines, can 
deny that these Indians were both hospital)le and generous. Regard- 
ing the Europeans as a race of supernatural lieings, they ]-eceived them 
with kindness, until forced to do otherwise in order to defend their 
own lives and those of their families. Several accounts tell how theft 
was regarded as a crime and severely punished. If we tind their lives 
sometimes spoken of as bestial we must l)ear in mind that these state- 
ments come from people who enslaved them. They were certainly 
not more cruel than those who oppressed them, nor less truthful than 
those who, under false promises, transported them from their homes 
into slavery. Benzoni states that some of the natives were called 
great thieves by the Spaniards, but he regarded the Indians in the 
main as honest. Columbus sa3's that they stole idols {semis) from one 
another; Oviedo declares that thieves were spitted on trees and left to 
die. The girls were not regarded as chaste by the Europeans, some 
of whom could hardly t)e called chaste themselves if judged liy their 
treatment of Indian women. Incest was unknown, but men were some- 
times used to gratify lust, in which case thev were dressed as women. 

Many of the natives exhibited ffne traits of character, no one more 

ajohn Davies, History of the Caribby Islands, pp. 1-35, London, 1666. For the character of this 
work see Buckingham Smith, Winsor, Field, and Mooney (Myths of the Cheroicee, lath Jieport of 
Bureau of American Etiinolorjii. p. 202). According to Field (Indian Vocabulary, p. 95), "It is a 
nearly faithful translation of H. Rochefort's Histoire Naturelle et Morale des lies Antille de I'Amer- 
ique, Rotterdam, 16.>8." Field says of this work that it is "fictitious in every part which was not 
purloined from authors whose knowledge furnished him with all in his treatise which was true." 


SO than Aguebana the elder, the cacique of the western end of the 
island. This chief was a friend of Ponce and apparently a fine type 
of Indian. His animosity ag-ainst the Spaniards was not so great as 
that of his brother, who a year or two after the first landing instigated 
the uprising which destroyed the Spanish settlement. No one can 
read the story of the Haitian chief Caonabo, of his perfidious capture, 
and later of his bearing before Columbus, without admiration, for such 
a man was cast in the same mold as those who are accounted heroes 
among all races. 

Francisco Thamara, who probably never visited America, and whose 
clerical ofiice would lead us to expect milder language, .says of the 
West Indian: "The race is vicious, hateful, lazy, cowardly, vile, of 
bad inclinations, liars, ungrateful, of short memories, no firmness, 
idolatrous, and given to abominable customs." This terrible indict- 
ment of a whole race, pul)lished in 1.55-i, after admitting that there 
are good Indians, was not shared by some other writers. A brighter 
picture js sliown in the exalted sentiments which Peter Martyr" 
ascribes to the aged Cuban councilor in his conversation with Colum- 
bus, given below; the reader may agree with the author that they 
contain much which is foreign to men of the state of culture of the 

I have been advised, most mighty prince, that you have of late with great power 
subdued many lands and regions heretofore unknown to you, and have lirought great 
fear on all the people and inhabitants thereof, which good fortune you will Ijear witli 
less insolency if you remember that the souls of men have two journeys after they are 
departed from this body; the one foul and dark, preiiared for such as are injurious 
and cruel to mankind; the other plea.sant and delightful, ordained for those who in 
their lifetime loved peace and quietness. If, therefore, you acknowledge yourself to 
be mortal, and consider that every man shall receive just rewards or punishments 
for such things as he hath done in this life, you will wrongfully hurt no man. 

Bernaldez, giving a somewhat different version, but still full of 
exalted sentiments, writes, in substance, as follows:^ 

He had known how the admiral was going about exploring all the islands in these 
parts and the continent (Cuba), and his being on the continent was known to them. 
He told the admiral that he must not be vainglorious because all people were afraid 
of him, for that he was mortal, like men; and he began by words and by signs to 
explain how men were born naked, and how they had an immortal soul, and that 
when any member was diseai3ed it was the soul that felt the pain; that at the time 
of death, and their separation from the body, these souls felt very great pain, and 
that they went to the King of the heavens and into the abyss of the earth according 
to the good or evil they had done and brought in the world. 

«The Famous Hiatorie of the Indies: Deolaring the Adventures of the Spaniards, which have con- 
quered those countries, with Varietie of Relation.s, of the Religions, Laws, Government-s. Manners, 
Ceremonies, Customs, Rites, Wars and Funerals of the People; Comprised into sundry decads, set 
forth in print by Mr Hakluyt. and now published by L. M. Gent, 2d ed., London. 1(>28. 

See also Nicolo Scillacio (1494 or 1495). This writer took his material almost wholly from the letters 
of Guillermo Coma. English translation by Rev. John Mulligan, New York, 18.59. 

''Both Peter Martyr's and Bernaldez's interpretation of the "aged councilor's" words are highly 
colored with their own thoughts, showing, possibly, as much prejudice in his favor as Thamara showed 
adverse prejudice in his indictment of the whole race. 



In the social organization of the alroriginal West Indians there was 
a clan chief, called by the Spaniards a cacique, who exercised the 
function of leader la peace and war and often served also as priest. 
The political was closely knit together with the religious leadership, 
and the caciques apparently performed both functions. The word 
cacique was applied to an}' leader or chief of the Indians, being used 
in an indefinite way by the earlj- Spaniards. Authority over the 
Indians, both secular and religious, was vested in chiefs of apparently 
ditierent grades, as heads of clans, chiefs of phratries, rulers of prov- 
inces, and even, it is said, a king, supreme ruler of the whole island. 
The names of several prominent caei((ues of Porto Rico are mentioned 
in the early histor}' of the island. 

This office was generally inherited l)y the eldest son, but in case a 
cacique had no sons it passed not to his brother's liut to his sister's 
son. If the office were inherited from the mother, tlie nearest relative 
of the mother received it, following the matriarchal right of succes- 
sion. Women caciques were recognized inl)oth Haiti and Porto Rico, 
but their true status in Antillean sociology', in all its details, is not 
known. The sister of a cacique sometimes received the office directly 
from her brother, l)ut this devolution of power was apparently unusual. 

Although the Porto Rican Indians had a number of chiefs, or 
caciques, of different grades of power, we have very limited knowledge 
of the so-called provinces of the island over which each ruled. We 
do know that each of the islands was probably divided into small 
caciquedoms, controlled by powerful caciques, and each province was 
subdivided into smaller divisions, comprising the inhabitants of val- 
leys and isolated pueblos, governed by subordinates. A cacique called 
Aguebana is commonly said to have been chief of the whole island of 
Porto Rico, Vint of his supreme power there is some question. 

As a rule each village seems to have had a chieftain or patriarchal 
head of the clans composing it, whose house was larger than the other 
eouses and contained tiie idols belonging to the families. The cacique, 
his numerous wives, and their children, brothers, sisters, and other kin- 
dred were a considerable population, often forming a whole village. 
In addition to the household of the chief, consisting of his wives and 
immediate relations, a prehistoric village ordinarily contained also 
men, women, and children of more distant kinship. Such a pueblo, 
for instance the village seen by Columbus on his second voyage and 
described by [Nlufioz, sometimes bore the same name as the cacique." 

a This pueblo was probably situated near Aguadllla. It is called by Stahl, whose error the present 
author has elsewhere repeated, the pueblo of Aguebana; but, as Brau has shown, there is no proof 
that Muiioz referred to the pueblo of this cacique. Foranother identification of the landing place of 
Columbus on his second voyage see Padre Jos<? Maria Xazario's Guayanilla y la Historia de Puerto 
Rico, Ponce, 1S93 See also Manuel Maria Sarnia, El Desembarco de Colon in Puerto Rico, Maya- 
guez, 1894. 

25 ETH— 07 3 


The fact that each chiii and each subdivision of a ehui had its chief, 
wiioiii, for want of a l)etter designation, the Spaniards sometimes called 
the caci(jue, partially explains the variation in the numhcr of caciques 
that diti'erent writers ascril)e to the island. 

Some of the more energetic of these clan chiefs had greater influ- 
ence than others; hut as the Spanish writers did not understand the 
social organization of the island, the\' supposed that it was divided into 
provinces, each ruled over by a special ruler who was subordinate to 
a king, or supreme cacique. Leagues of more or less strength were 
undoubtedly formed l»y the minor caciques for special purposes, such 
as resistance to a common foe, but such a union was loose and its 
organization feel)le. In their resistance to the Spaniards and Carib 
each cacique with his immediate followers acted practically on his 
own responsibility, independently lighting his t)wn l)attles, except in 
one or two rare instances, where there was a weak union. 

It is evident that a system of vassalage among chiefs was developed 
in all sections of the island, a kind of blood kinship by adoption. One 
of the most interesting methods of showing fealty and union between 
caciques was the custom of changing names, the participants becoming 
l)loo(l kin, called nataios. ^Ve have several recorded instances in 
early writings where Spaniards and cacitpies pi-actised this custom of 
name changing, the Eurojjean taking the name of the Indian, and vice 
versa. For instance. Ponce de Leon, in oi'der to cement his friendship 
with the natives, took the name of Aguebana from their chief, who in 
turn received that of Ponce, by which name he is known in early 
writings. The name of the cacique's mother was changed to the Span- 
ish Doiia Inez, and his brother took the name of a captain in Ponce de 
Leon's company. This change of name, accompanied with ceremo- 
nies, was a s3'mbol of continued friendship and was supposed to make 
the participants allies for all time. With the natives it was seriously 
respected, but among the Spaniards it was too often disregarded. 

The caciques were distinguished fi"om their people l)y their dress 
and adornments. According to Las Casas the Haitian men and 
women of the better class wore earrings as large as bi-;icclets, metal 
ornaments in their noses, and moon-shaped pendants on their lireasts. 
When they could afford it all these adornments were made of gold. 
They were accustomed to wear their hair long, tied in a knot on the 
forehead or buni'hed on the back of the head. Thej' sometimes put 
crowns or garlands on their heads and bracelets or plates of fine gold 
on their ankles and wrists, and had ornaments in the form of strings 
of fish bones and precious stones. The caciijues wore, as a symbol of 
their rank, suspended from the neck and hanging down oti the breast, 
a gold i)endant called a gnur'ni. 

In war the men donned all their jewelry and painted their bodies 
red with a vegetable dj'e called hifa. At this time also they wore 


amulets — small images representing idols — on their t'ureiieads. Those 
in the foremost rank were armed with stone-headed lances or wooden 
spears, the points of which were hardened hy tire. Tliey carried clul>s 
and bows and arrows, and were led into battle b\' some of their num- 
ber who blew horns made of large conch shells. Although preferring 
a life of peace, they were courageous and. when necessary, willing to 
die for their homes and native land. 

Bernaldez has given a \ery good account of the dress and character- 
istic regalia of a Cuban cacique during a state visit paid to Columbus: 

The cacique wore suspended from his neck a trinket made of copper, which is brought 
from a neighboring island." . . . He wore a string of marble beads . . . and 
on his head a large open crown'' of very small green and red stones disposed in order 
and intermixed with larger white stones so as to look very well. He had sus- 
pended over his forehead a large jewel [probably a frontal amulet], and from his 
ears hung two large plates of gold, with rings of very small beads; althcmgli naked, 
ha had a girdle'' (if the same workmanship as the crown, all the rest of the body 
being uncovered. 

The dress of the wife of the Cuban cacique, who came to see the 
Europeans at the same time, is thus described by Bernaldez: 

His wife was adorned in a similar manner, but was naked, except so much of her 
person as was covered by a bit of cotton not larger than an orange leaf. She wore 
upon her arms, just below the shoulders, a roll of cotton like the sleeves of the 
ancient French doublets, aud another similar roll, but larger, on each leg below the 
knee — like the anklets of tlie Moorish women. The older and more beautiful of 
the daughters was entirely naked, wearing only a girdle of stones of a single color, 
black and very small, from which hung .something, of the shape of an ivy leaf, of 
green and red <* stones embroidered iipon cotton cloth. 


As already stated, there existed in prehistoric Borinquen a number 
of provinces, or caciquedoms, over each of which ruled a cacique, 
with subordinate chiefs, also called caciques, wlio were heads of 
families, or allied niitaici, composed of their blood kindred, and their 
slaves and dependents. The geographical position of some of these 
provinces is shown in a general way, by the names applied to moun- 
tains on old maps, and these names are generally the same as tliose of 

The foremost caciques of the island of Porto Rico are known as 
Aguebana (Agueynaba)'' the First and Aguebana the 8econd, two 

a The ornament, as above stated, was usually of gold and was called a guaritr. 

ftTo Columbus was later given one of these crowns, which he carried to Spain. 

c We find these girdles repeatedly mentioned in early accounts, where it is said that they were so 
highly prized that they were regarded as a worthy present for CoUimbus. In a way, this object may 
be compared with tlie wampum of the North American Indians, but there is no reason to believe 
that the West Indians regarded it as tlie InKiunis and other nations of North America did wampum. 
Among other ornaments worn by the Indians should be mentioned necklaces of living fireflies, which 
the natives called eocniya, a name still current in the island. 

d Possibly the red seeds now used in Porto Rico for necklaces. 

eThe prefix a in the name of this cacique, as in that of tlie mountains, is often dropped. 


brothers who figure conspicuously in the earlj' history- of the conquest 
of the island. Their territory extended along the southern coast of the 
island from the Coaiuo, or Yauco, river to the Jacaque, or Xacaque, 
comprising approximately the land from the bay of Guanica to the 
present village of Juana Diaz. It included not only the land along the 
southern coast but also the mountainous area tliat bears on early maps 
the names Guebana or Xacagua. Their province, following tlie gen- 
eral law, bore the name of the ruler. 

When Ponce de Leon first visited Porto Rico he landed in the terri- 
torj' of Aguebana the First, who received him hospitably, showing 
him the country and the different rivers of the island. Ponce, follow- 
ing an Indian custom above mentioned, exchanged names with Ague- 
bana, the Spaniard giving the name Dona Inez to the native's mother, 
and Don Francisco to his father. Ponce also showed his esteem for 
a brother of the cacique by giving him the name Luis de Anasco. 
The mother of Aguebana was friendly- to the whites and gave her son 
good advice, which he dutifully followed, leading Oviedo to say that 
had these two lived there would have been no trouble with the 
Indians. When Ponce returned to the island in the following year he 
found that his friend Aguebana the First had died and his brother had 
inherited the oflice of cacique. But the character of this brother was 
less peaceful. Possibly he may have ))een exasperated by the wrongs 
enforced upon him and for this reason resisted the encroachments of 
the Spaniards on his island. 

In the division of natives Aguebana the Second was given to Chris- 
topher Sotomayor, who came to Borinquen with Ponce on his second 
visit and founded a Spanish colony near Guanica. This settlement 
was situated in Aguebana's territorj', but the colonists were soon 
obliged to abandon it on account of mosquitoes and move to the 
northwest coast, near where Aguada now stands. At first all went 
well and Aguebana the Second exchanged names with Christopher 
Sotomayor and the former's sister became the mistress, although the 
cacique may have regarded her as the wife, of the Spaniard. 

No sooner had the settlement been made in the island than trouble 
began with the Indians, and as time went on the conditions became 
such that the latter rose the Spaniards. Oviedo, who has 
given the Spanish version of the causes which brought about the trou- 
ble, blames the natives, and has recorded some of the worst acts of the 
Indians leading up to it, but anyone can read between the lines that 
the deeds of the cacique were retaliations for provocations which drove 
him to hostility. 

Sotomayor was informed by his mistress that her l)rother was hos- 
tile and intended to kill him, burn his .settlement, and drive his colo- 
nists out of the island. Apparently not much faith was put in this 
warning until it was learned, shortly afterwaid, that the Indians had 
sent out invitations to a war dance. It w'as customarv for the natives 


in these war dances, called are/'to.s, to reveal the purpose of the war 
and to enact scenes characteristic of such conflicts. Knowing this 
custom, and having been told of the invitation, Sotomayor sent a spj' 
to discover what was to happen. At this point appears Juan Gonzales, 
called b^' Oviedo a servant {cr/ii(/or), b}' others a soldier of SotoniaA'or. 

Gonzales attended the d/vito, disguised and painted as an Indian, 
took part in it, and. having learned the intention of Aguel)ana by 
seeing tlie events enacted in the cei'cnionial dramatization, returned 
to Sotomayor to confirm the report that the intention of the Indians 
was to kill him. Even then Sotomayor apparently was not wholly con- 
vinced of the unfriendly intentions of the natives, or possibly felt him- 
self able to resist them if they made any hostile move. Followed bj^ 
several of his men, he started for an Indian settlement in the neigh- 
borhood of the old Indian village, fluan Gonzales, who was one of 
the followers of Sotomayor, was overtaken by the hostiles and wounded 
by them. He escaped death by promising Agucbana to become his 
slave. But Aguebana pursued Sotoma\'or antl killed him with his 
macaiia, or war club. 

After slaying Sotomaj'or, however, Aguelmna repented iiaving 
spared Juan Gonzales ami returned to kill him also, but this man had 
hidden in the woods, from which he ultimately escaped, making his 
way over the Xacagua mountains to a ranch called Coa, where he 
reported to the Spaniards settled at that place what had happened. 
Later Gonzales went to Caparra, the old settlement of San Juan, 
where Ponce then was, bearing to the governor news of the death of 
Sotomayor and of the plight of the latter's followers. 

In his account of this event Oviedo says that Juan Gonzales thought 
he was at Utuo (Utuado) when he reached the ranch Coa (Toa Alta), 
but later remembered that Utuao" was in hostile territory, it being situ- 
ated in the caciquedom of Guarionex, who at that time was on the 
war path with 3,000 warriors, intending to take part with Aguebana 
the Second in the destruction of Sotomayor's colony near Aguada. 

The above-recorded event prompts one to more than a passing- 
interest in Juan Gonzales. Who was he? Oviedo writes that Gonzales 
was very familiar with the Indian language, which is significant, for 
at the time when the tragedy above mentioned occurred the Spaniards 
had been in the western settlements or, indeed, on the island of Porto 
Rico, only about a year or two. The questions naturally arise how and 
where did he become a "good interpreter? " Where did he learn the 
language J It might be suggested that he had picked it up in Santo 
Domingo, but there are some other circumstances which maj' be men- 
tioned as bearing on his nationality. When Aguebana the Second 
attempted to kill Gonzales before the death of Sotomayor, Gonzales 
begged for his life, promising that he would be the cacique's vassal. 

a Utuao is evidently the site of the modern town or district Utuado. 

38 THE ABORIGINES OF PoRTO RICO [eth. ann. 25 

It is iiicompreheii.sil)le that a S})unish soldier sliould liave spolten thus 
to an Indian cafi((ue ur that a European would have l)eoii allowed to take 
part in an Indian <treito undetected, especially one in which the plan of 
a canipaiji-n against Sotomayor was made known. Could Gonzales have 
disguised himself with paint at that time? 

The flight of Juan Gonzales over the mountains inaplies a knowl- 
edg-e of the island which an Indian might have had, and on the old 
maps the range of mountains which Gonzales entered after he left the 
Xacag'ua range are called the Juan Gonzales or Toa" mountains. Most 
of the other great mountain chains are named after Indian caci((ues, 
but these mountains received their name from Juan Gonzales. It is 
generally agreed that he was a Spaniard, but that the rugged moun- 
tains through which he ran, wounded and exhausted, after the death 
of Sotomayor, bear the Spanish name of an Indian cacique. Addi- 
tional information regarding Juan Gonzales's nativity and early career 
would be interesting. 

Aguebana the Second was probably killed Ity Juan Ponce, a Spanish 
soldier, who is reported to have shot an unknown Indian wearing a 
cacique's badge, in a battle whic!- occurred at the mouth of the Yauco 
river, on the southern side of Porto Rico. There was no way of 
determining, at the time of the deed, who this cacique was, but Ague- 
bana was never heard of in subsequent hostilities against the Spaniards. 

According to Las Casas, there was still another cacique named 
Aguebana, who lived on the neighboring island of Haiti. As his 
realm was situated at the end of that island or across the strait immedi- 
ately opposite western Porto Rico, it is probable that he was lelated 
to Aguebana of Porto Rico. The identity of the two names implies 
similarity in the languages of the two islands. 

After Sotomayor's death the settlement founded in the neighborhood 
of Culebrinas river was destroyed, and a new colon}- was started in 
the caciqucdom of Aymamon, a name still attaching to the mountains 
of that territory. The chief whose name it bore, like Aguebana the 
Second, was hostile to the Spaniards, and in an account given of the 
event which immediatelj' preceded the uprising against Sotomayor 
we find this record: The cacique A^-mamon captured a boy 16 years 
old, son of Pedro Juarez, and tied him to a tree while a game of l)all 
was going on. He oti'ered the boy to the winner of the game as a 
prize, with permission to kill him in any wa^' desired. A servant 
gave information to the father of his son's peril, and Salazai- rushed 
to the aid of the youth and killed 300 of the assembled Indians. The 
chronicler Oviedo, M'ho tells the story, has possibly exaggerated the 
num))er slain, but that many were killed is without doubt. From that 
time Salazar was regarded with mortal fear by all the natives, and 
his deed called for revenge on their part. Such an event would 

aToa means "a frog," also "mother" or "breasts;" there are two Porto Rican towns named, 
re:peciivcl.v, Toa AltaandToa Baja. Certain tbree-pointed zemis are called loall bySenor Cambiaso. 


naturiiUy drive the Indians to war, but tiie darkest part of the whole 
stoi"3' is that we have only the Spanish record to indicate the purpose 
of Ayniamon in tying the boy to the post. \A'ho shall prove that the 
cacique had any such design as the chronicler states!: 

Notwithstanding the slaughter of his subjects, Aymamon sought to 
make friendship with the settlers at Sotomuyor, especially Salazai-. 
and sent Indians to ask him to come to the cacique's ranch near 
Sotomayor, on the Culel)rinas river. He stated that he wished to 
become a blood brother of the Spaniard and to change names with 
Salazar, believing that he could thereby obtain his friendship, possibly 
his magic. After Ayniamon had taken the name great power was 
imputed to liini. and for years the name Salazar was a terror among 
the Indians. 

The northeastern part of the island formed a caciquedom called 
Loisa, from an Indian chieftainess who I'eceived this European name 
when she was converted to Christianit}', shortly after the settlement of 
Caparra. She was killed by Carib from Vieques in a raid which they 
made into her territories under a cliief named Ciuarabo, to avenge the 
death of his brother, Carimar, who had l)een killed by the Spaniards. 

The province of Yagueca, a name now perpetuated in the name 
Mayaguez. was the territory of the chief Urayoan. It apparently 
included all the middle part of the western end of Porto Rico, from 
the Uraj'oan mountains to the sea on the east. The cacique Urayoan, 
called also Rroyuan, is said to have adopted drastic measures to dis- 
prove the report circulated among the Indians that the Europeans 
were immortal. Having entertained a Spaniard named Salcedor, he 
afterward caused him to l)e carried to the river and drowned. The 
Spaniard not coming to life, the cacique summoned Indians to survej- 
the corpse and see that the Sj)aniard was mortal like themselves. 

The caciquedom of Guarionex lay in the mountains east of those of 
Aymamon and Trayoan, and west of the site of the present town 
Utuado, which was in his domain. Little seems to be recorded of this 
caci(|ue except that he was of Carib extraction and tiiat he marshaled 
3,UU0 warriors and destroyed the pue})lo of Sotomay(U-. The moun- 
tains west of Utnado are named Guarionex mountains on the older 
maps, probably from the former caci(|ue of this region. The j)rovince 
o\ er which he ruled was apparenth' known as Utuao, a name whicii 
survives in that of the present settlement Utuado. 

There was also a cacique named Guarionex in Haiti, whose name is 
frequently mentioned in the earl\' history of that island, but whether 
the Porto Rican Guarionex is the same as the Haitian is not known. 
This similarity in names of Haitian and Porto Rican caciques occurs 
fre(|uently. Some caciques, as Caonabo, of Managua, are distinctly 
stated to have been of Carib descent. These facts show that in many 
instances Carib leaders became rulers over portions of the islands 


which they conquered. Caciques of both Haiti and Porto Rico with 
the same names are often said to be of Carib descent. 

The attack by Guarionex on the pueblo of Sotomayor took place on 
the night following the death of Sotomayor, and although the pueblo 
was ably defended by Salazar, hero of the event above recorded, he 
was forced to retire after astonishing the Indians with his feats of 
valor. The survivors went to Caparra, the first capital of Porto Rico, 
and there joined Ponce de Leon, the governor of the island. 

A cacique called ^Nlabodamaca ruled a province in the eastern end of 
the island, possibly Humacao, where a modern town of the same name 
now stands. 

The Carib of Vieques assisted Aguebana the Second in his resist- 
ance to the Spaniards at the battle near the mouth of the Coavuco, 
and it is probable that Mabodamaca, who may have had Carib ances- 
tors, invited the Carib to aid in that battle. Previous to the coming 
of the Spaniards the Carib had raided Porto Rico for many j-ears, 
and the Borinquefios of the eastern end of the island had received a 
greater infusion of Carib blood than the natives of the western end. 
If Mabodamaca was a»Carib chief he would naturally have enlisted his 
kindred, the Vieques Carib, against the Spaniards, as allies of his 
friends and relatives. The whole eastern extremity of Porto Rico had 
practicall3' been conquered by the Carib from the Lesser Antilles, as 
the name of the mountains on older maps implies. 

After having defeated the second Aguebana and his Carib allies at 
the mouth of the Coayuco river, Ponce hoard through spies of an 
uprising at Humacao, where many Carib had joined the Borinquefios. 
As the Indians had divided into two parties Ponce sent Salazar with 
600 men against jNIabodamaca, who had separated from the others. 
The Spaniards in this encounter killed 150 of the enemy, including 

Two caciques named Yuhubo or Juarebo (Guarabo) and Cacimar, 
said to be brothers, were Carib rulers of Vieques island. The latter 
was killed ])y the Spaniards in one of the Carib raids on Porto Rico. 
Subsequently his friends avenged his death a few miles from the 
present town of Carolina, at which time they also killed the famous dog 
called Becerrillo, which had been l)rought to Porto Rico from Santo 
Domingo when Ponce sought aid from the latter island against Ague- 
bana the Second, and which the Indians much feared. 

This account of the political divisions of prehistoric Porto Rico and 
of historical episodes in which caciques figured does not lav claim to 
be more than an outline sketch, for the subject has been given in 
great detail by many historians, among whom ma}' be mentioned 
Inigo Abbad," Salvador Brau,'' and Doctor Stahl.'' 

o Uistoria Geogrifica, Civil y Natural de la Isla de San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, Puerto 
Rico, 1SC6. 
b Puerto Rico y su Historia, Valencia, 1894. 
t^Los Indies Borinqueiios, Estudios Etnogrsificos, Puerto Rico, 1889. 



The houses of the aborig-insil Porto Ricaiis were like those of the 
Haitians and not very ditfercnt from tlie cabins of the poorer people 
of the island to-day. especially those in the mountains, where old types 
of construction still survive. Naturally modern cabins present'many 
modifications, as the use of iron nails in fastening the beams, but the 
materials used in construction arc practically the saiue, and the old 
architectural types are still followed in modern dwellings. As a rule 
these houses, as at the present day, were erected on hillocks, almost 
hidden by trees, and conuuonly remote from one another. Archi- 
tectural modifications are necessarily greatest near the cities and 
towns, and on the outskirts of the cities, in the poorer quarters, there 
are generally rows of similar cabins of primitive construction, forming 
streets. Here the houses are constructed of modern building materials; 
their roofs are covered with tiles or sheets of metal from old oil cans, 
replacing the palm leaves, which are not there available for the purpose. 
But these houses, like those in the country, are frequentlj' mounted 
on posts, with their floors raised from the ground, being universally 
destitute of cellars. 

We have in the early Spanish writers several descriptions of the 
houses of the West Indian aborigines. The account of the habitations 
of the Haitians given by Oviedo, accompanied by pictures, applies 
equally well to the houses of the ancient Porto Ricans. It is stated 
by early writers that the natives lived in pueblos or villages situated 
along the shore or in the hills, as well as in isolated cabins scattered 
through the mountains. 

Altliough no sufiicient evidence has yet been presented to prove 
that the prehistoric people of Porto Rico lived in caves, many aborig- 
inal relics occur in these places. The natives are said to have inhab- 
ited caverns after the advent of Europeans, and Oviedo speaks of 
certain people in the province of Gaucayarima, in Haiti, who lived in 
subterranean dwellings, declaring that they were ignorant of agricul- 
ture, subsisted on the fruits and roots which nature provided, built no 
houses, and had no other habit^itions. He regarded this race of true 
cave dwellers as the most savage in the island of Haiti. While tiie 
existence of cave dwellers in the neighboring islands, Cuba and Haiti, 
might lead to the conjecture that there were also cave people in Porto 
Rico, when Columbus discovered the island the majority of the inhali- 
itants were not troglodytic, but lived in the open country and resorted 
to the numerous caves only for sepulture of the dead or for religious 
rites. If there were cave dwellers, we may justly regard them as sur- 
vivors of the most archaic race that inhabited the island. 

Muiioz" has given us a good description of one of the villages at the 

ajuan Bautista Mufloz, Historia del Nuevo Mundo, Madrid, 1793. 


western end of Porto Rico, discovered bj- Columbus during his second 
voj'age. The houses composino- this pueblo were, he says, arranged 
about a central inclosure or plaza, from which there extended to the 
shore a double row of palisades inclosing a passageway covered with 
boughs and ending in an elevated lookout near the seashore. This 
latter .structure was larger and higher than tlio other houses and 
apparently circular in form. 

Clusters of mounds are found iu the neighborhood of the inclosures, 
surrounded by standing stones, called the ji/cgosdebola, or ball courts, 
remains of many of which are still found in the interior of the island. 
These mounds may have been sites of houses ai'ranged about the 
inclosures, and there may have been a central structure larger than and 
in form different from the smaller dwellings clustered about it. If this 
were true, each of the smaller cabins in these clusters was probablj- 
peopled by one clan or phratry, and the larger central house served as 
the temple where the idols and ceremonial objects were kept, and 
where the head of the clan, called the cacique, resided. There is good 
evidence that in everj' pueblo one house, different from the rest, was 
always set apart for religious purposes, and in this house idols and 
other paraphei'iialia of worship were always kept. 

The other hovises were habitations of the people, and were apparently 
of two forms, circular and rectangular, these types being constructed 
of similar material, so put together that they closely resembled each 
other in general character. 

Herrera" thus describes the houses of the primitive inhabitants of 
Espanola, or Haiti: 

Each oacique lias a liuuse apart from those of the people, where there are certain 
figures of stone, wood, or painting worked in relief, which they call Ce7nis. In this 
house they do nothing but hold services to these Cemis, performing ceremonies and 
prayers which correspond to the worship in churches. 

Within this "temple" they have a small, well-made table (tabla), round i]i form, 
on which are placed certain powders with which they sprinkle the lieails of the 
images with definite ceremonies, and with a cane of two branches, which they place 
in their nostrils, they snuff up this powder; the words they say no Spanianl under- 
stands. . . . They affix to these figures the name.s of their ancestors. . . . 
Certain Castilians, desiring to see the mysteries of their altars, went into one of 
these houses, and immediately the Ceriii spoke in their tongue, from which deception 
they learned that the idol was artificially made, and the statue was hollow, from 
behind which there was a hollow cane extending to a corner of the " church," where 
a person was hidden. The responses were made by this person through the tube. 

Oviedo gives a description of the architecture of the aboriginal 
houses of the Haitians, which probably applies to those of the natives 

(' Descripci6n de las Iiidias Occidentales, decade I. book iii, chap. 3, p. 67, Madrid, 1730. Antonio 
de Herrera, wiio was born in 1565 and died in 16'J5 at the age of 60 years, was appointed historiogra- 
pher of the Indies by King Ferdinand II. His gre'at work in the judgment of st.ime writers is largely 
a triinslati<jn of Las Casas. but he bad aecess to .Spanish archives, whicli gave it special value. .See 
also Herrora"s Deseripeion de la Isla de Puerto Rieo, 1582; and Jlolctin de la Sociedad Geoprdfica de 
Mitdrkl. 1.S76. 





of Porto Rico. The followin<»- account is taken almost verbatim from 
this description: 

The Indians of Haiti caUed their houses huhios^ cnneyea, and eracras^ 
and constructed them in two ways, according to the wish of the 
builder. One kind (figure 1) was circular, the supporting posts being 
set in the earth -t or 5 feet apart, forming a circle. The roof was sup- 
ported by poles which converged at the apex and rested on the upright 
beams, being- tied to the tops of the uprights. They formed rafters, 
connected by cane stalks, upon which were placed a covering of leaves. 

Certain Indian houses, called cnney, were thatched with the leaves 
of the hihacM or with cane stalks; others with palm leaves or other 
materials. The walls of this type were made of canes fastened above 
to the connecting ))eams and buried 
in the earth below', all bound together 
witli flexible fibers. A caney was cir- 
cular, with pointed roof, and desti- 
tute of windows, the light being ad- 
mitted through the door. It is said 
to have had greater strength than the 
rectangular type, resisting better the 
terrific winds which sometimes blow 
over the island. 

The second type (figure 2) had a 
square or a rectangular shape, but 
was built of the .same kind of material 
as the former. Descriptions and fig- 
ures of houses of this kind indicate 

xi J. xl II • 1 1 Fig. 1. Circular li' lit i' rMvir.lMi. 

that they had wmdows, doors, an 

A-shaped roof, and a small porch. In the figures given in Oviedo of 
l)oth kinds of houses, l)alls are represented along the ridge pole or at 
the point of the roof. These may have been weights, and it is interest- 
ing to compare them with the spherical stones found near village sites. 
^Modern cabins in Porto Rico resemble the second rather than the 
first type of ancient dwellings, but differ from l)oth in this detail of 
architecture. These modern structures are often raised on posts above 
ground, although examples are common where there are no side walls, 
the roof extending to the ground. The author has seen at different 
points on the island a few circular cabins resembling somewhat the 
eaiK'ij as it is desci'il)ed. Of modei-n cabins there are several types, of 
which the following- mav be mentioned: 


Thatched with Ctkasses 

On plate ii («) is represented a building at Luquillo in process of 
construction, showing the framework without covering, before the 
thatch has been tied to the roof or upright beams. All the rafters 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

have not yet been tied or nailed to the beams, but there are posts at 
the four corners which are stouter than the rest. The beams used in 
construction are rough, undressed logs, and there is no attempt at 
hewing or planing them. The pile of straw on the ground is thatch, 
later used to cover roof and walls. 

The next picture (plate ii, J), representing a partially completed 
building, is situated in a small fishing village not far from Barceloneta, 
at the mouth of the ]\Ianati river. It has the thatch tied to the side 
beams forming the walls and on the raftei's forming the roof. The 
figure shows the care that is used in the arrangement of the thatch 
and its attachment to the framework of the building. 

The next illu'^tration (plate ii, c;), representing a partially constructed 
building near Barceloneta, shows the method of tying this thatch to 

the side beams and to the 
rafters. The thatch is 
arranged in bundles, as 
shown in the figure, at- 
tached directly to the 
rafters, and held in place 
by rods fastened a few 
inches below the points 
of attachment. 

The next step in the 
construction of this house 
would be to lay another 
course of the thatch 
higher up than that 
shown in the last figure, 
and so in succession until 
the ridgepole is reached. When the different courses are all tied in 
place, the loose hanging ends of the lowest course are trimmed to a 
proper length with a sharp knife. In attaching the thatch, the courses 
on the sides of the house begin near the ground at the base of the 
wall, but the first of those on the roof is at the caves. Each successive 
course is laid above the course last preceding in both instances. 

A completed cabin is shown in the accompanying picture (plate ii, 
d^ e), taken from a photograph of buildings situated near the last. 
To prevent leakage at the ridgepole, it is often customary to lay 
along the top of the roof a row (jf palm leaves bent at an angle, as 
shown in the fisfure. 

!>?J 'i ■• - ^S.|*i^^-**' ' '■^■' xi^^- ^ *^^ 

Fig. 2. Kectangular house (after Oviedtj). 

Thatched with Palm Leaves 

Here and there on the island, but less commonly than the first- 
mentioned type, we find houses covered with the sheaths of palm leaves, 
called >/i/;/f!(is. No thatch is employed in cabins of this type, although 
the method of construction resembles that mentioned above. One 


of these pahii-thuU'Licd cabins (plate iv, c) di tiers from those above 
mentioned rather in materials used than in method of construction. 

AViTH Palm Leaves ox Walls, and Straw-thatched Roofs 

A large number of houses have the walls covered with the sheaths 
of palm leaves (//'''/""■'>•), vvhile the roof is made of thatch (plate iii). 
It will be noticed that there are no windows in many of these houses, 
all the light entering through the open door; this aperture is closed 
at night, howevei', the natives of Porto Rico almost without exception 
having the idea that night air is injurious." 

With Slabs of Palm Wood ox Walls 

Houses of a fourth kind (plates iv, /», and v) have flat slabs of palui 
MOod instead of the i/<i<j>ia and thatch on the sides, the roof being 
sometimes constructed of the former, sometimes of the latter matei-ial. 
Many examples of this type were observed in which half (jf the walls 
were covered with palm boards and the remaining half with yagua, 
w hich is evidently a modern innovation, in one of these the door is 
made of palm leaves, as shown in plate in, <(. 

A still further moditication, regarded as more recent still, is the 
substitution for palm leaves of plates from kerosene cans, a mod- 
ern innovation that is especially conunon near the larger towns. A 
number of buildings with oil-can roofs may be seen at the small but 
characteristic pueldo of Cataiio, opposite San Juan. 

The accompanying figure (plate iv, «, a') represents a row of houses 
near Arecibo, where many of the roofs were made of corrugated iron 
plates. These buildings are situated on sand dunes overlooking the 
Atlantic, and are inlialiited liy negroes and the poorer natives, mostly 
fishermen. All the methods of construction are found in rows of 
houses in different towns on the island, as Lu([uillo, Caguas. and on 
the bluS's at Arecibo. 

While there is a resemblance in certain modern Porto Rican houses to 
those of prehistoric times, as described by Oviedo and others, this like- 
ness does not hold in details. The round type, ovcaney, once conmion 
among the Indians, has almost disappeared, being rarely found on the 
island. Although the kind of material used for the side walls is identical 
in ancient and modern houses, it is not attached to the beams in the 
same manner. In both old and new houses, especially in the latter, 
there is sometimes an elevation of the floor above the ground; the 
explanation connnoidy given for this feature is that it is a way of 
avoiding dampness and noxious insects. The most primitive cabins in 
I'orto Rico have no elevated wooden floors, but the ground itself 
serves as the floors of the habitations. The custom of raising the 

aTo walk in the moonlight bareheaded is likewise regarded as unhealthful. It is no uncommon 
sight to see persons on clear nights with umbrellas spread for protection, possibly from heavy dews. 

46 THE ABORIGINES OE PORTO RICO [etii. ann. i;."; 

lloor above the ground probably arose at a tiuic when the people lived 
along the shore, possibly in lagoons where pile dwellings were a 
necessity, as the}' are to-day among the Warraus, inhabiting the delta 
of the Orinoco. These frail modern dwellings, constructed after the 
same type as the aboriginal, are well adapted to the climatic and other 
conditions of the island, which fact is supposed to account for their 

Apparently no remains of extensive prehistoric stone and adobe 
structures exist on the island of Porto Kico, and the same is true of Cuba 
and Haiti, where Indian ruins of stone or adobe walls have never been 
observed. This absence of permanent buildings has weight in theories 
of the origin of the aborigines, for if their ancestors came from Yuca- 
tan we should expect evidences of a survival of the stone-building 
habit, for which the Maj'a and kindred Yucatan Indians were famous. 
In the valley of the Orinoco and its tributaries, where there is build- 
ing material identical \\ith that used by the natives in Porto Kico, stone 
houses were unknown, and the architecture of houses in that region is 
practically the same as in the West Indies; this resemlilance is one of 
the mail}' which can be advanced to indicate kinship of the people of 
South America with those of Porto Rico. 

The most alxjriginal of tlie above-mentioned types of Porto Kican 
cabins are those whose walls and roofs are made of thatch and palm 
leaves .(plate vi); others are modern innovations. These types of 
dwelling are not confined to Poi'to Kico or to the West Indies, but 
occur likewise in the tropical parts of South America, where they are 
the common forms of dwellings inhabited by very poor people, whether 
Indian, negro, or white. But they ai'e found only where certain 
building material is available and although contined to no race or 
people are limited to certain latitudes. Although they are so widely 
distril)uted they retiect the environment of the tropical geographical 
localities in which they occur as truly as do the adobe dwellings of the 
pueblos of the southwestern ])arts of the United States that arid habi- 
tat. Like these latter dwellings, thi'y are exact copies of aboriginal 
structures or are little changed survi\als of a prehistoric style of 
architecture which material at hand and climate have shown to be the 

In order to oiitain information regarding variations from the types 
described in the other parts of the West Indies the author examined 
cabins of Indians, blacks, and whites of the poorer classes in several 
islands, as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the Lesser Antilles. 
In the latter he found cabins st' . inhabited by Indians constructed in 
the same way and of like or identical materials. Many of these were 
reputed to be; very old and to liave been continuously inhabited by 
many generations of al)origines. At the settlement of Ariniii. in 
Trinidad, several families, survivors of the Indian poi)ulation of that 


isliuid. still live in cabins (plate ^ii, a, !') that are thatehed in the 
same manner as those of Porto Kico. They ditier as a rule in one 
important particular, tlue, no tloubt, to local conditions. The cabins of 
the Arinia Indians have a protected portion not inclosed liy walls but 
covered by an extension of the roof, serving as a cooking place. 
Neither this part nor the adjoining room has other than a dirt floor, 
like the Porto Rican cabin. Life in both ihvellings, judged from a 
civilized standard, is very primitive; and it is not too much to say that 
the cabin and its contents of the Gibaros or natives living to-day in 
the mountains of Porto Rico are no advance on the caneijs or hah ion of 
the prehistoric inhabitants. The prehistoric peoj^le of Porto Rico had 
a low cultural development, but possessed decorated potterv, orna- 
mented pestles, beautifully carved wooden seats, finely made baskets, 
and delicately woven hammocks. There were many evidences of art, 
grotes([ue though it was, in the home of the native. In the modern 
cal)in there is little evidence of art. The Gibaro uses the rudest pot- 
ter}', which is uudecorated; an old oil can serves him fur a water jar; 
he generally has no chairs, table, or bed. His rude wooden pestle 
bears no ornamentation, and wherever one looks in his cal)in nothing 
but squalor meets the ej'e. The prehistoric native, judged hy what 
he has left, was in a higher artistic condition. 

The Carib house in St Vincent (plate "\iii) is built of practically the 
same kind of material as the thatched Porto Rican cabin, although the 
photograph represents not a dwelling, but a covered working place, 
the group of Carib here shown being employed in basket-making. 
Other Carib houses on this island and on Dominica, where descendants 
of these Indians still live, differ but slightly from those of the peas- 
ants of Porto Rico, and the same is true of the few families who 
claim Indian descent now living at El Caney, near Santiago de Cuba. 

From these considerations, no less than from the folklore, we are led 
to the belief that the habitations of the prehistoric natives of Porto 
Rico did not differ widel}' from houses still l)uilt and used liy the poorer 
class now inhabiting the more isolated parts of Porto Rico, if any- 
thing, the dwellings of the aborigines were better made, better fur- 
nished, and more conunodious than modern (ribaro cabins. 


Namino Chiluken; Maukiaoe Customs 

Descent among the Borinquenos was in the female Iint\ and their 
names, of which the son of a cacique had several, were given in a 
ceremony that occurred inunediately after birth. Such names as 
■'Heavenly."' "Highness," "Bright One,"' were borne by some of the 
chiefs, whom it was customary to address by all their titles. 


Comparatively little i:s known of the marriage customs of the abo- 
riginal native Porto Ricans, and it is commonly' stated that wives were 
treated as slaves. There is everj' reason to believe that the caciques 
were polvgamous, also that certain of the women exercised consid- 
erable power in the government of the island. The great men, accord- 
ing to Pane, had twenty-tive or thirty wives, all of whom lived under 
the same roof as their lord, on terms of equalit}', although, according 
to Oviedo, one was more esteemed than the rest; but this honor gave 
her no right or title superior to the others. 

Their marriage ceremonies were celebrated with dances called areitos. 
The right of the first night, when the bride had connection with other 
men of the rank of her husl^and, was practised not onlj' by caciques 
and their dependent chiefs, l)ut also by tiie common people. 

Las Casas mentions that in the betrothals of the caciques the would-be 
husband was wont to send his principal man to the maid's father, ask- 
ing for the daughter as wife and companion for life. In some sections 
of the island he sometimes sent with his embassy presents of food or 
game. It was customary, after the father had promised his daughter 
to the cacique, for the latter to accompany' the messengers to the 
father and determine the amount of the dowry of the bride. On his 
return he sent a present to the father of the girl every day for a month, 
and when that time had passed he again went to the father to receive 
the bride, who had been shut up in a specially prepared apartment, 
where no one could see her but the children who brought her food. 

When the groom had given the father all the dower he had promised 
the bride's hair was cut as a sign that she had become a matron and had 
lost her liberty by marriage. Among the common people the would-be 
husband worked out the dowrv of his bride by becoming the servant 
of her father, as Jacob served Laban for Rachel and Leah. 

Charlevoix saj's that some of the Carib possessed two wives, and one 
of their caciques is stated to have had at least thirty, one of whom was 
special)}' honored but who had no control over the others. All slept 
about their husbands. At the death of a cacique two of the wives, gen- 
erally favorites, allowed themselves to be buried alive with their former 
lord. Other favorite wives of the cacique sometimes voluntarily 
entered the grave and were buried alive, while the remaining wives 
were appropriated by the cacique's successor. 

Hunting and Fishing 

The principal food supply of the AVest Indians was vegetable in its 
nature and agriculture was their main occupation, but the procuring 
of animal food by the chase, and especially by fishing, was also an 
important industry. 

Very little has been recorded concerning the hunting and fishing 
customs of the Porto Ricans. but it appears that in some of the Antilles 


fat certain times of tiie ^ear tlie natives Liad comumnal liunts, in wliicii 
a definite geographical area was surrounded and the game therein 
driven togetlier by the use of fire and captured. ) As is customary in 
all communal hunts, portions of the game were given to the caci(iues 
or sacrificed to the gods liefore the I'est was eaten, j Practicallj' all 
hunting, as far as known, was for food, and the natives very rarely 
killed animals for pleasure.TT 

(The abundance and varirty of fish found on the coasts and in the 
rivers and lagoons insured a rich food supply for the aboriginal Porto 
Kicans. Some scattered accounts of the methods of fishing occur in 
the writings of early Eui-opcan travelers and chroniclers. TFishes were 
captured by means of nets or were speared with weapons naving shell 
or Ijone^isiints. Bone fishiiooks and harpoon points have lieen found 
in some of the islands. The Cubans are said to have had artificial fish 
ponds. J 

In aTjife of Columbus, claimed to have been written by his son Fer- 
nando, the Cubans are said to have used in fishing the eel-like fish 
called the remora. This unique method of fish capture is said to have 
been seen by Columbus on the coast of Cul)a, but no confirmatory 
reference to its use elsewhere in West Indian waters is known to the 
author. The remora, attached to a cord held by the fisherman, glid- 
ing through the water attaches itself to a fish or a turtle by means of a 
dorsal sucker, after which the fisherman draws it back with its pi'ey. 
The use of poison in the capture of fishes among the Carib is spoken 
of by Davies as follows: 

But if tlie other inventions for fisliing sliould fail our Cariljljeans, tliey liave tlieir 
recourse to a certain wood, wliicli ttiey bruise after tliey liax'e cut it into little pieces, 
which done they cart it into ponds or those places where the sea is quiet and calm; 
and this is, as it were, a sovereign mummy wherewith they take as much tish as 
they please, but they are so prudent as not to make use of this last expedient only 
in case of necessity for fear of making too great a waste among the fish. 

A notice of a few edible animals suggests the variety of food derived 
from hunting and fishing. In the feast which the cacique Behechio 
gave to the Spaniards in 1496. on their expedition to the province of 
Xaragua, Haiti, the principal dishes were utias, regarded as a great 
delicacv, iguanas, and all kintls of sea and river fishes. 

The utia (wood rat) was probal)ly the mammal mentioned by Doctor 
Cliancaas "very good eating," and tlie iKjouil (i/uahiniqiuuc) was hunted 
with "dumb dogs." The natives hiuited also the cori (rabbit), (j^iwini^ 
and mohui, all of which were food animals. Bats, lizards, frogs, 
insects, spiders, grubs of various kinds, o^'sters, manatees, and eggs of 
iguanas, all contributed to the dietary of the natives. 

Among other animal foods should be mentioned crustaceans, of 

which there are manj' in the West Indies. According to Charlevoix 

crabs, called chlrlu-f', were mucii priz(>d as food. "There is no table," 

he says, "that they would not honor. "" and he adds that "a crab or a 

2.5 ETH — 07 4 


fish sufficed for daily food." The •'dumb dogs" used in hunting wei'e 
themselves apparently articles of food in Haiti. Charlevoix says: 
"The giischis were little dogs, which are dumb, and served for the 
amusement of the ladies, who carried them in their arms. They were 
also used in hunting in starting up other animals, were good to eat, 
and were a great resource to the Spaniards in the period of their first 

The islanders captured and owned birds of bright plumage, using 
the feathers for the headdresses and for tlie decoration of their idols. 
They were skilled in weaving feathered garments and made caps in 
which bright-colored feathers were woven in the cloth, described by 
several authors. 

The manner of capturing parrots is thus described liy Cluirlevoix: 

Tlie artifice they used in aecomplifihing this was quite singular. They made a 
child, tea or twelve years old, with a tauie parrot on his head, climb a tree. The 
hunters, entirely covered with leaves, ap|iroached quietly and made the bird crj' out, 
which cry attracted all the jiarrots in hearing, which trooped to it crying with all 
their strength. Then the child passed around the neck of the first bird within reach 
of his hand a running noose and, drawing it to himself, choked it and threw it to the 

Pigeons were taken in nets, being attracted l)y imitations of their 
cries. Ducks were apparently domesticated in Cuba. 

Th(> (juestion whether or not the Carib ate hiuiian flesh is answered 
in both the affirmative and the negative by dili'erent writers. It would 
take the author too far afield to review at this time the discussion of 
this su))ject, liut there is evidence that the Caril) have been maligned 
in this particular." 

Doctor Chanca, in his famous letter on the second voyage of Colum- 
bus, states that the Caril) ate human Hesh, Imt Oviedo declares that 
the inhabitants of Porto Rico, unlike those of the Lesser Antilles, are 
not cannibals. 


Tlie prehistoric inhabitants of Porto Rico were primarily agricul- 
turists, having developed a method of farming which was character- 
istic. Andreas Moralis says* that in the lake region of the Haitian 
province of Xaragua, Yacjuino, Bainoa, Hazua, and Caiabo, when the 
rains were scanty, they practised a system of irrigation. He adds 
that "in all these regions are fosses or trenches, made of old time, 
whereby they convey the water in order to water their fields, with no 
less art than do the inhabitants of New Carthage and of the Kingdom 
of Murcia." 

nSee Armas, La Fabula de los Caribes, Irving, Humboldt, and other authors In some instances 
Ihu early wriiers may liave coiilounded ihe preparation m human skeletons lor ancestor worship with 
the cooking of human flesh for food. 

("Hakluyts Collection, v, 301. 


Tlie writer has been told by reliable authorities that there still 
remain in Cuba evidences of old Indian irrigation ditches, but he has 
not seen them. No evidence of this method of watering the farms was 
observed in Porto Kieo, nor is evidence of prehistoric irrigation on 
that island known to the author. 

The Haitian methtxl of preparing fields for agricultun^ was to clear 
them of vegetation l)v tire, 'i'he burning of the lirush was apparently' 
done by men; the remaining processes of agriculture were performed 
by the w omen. In planting they used a sharpened stick called cw/ as 
a drill for making lioles in the earth for sprouts, cuttings, or seeds." 

The ancient Porto Kicans utilizetl for food a large number of native 
or introduced plants and in .some parts of the island were essentiall}' 
frugivorous. AVe know the names of a few of their vegetable foods, 
which in all probability were the same as those of the other West 
Indians, and concerning which thei'e are many references by the early 
writers. Corn was one of the important articles of .diet, but a bread 
called cassava, prepared from the root of the manioc, was the main 
food supply. ' 

Some islanders of the West Indies lived wholly on cuxahl (rassava), 
but they had several other plants, some of which were adopted later 
as foods by civilized races. Among the latter are roots called (u/en 
and hafata (sweet potatoes), live varieties of which are mentioned — 
aniffuamar, atlhiuneix, guacaca^^ gumuivana^ and guanano; but these 
differed very little from one another and are possibly the .same. The 
Indians of Haiti also cultivated plants called iiiaii! and yuhufla, the 
leaves and roots of which they ate, and another food plant called 
axi was known and cultivated throughout the island. They likewise 
raised for food plants known as lirenes,'^ and pineapples of different 
kinds called yayama^ honiama, and yayugua. The fruits, <i7wn, gua- 
nahana, caicallos, and matneyes^ all of which are aboriginal names, 
were eaten and much prized. It would be an important contribution 
to our knowledge of the diet of the aboriginal West Indians to con- 
sider other food plants mentioned by the early historians, for the 
islanders utilized many plants that would have an economic value if 
added to the diet of civilized people of the Tropics. 

The two principal foods of the aboriginal Porto Ricans were a bread 
made of corn meal and the cakes called cassava,'' made of the root of 
the sweet and bitter yucca. The preparation of cassava is a compli- 
cated process, since the liitter manioc root contains poisonous elements 
which must be eliminated before its starch can be eaten. Judging from 
Benzoni's account of the preparation of this root the aborigines of the 

a Alvnro Reinoso, Agricultura de los Indigenes de Cuba y Heiti, Paris, 1881. 
f> Gua is apparently the article or some similar prefix. 

<^See Renato de Grosourdy, El Mi?dico BotiSnico CrioUo, pts i and n, Paris. 1864. 
rfThe latter, essentially a South American food, is significant in the siudyof Antillean racial origins, 
There are still in the island of Porto Rico good cassava-bread makers. 


West Indies employed practically the .same method as that now used 
by the kindred people of Venezuela and Guiana. 

The details of cassava manufacture vary somewhat among- those 
Indians who now use the root, but all seem to adopt a similar method 
of extracting the poisonous juice. Good descriptions of the pi'ocess 
adopted by the Orinoco races are given in Gilii," but perhaps the most 
complete account, with illustrations, is by im Thurn.'' as follows: 

One woman, squatting on her liams, and armed with a big knife, peels oi^ the skin 
of the cassava roots, which lie in a heap at her side. Each root, after being peeled, 
is washed and then thrown on to a new heap. A little way off another woman ."^tands, 
and, grasping one of the peeled roots with both hands, scrapes it up and down an 
oblong board or grater studded with small fragments of stone and so roughened like 
a nutmeg grater. One end of the grater stands in a trough on the ground, the other 
rests against the woman's knees. It is violent exercise. 

As the woman scrapes, her body swings down and up again from her hips. The 
rhythmic "swish " caused by the scraping of the juicy root is the chief sound in the 
house, for the labor is too heavy to permit of talking. The cassava, which slips as 
pulp from the scraper into the trough, is collected and put into ii long wicker-woven 
rnntapie, which hangs from the roof. This matnple, or cassava squeezer, is in ]>rinciple 
exactly like the not uncommon toy known as a " Siamese link." It is a cylinder, 7 or 
8 feet long and .5 or ti inches in diameter, made of closely woven strips of jiliant bark. 
The upper end is open and has a hoop by which the matapie may be suspended from 
one of the beams of the; the lower end is clo.sed, but it also has a hoop, the 
use of which will presently appear. 

The cassava, saturated with its highly poisonous juice, is now forced into the 
matapie; through the loop at the bottom of this a heavy pole is passed, one end of 
which is allowed to rest on the ground and is there fastened by means of a heavy 
stone or some other device, while the other is raised in the air. A woman now sits 
on the raised end of the pole and her weight stretches the matapie downwards. In 
proportion as the length of the cylinder increases its diameter is of course reduced. 
The pressure thus applied to the cassava pulp immediately forces the poisonous juice 
out through the walls of the matapiie. 

The juice drops down into a buck-pot which stands on the ground; and it is this 
which, when it is afterward boiled, becomes cassareep, a thick treacle-like liquid, 
which is no longer poisonous. . . . The cassava, now dry and free from juice, 
is taken from the matapie, broken into a sieve, and sifted, so that it becomes a 
coarse flour. This is either wra|)ped in leaves and put away for future use or is at 
once made into liread. 

A large circular griddle, or plate, of European manufacture, is now placed over 
the fire or, by some of the remote Indians, a flat slab of stone is used for this pur- 
pose, and there can be little doubt that this stone was originally universally used. 
On the griddle, whatever its material, a thin layer of the meal is spread. A woman, 
fan in hand, sits by the fire watching. With her fan she smooths the upper surface 
of the cake and makes its edges round. In a very few minutes one side of the large, 
round, white cake is done; and, when it has been turned, in yet a couple of minutes 
the bread is ready. When a sufficient number of these oatcake-like pieces of bread 
have been made, they are taken out of the house and thrown upon the roof to dry in 
the sun. . . . When thoroughly sun dried the liread is hard and crisp, with 
a flavor like that of freshly gathered nuts. Iji this state, if guarded from damp, it 
will keep for an indefinite time. . . . 

" F. S. Gilii, Saggio di Storia Americana, Rome, 1782. 
h Ainoiif^ the Indians of Guiana, London, 18S3. 



Some o£ the True Caribs slightly cUverge from the method of making bread, 
ia that they pound the meal in a mortar before sifting it, and, if it is to be kept for 
any length of time before use, slightly smoke it. The bread thus produced is much 
more friable, and much more easily digestible than that made by the ordinary 

When cassava i:? very scarce its bulk is sometimes increased by mixing the chopped 
leaves of the cassava plant, or the pounded seed of the mora tree {^fora excelsa), or of 
the greenheart tree {Xcctfindrct ro'll(ei), or even pounded rotten wood, with the meal. 

''The women,"' sayrs Chiirlevoi.x, "" to escape being enslaved hj- tlie 
Spaniards, committed suicide l>y drinking- the poisonous juice of tlie 

Oriedo gives an account, accompanied with tigures, of how the West 
Indians kindled fire with wooden sticks and with the tireboard, the lat- 
ter being two sticks joined together; he describes also the method of 
the rotary fire drill. The favorite wood for fire sticks was that called 
by the Indians 'gnasuTias; the fire drill was about the size of the index 


A prominent writer states that the aborigines of Porto Rico were 
wholly destitute of a religion. This is a mistake. If the word religion 
be limited to a belief in ethical gods, in a beneficent creator and a 
malevolent devil, the Borincpiefios had no religion, but the word should 
not be so limited. The Antilleaus certainly believed in supernatural 
beings and had a theory of their nature and ))ower, implying the pos- 
session of a mythology, and they employed a well-developed system 
of rites, ceremonies, and other procedures to infiuence these beings. 

It would be erroneous to suppose that the Indians called all their 
gods devils, meaning by that term malevolent spirits, or that ihey had 
any knowledge of a supreme God, the creator of the universe. All 
their supernatural beings were thought to possess power for good or 
ill in material ways, which the priests believed that they could control 
for the weal or woe of the individual or the community. 

From the available historical material it may be supposed that the 
ancient Antilleaus believed in two gi'eat supernatural beings, called 
zemis, that were parents of. all others. These may be known as earth 
goddess and sky god, or personifications of the magic power of earth 
and sky. One was nial<>. the other female, and from them originated 
all minor gods, men, and animals; hut neither of these parents created 
the universe, which was siipi)osed always to have existed. These two 
first parents were symlxjlized by idols, made ot stone, wood, or clay, to 
which the Indians addressed prayers and in the presence of which they 
performed rites for the well-being of the human race. 

A group of secondary supei'natural beings, also called semis, were 
tutelary in nature, representing ancestors of the clans. These also 
were symbolized bv idols made of stone, wood, or like materials, but 


the cultiis of these idols was limited to families, and their imag'es were 
kept in a house of the cacique that was devoted to this special purpose. 
Wliile the worship of the two nature powers representing the sky 
father and the earth mother was the highest form of their cultus. it is 
probable that most of their rites were devoted to their zemis, the tute- 
lary gods representing ancestors." Idols, as well as the spirits they 
represented, were called semis, and the name, meaning originally magic 
power, came to be applied to all supernatural beings and their sym- 
bolic representations. A clearer understanding of the Antillean 
cultus may be had if their term seni/' he considered in several of its 


The word semi, seyni, chemi is believed by some authors to be a cor- 
rupted form of guami, "ruler;" by others to be derived from quemi, 
"■animal.'" Colunibus, who was regarded by the natives as a super- 
natural being, was called (luami-qiie-ni, '' ruler, or god, of earth, water, 
and sky." The Carib still speak of their priests as ceci-semi. It may 
be worth mentioning that in several Arawak dialects the word for 
tobacco is tchemi, and variants, evidentlj' referring to its magic power 
or zemt. 

The name ivas apparently applied to gods, symbols of the deities, 
idols, bones or skulls of the dead, or anything sujjposcd to have 
magic power. The dead, or the spirits of the dead, were called by the 
same term. The designation applied both to the magic power of the 
sky, the earth, the sun, and the moon as well as to the tutelary ances- 
tors of clans. Zem/.s wen represented symbolically by several objects, 
among which may be n 'ntioned: (1) stone or wooden images; (2) 
images of cotton and othei 'al)rics inclosing bones; (3) prepared skulls; 
(4) masks; (5) frontal ami >ts; (6) pictures and decorations on the 

The Indians of Haiti, according to Benzoni and Pane, had zemls of 
many* diffei'ent forms,'' .some consisting simply of bones of parents 
or relatives, others being manufactured of wood, clav, gold, silver, 
and stone. These Indians believed that certain z<-mis increased the 
food supply and others brought rain, while still others caused winds. 
As we have no special account of the character and meaning of the 
conception of semis among the prehistoric Porto Kicans we are obliged 
to rely mainly on descriptions of those recognized by their kindred, 
the people of Haiti. 

"Prehistoric Porto Rico, a vice-presidential address before Section H of the American Association. 
Science. July 18, 1902; Proceedings of the Ainencati Avsociatimi for the Adrancnncnt of Science, 1902. 
German translation in Globus, no. 18 and 19. 1902. 

f' An early writer informs us that there was an island near Haiti the whole pnpulatiun uf which was 
oi'cupied in making idols. 

<• Accordinii to some writers there are indications of iihallicism in the forms of the idols, an explana- 
tion which is regarded by the author as highly fanciful. 


Names of diti'erent seniix occur in the works of Ramon Pane", Peter 
Martyr, and other writers, but the lack of uniformity in spelling used 
by these authors and the number of names applied to each zemi make 
it difhcult to determine their identity-. Thei-e is, however, in carl}- 
writings abundant material which is highly instructive and which can 
be used to great advantage in this comparative study. Speaking of 
their zemis^ Columbus wrote these words: ''They also give the image 
a name, and I believe it is their father's or grandfather's, or both, 
for they have more than one, and some a))Out ten, all in memory of 
tbeir forefathers, as 1 said before." Peter Martyr's account of the 
religion of the natives is derived fi-om Pane's book. 

The earth goddess had at least five diti'erent names, and to this num- 
ber ma\" be added others that appear in some of the accounts. Tiie 
sky father likewise had several different names, possibly descriptive of 
attributes or peculiarities. 

The following list, compiled from Peter ISlartyr and lianum Pane, 
contains corresponding names of the earth mother mentioned l)y two 
contemporary observers: 


1. Atabei. '' 1. Attabeira. 

2. lermaoguacar. 2. Mamoiia. 

3. Apito. 3. ( luacarapita. 

4. Apito, or Siella. 4. Liella. '' 

5. Siiimaco ( Zuimaco). ■5. <Tuimazna. 

The great aboriginal cultus hero, Yocahu, or Maraitl. a beneticent 
god, sometimes spoken of as son of the universal mother, was regarded 
as their Great Spirit, the analogue of the Ci'eator in higher religions. 

The several names of this son, " who lives in the sun." and his attri- 
bute "Lord of Earth," are given in the following list: 

SoiKCE Goddess or God 

Ramon Pane Jocak>ivague-!Maorocon. 

Peter Mai'tyr Ljt'anna-(iuamaonofon/' 

Las t'asas Yucahu-A'agua-Maorucoti. 

In Jamaica ( according to Bachiller) Yocahiuna. 

In Borinquen (according to Bachiller) Yacana-Gumauomocon. 

oThe account of the religion of tlic Antillcjins by this Catalan priest appears in Fernando Colum- 
bus's life of his father. Althougli the authorship of this life has been questioned by Harisse. Bachil- 
ler y Morales well says that, whether the work ascribed to Fernando Columbus is apocryphal or not, 
the relation of Fray Ramon Pane i;:;:^t be rej^ardcd as genuine. Fri.)m the edition of tlie Historia 
del Signor Don Fernando Columbus, [ tinted in Milan in 1G14, Bachiller has taken section 1 of the 
second part of his woric. According to Torquemada (Mon. lud., p. 296). Pane was one of three 
zealous priests of Haiti who, having learned the Indian tongue, employed it in teaching the natives. 
He, with Fray El Bcrmejo and Fray Juan de Ti.:im, went among the Indians, learned their language, 
and reported to Columbus their rites and ceromonies. Tlie most satisfactory summary of Fray 
Ramon's studies, that used by the author, is found in the Apologetica, in vol. v. Historia de las Indias 
of Las Casas, and Churchill's Collection of Voyages, ii , 567-57.S. 

hAta, "first:" hri, ■'existence." 

<^ Possibly a corruption of the Spanish t/'crra, "earth." 

dThe first element, ^^Momo, according to Bachiller, possibly means "lord" or "ruler," neon, "earth." 


A female semi, called Guabancex, was a water and wind goddess, 
who, according to Pane, had two subordinates, one of which, called 
Giiatauva, was a messenger to the lesser zemls, while the other, 
Coatrischie, controlled winds and water, at times personating the tem- 
pest and raising winds which overthrew houses. 

The zenil Yolianua-Borna, who was kept in a cave, was worshiped 
for rain, and like Guabancex had two subordinates called by Pane 
Boirnail and Maroig, by ilartj'r Buthaitel and Marohu. These were 
evidently other clan names for rain and wind gods; their idols are said 
to have been made of stone. 

According to Gomara, the Haitians had two statues made of wood 
called Morobo and Bintatel which were kept in a cave at Toaboyna, 
and to which they made pilgrimages at certain times of the year. This 
is the cave from which the sun and moon are supposed to have emerged. 
Charlevoix says that the cave of Yobobala," the master, was situated 
in the territory of the cacique Manatibex, one of the five great caciques 
of Haiti, and was called Bintatel, or, according to Torres, Boiniacl, 
meaning "the son of the master of water." According to the latter 
author, who thus interprets Pane, this name was applied to a stone 
zciiii that the Haitian Indians held in great reverence, before which 
they were accustomed to perform rites when it did not rain. The sun 
caves of Yobobala are thus described h\ Charlevoix: 

The caves from which the sun and the moon came out and to which the Haitian 
people made pilgrimages from all parts of the island contained two idols, to which 
they did not fail to carry rich offerings. There is a belief that this is the same cave 
which is seen in the Pendon quarter at a distance of 6 or 7 leagues of Cape Franvois. 
It is 150 feet deep and about as high, but is quite narrow. The entrance is higher 
and wider than the largest porte-cochere in Paris, through which, and by an open- 
ing made in the vault, the grotto receives all its light. This ojiening appears to be 
worked in the shape of a belfry, and it is believed that the sun and moon make their 
exit to the sky by this way. 

.\11 the vault of the cave is so pretty and regular that it is difficult to believe that 
it is a work of nature. No statue is seen in this place, but there are everywhere 
zemis carved in rock, and the whole cavern appears to contain high and low niches, 
which are believed to be artificial. 

The zeiul Faraguvaol was a trunk of a tree foiuid by an Indian and 
carried to a chief. This being had the habit of wandering about and 
could miraculously escape when confined in a sack. It was supposed 
to wander continually over the face of the earth. Opigielguovinui 
had four feet like a dog and at the advent of the Spaniards is reputed 
to have plunged into a morass from which he never emerged. Its idol 
was made of wood. 

The semi called Giocauvaghama, according to Gomara, Pane, and 
other authors, was consulted l)y the cacique Guarionex to learn the 
fate of his gods and people. 

Peter Martyr .says that when tiiev built a liouse foi- the cacique 

<i Yobu, "a great tree," referring, no doubt, to Fray Ramon Pane's tradition that the sun saw men 
fishing and turned them into trees. 


Guamoretus they found in the roof a zemi^ called Corocnotuin (Coro- 
C'ose), that was n)ade of cotton. Persons havincj two crowns in their 
hair "fere supposed to l)e related to this zeini, who had a fondness for 
lying with women. 

The serais known as Baidrania, or twins, and called also Bugid y Aiba 
wa.s a war god. Fray Ramon Pane saj's that the Indians believed ■ 
that their strength could he augmented by this being, and that when 
they smoked in honor of this god their arms increased in size and their 
eyesight was restored. They could increase their strength also by 
bathing the body in the juice of the yucca irfi'iica). 


Las Casas says that the Indians of Haiti had certain statues made of 
wood, which Oolunil)us described in a letter to the Catholic monarchs, 
Ferdinand and Isabella, and adds that they placed in them bones of 
relatives and gave them the names of the persons whose bones were 
inclosed. Some of these images were hollow, and when the caci(iues 
consulted the idols priests hidden within responded. It happened on 
one occasion that a Spaniard, who had heard the responses issuing 
from the image, kicked it over, thus revealing the secret means liy 
which it was made to appear to speak. There was in one corner of 
the room containing the idol a space in which the person who really 
spoke was hidden behind slirubbery, his replies to the priest question- 
ing the idol being borne tiirougli a tube to the statue. 

The idols are described Ijy I*ane, whose account is (|Uoted by Las 
Casas: "The natives had certain statues or idols to which they gave 
the name cein!. which they l)elieved gave water, wind, and sun when 
needed. These idols were made of stone and wood." 

Fray Ramon Pane writes as follows regarding wooden .■f-in/.s: 

When a native wa.s passing by a tree wliicli \va!< moved more tlian ntiiers l)y tlie 
wind, the Indian in fear call.? out, "AVho are you?" The tree responds, "Call 
here a Bohii or priest and I will tell you who 1 am." When the jiriest or sonvrer 
had come to the tree and had seated himself l.>efore it he performed certain prescrihed 
ceremonies," and rising recounted the titles and honors of the principal chiefs of the 
island, a-sked of the tree, "What are yon doing here? What do you wish of me? 
AVliy liave you asked to have me called? Tell me If you wish me to cut you down 
and if you wish to go with me, how I shall carry you, whether I shall make you a 
house and a plantation and perform ceremonies for a year." The tree answered 
these questions, and the man cut it down and made of it a statue or idol of sinister 
look, for ordinarily they make the faces of the idols in the forms of old monkeys. 

He made a house and plantation, and each year performed certain ceremonies and 
consulted it as an oracle, asking as he retired from its presence things gooil and had, 
or prophecies of what would happen in the future. He announced the replies to the 
common people. 

a In Churchill's Voyages, page 574, where Ramon Pane is somewhat differently translated, these 
ceremonies are called cogioha, " which cogloba is to pray to it, to please it. to ask and know of the said 
cemi what good or evil is to happen, and to beg wealth of it." Cogioha is a word for prayer, and as 
smoking tobacco is practically among primitive Americans a form of prayer, cogioba is the term for 
smoke and tobacco. 



The Haitians, says an earl^' writer, had zemis made of stone, some 
of which were supposed to make the rain, others to cause the crops 
to grow, and still others to aid women in childliirth. We have also a 
statement that certain stone zemis or little idols — the frontal amulets 
described later — were tied to the forehead by the Carib when thej^ 
went into l)attle. 

Early writers have j^iven us no tiguros of tliu man)' Ivinds of stone 
zemis used by aboriginal Haitians or Porto Ricans, but we can hardly 
doubt that many of those considered in the following descriptions 
belong to this category. It is believed by the writer that all three- 
pointed stones are practically semis and were used "to make the yucca 
grow." The stone heads and masks that form striking ol)jects in col- 
lections of Porto Itican antiquities may have had the same name, but 
have been put to different uses. 


The skull or other bones of the dead were wrapped in cotton cloth 
or basketry and preserved for worship. The crania were sometimes 
attached to Iwdies made of cotton in human form and were kept in 
a certain house, generally that of the cacique. Human bones were 
treated as semis and preserved for religious purposes. 

The Carib also made cotton images which contained human bones 
that are thus referred to by Davies: 

They expect, in tlieir sickness, the sentence uf tlieir life or death I'loiu those 
detestable oracles, which they receive by the means of these puppets of cotton, 
wherein they wrap up the worm-eaten bones of some wretched carcass, taken out of 
the grave. . . . They burn in honor of them the leaves of tobacco, and sometimes 
they paint their ugly shapes in the most considerable place of their vessels, which 
they call piraguas, or they wear hanging about their necks a Mttle image representing 
some one of those cursed spirits. 

Peter Martyr mentions .seated zemis made of cotton, but as objects 
of this kind are naturalh^ perishable few specimens have been pre- 
served to the present time. One of these found in Santo Domingo, 
fonnerlj' owned by Senor Rodriguez, consisted of a skull inclosed in 
a cotton covering and mounted on a body stuffed with the .same mate- 
rial. Api)arently. artiticial eyes were inserted in the eye sockets and 
cotton or other faljrics were tied about the legs and arms. 


The habit of i)ainting the body and face with various pigmiMits is 
mentioned by several of the early writers, one or moi'e of whom have 
recorded that the pictures represented are tutelary gods, or semis. 
There is unfortunatelv no account giving detailed information as to 


wliut j>ods tiiese paiiitino's ropresent. ulthough theobserviTsconstuntly 
uH'iitioii the hideous eharactcM' of the tigiii'es depicted. 

From one point of view it appears that this custoui. lii'ie that of 
weariny masks and other ceremonial paraphernalia, had for its object 
th(> identiticatioii of the man with his tutelary gods or zeniiK, especially 
when used on ceremonial occasions. It was one of these methods, of 
which many parallels niioht lie mentioned anionu; other primitive peo- 
ples, where in symbolic ways man tries to lose his identity in the god 
he personates or worships. From the exoteric point of view these 
paintings" were simply body marks indicating totems of those who 
were thus decorated. 

When Anacaona ("flower of gold"), wife of the cacique Caonabo, 
received the Spaniards and entertained them with an are'do. described 
by oJder writers, her body was painted with rigures and red and blue 
floweis, evident!}' zemeistic or totemistic. Almost all authorities con- 
cur in the statement that when the Antilleans went to war they painted 
their bodies with horrible tigures. and one author mentions the fact 
that these figures represent semis. This accords with the theory that 
the totem used by North American tribe.? was primarily a man's name 
and mark, and that ethnolngically the word refers to the pigni(>nt 
or earth used in painting a distinctive mark on the body oi- its 

A strict abhorrence of incest, and the necessit}' of body marks to 
distinguish members of the same clan, naturally led to designs on the 
)>ody, which took the form of animals and plants or other natural 
objects. This method of designating members of the same clan by the 
same body markings, so that a man could recognize his relatives, was 
the simplest form of totemism. 

The semi which tiie Antillean cacique painted on his body corre- 
sponds primarily with the totem of the North American, and the figures 
on the bodies of the caciques probably represented their tutelary 
beings, each different and characteristic, as the clans dittered. There 
is little doul)t that when a cacicpie was thus painted witii tlie figure of 
his tutelary god, he became in his own conception, as well as in that of 
his clan, to all intents and purposes the supernatural being represented, 
just as when a Pueblo Indian puts on a mask with certain symbols 
he is transformed into the being which the symbolism of that mask 


The prehistoric Poi'to Ricans had a well-developed priesthood, called 
Imi! (serpents), luahouya, and huliit!, which are apparently dialectic or 
other forms of the .same word. The priests, called also caciques b}' 

a Among other pigments used was the xafjtia, roucou, and bixa {Bixa oreltana), the last named being 
a favorite paint for adornment in the dances. 

60 THE ABORICrlT^ES OF PORTO RICO [eth. ann. 25 

the Spaniards, were tiluimaii.s, or medicine men. We tind priests 
sometimes called semis, ceci-semi, and zemis or idols called ho!.!., a 
natui'al interchange of names among primitive peoples, where priests 
often personate the gods or, when representing them in their cere- 
monial festivals, assume their names. 

Among the manifold duties of the prehistoric priesthood may be 
included divination, or tlie consultation of the zeinis for oracular pur- 
poses, and recourse to them for aid in peace and war or the cure of 
the sick. The priests also made offerings to the idols in their keeping, 
performed secret rites for rain and the growth of crops, and were 
the leaders in the public dances and religious ceremonies. 


The zeriiis were supposed to have jjrophetic po ers and were con- 
sulted by the caciques and common people through the medium of 
the hou. An example of this divination is recorded in the eai'h' writ- 
ings, where a Haitian chief, Guarionex, consulted his zi-nit regarding 
the fate of the country and its people, and received a reply so nearly 
true that it has been commented on by earlv chroniclers. 

As already explained, elaborate mechanical contrivances were used 
to deceive those seeking responses from the idols. 

Davies thus describes the method of procedure of these hoi.i, or 
medicine men, among the Carili: 

It is requisite, above all thingir, tliat the home or hut into wliich the Boye is to enter 
should be very neatly prepared for his reception; that the little table, which they 
call Matouton, should be furnished with anakri for Maboya'-' — that is, an offering 
of cassava and unk-on for the evil spirit — as al^io with the tir.'^t fruits of Jheir gardens 
if it he the season of fruits. It is further requisite that at one end of the hut there 
should be as many low stools or seats as there are to be persons present at that 
detestable action. 

After these preparations the Boye, who never does this work but in the night- 
time, having carefully put out all the fire in and about the home, enters into it and, 
having found out his place by the weak light of a piece of tobacco set on fire, which 
he hath in his hand, he first pronounces some barliarous words, then he strikes the 
ground several times with his left fo<it, and, having put tiie end of tobacco which he 
had in his hand into his mouth, he blows upward live or six times the smoke which 
comes out of it, then, rubbing the end of tobacco between his hands, he scatters it in 
the air. Thereupon the devil, whom he hath invocated by these spirit ceremonies, 
shaking very violently the roof of the house or making some other dreadful noise, 
presently appears and answers distinctly to all the questions put to him by the Boije. 

If the devil answers him that liis disease, for whom he is consulted, is not mortal, 
the Boije and the apparition which accompanies him comes near the sick person to 
a.ssure him that he shall .soon recover his former health, and to confirm him in that 
hope they gently touch those parts of his body where he feels most pain and, hav- 
ing pressed them a little, they pretend that there comes out of them thorns, pieces 
of bone, splinters of wood and stone, whicli were, as these damnable physicians 
affirm, the cause of his sickness. Sometimes they moisten the part affected with 

"The great power, "evil spirit," probably derived from ma, "great;" boya, "snake." 


their breath, and, having siickeil it !<everal times, they persuade the patient tliat )iy 
that means they have got out all the venom which lay in his body and rauseil him 
to languish. 

Medicine Practices" 

Among the Borinqueflos a.s aiiiono- all yn-iniitive peoples the priests 
had developed a theory of curative medicine in which the doctrine of 
signatures plaj'ed an important role. The cure of the sick was supposed 
to be accomplished by the magic power of the tutelary god which the 
hoii. believed they could control for the good of the patients; these 
primitive medicine men also believed themselves able, through sorcery, 
to inflict sickness on those whom they wished to harm. In addition to 
the use of magic, these priests were ac(iuainted with a rich pharma- 
copoeia of herbs which were used empirically. A knowledge of these 
hevbs was not, as in other primitive medicine practices, confined to the 
priests. Pane gives the following account of the treatment of the 
sick by the luhuifihu, or doctors, which is corroborated by Benzoni 
(p. 82). According to these authorities the herb most employed was 
tobacco.* or at times merely the smoke was used. 

When they go to visit any sick Ijody, before they set out from their house, they 
take the soot off a pot, or pounded charcoal, and black all their face, to make the 
sick man believe what they jilease concerning his distemper. Then they take some 
small l)ones, and a little flesh, and wrapping them all up in something that they may 
not drop, put them in their mouth, the sick man being before purged with the 
powder aforesaid. When the physician is come into the sick man's house he sits 
down and all persons are silent, and if there are any children they put them out, 
that they may not hinder the Buhuitilm in performing his office; nor does there 
remain in the house any but one or two of the chief persons. Being thus by them- 
selves, they take some of the herb Giom . . . broad, and another herb, w-rapped up in 
the web of an onion half a quarter long; one of the Gloia's, and the other they hold, 
and drawing it in their hands they bruise it into a paste, and then put it in their 
mouths to vomit what they have eaten, that it may not hurt them; then presently 
begin their song, and lighting a torch, take the juice. This done, having staid a 
little, the Buhuitihn rises up, and goes toward the sick man, who sits all alone in the 
middle of the house, as has been .said, and turns him twii'e about, as he thinks fit; 
then stands before him, takes him by the legs, and feels his thighs, descending by 
degrees to his feet; then draws hard, as if he would pull something off; then he goes 
to the door, shuts it, and says, be gone to the mountain, or to the sea, or whither 
thou wilt; and giving a blast, as if he blowed something away, turns about, claps 
his hands together, shuts his mouth, his hands quake as if he were cold, he blows 
on his hands, and then draws in his blast as if sucking the marrow of a bone, sucks 
the sick man's neck, stomach, shoulders, jaws, lireast, belly, and several other parts 
of his body. This done they begin to cough, and make faces, as if they had eaten 
some bitter thing, and the doctor pulls out that we said he put into his mouth at 
home, or by the way, whether stone, flesh, or bone, as above. If it is anything 
eatable, he says to the sick man, take notice you have eaten something that has 

a Restricted to curing sickness. In ceremonies for rjiin or growth of crops tlie term '■inodirine" is 
also used, and in both applications we find the same theory of magical inQuence. 

b EL Ling Roth. Aborigines of Hispaniola. Journal of the Atdhropological Institute of Great Uritain 
and Ireland, xvi, 247-286, 1887. 


caused this distemper; see how I have taken it out of yotir Ixidy; for your Ci mi had 
put it into you because you did not pray to him, or build him some temple, or give 
him some of your goods. If it be a stone, he says, keep it safe. Sometimes they 
take it for certain that those stones are good and help women in labor; wherefore 
they keep them very carefully, wrapped up in cotton, putting them into little 
baskets, giving them such as they have themselves to eat, and the same they do to 
the Cemies they have in their houses. Upon any solemn day, when they provide 
much to eat, whether fish, flesh, or any other thing, they jjut it all into the house 
of the Cemies, that the idol may feed on it. The next day they carry all home after 
the Cemi has eaten. And so God help them, as the Cemi eats of that, or any other 
thing, the)' being inanimate stocks or stones. 

Herrera (Dec. i, Iraok iii, chap. 4, page 69) gives a coudensed account 
of the procedure of these aboriginal doctors in curing 

When any leading man is sick he calls a medicine man, who is obliged to observe 
the same dietary as the patient. The doctor is accustomed to purge himself with an 
herb that he takes in his nose until he believes himself inspired, in which condition 
he says many things, giving the sick to understand that he is talking with an idol. 
Then the Indians are accustomed to anoint their faces with oil and to purge the sick, 
all standing by in silence. 

The doctor tirst makes two circuits about the patient and imllint; him by the legs 
goes to the door of the house, which he shuts, .saying: "Return to the mountain or 
whither you wish; blow and join hands and tremble, and close the mouth." 
Breathing on his hands, he then sucks the neck, the shoulders, and stomach, and 
otlier parts of the body of the sick man, coughing and making grimaces and spitting 
into his hands something which he had placed in his mouth, saying to the sick man 
that he had taken from the body that which was bad; his zenii had given him it 
because he had not obeyed him. The objects which the doctors take from their 
mouths were for the most part stones, for which they have much devotion for use in 
childbirth or for other things, and they preserve them as relics. 

This method of procedure, with unessential variations, might be par- 
alleled in accoimts of almost all the American Indians, the theory 
being that some .sorcerer has afflicted the sick b}' shooting into him an 
object with magic power, and that tiie doctor, having located it in the 
bod\' by direction of his tutelary god, removes it by his magic power 
{zem!) and that of the god. 

The same author (Pane) makes an interesting- .statement regarding the 
fate of the doctor in case of the death of his patient. Should the sick 
person die, the doctor not having himself properly observed the pre- 
scribed diet, the Indians, in order to discover whether the death was due 
to the latter's negligence, gathered the juice of a certain herb and opened 
a blood vessel of the dead person; then, cutting off the liair alxmt the 
forehead of the deceased, thej^ made a powdeir from it and, iiaving 
mixed with it the juice of the herb, they presented the mixture to the 
mouth of the corpse, for it to drink, then to its nose, asking many 
times whether the doctor had observed the proper course of treatment, 
until the demon replied as clearly as if the. patient were alive that the 
doctor had not done so. Tiiereupon tiie corpse was returned to the 
grave. Then the relatives of the decea.sed seized the doctor and gave 


hiin many strokes with a stick. l)reaking- his anus or legs. Others 
gouged out his eyes or kicerated his private parts. 


Under the above tith;- the author includes herbs and intoxicating 
drinks used to create certain ecstatic conditions as a prelinnnai-y to 
religious rites and ceremonies. In this category may lie considered 
the practice of smoking, snuiBng. and chewing tobacco, called cohlha,"' 
and the use of an intoxicating drink of corn ]uice, called chiicliia. 

Tobacco in a number of ditierent forms was commonly used in all 
ceremonies. Its smoke was the incense with which the priests accom- 
panied their prayers to their gods; and with snutf, or powdered tobacco, 
they sometimes sprinkled the heads of their idols. The hoii stupefied 
themselves with this herb when they consulted oracles in divination, 
and by it they cured the sick in medicinal practices. The process of 
inhaling the smoke through the nostrils is mentioned in several early 
accounts, and, according to many authorities, special tables on which 
the herb was placed stood before their idols. The method of inhaling 
was as follows: Partially dried tobacco was tirst spread on a half- 
lighted brazier, after which a tube was placed in the .smoke and the 
other extremity, provided with two branches, inserted in the nostrils; 
the smoke was then snutied up, mounting quickly to the brain. The 
user generally succumbed to the narcotic and remained where he fell, 
stupefied. A cacique thus affected was raised by a woman and car- 
ried to bed. If during this drunkenness or stupefaction he had a 
dream, it was regarded as a vision "from heaven." 

The aboriginal method of smoking ceremonially, according to another 
auth(jr, was to place the powdered herb on a small brasier called a fnhhi 
and snutf it through a tube. The powder was used also to sprinkle the 
idols before which the iahJa stood, in the same way that the Ilopi 
sprinkle their idols with meal and pollen. It would be interesting to 
discover whether in this method of cohiha the tobacco was smoked or 
not. While there can be no doubt that in some cases the herb was 
ignited, in many other instances there is no evidence that the tobacco 
was burning or giving off smoke when thus used, and it seems to have 
been simply snuii'ed into the nostrils. A bifurcated tube, evidently 
one of those by which the herb (snuff) or its smoke was taken into 
the nostrils, is figured by Oviedo, but no specimen of this kind of 
Antillean pipe is known in any collection that has been made on any 
of the islands. 

The forms of pipe common among the North American Indians are 
not mentioned in the accounts which have come down to us in the 

aThe Antillean words for the plant Nkntiana. called by Europeans tobacco, are cohiha, cofjiba, 
coijoha, cofjioba, cnhot, etc. The aborigines applied the name tobacco to a pipe or roll of dried leaves 
called a cigar. Ceremonial smoking has the .same names. 


older writing's. Doctor C'rouuu tigurt'S two Luca\'an clav pipe bowls 
of a bird form identical with certain mound pipes that are now in the 
Kassau library, New Providence island, Bahamas. As similar forms 
have not been recorded from the more southerlj- West Indies and lit- 
tle is known of the history of those from Bahama, it is desirable to 
determine their antiquity and to know definitely the locality in wliich 
the}' were found. 

In aboriginal secular smoking- it was customary to roll the tobacco 
leaf in much the same waj' that cigars are now made, and a cigar is 
even now called a "tobacco" in the West Indies. The companions 
of Columbus noticed the Cuban Indians smoking tobacco in this form. 
Gomara says that the islanders ate tobacco, but it is more probable 
that they simply chewed the herb for its narcotic influences, the object 
being to obtain psycho-religious sugg'estions. 

A beverage made from the root of the manioc was used in dances, 
many of which closed with a general debauch in which all the partici- 
pants became intoxicated. There is every i-eason to suppose that this 
drink was prepared in the same way as the intoxicant employed by 
the Guiana Indians described by im Thurn. 

Rites and Ceremonies 

For our knowledge of the ceremonies of the prehistoric Porto 
Ricans we must rely wholly on early authors whose accounts relate 
to the Indians of Haiti rather than to those of Porto Rico. As all 
agree that there was close similarity in the inhabitants of the two 
islands we are justified in the belief that the descriptions given hold 
good also for the Indians of Borinquen, or Porto Rico. There is, 
besides, a certain parallelism in the ceremonies of all primitive peo- 
ples, a knowledge of whicii may be used in interpreting the ritual 
of any individual tribe. 

The most important counnunal ceremonies among the Haitians were 
performed for rain and the growth of the crops, but there were cere- 
monies for success in wfir and for curing the sick, commemoration 
rites over the dead, initiation rites, and various others. In some 
instances these rites took the form of elaboi'ate dances, accompanied 
by prayers, songs, and other performances. Dramatization played an 
inipoi'tant part in all ceremonies and was especially prominent in war 
dances, in which were represented the motive of the war, the depar- 
ture of the warriors, ambuscades, surprise of the enemy, combat, cele- 
bration of the victory, and return of the war party, accompanied with 
mortuary rites of a commemorative nature, for the fallen (plate ix). 
These dramatizations were called by the same name as other cere- 
monial dances celebrated on im[)ortant occasions. A dance, or areito^ 
accompanied the birth of a child and the death of a cacique. In 
medicinal practice it was regarded as a means of augmenting the 


power of the warrior: liy it tlie iTidians sought to Ijring rain -or to 
further the growth of crops." Ai'i'itov formed a part of marriage 
ceremonies and were especially prominent in all mortuary observ- 
ances. The greatest festivals apparently occurred on the death of 
cacique-i, luit lesser ceremonials were celebrated at births, the cutting 
of hair, puberty, the making of chiefs, mari'iages, the clearing of 
.farms, the building of canoes, and on most other important secular 

The festivals of the Carilj. called by some writers drunken del)a>iches, 
occurred, according to Davies: (1) When any council was held con- 
cerning their wars; (2) when they returned from their expeditions; (3) 
upon the liirth of the tii'st male chikl; (4) when they cut their children's 
hail-; (5) when boys became old enough to go to war; ((3) when they 
cut down trees for the making of a garden and the building of a house, 
and (7) when they launched a vessel. According to the same author 
they had other festivals: (1) When they entered into adolescence; (2) 
when they were made captives; (3) at the death of their fathers and 
mothers; (4) at the death of the husband or wife, and (h) when they 
killed one of their enemies, the Arawak.'' As the Porto Ricans had 
Carib kinship, it may be supi)osed that many of these rites occurred 
also among the former. 

Gomara (chapter xxxiii. page 27) records a prophecy of the destruc- 
tion of the Indian gods that Columbus antl other Spaniards heard from 
the caciques and priests. The father of the cacique Guarionex prayed 
to his .:>/«/, asking what would happen to the natives and their gods 
in the future. Before making this queiy he fasted five days and sor- 
rowfully chastised himself, as the tribal ceremonial rites required. He 
finall}' received the answer that so far as the gods knew what would 
happen they would make it known, and that before many years passed 
there would come to the island certain men with long beards, and bodies 
completely clothed, who would sever men in twain with one stroke of 
their swords, bring fire and ashes, drive forth ancient gods, and destro^^ 
the customary rites of the people, shed their blood, and carry them 
into captivitj\ So much importance was attached to this response 
that it was customary to chant it in an areito sung in a ceremonial 

The same story is repeated, with some variation, by J. Villagutiere 
Soto Mayor,'' wdio says that Guarionex consulted his great idol, or zein I. 

a lierrera speaks of ceremonies for rain and crops. Accordinj< to Fray Ramon Pane, the Haitians 
had a zcmi called Boinaiel whom they held in great veneration and in whose honor they performed 
ceremonies when it did not rain. 

fcDe la Borde, History of the Origin, Cnstoms, Religion, Wars, and Travels of the Caribs, Savages 
of the Antilles in America, translated from the French and condensed by G. J. A. Bosch-Reitz. 
Temchri, v. •224-2.54, Demerara. 1886. 

t-Don Juan Villagutiere Soto Mayor, Historia de la Conquista de la Provincia de el Itza, Reduccion 
y Progressos de la Lacandon, etc., pt i, p. 33, 1701. This author repeats the story of the prognosti- 
cation of the zcmi of Guarionex. mentioned by Gomara and others, to whom he refers, and speaks of 
an areito, or song dance, performed in commemoration of the oracle. 
2.5 ETH — 07 5 

6() THK ABORIGIlSrES OF PORTO RICO [eth. axx. 25 

as they call it, asking what would happen to his kingdom after his 
death. He and the other caciques spent live days without eating or 
smoking, bathing themselves with medicine. They wept and per- 
formed rites according to the usages, at the end of which the god 
responded that before many years there would come to Haiti bearded 
men, wholly clothed, who with one stroke could sever a man in the 
middle with swords, and these would bring ashes, destroy the ancient 
gods, and overturn accustomed rites, introducing new laws, and would 
shed the blood of his children and make them captives; and in memory 
of this the natives composed a song {areito) which they sing in their 


The principal ceremon}- of the Haitians, held apparently in honor of 
the earth goddess, is thus described by Gomara : " 

Quando el cacique celebraba la festividafl de su devoto, i principal Idolo, venian al 
Oficio todos. A.tabiaban el Dios mui garridamente; ponianse ios Sacerdotes como en 
coro junto al Rei, i el cacique u la entrada del Templo con vn atabalejo al lado. 
Venian log Hombres jjintados de negro, Colorado, arul, i otras coloret:, o enramados, 
i con (tuirnaldas de Floras, o Plumages, i Caracolejos i Conchuelas en Ios bra(,'08, i 
piernas por Cascaveles. A'enian tambien las IMugeres con semejantes Snnajas; mas 
desnudas, ^^i eran virgenes i sin pintura ninguna;si casadas, con solamente vnascomo 
liragas. Entraban tiailando, i cantando al son de las Conchas: saludabalos el Caci- 
que con el Atabal, asi como Uegaban. Entrados en el Templo, vomitaban, metien- 
dose un palillo por el garguero, para mostrar al Idolo, que no les quedaba cosa mala 
en el estomago. Sentavanse encuclillas, i re^aban, que parecian Avejones, i asi 
andaba un estraiio ruido. Llegaban entonces otras muchas Mugeres con cest'illas de 
Tortas en las Cahecas, i muchas Kosas, Flores, i Iverasolorosas encima: rodeaban Ios 
que oraban, i comen^aban a cantar vno como Romance viejo, en loor de aquel Dios. 
Levantabanse todos a responder, en acabandoel Romance, mudabanel tono: i decian 
otro en alabanra del Cacique: i asi ofrician el Pan al Idolo, hincados de rodillas. 
Tomaljanlo Ios Sacerdotes, bendecianlo, i repartianlo, i con tanto cesaba la fiesta: 
guardaban aquel Pan todo el Aiio, i tenian por desdichada la Casa, que sin el estaba, 
i sujeta a muchos peligros. 


When the cacique celebrated the festival in h<inor of his principal idol, all tlie peo- 
ple attended the function. They decorated the i<lol very elaborately; the priests 
arranged themselves like a choir about the king, and the cacique sat at the entrance 
of the temple with a drum at his side. 

The men came painted black, red, blue, and other colors or covered with branches 
and garlands of flowers, or feathers and shells, wearing shell bracelets and little sheila 

fiHistoria de las Indias, chapter xxvii, p. 22, 2d ed., Antwerp. 1554. This work, which has been 
published in several editions and many translations, contains much important material on the West 
Indian islanders. In the edition belonging to ttie present author chapter xliv. p. 34, gives an 
account of the discovery and noteworthy things regarding the island Borinqiien, called San Juan. 
Chapters xxvi-xxviii contain a good account of the inhabitants of Espanola (Santo Domingo), their 
religion (xxvii), and their customs (.Kxviii). G6mara gives also valuable data concerning the 
customs of the aborigines of Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, etc. The 1554 edition of G6mara is used 
by the author, who has also G6mara's Cronica de la Nueva Espana. 


OH thi'iraniis and rattles on their feet. The women also came with simiUirrattles, but 
naked, if they were maids, and not painted; if married, wearing only lireeeheloths. 
Tliey approaehing dancing, and singing to the sound of the shells, and as they ap- 
proached the cacique he saluted them with the drum. Having entered the temple, 
they vomited, putting a small stick into their throat, in order to show the idol that 
they had nothing evil in tlieir stomach. They seated themselves like tailors and 
prayed with a low voice. Then there approached many women bearing baskets of 
cakes on their heads and many roses, flowers, and fragrant herbs. They formed 
a circle as they jirayed and began to chant something like an old ballad in praise of 
the God. All rose to respond at the close of the ballad; they changed their tone and 
sang another song in jjraise of the cacique, after which they offered the bread to the 
idol, kneeling. The priests took the gift, blessed, and divided it; and so the feast 
ended, liut the recipients of the bread pre.served it all the year and held thatl'.cnise 
unfortunate and liable to many dangers which was without it. 

Benzoni's account" is essentiall}' tlie same a.s that of Gomara. 

Chai'levoix's description of this eereniony diti'ers from the accounts 
of some other authors, for he speaks of it as a solemn procession in 
honor of the gods.* His account likewise follows in general that of G6- 
mara. Peter [Nlart^-r reports that among their gods they had one 
which they adored in the form of a female, who had a herald on each 
side, acting as a messenger to convey' her orders to subordinate gods 
who caused rain to fall and crops to grow. The female idol he calls 
variously Attabeira, Mamona, Guacarapita, Lielia, and Guimazoa, 
probably difierent names of an earth goddess or earth mother/ 

A comparative study of this festival shows that it is a ceremony per- 
formed for the growth of crops. The idol is thought to represent the 
earth goddess and the heralds are supposed to be her messengers, as 
stated by Peter Martjr. The presentation of offerings is a prayer by 
signs, the devotees making known their desires by food offerings. The 
return of the gifts to the donors represents symbolically the answer to 
the pra3'ers, and the dire effects supposed to follow if they were not 
preserved by the recipients, the distress that would follow absence of 
reverence for them. 

The act of vomiting, common in all primitive ceremonies, has pi'oba- 
blj' the same meaning in these rites as elsewhere, namely, self-pin-iffca- 
tion. The sprinkling of the image with powder, prolial>ly tobacco, or 
cassava flour, mentioned in .some accounts, is regarded as a form of 
prayer for food, and the songs in praise of the god and the cacique 
are intimately connected with ancestor worship. The images of the 
gods were sometimes washed with the juice of the yucca, a .sjinbolic 
act, apparentlj- a prayer for increase of this food plant. 

a History of the New World by Giolamo Benzoni, 1572, translated by Rear Admiral W. H. Smyth, 
Hakluyt Sou.. 1S57. He add.s: "They worshiped two wooden figures as the gods of abundance." 

'> Pictures of this processioTi are given by Charlevoix and Picard, but these representations (plates 
IX, X) appear to be more or less fanciful, being made from the descriptions of GOmara and others. 

c Mr. H. Ling Roth (p. 26.^) refers to an old parcliment descriljing Indian witchcraft, where the queen 
of the tribe in Santo Domingo, having drunk the juice of the herb, zainiaca, and attired in a garment 
made of its fibre, consulted the spirits of her ancestors. She evidently personated the earth goddess, 


Du Tertre" and Laet have described among the religious practices 
of the Carib several rites closely i-esembling those of the natives of 
the larger islands. The greatest of their gods, he says, was called 
Yris, and to the sk}' god they gave the name Chemiu, the linguistic 
afhnity of which name with zeini is apparent. Maboj^a* is said to have 
the power of sending hurricanes and may be recognized as a sky god 
also syml)olized by a great serpent. The designation appears in some 
writings to have the same meaning as zemi, or subordinate god, but 
with a wider application. 

Du Tertre declares also that many mahoyaa were recognized hy the 
Carib and that they had sex and multiplied like the humjin race. 
The probability is that in its original meaning the word inahoi/a sig- 
nified the magic power of the god liurican and possibly at first was 
limited in its application, but that later it was given to a great num- 
ber of lesser powers, good and evil, and used interchangeably with 
the word zemi. 


It is believed that the dances of the modern Gibaros retained down to 
comparatively recent iimes elements of the aboriginal arcito^ and 
that in the eighteenth century this resemblance was very marked. 
Fraj' liiigo, who has left a valuable description of the rustic dances, 
says in substance that the participants assembled at tlie entrance 
of the house where the dance was to take place, carrying their nmsical 
instruments, some of which recalled those of the Indians. The 
guests sang an appropriate song in honor of the host, as in the 
areitos, and the host, appearing then, invited them to enter. They 
greeted the head of the house as if they had not seen him for a long 
time. Entering, the women seated themselves on haumiocks or seats, 
but the men stood on tiptoe or on their heels, and, singly or in pairs, 
began the ball. Each man carried a machete. The men invited the 
women to dance with them by placing their hats on the heads of 
those they wished for partners. When the l)all ceased the women 
retired with a courtesy, returned the hats, and received each a coin (a 
medioreal). Duiing the dance the slaves brought in drinks and 
tobacco. Very many of these balls occurred on feast daj's. Peojjle 
celebrated with a dance the birth or death of sons, and in the latter 

aP^re Ji^an Baptiste Du Tertre, Histoire 06n^rale des Isles de la S. Christophie, Guadeloupe, de la 
Martinique et Autres dans I'Amerique, Paris, 1654. A most valuable account of the manners and 
customs, arts, and religion of the Carib; probably the source of Rocliefort's work. 

Juan de Laet's Historia del Nuevo Mundo 6 Descripci6n do las Indias Occidentalcs; a translation 
of the original from the French is found in Tapia. It contains such portions of Laet's History as 
pertain to Porto Rico. The work was oritjinally published in 1010. 

i> The prefix via signifies great; while boyi or boiaiko is applied to both priests and gods: ma boya, 
great serpent. 


case the liall continued until those assembled could no longer endure 
the odor of the corpse." 

It is highly prol)ablethat some of the prehistoric Porto Ricau music 
survives in the negro dances called Ijoinhas, still celebrated by country 
people. The following words* of one of the al)original West Indian 
dances are given by Schoolcraft, who obtained them from Rev. Ham- 
ilton Pierson. v.ho in turn received them from W. J. Simone, long 
a resident of Haiti: 

Aya l)omba •' ya bombai 

La niassana Anacaona 
Aya bomlia ya bomljai 

La massana Anacaona. 

According to Bachiller y Morales, Don Joaquin Perez states in his 
Fantasias Indigenas that the words I/jl aya JmjihJi,' are fragments of 
an art Ho. Each stanza of the Borinquen or national song of the 
Porto Ricans hiis in some versions the refrain ^lyt^ -^y^i -^i/^i ^ survi 
val of some old areito. 

"To return to their songs," sa_ys Charlevoix,'' "which with them 
took the place of annals, as I have already remarked, they were 
always accompanied by circular dances in which the leader began 
alone and the rest followed. The leader regulated the step and the 
others imitated him, tirst in advancing and then in retreating, all the 
troop following his lead. Sometimes all the men danced on one side 
and the women on the other; at other times the two sexes were 
mixed, and then it was immaterial whether a man or a woman com- 
menced the dance. But in the public feasts and on important occa- 
sions they sang or danced to the sound of the drum, which was 
ordinarily beaten by the most important man of the village or the 
cacique himself. The drum of which I have spoken was simply the 
truidv of a tree of cylindrical shape having about the middle of its 
length an opening." 


After a death they made tire, rubbing two sticks together, the act 
being connected in an esoteric wa}' with the perpetuation of the life of 
the deceased. Among the common people, according to Herrera, the 
relatives solemnly cared for the skull of the dead. Relatives of a 
cacique frequently strangled him if it appeared to tiiem that he was 
on the point of death. Some of the dead the}' took out of tlie house, 

a Dances are even now occasionally performed on the occasion of the death of an infant son, but 
they have almost wholly ceased. 

/'Sec Bachiller y Morales, Cuba Primitiva. 

^ A negro dance in Porto Rico is called btnnba, this name being given also to the ..iruni used in the 
dance — a hogshead over which is stretched a skin. 

dHistoire de Tlsle Espagnola ou de S. Domingue, i, 39, Paris, 17bO. 


others they left within, placing- the corpse in a hammock with water 
and bread. In both cases the house was deserted and shunned by the 
relatives. They believed that after death the deceased went to a 
valley (Coaibai) where their ancestors lived and where thej' woidd 
have many wives, plenty to eat," and all kinds of pleasure. 

Oviedo has given an account of the manner of burial of the dead, 
especially of caciques, which is instructive in "a comparative study of 
the Antilleans and certain South American tribes. When a cacique 
died one of his wives was sometimes buried alive with the corpse, 
bowls of water and food, such as cassava l)read and fruits, being placed 
with her in the grave At the interment of the Haitian cacique 
Behechio two wives were voluntarily buried alive with him. Wife 
burial was not always practised, the customarj' method of interment 
being to bind the body with bandages of woven cloth and to place it in 
a grave, with the jewels or treasures most pi'ized bj' the cacique in life. 

In order that the earth might not touch the corpse it was customarv 
to make a crypt of sticks, iu which the deacl was seated in a decorated 
chair called a duho^ after which the grave was filled in with earth 
above the wood and branches. For from fifteen to twenty days after 
burial tlie relatives and other persons, both male and female, sang 
dirges over the grave, and caciques of the neighboring territory came 
to do bonor to the deceased. The family divided the property among 
the strangers who recited dirges and songs conuncmorative of im- 
portant events in the life of the dead, telling of the battles he had 
fought and of other worthj^ deeds, the mortuary songs being accom- 
panied by the dances called areitos. Among the Haitians the dead 
were inhumed, mounds of earth being raised over the graves. 

From the similarity of the people of the two islands it would be 
supposed that the same custom was practised in Porto Rico, and this 
archeologj' has demonstrated. Mortuary ott'erings have been found 
in mounds as well as in caves, and later it will be shown that these 
mounds and cemeteries are situated near certain walled inclosures that 
are called by the country ^eo^Xejuegos dehola or hateys ("ball courtsV). 

Considerable light is shed on the natui'e of the mortuary dances of 
the West Indians liy a comparative study of burial ceremonies among 
their supposed kindred living along the Orinoco river in South 
America, our knowledge of whose mortuary rites is more detailed than 
that which has ))een recorded b^' the early historians of the West ' 
Indies. Gumilla in 1745 gave a description of the elaborate mortuary 
dances held by the Saliva near tumuli, on the Orinoco, at the death 
of their caciques. The Antilleans als(j appear to have performed com- 
plicated mortuary dances, or areitov^ in the so-called ball courts or 
dance places and near the adjacent tumuli outside the inclosure. 

a The dead were believed to live ou a fruit about the size of u quince, called tjtiajiahana (sour-sop). 


These mounds are graves of caciques or other dignitaries, a fact indi- 
cating that the burial customs of the Boriuqueiios approached more 
<'loselv those of tlie Saliva than of any other of the Orinoct) tribes, of 
which Gumilla describes a number differing in many respects from 
one another. 

The Guarano, commonly called the Warraus, who live on the many 
islands of the delta of the Orinoco, according to (iumilla place their 
dead in the water and allow fishes {guacaritos) to strip the corpse of 
the flesh and soft parts; the skull and other J)ones are then preserved 
in a decorated basket, which is hung from the roof of the house. 
Considering the relationship between the prehistoric peoples of the 
West Indies and the Orinoco tribes, this custom among the Guarano 
is highly significant. The mortuarj- customs of the Indians of the 
Oi'inoco vary greatly, and probably the same statement is applicable 
to the customs of the difl'erent West Indian islands. There is no evi- 
dence that the Porto Kicans treated tlie dead in the way just described, 
which is a custom characteristic of the Guarano. But throughout 
tlie ^Vest Indies, as among the tribes of the Orinoco, especial care 
seems to have been taken to preserve the skeletons of the deceased. 
There is evidence that the Caril) of the Lester Antilles sometimes 
placed their dead in earthen jars, as re<'orded l)y im Thurn in speak- 
ing of a small island called Ballineux that was used as a cemeterj'. 
The Jamaicans placed tlieir dead in caves or sometimes interred the 
bones, deposited in urns. In the caves the bones were not Ijuried hut 
simply laid out on the cave flooi'. That the Jamaica Indians did the 
san'ie is recorded l)v Sir Hans Sloane." ''I liave seen in the woods,"' 
says this writer, "many of their l)ones in caves, whicii some people 
think were of such as had voluntarily inclosed or inmiuned themselves, 
in order to be starved to death." He refers to a man who saw. in the 
j'ear 1677, "a cave in which lay human ])ones. all in order, also pots 
and urns wherein were bones of men and children." These pots were 
large and oval and of a dirty reddish color. ■"On the upper part of 
the rim or ledge there stood out an ear. on which were made some 
lines." The negroes had removed most of these pots to boil their 
meat in. "The dead," writes C'hai'levoix, "were treated liy the use 
of fire, but were not interred until they were thought thoroughly 
emptied and dried by the fire." 

Accoi'ding to Gumilla the Orinoco Carib inter the bodies of the 
dead with bow, arrows, wooden clubs, shield, and other arms on one 
side of the corpse and one of the wives on the other. AVhen this act 
has taken place in their mortuary ceremonies the son of the cacique 
inherits his fathei''s position and his wives. At the beginning of the 
year they exhume the dead, place the remains in a Ijasket. and hang 

«Sir Hans Sloane, A Voyaffe to the Islands of Madeira, Barbadoes, Nieves, St. Christopher's, and 
Jamaica, 2 vols., London, 1725. 


them in the house for perpetual reverence and memory'. 8uch pre- 
served heads were prol)ably seen l)y the Spaniards in the houses of 
the insular Carib and led to the circulation of distorted stories of can- 
nibalism. The Guarano also, according to Guniilla, preserved the 
bones of their ancestors in their houses, the flesh first having been 
removed by aquatic animals. 

The habit of preserving- skulls, bones, or other parts of the bod3^ as 
objects of worship seems to have been universal among the West 
Indians. It is mentioned in all older accounts of the Haitians. The 
method of preparing and the subsequent care of the skull and other 
bones of the dead among the Orinoco tribes, as described Ijy Gumilla, 
show some analogy with the customs of the ancient Antilleans. The 
Arawak exercised the same care as is recorded by Oviedo of Haitian 
burials, to prevent contact with the earth. Brett," in an account of an 
Arawak dance called a mcujunrri^ gives among many others the fol- 
lowing especialh' instructive epi-^ode: 

The dance was given in honor of a deceased femate, who had been buried in the 
house. A broad plank lay on her grave, and on it were placed two bundles contain- 
ing the refuse of the silk grass of which the whips were made, which had been care- 
fully preserved. There were also two pieces of wood, rudely carved to resemble 
birds, and two others which were intended to represent infants. At a signal from 
the master of the house the dancing ceased; and all the men, arranging themselves 
in jirocession, went round the house with slow and measured steps, the plank and 
wooden images lieing carried before them. After this they arranged themselves near 
the grave, and one of them chanted something in a low voice, to which the others 
answered at intervals with four moans by way of chorus. The articles carried in the 
procession were then taken to a hole previously dug in the earth and buried there. 
Two or three men appointed for the purpose then drew forth their hmg knives, and, 
rushing in among the dancers, snatched the whips from them, cut off the lash from 
each, and buried them with the other articles. 

Future investigation of the burial mounds of the Porto Ricans will 
no doubt bring to light similar objects l)uried with the dead in these 
places, but thus far, with the exception of a stone mask, nothing has 
yet been found to parallel this custom of the Venezuelan Arawak. 

Ifiigo, speaking of the burial customs of certain people of his time 
(the eighteenth century), remarks that, while the dead were commonly 
interred in the churches, those that had died of an epidemic were 
buried at the foot of a tree on their farms, and that their bones were 
disinterred later and carried to the church, where honors were paid to 


The West Indians, like ail primitive peoples, had many fables and 
traditions, some of which were reduced to song and recited in dances. 
The Indians of Hispaiiola believed that the sun and moon came from 

a Rev. W. K. Brett, The Indian Tribes of Guiana, their Customs and Habits, p. 156, London, 1868. 


a cave, which they called (Hovovava or Jovobalia and regarded with 
great reverence as the place of human origin. It formerly contained 
two small idols of stone, human figures with their hands bound, called 
Boinaiel (Sun) and Maroio (Moon), each about a yard long. It was 
popularly believed that these idols appeared at times to sweat. The 
natives held them in great respect and, according to Pane, made them 
large offerings and resorted to them to pray for rain for the crops. 
This cave was situated in the land of a cacique named Mauci Tiuvel. 

There was a tradition that the dead went to a place called Coaibai, 
in a district of the island called Soi'aia, and that their spirits, npiu, 
remained there in daytime, but delighted to come forth during the 
night and appear to the living in the forms of men and women. Con- 
sequently, an Indian would seldom venture out alone in the dark and 
then only with fear." It was said that a native once met one of these 
spirits, in consequence of which he disappeared and found himself 
attached to a tree. 

The aboriginal Porto Kican traditit)ti of the creation of women was 
that they were created for men from four eagle-like lu'ings jjossessed of 
feet and hands. A bird similar to a woodpecker (picaca), believing 
that these beings were wood, pecked at their privates and thus formed 

According to Gomara the Indians of Haiti preserved as a relic a 
calabash, from which, as they believed, came the sea and all its fishes. 
A fable of how the sun turned certain Hshermen into trees (Joho) 
appears in several legends of these Indians. 

Fray Ramon Pane, who was one of the few priests who could speak 
the Tainan language of ancient Haiti, has preserved a number of the 
traditions of the natives of that island. Some of these were published 
in the Life of Columbus, ascribed to his son, the authenticity of which 
Harrisse questions. Pane's record of the traditions and religions of the 
prehistoric people of Haiti, however, is looked upon as worthy of cre- 
dence. While the author regrets that he has not byre the space to 
give a full or satisfactor3' resume of this work, he has introduced a 
few significant legends recorded b}' this priest. The story of how the 
sea was made is especially interesting. 

Thei'e was once a man named Yaya or Giaia, whose son, called 
Yayael or Giaiel (Earth),'' sought to kill his father and was banished 
to a place where he remained four months, after which his father 
killed him, and put him into a calabash, which he hung to the roof 
of iiis cabin, where it remained a long time. Yaya went one day 
to see his son's bones, and, having taken down the calabash and opened 
it. found instead a multitude of fishes, great and small, into which 
the bones had l)een changed. Yaya and his wife decided to eat these 

a The spiritualism so common among the Gibaros is a survival of this old belief recorded by Vane. 
'>The termination ef means son; Giaiel, son of Giaia. 


fishes, but one day, when Yava had gone to his farm, there came to 
his house the four sons of Itaba-Yanuba (Itiba Tahuvaca), who died 
at their birth. The first-born was called Caracol, "shell;" the 
others had no names. These four sons of Itiba-Tahuvava, having 
examined the calabash, resolved to eat the fishes. As they set about 
it they were suddenly surprised by the return of Yaya and attempted 
to hang up the calabash again, l>ut it fell to the earth and was broken. 
All the water poured out, covering the earth and forming the sea, 
carrying with it the fishes, which became its inhabitants. Benzoni 
also speaks of the calabash, out of which had come the sea with all 
the fishes, that was kept as a relic. This tradition, which has some- 
times been regarded as a story of the deluge, is one of those widely 
spread accounts of the water covering all the earth found among most 
of the aboriginal tribes of America. The calabash or gourd was 
preserved by the natives as a ceremonial object to which great sacred- 
ness was attached. 


According to Ramon Pane the Indians related that there was in one 
of the provinces of Haiti, called Caanan, a mountain, Canta, in which 
were two caves, known as Caci-Iiagiagua and Amaiauva. The natives 
of the island believed that their ancestors emerged from the first of 
these caves, but that other people still remained in the other cavern, 
which was guarded by IMarocael. The guardian was once surprised 
by the closing of the entrance of the cave by the sun and turned into 
a stone. Another legend tells how certain men who went fishing were 
turned into trees, caWed johos, by the shining of the sun upon them. 

"The first people," says Charlevoix", who appai'ently drew his 
information from Ramon Pane,* Peter Martyr, and others, "are said 
to have come from two caves in the island of Haiti, and the sun, irri- 
tated at their exit from the earth, changed the guardians of these cav- 
erns to stone, and metamorphosed the people who escaped from their 
prisons into trees and into all kinds of animals. This thoroughly 
aboriginal story, which in some variants goes on to tell of the loss of 
the women and how their children were turned into frogs, crying toa, 
toa^ ("frog, frog"),'' occurs in several early folk tales. Another tra- 
dition saj's that the sun and the moon came to light the world from 
a grotto in the same island, and that the people made pilgrimages to 
this grotto, whose walls were ornamented with paintings, and whose 
entrance was guarded bj' demons, for whom one had to perform cer- 
tain ceremonies before they would allow him to pass. 

The l)eings called Ckicm'acol{\A\\v\\\ of caracol) appear in many stories 
as monster gods, with scabbj' or rough skins, but the spelling of their 

<J Histoire (ie I'Isle Espagnole ou de S. Domingue, i, 38, Paris, 1730. 

?» Piine saj's the children were changed into tonn, or little creatures like dwarfs. 

<• Toa means also ' 'breast," and possibly the children were clamoring for milk or for their mothers. 


name varies so greatl\- in ditt'erent wiitings that at times it is almost 
impossible to recognize it. 


There is a rich tield for research in both Santo Domingo and Porto 
Rico in the study of survivals of Indian folklore among- the so-called 
Gil)aros. Seiior FederieoVall y Spinosa has published one of these 
modern legends: " 

The Sierra Liiquillo mountains lie along the northeastern t-oast of Porto Eico. 
Among them, higher than the rest, standing out proudly and serenely, stands El 
Yun(]ue, the loftiest peak in the land over which Boriquen ruled many \efirs ago. 
These mountains are thickly wooded, containing the few forests left to the island, 
and these are slowly disappearing under the woodman's a.xe. It is now onlv a 
question of time when Porto Rico shall consist of one clump of beautiful, hut bare 

Standing face to face with El Yunque and raising its head almost to a level with this 
majestic peak, another one, called Cacique, is prominent in the %Sierra. The top of 
this peak consists of a large rock which has a small inclination, causing an indenture 
on one side, which is commonly termed the cave. It is with this rock that my 
legend is concerned. 

As is the case in all mountain regions, around this height many legends exist and 
are handed down from generation to generation l>y the peasants dwelling near. Dur- 
ing a short stay among them it was my good fortune to listen to a nundser of them, 
and I give this one as taken from my notebook: 

"King Cacique was a good and powerful monarch, who ruled over the northern 
coast of Porto Rico in the days of yore, when spirits were supposed tti wander on 
mother earth. 

"El Enemigo, as my fair stor3'-teller called him, or the devil, as the Bible says, 
used then to wander in disguise amongst the mortals, trying to dissuade the true 
ones from their career. Cacique was one of those whom the Evil Spirit worked hard- 
est anil longest to win over, but, seemingly, without success. His strong will over- 
came all obstacles and temptations thrown in his path for a long time; but the Evil 
One was not satisfied to be daunted or deprived of his prey. 

"He worked incessantly and spared not a chance to tempt. Finally, one day, 
when Cacique had returned from his work, tired and weary, and the Evil Spirit liad 
commenced his taunts again, in a rash moment of despair he turned on his tempter 
and said: 

" ' If you can take me to yon mountain,' pointing to FA Yunque, ' without getting 
my feet wet, I will do as you will.' 

" It was a sad hour fur Cacique when he uttered these words, for no sooner had 
they left his mouth than the Evil One took him through the air, over rivers, hills, 
and mountams, to El Yunque. ' Once there, tlie Evil One told him who he was, and 
said that he was his prisoner. 

"Then and there el Enemigo pronounced his sentence: 'You shall be shut uji for 
the lest of your days in yon<ler mountain,' and he pointed to the peak wdiere Caciijue 
rock stands to-day, and to make sure i<{ him he covered the opening with this rock. 
Before being locked up Cacique by implorations oljtained from the Evil One per- 
mission to have with him his wife and daughter, whom he had left in the plains. 
This request granted, his wife, accompanied by her daughter, a young and charming 
princess, shared his quarters of captivity. This young princess, having barely 

"A Legend of King Oiiciqiie, San Jkoii iVcii'S. Deo. 26, 1901. 


reached her teens, was naturally of a jciyous disposition, and liked, above all things, 
to romp and play in tlie fields. 

"After they were locked up and the Evil One had covered the top with the stone, 
another urgent pleading on the jiart of Cacique caused to be left a small opening 
(the mouth of the cave), in order that Cacique might see every now and then the 
blue sky and l)reatlie a little pure air. 

"The young princess, who had maintained a silent demeanor during this time, 
jumped up with a joyous shout when the Evil One had left. Her parents were 
astonisheci at her actions. She ran to a thin but strong vine which was growing in 
the interior of the cave, such as is called by the mountaineers 'bejuco,' and, hauling 
herself up hand over hand, soon reached the small opening at the top. Once there, 
what was the surprise of her parents to see their beautiful young pearl force her 
tiny body through the small aperture. On reaching the open air the yi5Ung girl met 
a mountaineer called Juan, who gave her some honey which he liad gathered. Tliis 
she took to her ])arents, and all rejoiced. 

"The Evil One found it out and wanted to close the opening, but the pitiful plea 
and pearly tears of the young princess finally made him compromise as follows; The 
opening should be left open forever, but she could talk to no one but on one day in 
the year, which should be San Juan's day, and then only to a first-born son whose 
name should be Juan. And the time was limited to theglimpse of daylight seen 
before the sun's rays struck their habitation." 

It is a long time .since this happened, and, the writer has been 
assured, sevei-al Juans have tallied with Iter, although he could never 
obtain an interview with one of those privileged human beings. How- 
ever, the yoiuig peasant woman who related this tale to mo assured me 
that there existed no doubt on that subject, and, indeed, it seemed to 
be taken for granted that it is true. 

In the course of her tale, when alluding to the beautj' of the princess, 
she noticed the eyes of my 3'oung guide sparkle and she immediately 
remarked: "Oh, that was hundreds of j^ears ago, and she must l)e 
quite an old woman ))y this time." 

In connection with this tale, the following incident was narrated to 
me, which seemed to prove to the majority of these peasants the authen- 
ticity of the story: 

A Spaniard once cliinlied to Cacique rock, accompanied by a large Newfoundland 
dog. The opening at the mouth of the rock must not be entered by anyone, as this 
angers Cacique. It apjjears that, as the dog could not talk, he went into the cave, 
and, in spite of the anxious calls made by its master, has not been heard from up to 
this date. 

If any of the readers of these pages isqualitied, luider the conditions 
required by El Enemigo, to talk with the once fair princess, the 
writer will gladly iiccompsmy him on San Juan's day to Cacique, in 
order to obtain what perliaps might lie an interesting interview with 
the enchanted princess of Cacique rock. 


III his letter" to the Catholic ir.onarchs Columbus states that the 
natives of the i.slands that he had discovered did not differ in customs 

cR. H. Major, SeJet-t LetttT-s of Christopher Columbus, 


nor ii. language (eii la leiigua). In this diai y, as given liy Las Casas, 
he says that the Indian women taught the Spaniards to carry on trade 
in their language, which is ''one in all those islands (la qual es toda 
una en todas estas islas de India),"' referring, of course, only to those 
discovered on the first voyage. 

We are told that the Catalan priest Fi'ay Ramon Pane spoke one of 
the Haitian dialects, and doubtless other priests Avere ftuniliar with dif- 
ferent ones; hence it is a matter of surprise that no written specimen of 
the language is extant — not even a paternoster or a printed page. 
The early missionaries have left us no catechism or vocabularies such 
as are valuable aids in the study of the aboriginal languages of JMexico. 
The speech of prehistoric Porto Rico has passed out of practical use 
without adecpiate record. \\'hile there is no person in the West Indies 
who can now speak the Tainan language, there is a possibility of 
gathering a fair vocabulary of this lost tongue, and thus incr(^asing 
our knowledge of the general structure of the ancient West Indian 
language, from three sources: (1) Antillean words which occur in the 
early histories of the islands, mostly names of caciques and of plants, 
animals, and the like; ('2) geographical jilace names, of which there 
are many still in use, and others recorded on ancient maps" and 
charts; (3) substantives and phrases of Indian origin that still survive 
in folklore or the speech of natives. All three of these sources have 
been used to a limited extent by native historians, by Senor Coll y 
Toste* and others in Porto Rico and by Bachiller y Morales'' in Cuba. 
We have one or two vocabularies, like that of Brasseur de Boui'bourg, 
Brinton's Arawak Language of Guiana, and works, like that of Spinosa, 
containing lists of exotic words, some of which are Indian survivals, 
are of special value. When all the Antillean words gathered by these 
methods are united in a vocabulary its size will astonish the linguist, 
and by the use of such a list it may be possible to detect some of the 
more important principles in the structure of the language. It is not 
too much to hope that some manuscripts or some printed paternosters 
or translations of church prayers, now hidden away in old Spanish 
libraries or monasteries, may be brought to light in the course of 
research, stimulating a new interest in the linguistics of the Antillean 

The language of ancient Borin(|uen was the same, with dialectic 
variations, as the Tainan spoken in Haiti and Cuba, but it had many 

a For instance, Juan de la Cosa's map on oxhide, in Madrid. The author lias used for liis study of 
this map the facsimile in color, published in 1892, on the occasion of the Historical Exposition in 
Madrid. The original is now in the Museo Xaval at Madrid. Cosa's map, which has been often 
repttblished, is valuable for Indian names of the islands. See the chapters headed "Juan de laCosa" 
and " El Mapa de Juan de la Cosa," in Coil y Toste's Colon en Puerto Rico. Padre Nazario, in an 
article entitled "El Mapa Mundi de Juan de la Cosa," concludes that the map is apocryphal and not 
the work of Cosa. 

!'Cayetano Coll y Tostc. Colon en Puerto Eico, Puerto Eico, 1894. This worlc contains an impor- 
tant discussion of the letter of Doctor Clianca. \vitli a reprint of the same. 

t-'Cuba Primitiva, 2d ed., Habana, 1,S83; see also Vall y Spinosa, Compendio de la Konsina, Puerto 
Rico, 1S87. 


Carilj words derived from the Lesser Antilles. Similar words are fre- 
quently heard in the island patois and umong Venezuelan tribes, as has 
Ijeoii pointed out by Torres, Luciaii Adam, Brinton, and other writers. 
Mauj' Tainan words, as hamac. eanoe, tobacco, ke}' (island), have 
become anglicized and are now universally used in the West Indies and 
on the neighboring mainland. 

The Indian name of Porto Rico is variously given in the diticrent 
early accounts, and probably the Carib designation, Boriqiten, was a 
dialectic variant which Columbus heard in the Lesser Antilles. The 
name Baiieqin , mentioned in Columl)us"s diary, was prol)ably a Luca- 
yan variant. Although atiixed to a smaller island north of Haiti on 
several maps, Torres has shown that this is the same as the Carib 
Borinquen. As a result of his scholarly examination of the three ele- 
ments, Bo-ri-quen, Coll y Toste arrives at the conclusion that tho 
proper spelling of the name of the island is Borinquen. After a crii- 
ical discussion of the name of the island as spelled l)v others, Torres 
says." in part, as follows: 

We believe that the word Borinquen or Bo-ri-n-que-n is composed of the following 
elements: bo which expresses the general idea of man, master; rl which denotes the 
absolute conception of valor, force; the prefix )!. which signifies nf Ihein, of the; the 
root que, which entails the signification eartli; and n final sign of plural. 

Borinquen, with accent on the i, would then mean "land of valiant 
masters" or " fatherland of powerful men."'' 

The speech of the ancient people of the island Borinquen is consid- 
ered by some authors to be a Tainan dialect called Eyrie, but there 
seems no good reason, on account of dialectic variation, to separate 
aboriginal Porto Ricans from the other West Indians, whom they 
clearly reseaible in customs and language. All belong to one and the 
.same stock, but from their proximity to the Carib the Porto Ricans 
were naturally more warlike, and the presence of slight variations in 
their language indicates no difference in race kinship. 


In addition to the preceding information regarding the piehistoric 
Porto Ricans, obtained from historical accounts or from ethnology and 
folklore, we have that afforded by a study of prehistoric objects found 
in the soil, in caves, or on village sites. These can often Ije interpreted 
by the writings of the Spanish historians, and they also present evidence 
in themselves of the character of the long-extinct people that manu- 
factured and used them. Archeology is thus able to illuminate otiscure 
chapters overlooked or unrecorded by the historian and ethnologist. 

a Luis Lorens Torres, America; Estudios Kist6ricosy Filol6gicos, Madrid, 1898. 

b\i will be noted that this .spelling of the aneient name of the island introduces the letter n, and 
in that respect differs from that of Coll y Toste and others. The objection to the omission is well 
presented by Torres, who points out that the three elements bn-ri'-i/uot mean simply "man-force- 
lands," and need the connective n and the final letter to bring out the correct meaning. 


It offers tlie only exact data l»y wliicli tbe iiianiiers and customs of the 
aborigines before the advent of Coliiinbus can be interpreted. 

As the author has sought to indicate in the preceding pages the life of 
the aborigines as shown bj' the historians, in the following pages he will 
try to supplement this account by descriptions of the preliistoi'ic olijects 
preserved in the Smithsonian Institution, suggesting, when possible, 
their use and meaning. As has been shown by the historical data 
already presented, the aboriginal race which peopled the island of Porto 
Kico was not contined to it but extended to the neighboring islands. 
Indeed, much that we know through historical sources of the customs 
and l)eliefs of the Boi-in((uenos is based on their resemblance to the 
natives of Haiti, whose manner of life has been described by several 
early writers. It is therefore legitimate in discussing the archeological 
data bearing on the aboriginal cultui'c of Porto Kico to introduce studies 
of preliistoric objects from neighboring islands. From comparative 
evidence of this kind our knowledge is greatly enlarged, l)ut it must 
always he borne in mind that certain types of archeological objects are 
peculiar to certain islands, and tliat each island has objects of human 
make which are characteristic. Numbers of prehistoric Porto Rican 
antiquities occur in thi'ee diti'erent places, namely, in sliell heaps, in 
caves, and in or near inclosures called jnegaa de Ijola ("'ball courts"'), 
also ce-rcados de los Indios {'"^InAinn inclosures"). Excavations have 
been made in all these sites but the field can not yet be said to have 
been worked with any scientific completeness, and uuich material 
awaits a more extended exploration. Indian objects are found also 
scattered at random over the whole island, being met with in unex- 
pected places. Men pick tiiem up while plowing in the lields, digging 
ditches, or making foundations for buildings. The amount of pre- 
historic material awaiting discovery must be great, for although no 
systematic attempt has yet been made to bring it to light, collections 
obtained by chance are comparatively large. 

Dance Plazas 

At various places on the islands of Porto Rico, Cuba, and Haiti 
there are found level spaces inclosed by rings of stones, called by 
the natives juegos de hola or cervados de km Indum. In former 
times structures were much more numerous and more evident, 
but many of them have been destroyed, so that only a few well-pre- 
served examples now remain. These inclosures generally have a 
rectangular shape and are ordinarily supposed to have been constructed 
for ball games. Doctor Stahl mentions certain of these structures in 
the mountainous districts near LTtuado and at the sources of the Baya- 
mon and Manati rivers, and calls attention to the probability that the 
UKijority have been destroyed, their flat boundary stones having been 
used for pavements or other purposes. Doctor Stahl writes also of 

80 THE ABORIGINES OF FORT(t RICO [eth. a.nn. 2r> 

one of the iiiclosures between the district of Comerio and liananqui- 
tas and of others in the districts of Jalhihvs and Hatillo. 

While l)all games may have taken place in the inclosiires just 
described, it seems more probable from their mode of construction. 
situation, and other features that they were used as dance courts, in 
which were celebrated some of the solemn religious ceremonies of the 
clans. It is conjectured that the rows of stones which surround these 
inclosures are the remains of seats. 

A short distance outside the inclosures there are generally found 
tumuli, mounds of earth which were used for burial of the dead. 
These structures are not contined to Porto Rico; similar inclosures 
surrounded by stones occur in other West IndiaTi islands. 

J. (t. ^liiller, in his history of the aboriginal American religions, 
speaks of one of these dance places discovered by Schoniburgk" in 
Haiti, near San Juan de ^Managua, where there was a ring of granite 
stones, 21 feet thick, which measured 2,770 feet in circumference. In 
the center of this circle was a rock, 5 feet *> inches in height, partly 
buried in the soil, which Schomlnirgk supposed to be an idol. He 
ascribed these structures to a race antedating the Indians that Colum- 
bus found on the island. 

In his report in the Proceedings. of the British Association for IS.JI 
Schomburgk gives a more detailed description of the rock inclosure 
near San Juan de jSIanagua: 

A far more interesting discovery tlian those heajis of concli shells, made during 
my travels in Santo Domingo, is, however, a granite ring in the neighborhood of San 
Juan de Managua, which seems to have entirely escaped the attention of previous 
historians and travelers. Managua formed one of the five kingdoms into which Santo 
Donnngo, on the arrival of the Spaniards, was divided. It was governed by the 
Carib cacique Caonabo (which name signified rain), the most iierre and powerful of 
the chieftains, and the irreconcilable enemy of the Europeans. The granite ring is 
now known in the neighborhood under the name of "el cercado de los Indies," and 
lies on a savanna surrounded with groves of wood and bounded by the river Managua. 
The circle consists mostly of granite rocks, which prove by their smoothness that 
they have been col.acted on the banks of the river, probably at Managua, although 
its distance is considerable. The rocks are mostly each from 30 to 50 pounds in 
weight, and have been placed close together, giving the ring the appearance of a 
paved road, 21 feet in breadth and, as far as the trees and bushes which had grown 
up from between the rocks permitted one to ascertain, 2,270 feet in circumference. 
A large granite ro(.'k, 5 feet 7 inches in length, ending in obtuse points, lies nearly in 
the middle of the circle, partly embedded in the ground. 1 do not think its present 
situation is the one it originally occupied; the rock stood jirobably in the center. It 
has been smoothed and fashioned by liuman hands, and, although the surface has 
suffered from atmospheric influences, there is evidence that it was to represent a 
human figure; the cavities of the eyes and mouth are still visible. 

This rock has in every respect the appearance of the figure represented by P6re 
Charlevoix in his Histoire de I'isle Espagnole ou de Saint Dominigue, which he des- 

nSir Robert Schomburgk, Ethnological Researches in Santo Domingo, in the Repoit of the British 
Association, p. 90-92. 1S51. See also Bachiller y Morales's quotation from .1. G. Miiller's Amerikan- 
isehe Religionen, also an article in the Rrnsla de la llahana in which he describes the so-called 
ccfcados dc tos Indian of Santo Domingo. 


ignates as a "figure trouvee dans une srpultLire Imiieiine." A pathway of tht' same 
breadth as the ring extends from it, first, due west, and turns afterward at a riglit 
angle to tlie north, ending at a small brook. The pathway is almost for its whole 
extent overgrown with thick forest; I could not, therefore, ascertain the exact 
length. No doubt can exist that this circle surrounded the Indian idol, and that 
within it thousands of natives adored the deity in the unshapen form of the granite 
rock. But another question remains to be solved, namely, were the inhabitants 
whom the Spaniards met in the island the constructors of this ring? I think not. 

The inelosurc above deserihed is apparently tlie same as that retVrred 
to by F. A. Ober." who writes re.gardiiio- one of the danee' plaees in 
Santo Domingo as follows: 

Tlie south western portion, especially where dwelt Anacaona '' and Henriquillo,'' is 
rich in what I may term surface indications; and it is in this district, in a valley in 
the mountains, that the remains of a large amphitheater, enclo.sed by great rocks, 
are to-day seen near the si)ot where Caonabo was captured. This amphitheater is 
supposed to have served as the arena for the exercise of a peculiar game of ball in 
which the Inilians indulged, somewhat similar to that to-day practice<l 1i\- the 

It was probal)ly in this dance plaza, or one of like con.struction. in 
the province of Xaragua that the cacique Anacaona gave the reception 
to Bartholomew Columbus which Herrera has described in detail. 
When Bartholomew Cohunbus, with his troop of 300 men, came to 
Xaragua, he was received by all the nobles of the province with 
dances, songs, and other amusements. Thirty women of the roj'al 
household, naked except as to such garments as hung from their 
girdles, bearing green boughs in their hands, approached the Spaniard 
with song and dance, knelt before him, and offered him what they 
carried. These were followed by others, and the white visitors were 
taken into the presence of the cacique, where there was spread a feast 
of cassava, utias, fish, and other delicacies. On the following day the 
Spaniards were treated to an exhiliition in which two troops of the 
Indians engaged in a mock battle, during which some of their luimber 
were killed. 

The Porto llicanjuego.s de hola were first described oy Doctor Stahl, 
who speaks of several of these inclosures in diflerent parts of the 
island. According to this author, these sites are formed of laminated 
stones of different sizes, placed vertically in position, and forming 
inclosures of rectangular form measuring 15 meters, more or, in 
size, the walls being slightly elevated above the surface of the ground. 
Some of these structures, on account of the want of protection, have 

a Aborigines of the West Indies, in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, p. 24, Worcester, 
1894. See also his In the Wake of Columbus, Boston, 1893, and his Porto Rico and its Resources 
Now York, 1S99. 

(» Tile cacique Caonabo lived near the pueblo San Juan Managua, his wife being a sister of Behe- 
chio. cacique of Xaragua, whose village was at the head of the lake of that name. 

cThe cacique Henriquillo headed the last outbreak of the Haitians against the Spaniards and later 
received a pueblo called Boya. north of the city of Santo Domingo, where survivors of the Indians 
were living in 1723. 

S-'j ETH 07 6 


disappeared, and the remainder have been partially destro^'ed, so that 
it can not be determined whether the walls once completely surrounded 
the iuclosure or whether passageways were left in the corners or other 
places. Doctor Stahl mentions one of these sites near the source of 
the Bayamon river, on the border of Aguas Buenas and Bayamon. 
Another was found on the banks of the Manati river, in the high 
mountains of Corosal. 

The l)all courts examined by the present author were situated for 
the most part on terraces or on land fringing rivers, elevated high 
enough to be above freshets, and yet lying in river valleys that could 
be cultivated. The center of the inclosure is ordinarily lower than 
the surrounding plain. In most instances the alignment of the stones 
has been disturbed, and none of these structures which has been 
examined has an unbroken surrounding wall. As a rule, only a few 
of the stones which once composed them now stand upright. ]\Iany 
of these structures are now found in the mountains but there is good 
evidence that in prehistoric times they were most numerous on the 
coastal plains. The latter regions are now given up mostly to sugar 
cultivation and have been planted with cane for so man}' j'ears that all 
traces of aboriginal structures in them have been completely oblit- 
erated. Along the banks of the Rio Grande de Arecibo and its tribu- 
taries there are still found many renmants of ball courts, especially in 
the high mountains in the middle of the island. At present the best 
preserved are found near the towns Utuado and Ad juntas. There is a 
good specimen about 50 steps from the main road between Utuado 
and Adjuntas, just north of the latter town. 

During his archeological studies in Utuado in 1903 over 2(» hatt-ys 
were brought to the author's attention, the most important and best- 
preserved being somewhat distant from that town. The following 
maybe mentioned as the best known: (1) Cayuco, (2) Arenas, (3) Salto 
Arriba, (4) Vivi Abajo, (5) Jayuj-a, (6) Mameyes, (7) Paso del Palma, 
(8) Alonso, (9) Alfonso, (10) several in the barrios of Utuado. 

Just outside the boundary wall of every one of the inclosures studied 
by the author there were found one or more low mounds which bear 
superficial evidences of having been made by human hands. Excava- 
tions in one of these mounds near Utuado were made bj-the writer in 
1903, and a brief reference to the result of his work appears in the 
following quotation from his account of Porto Rican pictography:" 

In my studies of one of these inclosures at Utuado I found that the main road 
from that town to Adjuntas had cut through the edge of one of the mounds, '' reveal- 
ing, a few feet below the surface, a layer of soil containing fragments of pottery, a 
few broken celts, and the long hones of an adult. This discovery induced me to 
extend a trench diametrically through the mound, jiarallel with the sides of the 

a Avierkan Anthropologist, n. s., v., no. 3, 457, 1903. 

SThe author identifies tnese mounds with the cancys mentioned by .\ntonio Bachiller y Morales 
in his weJl-known worli, Cuba Primitiva. 


inclosure. The depth of this trench, at the middle of the moimd, was aiioiit 9 
feet. The excavation revealed that the mound rested on a hard gravel base and 
was composed of soil so rich that some of it was carried away by the neighboring 
farmer for use as fertilizer. This earth was very moist and ill adapted to the preser- 
vation of bones or other fibrous material. Nevertheless, we found ten skeletons of 
adults and infants, with mortuary ol)iects so distributed as to indicate that they had 
been placed there as offerings. One of the best preserved of these skeletons was 
found in a sitting posture with its legs drawn to its chest and with ceramic objects 
lying at one side. The frontal bones of the skulls were abnormally flattened, as in 
those from the caves in the northern part of Santo Domingo, described by Doctor 

The discovery that these niouiuls are Indian cemeteries sheds light 
on the nature and use of the neighboring inclosures. The conclusions 
drawn from my excavations of the Utuado mounds are that large 
numbers of the dead were buried just outside the dance courts and 
that the elalwrate areitos, or mortuary dances, were held in the latter. 
There is evidence also of the interment of the dead in caves, human 
skeletons from the cave at Jobo, near the road from Areclbo to 
Ctuado, having been given to me by Doctor Cabello. But the major- 
ity of the prehistoric Porto Kican dead were undoubtedly buried in 
the cemeteries above referred to. 

Of the nature of the dances performed by the Antillcans at the time 
of interment little is known; but, from what has been described by 
Gumilla as occurring among the kindred Orinoco tribes, it is probable 
that they were very elaborate. One custom is specially noteworthy. 
Among certain of the latter tribes it was the habit to place staves around 
the grave, to the ends of which were tied stone effigies of the heads of 
the totems of the dead. Apparently this custom was practised by the 
people who lived near Utuado; in corroboration of this statement it 
may be mentioned that a stone face was found on or near the mound. 
This specimen resembles the so-called masks described and tigured by 
Ma.son, but its size and general shape preclude its use as such. More- 
over, certain other objects of the same general shape have a groove on 
one side, wherein is fitted a statl' to which the whole object was tied. 
There is good evidence that these so-called stone masks were really 
mortuary emidems which were fastened to sticks and placed around 
the graves of the dead, where they remained for some time, especially 
when dances were Iwing performed in their honor. 

In considering the use to which the Indians put these inclosures, 
Doctor Stahl points out that if they marked the dwellings of chiefs, 
the walls, over which a child might jump, would be useless for protec- 
tion. The boundary stones were not placed in line to indicate burial 
places,'" although cemeteries were not far away, for the inclosure is 
sunken below the level of the adjacent plain. The popular theory 

"Deoouverte d'un Crane d'Indien Cigiiayo a Saint-Domingue, Nantes, 1891. 

6 The ancient Pcirto Ricans had evidently several modes of burial, as Oviedo asserts in regard to 
the Haitians. The cemetery in the valley of Constanza, mentioned by Sehoniburgk (Atlieiiieiim, 
p. 797-799, 18.52), may have been similar to that near Mameyes. 


that they were places for ball games is no doul)t sound so far as it ofoes, 
hut these were only one of many kinds of gatherings held l)y the pre- 
historic Indians of Poi'to Rico. 

The g'eneral appearance of these indosures, with idols and picto- 
graphs carved on some of their boundary stones, and the presence of 
neighboring mounds, some of which were burial places, others the 
sites of prehistoric pueblos, confirm my belief that they were plazas 
in which were celebrated the ceremonial dances called areltOK, and 
especially those mortuary rites of ancestor worship which reached so 
high a development among the prehistoric Porto Iticans. Here were 
performed dances commemorative of the dead interred near by, and 
here songs were sung in memory of ancestors, as Oviedo and others 
have stated. 

In addition to ceremonial areitofi, games also no doubt took place in 
these inclosures, which correspond in a measure to the plazas of the 
Puelilos of our Southwest, which are used for all public functions. 

The Indian town must have been near by, for Oviedo says that near 
each pueblo there was a place for batey, or the ball game." The name 
locally given to these inclosures has a foundation in tradition, and while 
they may have been used bv the Indians for games, the presence of 
the adjacent cemeteries indicates that they were used also in the per- 
formance of mortuarjr dances, of which the Porto Rican aborigines 
had nianj^ kinds. But as games among the Antilleans were proliahly 
half secular and half religious, there is no reason why they should not 
ha\e been performed in plazas sometimes used for the purely ceremonial 
dances {areitos). , 

The discover}' of stone balls in these inclosures is often mentioned 
as an indication that these places were used in ball games, implying 
that the stones were the balls used. This belief, which is a common 
one among the country folk of the island, finds little support fi'om 
examination of the objects themselves. In Oviedo's account of the 
game, the ball used is said to have been made of a resinous gum, so 
that the stone balls do not fit at all his description of the method of 
playing the game. Indeed, some of the larger stone balls, which are 
more than 2 feet in diameter, could hardly be carried by a single man. 
Moreover, many of the balls are not spherical, but are simply water- 
worn bowlders having the form of oblate or prolate spheroids. Con- 
sidering these facts I have serious doubt whether the stones could 
have been used in the kind of ball game described by Oviedo, although 
this does not, of course, preclude their use in some other game.* Their 

a The prehistoric Porto Rioans did not build permanent stone or adobe habitations, but only tem- 
porary structures with wooden frame.s and palm-leaf covering. These have long ago disappeared, 
but tlieir sites still remain in the form of mounds just outside the jucgos de bola. In Muiioz's 
description of an Indian pueblo near the coast uo mention is made of a hnk'!/. or dance plaza. 

''The game may. for instance, have been the same a-s that played in Mexico, the courts, lladitti, 
for which are found near manv ruins. 


presence in graves and in danee plazas indicates tiuit they were suffi- 
ciently prized to have been brought there for a purpose, and I offer 
the following speculation as to their use: 

Water-worn stones are symbols of running water, the worship of 
wliieh is highly significant in the rain ceremonies of primitive agri- 
culturists. In the confusion of cause and effect, so common among- 
altoriginal peoples, these stones, shaped niaiidy by running water, are 
believed to have magic power to bring rain or to cause water to till 
the stream beds. Hence they were gathered by the Indians and car- 
ried to dance and other ceremonial places, where the}' are now so 
commonly found. We find that water-worn stones are often wor- 
shiped bv primitive agriculturists because of the belief that these 
objects cause the water, whicli has given them tlieir form, to increase, 
just as the frog, which lives in moist places, is believed to augment 
the water supph'. " 

It is interesting to add. in discussing the probable use of these stone 
balls, that Doctor Stahl, who has given much attention to the l)otany of 
Porto Kico, after stating that a portion of the description of hattij given 
1)V Oviedo was derived from the game played hy the South American 
Indians, declares that there is no natural vegetable product in Porto 
Kico which furnishes an elastic gum* that could have served the abo- 
rigines for the balls used in the game. Whether the prehistoric Porto 
Ricans did or did not play the ball game described by Oviedo is lieyond 
the scope of this writing, but the stone balls found in the dance plazas 
certaiidy could not have Ijeen used in the manner Oviedo describes. 

The foregoing explanation does not fully account for the name juegos 
de bold, which survives from early times and evidently originated 
among the Spaniards, who, with knowledge of the use of these inclo- 
sures, applied it to them. The prehistoric Porto Ricans may ha\e 
performed, in these inclosures, games or ceremonies with stone balls. 
Such games were known to Oviedo, but in his description he does not 
careful 1}' distinguish them from those in which elastic balls were used. 
Similar games, to which have been ascribed a phallic significance, are 
recorded from Yucatan and elsewhere. In the absence of documentary 
proof of the existence of a prehistoric game with stone balls in Porto 
Rico, we have little basis for speculation regarding their phallic 
significance, but that this game, when it existed, had a symbolic ger- 
minative meaning among the tribes which practised it is not improhal)le. 

Shell Heaps 

The existence of shell heaps along the coast of Porto Rico has been 
mentioned by several authors, and excavations have been made in some 

a Many instances might be cited in which, among primitive men, water-worn stones and slicks 
or water animals are believed to be efficacious in bringing wsiier. To these may be added shells of 
water animals, water plants, and, in fact, anything from the water or pertaining to it. 

6Stahl regards it as probable that this gorrui eldstica was obtained from a tree, Siphonia dastica, 
peculiar to the mainland ("costa tirme"). 


of these heaps situated near yalinas, on the soutli shore. Doctor 
Stahl has called attention to exterior shell deposits on the north coast 
near the mouth of the Manati v'lvev and elsewhere. The largest shell 
heaps examined by the author are those at Cayito, near Salinas, and 
on the left l)ank of the Coamo river, near Senor Vincente Usera's 
farmhouse, a short distance from the Coamo baths. 

Of the Cayito shell heap an account has been given by Seiior Agus- 
tin Navarette." He visited Cayito with a well-known journalist and 
archeologist, Senor Zeno Gandia, who has also published in local news- 
papers several articles on Porto Rican archeology, but these the author 
has not been able to obtain. The shell heap at Cayito is thus described 
by Navarette: 

A quince o veinte metres de la costa y en li'nea recta <:le este lugar, encontramos 
un vasto solar, verdadero " kkjuem dingo" danes, circunscrito de uii lado por la costa 
y el otro jior el rio; en el y casi ;l superficie recogimos mils de 50 fragnientos de ceni- 
uiica indo-borincana, entre ellos varias cabezas de idolillos y penates, habiendo uno 
luuy curioso porque sobre la I'rente y en el centro del tocado, tiene un venladero 
cascabel de barro que suena cuando se le agita. Estos fragmentos de objetos de 
US08 domestico y religioso, tienen niuy diversoa dibujos:^ entre los que me he traido 
hay uno que figura la cabezade un raurcielago, mide una pulgada de tamano y parece 
estuvo adherido a alguna vasija 6 ciintara. Es de notarse que en todos loe lugares il 
que aludimos, se camina sobre una enorme cantidad de restos de moluscos, los (]ue 
se hallan en la sui>erficie 6 revueltos en la tierra ;1 poco que con el jiie se abonde. 

According to Navarette, Doctor Souquet excavated the larger part 
of this shell heap eighteen or twenty years previous to the former's 
visit and olitained 600 caricctas, or little clay heads, which he had car- 
ried to Europe. These clay heads are not, as is popularly supposed, 
heads of idols, but are fragments of ceramic decorations, as will be 
shown later. 

In the neighborhood of Cayito, Navarette found a human cranium 
and vertebra; and larger arm bones, which he decided, from evidence 
obtained from natives, were not those of historic occupants of the 
country. Their association with fragments of pi'ehistoric jiotteiT led 
him to regard these as remains of prehistoric people who once lived in 
that neighborhood. 

On his visit to Cayito in 190-1 the author was able to identify the 
shell heaps mentioned by Seiior Navarette, but he found their form 
greatly modified. The sea had apparently washed away portions of 
the mound at one point, and elsewhere houses had been erected upon 
it, p.artially concealing its site. Guided l)y Seiior Santiago, he picked 
up .several fragments of pottery near one of the cabins and obtained a 
few claj' heads from the natives. No excavations were attempted but 
enough evidence was obtained to show that extended work in this 
neighborhood would reveal impoitant archeological data. 

oAgustin Navarette, Estudios de Arqueologia de Puerto Rico, puWistied in the newspaper £i 
Ifoticio, May, 18%; republished in La A']uila, Ponce, 1904. 


The largest shell heaps visited liy the author were those near Coamo 
spi'ings, on thefai-m of Seiior Vincente Usera. who Hrst called the atten- 
tion of the author to these remains. The heaps are very extensive, 
covering considerable portions of the bluff near his house on the 
left bank of the Coamo river. At thi> place there is an embankment 
2U or more feet above the river in which are layers of shells with 
fragments of pottery. On the surface shells occur for a hundred feet 
or more from the edge of the embankment. These shell heaps would 
well repay systematic excavation. The numerous fragments collected 
were practically identical in character with those from C'ayito and 
resemble those from shell heaps in Jamaica.'' 


Porto Kico has many caves, some of which are of great size and 
beauty, ilany of these caves have not been explored to their full 
extent and but a few have been entered 1)V archeologists. The only 
systematic attempts to discover aboriginal objects concealed in their 
floors are those of M. Pinart in the neighborhood of Arecibo and of 
the author in caves near Manati. 

It is impossible to enumerate all the caves on this island, for they 
occur along the whole north coast and in the mountains wherever the 
soft limestone comes to the surface. Some are inaccessilile: many are 
entered from a level, others from the top. The majority bear evi- 
dence of great age; others are more modern. Many caves are simple 
shelters with overhanging cliff's, the entrance being open to the sky; 
others have very narrow passageways opening into large chambers 
which communicate by means of passages with smaller rooms extend- 
ing deep into the bowels of the earth. 

There are caves showing evidences of human occupation, near Aguas 
Buenas, Bayamon, Ciales, Manati, Arecibo, Corosal, Caguas, Adjuntas, 
Utuado, Coyuco, Juana Diaz, and in many other localities. These par- 
ticular ones are mentioned, not as exhausting the possible list, but as 
those visited b}- the author or those from which Indian objects are 
known to have been obtained. As a rule, these caves have many stal- 
actites and stalagmites, which have obscured such evidences of occu- 
pation as mural pictographs. Niches that are evidently artificial, plat- 
forms, and other artificial structures occur quite fi'equently. All the 
caves visited by the author had been previously entered by others, and 
whatever movable objects, such as idols or pottery, formerly stood in 
these niches or on these platforms had long before been removed. 

The ffoors of the Porto Rican caves offer the most promising places 
for archeological examination, and for that purpose the author chose 
the cave called the "Cueva de las Golondrinas," situated not far from 

(I Edith Blake, the Norbrook Kitchen Midden. Victoria Quarterly, ii, Kingston, Jamaica, 1890. 


INIanati, on the north coast of the island. This is one of several 
large caverns in that neighborhood, all of which show many signs of 
former Indian presence. It is large and opens laterallj'. with the 
entrance looking over the sea across a narrow strip of beach, a shel- 
tered cove and landing place which maj^ have served Carib or others 
as a safe harbor for their canoes or an easv incline should the_y desire to 
huul them up on the shore. The strip of land between the cave entrance 
and the shore is fertile, yielding the present owner a remunerative 
yearly crop. The face of the cliff, in the side of which this and neigh- 
boring caves are eroded, is perpendicular, and can not be scaled near 
the cavern entrance. 

This cave is about 50 feet deep, the overhanging cliff' being about 
3U feet above the floor; its width at the entrance is about 100 feet. It 
is evident that since this cave had been used by man what was once 
the edge of the overhanging roof had broken off in sections and fallen 
to the floor, partially closing the entrance to the cave. Trees of con- 
siderable size grow just before the entrance, partiall}' concealing it 
from the le\el strip of land a few feet lielow. This breaking of the 
edge is due in part to erosion, but largely to roots of trees on the cliff' 
above. These agencies have detached stones of considerable size; but it 
is clear that the stones have fallen since the cave was used, for frag- 
ments of Indian pottery were found in the soil at the mouth of the 
cave. Much of the surface of the cavern is covered with a lawyer of 
stalagma, and stalactites are still being formed liy a continual dripping 
of water from the wall of the overhanging cliffs. 

The floor of the cave is composed of a soft soil, easily excavated, 
showing evidences of human occupation to the depth of 10 feet. 
Before the arrival of the author other investigators had made excava- 
tions in the floor, but so far as he could learn these diggings were 
made, not for scientific purposes but for supposed concealed treasures. 
Several of the peons emploj'ed by these gold seekei's worked for the 
author also, and according to their stories no treasure of any kind was 
found. The workmen declared, however, that ominous voices pro- 
ceeding from the cliffs and threatening intruders with death should 
they disturb further the cave floor led them to abandon their former 
work. Of course they heard no such voices in their work for the 
author, when they received their wages at the close of each day. 

The floor of this cave was excavated by making a trench across the 
entrance just within the fallen stones above referred to, working into 
the cave and outward from it toward the sea. The soil was found to 
be full of fragments of pottery, chai-red wood and ashes, shells, and 
worked bone objects. No European objects or other evidences of 
Spanish contact were found. The excavations wei'e carried down to 
the hard stalagma that forms the foundation on which rests the soil 
containing artificial remains. At one or two points the stalagma \\ as 


penetrated and found to be solid, without traces of artiticial remains. 
Tiie loose soil contained bones of many animals which had served as 
food, but no human remains and no evidences of cannibalistic feasts. 
No shell breccia was detected. 

The pottery consisted of brolvcn fragments — no whole jars were 
obtained — mainly handles of large ollas, oi' cooking pots. They belong 
to ware of the coarsest kind, and man}' still show soot on their sui- 
faces. There were a few specimens of polished red ware, but none 
were painted or had evidences of glazing or vitrified surfaces. In one 
or two instances ridges indicating the coiled method of manufacture 
were detected, but as a rule these coils had been rubbed down, making 
a smooth surface. The curvature of the large fragments indicates vari- 
ous forms of ceramic objects. There ai'e evidences that some of them 
were vases and bowls of almost globular shape; others were boat- 
shaped or more like trenchers, and still others were flat dishes or plates. 
Some of the last-mentioned kind had raised ribs across their l)ases. 
Small clay heads, more than iiS of which were removed from the soil 
of this cave, are fragments of relief decoration of pottery. Their gen- 
eial forms, as seen in some of the platen illustrating this work, do not 
greatly differ from those found in the I)urial mounds, a fact which 
would indicate identity of culture in their makers. 

The few celts which wei'e exhumed from the floor of this cave are 
petaloid in form, but one specimen is beautifully polished and grooved, 
resembling the axes characteristic of the Carib of St Vincent or of 

The evidence, so far as it goes, seems to indicate that this ca\e was a 
camping place or a spot frequented i>y man}' natives for a consider- 
al)le, but there is nothing definite to identif}' the iidiabitants as 
Carib; the results of the foregoing investigation suggest that they 
were people of the same general culture as those who lived in the 
mountains. The pictographs on the walls of the cave, of which there 
are manv, ai'e not materially diflerent from those found in the open, 
as will be shown later in this article. 

Examinations of one or two smaller caves near the Cueva de las 
Golondrinas showed nothing exceptional. Farther down the coast, 
near the mouth of the Manati river, there is anotiu'r large cave, with 
many fragments of pottery, which would be a good place for new 


By far tiie most important means now available for the interpretation 
of the cultuie of the prehistoric Porto Ricans is a study of archeolog- 
ical objects that are being lu'ought to light by chance discoveiy or 
scientific exploration. When the extent to which prehistoric objects 
may aid us in an interpretation of aboriginal life is more generally 

90 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO KICO [eth. an.n. i;5 

recognized, iidditional efforts will be made to preserve such specimens 
for the areheolog'ist. Porto Rico has l)een particularly fortunate in this 
regard. It has had many local students who have been interested in 
the aboriginal histoiy of the island and many more who have pre- 
served relics, awaiting the time when scientific men would use them in 
their studies. 

One finds few writings on this subject prior to the middle of the 
nineteenth century and can count almost on his fingers the published 
works on Porto Rican archeology up to the present time, although 
several collections of prehistoric objects made by local collectors have 
drifted into museums or private hands in the United States and Europe 
or still remain on the island. 

The Latimer collection, which is the largest ever made on the island, 
and has attracted the most attention, was presented to the Smithsonian 
Institution l)y Geoi-ge Latimer. It was described in 1876 by Pro- 
fessor O. T. Mason, the nestor of American ethnology. This pul)lica- 
tion, the most complete account of Porto Rican anticjuities which lias 
appeared, stinuilated an ever-increasing intei'est in the subject that 
was heightened by the annexation of the island to the United States. 
In 1S9S, more than a quarter of a century after Mason's catalogue of 
the Latimer collection first appeared in print, owing to the increased 
demand for information regarding the antiquities of the island, the 
Smithsonian Institution reprinted it as being still the best work extant 
on the subject. 

The author considers himself fortunate in being able to include in this 
article descriptions of the objects in the Latimer collection, and he has 
drawn largely from Professor Mason's woi'k in many quotations scat- 
tered through the following pages. 

In considering the material from Porto Rico, when necessary com- 
parative data from other islands, as Santo Domingo and the Lesser 
Antilles, have l)een introduced. Porto Rico was the center of an Antil- 
lean culture but the same or an allied culture was found in neighborinsr 
islands, so that it is not well at present to limit this report to Porto 
Rico, notwithstanding the relatively great .size of collections from that 

It is unfortunate in some wa3's that the exact localities where the 
objects were found can not be stated definitely, and it is equally to be 
regretted that we do not know accurately whether one or two of the 
specimens were collected in Santo Domingo or Porto Rico. There 
were two, perhaps three, different races — the Carib, the Arawak, 
and possibly an archaic population of cave dwellers — in Porto Rico 
before the advent of Columlius. It may lie possible later to distinguish 
the objects which belonged to each of these different peoples, but at 
present it is not. 


The archeolo<>ical objects treated in the foUowiiio- descriptious 
inchide stone impleiueiits, three-pointed idols, stone eoUars, stone 
heads and masks, amulets, pillar stones, ornaments of stone and shell 
and bone c"irvni<;s, pottei'v, wooden objects, idols of stone and wood, 
and various other specimens. In the same general categorv are like- 
wise included pictographs, or rock etchings, and other archeological 
evidences of aboriginal life which still remain on the island. 

The forms, no less than the line technology exhibited in the above- 
mentioned groups of prehistoric objects, stamp the culture to which 
they owe their origin as high in the scale of development. Such fine 
products could not have been the work of an unskilled people. These 
objects are characteristic, differing essentially from those found on 
the neighboring continent, so that we may designate the area in which 
they occur as a special culture area, distinct from all others and deserv- 
ing of the specific name by which it has been designated. 

This culture reached its highest development in the two islands of 
Porto Rico and Santo Domingo, so that the causes which led to its 
evolution must be sought in the insular conditions under which it was 
evolved. The specimens show little to indicate their age. but the 
development of a peculiar culture like the Antillean is not the product 
of a few years, but rather of long periods of time, which implies that 
man has inhabited the West Indies from remote antiquity, long enough 
to lead to great specialization in the artificial pi'oducts that have sur- 
vived him. But it is also highly probable that the ages of these 
objects may be difi'ei'ent, for while many were doubtless in use when 
the islands were discovered, others, as the stone collars, had already 
passed out of use at that time. 

Many so-called prehistoric implements were doubtless brought to 
Porto Rico by Indians who were transferred from neighboring islands 
as slaves or by those who voluntarily sought homes there from over 
the seas. In the light of this knowledge it becomes a complicated 
problem to refer these objects to their I'ightful makers, and we have 
not in our possession the data adequate to solve it in a wholly satis- 
factory maimer. 

It is remarkable, as was pointed out l)y Professor Mason regarding 
the Latimer collection, that "•fhero is not in all the collection a single 
flaked or chipped implement or weapon." The same is true of the 
man}' hundreds of stone implements obtained by the author, and thus 
far there has not been discovered in Porto Rico evidence of chipped 
stone, not even a single arrowhead. The roughest stone objects found 
show marks of polishing. Mr Frederick A. Ober states that Doctor 
Llenas, a physician of Puerto Plata, "describes an aboriginal work- 
shop he investigated in a cave in the Santo Domingo mountains, where 
he found man^' fragments of chipped tools, but no perfect specimens." 


Thi.s wiis au iuiportant di.scovery and should be followed up by later 
students of Antillean methods of stoneworking. It should be borne 
in mind in this connection that many objects are made of a kind of 
stone resembling- jadeite, which thus far has not l)een found'in situ in 
either Haiti or Porto Rico. The nearest locality where the rough 
material out of which some of the prehistoric objects were fashioned 
occurs is in South America, nianj' miles away, and these at least were 
not manufactured on the islands where they were found. 

Every collection of aboriginal objects from the West Indies which 
the author has examined is rich in stone implements, ditiering in 
character, size, and form. The surfaces are either rough or highly 
jjolished, and, as a rule, the specimens are made of a hard volcanic 
rock, similar to that used in the manufacture of idols and amulets. 

Various forms of these implements are well described and iigured 
in Prof(>ssor IMason's articles on the Latimer and Guesde collections, 
in Doctor Stahl's Los Indies Borinqueiios, and in the various publi- 
cations of Mr ira Thurn. Mr Eichard Quirk'' figures and describes a 
series of these objects which includes the more striking forms peculiar 
to the Lesser Antilles. But while the majority of these stone imple- 
ments are of Carib origin, the likeness of many to the implements 
used by the ancient Porto Kicans is so close that there can be no mis- 
take in considering them typical of both races. In a general way stone objects may be classified under the following heads: 
1. Celts; 2. Axes; 3. Paddle-shaped stones; 4. Smoothing stones; 
5. Curved stones. 


The stone celts from the Antilles may be roughly classified as fol- 
lows: 1. Celts of almond or petal shape, with no indication of groove 
or distinct enlargement forhafting; 2. Axes or stone implements with 
single cutting edge and notches on opposite rim, generally flat or 
slightly curved; 3. Celts with head enlarged, the diameter being 
greater than the thickness of the blade, the ends being notched or 
continued into ears; i. Celts with grooves for hafting, single cutting 
edge, butt or head blunt, sometimes continued into projections. 
These types, which varj' in essential points, are connected by many 
aberrant forms. This classification is essentially that suggested by 
Professor Mason in his account of the (niesde collection. The celts of 
prehistoric Porto Rico generally belong to the first type, those from 
the Lesser Antilles to the others. 

The petaloid celts are beautifully shaped and generally highly pol- 
ished. They are oval in section and circular or ovate in outline. In 

"Carib Stone Implements in the Horniman Museum, Reliquary and Illustrated Archeotogist, viii,' 
no. 3. 169-181. Hegives many figures of Carib stone and shell implements. For additional matter 
on this subject see Dr H. F. C. ten Kate's article on West Indian Stone Implements and Other Indian 
Relics, in Bijdrafjen tot de Taal Land en Vutkenkunde van Xederlandsclte Indie, iv. 


rare instances they are found clocoratml with carvinos of g-rotes(iue 
faces in relief. 

The weapons of the Porto Ricans were wooden clubs, called r/uica/ias, 
or swords pointed iit one end, with a cross stick like a sword hilt. 
They had also javelins of hard wood, which they threw Avith great 
force, and bows and arrows. Although they are said to have used 
bows and arrows derived from the Carib, no stone arrow points have 
yet been found, and it is probable that these arrows had tips made of 
bone or shark's teeth, or of spines of the ray or other fishes. The his- 
torian Ifiigo states that they were skilful in shooting, but that they 
did not poison the points of their speai's or arrows, as the Indians of 
the Orinoco valley did; the ends of the arrows of the Porto Ricans 
were hardened by tire. 

Specimens with blades and handles of stone show the ordinary 
method of hafting tiie prehistoric stone celts used by the aboriginal 
West Indians, but all petaloid celts are destitute of grooves, except 
one specimen in a small private collection, in which a groove is well 
marked While the majority of the celts are pointed at one end and 
rounded on their edges, their longest axis being at right angles to their 
handles, many are more massive, and l)lunt at both ends. There are 
specimens in which the longest axis is in line with the handle. 

Characteristic stone implements, called from their shape paddle- 
stones, occur in many collections and appear to have been found in all 
the West Indies. These have a circular, triangular, or even a more 
or less rectangular form, terminating in some specimens in a bifur- 
cated tip. It would seem that some of these may have been used as 
a means of carrying live coals for various purposes, such as hollowing 
out logs in the tirst stages of canoe making. The forms of these 
objects grade so imperceptibly into those of celts provided with handles 
that in some instances it is very difficult to distinguish the two types. 

A group of artiticiall}' worked stone objects of unknown use are 
called polishing stones. These have a variety of shapes and vary 
consideraV)ly in size, some being ((uite large, others minute. Many of 
these objects were sharpened at one end or at both ends. 

The use of curved stones is likewise problematical. Many of these 
are massive and in some specimens the curved extensions are bifur- 
cated at their extremities. Examples of this t\'pe are figured in 
several published articles on West Indian stone implements and good 
specimens of the type a re represented in Professor Mason's pulilications. 

A number of paddie-shiipetl stone implements, some being of con- 
siderable size, have a circular or a roughly triangular shape. Their 
handles are sometimes curved, rarely bifurcated at the pointed end. 
Stones of this shape are often of green color, of a rock unknown on 
the island, and may be those implements of which Charlevoix speaks 
as having been brought from the Amazon valley. In this group may 


be classed certain boot-.shaped or crescentic atones of unknown use, 
which are found in several collections. Others belonging to this group 
are called, for want of a better name, smoothing stones. 

Celts made of concli shells are very common in Barbados, the 
Bahama islands, and in some of the Lesser Antilles, but very few of these 
objects have l)een found in the larger West Indian islands. Where 
this kind of celt occurs there is no hard rock availalde, and these imple- 
ments afiord a most instructive example of the effect of geological 
environment on primitive art. I know of only one Porto Rican shell 
celt — that preserved in the collection of .Mr Yunghannis. Like the 
Barbados specimens, it is made from the lip of a conch shell, showing 
well-marked signs of chipping along its cutting edge. 

The specimens figured in plate xi illustrate the general forms of small 
stone celts collected in Porto Rico. As will be noticed, they assume 
many shapes — from that of a chisel to the broad-edged battle-ax. 
The end opposite the cutting edge is generally pointed, justifying the 
name petaloid, but this end is often l)lunt, rounded, or even flat. 
The one feature that they all share — that which distinguishes the 
true Porto Rican from the Carib stone ax of St Vincent and other 
islands of the Lesser Antilles — is the absence of a groove for the 
attachment of a handle. This is not peculiar to any one West Indian 
island, for petaloid celts occur in all islands, from Trinidad to Cuba, 

It often happens that the Porto Rican stone imidement is elongated 
into a chisel-like instrument, many specimensof which arc represented 
in plate xi. Several of these might more properly be designated 
celts, representing an intermediate form between a stone chisel and a 
petal-shaped weapon. These stone chisels are sometimes highly pol- 
ished and are generally made of very hard stone. Plate xi shows also 
representations of other forms of stone implements from Porto Rico, 
some lieing chisel-shaped, others almost triangular in profile, and still 
others oblong. The implements of the olilong type, being destitute of 
sharpened edges, could not properh' be called either chisels or celts, 
as their real use is not known. The stone celts are called by the 
country people to-da}' pledra del mi/o, "'thunder stones,'" and the 
almost universal belief in the West Lidies is that they are thunder- 
bolts, caused by lightning. There are figured in plate xii live of the 
most nearly symmetrical and most highly polished petaloid celts 
obtained in Porto Rico. 

The two upper celts shown in this plate, from a cave at Cayuco, near 
Utuado, were found, one on each side of a globular A-ase containing 
.several hundred stone beads, and may be regarded as sacrificial offerings. 
A good specimen of a celt of soft stone is shown in the center of the 
lower series, to the right of which is a celt of the hard green stone 
resembling jadeite or serpentine, that probablj' came from South 


America. In the author's collection of celts, numbering more than 
600 specimens, it is rare to find one which is not nicked or broken at 
the point or edge. This is due to the fact that the peons, from whom 
the majority of these specimens were purchased, could not resist an 
impulse to strike them against some other stone to see what woidd 

While the uiajorit3' of the petaloid celts shown in plate xiii ha\e the 
same form, one of these is exceptional in having a depression worn on 
two opposite edges, as if it were the beginning of a groove for hafting. 
This indentation is unicjue among prehistoric petaloid celts from Porto 
Rico, but it occurs on ax-formed specimens from Santo Domingo and 
St Vincent in the Lesser Antilles (figures 3 and 4). 

The celts shown on plate xiii have a petaloid form, but very rough 
surfaces caused by erosion. Their form is not as common as that of 
the more elongated, polished variety, and is less petaloid than that of 
the preceding ones. Their shape is the characteristic Dominican tyjje. 

Fig. 3. Stone ax from St Vincent. Fig. 4. Stone ax from St Vincent. 

In plate xiii are represented four rough axes from Santo Domingo, 
one of which (;/) is petaloid in form. Here is shown also an unusual 
specimen (c), which has a notch at one side of the point. A similar l)ut 
somewhat exaggerated form occurs in several specimens that will be 
considered later. The next specimen illustrated in this plate ( /) has 
lost all semblance of the petaloid celt. It is circular in profile, with 
notches on the opposite edges, and a rough, unpolished surface. It 
apparently once had two cutting edges, and still shows notches indi- 
cating the former place of attachment for the handle. The last speci- 
men (h) has an obscure petaloid form, but is exceptional in having a 
ridge at the hafting point. This form is rarely duplicated in collec- 
tions from Porto Rico. 

The three hatchets figured in plate xiv are forms seldom found in 
existing collections. Their essential characteristic is that shaft and 
blade are made of one stone. There is in the Smithsonian jNIuseum a 


cast of a tine specimen of this form from an original in the Trocadero 
Museum of Paris, having a head carved on the end of the handle. 
Professor JMason has figured another one loaned to him for the pur- 
pose by Mr George J. Gibbs, of which he writes as follows: 

The use to whieli these pohshed celts was put, or more correctly speaking, the 
manner of hafting them, is graphically illustrated in the.accompanying sketch of a 
celt inserted in a mortise in a handle of hard red wood and found in a cave in Caicos, 
or Turk's, island, by Mr tjeorge J. Gibbs, and kindly lent by him to be cast and 
engraved. A still more interesting and precious relic, from the same locality and 
found by the same gentleman, is that given in figure 11, which represents a celt and 
handle carved out of a single piece of jadeite. ... A beautiful ax, similarly 
carved from a single piece, is figured and described in .Jones's Aboriginal Remains 
of Tennes.see (Smithsonian Contributions, no. 259). 

Plate XIV, r, shows the hafting l)etter than it is figured in a and b, 
both of which, however, must ])e regarded as finished implements. 
These three specimens are the onl_y ones of their type from the West 
Indies in the Smithsonian collection. One of the most remarkable 
specimens, plate xv, a, purchased from Archbishop Merino, of Santo 
Domingo, is a petaloid celt made of green stone, on one side of which is 
cut in low relief a human face, and arms folded to the breast. There 
can hardly be a doubt that this celt was never hafted, as no signs of its 
attachment to a handle are to be seen, and as the presence of a handle 
would conceal part of the figure cut upon it. It is called a ceremonial 
celt and was probably carried in the hand. The reverse side is per- 
fectly plain, very smooth, and with the exception of a small nick, the 
cutting edge of the specimen is perfect. The stone from which it is 
made is not found in the Antilles, a fact seeming to indicate South 
American origin. The specimen pictui'cd in plate xv (?>), at present in 
the museum of Santiago de Cuba, may also be regarded as a ceremo- 
nial celt, but the head i.s cut on one end instead of on the side of the 
celt as in the former specimen. It is rough, luipolished. and made of 
soft stone. The arms of the figure cut on it are represented folded 
on the breast, as in the Santo Domingo specimen. 

The use of the stone implement from Porto Rico shown in plate 
x^i (a) is enigmatical, but it may have been a j^ounding implement, 
the curved portion serving as a handle. It has a globular form, with 
a narrow, sickle-shayjed" extension that was formerly pointed at one 
end. A grinding stone with a slightly curved handle is shown in the 
last-named plate (c). Specimen b, likewise supposed to be a grinding 
instrument, recalls other specimens in the collection in which the 
handle is relatively longer and its bifurcation more pronounced. 

The object figured as d (plate xvi) is thus described by Professor 
Mason: "A l)Oot-shaped specimen, th(> top bent forward and pointed, 
and the toe coiled upward. It is somewhat smooth on the sole." This 

"Carl Christian Rafn. in Cabinet d' Antiquity Americaines a Copenhague (Copenhagen, 1858), 
figures a stone collar, a mammiform idol, and two curved .stone objects. 



(ilijcct was probably usi'il in iiiucli the same way as the others figured 
hi plate XVI, the ditlerenee being in form rather than in use. It is a 
fine specimen of aboriginal stoneworking, the curved tip especially 
showing difficult technic. 

Plates XVII to XXI represent a series of Carib implements from St 
Vincent, some of which were presented by Mr Jacobson, of Trinidad, 
and others by th(> author in the same island. Nearly all these specimens 
luni" practically the same general form and are characterized by inden- 
tations for hafting. These objects are duplicated in the Guesde col- 
lection and specimens are figured l)y Professor Mason. The reason for 
introducing them here is that the majority of the Carib celts figured 
by Mason were made from drawings and are not represented by speci- 
mens in the Smithsonian collection. Moreover, by comparison of the 
forms, the striking difierences between the celts of Porto Rico antl 
those of the Lesser Antilles can be shown/' There is not a single 
Carib celt in the collections from Porto Rico, although the island, 
especially along the shore, was frequently raided by the Carib, who 
obtained a foothold in the eastern end. The methods of hafting stone 
implements are not distinctive enough to indicate diflerent cultures. 
but these implements show important technological difierences char- 
acteristic of two races. 

One of the finest specimens of Caril) implements (plate xxi, c) was 
purchased by the author in Barliados from a man who o])tained it in 
Gi-enada. This almost perfect specimen has a broad groove for at- 
tachment to a handle, notches on the sides and ears on one end. It 
is finely polished and made of a hard basaltic rock. Although the 
Guesde collection has no specimens of exactly the same form, the out- 
lines of several arc much more complicated and they may be regarded 
as better implements from the technological point of view. Several 
specimens of petaloid celts from eastern Cuba are shown in plate xxii. 

Enigmatical Stones 

The several stone objects figured in plate xxiii are enigmatical so 
far as their uses are concerned. Plate xxiii, «, is an ovoid stone, flat 
on one side and slightly convex on the other — that turned to the 
observer. The flat side has in the middle a round shallow pit, but the 
convex side of the stone is incised with grooves, arranged in lines and 
concentric triangles. A groove, not visible in the accompanying 
figure, also extends around the margin of the stone. One is tempted 
to regard this object as a part of a grinding apparatus,' simil ir to the 
lower stone of the mill still used bv the natives. 

<iE. F. im Thurn, Notes on West Indian Stone Implements, i. 257: ii. '253; iii, 103. See also his 
nrtidf. On the Races of the West Indies, in Journal oj'lhc Aniliruptjioijiral Iii>'titutc, p. 19l)-li)6, London, 

25 ETii — 07 7 


Plate XXIII, A, an unknown implement of semicircular form, has 
extensions or projections, two on the middle line and one at each point 
of the ci'escentic margin. In c is figured a meion-shaped stone, crossed 
by meridional grooves which do not clearly appear in the illustration. 
Its use is unknown, and, so far as the collections here considered are 
concerned, its form is unicjue. 

The specimen represented by il is a tiat circular stone, plain on one 
side and decorated witli meandering grooves on the other. This object 
has an extension on the rim, through which there is a hole, with a 
beveled periphery, by which it may have been suspended to be used as 
a gong. 

The stones ligured in plate xxiii arc of ditl'crent types, but two speci- 
mens are so nearly alike that we may suppose that they had a like use. 
A Hat disk with a round 'tapering stone handle, from Santo Domingo, 
collected by Mr Gabb, is represented In' ('. Both handle and disk are 
decorated with minute pits or indentations. The spatulate stone, _/", 
is destitute of superficial decorations but has approximately the same 
form as that just mentioned. Tiiis specimen was presented to the 
Smithsonian Institution by Mr Latimer and is described and figured 
by Professor Mason as a •" jjaddlc-shaped celt."' The term celt implies 
its use for purposes quite different from those for which specimen a 
is adapted, but its purpose is not definitely known. The object illus- 
trated \y^ g was evidently used for rubbing, but that shown in figure A 
on the same plate is enigmatical. 

Plate xxiii, «', represents a singular cylindrical stone, flat on one side 
and rounded on that turned to the observer. An enlargement at one 
end suggests a head and the tapering tail gives a serpentine appear- 
ance to the whole object. This specimen may be regarded provision- 
ally as a serpent fetish , although the resemblance to a serpent is but 

The specimen designated /' is an artificially formed stone of unknown 
meaning, resembling a large imperforated bead. This may have been 
used by the aborigines as a rolling pin to crush paint or herbs, or, as 
both ends are somewhat worn, as a pestle for bruising hard grains 
or nuts. 

It is to be regretted that the curved stone (plate xxiii, I) from 
St Vincent is broken, for it belongs to a type new to students of 
Carib antiquities. 

The specimen figured in plate xxiii, 7, is one of the enigmas 
with which the student of the aborigines of the island has to deal. 
When seen from one side it has a triangular profile, its base being 
surrounded hs a shallow groove. Tiie breadth is somewhat less than 
the thickness and the surfaces are rounded. This stone, so far as 
form is concerned, might be confounded with the fourth type erf three- 


pointed .stoiu^s, except that it has the basal groove and no indication 
of the anter or inclination of one of the points. The specimen here 
tig-urcd was obtained on the British AVest Indian island of Grenada, 
but there are other and far bettor specimens of this t\'pe in local col- 
lections on 8t Kitts. The o-eneral form and the presence of a groove 
suggest that this specimen is one of those pendants which are repre- 
sented in the ear lobes of certain idols and fetishes from Porto Rico 
and kSanto Domingo. There is little doubt that the wooden idols later 
figured and described in this paper formerly had pendants in the ear 
lobes, but these ornaments were probably made of gold or precious 
stones. It is possil)le that people of the lower classes may 
have worn in their ears ruder pendants, perhaps of stone 
of which the object figured may l)e an example. 

The use of the oljject shown in figure iti is unknown. 

Two broken muUers, or grinding stones, much worn 

and looking very much like the broken axles of a wagon, 

are known to the author. One of these occurs in the 
_. 11' 1 1 I'li^^-T-ii Fiii. 4«. Stone- 

Latimer collection; the other was obtarned by Mr Kead object frcm 

for the author near Ponce, Porto Hico. Since these speci- ■'^' ^ mcent. 
mens show wear on one side, as if from the friction of another body,, 
it has been suggested- that the aborigines were acquainted with the 
principle of the wheel and that these were axles partially worn away 
1)V the rotation of the wheel. The same person who originated this 
theory to account for these stones suggested also that the massive col- 
lars were wheels, the interior having been filled with wood in which 
was inserted the hub. This theory has little to commend it, and the 
best that can be said is that it is as reasonable as some others that have 
been brought forward to explain the use of those archeological enig- 
mas, the stone rings or collars. The so-called axles are stone mullers 
used with metates in grinding maize, as figured by Benzoni. A single 
specimen was seen in Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo. 


The collections from Santo Domingo contain many pestles with 
ornamental handles, but there are only a few similarh' decorated 
pestles from Porto Rico. The ornamentations take the form of heads 
of animals or of human beings on the ends of the handles. In some 
instances the entire liody is represented, in others onl\' the heads, and 
in a few the whole handle itself is carved to represent an animal or a 
human l)eing. We can distinguish in each of these pestles four distinct 
parts, (1) head, (2) handle, (o) lens or liase, and (•!) ferrule, the last 
being situated at the junction of lens and handle. 

A considerable amount of speculation has been indulged in by various 
writers to explain the significance of the carvings on these objects. 




Mr Walton tinds in them representations of the liiigam and yoni of 
))hallici,sm, and Seiior Poey enters into an elaborate discussion of 
this theoi-y. It seems iinnecessarj' to consider these objects anything- 
more than decorated pestles or paint gnnders, although the more 
highly carved specimens may have had a place in household worship. 
Their decorations undoulitedly represent certain mythic human or 
animal personages, but we can hardly believe that the objects served as 
idols. The archbishop's collection from Santo Domingo contains manj- 
very tine specimens of these objects. 

The elaborately decorated pestle shown in tigiire 5 was found in a cave 
at Cotui, Santo Domingo, by SeiTor Teotilo Corderu, and was exhibited 

in the Historical Exposition of 1892, 
in Madrid, where it was regarded as 
one of the finest known specimens of 
Antillean stoneworking. This speci- 
men is made of black rock and is 
about In inches high. On the upper 
exti'emity of the handle tliere is a 
figure elaborately carved, with human 
face, body, and limbs, suggesting an 

Plate XXIV (//, h) represents one of 
the best pestles of the archbishop's 
collection from Santo Domingo. It 
diflors from all others in having at 
the end of the handle a complete figure 
of a human being lying on its back, 
with the face uppermost and the legs 
retracted. This figure has well-cut 
eyes, nose, and ears, and, when seen 
fi-om the top of the handle, it will 
be noted that the arms also are 
represented, the hands resting upon 
the knees. The handle of the pes- 
tle is short, the lens angular and 

The same plate (xxiv, c, <l) shows a more, slender pestle, having a 
double ferrule at the points of attachment of lens and handle, but the 
groove which imparts the double form to this ferrule is not continuous, 
being broken at one place, where there is an incised line at right angles 
to the groove of the ferrule. The handle is slightly swollen midway in 
its length. The head and body of the figure on th(> handle arc well 
carved, the former being placed vertically on one side, the body extend- 
ing over the top and the legs hanging down on the side diametrically 
opposite the face. It will thus be seen that the figure lies on the ventral 

tone pc'stli' froin Suntii Doininpfi 



region over the lip of tlie liaiKlle. it> lieud :uk1 leg's being on opposite 
sides. A face view shows two sunken e^'e socliets, a jjrominent nose, 
an elongated month with thin lips, and prominent ear pendants, one of 
which is brolven. This specimen, somewhat battered l)ut in a fair 
state of preservation, is made of a highly polished soft stone. 

The accompanying drawing (figure 6) of a specimen from the col- 
lection of Senor Rodriguez, of Santo Domingo city, gives a good idea 
of a type of pestle-like idol with two faces cut on the end of the iiaiidle 
and a spherical base. 

An unusual form of stone pestle, shown in tli(> aceompanying cut 
(figure 7), is from the same collection and was found probably in either 
Haiti or Santo Domingo. 

Fig. 6. Double-headed pestle from Santii 

Fui. 7. Pestle irom Santo Domingo. 

The remaining specimens in plate x.xiv, <-/', are also from Santo 
Domingo and were purchased with the archbishop's collection. There 
is shown in e a well-cut human face on one side and representations of 
body, retracted legs, and arms cut in low relief on the other. There 
is no ferrule at the junction of the handle and the lens, which in cross 
section is angular. 

The specimen designated /'also has a human figure with a well-cut 
head, and legs in low relief at the tip of the handle, but has. unlike that 
just mentioned (<?), a ferrule iust above the lens, which ajjpears rounded 
when seen in section. 



[ETII. ANN. 25 

Fl(7. S. Small idol 
from yanio Do- 

A ruder specimen (figure 8) of somewhat the same tj'pe hut smaller, 
exhibited in the Madrid Exposition, was said to have been obtained in 
Santo Doming-o. Its base is flat, rounded, and girt by a bead, as in the 
specimen last described. The head of an animal is 
carved on the handle. While this object may have 
been used as a pestle, its form suggests an idol; but it 
belongs to the general type of stone pestles, already 

Plate XXIV, ^/, is a long-handled pestle with rounded 
lens and ferrule in low relief. Its handle tapers 
gradually from the ferrule to the image at the end, 
which represents a human being with legs and with 
slight projections for ears and arms. 

Specimen A is a pestle with a broken lens and a well- 
cut figure on the end of a short handle. The fore 
limbs in this specimen are raised in such a way that 
the hands appear to be placed l)ehind the liack just at 
the neck. 

Specimen /, /' is a pestle, the tip of tlie handle being 
decorated with an ob.scureh' made figure. This speci- 
men has a smooth surface which shows nuich pecking 
and may be an unfinished idol. 

The accompanying cut (figure 9), representing a pestle in Mr Yung- 
hannis's collection at Bayamon, Porto Rico, was 
made from one of the author's sketches. The sur- 
face of the original is rough, the base oval and 
smooth, the eves and ears being represented 
\>y pits, while parallel curved grooves suggest 

Many pestles of simple forms are shown on 
plate XXV, one of which (a) is long and club- 
shaped, having a head rudely carved on one end 
of the handle. There is no lens or enlargement 
at the opposite extremity, where, however, the 
diameter is somewhat greater than at the head. 
The remaining figures on this plate are the simplest 
forms of pestles, or possibly pigment grinders. 
In specimens f/ and c no diflerentiation indicative 
of a handle is visible, while in d the neck is a sim- 
ple contraction below the head, the whole face 
being occupied by two depressions or owl-like 
eyes. The specimen designated e is a broken pestle 
with an animal body and / represents a very simple, rough paint 
grinder, destitute of thi^ carved head. The remaining specimens (<j-i} 
arc simple paint grinders. 

Fig. 9. Pestle from Porto 




Plate XXVI, II. has a feiTiile aliove the lens, with iJiomiiieitt ears, 
nose, and lips; in h the lens is spherical, the gog-gle eyes are large, the 
nose is round, and there is an elevation on the forehead; while <■ has 
a human head with nose. lips, and ears in relief, being- exceptional 
in lacking all indicaiion of a lens. The grinding surface of this speci- 
men is convex, its nasal opening triangular, as in several figurines 
made of pottery. This specimen" is figured Ijy Professor Mason, 
and described as follows: 

A rough, bell-shaped pestle, with a rude human face on the top. Precisely similar 
ones are found in Santo Douiinfio (see Stevens's Flint Chips,'' p. 227, 230, and 2:?! i, 
but in many cases the head is replaced by the head of an animal. 

The specimen figured as d is a conical pestle of simple form, with 
no indication of lens or head. The tip of the handle is pointed. 

Mr Willoughby, treasurer of Porto Rico, 
kindly showed me while on the island in 1903 
a large pestle-like specimen (figure 10) made 
of diorite rudely fashioned, that difl'ers in form 
from other known specimens. Like other similar 
objects, its use, whether as pestle or idol, is prol)- 

On plate xxvi, e has for a handle the head and 
body of a gTotesqueh' carved human being, the 
arms being held akimbo, with deep pits between 
them and the sides of the liody. The lens has heie 
become glolnilar, the ferrule appearing as a broad 
band. The doubtful specimen (/'), made of soft 
soapstone, has a head cut on the end, the eyes 
being deep cavities and the ears projecting. The 
surface of this implement is rough and the lens 
has rounded edges. Specimen marked g is a 
simple pestle with globular lens and a head cut in low relief on the 
end of the handle. 

The object figured as h may not have been used as a pestle, having 
rather the form of a small idol, with head, feet, and legs cut in relief. 
There is no lens or ferrule, the limbs being roughly indicated by low 
prominences. The base is flat, showing no appearance of wear. The 
probability is that this object was a fetish or household idol. It may 
have been used at times for bruising herbs or grinding paints. 

The specimen designated /, from the collection purchased from Arch- 
bishop Merino, is an interesting pestle-like object in the form of a beak- 
less bird, the wings, head, and legs being represented. The front part 
of the head is flat; the eyes, large and round, are surrounded with rings. 

Fig. lO. Pestle from Porto 

n The (.•iit.iloguo number is 17033 instead of 17032. 

i' Edward T. Stevens, Flint Chips, ii guide to prehistoric archieology as illustrated l;iy the collection 
in the Blackmorc Museum, Salisbury, London. 1870. 



[ETH. Axx. 25 

Fni. 11. Pestle from Santo 

Tlie wings are crossed by ;i mimhorof iiu-ised parallel Hues. The lens 

i.s well developed but there is no indication of a ferrule. The leg's are 
in low relief on the side just below the wings, the 
feet being lost in the enlargement which forms 
the base. The tail, short and stumpy, is crossed 
by lines indicating- feathers. Pestles with bird- 
shaped handles, the rarest forms known to the 
author, are confined to Santo Domingo, never 
occurring in Porto Rico. 

Specimen,;', from St Vincent, has a head at one 
end and a slight enlargement at the other, but no 
lens-shaped extremitj. The e3'es and mouth are 
obscure. Specimen ^ is a I'ude and apparently 
unfinished idol which has been used as a pestle or 
a grinding- stone. The object figured as I is a, 
simple pestle, with an en- 
largement at one end form 
ing- the head, in which are 

pits for eyes, but no representation of nose or 


A remariiable stone object (figure llj found 

in Santo Domingo by Seiior Rodriguez be- 
longs to the same type as the last. It is im- 
portant as showing the 'general likeness of 

stone idols of this form in the two islands of 

Porto Rico and Santo Domingo. Another 

specimen (figure 12) from the latter island is 

somewhat similar. 

The accompanying- cut (figure 13) represents 

a liird image made of diorite, from collection 

purchased from Seiior Neumann, of Ponce. 

The head, wings, body, and eyes are rudely 

represented. The surface of this object is 

smoothly poli-shed, and the head, wings, and 

legs have the general appearance of these organs 

in the preceding specimens. 

Similar to the last is another bird idol (figure 

14) of the Rodriguez collection from the island 

of Santo Domingo. This specimen has not only 

the wings, eyes, and beak of a bird. Init also 

raised imitations of the legs, and stands on a 

flaring base or lens, girt by a ferrule. The eyes are situated on the 

side of the head. 

Plate XXVII, a to /, represents various forms of pestles in the 






Binl-sliiiiipd pestle 
I'rcin Sam.' ituijiint:". 

liiibert collection, now in Puerto Plata. Santo Uoniingo. copied 

from sketches by the author. A peculiarly formed rubVjing- stone 

of dumb-bell shape, an implement of unknown 

use, is here shown (/). Althouo-h the pestles 

I'epresented in this plate are in the main of 

the same general outline as those already de- 
scribed, specimens / and / have somewhat dif- 
ferent forms, especially /--a bird-shaped pestle. 

to judge from the head and limljs — having- a 

bird face like that of specimen f. One of the 

objects («) is elongated, with pointed head and 

with indications of a lens that is absent from the 

preceding' figures on this ])late. Another {>') 

has the handle swollen midway between base 

and tip. 

The duml)-bcll-sluipe(l forms of pestles shown in this plate {\\ I. m) 

recall those recorded by Doctor Duei-den from Jamaica. 

Several stone implements, fio-un>d 
on plate xxvii, were prol)ably used 
for grinders, but they are different 
in form from any implements yet 
referred to. Some of these are 
pestles; others depart considerably 
from that type. 

One specimen {a) is an almost bell- 
shaped implement of elongated 
form, rounded below, its handle 
terminating in a well-made head; 
J) has a rude head cut on one end. 
and r has a conical head at the apex, 
tlie base being- flat. From the fact 
that one surface is flattened, speci- 
men ij is considered to be a polishing 
stone, an inference which its gen- 
eral form also would indicate. It 
ma}' have been used in polishing the 
surface of pottery before firing or 
in grinding pigments or other sub- 
stances. Its general character, as 

well as the worn surface, shows that it is an artificial, not a natural. 


Fig. 14. Bird-shaped pestle from Santo Do 
_ mingo. 



In his classification oi mealing implements Professor Mason distin- 
guishes between upper and nether millstones. The pestles that have 
already been described belong to the first grouj); there remains to be 

106 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO BICO [eth. anx. 2.- 

considered the lower stoue, that upon which the material to be o-rouml 
is laid. This may have the form of a mortar or may be simply a Hat 
slab of stone. The former type has a depression to hold the material 
and is used for substances which require pounding; the latter, as a 
rule, has no such concavity. Some mortars are ornamented by pro- 
jections on their rims. 

The Latimer collection contains a few mortars which have not yet 
been figured and three other specimens, not Porto Rican in origin, 
that have l)een called mealing stones. These last were probably 
introducecl by Spaniards and should not. Ije regarded as preliistoric 
objects. They have the same form and are made of the same material 
as metates, common in all parts of Latin America. 

The first tive mortars considei'ed by Professor Mason are aboriginal, 
as are likewise those in the Guesde collection mentioned by him. 
These specimens show very well the variety in form of these objects, 
but present no essential difl'erences from those found in Central, North, 
and South America. Identical metates occur in Arizona ruins and 
were in use among the ancient pueblos. 

Although the three-legged metates mentioned ))y Professor Mason 
are regarded as imported by the Spanish colonists, it must be borne in 
mind that metates of this form have been reported from all the West 
Indian islands. Thus, Doctor Duerden speaks of similar metates from 
Jamaica, and figures two beautiful specimens, one of which has an 
animal's head on one side, the other beautifully decoi-ated legs. Doctor 
Duerden callsattention to thefact that "forms similar to these two are 
commonly employed to-day in Central America for grinding maize and 
now and again are met with amongst the peasantr_y of .Jamaica." It 
is well to remember, in considering the existence among the West 
Indians of metates so closely resembling the Mexican, that corn 
formed a considerable proportion of the food of the aborigines of Porto 
Rico. They possessed a grinding implement, consisting of a board on 
the surface of which sharp stones were attached, for grating the root 
of the manioc {Maniliot utilitissima) in the preparation of cassava, but 
this was quite unlike a stone metate in shape, construction, and use. 
A metate would be ill adapted for grinding the root of the manioc, 
and on theotlier hand the manioc grater would be unsuitable for acorn 
grinder. Maize was no doul)t imported into the island from Mexico or 
South America, and with it may have been introduced the three-legged 
metates. Benzoni gives an account of the method of grinding maize 
and making tortillas, accompanied with a good figure. 

The peasantry of Porto Rico now generally use a corn mill which 
was introduced b}' the Spaniards. This mill may be seen in operation 
in many of the cabins in the isolated mountain regions. It consists of 
two circular millstones, an upj)er and a lower, each about a foot in 
diameter and botli haviny radiating grooves on one side like the stones 


of ii tiuui- mill. The lower uiillstone rests on the tioor of the cabin, 
where it is temporarily placed for use. Thei'e is fastened to the mid- 
dle of this stone an iron rod projectino' above the surface about an 
inch and fitting' into a hole in the upper millstone. This hole is par- 
tially closed bs' a wooden bar inserted into a slot of the upper stone, 
leaving a space on each side through which the corn to be ground is 
dropped, to pass in due course between the stones. On the upper side 
of the upper stone is an eccentric pit, into which tits a rod suspended 
from the roof of the cabin. When this primitive mill is set up for 
use, the woman who works it kneels before the mill, grasps the sus- 
pended rod, and imparts to it a rotary movement, causing the upper 
>itone to rotate on the lower, stationary, stone, all the time feeding in 
the corn that later escapes between the rims of the millstones in the 
■form of meal. 

This form of mill was naturally adopted in those countries in which 
the metate was little used. Although corn {Zca viay:;) is now eaten in 
certain parts of Porto Rico by the peon class, especially in the isolated 
regions about the Yunque and Cacique mountains, where mills of this 
kind are connnon. it is probable that in prehistoric times the rotary 
mill was unknown, while the stone metate was a favorite implement 
among the people. 

The larger mortars here described may have been used as cooking- 
vessels, although from the soot found on some of the pots made of 
burnt clay there is no doubt that pottery vessels were employed for 
the purpose. The smaller mortars may have been put to such uses 
as grinding condiments, paints, or tobacco leaves, or making sacred 
meal. The flat stones, with surfaces not hollowed out, would have 
served for a variet\" of purposes, among which may have been bruis- 
ing plants to obtain fibers for weaving textiles of various kinds. The 
objects made of gold were evidently fashioned into shape by hammer- 
ing. This could have been done only l)y means of stones, for so far as is 
known the aborigines of Porto Rico were not acquainted with the art 
of smelting gold. Suitalde flat stones may have served as anvils for 
beating gold luiggets into the desired ornaments. 

Several mortars were collected liy the author in his visits to Porto 
Rico, especially in 19(M. Plate xxviii shows four of these objects, 
three of which closely resemble one another. Little can be added by 
description to what is shown in the figures, except that the specimens 
designated (/. li. and d are hollowed out on one side, while e is flat on 
top and base, hinting that it may not have had the same use as the 
other three mortars. Possibly c was used for grinding paint, while 
seeds or herbs were placed in the mortars containing cavities. Pestles 
were employed with the latter type, but not with that represented 
bv e. 


Specimen < niioht more properly he ealled a .stone bowl than a mor- 
tar, althouj>-h its function may liave been that of the hitter. It is made 
with great care and .sliows skill in processes of stoneworking not 
inferior to that exhibited in the manufacture of stone rings or of 
three-pointed idols. 

Another object, /, is a fragment of a stone collar liroken at the fer- 
rule, evidently put to use secondariU' as a pestle, the two extremities 
showing marks of such use. Several .specimens of broken collars 
or of broken three-pointed stones tiiat h;ive )M>en used secondarily as 
pounding implenuMits occur in all large collections from Porto Eico. 

Plate XXIX, a and h. represents the upper and lower surfaces of an 
exceptionally tine fragment of a stf)ne mortar of the Neumann collec- 
tion. Evidently it was originally a stone trencher of crcscentic form, 
with handles at each end. Whether this ol>ject was used as a mortar 
or a platter is not ])ossil)lc to determine, but the fact that it is of stone 
leads to the lielief that it had the former use. 

The hemi.spheric objects shown in this plate, rand ^/, are interpreted 
as riil)l)ing stones. Theii' flat surface is smooth, as if worn so 1)y con- 
stant use. 

The specimen figured as <- is one of the Hnest specimens of stone 
mortars in the Merino collection. Its form is elongated and pointed 
at one end, where the rim rises in a low projection. The surface of 
the concavity closely follows that of the exterior of the vessel and is 
fairly smooth. 

Plate XXX, (I, illustrates a type of stone implement, several speci- 
mens of which occur in collections of prehistoric Porto Rican ol)jects, 
l)ut tlu^ function of which is unknown. The illustration shows the 
specimen from one of the flattened sides, the breadth being nearly 
double the thickness. The base is flat and smooth, and the handle of 
about the same diameter throughout, with the tips bifurcated, the two 
extensions or horns being slightly curved. Various forms of stone 
implements of somewhat similar chaVacter are also shown {h^ c, and d). 
They ai'c all more or less triangular in profile, rounded on the faces, 
and more or less flattened. One edge conunoidy shows evidences of 
rubbing, as if it had been used as a polishing implement. The speci- 
mens ai'e made of different kinds of stone and are as a rule rough and 
undecorated. Specimen i' was collected ))y the authtu-, while h, c, and 1/ 
are in the Latimer collection. 

Heads and Pendants 

The cacique Guacanagari gave to Columbus a string of 8<I0 beads of 
stone, «'/«/, and mention of these ornaments is fre(juently found in 
early writers. There are .several specimens of stone beads in the 




Latimer collection, one string containinji' 7n, whicli Profe.sso 
tiius described: 


Fig. 15. Amulet. 

A striui; <if 70 .small chalcedony beads, aliout the size of peas. The.vare quite per- 
fectly rounded an<l perforated, some of them in two directions. This is the most 
remarkaLile sample of aboriginal stone polishing and drilling that has ever come 
under the observation of the writer. It is exceedingly doul)tful whether another 
collection of so many witnesses to savage patience and 
skill has been found anywhere in ime specimen. 

According to Kaniou Pane the woman (xua- 
bonito (good ruler) gave the hero Guagugiana 
much guanine (gold) and cihe, colecihi {stones), 
"that he might cai'ry them tied to his arms: 
for in tiiose countries the coleeihi are of stone, 
very like marble, and thej^ wear them about 
their wrists and necks; and the (nianiiiis wear 
them at their ears, making holes in them 
when the}' are little, and thej' sound like tine 

The above-mentioned string of beads is excelled by one collected 
at Utuado liy the author in l'.H)4. The Utuado specimen (plate 
XXXI, (() is more than 5 feet long, containing several hundred beads, 
lai'ge and small, a worthy gift from a cacicjue. It w^as found in 
a bowl (pla,te lxxvii. r/, «'), evidently sacrificial, and with it were 
anothei' string, also a fine one, and two pendants, one of stone, the 
other of shell. These beads vary in size i)ut are nf\ei- round like 
those in the string first described above. Many have lateral perfora- 
tions, as if for the insertion of feathers or other o)>jects. and in some 
specimens the perforation is confined to a simple pit. 
Another specimen (<■) is one of several stone olijects 
of cylindrical form, with a raised band midway in its 
length and perforations at the opposite edges. The 
raised band in one known specimen is decorated with 
what resembles a human hand. Illustration h repre- 
sents a brown nonperfoiated stone of unknown use. 
There are two specimens of this form in the collection, 
one of which came with the Latimer gift. Specimen 
d is a spherical stone girt by a groove, having a per- 
foration through an elevation that is pinched up at one 
pole. A string can be introduced into figure '/ to siiow 
the position of this hole. 
The object shown from front and side in figures 15 and 10 may pos- 
sibly be I'egarded as a pendant, although closeh' related to the frontal 
amulets later considered. It is made of a white stone, possibly marble, 
perforated laterally as if for suspension, having a human figure cut in 

Fig. 16. Amulet 
(side view). 


relief on one face. These illustrations were made from sketches given 
to the author b}' Mr W. F. AVilloujihby, treasurer of Porto Rico. 

Stone Balls 

Among- the niany'objects found near the so-called j>iego» dv hoJa, or 
ball courts, of Porto Rico ma^' be mentioned certain spherical stones 
which constantly occur in collections from this island. These stone 
balls vary from the size of a niar])le to two feet in diameter. Many 
of them were undoubtedly naturally formed by running water, and 
evidently gathered from the beds of rivers and carried to the village 
sites for a purpose; others show good evidences'of having been made 
sphei'ical by human hands. 

In the course of his tra\(ds in Porto Rico the author collected sev- 
eral stone balls, as they are popularly called, ascribed to the aborigines 
of the island. It is commonly supposed that these balls were used in 
a game called Ixiteij, but as they are made of stone, while Oviedo 
speaks of the huh-i/ balls as made of a kind of gum, this interpretation 
evidently does not apply. These balls, varying from the size of a 
marble to several inches in diameter, are, as a I'ule, moderately smooth, 
even when made of the hardest rock. While it is not impossible that 
the}' were used in games, some of them wei-e intended for other and 
far different purposes. 

That these objects were used by the Indians in liall games such as 
Oviedo describes can not be believed, because that author says that 
elastic balls of vegetable substances, capable of rebounding, were 
employed in the ball games; but these stones may have been used in 
ball games of other kinds, of which we have no record. These objects 
are almost universally associated by the country people with tlmjiiegvs 
de hdht. and regarded as of aboriginal manufacture. 

Two other theories of their use are suggested: They may have been 
put on the ridge poles of cabins, as figured by Oviedo, to weight down 
the roofs, or they may have been employed as fetishes in ceremonials 
for rain, following a well-known custom among primitive people. As 
these stones arc found in or near water and nowhere else, by a con- 
fusion of effect and cause it was believed that they must have brought 
the water. As water- worn stones are regarded I)}' other peoples as 
efficacious in producing water, so it may have been that the aboriginal 
Porto Ricans in their primitive reasoning sought out and prized these 
spherical stones for use in rain cei-emonials for crops. There is no 
statement to this effect in early writings, and the theory here sug- 
gested is sinn)ly inferred from practices common among other primi- 
tive peoples. 

The specimens designated c, /", (7, on plate xxxi, are spherical or 
ovate stones collected at different points on the island. ^Many more 
were seen but they are all similar to those here iigured. 

KKWKEs] archeolcictICAL objects 111 

TiiREE-PoixTEU Stones 

The objects included in this group are characterized h\' three pro- 
jections or points. The form of these projections suggested mammaj 
to Professor Mason, and led him to designate them in his catalogue of 
the Latimer collection mammiform stones. But this appellation does 
not apply, as will bo seen later, to certain types of these objects, and 
since all types possess three projections the name three-pointed is a 
more appropriate term by which to designate them. These three 
projections may be called the anterior, the posterior, and the conoid. 
The first two are situated at the ends of the slightly concave flat side, 
whii'h may 1ie called th(> base. 

If we suppose the ol^ject set on this .^ide the conoitl projection is sit- 
uated directly opposite the base. It will be found that its apex, except 
in rare cases, tips slightly toward the anterior point. The anterior 
projection in most instances is modified into a head, but in a type from 
which this head is absent the conoid projection .-<till tips somewhat 
toward one point, which, on that account, may be called the anterior 

The geographical distribution of three-pointed stones is confined to 
a single region of the West Indies, namely, Porto Rico and the adjacent 
eastern end of Santo Domingo. They have not been reported from 
Cuba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, or the Lesser Antilles, and no specimen 
has been found in North. Central, or South America. 

Three-pointed stones fall naturally into four classes: (1) Those with 
a head on the anterior and legs on the posterior points; {'2) those with a 
face on one side of the conoid projection; (3) those with the conoid pro- 
jection modified into a head or face; (4) smooth specimens, destitute 
of head, face, legs, or incised superficial ornamentation. 


The majority of these idols belong to this type, which is well marked 
and readily distinguished from the one next following. It is not 
always possible to recognize the form of the legs, for the posterior 
projection often resemliles a second head, but no specimen has yet been 
found which is clearly bicephalic. The axis of the base is sometimes 
warped, now to one side and now to the other, suggesting rights and 
lefts, but as a rule is straight. The surface is generally smooth, but in 
some specimens is marked by incised superficial decorations, pits, and 
in one instance b}' a few wart-like excrescences. Remnants of a super- 
ficial paint or pitch are found in two specimens. Only in rare instances 
(figure 18) are anterior as well as posterior limbs cut on the stone. 
The classification of this type is mainly based on the form of the head. 

The three-pointed stones of the first type may be divided into three 
groups that ma\- be readily distinguished; (1) Those with human heads; 



[ETH. ANN, 25 

(2) thoso with rpptiliiiii hcaclf^; (H) tho^e with l)ird hoadtr. .Stones of the 
tirst group ha\(' a human face (figure 17), or a monkey-like head with a 
more or less human nose and g'enerally a band or ridge over the fore- 
head teiminatinii' in ears with pendants on the ends. Nostrils are not 
indicated in stones o¥ this group, and the e3'es are oonimonl\' round 
depressions looking forward. In the second group the head is nHjre 
elongated and reptilian, with th(> mouth extending backward on tlic 
sides, the nostrils mounted on small pi'otuberances, and the nose and 
the frontal alisent. Ears and ear pendants are not represented in this 

The third, or bird-faced, group is easily distinguished from the 
human and the lizai'd-headed groups by the presence of a bird's head, 
with beak and eyes, and sometimes of wings. Fi'ontal band, nostrils, 
and ears are wanting and the e^'es are placed laterall}'. 

The following objects belong to the first type of three-pointed idols: 
Plate XXXII represents one of the most instructive examples of the 

¥ui. ii. Tlirut-pointed stone of first type. 

first type of thi-ee-pt)inted stones and is unique in several particulars. 
The conical prominence in this specimen is not pointed but hemi- 
spheric, and its surface is decorated with incised figures the arrange- 
ment of which is brought out in a view from above (fi). This orna- 
mentation consists of six circles — one in the middle surrounded by five 
smaller incised circles, two in front, one on each side, and one in the 
rear. There are aLso triangular incised figures, parallel lines, and con- . 
centric circles. The l)reak in the line surrounding the middle circle is 
worth mentioning since it introduces a character repeatedly found in 
the geometrical decoration of other Antillean objects. The head of 
the specimen is of human form, with a raised ridge on the forehead. 
Its feet are drawn to the rump, the toes being represented on the medial 
line. This object, purchased from Senor Zeno (xandia. is made of 
marble with yellow veins, its surface being smooth and the base 
slightly concave and undecorated. It was labeled Santo Domingo and 
formerlv belonged to the (iabinete de Lectui'a of Ponce, Porto Rico. 


The two specimens figured on plate xxxiii (a, 7>), where side and 
front views are given, were obtained by purchase in Porto Rico. They 
represent the more cominon forms of the first group, those with 
human heads. In both these specimens the posterior legs are cut iu 
low relief on the posterior projection, and the conical projection is low 
with ape.v turned only slightly forward. The forehead is retreating, 
the ears are triangular in form and situated at the end of the frontal 
ridge. Specimen c, c' is made of soft green stone; J, <J\ one of the 
largest specimens obtained in Porto Rico, of a black basaltic rock. 

In plate xxxiv, a, «', ai'e represented two idols of the first type 
closely similar in form to that last mentioned. One of these {a) is a 
polished specimen with a decided forward inclination of the apex of 
the conoid projection. The head in this specimen is somewhat better 
cut than iu the last preceding one and in both it is more clearly indi- 
cated than the legs. 

Plate XXXIV. h, 1/ and c. >■', shows two tine specimens from the Lati- 
mer collection, one of which (b) is remarkable from the fact that 
patches of a resinous varnish still adhere to its sides and base. This 
specimen is also exceptional in having a low conical projection and a 
very pi'onounced antero-posterior curve of the base. The face is cut 
in low relief, leaving the chin very prominent. The posterior append- 
ages are in somewhat more pronounced relief than in the preceding 
specimen. The specimen figured as c has a .smooth surface, with a 
ridge extending from the apex to the margin of the base on each side 
of the conical projection. The frontal elevation is decorated with 
incised lines and pits, and the head, seen from the front, is .slightly 

Plate xxxiv, <•, c', is thus described by Professor Mason: 

A highly polished specimen of marble. There is a wide headband across the fore- 
head of the fifiure, ornamented with chevrons and hemispherical cavities. The riglit 
side is the fuller, the bottom concave and rough, and the apex slightly battered. 
This battering is doulitless an accident, as none of the othei'S exhibit it. Length 
10.3, width 4..5, height .5. .3 inches. 

Professor Mason thus describes a similar object: 

A polished specimen, made of mottled black and white marl:ile. The head and 
posterior portion are very much flattened out, making the furrows long and shallow. 
The left side is fuller than the right and the bottom is elevated nearly an inch and 
hollowed out. Length 10.7.1, width 4.3, height 4.1 inches. 

Plate XXXV shows .several three-pointed stones of the first type, in 
one of which (a) there is a human head on the anterior point, while 
in the other (h) the head more closely resembles that of an animal. 
This is due to the form of the nose, which is flat rather than promi- 
nent. Specimen a is exceptional also in the shape of the posterior 
appendages, or legs, which here difi'er from those in other specimens. 

2.5 ETH— 07 8 

11-1 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [eth. axx. 25 

The frontal ridge of figure a is ornamented with int-ised triangles, 
and on the medial line above the nose it has a pit surrounded by an 
incised ring. The legs of this specimen are well made and the face is 
clearly represented. The base is almost ilat, instead of curved as is 
generally the case. 

Figure l> has a larger facial angle and a protuberant chin. Professor 
Mason thus describes a similar object: 

A small, mottled specimen of dark volcanic stone. The face is slashed with deep 
lines. The furrows are deep, the right side full, and the bottom pecked in the mid- 
dle and worn (jiiite smooth at the ends. Length 5.8, width 2.1, height 2.2 inches. 

Two other specimens figured in plate xxxv are significant. In 
one (t) the nose is large, extending almost as far forward as the chin. 
The frontal ridge is low and undecorated, ending in large ear pendants; 
eyes vertical. The conical projection is low and rounded; its base 
smooth and slightly convex; the legs are in moderate relief. 

The other specimen (r7) from Santo Domingo, purchased in the col- 
lection of Archbishop jMerifio, has a tapering, conical projection, the 
apex of which is turned forward; no frontal ridge; prominent eye- 
brows and eye border, and low nose. There is a shallow pit in the 
middle of the forehead that is represented in other specimens 
The legs are in low relief, with depressions at the thighs. The base 
is flat or slightly curved. 

In plate xxxvi, a, a', is represented a large three-pointed stone 
from the Neumann collection, made of a hard basaltic rock smoothly 
jiolished. The base is curved; conical projection low; head and legs, 
especially the former, are in high relief. The side view (c/) shows the 
deep depression of the bridge of the nose, a pronounced elevated rim 
about the eyes, and a low frontal ridge. As seen in «', one side of the 
conical projection is consideralily broken, but notwithstanding the 
nuitilation this specimen is one of the best in the collection. ^larked 
features are a retreating chin and a mouth with raised lips. 

In the same plate (}>, V , 1>") there is shown a rough three-pointed 
stone in which the facial angle is large, almost a right angle, the con- 
ical projection being low and rounded, the legs ob.scurely indicated. 
The ear pendants are hardly diflerentiated from a low frontal ridge. 
The exceptional feature of this specimen is the warped axis of the 
body, the right side being almost straight, the left curved. This is 
one of the heaviest specimens in the collection. Its rough surface and 
flat appear to be unfinished. 

Professor Mason thus describes this three-pointed idol: 

This specimen is of a dark volcanic material. The face and feet are both well 
turned up. The anterior and the posterior furrows are deep, the left side bulged 
out, and the bottom slightly hollowed. Length 11.6, width 4.3, and height 5.65 


The three-pointed stones figured in plate xxxvii belong to those 
specimens of the tirst type that have human faces. Specimen a has two 
pits on each side of the conical projection and a broad, slightly raised 
frontal ridge. In neither specimen a nor specimen 7> is there a groove 
between the heafl and the conoid projection, as is true of most speci- 
mens of the first type already considered. The nose of the stone fig- 
ured as (I is flattened, of that figured as b more pointed. The feet and 
legs of both specimens are ol^scurcly indicated. Their surface is fairly 

On the same plate are shown also thi'ee views (c, c^', f")of an instruct- 
ive specimen, the posterior point of which has been broken and the 
object thus adapted for a pestle; the bi-oken end exhibits evidences 
of wear, which are likewise visible on the portion of the stone anterior 
to the conical projection, as is apparent in a view of the base (e"). 
The head of this three-pointed stone (e) is well carved; the nose is not 
projecting, nor the forehead retreating. The frontal ridge is broad 
and flat and decorated with incised lines, the ear pendants being indi- 
cated by circular depressions. The most remarkable feature of this 
object is the circular depression in the nnddle of the base suri'ounded 
))y an incised ring (c"). Other three-pointed stones have like basal 
depressions, Iiut the surrounding ring occurs only in this one specimen. 

Professor Mason describes the object figured as a. on plate xxxvii, 
as follows: 

A dark volcanic specimen. Tlie lieadband abuts cm the mamma, leaving a very 
slight furrow in front, but the posterior furrow is deeper. On the sides of the 
mamma are cup cuttings. The bottom is elevated and fiollow. Length 6.15, width 
3.2, height 2.7 inches. 

Professor Mason's description of b on the same plate is as follows: 

A light-blue volcanic stone. The furrows are almost wanting, and, as in a speci- 
men previously mentioned, the feet are reversed. The bottom is very roughly hol- 
lowed out. Length .5.6, width 2.4, height 3.6 inches. 

Specimen c on this plate is thus described by Professor Mason: 

A fine specimen, made of white marble. The face is well executed, the headband 
being wide and ornamented with cup cultings and frets. The feet are broken off. 
Instead of a cymbiform cavity in the bottom, there is a deep cup cutting, around the 
border of which is a perfectly circular furrow. This object has been battered by 
secondary use as a pestle. The dimensions are estimated. Length 12.8, width 4.4, 
height 3.75 inches. 

Plate XXXVIII, ((, (/', and ?>, b', represents two fragments of finely 
cut three-pointed stones, which once may have been parts of a single 
object; a and b show a front and a side view of the head; // represents 
the side view of the posterior point, or legs, while a' shows the same 
from the rear. The frontal ridge is decorated with curved and straight 
lines, triangles, and pits, and there is a well-marked circular depres- 


sion in the ridge above tlie nose. There are likewise pits at the proxi- 
mal ends of the thighs. The legs are retracted, the tive toes being 
separated by parallel incisions. The rough broken ends of both these 
specimens are consideraljly worn, as if the objects had been used as 
pestles or pounding impleuients. The incised decoration in these two 
objects, as in several others, is brought out in the illustration by the 
use of chalk. 

It is not wholly evident that these two objects once belonged together 
or formed head and legs of a single object, but the finish of both, no 
less than the character of the stone of which they are made, supports 
that conclusion. 

Professor Mason tinis writes of these two fragments: 

17017. The head of a inammiforin stone, of white marble. The headband is orna- 
mented with (.'hevrons and three cnj) cuttings. Tliis was undoul)tedlya very lieautiful 
implement. The absence of duplicates in such a large collection is somewhat strik- 
ing, and yet testifies to the richness of fancy in the artists. This figure, however, is 
almost identical in material, physiognomy, and the shape and ornamentation of the 
headband with the head of number 17003. (Plate xxxvn, c. ) 

17018. The foot of a marble mammiform stone. The feet are finely expressed; 
indeed they are the best looking pair of feet in the whole lot. The thighs are orna- 
mented with clievrons and cup cuttings. This may have been the foot <>f the object 
to which the foregoing number was the head, or more probably to the broken speci- 
men descrilied as No. 17003. If not, it is a relic of a very finely wrought imiilement. 

Speciraefi c, plate xxxviii, is a roughly made three-pointed stone of 
the tirst type, sltowing a long neck and an obscurely indicated mouth 
and frontal ridge, the legs being slightly raised above the surface. 
This .specimen has the general appearance of an unfinished object or of 
one whose surface is considerably waterworn. .Specimens d and e of 
the same plate are both verv much waterworn, the second showing 
breccia-like fragments left in relief l)y the wearing away of a softer 

Plate XXXIX, a to a" , shows three views of a three-pointed stone idol, 
the only one in the collection in our National Museum with a depres- 
sion at the apex of the conical projection. 

The head has a mouth and a pointed snout like a lizard's, but no nose, 
the place of the latter being occupied by a rounded protuberance with 
pits, resembling nostrils, 'on each side. There are no indications of 
ears, as in almost all other stones representing human heads, and the 
frontal ridge is here replaced by an elevation, the top of the head. 
This elevation, however, like the frontal ridge, is ornamented with 
incised lines and has a median pit surrounded by an incised ring. The 
posterior appendages are very obscurely indicated. 

Professor Mason gives the following description of the stone figured 
as h in this plate: 

A rough specimen made of volcanic stone. The fai-e and feet are nmch flattene<l 
out, anil the anterior and posterior furrow are broad and shallow. The left side is 


fuller than the right. The mamma is slightly \vinge<l, or angular, on the sides, 
front, and rear. The bottom is nearly flat, and very rough. Length 8, width 3.55, 
height 3.8 inches. 

Specimen c of this plutf has a llattened face as seen in profile, and a 
low conical projection. Professor Mason gives the following' descrip- 
tion, with fignre, of this .specimen: 

.V dark-colored specimen, of volcanic material. The head is grotesque and high- 
ridged, making the front furrow deep. Across the thighs is a chevroned band. The 
right side is fuller than the left. The bottom is warped up and hollowed out. There 
are four shallow c'ylindrical depressions on the mamma on a level with the furrows, 
one on either side of the anterior and posterior portions. Length 11.65, width 4.6, 
height 4.05 inches. 

Plate XL represents the side and top views of a three-pointed stone 
with a human face in which th(i chin is protnlierant. The frontal l)and 
is ornamented with incised lines, and there is a median pit surrounded 
by a ring. The specimen is made of white stone. 

Professor Mason thus describes a similar object: 

A dark, mottled, volcanic stone. The face has been very much liattered by time. 
There is an elevated band across the forehead, making the furrows narrow and deep. 
The right side is fuller than the left, and the bottom elevated and hollowed out. 
Length 7.95, width 3.5, height 4 inches. 

In plate XLi, a and a' represent a broken three-pointed stone with 
face, shown in profile view, resembling that of a monkey. The well- 
marked frontal ridge which ends at either end is obscurely indicated, 
the ears having the form of knobs. 

Specimen /', /*' in this plate has a reptilian head with backward extend- 
ing mouth, semicircular eyes, and hiterall}' placed ijrotul)erances with 
nostrils, but no frontal liand or ridge. This specimen has shallow 
pits in its surface, one on each side of the base of the conical projection. 
The posterior point has the appearance of another head, with deep 
depressions for eyes, which are probably only highly conventionalized 
leg and thigh depressions. The height of this specimen as compared 
with its length is less than in any other that has been studied. 

In the same plate (xli, c and c') there is shown a tine specimen of a 
three-pointed stone of reptilian appearance, one of three found together 
in a cane field near Salinas, Porto Kico, and presented to the Smithson- 
ian Institution by Mr Zoller. In it the main features of the reptilian 
group are well marked. The head is long, with semicircular eyes, 
prominent nostrils, and mouth extending backward. There is no 
frontal ridge and the posterior point has two eye-like depressions 
obscurely representing the legs. The surface is tinely polished and 
the rock of which it is made is very hard. 

The three-pointed stones in plate XLii (a, h) have lizard-shaped heads 
and are good examples of the second group of the first type, specimen a 
being one of the best of stones in the collection. Its head has a 


pointed form, which, when .seen from above, is almost triangular in 
profile, with eyes lateral; nostrils, pits mounted on tubercles; mouth 
extending- backward, and lips well represented by a ridge surrounding 
the mouth. Back of each eye there is a triangular incised figure, and 
in a prominence on top of the head a small depression. There is no 
frontal band or ridge, or representation of ears. The surface of the 
object is smoothly polished and presents a mottled appearance: the 
rock of which the specimen is made is very hard. The object now 
being considered {a, a') is thus described ))y Professor Mason: 

Of mottled marble. The head resemliles that (A a hog or peccary, but is grotesque. 
The feet are human; the furrows are broad and deep; the left side is fuller than the 
right, and the bottom is ileepl_v hollowed. Length 12.5.5. width 5.5. lieight h.3 

The specimen designated 5 has a markedly reptilian head and is one of 
a few possessing teeth. The eyes are lateral circular depressions, and 
the nostrils are mounted on tubercles with pits opening laterally. The 

Fig. 18. Three-pointed stone of lirst type. 

mouth extends backward, and the two rows of teeth, one in the uppej", 
the other in the lower, jaw, are indicated by incised lines. The pos- 
terior appendages are also well cut, and there are pits on the thighs 
that resemble ej'es. 

Of specimen h Professor Mason writes: 

A small specimen of white marble. The grotesque head resembles that of an 
alligator. The feet, as usual, are human. The thighs are ornamented with chevrons 
and circles. The furrows are narrow and shallow, the left side full, the bottom 
unusually cymbiform. Length 4.85, width 2, height 2.75 inches. 

A three-pointed stone of singular undescribed form is exceptional 
in showing the forelegs cut in relief on the side of the body. At the 
shoulder of each there is a shallow pit, which can be seen in several 
other specimens. This object (figure 18) owned by Mr Yunghannis, 
of Bayamon, Porto Rico, in the form of the head and in the possession 
of both fore and hind legs, difl'ers from anj' other j'et figured. 




The specimen figured as c uuturally falls into the third oroup, or 
those with bird heads. This specimen is described by Professor Mason 
as follows: 

A dark specimen of volcanic material. The head resembles that of a parrot. The 
furrows are broad and shallow. The left side is full, the bottom sHghtly elevated 
and holliiw. Length 6..3, width 2. .55, height 2.95 inches. 

Specimen d has a monkey-shaped head with prominent forehead, 
but no frontal ridge; e^-es shallow; ears obscurely indicated. This 
rudely made image may belong to either the first or the second group. 

Plate xLiii. tf, represents one of the most instructive of the Porto 
Rican three-pointed stones of the first type. The general shape of the 
head is reptilian: eyes lateral; mouth extending backward: nostrils 
mounted on prominent tubercles. 

The legs of the specimen shown in figure 19 somewhat resemble 
flippers, but the head is huuian. The legs are so cut on the posterior 
point as to impart to that region the form of a head, well l)rought out 
in the figure. The exceptional feature of this object is the anterior legs 
cut in relief, one on eaili 
side of the conical projec- 
tion, the toes extending 
forward. There is at the 
shoulder of each anterior 
leg an oval depression 
corresponding in posi- 
tion to the pits some- 
times found in the sides 
of the conical projection. 
This specimen was pre- 
sented to the Smithsonian Institution by Mr ZoUer. of the Aguirre 
Central, Porto Rico, having been plowed up in a cane field near Sali- 
nas with the other two elsewhere figured and described. 

Specimen Ji, plate xliii, represents another bird, much more care- 
fully made than usual. Its surface is smooth, the rock admitting of 
a fine polish. Head and legs are cut in relief and there is a circular 
pit on each side of the conical projection near the base. The well- 
defined bird's head has a long curved beak, lateral eyes, but no frontal 
band or ridge. The raised area at the side of the beak and head is 
peculiar to this specimen. l)ut may be the same as the triangular raised 
areas identified as wings in figure 20. The legs are well cut and more 
extended than in many specimens. 

The object figured as h is thus de.scribed by Professor Mason: 

This specimen is of a light-bluish material. The head and breast of an albatross 
replace the human head. On either side of the breast and on either side of the 
front of the mamma is a cup-cutting. The furrows at the base of the mamma in the 
front and rear are wide and deep. The bottom is warped up and hollowed out. 
Length U.95, width 4.5, height 4.9 inches. 

Fig. 19. Three-pointed stone of first type. 



[ETH. ANN'. 25 

Cue of the most instructive of these objects (figure 20) represents a 
bird, the body of which would seem to be reversed as compared with 
the others, having' its back for the base, thus bringing the conical 
projection on the ventral instead of on the dorsal region. The oval 
elevated areas carved on each side of the back are supposed to I'ep- 
resent wings. The specimen is remarkable also in being painted blue, 
but whether this coloration is native or not could not be determined 
This specimen is one of the finest of all the stone objects with three 
points, and is said to have come from Santo Domingo. 

Plate XLiii, c", represents another idol of the first type, which is one 
of the best-known specimens of the group with birds' beads. The 
beak is long and curved; appended to the eyes is a triangular raised 
area that may represent a wing. On each side of a very low conical 
projection there are two shallow depressions, shown in the side view (e). 
The base is curved and the legs are obscurely indicated. The specimen 
was obtained in 190-1: in the Neumann collection. 

Fig, 20. Bird-form threo-pointiHl stone. 

Plate XLiv, (/, is a tiiree-pointed stone with a bird's head on the 
anterior projection and what appears to be a second head at the pos- 
terior end. It would appear, however, that this second head in reality 
is highly conventionalized limbs. No neck is represented; the beak 
is parrot-shaped, the e^'cs are small, the wings absent. 

In the object represented in h^ plate xliv, we have one of the 
most aberrant of these bird forms. The eyes are mounted on globular 
prominences and the heak is curved downward, and separated from 
the breast by a sliglit perforation. The identity of this image is 
prol)lematical, its affinities appearing to be avian. The specimen is 
made of hard black rock with a smoothly polished surface. 

Plate XLIV, r, c', and r", represents side, face, and rear views of an 
animal which, on account of the owl-like form of the eyes, is identified 
by Professor Mason as a bird. There is no beak, however, and the 
mouth resembles that of a I'cptile or frog. As in several of the pre- 
ceding specimens, there are grooves back of the head and in front of 


the legs, suggesting wear, as if tiie object onee had been hished to 
some foreign body. An exceptional feature in this specimen is that 
it has only one posterior appendage represented, as shown in c" . 
This leg is apparently so twisted that the thigh, indicated by the pit 
on the side, is brought to the right side of the specimen, the toes and 
leg being turned to the left. The surface is rough, the base flat, and 
the apex of the conical projection slightly curved and apparently 
broken. Professor Mason thus describes this zvutt: 

A dark specimt'ii of voluanit' material. The liead resembles that of an owl or 
parrot. The furrows are deep, the right side fidl, and the bottom flat. Length 4.y.5, 
width 2.9, height 2.9-5 inches. 


There are onl\- a few known specimens of tiiis type, which ditier 
little from one another. In some of these objects there is a pro- 
nounced ridge extending on each side from the apex of the cone to 
the margin of the base. The anterior tilting of the ape.x of the conoid 
projection is pronounced in most of the specimens. 

Five specimens of this type occur in the Smithsonian Institution, of 
which two were obtained from the Latimer collection and three were 
collected by the author in IKU-S. The author likewise has one in his 
possession (figure '11) which came from Santo Domingo and was 
described in a previous article on zciiiw of that island." 

The essential feature of this type is the restriction of the face to 
the interval between the conical projection and the anterior point, so 
that the head is not clearly ditierentiated from the body of the stone, 
as in the first type. Two of the specimens have two pairs of legs, and 
in the remaining three appendages are not represented. 

Plate XLV, ff, is a highly polished specimen of dark green stone, well 
made, with conical projection and other points slender and tapering. 
The base is rough and slightly curved, the eyes look forward, the ears 
are oval areas slightly enlarged at the lower end, but without pits. 
Nose and frontal ridge are absent. From a front view the .specimen 
appears to have an angular appearance, the conical projection narrow- 
ing above the eyes to a point. Professor Mti.son gives the following 
description of this object: 

A highly polished specimen, made of a dark green stone, similar to the material 
of the most beautiful celts. The ends and top taper out finger-like. The human 
face is carved on the front of the mamma. The bottom is elevated and roughened, 
but not hollowed. This is a highly finished and unique specimen, departing quite 
widely from the typical form, and resembling no other in the collection. 

The three-pointed stone represented in plate xlv, h and l\ and in 
figure 21, also a tine example of the .second type, was presented to the 
author in 1877 by Mr Edward Hall, of Cambridge, Mass., by whom 

^American Anthropitlmjist, IV, in". April, 1891. 



[etii. axx. 25 

it was obtained in Santo Domingo city. Tlie three tajjering points are 
of about eijual size and identical shape, the length and height of the 
specimen being approximately equal. This object (shown from the side) 
is made of a hard basaltic rock, tineh' polished except on the base and 
in the cavities of the mouth and eyes. The nose is more prominent 
than in other examples of the present type; the ear is shaped like a 
figure 6 (revei'sed in plate xlv, h). There is an indistinct incised decora- 

FiG. 21. Three-pointed stone of second type. 

tion above the forehead and on the nose; the ferrule surrounding the 
posterior end is somewhat more prominent than in the two specimens 
immediately preceding." 

Specimen v of the same plate (xlv) has a I'ough surface, but indica- 
tions of more detail than the preceding. The conical projection, figure 
22, is very low, rising scarcely above the eyebi-ows. Eyes and mouth 
face anteriorly. Fore legs are cut on the sides of tlie conical projec- 

a See an article by the author on Zemes from Santo Domiiij^o, in X\iq American Anthropologist, iv , 
167, April, 1891. 




tion, foro feet on the anterior projection. Hind legs are obscurely indi- 
cated. A circular pit is prosont on the upper part of the posterior 
point. There are obscure indications of a backbone. 

Fig. 22. Three-poiiued sione oi second type. 

Figure 2-3 is in a private collection. It resemliles figure 21, but in 
it a ring replaces the figure 6 representing the ear. 

Plate XL VI represents one of the finest specimens of three-pointed 
stones of the second tN^pe, and is thus described bj- Professor Mason: 

A curious specimen, made of mottled flinty limestone. The projecting ends are 
entirely wanting. The front of the mamma or cone exhibit.? a grotesque human face. 
The rear is carved to represent a frog, whose nose forms the apex of the stone, and 

Fig. 23. Tlufe-poliitcd stone of second t\-pe. 

whose back and hind legs, drawn up, fill the remaining surface. The fore legs pass 
down the sides of the cheeks and under the lower jaw of the human face in front. 
This is truly a marvel of aboriginal art, and may be set down as the best specimen of 
this class in the collection. 


The face is clearly cut, having well-made nose, eyes, and mouth. 
The decorated frontal band ends on the sides in spirals forming the 
ears. The general appearance of the face is human rather than rep- 
tilian or frog-like, recalling in several features specimens of the first 
type with human heads. 

Perhaps the most instructive feature in this specimen is the arrange- 
ment of the organs represented on the region opposite that on which 
the face is cut, or that between the apex of the conical and posterior 
projections. The apex takes the form of a small rounded knob just 
above the frontal hllet. P'roiu the shallow groove that separates the 
ajjical'knob from the backbone arise the anterior appendages, which 
closely follow tlie outline of the headband, extending l)elow the mouth, 
where they end in representations uf hands, the lingers being indicated 
by five parallel lines, above which are incised the armlets and bracelets. 

The back])one is represented by three pairs of rectangular vertebrte 
inclosed in extensions from the shoulders, each with a central pit. Six 
parallel, slightly curved lines on each side mark the ribs. 

The posterior appendages are retracted, with knees pointing forward 
and feet drawn together and toes extending liuckward. There are 
depression.s at the proximal end of the thighs, as in other specimens, 
and in the outward-turned soles of the feet are semicircular depressions 
surrounded by an incised line, a feature which we find often repeated 
in other gni\ en images of the foot. Just below the feet is a beading, 
or elevated band, connecting the rim of the base on each side. This 
structure appears to be confi?ied to the three-pointed stones of the 
second type, and will be referred to as the posterior band. 

It will be seen in comparing this specimen with others of the same 
or ditfei-ent types that nowliere else do we find so many parts of the 
body represented.. If three-pointed stones ai-e homologous, and the 
conoid projections of all are morphcilogically the same, it is evident 
that this structure belongs to the head region and not to the body or 
any part tjelow the shoulders; in other words, the conoid projection is 
an appendage of the head and not of the back. The batraciiian sem- 
l)lance which Professor Mason discovers in this specimen is not appar- 
ent, for the face, as well as limbs and bod v, seems to be strictly human. 

The three-pointed object figured in plate xi.Mi, wliere it is repre- 
sented from side and rear, is one of the best examples of three-pointed 
stones of the second type. It is said to have been found near Baya- 
mon, Porto Rico, and was purchased from Seiior Angelis, of Cataiio, in 
1903. The object is made of a black stone with finely jjolished surface 
probably once covered with a resinous gum. The face depicted upon 
it is grotesquely human, the conical projection is low. the anterior and 
posterior ends are pointed, the nose is slightly protul)erant, the mouth 
wide open, and the ears are formed like the figure 6 reversed. The 
back of the specimen is decorated with incised lines — a circle with a 


central pit, surrounded ]>y triano'les and jjarallel curved lines. The 
break in the encircling line shown just below this j)it is sioniticant and 
characteristic of Antillean ornamentation. The posterior l)and extends 
from one edge of the base to the opposite side l^elow the decorated area, 
separating tliat area from the posterior point. The l)ase is flat, or 
slightly curved, and roughly pecked. The incised ornamentation of 
the region between the apex of the conoid j)ro]'ection and the posterior 
band is exceptional. 

If stones of the second type were attached to staves or to stone 
collars this posterior band would prevent the lashing by which the 
oljject was fastened from slipping over tiie posterior point; in stones 
of the tirst type this end would be accomplished by the enlai'gement 
of the posterior ajipendages. 


This very rare type is represented by only three specimens, if we 
exclude the closely related stone heads or masks. Two of the speci- 
mens that undoubtedly belong to this type have legs represented; one 
has these appendag(vs on the sides of the conoid projection, the other 
at the throat just below the mouth. 

Tills type, first differentiated and described by the author in iiis 
article on Porto Rican Stone Collars and Tripointed Idols, is not 
known to be represented in any collection except the Smithsonian, 
and no example of it is found in the Latimer collection. The two 
specimens upon which tlie type was constructed were purchased in 
the Archbishop Merino collection from Santo Domingo. Another 
specimen was obtained in the Neumann collection, and a fourth, more 
aberrant, was purchased from Seiior Zeno Gandia in 1903. The 
distinguishing feature of tiiis type is the total absence of the conoid 
projection, or rather its replacement by a snout or face. The type 
serves as a connecting link between three-pointed stones and stone 
heads or masks, to Ije considered later. There is a strong prot)abilit3' 
that this rai'e type is strictly Dominican, for three of the specimens 
are known to have come from Santo Domingo, and the locality of 
the fourth, tliat of the Neumann collection, is douljtful. 

Plate XLViii shows views from side and top of one of the most 
striking objects of this type. While the genei'al form of tliis object 
is three-pointed, the anterior and posterior points lieing similar in 
form to specimens of the second type, its base is identical in form 
with that (if all other three-pointed stones. 

The ajjex and the sides of the conoid projection are here occupied 
by an elongated snout with mouth and lips, the whole figure being 
slightly inclined forward. Between the mouth and the I'im of the 
base there is a series of parallel, roughly cut chevrons, inclosed 
between two incised grooves that skirt the lower lips. The eye is an 


elong-ated oval depression, and the nostrils, one on each side, are 
mounted on tubercles. When seen from above it is to be noted that 
a median pit is situated in the forehead. Between the eyes and the 
nasal tubercles occur a series of lateral and three roujjhly incised 
median parallel grooves. 

At the throat region, corresponding to the bands in the second type, 
there is a ferrule, suggesting that the stone may have been lashed to 
some other object. A similar structure, which may be called the 
anterior band, occurs below the forehead. No appendages ai*e repre- 
sented in relief on the sides. The surface of the specimen is rough, 
the indications being that the soft gray limestone of which it is made 
may have been much eroded by the action of water. The evidence 
is strong that this object, like some other specimens of the third 
tyjje, was once attached to another bod}', as certain portions of the 
former plainly show the wearing action of the cords with which it was 
fastened. As signs of wearing are evident, it would follow that the 
furrows now seen on the surface indicate more or less movement of 
the cords on the stones. 

Plate XLix represents three views of another beautiful specimen 
belonging to the third type of three-pointed stones that was purchased 
from Sefior Neumann Gandia, of Ponce, P. R., in 1904. The anterior 
and posterior points do not diti'er from those of some specimens of 
the second type, but the conical projection is occupied by a snout, 
the mouth extending from the apex almost to the base on each 
side. The Vips are cut in relief; the mouth is closed. There are rep- 
resentations of eyes and nostrils, the former appearing as circular 
depressions, the latter as pits mounted on tubercles. In the middle 
of the forehead there is a circular depression like those found in the 
frontal ridges of several specimens of the iirst type. Above this 
median depression is a decorated band, on which there are two lat- 
erally placed tubercles, each of which has a pit. The s[)ecimen has 
likewise representations of two legs, the knees being drawn up to the 
throat region, while the fore legs and feet are brought together on 
the median line. The superticial incised ornamentation of this object, 
especially that of the region between the nostrils and eyes and on the 
band above the latter, is remarkably well executed. There are no 
indications of ferrules or grooves. 

The third type is represented in the author's collection b_v another 
specimen also (plate l, (/). It was purchased from tii(> archbishop of 
Santo Domingo in 1903. AVhile undoubtedly belonging to this type, 
the form is somewhat aberrant; for, although the anterior and posterior 
points are similar to those in the second type, the conical projection is 
replaced by a head with mouth and e^'es. This specimen is rather 
roughly made of a brown-gray limestone, and shows marks of consid- 
erable weathering. The eyes are simple depressions, with no evidence 


of nostrils. The head is globular, standing out in high relief above 
the basal region of the stone. There are indications of anterior legs 
below the lower jaw: but, as in other specimens of this type, there are 
no posterior legs. This object has nothing resembling a reptilian head 
or that of a bird; it can not be identified as a human effigy, and its 
form is diffei'ent from that of any known idol from the West Indies. 

In plate L, h, J', are repre.sented face and side views of an object 
the natural affinities of which are evidently with the third type of 
three-pointed stones. The homologues of the anterior and posterior 
points, as well as of the base, of a three-pointed stone can be clearly 
seen, but the whole of the conical projection is occupied bj" a rude 
figure of a human head. This likeness is only a distant one, for the 
nose is flatteued, recalling that of a bat, although the eyes, chin, 
cheeks, and forehead strongly suggest a human face. An elaborate 
band with intricate incised superficial decorations extends over the 
forehead, recalling the same feature in other carvings of the human 
head by the Antilleans. This specimen affords an easy transition from 
true three-pointed stones of the third type to stone heads, called masks, 
of which the prehistoric Porto Ricans had numerous varieties. This 
object is labeled Santo Domingo, and was purchased from Seiior Zeno 
Gandia in San Juan. P. K. It probabl}' once belonged to the Gabinete 
de Lectura of Ponce. 


This type includes those specimens that are destitute of face, head, 
or limbs, and without superficial ornamentation. To it belong some 
of the smallest known specimens, one of which is bareh- an inch in 
length. None of the known specimens have posterior legs and one 
only has anterior limbs on the conoid projection. The surface is gen- 
erally smooth, sometimes showing traces of a varnish. One specimen 
has the side opposite the face decorated with incised geo netrical 
designs. In a former publication the author suggested this fourth 
type to include such forms of three-poiiitod stones as are evidently 
finished objects and yet destitute of carved effigies, human or animal, 
upon their surfaces. 

The objects of this type are few in number. Two specimens are 
well represented in plate l, c, d. One characteristic feature can not 
be passed without notice, as it seems to prove them identical in charac- 
ter with decorated three-pointed stones, to which thej' closely approx- 
imate in form. The apex of the conical projection tips slightl}' 
forward, or rather, when seen in profile, one side is more curved 
than the other. 

This character is well brought out in the specimen figured as c, plate 
L, representing a three-pointed stone of this fourth type. One of the 
specimens in the author's collection, closely resembling c in form, is 
not quite an incli in length. Specimen e does not properly belong 


to the fourth type of three-pointed stones, although it shares with this 
type the absence of head or limbs. It is very probable that this is 
an unfinished specimen, but it may possibly be a highly conventional- 
ized form of the first type. Its anterior and posterior projections 
resemble knobs without sculpture, but there are indications of grooves 
obscurelv seen on the anterior and posterior sides of the Ijuse of the 
conoid projection, suggesting that it was lashed to .some foreign body. 
It must be acknowledged that if this stone were tied to the end of a 
handle it would be a most effective weapon of defense, the conical pro- 
jection serving the same purpose as the edge of a celt. It has been sug- 
gested, in fact, that all these stones were weapons or heads of weapons, 
the indications of lashings showing their former attachment to handles. 
The highly ornamental forms would thus be regarded as merel}' cere- 
monial, while forms such as that figured in plate l, c, are practical 
weapons and were used in war. 


The author has discussed the meaning and use of these peculiar 
objects in an article" from which the following quotation is extracted: 

The use of the tripointed stones is as enigmatical as that of the stone collars or 
rings. Many authors have regarded them as idols, while others consider them as 
decorated mortars on which grain, seeds, or jtigments were ground. In the latter 
interpretation the conoid prominence is reganled as a support which was embedded 
in the earth, thus imparting stability to the oliject, wliile the concave base, turned 
upi>ermost, served as a grinding surfaix'. 

Two oljjections may be urged to the theory tluit these triangular stones are mor- 
tars or grinding implements. '' In the first; place, we can hardly suppose that one of 
these objects of the fourth type, which is only an inch in length, could have been 
very effective if used in such a way; secondly, .some of these specimens have all of 
their sides as smooth as glass, showing no surface upon which anything could have 
been ground. In the third type the conoid i)roniinence is highly ornamented, which 
would hardly be the case were this part buried in the ground, thus hiding the deco- 
rations from view. The conoid projection is not of jjroper shape for holding in the 
hand — a vital olijection to the theory that the tripointed stones were used for 

But perhaps the strongest objection to the theory that the tripointed stones were 
used as mortars or rubbing stones is presented by a specimen in the Latimer collec- 
tion, which has a portion of the flat base covered by a superficial layer of resinous- 
like gum or varnish. There are other specimens which lead me to believe that sev- 
eral of these stones, like some of the wooden idols, were covered with a similar 
substance, the occurrence of which, still clinging to the base, shows the absurdity of 
regarding this as a polishing or grinding surface. 

Professor Mason does not commit himself to either the mortar or 
the idol theory. He says: 

The rough under-surface of the mammiform stones suggests the grinding of paint, 
incense, spice, or some other precious material, and the natives are said by the his- 

" Porto Rican Stone Collars and Tripointed Idols. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, XLvn, 
pt 2, I78-1S2, 1904. 

ft Many specimens of pestles with handles cut in tlie form of binis, qiiaiirupeds. and huunin beings 
might be mentioned in this connection. 


torians to have been fond of aromatic substances. Against this it may be urged 
that they are too costly for mortars; that some are linllowed underneath, some are 
flat, and some are convex; and that though very rough on the underside tlie 
roughness seems to be that of an original peeking, excepting at the chin and knees 
of the Typlioean figure, where the stone is worn smooth. The furrows at the Itase 
of the mamma> seem to indicate tlie custom ot lashing thera to a staff as ensigns, or 
to dasli out the brains of a victim or an enemy. There is no mention, however, so 
far as I am acquainted, of the natives jierforming human sacrifices. This lashing 
theory is strengthened by the fact that on some of the masks which closely resemble 
the mammiform stones there are cleat-like projections, evidently to be laahed to a 
handle. There are no grooves worn in the furrows by a lashing that I could dis- 
cover. The bulging to one side of the luamiiKc, some to the right, others to the left, 
hints at their use in pairs. 

The theory that the tln-ee-pointed stones :u-e idols has many acho- 
cates. although some of the i?it('ri)retations of the gods they represent 
are entirely specidatixe. Doctor Stahl." in liis chapter on religion, by 
limiting the term to a belief in a supreme beneficent l)eing'. or god. 
and a malignant beingopposed to this deity, finds that the Borinqnenos 
were absolutely destitute of religious ideas (••carecian en absoluto de 
ideas religiosas"). He may be right in hi.s criticism of Oviedo and 
other historians, that they read their own ethical ideas into their 
accounts of the West Indian religion, but he is certainly in error in 
concluding that there are no proofs, archeological or otherwise, to 
justify belief in the exist(>nce of any religious cult among the Rorin(|Uen 

"The Antilles." writes Professor Mason, "are all of volcanic origin, 
as the material of our stone implements plainly shows. I am indebted 
to Prof. S. F. Bairtl for the suggestion that, from the sea. the island of 
Porto Kico rises in an abrupt and symmetrical manner, highly sugges- 
tive of the mound in the mammiform stones, so that with the aid of a 
little imagination we may see in these objects the genius of Porto Rico 
in the figure of a man. a parrot, an alligator, an all)atross, or some 
other animal precious to these regions where larger animals are not 
abundant, supporting the island on its l)ack." 

Earlier in this article the author has referred to a few paragraphs by 
Professor ISIason regarding the legend of T^'phoeus. killed by Jupiter 
and buried under Mount Etna. As the latter points out. ''A similar 
myth may have been devised in \arious places to account for volcaiuc 
or mountainous phenomena." 

According to Agustin Navarette. Dr C'alixto Romero C'antero in 
his refutation of Doctor Stahl recognized in this thi'ee-pointed figure 
the genius of evil weighed down by Borinquen, represented by the 
mountain Lucuo, or Liu]uillo. and symbolized by the conoid pronii- 

a Los Indies Borinquenos, p. 157-172. In this chapter Doctor Stahl makes no reference to Ramon 
Pane and other writers who Iiave given the most authoritative accounts of the religious concepts of 
the Haitians. There is little douht that the Borinqueiios resembled the Indians of Hispaniola in 
their religion'; ji^ well as in tlieir secular customs. 

25 ETH — 07 9 


nciice. He finds this theory o( Cantero as ol>jectional)le as that of 
Doctoi' Stahl that the Bovinquefios had no religion, because there is no 
reason to believe that the Kiche god Cabraken was thought to be 
buried under Borinquen. Navarette " finds in this image a " cosmotheo- 
gonic" (cosmoteogonico) s^-mbol. eonl'orming perfectly with a tradi- 
tion given by Buret de Longchanips. "The cone," he says, "is chaos, 
from which in the form of sunken roeks (escollos) arose Taraxtaihe- 
tomos, the ' principio creador' pei-fectly defined, represented by the 
head, and Tepapa. the inert unformed matter, represented by the 
posterior part ' crossed by rays ' (posterior appendages and feet). " The 
universe was born from this "principio oreador" and matter, as was 
likewise the firmament ("boveda que cubria la tierra"): hence he 
asserts the base (of the three-pointed stone) is scooped out in the form 
of an arch. " In a word," sa_vs Navarette, "this figure (three-pointed 
image) is a st'ini {zemi)^ the unique Indo-Borinqueno idol, in which is 
symbolized the creator and inert matter on two sides of chaos, which 
extends over the firmament (lioveda del universe). '" 

The author's chief objection to Doctor Cantero's interpretation of the 
syml)olisin of the three-pointed idols is that he elevates a "genius of 
evil '" to a place it never occupied in the mind of the Antilleans. There 
is no satisfactory proof that the BoriiKiueiio Indians ever recognized a 
god of evil as we understand the conception. They no doubt believed in 
a great being whoso power causes the terrible hui'ricanes which at times 
sweep over the island, and they possibly personated or deified this 
power as a great snake god. The earlj' missionaries readily imagined 
that this deification of a mythic serpent was the analogue of their own 
personification of evil, but tliis interpretation was wholly their own. 
not that of the Indians.'' 

Navarette advances no ade([uate support for his statement tiiat the 
conoid pi'ojection represents "chaos," and gives no authority for the 
statement that the Antilleans believed tiiat the union of the "principio 
creador " and matter gave birth to the universe. The author must take 
issue with iiim also in his statement that the iieyiii {zeiii!) is the uni<[ue 
"Indo-Borinqueno" idol in which is svuibolized this "principio crea- 
dor," believing he has mistaken the true meaning of the term zevi:!. 
Although the great Sky god may have ))een called a sem!, cJievii, cem!, 
or .;('////, the word probably means not one but manj- subordinate super- 
natural beings, as was elsewhere pointed out. Tutelary gods are called 
2t'n>ix. in which case the word has sinqily the same meaning as clan 
totem. These three-pointed Borinqucno idols have difl'erent forms, 
representing reptiles, birds, and human beings, a fatt which makes it 

" Estudios de arqueologia de Puerto Rico, resultados de una excursion cientifico, articles 1 to 7. first 
printed in tlie periodical El Xoticin. Hay, l,S9fi; reprinted in .Uiuila, Ponee, April and May, 1904. 

/'The word maboui/a. used by the Antilleans as a name of some of their gods, as well as of images 
of the same, is probably derived from ma (great), bni/a (snake). The same word, hni/n. from which 
comes the English boa, likewise gave the name /«;// (sorcerers) to some of their priestly orders. 


improbable that they represent one great supernatural being- or ereator 
('■ prineipio creador ''). 

The comparison of the head of a tiiree-pointed stone witli a 
•■creator" and of the feet witii ••matter." the conical pi-ojection rep- 
resenting ••chaos," has no historical evidence to support it, while the 
recognition of the arch of the universe in the curved base is equally 
unsupported. The second and third types of three-pointed idols show 
the absurdity of the entire tiieor}- of the nature of the three-pointed 
stones as expounded by Navarette. In the lastty]>e mentioned •"chaos" 
has evidently l)een replaced by a huge monster whose mouth occupies 
the place of the conoid projection. 

This likeness of the three-pointed stone to a god or genius of Port6 
Kico buried under a superimposed mountain represented by the conoid 
projection is marked in the first type, less evident in the second, and 
wholly absent from the third and the fourth. All theories which 
compare the conoid prominence to a mountain, to chaos, or the like, 
fail to account for the heads found in the tirst type. 

The three-pointed stones represent supernatural beings of diflerent 
kinds, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic. The Rorinqueno Indians, 
like those of Haiti, recognized one great supreme god. but he was not 
a creator. Kamon Pane distinctlj^ states that this god had a mother, 
whose ti\'e names he has mentioned. 

The author regards the three-pointed stones as clan idols or images of 
tutelary totems — true zi'inix in the sense in which the term is employed 
by most of the early writers. The difference in their forms denotes 
different conceptions of the semi in different clans. Each cacique, no 
douljt, had one or more of these images, representing his clan semi and 
such othei's as he had inherited or otherwise obtained. The writer 
regards them as the idols of which Pane wi-ote: " P^acli one (Indian) 
worships the idols of special forms called zemis, which he keeps in his 
own house." He refers to three-pointed idols when he speaks of stone 
srt/(/.y with "'three points, wiiich the natives believe cause the gu tea 
(yucca?) to thrive." 

In a discussion of the many interpretations of the three-pointed 
stones which are suggested, we must not lose sight of the fact that 
several bear well-marked signs that thej' were lashed to some foreign 
body, and that in one or two specimens this evidence of lashing is so 
plain that it can not be disregarded. There are specimens where the 
cord used in tying the object to another has worn grooves in the stone 
itself; a feature that has been noticed by several writers and is too 
prominent to be overlooked. 

It will be seen in the discussion of the use and meaning of the other 
great enigma in Porto Rican archeology that one of the theories of these 
objects is that the three-pointed stones were once attached to one of the 
panels of the stone collars, l)ut a comparative study of the various 


fonns or types of both groups has failed thus far to support tliis 

It does not seem probal)le that the three-pointed stones were worn 
on the head. The little idols which tlie older writers say were attached 
to the forehead when the Caril) went into Ijattle are .supposed to l)e 
the amulets that ai'e treated in sul)sequent pages. The curv^ature of 
the bases of the three-pointed stones does not fit the human forehead 
or cranium, aithouo-h they might have been attached to crowns and 
worn in that way. 

The worn grooves seen in .some specimens suggest that they were 
used perhaps as impl(>ments, but it can not be asserted that the very 
small specimens would have been ett'ectivc for the purpose. 

It is clear that however they functioned the figures they represent — 
human Ijeings, lizards, birds, and other animals — they were something 
more than oinamental, especially when we take into consideration that 
the islanders worshiped idols of these varied forms. From whatever 
side we approach the sul)ject, we come back to the conclusion that they 
are idols, oi' semis. If they were not actually worshiped, they assumed 
forms which are duplications of idols that were worshiped. 

It will be noted, in a comparison of the carvings on the anterior pro- 
jection of three-pointed stones of the first type, that, when any attempt 
is made at carving these olijects, the head is always represented and 
that this region is the best made of all regions of the stone. This is a 
universal feature in all aboriginal technology — that the head of the idol 
receives the most care, not only in sculpture, but also in painting and 
all other delineations of men or of animal idols. Legs, arms, wings, 
or body are regarded as of secondary importance and ai-e, as a rule, 
more highly conventionalized. Possibly this is due to the idealistic 
nature of primitive ait. The aboriginal artist represents that which he 
regards the n)ost important character in the god depicted, sometimes 
resorting to symbolism for that purpose, neglecting those parts which 
to his mind are not so important. His figures are at tirst idealistic, 
rather than realistic, representations. 

Sejik'irculai; Stones 

The form of these objects, e.specially the cleats on each corner, 
suggests very strongly heads of striking implements attached to 
iiandles. It may be mentioned as corroliorative evidence of this use 
that the marks of the lashing are clearly evident in the .specimens 
figured in plate l, c/ and </'. These specimens are quite distinct in 
form from the three-pointed types already described, and, so far as 
is known, are represented in our collection by only two specimens, 
both from Porto Rico. These are typical of a distinct class, unrelated 
to the preceding three-pointed stones, but with certain resemblances 



which have led to them t)eing- considered with such stones. The two 
specimens on this plate, like several of the three-pointed stones, show 
evidences that they wei-e once attached to some foreign object. 

Specimen /' is half disk-shaped, with two ear-like lappets, one on 
each side. As figured in /"', one side of this object is mon> flattened 
than the other. Eyes and mouth are obscurely indicated. 

A second specimen (r/) has a similar form but is destitute of eye and 
mouth markings and of the flattened surface. 

St(1nk IIkads 

We pass now to the consideration of another gi'oup of stone objects 
peculiar to the West Indies, the use of wiiich is unknown. These are 
called masks by Professor Mason and in some instances this designa- 
tion is the most convenient yet proposed. "It requires." writes 
Mason, ''a slight stretch of imagination to call the objects included in 
this class masks. The only ground upon which we do so is their 
resemblance to many of the false faces or masks worn in pantoinini(>s. 
These, of course, never coultl liav(> had any such use. Three of them 
are somewhat similar to the objects just described (three-pointed 
stones). The V)ottonis are hollowed out, there are furrowed depres- 
sions at the base of the prominence, and the mannniform (>levation is 
grotesquely observed, being replaced by a face, the Aztec nose forming 
the apex of the stone. The Typhoean figure is sometimes present." 
All examination of the series of these objects in the Latimer collection, 
and of the several others which he has l)rought from Porto Rico, has 
convinced tiie autlior tiiat the majority of these objects were never 
used as face masks in rites or ceremonies. Some of them show evi- 
dences of having been Jasiied to other bodies and several tit the ])alni 
of the hand, while others are perforated as if for suspension. Evi- 
dently two radically different types of stone objects, neither of 
which were worn over the face. ha\ e b(>en embraced in the designation 
"'masks" as the word is used by Professor Mason. In this mono- 
graph the author differentiates these two, and considers them under 
the separate titles of "Stone heads" and "' Disks with human faces." 
The former are connected in form with the three-pointed stones of the 
third type; the latter have no such relation. 

The stone heads have as a lule an oval form, with a human face cut 
on one side, while that opposite the face, or the ])ase, is flat or slightly 
concave. There are two types of these stone heads, (1) those with a 
basal region flat on one side with a head standing out in relief on the 
other, and (2) those in which there is no diti'erenfiation of iiead and 
basal region, the back of the head being siniplv flattened. Naturally 
the two types gi'ade into each other. Disks with faces on one side are 
flattened forms of the latter type. The basal region sometimes is of 

184 THE ABOKTGIXKS OF PORTO RICO [etii. axn. i;5 

lenticulai form, whicli in rure iiiistances is altered b}- prolonoations 
of the forehead and eh in. Disks have no sign of a differentiated basal 
The head figured in plate li. «, is thus described by Professor Mason: 

Mask of gray volcanic material. The head and foot are simple knobs. The fore- 
head and cheeks are furrowed and the bottom elevated and very hollow. Length 
S.65, width 4.S, height 6.25 inches. 

This object, shown in face view (<i) and in profile {a'), is three- 
pointed in form, the anterior and posterior points appearing as knobs, 
the conical projection representing a human nose. The base is slightly 
concave but not separated from the head, showing signs of once having 
been fitted on another bcidy. to w hich it may have been laslied by cords 
passing over the two ends. 

Specimen 7>, h', of plate i.i is more nearly globular, the head rising 
in high relief from a basal region continued anteriorly and posteriorly, 
the former extension situated on the forehead, the latter at the throat. 
The sunken eye sockets are surrounded by an annular ridge, which is 
repeated about the moiitli. The nose is small and cut in low relief. 
The base is flat. 

The head shov\n in lace view and in profile, plate Lii, a and a', has 
both chin and forehead much elongated, forming cleats on which are 
grooves for a cord used in attaching the head to a foreign Ijody. An 
ear (see a') is obscurely indicated on one side. This specimen bears a 
rude imitation of a head on the lower projection and of legs on the 
upper one, or the forehead, in this respect suggesting the first tv'pe of 
three-pointed stones, it appears that this specimen represents either a 
compound of a stone face and a three-pointed iihd or a unique stone 
head with lateral appendages. 

The stone specimen ligured in this plate as 7j and //, from the Zeno 
Gandia collection, is one of the finest of these objects yet found. 
The incised decoration of the band above the forehead consists of cir- 
cles, triangles, and other markings, portions of the and lips being 
indicated in the .same way. The ears, rarelj- found in stone heads 
of this form, are slight projections at the ends of the frontal band. 
Markings indicative of former lashing to another body are clearly 

While specimen (_\ c' of plate Liii exhibits the same general form as 
that last mentioned, it is more roughly made and destitute of surface 
decoration. AVhereas the base of the former is slightly concave, that 
of the latter has only a slight curvature, the basal region being only 
slightly ditierentiated from the facial and the line of separation show- 
ing well in the profile. Professor Mason dismisses this specimen with 
the following brief mention: 

Mask of mottled volcanic stone. The ends are simply rounded and the bottom 



Specimen a, a' is a well-made stoi.e head in which the ba.sal part iuis 
lost all semblance to a three-pointed stone, being continued anteriorly 
and posteriori}' into two protuberances. The forehead overhangs the 
ej'ebrows and the deep-sunken e3'es form marked notches in the pro- 
file. There is no raised nose, as in the preceding specimen, its place 
being occupied by a flat triangular area: the ears and ear pendants are 
cut in high relief. The basal region is widely separated from the 
facial. The projections on the l)ack of this head give strong evidence 
that it was formerly attached to a foreign l)ody, possiblj- to a stall', 
which was carried in processions or set in the earth to raise the image 
before the worshipers. 

vSpecimen i, h' of the same plate (i.iii) has a flat nose as in that last 
mentioned, but the interval between the eyes is continuous with the 
forehead, showing no notch when seen in protile. There is a mediallj- 
placed pit in the forehead. Projections for attachment to a foreign 
bodv are present, but smaller. 

Professor Mason figures this object and the last preceding one 
described, but groups it with three others in a very general mention, 
in which he calls attention simply to "cleat-like projections on the 
back, scarcely admitting of a doubt that they were designed for fasten- 
ing to a handle or pole.'" 

The flattened nose area>i-ea])i)ears in the stone heads represented in 
jjlate Liv, a, .-/'. Although destitute of a jJi'ojection above the fore- 
head, this object has a prolongation below the chin, resembling a 
handle, l)y which it may have been carried. The back of the head 
in this specimen, which has a veiy rough surface, is rounded and not 
unlike the base of three-pointed stones. In specimen c, <:' on this 
plate the object represented is almost s^jherical, having a deep groove 
wiiich separates the basal region from the facial. This specimen is 
unitiue in that the chin is ornamented with incised decorations. The 
nasal area is also triangular and flat, as in the majority of these stone 
heads. There is no band above the eyes. The basal region is lentic- 
ular, slightly convex, and of about equal diameter throughout. Pi'o- 
fessor Mason gives no description of this unicpie ol)ject, but groups 
it with several others that show cleats for attachment, although this 
specimen is rather unfortunately chosen to illustrate this condition. 

Disks with Human Faces 

The second tj'pe of objects placed by Professor Mason under the 
heading "Masks" has little in common with the first, or stone heads. 
Tlie name disk more properly describes these objects, as they have 
only the most remote resemblance to masks, and as they bear little evi- 
dence that they were ever tied to other objects. It is possible that these 
disks were carried in the hand on ceremonial occasions, or they may 
have .served as sj'mbolic masks, but their size and shape are such that 


they could not lie worn over the face. The custom of carrving- sim- 
ilar objects in the hand seems to have been practised in certain parts 
of Central America, and we have clay images from Costa Rica l)ear- 
ing heads in their hands, one of which is figured b}' Mr Hartman. 
While, therefore, as acknowledged by Professor Mason," it requires 
a slight stretch of the imagination to call the objects included in this 
class masks for the face, he deems it not impossible that they may 
have served a similar purpose when carried in the hand or may have 
indicated the god personated. Professor Mason describes one of these 
objects as follows: 

There is one mask, discoidal in form, from the periphery of whicli two cvhndrical 
knoljs proceed, looking again very nmcli like attachments for a handle. 

The use of wooden masks was common in some islands of the 
Indies, but the only specimen thus far known is in the capitol at Port 
au Prince, Haiti, a good figure of which is given in Doctor Cronau's 
Amerika. iVpparently these wooden masks, like tliose made of stone, 
were painted and iiicrusted with ornaments of metal or stone, and were 
worn over the face. It is possible that the wearer, when thus using 
them, was supposed to personate a god or zein). 

There are one or two references in early writings to the wearing of 
masks \>n the Antilleans, as on the occasion of the visit of the Cuban 
cacique to Columl)us.'' We are told by Bernaldez that wiien the ship 
of Colunil)us was oil the coast of Cuba it was a])proached ))y a canoe 
in which was the cacique, who brought with him a man who acted as 
standard bearer. This man stood alone in the bow, "wearing a loose 
coat of red feathers resembling in sliape those of our kings-at arms, and 
on his head was a large plume, which looked very well : and in his luind 
he bore a white banner, without any device. Two or three men had 
their faces painted, all in the same way, and each of these wore on his 
head a large plate, in shape like a helmet, and over the face a round 
tal)let, as large as a j)liite. likewise painted, all in the same style, for 
neither in these tablets nor in the plumes was there any diti'erence." 

From the size and the general appearance of masks obtained from the 
West Indii's. there is reason to lielieve that many of them could not 
have been worn but must have had some s;^condarv use and symbolic 
meaning. It is probable that these masks, large or small, were some- 
times exchangi'd as symbols of fealty, from the fact that they were 
presented to those whom the givers regarded as superior persons or 

On several occasions Cohim})us received such presents, often of 
elaborate workmanship. The presentation meant much to the Indian, 
for, judging from the sacred way in which primitive man regards 

« Catalogue of the Latimer Collection, p. 384. 

b Washington Irving, Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, New Yorli, 1SIJ(J. 



ceremonial paraphernalia, especially niask.s, nothing could show greater 
respect than gifts of this nature, some of which were plated with solid 
gold, and all no doubt were of great antiquity. Las Casas sa^ys that 
the cacique Guacanagari gave Columbus a great mask with the ears, 
ej-es, and tongue made of gold. 

These masks doubtless had other uses than as syml)ols of fealty. 
Tiiey may have functioned in a way somewhat similar to images among 
the Saliva of the Orinoco, who mounted figurines of animals and of 
human heads or masks on poles, which they deposited near mortuarj- 
tumuli. With the Orinoco tribes this was done with great ceremonj' 
and accompanied by dances, the nature of which rites at this time 
may lie learned by a study of Gumilla's valuable accotmt" of the 
Saliva Indians. 

The object figured as h, V . plate Liy, is a specimen of the discoid stone 
heads, which are classified as ceremonial masks. It has eyes, nose, 
and ears well indicated, depressions marking the upper limit of the 
eyebrows. The back of this specimen ())) is rounded, showing the 
natural surface of the stone of which it is made. 

Specimen a of plate Ly has a Hat nose, above which, in the middle of 
the forehead, there is a pit. There seem to be indications of legs drawn 
close to the chin, the feet being brought together at the median line. 
The back of this specimen (fc') is only slig-htly convex — almost plane — 
and has a rough surface. There are indications of ears on both these 
disks, appearing as simple lateral projections on the level with the eyes 
and nose. The eyebrows are outlined by incised lines. 

Specimens h-r represent stone disks without protuberances, the back 
being flat or slightly convex. The one figured as 1>, the most artistic of 
these disks, shows a well-cut face which is surrounded by an oval, highly 
decorated border. This border is smooth in c and (/, lioth of which 
were obtained in Utuado, Porto Kico. In specimen r. in which this bor- 
der is elal)orately ornamented l)ut unfortunately very nuich liroken, 
there is a perforation near the top for suspension, the corresponding 
hole on the other side having been broken ofl'. The large mouth is sur- 
rounded l>y a raised border representing lips; the eyes are sunken, the 
eyel)rows outlined by incised curved lines. The reverse side of this 
specimen i> flat.* 

Plate L\ I, a and «', represents on(> of the most remai'kabic stone 
objects in the collection purchased from Seiior Neumann. This 
unii|ue specimen was evidently intended to represent a bird, the lii'ati, 

"I'adre Joseph Gumilla, El Orinoco, lUistrado y Definido, Historia Natural, Civil y Geogr4fica 
lU- este Gran Rio, y de sus Caudalosas Vertieutes, Govieriio, Uses y Costumbres de los Indies, sus 
habitadores con nuevas y utiles noticias de .\niniales, Arboles, Frutos. Aceytes, Resinas, Yervas. y 
Kaices medicinales: y sobre todo, se hallaran conversiones muy singulares a Nuestra Santa Fe, y casos 
de mucha edificacion, 2 vol., Madrid, 1745. 

^ A remarkable disk with face on one side was rL'eei\e«l wliik- this article was going through the 
press. It is made of the semifossil sliell of a sea urchin, the face being cut on the actimtl region. 

138 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii. axx. 25 

beak, wings, and tail all being' well made. Seen from one side the 
head is globular, with a depression in place of the eye and an elongated 
straight beak like that of a duck. The legs are brought forward to 
the top of the beak, leaving a triangular opening between the lower 
side of the beak, the head, the breast, and the legs. Seen from the 
front (a'), there appear on the top of. the head a median groove and 
incised lines which extend to the upper portion of the plane surface. 
The wings ai"e raised areas with pits near the border, the tail being 
indicated by two projections or knobs on the posterior extremity of 
the body. The use of this object is enigmatical, but it may have been 
attached to a stick and carried in procession or set up on gra\'es during 
mortuarj' ceremonies. 

Specimen h is a bird-like amulet from Trinidad, British West Indies, 
where it was purchased by the author in 1904. It is made of soft 
soapstone or serpentine, highly polished, and is incised onljoth sides. 
The signiticance of this unicjue oliject is unknown,' but it may be 
regarded as an amulet of unusual form. 

Viewed in the position in which it appears on the plate, the upper 
part has the form of a bird's head, the beak resembling that of a par- 
I'ot, the round part with a depression being the eye cavity. The per- 
foration would, according to this interpretation, indicate the upper part 
of the body, the incised figure the wings. The meaning of the globu- 
lar body on the lower end of the object is incomprehensible under this 
interpretation, unless we regard it as the head of another animal, pos- 
sibly that of a smaller bird. It has been suggested also that the figure 
represents a scorpion, the part that has been regarded as the head of a 
bird being the sting at the end of the tail. There are objections to 
this interpretation, for the object was evidently suspended at the pei'- 
foration, and one side is flat, as if worn next the body or forehead. 
This object should be classed as an amulet rather than as an idol, 
being connected with the '*■ Stone amulets"' group immediately to be 

Stone Amulets 

Among the ol)jects used by the Antilleans in their worship there 
were none that surpassed in technic the small stone images to which 
Professor Mason gave the name amulet. Four tigures of these amu- 
lets with accompanying descriptions occur in his catalogue of the 
Latimer collection. The author here considers anudets of stone, u.sed 
either as personal fetishes or charms, and will describe later under 
carvings of these materials those made of shell or bone. 

The following account taken from the author's article" on Porto 
Rican and other West Indian anudets may give an idea of their general 

n American Anthropologist, n. s., V, no. 4, 1903. The references to plates in this article are changed 
to conform \vitli those in the present report. 


111 all large coUoctioiis of prehistoric objects from the West Indies 
there occur small images carved from stone, shell, and bone, perfo- 
rated- for suspension fr,om the person. Although many of these 
fetishes or amulets are known, few have been descrilied or figured, 
and there is little recorded information as to their various forms. 
The first-known figures of West Indian prehistoric amulets appear on 
a map of 8anto Domingo, dated 1731, published liy Charlevoix." This 
map bears under the figures the legend '"Figures superstitieuses de 
Zenii ou Mabouya de la fayon anciens insulaires," showing that the 
religious character of the objects was early recognized. The sugges- 
tion that zemiii were tied to the forehead was first made by Professor 

Among other figures of Dominican amulets are those of Antonio del 
Monte y Tejada, published in his Historia de Santo Domingo, 1853. 
Two of these represent frogs: four others sire the same as those figured 
in this article. 

In a German translation of the author's address on Prehistoric 
Porto Rico, delivered before Section H of the American Association 
for the Ad\ancement of Science, the editor of Glohu.H has introduced 
(no. 18 and 19, 1902) fine figures of two amulets from Gonaives island, 
near Haiti. 

The first figures of Porto Rican amulets known to the present author 
are those published in 1877 by Mason.* Three of the four figures 
given ))y him undoubtedly represent amulets, but the fourth, called a 
'"lizard-shaped amulet" on account of a network of lines on the body, 
supposed to indicate scales, shows no head, thus rendering exact 
identification impossible. 

So far as known. Mason was also the first American writer to iden- 
tify the perforated figures as amulets, adding to his descriptions of 
them the significant statement that '"the inhabitants of Hispaniola, on 
the authority of Friar Ramon Pane (Irving's Columbus, i, 390), 
had small images of their gods which they bound about their fore- 
heads when they went to liattle." He points out also that the inhabit- 
ants of the Lesser Antilles likewise used amulets, and thus refers to 
one of these objects in the Guesde collection : "'The principal amulet 
is of carbonate of lime in bladed crystallization. It represents a 
mabouya (evil spirit) with bended arms and legs and tlie virile organ 

"Histoire de I'lsle Espagnole ou de S. Domingue, Paris, 1730. In his preface Charlevoix states that 
he obtained the manuscript of this work with permission to publish it from tlie author. Jean Baptiste 
le Pers. Mr H. Ling Roth says that, according to Margry. Le Pers repudiated Charlevoix's publica- 
tion. The second volume of Charlevoix's work is dated 1731, the year borne by the map in the first 
volume. Three ligures of zrmU are given on this map, one of which belongs to the first type, those of 
hitman form. It is more difftcult to identify the others, especially the one said to have been found 
in an Indian burial moun<l. Its general form resembles tliat of a three-pointed idol, but as no profile 
of the conical projection characteristic of this form is given the identification is doubtful. 

bLatimer collection of antiquities from Porto Rico, in the National Museum at Washington, D. C. 
Smiihsonian Report for 187t>. 


ill a state of action. Tbe sliouldcr.s aio piorcod posteriorly to allow 
of the suspension of the amulet." 

Dr J. E. Duerden" thus writes of amuh^ts from -laniaica: 

III l.S7'.l Mr C. P. O'R. de Montagnac dist-overed two small stone images on some 
recently disturbed ground at Rennock Lodge, situated on a small plateau at a height 
of about 400 feet up the Long UKjuntain. They were associated with accumulations 
of marine shells and fragments of pottery, such as are met with on the top of the hill 
at Weireka. The larger is a neatly carved representation of a human head and 
neck, and is perforated behind for suspension. It is 2| inches long and If inches 
from ear to ear; the body below the neck lias lieen broken off. The material is a 
soft crystalline limestone, scratching readily with a knife, and forms a marble of a 
grayish or slightly greenish color, such as is found in various parts of the island, 
especially at the eastern end. The upper part of the head bears some resemblance 
to that figured in Stephen's Flint Chips (p. 227, fig. 6), occurring on the top of 
a carved stone pestle found in Haiti. The nose, chin, eyes, and ears are clearly dis- 
tinguished; the perforation is one-fourth inch in diameter and extends for \\ inches 
through the upper part of the neck. 

The smaller object is n inches long, and is likewise incomplete below. Though 
made of the same kind of stone, the figure is of a different shape, the facial charac- 
ters not being well pronounced. It is broken at the sides, but there isa suggestion 
that arms were represented raised high as the shoulders, such as is shown in the 
Latimer collection, figure 32 . . . These two objects, so far as the Museum col- 
lections show, are the only ones belonging to this group of aboriginal relics hitherto 
found in Jamaica, though . . . somewhat similar examples are known from other 
parts of the West Indies. 

nucrdcn follows Mason in reg-ardiiio- these o))jects as frontal amulets 
and (jiiotes Peter Martyr's reference to the small idols which the 
natives tied to their foreheads. "'They were probablj' worn." writes 
Duerden, "or carried about the person and intended to act as charms 
or pre.servatives against evil or mischief." 

Many pre-Coliunbian amulets were seen in Santo Domingo and Porto 
liico during- the author's recent visit, several of which differ from any 
of those figured by the writers (juoted above. Although this article 
is written more especially to describe these new and unusual forms, 
others are included which closel v re.semble the amulets already consid- 
ered t)v those authors. Some of the perforated fetishes or amulets of 
the Antilleans had human or animal shapes; others were stones of unu- 
sual forms, not yet identified. With the limited material available it 
would ))e premature to claim more than a provisional classification of 
West Indian amidets at the present time, but of those ha\ing human 
form there are two types which are readily recognized. In addition 
to these two types there are other forms representing animals, as 
frogs, reptiles, and birds. 

The first of the two types is characterized by the arms and hands 
being raised to the ears or above the head. This unusual attitude 
occurs also in relief images on the rims of earthenware vessels and in 

«.\boriginal Indian Kemnins in .lamaica. Jourmiluf the Instilute nf Jamaica, n, no. 4, p. 44. .luly, 1897. 


some of those which decorate the ends of stone pestle handles. Pos- 
sibly the hands were represented in this unnatural position to suggest 
the attitude of a burden-bearing god or goddess, whose personator in 
ceremonies supported a bundle on the head or back in this way. The 
attitude recalls an idol of the Calchaqui of Argentina; figured l)y 
Ainbrosetti," which he is inclined to identify as that of an earth god- 
dess. The sex of the majority of auiulets in human shape from Santo 
Domingo is not generally represented, but one specimen was undoubt- 
edly intended for a male. 

Anudets with arms raised above or at the sides of the head are not 
always tigures of human beings, for in some instances these fetishes 
have bodies of animals, with heads more or less anthropomorphic. 
This characteristic position of the arms is nevertheless a good feature 
to use in a provisional classilication of fetishes of the human form. 

The general form and appearance of these amulets are figured in 
plate Lvii, t' and <I, showing specimens from Porto Rico, from the side 
and the anterior end. The specimeii designated (7 and d' is one of the 
largest of these yet found in the island, resembling, when seen from 
the side (d), a crouching animal, the head being somewhat elexated. 
The base, or the lower side on which the object rests, is the back 
of the animal and the upper part the breast and the abilomcn. i'lic 
fore legs are raised above the head in specimens hitherto mentioned. 
Holes by which the object was suspended are situated below these 
appendages. Specimen h is smaller than that designated c, but has 
the same general form, its head being somewhat larger than the other 
in proportion to the size of the body. 

The first type of amulets is represented in the author's Porto Kican 
collection by a specimen of which three views are shown in plate 
LVII. (/ to ii". This object, which closely resembles that represented in 
]\Ias<)n's figure 3^, was purchased from Senor Benito Fernandez, of 
Luquillo. together with many other specimens of aboriginal manufacture 
from eastern Porto Rico. This smoothly polished amulet is made of 
light greenstone mottled with Itlack. It measures 2 inches in length and 
a little less than 1 inch across the shoulders and hips. Seen from the 
front, the head seems to rise directly from the chest, but from the side 
the neck is seen to be a mere constriction. The nose and chin are 
prominent, but the eyes and mouth are only obscurely indicated; there 
are incised horizontal lines across the forehead; the arms are raised 
and scratches representing fingers appear at the sides of the head in 
the normal place of the shoulders. The legs are contracted, giving 
the figure a squatting attitude, and the toes are indicated by markings. 
The virile organ is prominent. Two perforations for suspension are 

"There are many resemblances between Arawak prehistoric objects and those of the Calchaqui of 
Argentina. These likenesses, like those of the Pueblos to the Calchaqui, are interesting coincidences 
of independent origins. 

142 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii. anx. lio 

drilled at the edges of the shoulders and a depression iiiaiks tlie mid- 
dle line of the back. 

There are three amulets of this kind in the Latimer collection, one 
of which is tigured by Mason. These specimens came from Porto 
Rico and it is probable that an amulet in the Guesde collection, from 
Guadeloupe, to which he refers, belongs to the same type. There ai'e 
other amulets of this form in the Nazario collection. 

The writer has not found an amulet like the last in the collections from 
Santo Domingo, and it is believed that the form is distinctly charac- 
teristic of Porto Rico; but, as the natives of the two islands frequently 
passed from one island to the other in pre-Columbian times, it is pos- 
sible that this particular form sooner or later will be found in the 
former island. The failure to find this form of amulet in Cuba, Santo 
Domingo, or Jamaica, its existence in numbers in Porto Rico, where 
there was considerable Carib blood, and a record of it from the Lesser 
Antilles, which at the time of Columlnis were occupied by Carib, 
make it possible that this form of amulet is Carib rather than Arawak." 

A smaller amulet of wliite stone, plate lvii, e and c', also purchased 
from the archbishop, has a well-formed head, with forehead flattened 
after the Antillean custom. The arms and fingers are indicated by 
lines, not by relief work; the legs arc divided merely by a median line, 
and a few indistinct scratches repi'esent the toes; the back is smooth 
and slightly rounded. The perforation extends completeh' through 
the anuilet from side to side below the ears, having been drilled from 
each side until the holes met, but the union is not perfect. 

A very rare form of amulet, representing twin figures united at the 
sides, plate LViii, h, was purchased from Art'hbishop .Merino, of Santo 
Domingo. * The face, ej'es, nose, and mouth of each of the two com- 
ponent images are well made, but there are only two ears instead of 
four. The fingers are indicated by incised markings on the a))domen, 
showing that the specimen Ijelongs to the second type of anuilets, rep- 
resenting human forms. Although imperfectly indicated, the lower 
extremities bear marks representing bands with which, according to 
early writers, the Carilt were accustomed to l)ind the calves of their 
legs. There are two drilled perforations, one at the outer edge of 
each component figure. This amulet is similar in size and form to 
an ''amuleto para amor" from Argentina, described and figured l)y 
Ambrosetti. " Although this author does not give the locality from 
which the twin amulet noted by him was brought, it pr()l)al)ly came, like 
others he describes, from the Calchaqui region. His identification of 

nNotas de Arqueologia Calchaqui, fig. 23, a to d, Buenos Ayres, 1899. While the art product.* of 
the Antilleans are sui generis, they are more characteristic of the -\ra\valc than of the Carib people 
of South .\merica. Antillean art was comparatively pure Arawak in Cuba and Santo Domingo, but 
in the Lesser Antilles it was mixed with Carib. 

fcSee Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, xi.v, pi. .xxxiii. Washington. 1903. 

cNotas de Arqueologia Calchaqui, p 33, Buenos Ayres, l.Sy9. 


twill anmlets as representations of the Iiica god Hiuicauqui, or C-ayani 
Carumi, is supported by a quotation from Montesinos" to the effect 
that the idol, or o-uaca, of lovers was "' una piedra 6 lilanca, 6 negra, 
6 parda [a/c], que hacen apariencias de dos personas que se abrazan" 
(■'a white, black, or g'ray stone that has the appearance of two persons 
who are embracing"). Although it elosely resembles the Cah'haqui 
specimen, there is no reason to suppose that the twin amulet from 
Santo Domingo bears any relation to the Incan idol. 

In addition to the two types of amulets in inuuan form above con- 
sidered, there occur in \A^est Indian collections small perforateti images 
of animals, including birds, reptiles, and frogs.* 

An amulet from Santo Domingo, of polished dark-brown stone, pur- 
chased from Archbishop INIerino, is shown in plate lviii, c. The 
head is comparatively well cut l)ut the body and the limbs are more 
obscure. The back is flat and lioles foi' suspension are drilled at the 

One of the finest anudets of this tyi)e or, in fact, of any l<ind, is 
owned l)y Mr Edward Hall, dii'ector of tiie railroad from Puerta Plata 
to Santiago, Santo Domingo. This beautiful amulet (plate lix, «, a') 
is made of white stone and measures H inches in length. Viewed 
fi'om the front it will ))e noticed that the arms are raised aix)ve the 
head, that the legs are retracted, and that the knees project on each 
side. The liody is small, luirdly equal in length to the face. A side 
view ('/') shows that the head rises from the chest and that the body is 
perforated from one sid(> to the other. This sjjecimen is said once to 
have belonged to a caciipie and to have been found near the head- 
waters of the Yaque river, which flows through the Vega Peal.' 

There is in the Hall collection another anndet of the same type 
(h). found in Guanabma, Santiago. When seen from the side (//), the 
head apparently projects directly from the chest, as in the specimen 
last mentioned. The specimen is light brown in color and is little 
more than an inch in length. The front view shows that the shoulders 
are ivaised to the side of the head (a position necessitated liy the posi- 
tion of the latter), but the hands do not extend above the head. The 
legs are contracted as in the last specimen and the toes point sidewise. 
The back of the specimen (//') is flat, with an elliptical depression at 
the level of the eyes. Th(> lateral perforations which served for sus- 
pension open into this cavity. 

«Meraoria8 Antiguas Historialos del Peru. 

bit is difficult to tell whether some of these objects represent human beings or animals. For 
example, the Ijody of the amulet shown in plate i-vii, d, d\ has a distinctly human form, but the 
head is that of an animal. Mason's figure of the same specimen shows obscurely drawn arms on 
the side of the body, but there is no indication of such on the specimen itself. 

■c The figures on plate i.i.x are copies of the author's drawings of specimens owned by Seilor Ramon 
Imbert and Mr Edward Hall. He tiikes this opportunity to thank these gentlemen for permission to 
publish the drawings. 


Another aiimlet of the .same type (c and r') i.s also t'ounil in the 
Hall collection. The figure of thi.s specimen ha.s the hands raised 
above the head and the knees broug-ht together in front. 

A .similar po.sition of the leg.s appear.s in the .specimen figured as 
d, d', in which no arms are represented. The head is cut at the end 
of the bod}' and not on one side. This ol)ject, also from the Hall 
{■ollection, measures 2 inches in length and is perforated through the 

The amulet represented in plate Lix, i and /', also belongs to the 
first type. Tliis object is shown in Mason's figure 33, but that Hgure 
is misleading because the artist has placed a forearm on the side of 
the body instead of above the head. It is uncertain whether this 
anmlet was intended to represent a human being or an animal. (Com- 
pare the specimens shown in h and /.) 

The second type of West Indian amulets of human form has the 
head placed normally on the body, so that the shoulders are brought 
into their proper position, the arms being repre.sented on the che«t, 
abdomen, or knees, or in front of the body. In this type the legs are 
brought together in such a wa}\ and the knees, and in some cases the 
extremities, are so imperfectlj' carved that in this region the amulet 
resembles a mumni}-. As shown in the illustrations, there is consid- 
eralile variation in the forms of the anmlets included in this type. 

A good specimen of the second type in the Imbert collection (e and e') 
was found at Yasica. It is made of light-brown stone and measures 
'ij inches in length. The face is carved slightly in relief; the eyes 
consist of two dots inclosed in a figure of dumb-bell shape, while the 
teeth are simpl}' scratched on the convex sui-face. The fingei's are 
indicated by parallel marks, the legs and toes being made in a some- 
what similar way. A side view of the amulet (e') shows perforations 
at the level of the mouth. The head and body are not differentiated, 
the backs of both being simply rounded. 

Another amulet (^Z") of the .same type, from the Imbert collection, 
was found in Janico by Senor Jose Tolentino. It is made of white 
stone and measures 3i inches in length. The eyes are inclosed 
by an incised dumb-l)ell figure, the mouth, teeth, and cheeks being- 
indicated by incised lines. No relief work is attempted in repi'esent- 
ing the arms and the fingers are mere parallel marks near a pit sur- 
rounded by a circle, intended for the umbilicus. The legs ar(> com- 
paratively large;" no toes are represented. 

Another amulet, r/, (/', in the Imbert collection, made of white stone 

a In describing a most instructive efBgy vase from Santo Domingo, Pinart comments on the large 
size of the legs as follows; " Ceci est curieux an plus haut degri'. oar ces signes sont ceux tr^s oaractu- 
ristiipiPs (le relophautiasis si cumniun djins les Indes." Although the abnormal size of the legs is 
marked in the effig.v vase which IMnart figures, as well as in a similar spei'imen of wliich the aiuhor 
of this paper has photographs, it is questionable whether the maker of either specimen intended to 
represent a person afflicted with elephantiasis. 


;iiul found ;it Ysabela b}- Seiior Luis Passailuiquo, lueasures ?>k iiu-lies 
long and has arms represented at the sides of the body, the fingers being- 
indicated b}' incised lines. The back is slight!}- concave and the face 
is cut in low relief. Perforations, intended like the others for sus- 
pension of the object, are situated on the back on each edg-e at the 
level of the mouth. Leg bands are indicated by lateral wart-like ele- 
vations near the position of the knees and tlie toes are faintly marked. 

The specimen figured as A, //, //' represents a shell amulet in the 
Imbert collection, which also was obtained at Ysabela by Senor Pas- 
sailaique. It is about 2^ inches in lengtii and is well polished and 
carved. The image is in a squatting posture, the kuees being brought 
together and the body resting on the toes. The head bears carvings 
supposed to represent feathers; the e3-e sockets and mouth are deep; 
the teeth are well indicated; the left ear is broken and the right ear 
entirely gone; the arms are closely pressed to the sides of the })ody, 
and the closed hands are raised to the chest, the palms facing outward. 
The shoulders, knees, and feet are continued as rai.sed bands across the 
back of the amulet. The perforation for suspension is situated on a 
level with the mouth. 

The only amulet of bird form here figured, plate li.x, /, /', /", 
although other specimens are known to the author, belongs to Mr Hall, 
of Puerto Plata, who has mounted the oljject as a watch-chain ornament. 
This specimen is finely made of dark-brown or horn-colored stone, and 
measures an inch and a quarter in length. The beak is prominent, 
the wings are drawn to the breast, and the tail is marivcd with par- 
allel lines indicating feathers. The perforation extends completely 
through the body at the level of the neck. 

Another animal-shaped amulet, plate lix,j/, ,/',./", also owned l)y 
Mr Hall, is made of green stone; it is 2 inches long and is said to 
have Ijeen found in the Sierra del Serra, south of Santiago de 
los Caljalleros. It is difficult in tliis specimen to recognize limbs, 
although the two appendages midway in its length may have been 
designed to repiesent flippers or tins. The two pits on one side were 
evidently intended for eyes. The general form of this amulet sug- 
gests an animal and it mav have been intended to represent a manatee. 

Mention maj' here be made of two beautiful and unique amulets, 
one of shell and the other of bone, which were purchased in Santo 
Domingo from Archbishop ISIerino." The latter specimen is a com- 
plete image of human shape, while that made of shell is nondescript, 
having a highly conventionalized body without limbs and a realistically 
carved head. 

It was the author's good fortune to see in private collections many 
amulets different in form from those here described and figured, an 

a See the author's Preliminary Report, in Smilhsonian Miscellaneous Collections, XLV, pi. xlviii, 1903. 
25 ETH— 07 10 

146 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO (eth. an.\. 25 

account of which would our knowledge of the variety of amu- 
let forms from the West Indies. Among these may be mentioned two 
frog-shaped amulets of black stone in the excellent Nazario collection 
at (Tuayanilla, near Ponce, P. R. 

While it is possible that some of the amulets above described may 
not have been bound to the foreheads of the natives, it is at least 
probable, as indicated by the perforations, that they wei'e attached to 
or suspended fi-om some part of the head or l)ody. It is known that 
caciques wore on their breasts gold ornaments called ijiiiiiuii. since the 
custom is mentioned in an account of a battle with the Indians, when 
Ponce shot a cacique (supposed to have been Aguebana the Second) 
thus adorned. As none of these gold objects escaped the rapacity of 
the early conquerors, and as no detailed descripticm of them is known, 
it is impossible to say whether they were amulets as well as insignia 
of rank. 

There is a striking similarity between some of the West Indian anm- 
lets and those found in Mexico. As a rule those from the Antilles are 
not so characteristic in shape and are not so well made as those from 
Central America. We should expect to tind a wider distribution of 
these small objects than of the larger idols from the fact that they are 
more easily transported; but this distribution is not necessarily indic- 
ative of racial kinship of the owners of these objects. The similarity 
between Antillean and South American amulets is marked, })ut I tind 
no resemblance between those from Porto Rico and those from the 
mainland north of Mexico. 

The objects described in the preceding pages are supposed to be 
identical with the small idols called zeniix by early writers, who declare 
that the natives bound them to their foreheads when they went to wai\ 
A reference to Ramon Pane's statement that the islanders wore scinis 
in this manner has already been made (page 42). Peter Martyr" 
describes certain idols used by the people of Hispaniola in their wor- 
ship, which were undoubtedly anuilets. He says: "These images the 
inhabitantes call zeniix^ whereof the leaste, made to the likenesse of 
young devilles, they bind to their foreheads when the}' goe to the warres 
against their enemies." Francisco Lopez de Gomara, 'Mn describing 
the customs of the Indians of Hispaniola, says: "Atansea»la frente 
idolos chi(iuitos quando quieren pelear.'' (''They bind little idols to 
their foreheads when they wish to fight."") Similar statements made 
by other writers in the earlier half of the sixteenth century are fre- 
quently quoted in more modern works. 

The dirt'erence in the forms of these amulets might be supposed 
to have been due to the desire to indicate by them the clans of the 
wearers were it not for the fact that the images are so small and con- 
sequently inconspicuous that they would have been useless for such a 

a Decade I, lib, ix, p. 50-54. b Historia de las Indius, p. 24, Antwerp, 1554. 


pui'pose: but it is quite probable that the (.•ustoni of painting the zemi, 
or totem, on the body was practised with this intention." 

It is niueh more probable that the frontal amulets were regarded as 
effieacious against occult evil influences, the owner relying for protec- 
tion on their magic power, in the possession of which they reseml)le all 
anuilets. Their attachment to the forehead naturally suggests the 
phylacteries of the Jews. 

It is prol)able that, in addition to the amulets which the Carib and 
the other Antilleans bound on their foreheads when they went to war, 
these people had numerous amulets, some of which were worn on the 
neck or on otlier parts of the body or limbs. Those here considered 
have the form of small idols and were designed for pendants, but the 
aborigines had other objects also which were not suspended from the 
body, although likewise used as protective charms.* 

Ramon Pane has given a full account of the usages of the medicine 
men, or hoii, of the islanders, which is interesting in this connection. 
From his description, which accords in general with primitive medici- 
nal practices among other tribes, that portion bearing directl}^ on the 
way in which a stone ol)ject, later used as a fetish, was presumably 
taken from the patient is iiere given:' 

The boii, buhnitihn, having purged himself and taken liis own drutr [a custcini nut 
recommended to the modern phvi^ioian] risesand goes tothesicliman, . . . talies 
him by the legs, feels his thighs, descending by degrees to his feet, then draws hard as 
if he would pull something oft; then he goes to the door, shuts it, and says: ' ' Begone 
to the mountain or to the sea or whither thou wilt," and, giving a blast as if he 
blowed something away, turns about, ela-sps his hands tngether, shuts his mouth, his 
hands quaking as if he were a-cold, he blows on his hands, and then draws in his as if sucking the marrow of a bone, sucks the man's neck, stomach, shoulders, 
jaws, breast, belly, and several other parts of his liody. This ilone, they begin to 
cough and make faces, as if they had eaten some bitter thing, and the doctor jmlls 
out what we have said he put into his mouth at home or by the way, whether stone, 
flesh, or bone, as above. If it is anything eatable he says to the sick man, "Take 
notice you have eaten something that hag caused this distemper; see how I have 
taken it out of your body. For your Cemis had put it into you because you di<l not 
pray to him or build him some temple or give him some of your goods." If it be a 
stone, he says, "Keep it safe." Sometimes they take it for certain that these stones 
are good and help women in labour, wherefore they keep them very carefvdly 
wrapped up in cotton, putting them into little baskets, giving them such as they 
themselves eat, and the same they do to the CemIs they have in their houses.'' 

The forms of these amulets varj^ somewhat in difl:'erent islands; those 
from the southern meml)ers of the Lesser Antilles ditier especially from 

a The author was told that the country people at Boya, the old pueblo in Santo Dom'ngo where 
the Indians under Henriquillo were settled, "sometimes paint designs on their faces in red us the 
Indians used to do." 

bim Thurn speaks of the natives of Guiana carrying worn stones to which they ascribe occult 
powers. There are innumerable other instances of this general custom among various races which 
may be explained on the theory of a belief in their ethcacy against evil influences or practices. 

c This translation is taken from Churchill's Voyages, p. 572. See also H. Ling Roth. Juurmil <>J the 
Anthropological Institute of Great Britaii), .xvl, 254-255, 1886. 

d Feeding fetishes and other images is a common practice among primitive idolaiors. and almost 
every special st\ident might give instances of the usage among tribes which he has studied. The 
Hopi, for instance, put food into the mouths of their stone idols. 

148 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii.ann. 25 found in the northern islands. Trinidad, which is no near the 
continent of South America that we may regard their aborigines as 
practically the same in culture, has several amulets of types ditferent 
from any found in Porto Rico. Plate Lviii, n, represents one of these 
from side and top. The side view shows a tigurine of an animal with 
peccary- or armadillo-like head, four legs, and a short, thick tail. The 
legs are outlined by incised spirals on the body and have their extremi- 
ties connected by a flat band having an opening between it and the 
body of the animal. The holes bj- which this fetish was suspended 
are just in front of the legs, one on each side, as in other amulets. 

A\'hen seen from above, it will be noted that the tigure is slightly 
curved and that two deep grooves extend along the back, inclosing a 
triangular area reaching from the neck backward as far as the con- 
striction which separates the tail from the body. There are likewise 
incised parallel lines on the upper part of the tail and curved lines on 
the top of the head. 


Not the least significant of the many survivals of a prehistoric race 
in the West Indies are rude pictures cut in rocks and called "picto- 
graphs " or " petroglyphs." " A study of their forms, geographical dis- 
tribution, and meaning is an iuiportant aid to our knowledge of the 
oi'igin and development of Antillean culture; it afl'ords valuable data 
bearing on the migration of the race and points the way back to its 
ancestral continental home. Although there exists consideralile lit- 
erature on the pictography of the Lesser Antilles, the Bahamas, 
Jamaica,* and Porto Rico, little has yet been published on that of Cul)a 
and Santo Domingo. The last-named islands were thickly settled at 
the time of their discovery, and we should expect to find in themmanj^ 
pictographic evidences of prehistoric occupancy.'' Continued research 
will undoul>tedly make them known to anthropologists. 

The most important contribution to the pictography of Porto Rico 
is 1)3' A. L. Pinart,'' whose pamphlet, althougii rare, is accessible in 

nMallerj- (1893). restricts the term "petroglyph" to productions where the picture "is upon a rotk 
either in situ or sufficiently large for inference that the picture was imposed upon it where it was 
found." Fullowint^ this restriction the majority of pictures here considered would t>c called " petro- 
glyphs;" but as this article contains other forms, the author retains the older term "i)ictograph" 
for both kinds. See Prehistoric Porto Rican Pictographs, vlmer/ca;? Aiitliropotofjit^t, v, no. S.July-Sep- 
tember, 1902. 

^J. E. Duerden. Aboriginal Indian Remains in Jamaica. Journal nf the Instifitti- of Jamaica, ii, 
no. 4, July, 1897. 

>■ While in the Dominican Republic the author heard of several pictographs, among others a cluster 
on the shore of Lake Henriquillo. but he did not inspect them. -According to H. Ling Roth (The 
Aborigines of Hispaniola, Journal of the Aitlhropuluijlcal Institute of Great Britain, xvi, 2(34. 188G), 
"Descourtilz also (Voyage d'un Naturalistc, ii, 18-19, Paris, 1808) says rock carvings of gvotesijue fig- 
ures are to be found in the caves of Dubcda, Gonaives, in those o£ Mont .Selle, near Port an Prtnce, 
and in the tinartier dn Dondon, near Cape Francois (('ape Haitien)." 

i' Note sur Ics Petroglyphs et Antiquities des Grandes et Petites Antilles, Paris, 1890 (folio facsimile 
of MS,). 


part throuyh i-xtracts published by ^Malk-ry." Pinart spent some time 
ill Porto Rico and was tlie tirst to point out the pictographs described by 
him, and he independently rediscovered several others, which he men- 
tions. His pamphlet is an important contribution, although on account 
of its rarity it has been overlooked by some of our foremost students 
of the subject. 

Among- other important contributions to our knowledge of Porto 
liican pictography may be mentioned the small pamphlets by Dumont 
and Kriig,* both of whom consider practically the same specimens, 
having- apparently derived their knowledge not from personal inspec- 
tion ijut from a manuscript preserved in San Juan. The pictographs 
which they describe, and of which Krug gives a full-page plate, are 
.said to be on a rock called Piedra de la Campana (''bell stone'')'' set 
on two upright rocks in the middle of the Rio Grande de Loisa, not 
far from the town of Gurabo. 

A perusal of these publications induced the author to visit Gurabo, 
and, although he was not able to tind these pictographs, he was rewarded 
by the sight of a bowlder, also poised on two upright rocks, situated in 
the Loisa river halfwa}' Ijetween Caguas and Gurabo. This stone, 
locally known as the Cabeza de los Indios ( "head of the Indians" ), was 
found to bear several rude incised figures which were too illegible to 
be identified. 

There are scattered references to the subject of Porto Rican pic- 
tography in popular books on the island which have appeared since 
the American occupancv. These have a value in pointing- out other- 
wise unknown localities in which pictographs may be found. Porto 
Rico apparently has a larger number of these rock pictures than one 
would at first suspect, but in a short article attention may be directed 
to only a few typical forms.*' 

In a general way Porto Rican pictographs fall under the following 
heads' with reference to the localities in which they are found: (1) 
River pictographs, (2) cave pictographs, and (3) pictographs on the 
boundary stones of inclosures identified as dance plazas. Of these the 

K Picture Writing of the Ami. rican Indians, Tenth Report of the Bureau of Ethnology p. ISi'i, 1893. 
Since the above lines were written the author has reoeiveii a copy of this worls, whicli is particularly 
important as pointing out localities in Porto Rico in which pictographs occur. Pinart mentions these 
figures from Ciales and from Malloquin at Cabo Rojo. He refers to river pictographs near the motith 
of the Cano del Indio, at Ceiba and Eio Blanco, and at the Loma llunoz, above Rio Arriba, in the 
Fajado district. The piedra pintada, or painted rock, taid to be situated on the road from Cuyey to 
Aibonito, and the rock with pictographs on Don Pedro Parez's farm, near Carolina, are possibly pillar 
stones. Pinart's illustrations are too imperfect to aid the student in identitications of the pictographs. 

^L. Kriig, Indianische .^Iterthiimer in Porto Rico, Ziilschrift fur Etinmtoijie, Berlin, Wli; Dr 
D. Enritme Dumont, Investigaciones acerca de las .\ntiquedades de la Isla de Puerto Rico (Borin- 
quen), Habana. 1876. 

c\\, is said to have been used as a bell to call the natives together. 

^Doctor Stahl, who has published the most complete work on the Porto Rican Indians, appears to 
have overlooked their pictographs. 

e The claim that the prehistoric Porto Ricans possessed a form of hieroglyphic writing has not been 
substantiated. The specimens with characters on them are believed to be forgeries. 

150 THE ABORIGINES OF POKTO RICO [etii. an'n. 25 

first ^roup contains perhaps the best specimens of stone cutting-, but 
those of the third chiss are in many instances very finely executed. 
Tiie river pictographs are commonly found in isolated valleys of the 
hioh mountains and, as a rule, are cut on hard rocks the surface of 
which had been worn smooth by the water, presenting conditions quite 
favorable to good technic. The caves of the island are found only in a 
soft calcai'eous formation, the surface of which is never very hard and 
is seldom smooth. The pictographs in these localities, while more 
easily cut than those on river bowlders, are more readily eii'aced by 
erosion, and are seldom as finely executed as those of the river type. 
The pictographs found on rocks surrounding dance plazas are, as a 
rule, finely made and well preserved. In all three types it would 
appear that greater attention was given by the Antilleans to the 
technic of ])ictographic work than bj- contemporary peoples in North 
America north of ^lexico. 


As already said, some of the best specimens of aboriginal Porto Rican 
pictography were found on bowlders in the rivers or in the vicinity of 
running water. They often occur on rocks which rise out of the middle 
of streams or near waterfalls, so that it is not inappropriate to designate 
this type as river pictographs, to distinguish them from others found 
in caves or graven on the rude aligned stones which inclose ancient 
dance plazas. The author's studies of th(> river pictographs were limited 
maiidy to those of the valley of the Rio Grande de Arecibo, one of 
the large I'ivers of the island, which rises in the high mountains south 
of Adjuntas and flows northward into the Atlantic near the town of 

There are many evidences that there was formerly a dense Indian 
population along the fertile baid<s of the Rio Grande de Arecibo and 
its tril)utaries, and many indications that later this region will yield 
most instructive discoveries to the archeologist. The town of Utuado. 
which forms an especially good center for archeological work on tlie 
island, is situated in the high .mountains nearly directl3- south of 
Arecibo, on the right bank of the river, being readily accessible })v 
the fine carriage road connecting Arecibo and Ponce. Its surround- 
ings afford some of the most beautiful and picturesque mountain and 
river scenery on the entire island. Utuado occupies the angle formed 
by two rivers, one of which penetrates the isolated district of Jayuva 
(a most instructive region for the archeologist); the other is the main 
stream along which extends the road to Adjuntas, and over the high 
sierras to Ponce. The town is situated in a territory formerly ruled 
b}' Guarionex, a cacique who at the conquest of the island is said to 
have led more than a thousand warriors against Sotomayor. We can 
still trace in the immediate vicinity of the pueblo several large village 


sites iiiul plazas where tlie Indians assembled for i-erenionial and other 
dances, while near by are found some of the finest examples of pietot;- 
raphy known in tlie island. 

Among the many groups of pictographs found in the neighborhood 
of the town of l^tuado one oecurs on a river bowlder situated at the 
southeastern corner of the estate of Sefior Roig. One can readily find 
this bowlder by following the road from Utiiado to Adjuntas, passing 
the Roig farmhouse on the right, and continuing about three miles 
from the former town. The bowlder lies to the right only a short 
distance from the road, and is situated conveniently near a dance 
plaza, which will be presently described. The pictographs, eight or 
nine in luimber (plate lx, pt 1). cover the entire upper face of the 
bowlder, a flat surface about 15 feet aliove the base. 

The pictograph shown in h is one of the best on this rock. It is well 
made and consists of a circular head with two projections or horns on 
the top, pits for eyes, and an oval mouth connected with the eyes l)y 
a line which extends upward midway between them. The oval body 
contains a median line, with other lines, partly etiaced, parallel to one 
another, probably repi-esenting arms. 

A second pictograph (r), with a horned head, resembles in general 
shape the one just described. It has a circular mouth connected with 
the outline of the head. The body has a similar medio-ventral line, 
with horizontal lines suggesting arms. Eyes are represented by small 
pits. It will be observed that these two pictographs are in all particu- 
lars practically identical in character. 

A pictograph {<l)ot another kind, also found on the stone in the 
middle of the river, consists of two concentric circles, in the inner one 
of which are pits representing the eyes and mouth. It has a medio- 
frontal line, bifurcated at the center of the inner circle, and lines 
radiating from the outer circle," suggesting a solar emblem. 

Specimen e is directly comparable with that figured as d; but, while 
the latter has the eyes and mouth in the middle of the inner circle, in 
the foi'mer the inner circle contains an elliptical design. On one side 
this figure {e) has a projection which is indistinct on account of a 
fracture in the surface of the rock, but, as in the preceding picto- 
graph, lines radiate from the outer cii'cle. 

An instructive feature of several of these Porto Rican pictographs 
is the median groove which connects the mouth with the ring groove 
bounding the face. This anomalous way of drawing the face reap- 
pears in .certain South American pictographs from Chiriqui/' and in 
one of the figures described by Doctor Seemanu we find also the added 
horns. Whether or not these figures may be rightly interpreted as 

nSee the figure with similar radiating lines, in Stahl's Los Indios"Borinqueiios. pi. iv, fig. 20. 
h For McNeil's sketch of the pictographs here referred to, see ,S/.r//^ Report of the Sureau of Ethnol- 
ogii. p. 22, l.sss. 

152 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii. ann. 25 

cup Stnictnres is beyond the scope of this article: but the existence 
of a connectiiii;' groove or line from the mouth to the top of the head, 
between the eyes, in pictographs from Colombia and Porto Rico is cer- 
tainly suggestive. This characteristic may be added to the manv other 
likenesses between the prehistoric culture of the Antilles and that of 
the aborigines of the northern countries of South America. 

Inf is shown a circular figure resting on another, in the former of 
which we detect eyes, as if it were a head and the intention had been to 
depict a body and a head with a crown or other ornament. The face 
shown in ;/ has eyes and a nose, but no mouth and no representation 
of the body. It is well made, and although ditiering somewhat fi-om 
the others, is apparently not a new tvpe. 

Several smaller pictographs are found near those described, but 
they are so worn that tlu'ir forms could not be detinitely traced. They 
are apparently circles with inclosed pits or geometrical figures, one of 
which suggests the moon. 

The circle is a conmion form of ornament on many diti'erent speci- 
mens of Antillean handiwork, as pottery, idols, stools, and carved 
shells. One or two three-pointed idols which the author has collected 
bear circles cut in low relief or incised on the back or apex. Mason" 
has mentioned the presence of this ornament on pillar stones, and the 
author is familiar with specimens of those problematic stone rings, pop- 
ularly called '"horse collars," in the ornamentation of which the circle 
is also used as a decorative motive. 

Perhaps one of the best examples of the use of the circle in ornamen- 
tation, one which to the mind of the author is highly- suggestive, occui's 
on a rare, possibly unique, specimen of Antillean wood carving seen 
l)y him in the city of Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo. This specimen 
represents a coiled serpent; it was carved from a log of l)lack wood and 
has a highly polished surface. The details of the head, body, and tail, 
and especially of the mouth, eyes, and scales on the belly, are iiatui'al, 
being remarkal)ly well represented. Most signiticant of the noteworthy 
carvings on this serpent image are the incised circular tigure in the 
middle of the back of the head and the four similar figures on the 
body. These circles alternate with triangular markings and other 
incised lines. 

The association of these circles with the serpent idol (for as such we 
must regard this carving), and the interpretation of the circle as a sun 
symbol, are a suggestive repetition of a world-wide mythological con- 
ception of an esoteric connection between sun and serpent worship. 
In this individual instance, however, it may be no more than a coinci- 
dence. The author is much more interested in the fact that the hack of 
the head and body of this wooden serpent efiig}- is decorated with 

"The L:itimer Collection of Antiquities from Porto Rico in the National Museum at Washington, 
D. C. Smithsonian Rrport, 1876. Reprinted with pamphlet on Guesde collection, 1M99. 


circles, from another consideration — the reUition of sci/it'.s and collars 
to serpent worship. The backs of the heads of several niannui- 
forni idols have similar circular tigures cut with great care; the}^ 
sometimes appear also on the surface of the stone collars which are 
iilentitied as the i)acks of serpents. It is suggested that these factsj 
taken witli others, reveal the true nature of ring stones and mam- 
miform zriii/'s, to the elaboration of which livpothesis a special paper 
might be devoted. 

The pictograph figured as A is oval in form, with two pits repre- 
senting the eyes and a median groove between them. Although this 
is a rare form, it is on the whole comparaljle with those previously 

Two horns on the head of the pictographs recall similar appendages 
to the heads of figures from the island of (Guadeloupe, reproduced in 
Mason's monograph. The proper interpretation of these appendages 
is beyond the author's ability, but attention may here ])e called to the 
fact that in stone amulets and in burnt-clay figures the Antilleans often 
represented the fore legs or arms al)Ove 'the head. In such cases, 
however, hands, fingers, or claws are commonly indicated, but no sign 
of the*e appears in the pictographs. 

There is a .second group of well-preserved river pictographs on a 
rock in the middle of the stream befoi-e mentioned, higher up tliau 
those on Seiior Roig's farm, near Sefior Salvador Ponz's house. These 
also are readily accessible from the road, being cut on a bowlder just 
back of the outhouses of the residence. Their situation is such, how- 
ever, that it is imjjossible to take gootl photographs of them. An 
examination of them shows that they do not ditfer greatly from those 
just figured and described, from the bowlder which marks the south- 
eastern corner of the Roig farm. The pictographs of the second 
group are figured as /. They repeat the features already considered, 
which likewise occur on the walls of caves to be described later. In 
the upper member there are two spirals facing each other and united. 
Fnlike the other spiral-form pictographs, this figure has a circle 
between the two terminal spirals. In a lower figure there is a represen- 
tation of the human face with its mouth connected by a median groove 
with the top, of the head, and above it a circle with radiating lines 
recalling solar rays. This upper figure would appear to represent a 
crown " draw'n out of perspective, and the radiating lines the feathers 
which were appended to it. 

Still ascending the river a few hundred yards beyond the picto- 
graphs last recorded, one reaches a beautiful waterfall called El Salto 
de Merovis, situated aliout rt miles from Utuado, where also is found 
a group of river pictographs, ditlering somewhat from those 

ti There are frequent references by early writers to crowns with feathers worn by persons of rank, 
like caciques. Guacanagari gave Coltunbus one of these objects, which he Uxik. to Spain to present 
to the ';ing and queen. 

15-± THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [eth. ann. 25 

described. At this point the river phinges over and among' great 
bowlders, resting- here and there in deep pools. These smooth, water- 
worn rocks afford a fitting surface for pictographic work, specimens 
of which are found scattered over the larger bowlders projecting a))ove 
the falls and the still water of the pools. Several of these pictures 
are barely legible; others, although easy to trace, owing to their posi- 
tion are difficult to photograph successfully. One of the forms found 
near the falls is figured as /. 

Another pictograph (plate lx, pt 2, /c) represents a face about a 
foot in diameter, with three pits for the eyes and mouth. There is no 
representation of a l>ody nor is there any attempt to depict the ears or 
other appendages to the head. 

Figured as ? is a circle in which is contained a ci'escent, suggestive 
of the moon. 

In the same plate (7«) is a pictograph of the same general type as 
those already considered, destitute of a mouth, with two circles for 
eyes, and suggesting the beginnings of spirals. 

Specimen n has a pyriform face with ear pendants well represented. 
The eyes are circles with central pupils; the mouth is rudely indicated, 
and parallel lines extend downward from the chin. This example, 
which is one of the best at the falls, is found high on the front of a 
bowlder, the slippery sides of which almost forl)id climbing. 

Specimen '/ is a long, almost straight, line witii a spiral termination 
at each end. The whole figure measures about a foot and a half, and 
may be a whirlpool symbol. 

Near the last-mentioned pictogi'aph is one (y/) with eyes, nose, and 
mouth well represented. Above the mouth appear two crescentic , 
marks, opposite each othei', indicating the cheeks. Among numerous 
other pictographs on these rocks are two circles, each representing a 
human face with e3'es and mouth clearlj' indicated. 

Several pictographs are found on rocks in the river be3'ond the 
falls. One of the largest groups occurs near Adjuntas, and there are 
others between the falls and Utuado. 

Some of the most instructive river pictographs in Porto Rico are 
found at the eastern end of the island. There are man3' near Fajado, 
and others are on the Rio Blanco not far from Naguabo. A short 
distance from J uncos, near the road from Humacoa to that town, there 
are several river pictographs of the same general character as those 

The author's attention has been called to a pictograph (plate Lxi, a) 
which is a profile sketch of a manuniform sem/, or idol with a conical 
extension on the back. He has seen also a rock etching with a body of 
zigzag form, I'ecalling lightning. The forms which these pictographs 
take are almost numberless, but in all there is a common likeness to the 


incised decorations found on wooden and stone stools, idols, and other 
objects undoal)tedly of preliistoric manufacture. 

The niajorit}' of these clusters of river pictographs, especially those 
alono- the Rio Grande de Arecibn. occur in the neighborhood of dance 
plazas, which will be dealt with presently. 


Numerous pictographs are found also in the caves, so common in the 
calcareous rocks of the island. The number of these caverns in Porto 
Rico is very great, but not all of them contain Indian pictures on their 
walls. In many cases such pictures may once have existed, gradually 
being covered by stalactitic deposits on the walls or erased by super- 
ficial erosion. As a rule cave pictographs were not cut with the same 
care as the river pictographs, from which thej' differ also in size, 
shape, and apparently in significance. The botryoidal forms taken by 
many of the stalactites lend themselves to relief carving which clearly 
is often combined with surface cutting, affording forms intermediate 
between pictographs, or cuttings on flat surfaces, and sculptures. 
Many of these cave pictographs are found in places not now readily 
accessible; others occur on slabs of rock which lie on the cave floor. 

The Cueva de las Golondrinas ("cave of the swallows") near Manati, 
and El Consejo ("the council house") near Arecibo. are typical locali- 
ties for the study of cave pictography. The walls of the former cave 
are covered with a sticky, greenish-black substance which had par- 
tially concealed some of the pictographs, but others of large size and 
good workmanship were quite readily seen. The fallen liowlders at 
the back of the cave also had good pictographs cut upon them. More 
than ten rock carvings on the walls were counted, and there were 
others which were undouljtedh- obscured by the covering that had 
been deposited over the walls. The more striking pictographs from 
this cave are the following: 

One, aljout 8 inches in diameter, incised about breast-high on a rock 
which had fallen from the roof. A slab of stone bearing this picture 
was cut out, l>ut on account of its great weight it was not brought 

Plate LX, pt 2, y, represents one of the best of all the pictographs in 
this cave. It measures about IS indies in diameter, and was cut on the 
projecting front of a fallen lK)widei', making the face very prominent. 
The body is rei^resented by parallel lines. 

Illustration /• represents a pictograph about a foot long, consisting 
of head and body, with legs appearing on each side folded to the body. 
Like some of the river pictographs near Utuado, it has two horns or 
anterior appendages, one on each side of the liead. This flgure recalls 
the outline of small stone amulets from Porto Rico and Santo Domino'o. 


li'rni. ANN, 

The pietogiaph tigured a>< .v belongs to a type .somewhat diHereut 
from the preceding, but recalls those on the river rock near Utuado {e). 
The appendages to the side of the head rosemhle ears. On the top of 
the head tht>re is a smaller circle with which it is connected by a groove. 
Eyes and mouth are represented by three rings. 

Specimen f consists of a rectangular ))()dy marked off into si^uares, 
having an oval head with ear appendages. There are no indications 
of eyes, but the cheeks are represented by crescentic grooves. 

The three pictures shown in u to /r represent faces, but they have 
been much eroded and disfigured by time. Originallv they were 
evidently more complicated than their present outline would seem to 

Some tine pictographs are to be seen in the cave called El C'onsejo," 
on the estate of Mr Denton, not far from Arecibo. The neighboring 
hamlet, school, and hacienda bear the name ]\Iiiaflores. This cave is 
reached after an hour's ride by coach to Byadera, and thence by horse 
for another hour and by climbing up the mountain to the entrance, 
which is quite easily accessible. The cave is spacious, roughly dome 
shaped, and lighted at the end opposite the entrance by a large arched 
opening, which looks out on the steep mountain side. This opening 
was, in all probability, the original Indian entrance, for all the carvings 
are placed near that end, as if to decorate it or to be conspicuously in 
view as one entered the cave. Thei-e are seven faces or heads, all close 
together and all on one side of the archway. One of these pictographs 
is especially conspicuous; it is well made, partly in relief, with v^hat 
appear to be head, nose, and pointed chin. The other six faces are 
simpler, consisting of pits arranged in triangles, sometimes surrounded 
by a line to indicate the face. Of these, two faces are cut on rounded 
protuberances and four are merely incised in the flat rocks. One of 
these, called by a peon "el dios mejor de todos," has the e3'es cut 
obliquely, sloping from the nose upward. Similar oblicjue eyes raa\' be 
noted on many pottery heads, one of the best of which was collected 
by the author near Santiago de los Caballeros in Santo Domingo.'' 

As the name "el dios"' implies, there survives in the minds of the 
Gibaros, or couutr\- people of Porto Rico, a belief that these pictographs 
were intended to represent Indian gods. Of the same import also is 
the lore among these people concerning caves, which in part at least 
is a survival of the reverence with which caverns were regarded in 
aboriginal life. Stories that caves are the abode of spirits are widely 
current among the unlettered people of Porto Kico and Santo Domingo. 
According to a superstition which prevails among many of the West 
Indian islanders, some of these caves are still inhabited. It is said 

a Miss A. B. Gould has kindly given me these interesting nntes of her visit to this cave. 
''One of the zemls tigured by Charlevoix in 1731 (Histoire de I'Isle Espaguole ou de S. Domingue, 
I, 61) has oblique eyes. 


that if objects are placed at their entrances they are removed within a 
■short time )\v troglodytes, and debris at the cave mouth is said to be 
swept away in a manner otherwise inexplicable. I was told by a man 
who owns one of the finest wooden stools in Santo Domingo that he 
obtained it from a (xibaro who said that while hunting a goat in the 
mountains he strayed into a cave which had not been entered in mod- 
ern times. Penetrating an inner chaml)er he saw in the dim light 
what he supposed to he one of these cave-dwellers. He struck at it 
with his machete and lied, but afterward returned to find that the 
object of his fear was a wooden stool, which he removed and sold. As if 
to corroborate the story of this "paisano" (countryman), the object, 
which is hideous enough in form and feature to frighten anyone if 
encountered in the gloomy envii-onment of a cave, still shows the 
marks of the machete. A wooden stool or di>//" in the Snnthsonian 
collection described by Mason, alleged to be from Turks island, is 
said to be hacked '^ by the hatchet of a vandal." Perhaps the mutila- 
tion was due to fear rather than to malice. 

Near the hacienda Barranca, not far from the military road of Porto 
Kico from Ponce to .Tuana Diaz, there are some instructive picto- 
graphs, the situation of which is peculiar. On the side of the cliff 
overlooking the river are numerous small caves, some of which are 
mere niches in the rock. One of these is barely large enough to 
admit the human body, Imt by lying at full length one may force liis 
head and shoulders through the entrance into an enlarged space inclosed 
by rock walls. Upon the surface of this I'ock there are several picto- 
graphs, the most striking of which are here reproduced on plate lxi, 
a-e. Some of these I'ock etchings appear to have l)een pecked into tlie 
rock surface and then tilled with pigment or earth of a color dift'ei'ent 
from that of the rock. Others are single pictographs. Their sides 
average from to IS inches in length. 

Specimen (/ has a triangular form, reminding one of the profile of a 
three-pointed stone idol. In h we have a representation of the head 
and part of tlie bod}- of a human lieing, the eyes and mouth being 
readily recognized. Above the head there is a crescent-shaped body 
crossed by a series of lines incised slightly in the rock surface. This 
individu;d pictograph is situated on the right-hand wall. 

The form figured as c was undoubtedly intended to represent tlie 
human face, the 63^68, mouth, and cheeks being well represented. In d 
is represented a pictograph found in a neighl)orlng cave or shi'ine. 
This likewise represents a human face, but has a nose which appears 
as a groove from the top, imparting a heart-shaped outline to the 
whole. There is also a representation of an app(MKlage to the side of 
the head, but the nature of this is not clear from the pictograph. 

Several very good pictographs occur in faces of t!ie granite near 
the falls of the Rio Blanco, Humacoa, Porto Rico. Of these Mr L. M. 



[ETH. ANN. i!5 

McConnick, curator of the Museum of Natural History at Glen 
island, New Rochelle, N. Y., has sent the Smithsonian Institution a 
few kodak photooraphs, from whieh the following are coi^ied. They 
eontain no new t^pe, but come from new localities. 

Plate Lxi, </, represents the head and body of some totem, the former 
with eyes, mouth, and prominent ears. This pictoirraph has an ol)ject 
of some kind represented al)ove the head. The square body bears a 
cross, the atrms of which extend to the four corners. Specimen/' 


Fig. m. Pii't<ij;rai'Iis from St Kitts. Ilritish West Indies. 

is different from most pictographs in having the eyes in relief in 
sunken cavities. A number of parallel or radiating lines from 
the chin and lower side of the head. Similar lines occur in other pic- 
tographs and are found likewise on certain pillar stones. Specimen <_■ is 
not a distinctive form of pictograph, but is worthy of note on account 
of the singular form of the body and the median groove down the front. 
Copies of pictographs from St Kitts are figured on the accompany- 
ing cut (figure 2i). 



True Carib pictographs from St N'iiK'ciit are tigured <iii plate lxu. 
The resemblances to pictographs from Porto Rico are \ery jrreat, 
especially in the case of those shown in //. 

Stone Collars 

No archeological objects found in Porto Rico have attracted more 
attention and are more characteristic of the island" than those rings 
made of stone that from their shapes are called collars or horse collars. 
Although several have been found in rianto Domingo and in the Lesser 
Antilles, the number collected in Pdrto Rico far exceeds that from all 
the other West Indies. There are in the United States some sixty of 
these objects, about evenly distributed between the collections in 
Washington and New York. Several are in European museums, in 
the Blackmore and Christy collections in England, and in the pul)lic 
museums of Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and other cities. 
It has been estimated that there are about one hundred Porto Rican 
collars the ownership of which is known. 

While these objects, as a rule, have the collar shape several are sim- 
ply stone rings, roughly formed, as if unfinished specimens, and others 
are simply stones with a round or oval perforation. Their size is far 
from uniform, but their shape is almost without exception oval. The 
kinds of rock of which they are are made differ, as does the technic 
of the specimens. Some of the collars show undoubted signs of peck- 
ing, but as a rule the surface of the completed form shows that th(>y 
were polished b}- rubbing. They rank among the huest specimens of 
stoneworking b\' the Indians of America. 

Professor Mason classifies these stone rings in two groups. (1) the 
massive and (2) the slender oblique oval.* Those of the latter group are 
as a rule the better made, being sometimes highly ornamented, with 
ornamentation limited to the pointed pole. The massive collars bear 
superficial decorations that are unlike the designs on the slender oblique 
oval. The following observations on the classification of stone collars 
were published in the author's article on Porto Rican Stone Collars 
and Tripointed Idols: 

Professor Ma-son distinguishes two classes of stone collars, which he calls "the 
massive oval and the slender olilique ovate or pear shaped." "The latter," he 
says, "are far more highly polished and ornamented than the former, and some of 
the ornamental patterns on the massive forms are reproduced but more elaborated on 
the slender variety, notably the gourd-shaped ridge surrounding the panels. 

Collars of both classes are subdivided by the same author into two groups, («) the 
right-shouldered and (6) the left-shouldered collars, which may be distinguished as 

oSee D. G. Brlnton, On a Petroglyph from the Island of St Vincent. ProKedings of the Academy of 
Natural Science, Philadelphia, 1889. The specimens said to have been found in Scotland by Daniel 
Wilson, as was pointed out by Stevens, are probably West Indian. 

tThe Latimer Collection of .Antiquities from Porto Rico in the National Museum, and the Guesde 
Collection of Antiquities in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, West Indies; reprint, p. 385, 1899. These arti- 
cles originally appeared in the Sinillisonian Reports for lS7t5 and 1884, respectively Xl\ references to 
Professor Mason are to this reprint. 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

follows: If we imagine the collar placeil over the neck, with its smooth edge resting 
on the chest and the pointed pole hangint; downward, the collar may be called left- 
shonldered when the projection " faintly resembling a lashing of the two ends of a 
hoop" is on the wearer's left side and the decorated panel on the right. When, 
however, these portions have reversed positions^, the collar is called right-shouldered. 
Certain of the massive collars have no superficial decoration, but are simply per- 
forated stones, possibly unfinished specimens. 

The general character of the two groups of stone collars, massive and slender 
ol)lique ovate, differs to such an extent that it would seem as if their uses were not the 
same, and the differences in the symbolic markings on their surfaces would imply a 
different interpretation of their meaning. Fur instance, while the theory that thes" 
collars were worn over the neck applies fairly well to the slender ovate variety, it 
fails to apply to some of the massive forms. Although the latter might be regarded 

as instrumentsof torture orsyra- 
P bols of servitude, this interpre- 

tation would hardly hold for 
the slender examples. On the 
other hand, it can not be reason- 
ably claimed that the use and 
meaning of the two groups were 
different, considering the simi- 
larity in their general forms; 
nor is it probable that the mas- 
sive forms are unfinished speci- 
mens of the slender ones, inas- 
much as the special superficial 
symbolic characters of each 
group are too well defined to 
supj>ose that one could lie made 
out of the other. 

There are certain regions of 
both the massive and the slen- 
der collars which can readily be 
identified and which for con ven- 
itince have been designated by 
the following names (figure 25) : 
h, boss; ■p, projection; s, shoul- 
der; p/<, shoulder ridge: (//i, 
decorated ]ianel; liph, decorated 
panel border; ilpij, decorated 
panel ridge; rfyj'jy), decorated 
upp, undecorated panel pit; vph. 
These regions are in 

Fig. 2.^. Sclieniaiii- drawing nl ii slender, obliquu stone 

panel border perforation; up, undecorated panel 

undecorated panel border; vpg, undecorated panel groove 

reverse positions in right- and left-handed collars and \ary in form according to the 

simple or elaborate character of the ornamentation. 

'/. jBoss. — The so-called boss is a rounded, generally unpolished, prominence or 
swelling, well marked in slender but absent in massive collars, being generally either 
plain or so decorated that it separates the two panels. 

In massive forms the boss is confluent with the undecorated panels, but in the 
slender it is evidently a continuation of the decorative panel. 

p. Projection. — The projection, which is a significant feature of the collar, has the 
form of a slight, rounded elevation, closely appressed to the liody of the collar, to 
which it appears to be bound by an encircling ridge or fillet. In massive collars 
there are generally two protuberances which may lie called projections, one on each 


side of the ridge; Imt in s^leiider i-nllars there is only one, which emerges from un<ler 
the slioulder fillet on the side opposite the boss. Sometimes the projection is fer- 
ruleti, often with pits like eyes, and in one collar the prominence is said to have the 
form of a snake's head." 

di. Shoulder ridt/e. — The shonlder ridge is a raised band cnt in low relief, partly 
encircling the collai' near the base of the jirojection, which it appears to bind to the 
body of the collar. It is sometimes broad and flat, but more commonly is a narrow 
bead, and in massive forms where there are two projections it tills the interval 
between thtnn. Rarely absent, it is seldom in high relief. 

dp. Decorated 2Mnel. — This term is applied to that region of the collar that lies 
adjacent to the boss, on the side opposite the projection. While the name is a useful 
one for distinguishing this part in some specimens, this panel, although smooth, is 
not ornamented. The general outline of the decorated panel of the oblique-ovate 
collars is ijuadrate or trapezoidal, with or without a marginal ]>anel ridge formed by 
a shallow groove. In the massive forms the outline of this panel is often triangular. 
The superficial decoration of the panels of massive collars, when present, is less 
elaborate than that of the slender ones, and consists mainly of pits, incised circles, 
triangles, or parallel lines. Figures of faces with eyes and mouth are sometimes cut 
on this panel, which is ordinarily smooth, its surface slightly convex, and often 
highly polished. 

(//)'). Decorated panel border. — The margin cjf the decorated panel is called the panel 
border. In oblicjue-ovate collars this border is cut in the form of a ridge looped into 
scrolls, often with pits resembling eyes. In massive collars this border is some- 
times pinched up into three triangles. An examination of the decorated panel bor- 
der in several specimens of slender collars reveals a conventional face with i-eiiresen- 
tations of ear pemlants on each side. In others the face and ears appear on the 
panel border, but are more conventionalized. The best specimens of panel border 
decorations are scroll figures. 

dprj. Decorated panel rjroore. — A groove bounding the decorated panel and separating 
it from the panel ridge often marks the limit of the panel. In oblique-ovate collars 
this ridge is generall}- pinched up into an elevation at one angle of the panel, which 
is perforated, thus forming one decorated panel border perforation. Tlie object of 
tills perforation (dphp) is unknown, but the care with which the ridge is modified at 
this pi:iint indicates that it must have Ijeen an important one. Massive ovate collars 
have no perforated angle of the panel. 

up. Vnderorated panel. — The undecorated panel lies between the shoulder ridge and 
the boss; it has a panel ridge but no decorated panel border. In massive oval col- 
lars the undecorated panel is simply a rough, slightly convex plane extending from 
one of the projections to the pole of the collar, the boss of this variety being absent. 
In many of the oblique-ovate collars there is an elongated shallow depression in the 
middle of this panel, but this is absent in the massive type. The meaning of this 
pit is unknown, but its rough surface suggests that it may have been the place of 
attachment of an ornament like a nugget of gold or a fragment of shell. On the 
At'osta theory that a head was formerly attached to the collar, the rough surface of 
this panel may have been the place of union, in which case the pit in the middle of 
the panel would have served to strengthen the attachment. The undecorated panel 
often has a panel groove (upg) and border (uph), but neither of these is so elabo- 
rately decorated as the corresponding region of the decorated panel. The rough sur- 
face of the undecorated panel is constant in all collars, indicating that it was hidden 
or covered in some way. 

« This specimen is owned by ilr Leopold B. Strube, of Ar^cibo, wlio has sent the author a drawing 
which shows the knob in the form of a snake's head. 

2.5 ETH— 07 11 



Plate Lxiii, a and 1). shows two specimens of massive stone eollars, 
botii collected by the author fi'oni Porto Kico. In a the boss can not 
be differentiated from the body of the object, and the decoration of 
the panel is obscui'e, consisting of a simple series of incised grooves 
of chevi'on form covering the whole face of the panel. There are two 
knobs, but the band is inconspicuous. This is a very heavy collar 
and could not be transported any considerable distance without fatigue. 
•The form is oval, almost circular, not ovate. 

Specimen 1>, on the same plate, is a massive oval collar in which the 
panel is also indistinct and is undecorated. The boss is missing, and 
there is but one projection, which is, however, exceptional in having 
an indentation on each side. The band is in low relief, Hat and broad. 
This collar has a suggestion of an angular ridge on the side turned to 
the observer. The panel has a panel groove and ridge, which are 
brought out in the illustration by means of chalk in the groove. 

Plate LXiv, a and 5, represents a typical form of the massive collars 
collected by the author in Porto Rico. The collar a is so placed 
that the double knoVj is on the right side, the band being a broad, slight 
elevation. The undecorated panel adjoins the upper knob; the boss is 
missing, and the decorated panel is turned from view, the decorated 
panel groove appearing as three triangles, two of which are obscurel}' 

The massive collars represented in plate lxv, «,-/, are typical forms. 
Specimen a is destitute of a decorative panel, but has a Hat, noncon- 
fluent, undecorated panel, extending from the end of the knob, that is 
evideuth' double as far as the region of the boss. The shoulder is 
more or less angular, and there is no sign of the band. 

Specimen h also is of the massive type, with knobs, between which 
is a broad band in low relief. The decorated panel border of s])eci- 
men li is pinched into triangular ridges, but the panel itself is without 
design. The shoulder is inclined to be angular, but not so markedly 
as in the other specimen in this plate. 

There are but slight difl'erences in various specimens of massive 
collars, yet such as exist are readily seen. Two massive collars are 
figured in plate lxv, c and d^ both from Porto Rico. An examination 
of d reveals the fact that the undecorated panel does not conform in 
curvature with the surface of the collar as in the example illustrated 
in the previous plate. l)ut is flat, extending from the neighborhood 
of the knob and band to the region of the boss, which is absent from 
all massive collars. 

The collar represented in plate lxv, e, is somewhat better made 
than most collai's of the massive type, and is more richly decorated. 
An example is here shown with a plain, undecorated panel, and double 


knob, but with no indioiition of a l)aiul. The decoi-ated panel, as will 
be seen by referring; to the accompanj-ino- illustration, passes imper- 
ceptibh^ into the end of the undecorated panel. The shoulder is 
angular and the surface rough. 

Specimen /' has a highl}^ ornamented decorated panel \\itli well- 
marked panel groove and ridge. The knob is conspicuous, the band 
bead-like; the undecorated panel is absent. The shoulder of this 
specimen is round, with no tendency to angularity, its surface rough 
and unpolished. While several of the parts of a typical massive 
collar are evident in this specimen, its general appearance is some- 
what difierent; of all the specimens obtained from Porto Rico this 
approximates most closelj' to the stone rings from the coast states of 

Specimen /' has all the appearance of an unfinished collar, the super- 
ficial decorations lieing simply blocked out. There is no differentia- 
tion of the panels, and the knob and band are only obscurely' indicated. 
This is the heaviest collar in the collection, l)ut not the rudest in de- 
sign, for there are two others which have no indication whatever of 
superficial decoration of an^- kind. 

Professor Mason describes five specimens of massive collars, four 
of which are right-shouldered and one is left-shouldered. The two 
specimens figured can hardly be called typical, one (no. 17107) hav- 
ing a certain likeness to that figured as h, plate lxv, which is an 
al)errant form. 

The main features of the massive oval collars, besides those implied 
in their name, are the total absence of the boss, a tendency of the pro- 
jection to douI)ling, and the absence of a ridge or groove about the 
undecorated panel which contains the pit, so constant in slender ovate 

An examination of this series of massive collars, none of which 
have ever liefore been figured or described, shows that they should 
not be reg'arded as unfinished specimens of the slender oblicpie type 
unless it is to be supposed that unfinished collars have decorations of 
their own that can not be modified into those characteristic of the 
slender ol>lu[ue collars. The distinct oval form of the massive collars, 
as compared with the pointed ovate form of the slender collars, is 
also an argument against supposing- that the former are unfinished 
forms of the latter. 


Plate Lxvi, «, represents a slender stone collar of the Latimer collec- 
tion with an obscure knob and a broad, slightly rounded band. Its 
surface is rough and unpolished, and there is an indication of a boss. 
The undecorated panel is barely difl'erentiated from the body of the 
collar. Specimen & is a slender ovate collar in which the difierent 


regions are very imperfectly indicated. Tlie knob is siujill, not prom- 
inent, the boss large, and the panels are obscurely indicated. The 
surface is much worn. A slender collar is described and figured by 
Professor Mason as follows: 

The ^hduldcr is distinetly bell-shaped, having a pecked chamfer on its outward 
portion. The transverse slioulder ridge is quite prominent. The right or plain panel 
is inclosed in a quadrilateral ridge, wliich bears on the middle of its anterior and pos- 
terior sides a very marked swelling. This is a constant feature on the anterior and 
posterior margins of the panel on tlie shouldered side whenever this panel is pres- 
ent. The face of tlie panel is bounded l>y a border ridge and ornamented by a large 
ring in tlie center, on either side of which a human leg drawn u].) is represente<l. The 
anterior margin of this panel, wliich I have called the panel border, is a double 

In (■ the knol) is confluent with the band, and the latter is separated 
bj- some distance from the undecorated panel border, which is more 
pronounced than it usual!}- is in slender collars. About midway in its 
length this panel border has a slight elevation, and there is a pro- 
nounced groove separating the undecorated panel border from the 
boss. In the middle of the undecorated panel is a pit which is quite 
indistinct in the tigure. 

The boss is low and slightly inclined toward the undecorated panel. 
Its surface is rough as compared with the other parts of the collar 
except the undecorated panel. The decorated panel is smooth, desti- 
tute of ornamentation, and })ounded by a smooth panel ridge. The 
surface of this collar, which is one of the best in the collection, shows 
signs of much handling. 

The remaining collar (d) is larger than the last-preceding one, and 
has a much rougher surface. The knol) is triangular or pear-shaped, 
and confluent with the surface of the collar on the sides. The band is 
not represented, this being one of the few specimens of slender col- 
lars from which it is missing. 

The undecorated panel has a long shallow depression that occupies 
almost its entire length, and the undecorated panel l)order and ridge 
are only obscure!}' indicated. The boss is more pronounced than that 
of specimen a, plate Lxvi, and its top tips slightl}- to the left. 

The decorated panel has an obscurely indicated panel groove and is 
slightly sunken below the level of the adjacent surface of the collar. 
It is sLUOoth and without superficial ornamentation. 

In figures 26 and 27 is shown a view of a slender ovate collar taken 
from the side of the decorated panel. The of this specimen 
appears to be truncated, and the depression in the undecorated panel 
is large, occupying idmost the whole surface of the panel. The band 
is broad and the knob button-shaped. There is a space between the 
undecorated panel margin and the band, the diameter of which is 
slightly greater than that of the collar below the knob. The ear-like 




extension of the decorated panel border is prominent, but not per- 
forated, tlie ridge being smooth and not ornamented. 

Tlie slender collar represented in plate lxvii, c, is thus described 
b^' Professor Mason: 

17080. The shoulder is bell-shajied, ami the encircling shoulder-ridge abuts upon 
the shoulder, so that no line separates them. The right [the undecorated] panel is 
inclosed within a ridge with the swellings and has an oval cavity jaecked deeply into 
its central space. The left [the decorated] panel is inclosed by a ridge with the loop 
in its upjier anterior corner and is ornamented by an elaborate winged sun- pattern. 
The panel border is a wide scroll. 

Fm. 26. Stone collar (front view). 

Fig. 27. Stone collar 
(side view ). 

The figure of this object given in li lirings out clearly the design in 
the decorated panel border, while !>. plate lxtiii, shows the .same in 
profile and likewise the elaborate design on the decorated panel. The 
significance of the s_ymbolism here expressed is difHcult to discover, and 
the suggestion that it represents a winged sun is the best yet made. 

Another slender collar is described by Professor Mason as follows: 

17085. The shoulder is quite prominent, its upper circular face rolled outward. 
The transverse shoulder ridge is i-arried all the way around the stone. The right 


panel is inclosed by a ridge with the prominences, and is rough pecked over its inte- 
rior space. Tlie left pane! is inclosed by a ridge, and was formerly well ornamented, 
but it is now nearly worn off, whether by use or time I cannot say. The panel 
border is a delicate double scroll, having two of the volutes perforated. The boss, 
whit'h in most of the slender collars is an immense swelling, oblique to the plane of 
the stone, is in this specimen rolled out like a pouting lip. 

Specimen a, like the collars on the last-preceding plate (lxvi). lias 
a tiiiely decorated panel border, with much the same design as charac- 
terizes them. The symbolism of the figure is not apparent, but the 
region near the boss resembles a human face with eyes and mouth. 
Below the chin are two lateral extensions that might be compared to 
arms, and below these is a bodj' with posterior appendages. The same 
figure is repeated in order, ending with v.hat might be called 
a representation of the head. It is apparent that if the design cut on 
the decorated panel border of this collar is intended to represent a 
human face, arms, and legs, these are highly conventionalized. 

Profes.sor Mason writes of this specimen, r, plate lxviii: 

The shoulder is well set off from the stone, and is subtended liy a very shallow 
ridge. The left panel has the marginal i>rominences and i >val depression. The right 
panel is inclosed in a ridge looped at the upper anterior corner, which is I'ontinued 
to form a part of the panel marginal scroll. The panel is ornamented with a dotted 
circle at each end, inclosed in a sigmoid ridge, the ends of which expand gracefully 
to till the triangular spaces between the sigmoid, the circles, and the border ridge of 
the panel. The boss is ridged up on the inside. 

The undecorated panel has a broad border, a long, deep pit, and a 
prominent boss. The band is separated a considerable distance from 
the undecorated panel border, and the knob is prominent, with a slight 
depression on each side. The collar is well made, and the surface is 
smooth with the exception of that of the undecorated panel. 

Specimen d of plate Lxvii also has an elaborately cut panel border, 
the details of which arc l)ettcr brought out in i.xviii, <(. This collar has 
a prominent boss and a smooth decorated panel with an obscurely indi- 
cated border which has a slight pi'otuberance midway in its length on 
each side. The knobis very pronoimced, and the bandis ol)scure, being 
a swelling in the collar with undefined limits. The specimen is unlike slender collars in having the diameter of the region between the 
decorated panel border and the knob somewhat less than that of the 
region near the knob. 

The figures introduced on plate lxviii repre.sent the decorated panel 
border and surface of three slender ovate collars, which are shown in 
former plates. It will be noted that there is only the most distant 
likeness between the figures, but all have circles as the most prominent 

These three figures, from Mason's catalogue of the Latimer collec- 
tion, show other decorations of slender collars on the panels. In a 
there is a circle in the middle of the panel, with markings which 


sugs't'st two hio'hly conventionalized liodies, or the two .sides of one 
body split apart and extended, one on each side of the circle represent- 
ing the head. In this interpretation the parallel marks near the head 
would represent the fingers and the others the toes. The figure is in 
a sitting posture, the knees drawn up to the breast. There is a close 
similarity in the panel borders of specimens 5 and e, each having a head 
with eyes and mouth, with extensions representing ears, one on each 
side. The surfaces of the decorated panels in these two specimens are 
diti'erently oi'namented, that of c having a likeness to that of plate 
Lxvii, h and c. 

The object shown in a, plate lxix, is hypotiietical, representing a 
slender ovate collar with a stone head tied to the undecorated panel, 
to illustrate the Acosta theory of the relationship of these two objects, 
but the two specimens chosen for this purpose were found in ditferent 
localities in Porto Rico, and there is no probability that they ever be- 
longed together. The collai' has certain minor diflerencesin compari- 
son with tho e described in the preceding pages, more especially in the 
character of the knob, and the interval between it and the undecorated 
panel. It will be noted that the band is \evy obscurely indicated and 
that there is a groove in the knob that extends parallel with the collar. 
This groove may likewise be traced to the lower end of the undecorated 
panel and its border. This difl'erentiation of the portion of the collar 
between the band and the panel, an exceptional feature, would appear 
to support the theory that the collar represents the coiled bodj' of a 


The following discussion of the purpose of the collais is reprinted 
from the author's article on Porto Kican stone collars:" 

The theories '' that have been advanced in explanation of the use of the 
Porto Kican ring stones are almost as numerous as the wi'iters on (he 
subject, but unfortunately not one of the theorists has carried his 
hypothesis far beyond a simple suggestion. It may be interesting to 
mention a few of these theories, limiting the references to stone collars 
found in the Antilles and waiving for the present a discussion of their 
relationship to the stone yokes and collars of Mexico and Central 
America, concerning which there is considera))le literature. 

Mr Josiah Cato'' writes thus of one of these collars l)rought from 
Porto Rico by Mr E. B. Webb: 

^\'ith regard to the probable use or purpose of tliese rings, I can give no informa- 
tion, but shall be very much obliged for any suggestion or for hints as to any works 
likely to contain such an account of the customs of the nations at the time of the 

(t Smithsonian Mi^ccltaneniis Otlledions, XLvn. 175, Washington, 1904. 

6 Acosm's theory that the three-pointed stone was united to the stone collar, forming a serpent idol, 
is considered at the close of this section (page 170 et seq). 
c Pi-oceedings oj the Society t)J\Antiquarics, 2d ser., iv, no. 5, 21.5-210. 


l^pani^li invasion as may afford a chie to the mystery. Such elaborate pieces of work 
in hard stone could not h&ve been intended to serve either a temporary or trifling 
purpose. They are all far too heavy for ordinary use, yet not heavy enough to kill 
or even to greatly torture the wearer, if we regard them as collars of punishment. 

One of the early references to these collare occurs in Dr Daniel 
Wilson's work on The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland 
(p. 156-157): 

But perhaps the most singular relics of the Stone period ever discovered in Scot- 
land are two stone collars, found near the celeljrated Parallel roads of Glenroy, and 
now preserved at the mansion of Tonley, Aberdeenshire. They are each of the full 
size of a collar adapted to a small highland horse; the one formed of trap or whin- 
stone and the other of a tine-grained red granite. Tliey are not, however, to be 
regarded as the primitive substitutes for the more convenient materials of later intro- 
duction. On the contrary, a close imitation of the details of a horse collar of com- 
mon materials is attempted, including the folds of the leather, nails, buckles, and 
holes for tying particular jiarts together. They are finished with much care and a high 
degree of polish, and are described as obviously the workmanship of a skillful artist. 
Mr Skene, who first drew attention to these remarkable relics, suggests the proba- 
bility of the peculiar natural features of Glenroy having led to the selection of this 
amphitheater for the scene of ancient pulilic games; and that these stone collars might 
commemorate the victor in the chariot race, as the tripods still existing record the 
victor in the Choragic games of Athens. But no circumstances attending their dis- 
covery are known which could aid conjecture either as to the period or purpose of 
their construction. 

Althoiioh these collars ma}- have been found at Glenro}' and are 
ascribed b}' Doctor Wilson to the .Stone age of Scotland, they are evi- 
dently Porto Rican in origin, having been carried to Scotland from 
over the seas. Stevens, in Flint Chips, includes these specimens 
with other West Indian collars in English collections*. 

^lason seems to have adopted no theory regarding the use of the 
rings or collars, saying: "Whether they were the regalia of .sacrificial 
victims," of militaiy heroes, of ecclesiastical worthies, or of members 
of some privileged cast who marched in double file through the streets 
of Porto Rican villages long since deca3'ed will perhaps forever remain 
a mj-stery."' 

Dr A. Stahl considers the collars, "toison de piedra," as insignia of 
rank worn by chiefs or caciques in important festivals or assemblies. 
This explanation he applies more especially to the slender specimens, 
for the massive forms he regards as possible implements of torture. 
It should 1)6 borne in mind that there is a general similarity in form 
of the massive oval and the obli([ue ovate types which would imply a 
like use for both. Doctor Stahl declares that they " never have the 
form of serpents, as some have supposed."* 

Seiior Agustiu Navarette considers that these rings were neither 
idols nor parts thereof. He supposes that the massive forms were 
intended purely for the adornment of the cabins of the caciques, com- 

a Professor Mason had already said that there is no mention of human sacrifice by the natives. 
fcLosIndios Borinqueiios, p. 151-152. 


paraV)le with crowns which were woi-n by them. It is quite iiiiproVtahle, 
liowever, that objects which cost so much time and lal)or were 
designed to he purely ornaineutal; even were it granted that they were 
symbols of this kind, the (juestif)n would still remain. What is the 
meaning of their superticial decoration? 

Senor E. Neumann " regards it as certain that the entire lifetime of 
a human being would be required for the polishing and ornamentation 
of a completed stone collar. He ascribes to a Catholic priest, whose 
name is not given, the opinion that every cacicpie made a collar, to be 
deposited over his grave on the day of his interment in order to drive 
off the devil, bat no proof is given to sup2)ort this speculation. Senor 
Neumann i-egards the idea, which he attributes to Sefior Pi y ]\IargaI, 
that the tail of a serpent was cut on the surface of the collar, as a 
grave error, and seems not to have appreciated the true i-elation of the 
two parts which Acosta supposes were united to form the serpent 

Regarding the use of these collars, Ober'' says: 

Just what that use was, no one can tell, the historians being silent on the subject; 
but I was told, when in Puerto Rico, liy an old priest, that the Indians made them to 
be buried witli them in their graves. One would spend a lifetime laVjoriously carv- 
ing out this solid stone collar, that when he died it might be placed over his head, 
thus securely fastening him to his last resting place and defying tlie efforts of the 
devil to remove him. 

The various interpretations of stone collars referred to in the pre- 
ceding pages resol\(> themselves into two groups, one of which lays 
emphasis on the use of these objects as insignia or ornaments, tlie 
other on their symbolism. Those who have pointed out what they 
regard as their use ha\e overlooked the fact that the decoration of 
the collar is highl}' conventionalized, an explanation of the signiticance 
of which they do not offer. A\ e may accept the theory that some of 
them were worn on the body or around the neck, but the more im- 
portant question of what they repi'esent remains unanswered. 

But there is a very serious objection to the acceptance of the theory 
that certain of these collars were worn as insignia, for some of them 
are too small, and the heaviest could be transported onh^ a short dis- 
tance, even bj* a strong man.'' Evidently they wei'e not worn by 
chiefs as ornaments. The theory that they were worn, in some in- 
stances, by victims of sacrificial rites is weak, for there is evidence in 
historical records that sacrificial ceremonies, except certain ones of 
very harmless character, were not practised by the Antilleans. 

It ni.ay be said in reply that here we have survivals of insignia or 
.symbols no longer used but preserving the form of those which were 

n Bcnefactores y Hombres Notables do Puerto Rit:o, n, p. li. 

^ Aliorigines of the West Indies. Proceeding? of the American Aitliqaayinii Society, p. 2(J, Worcester, 
Mass., 1894. 

c This objection to the theory that tlie stone colhtrs wei'e \v<3rn by men in (IragKuig heavy objects, 
as logs or canoes, is a valid one. 


once emplo^-ed; and it may also be urged that tlie heavy, massive eollars 
were unfinished, or that the massive and the slender form had different 
uses. While all these suggestions may have weight, it is remarkable 
that none of the early writers mention having seen the collars on the 
bodies of Indians. If they were used in the time of Las Casas, Ramon 
Pane, Benzoni, and other earh- writers, this must have been done in 
secret, showing that they were ceremonial oljjects. It is important to 
note that we have no early descriptions of the ceremonies of the Porto 
Kican aborigines from those among whom these collars would have 
been ))est known. No devoted Catholic priest observed and specially 
described the Borinqueiios as Ramon Pane, ^Morales, and Benzoni did 
the Haitians. What we know of the Porto Ricans of the sixteenth 
and .seventeenth centuries is derived from the briefest possible refer- 
ences of Gviedo, Gomara, and others, who say that in their time they 
were similar to the inhabitants of Hispaniola. The Porto Ricans may 
have used these collars in both secret and public exei'cises, but as no 
one is known specially to have descrilied their ceremonies, there is 
no record of the purpose or use of these objects. 

All the available facts extant in regard to these collars point to their 
religious, or, rather, ceremonial nature. We naturally regard objects 
made with so much care and so highly .symbolic in their decoration as 
idols or as connected with worship. It is therefore rather as such 
than as secular implements or ornaments that we can hope to decipher 
their meaning. As their strange form presents enigmatical possil)il- 
ities, we naturally associate them with that other enigma in Porto 
Rican archeology, the three-pointed stones. 

The most suggestive interpretation yet offered is by Seiior J. J. 
Acosta in his notes on Inigo's great work, that these stone collars 
were united with the three-pointed stones, and that both together 
form a serpent idol. 

The author has reserved consideration of this theory until the end, 
because it differs radically from all others, and because consideration 
of it demands a knowledge of the forms of the three groups of objects 
herein dealt with — stone eollars, three-pointed idols, and elbow stones. 
Seiior Acosta was familiar with the Latimer collection before it came 
to this covmtry, and also with another, now scattered, which formerly 
existed in the INIuseo de Artilleria at San Juan, P. R. He writes thus 
of the stone rings and three-pointed figures:" 

Todoa estos I'dolos, aunque vari'an en el taniano y en la clase de piedra en que 
estiin labrados, pues una son cuarzosas y otras calizas, ofrecen generalniente la niisma 
disposicion y figura. Consta cada u-no de dcis partes distintas y separadas, pero que 
se adaptan perfectamente entre sf. — 1". Un anillo elipsoidal, en cuya fuperflcie externa 
aparece tallada la cola de una serpiente. — 2". Una pieza niaciza cuya base, por donde 
se adapta al anillo, es plana y de figura elipsoidal, y cuya parte superior termina en 

nNote ill Historia Geogrfifica. Civil y Natural, de la Isla de San .Iiiaii Bautista de Puerto Rico, by 
Fray IDigo Abbad y Lasierra, p, .il, Puerto Rico, lSt)6. 


forma de cono; hacia un extremo del eje mayor de la l)ase hay varias molduras rap- 
richosas, y en el extremo opuesto una cara huinana. Unidas las dos partes del fdolo, 
semeja el todo una serpiente enroscada con tisonomia liumana. 


All these idols, although they vary in size and in the kind of stone of wliich they 
are made, for some are of quartz" and othere of limestone,'' liave the same general 
projiortions and form. Each one is composed of two distinct and separate jjarts, 
which fit perfectly together: 1st, an ellipsoidal ring, on the external surface of which 
is cut a serpent's tail; 2d, a massive piece, the base of which, when it fits the ring, 
is fiat and of ellipsoidal shape, while the upper part terminates in a cone; toward the 
end of the greater axis of the base there are various capricious moldings, and at the 
opposite end a human face. When the two component parts of tlie idol are united, 
the whole reseml>les a coiled serpent with human physiognomy. 

One or two other authors speak of collars as '" snake stones," 
but as no additional grounds for this identification are given, thev 
apparent!}' accepted Acosta's conclusion. 

Several significant facts appear to support the theory that another 
object was once attached to the undecorated panel of the stone collar : 

1, This panel is left rough and is never decorated; its plane of con- 
A'exity is approximately the same as the concave curvature of the base 
of the three-pointed stones. It has a pit or depression in its center, 
and the base of the three-pointed stone sometimes has a siniilai'pit in 
the same relative position. On the theory under consideration the 
object of these pits would be to insure a firmer attachment of the two 
objects. The use and function of both collars and three-pointed stones 
are enigmatical, but their geographical distribution is identical. 

2. Some of the elbow stones appear feel)ly to supjjort the Acosta 
theory in this way: The elbow stone of the Latimer collect'ion i-esem- 
btes closely that part of a collar which includes the boss and one panel. 
An examination of this panel shows that it conforms in relative posi- 
tion to the undecorated panel of a collar. A human face is carved in 
relief on this panel in the place at which the three-pointed stone would 
have been cementetl to the collar. The elbow stone figured by Pinart 
has a similar face cut on its panel. On the supposition that there is a 
IJlscness in form between stone collars and elbow stones this fact may 
be significant. 

It may be mentioned that since Acosta wrote the lines above quoted 
a larger niunber of these three-pointed stones than he saw have been 
examined, and that from increased knowledge of them minor correc- 
tions of his account are po.ssible. For instance, what he calls "capri- 
cious moldings"' toward the end of the greater axis are undoubtedly 
Legs or appendages, while the "human face"' at the other end of the 
greater axis is now known sometimes to be replaced by the head of a 
bird, lizard, or other animal. Acosta apparentlj^ was familiar with but 

a Diorite. ^ Marble 

172 THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii. anx, 23 

one kind of throe-pointed stone — that called in this article the *■• first 

As objections to Acosta's theory of the former union of stone collars 
and three-pointed stones, the following may be urged: 

1. That in the available accounts of the I'eligion of the natives of the 
West Indies no mention is made of a serpent cult and no record con- 
temporary with the aborigines has given the snake a prominent place in 
myth or I'itual. (It is recorded, however, that two wooden images of 
serpents stood at the entrance to a house on one of the islands visited 
by the Spaniards, and the author has alreadj' referred to a wooden ser- 
pent idol in Puerto Plata, which is one of the best-known examples of 
aboriginal West Indian wood carving. These show conclusively that 
the Antilleans carved images of snakes in wood, hence the implication 
is that these images were used as idols and played a conspicuous role 
in their worship.) 

2. That no three-pointed stone has yet been found to tit closely the 
undecorated panel of any collar, nor have these objects ever been 
found united or in close proximity. 

3. That some of these three-pointed stones bear birds' heads and 
representations of wings; others have snouts like reptiles; and, 'in 
many, grotesque human faces appear to have been represented, but 
not a single three-pointed stone resembles a serpent's head. (To meet 
this objection it may be urged that primitive art is rarely realistic, 
but more often is highly conventionalized.) 

4. The presence of legs on a majoritv of the three-pointed stones of 
all types is fatal to the theory that these images represent heads of 
serpents. If we avoid this objection by limiting the theory of those 
three-pointed stones which have no legs carved in relief or otherwise, 
we are obliged to discriminate, whereas what is true of one should 
hold good for the others. 

5. That representations of heads, realistic, symbolic, (jr both, are 
cut on the decorated panel borders of several collars. Although these 
carvings are sometimes highly conventionalized, their presence would 
imply two heads to the same body if a three-pointed stone also repre- 
senting a head were attached to the undecorated panel. 

The weight of evidence thus seems to be against the Acosta theorj' 
that the three-pointed sto!ies were attached to stone collars for the 
purpose of completing idols of which he supposed the two objects 
foi'med the component parts. 

Elbow Stones" 

There is another group of stone objects, also found in Porto Rico, 
which, like those alread}' considei'ed, are problematical, yet which may 

a There are several fine elbow stones in the Stahl collection purchased by the American Museum of 
Natural History in New York, and since writing this article a good specimen has been sent to the 
author from Ponce, P. K. 


shed some light on the rehttiou.ship between stone collars and three- 
pointed idols. Reference is here made to the objects which, from their 
shape, may be called "elbow stones,"" several of which occur in ditier- 
ent collections. Some of these stones closely resemble fractured or 
broken collars of the slender ovate type and often have parts which 
may be compared to the boss, panel, and panel margin of entire col- 
lars. The tinish of the extremities of the elbow stones indicates that 
they are not l)roken collars, but are of another type having some simi- 
larity to the stone collars. Their signiticance in relation to the theory 
that three-pointed stones and collars were the two component parts of 
a single object lies in the fact that a head resembling a mask-like three- 
pointed stone is sometimes found on the part of the elbow stone cor- 
responding to the undecorated panel of the stone collar. The face is 
cut on the undecorated panel instead of l)eing fastened to it, as in the 
case of coUar stones. 

Two examples of these elbow stones with faces may be mentioned 
to illustrate their signiticance in this connection; one (plate LXix, h, h') is 
figured by Mason, the other by Pinart. Professor ^lason is doubtful 
whether the specimen which he illustrates* is a broken collar adapted 
to a secondarj' use or belongs to a distinct class. Something ct)uld be 
said in support of the former supposition, but there arc similar speci- 
mens whose resemblance to a broken collar is less apparent. The 
ell)ow stone figured by Pinart' has a huniuu face represented on that 
part of its surface which corresponds to the undecorated panel of a 
collar. In his description of this ol)ject, Pinart writes: ''L'orne- 
mentation des premiers varie assez, bien que le principal sujet de 
rornementation se trouve toujours a la partie ou la collier presente un 
rentlement. Cette ornementation represente dans la cas presente une 
figure humaine; nous avons recoutre egalement la grenouille. la 
chouette, etc." 

The figures of the above-mentioned objects resemble each other so 
far as the position of the face is concerned, the ears and fillet over the 
forehead being in both instances well represented. Piiiart"s specimen 
has the arms, or extensions comparat)le with that portion of the body 
of a collar, longer than figured b\' Mason, and they are lieaded 
at the extremity, a featurt* not represented in any stone collar. Sim- 
ilar beading is found on an elbow ston(> figured by Mason '' in which 
no face is cut on the panel region, and the same feature occurs in a 
rude elbow .stone which was collected at Ponce. In the Mason speci- 

aThis designation, here used for the tirst time, is a convenient one to apply to tlii^ group of stone 
objects peculiar to Porto Rico and Santo D'_»mingo. The group includes many aberrant forms of 
elbow shape, tlie exact use of which is problematical. One of these is illustrated by Mason. The 
American Museum in New York has several beautiful elbow stones. 

i Figure 58, The Latimer Collection of Antiquities from Porto Rico in the National Museum at 
Washington. D. C. Smiihmiiinn Report. 1876. 

cSee Pinart. plate x, figure 3. 

d Figure 195, The Latimer Collection. 



[etii. ax.\. 25 

uion one uini is perforated, as in the elbow stone bearing a face whii-h 
Mason describes and Hgures. The perforation and beading may indi- 
cate places for attachment of strings b}' which the object was suspended, 
or lashed to some other object. 

One of the best of these elbow stones has a complete figure of a 
human being cut in relief on the panel corresponding to that bearing 
the face in the Mason and Pinart specimens. Tliis object has no 
resemblance to a broken collar, although it belongs to the same type 
as that above mentioned. As in Pinart's specimen, the extremities 
of the arms or extensions are beaded, a feature not found in the 
Mason elbow stone, on which a face is represented. The elbow stone, 
which has a complete human tigure carved in relief on its panel, is 
figured in Neumann's work above referred to, copied from a tigure 
in the Spanish periodical La Ilmtmcivn Espanola y Americana. 
These elbow stones are regarded as a distinct type, having a morpho- 
logical likeness to the pointed pole, and to the boss and neighboring 
parts of an oblique oval collar. Their use and meaning are enig- 

To this type of elbow stone belongs also the highly aberrant speci- 
men represented in tigure 195, in Professor Mason's catalogue of the 
Guesde collection. ^lason thus refers to this object: 

An ornamental piece of bluish green color. It is rare in form, but not absolutely 
unique. In the American ^Museum at Xew York is a similar specimen. The cham- 
fering and fluting are gracefully blemled. The left hand extremity is perforated for 
suspension. From Punto Duo. Length of long limb, 8 inches; <A short limb, .5-j~ 

These elbow stones sometimes take the form of boomerangs and are 
without ornamentation, although one arm is generally Huted or beaded. 
In such specimens all resemblance to a broken collar is lost, leaving 
little doubt that the type is distinct from that of the collar, notwith- 
standing the resemblance of some of the more 
highly decorated ones to those characteristic ob- 
jects. One of stone elbows was found to 
exhibit at the shorter end evidences that it had 
been put to a secondary use — that of a hammer — 
for which its form is admirably adapted. 

Knobbed Heads 

Sevei'al heads made of stone were seen in Santo 
Domingo that differ so widely from tiic mask form 
that thcv are considered another tvpe. although 

Fig. 28. Stone head . ^ i " -^ t^ ,. , /,. ",, ■ ,, , 

(imbert collection). related to it. One of these (hgure '!>■) \\\ the Im- 
bert collection is among the finest specimens of 
stone polishing received from the island. Another has a head in relief 
on one side of a rough stone. 

Perhaps the most problematical of these st<5ne heads is one (figures 




i!!t, 30) from tho .samo island as those above mentioned, which is oval ia 
shape, with the face in relief on one side, and with projections at each 
pole reinindiiio- one of the anterior and posterior projections from the 
hack of thestt)ne heads iilready considered. A reniarkalile thiny al)()ut 
these specimens is the existence of three warts on the face, one on the 
forehead and one on each cheek. There was also seen in the samecol- 

FiG. 29. Stone ball with face in re- 
lief I Imbert collecilion ). 

Fig. 30. Side view of ball with 
face (Tnibert collection). 

lection a stone hall (lio-iire 31) v ith three similar warts arranged at the 
angles of a triangle. There was, however, no face cut on the surface 
of this ball. 

Allied to objects is the spherical or ovate stone, tigure 32, that 
has a head carved in relief on one side. This uniciue specimen of a 
new type, from the I nd)ert collection at Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, 
is related to the stone balls elsewhere described and figured. 

PiLLAK Stones 

These objects make a distinct type, represented b}' several specimens 
in the Latimer collection and l)y some brought back by the author on 
his several excursions to Porto Rico. Many of 
these are massive and still remain in situ at differ- 
ent points on the island. They easily grade into 
large idols and apparently had the same use. In 
its simplest form, tigure 33, the pillar stone is a 
slal) of stone on the face of which is cut a rude pic- 
tograph that may represent a head or body with arms, 
or one end may l)e carved to represent a head. The 
work is ordinarily roughly finished, although one or 
two are fair specimens of aboriginal stone carving. So far as known the 
tigures never represent animals, but generallj' grotesque human formS. 

The few specimens of pillar stones remaining in situ are in the 
neighborhood of the dance inclosiires called eerci/dos <le los Indios or 
juegos (le hola, a stone of this kind forming generally one of the large 

Fig. 31. Stone ball 
with knobs (Imbert 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

Fig. 32. Stone with head in 

upright stones which iiK'los(> tliese places. It is probiible that pillar 

stones served as idols to which otforings were made or near which 

rites and ceremonies were performed. 

A considerable number of these pillar stones occur in different parts 
of Porto Rico, Init most of them are .so large 
that they could not be transported to the 
United States without great difficulty. Sev- 
eral of these stones still remaining- on the 
island are well executed: others are simply 
slal)s of stone upon which are cut the rudest 
possible caricatures of the luiman face or 
head. The pillar stones are often called idols 
and the figures on them are sometimes classed 
as pictogi'aphs. 

Two specimens of pillar stones are shown 
on plate lxx, one ('/) obtained l)v the author 
in 1!»03; the other (h) one of the best in the 

famous Latimer collection. Both are massive, roughly- shaped, and 

much worn by exposure to the elements. 

Specimen Ji has a human face near tlie end, outlined by a groove throw- 
ing it into low relief, the eyes and mouth being represented by deep 

pits. There is in this .specimen a deep furrow from between the eyes 

to the end of the stone, 

and four parallel grooves 

extend longitudinallyf rora 

the chin, representing the 

bodv or arms. There are 

evidences of pecking along 

the whole extent of the 

stone, indicating that its 

surface was artificially 

worked into its present 

shape. Near the blunt end 

of the stone are four pits 

deeper than the others, 

three of which may rep- 
resent the eyes and mouth 

of a rude face. 

Illustration e represents 

a pillar stone, of which 

Professor Mason gives this 


17126. A fish-shaped bowlder, 
28.5 inches long. On the nar- 
row end is a sitting human figure, having the hands clasped under tlie rliin and the 
feet doubled uj) with the soles tcjgether. On the, stomach is a circle, seeming to liave 
been designed to represent a human face. 

Fig. 33. Pieto^raph on pillar stone. 


The resemblance of this stone to a fish is at most a distant one, but 
the desij^n on the narrow end certainlj' represents a seated human 
figure. The liead, with eyes, mouth, and ears, is clearly evident, and, 
as is often the case in Porto Rican carvings, the forearms are so flexed 
that the hands are brought to the breast below the chin. Each hand 
has four lingers, and the palms, represented by triangular pits, are 
turned outward. The pit in the abdomen in the middle circles is 
supposed to represent the umbilicus, on each side of which are the 
legs. The feet are represented with toes, coming together just below 
the outer ring surrounding the umbilicus, with the soles turned out- 
ward. As is the case with the palms of the hands, the bottoms of the 
feet are represented by depressed ai'eas. This is one of the finest 
pillar stones known to the author, and it is much to be regretted that 
but meager information is to be had regarding the locality where it 
was found. 

Pillar stones of other forms, in the Latimer collection, are figured 
in plate lxx. One of these, c?, has an angular form, one angle 
forming a median ridge extending across the face, represented by 
two grooves parallel to each other. The eyes are shallow depressions 
and the mouth is a transverse slit. The line of the jaw is indicated b}' 
shallow grooves on each side, joining below the mouth to form a 
pointed chin. As in the majoritj' of pillar stones, the carving of the 
face of this specimen is very rude, the head alone being represented. 

Plate LXX, c, shows a pillar stone that, in addition to a head, has 
portions of the body and tiie upper limbs also represented. This 
object was collected in Santo Domingo by Mr W. "SI. (Jabli and is 
now in the Smithsonian collection. The eyes, nose, and lips are fairly 
well represented in low relief in this specimen, the eyes being round 
and j^rominent. The top of the head is continued into a cap-shaped 
prominence that is truncated above. The mouth is large, with promi- 
nent lips. The arms are in high relief on the sides of the Ijody, the 
forearms being flexed and the hands indicated by marks on the abdo- 
men. There are likewise scratches on the breast that were probably 
intended for the ribs. 

It often happens in pictographic illustrations where head and body 
are represented by a few scratches that a number of parallel lines ex- 
tend downward from the chin, reminding one of a beard. Such is the 
case in the specimen figured as d, plate lxxi. 

Specimen c, plate lxxi, has a head carved on one end and may have 
been either a pillar stone or an idol. There are one or two l)otryoidal 
coral fragments {Astrea or some related genus) that have been fash- 
ioned by the aborigines to resemble idols. 

25 ETH— 07 12 


Professor Mason gives short references to nine pillar stones, the 
most interesting of which he describes as follows: 

17129. A rude slab of yellow stone,- 28.5 by 13 to 10 by 6 inches. On the fiat face 
is a human figure very roughly furrowed out, bearing on its stomach an inverted 
face. On the toji of this slab a circle is furrowed out. The carving on this and the 
foregoing slabs was apparently done by pecking out the depressions with stone chis- 
els, leaving the eyebrows, nose, and lips in intaglio. 

Several supposed pillar stones hearing pictographic figures occur in 
the autiior's collection. These may not have heen true pillar stones, 
but their lilieness to such stones is so close that they belong to this 
type. One of these bears as a design a iiunian face and part of a 
body. Although very indistinct, the e3'es, nose, mouth, and ears 
of this object are evident on close inspection. This specimen was 
purchased from Seiior Angelis of Cataiio in 1903. Its small size 
indicates that it was not one of the boundary stones of a dance court. 

Large .Stoxe Idols 

It is probable that in addition to pillar stones and slabs bearing pic- 
tographs some of the stones of Porto Rican dance inclosures wei*e 
idols of massive proportions, occcupying a prominent place within the 
inclosure, possibly on a raised platform. 

Tiie author has heard of several of these idols, but while unaV)le to 
procure a single .specimen, although he believes such might be found 
by systematic excavation of the accumulated debris on the floors of 
the dance inclosures, several reliable persons have informed him 
that such an idol formerly stood in a dance inclosure near Utuado. 
This idol is said to have the head and breast of a female, and Mr Roig, 
owner of the farm where the dance inclosure is situated, stated to the 
author that it stood on a raised platform on one side. 

It was carried to Arecibo several years ago and mounted on a ped- 
estal in front of the buildings of the hacienda Mercedes, but during the 
Ciriaco cyclone of 1898 the buildings were wrecked and the idol was 
overthrown and covered with wreckage. Regarding its subsequent 
fate there is want of uniformity in statements, sonjo saying that it is 
still in private hands, others that it lies buried in the debris. The 
author was not successful in his search for this relic or for a photo- 
graph of it which is reported to be in existence. 

There are other large idols, more or less rudely made, still in situ 
at different dance inclosures, but these difier but little from the pillar 
stones above described. 

The antiquities of (Juba and Porto Rico are so dissimilar that the cul- 
ture of the aborigines must have varied considerably, and relics from 
different parts of Cuba show a marked variation in prehistoric Cuban 
culture." It appears that the prehistoric natives of some regions of the 
greatest of the Antilles were more backward than those of Haiti and 

u rrehistoric Culture of Cuba. American Anthropologist, n. s., vi, 585, Oct.-Dec, 1905. 


Porto Rico. At the eastern end of Cuba the prehistoric culture some- 
what resembled that of the other islands of the Greater Antilles, but 
at the western end it was very different, indicating that the higher cul- 
ture was not indigenous but was introduced from Haiti and Porto Rico. 
The two extremities of Cuba, the regions nearly coextensive, one with 
the province of Pinar del Rio, the other with Santiago and Puerto 
Principe, may have been at no distant geological epoch sepai'ate 
islands, the intermediate lowlands then being under the sea. It is 
logical to suppose that the faunal and floral differences may have 
originated at that time, and if that epoch were very recent, as evi- 
dences seem to show, man may have dwelt on Cuba when the extremi- 
ties were separate islands. At no distant time, pi'obably not long 
before the discovery of the West Indies I)}' Europeans, the majority 
of C!ul)a's inhabitants were low in culture, but an inffux of a higher 
culture had already affected the eastern end. The western extremity, 
even in tlie time of Columl)us, still remained in a primitive condition. 
The race had not l)een influenced b}^ the culture of Haiti, nor, what is 
more remarkable, by that of the neightioring peninsula of Yucatan, on 
the soil of which there had developed one of the highest stages of cul- 
ture attained in America in prehistoric times. The culture of western 
Cuba was not as highly developed as that of Porto Rico, if we judge 
from the character and artistic excellence of the archeological remains. 
Unfortunately there is very limited material from which to form a 
true conception of the nature of the primitive culture of Cuba. Local 
museums are poor in specimens, and there are few specimens from 
this island in foreign collections. One or two of .the objects are so 
different from those of the neighboring islands that their exceptional 
character can be explained only on the theory that the cultures were 

Plate Lxxii, a and a', represents the front and side views of an idol 
in the Santiago Museum that comes in this category. The object is 
undoubtedly an idol, but of a form different from any originating in 
Porto Rico. The author believes it to bo genuine, but so exceptional 
is its form that more testimony would be desirable to establish fully 
its authenticity. 

In h is represented a stone upon which is carved a human face. It 
was purchased l)y the author in Santiago de Cuba. The idol shown 
in c, preserved in the museum at Santiago, differs somewhat from 
idols of Porto Rican origin, but has a pestle form not unlike some of 
those from this island described in the preceding pages, and is made 
of coral rock. 


The aborigines of Porto Rico wei'e expert potters, as is proved by 
specimens of their craft that have been found in abundance in shell 
heaps, caves, and other sites. No whole pieces of pottery from Porto 


Rico have been described liitlierto, and little is kuowii of ceramics 
from the other islands, except Jamaica; but in the present essay there 
are figured several whole bowls and vases from Porto Rico and others 
from Santo Domingo and the Lesser Antilles. In a general way it 
may be said that the pottery of the West Indian islands, from Trinidad 
to Cuba, is of the same general type. 

The objects of burnt clay made b^- the Porto Ricans were for the 
most part vases and shallow dishes, the latter more properly called 
plates. They made also globular bowls, canteens, and buttle-shaped 
flasks. Many of these vessels are of circular shape, others oval or 
boat-shaped, and of the latter the sides are sometimes angular. The 
rim is often decorated witli relief figures. The most exceptional speci- 
men of Antillean pottery is a canteen (plate Lxxx, a) from Santo 
Domingo witli globular extensions on each side of a central perforated 
neck that bears on one side a human face. 

As a rule the pottery is coarse, unpainted, and rudely made. Many 
of the specimens have flat, others rounded, bases. The larger vessels 
show evidences of having been made by coils of clay rubbed together 
by a stone or some smooth implement. No specimens at present show 
evidences of painting or glazing, l)ut this may be due to the objects 
having been buried so long iu the earth or exposed to the action of the 

The decoration is ordinarily incised by lines or relief figures. Among 
the common forms of incised geometrical designs are lines, triangles, 
spirals, and circles. Spirals are rare, but parallel lines aie very com- 
mon. None of the potteiy objects examined have human or animal 
faces cut in intaglio. A marked feature in rectilinear decoration is the 
indentation of the extremity of each line. The potter commonl3' ter- 
minated a line with a shallow pit that was appai'ently made with the 
same instrument as the line itself; or it was sometimes slightly sepa- 
rated from the end of the line. So constant, almost universal, is this 
feature that it may be looked on as characteristic of pottery from 
Porto Rico and Santo Domingo. 

An instructive feature of Antillean incised decoration is due to the 
habit of breaking the continuity of circular lines and inserting at the 
break either a pit or a short line drawn at right angles. This feature, 
which occurs not onl}- on pottery but also in stone implements and 
wooden objects, reminds one of the line of life in pueblo pottery. 

No specimens show evidences of painting or of a superficial layer or 
slip of white claj', or kaolin. Surface painting appears to have been 
I'eplaced by figures in relief, efiigy vases being among the most com- 
mon pottery forms, but there is a possibilit}' that a superficial cover- 
ing once existed and has been worn off. 

While only a few of the specimens of Antillean pottery here figured 
came from Porto Rico there is little doubt that all the forms introduced 
were known to the prehistoric inhabitants of that island. 




The different t'oniis of ))owl handles and other fragments of pottery 
that were excavated in the Cueva de his Golondrina.s, near ^Nlanati, are 
represented in plate lxxiii. The handles are in general similar and 
evidently belonged to coarse bowls, vases, and oUas. In similar forms 
a raised ring of clay served all the purposes of a handle, but there 
were often added grooves with adjacent elevations. The handle was 
sonietimes broad and flat, at other times narrow and round. One of 
the specimens represented on this plate has two solid knobs on the 
rim; another is perforated just below similar knobs. The edges of 
the handles of many vessels are pinched into ridges that may be cor- 
rugated, notched, or serrated. 

Hardly anj' two handles are exactlj'^ alike; those on this plate rep- 
resent only the more tj'pical forms. These show that there was an 
abundance of red ware. The surface of this potterj' in one or two 
instances is smoothh' polished. The niajoritj' of specimens are handles 
of cooking pots, many of which are blackened by soot from fire. 

Every collection of Porto Rican objects contains burnt-clay heads 
(figure 34), that have been broken 
from some bowl, vase, or other 
potter}' object. These heads 
vary in size, form, and other 
particvdars, and are often fash 
ioned with considerable skill. 
Not unusually we find consider- 
able fragments of flat dishes or 
bowls attached to them, showing 
that they are handles; but in 
some instances they were evi- 
dently low relief figures pressed 
on the surfaces of the vessels. 

These objects are sometimes called semis: or idols, an identification 
that is misleading, for there can hardly be a doubt that they are simply 
portions of broken jars or vessels excavated fi'om caves, shell heaps, 
or dance inclosures. 

Plates Lxxiv and lxxv give a fair idea of the general forms of these 
clay heads. The latter have little in common except their large round 
e3'es, fillets over the forehead, and mouths wide open. The general 
cast of many of the specimens suggests monke}' heads. l)ut this resem- 
blance is unintentional, being due rather to the method of working clay 
into faces adopted by the ancient potters. It is impossible to identify 
the great majorit}- of these figurines, and thej' may be regarded as 
simply fantastic forms used for decorative purposes, having no further 
import or meaning. 

Professor Mason gives several figures of fragments that illustrate 
fairly well the general character of Porto Rican pottery. Five of 
these are heads which once decorated the rims of bowls or vessels of 

Fig. 34. Fragment of a bowl. 


other shapes; one is a fragment of a platter with a head attached like 
a handle, and one represents an incised fragment. He writes: 

There is not an entire vessel in the collection, all of the specimens being frag- 
ments of variously shaped, coarse, red pottery, well baked, one or two pieces being 
glossy on the surface. Nearly all of the ornamentation is produced by animal forms 
luted on. The most of these are monkey heads adorned with scrolled, circular, and 
fluted coronets, and by deeply incised lines, often forming very ingenious patterns. 
Others bear human faces, all grotesque, and the figures of mythological animals. In 
one of them a W-shaped wreath or festoon is luted on the outside. A fragirient of 
the bottom of a cup or jar deserves especial mention on account of the ingenious 
labyrinthine design traced on it by a deep furrowing produced evidently by a sharp 
instrument when the vessel was soft. This bold, deep tracing is characteristic oi all 
the ornamentation on the pottery. 

While the author was preparing this report Dr Walter Hough, of 
the National Museum, called his attention to a notebook that accom- 
panied the Latimer collection containing several good pencil drawings 
of three-pointed stones and collars in that collection. On one of the 
pages of this book occurs this statement, written in an unknown iiand: 

The following drawing.^are coj^ies 
made from those taken by me of 
stone articles in the collection of 
Carib curiositie.'J of George Latimer, 
esq., of St John [San Juan] in the 
island of Porto Rico. Some speci- 
mens of Carib pottery in the same 
collection are also represented. 
These were all found in Porto Rico, 
although I have collected similar 
specimens in the island of St C'roix, 
some of which are in the possession 

„ , .,,,,, , . , , . , of the Long Island Historical So- 

FiG. 35. Vase with hanale. from sketch. (Latimer col- . , T i 

lection ) ciety. A l;iattle-ax of stone, 15 

inches long and 8 inches wide on the 

blade, found in St Croix, was presented by me to Mr Latimer, at whose request these 

sketches are now sent to the Smithsonian Institution. 

Brooklyn, February 11, 1870. 

Another drawing in this notebook represents an e&gy vase of such 
unusual shape that a copy of it is reproduced in the accompanying 
cut (figure 35). This vase apparentl}' never came to the Smltlisonian 
Institution with the Latimer collection, and is not mentioned by 
Professor Mason in his catalogue. 

An examination of the other drawings in tills notebook and a com- 
parison of them with the originals from which the}- were made show 
that, while not accurate in all details, they are fairly good in the gen- 
eral outlines. For instance, there are pictures, evidently of the 
three-pointed idols which Profes.sor Mason illustrates (figures -to and 
42 in his book), showing the salient features of those specimens clearly 
enough for identification. There is. therefore, every probability that 
the drawing of the object labeled in this notebook an "earthenware 


pitcher" is reliable for general form, even if not accurate in some 

This lost vase of the Latimer collection has the form of a birel, of 
which the head is represented on one side, the neck on the other, the 
two being united h}' a handle. The body is ovate, inclined to globular, 
with indications of the wings in relief areas on the sides of the bod^-. 

An Antillean effig}- vase of one of the most interesting forms was 
collected by Mr Gabb in Santo Domingo and deposited in the Smith- 
sonian Institution. Although this object (plate Lxxvi, a and a') is 
destitute of a head, its other characters are so remarkalile that it may 
be regarded as the most exceptional form of pottery from the West 
Indies yet known. This specimen represents half of a seated ligure, 
■one side being perfectly flat, the other rounded. The front view 
shows a portion of the head and the body, legs, and arms, the last 
mentioned Ijeing brought to the breast. Representations of the ribs 
and of several of the vertebral processes are shown in the side view. 
The umbilicus appears in both figures and male sexual organs are visi- 
ble. The thigh, indicated l)y a ring, shown in a, is double or broken 
at one point, as is common in incised decorations of this character. 
The toes appear below the rump; the upper leg and knee are well 

In c is represented a bowl from Ai'chbishop Merino's collection 
which is exceptional in having its equator surrounded by a raised 
ridge of zigzag form indented throughout with notches, and specimen 
Ij of the same plate has the surface decorated with incised lines and a 
face in relief on each side, bearing likewise pits with indentations that 
represent anterior and posterior appendages. 

One of the small globular bowls shown in plate i.xxvii, (/ and a' , 
was found in a cave not far from Utuado, Porto Rico. From its asso- 
ciation with a necklace of stone beads, elsewhere described, and other 
oflerings, this object was evidently mortuary. Seen from the top, it 
will be noticed that diametrically opposite each other on the upper 
side are two 8-shaped dentate elevations, the only relief ornamentation 
of the vessel. On the sides of the bowl, filling the interval between 
the 8-shaped elevations, are incised decorations consisting of two circles 
with pits and parallel lines between them. A shallow incised groove 
surrounds the opening of the bowl. A side view reveals a j)ortion of 
the flat base upon which the object rests, an unusual feature in most 
Antillean bowls and vases. 

In h is represented a bowl almost entire that was plowed up in a 
cane field near Salinas, Porto Rico, and, with the three three-pointed 
stones elsewhere mentioned, presented to the Smithsonian Institution 
bj' Mr ZoUer. This bowl has a head in low relief seen on the right 
side near the rim, but the corresponding head on the opposite side of 
the bowl is missing. 


Specimen <? is a cooking pot of coarse wai-e excavated by the author 
in 1903 from a burial mound at the dance place near Utuado. Porto 
Rico. It has a handle attached to the rim nut unlike in general form 
some of those excavated in the Cueva de las Golondrinas, tdthough 
the majority of them are diiferent. This pot was found near a seated 
skeleton and was evidently a mortuary offering. It probablj' once 
contained food or similar pei'ishable substance. 

In (7 and <T are represented fragments »i flat saucers excavated from 
the floor of the Cueva de las Golondrinas. The heads upon them rep- 
resent human heads and were j^robably duplicated on the opposite 
rims of the saucers. At their side there are representations of the 
fingers or feet. 

The dish or bowl shown in e and e' , obtained by purchase from 
Archbishop Merino, of Santo Domingo, is a significant specimen, 
showing how the clay heads so abundant in collections from Porto 
Rico were attached to their respective bowls. Their frail union with 
the rim of the vessel is no doubt the reason these objects were so 
often bi'oken awa^' from their attachments. 

On the side of this bowl, below the attached heads, are handles, 
recalling the bowl handles already figured, and each head has a trian- 
gular lateral extension, supposed to represent feet or appendages. The 
border of the bowl is ornamented with incised lines. 

The most beautiful of all the efiigy vases from Porto Rico is shown 
in plate i.xxviii, ti and a'. This specimen, now in the Smithsonian 
collection, was purchased in 1904 from a gentleman who had obtained 
it a few \'ears before in a cave near Aguas Buenas, not far from 
Caguas, Porto Rico. This vase is made of coarse claj* and has a rough 
surface; the base is rounded, not flattened. The superficial decora- 
tions, both incised and in relief, occur on the upper part. It is not 
wholly evident what animal the maker of this object had in mind to 
represent, but a view from above shows a well-made head, a tail, and 
four limbs. 

The face (</) has elongated ej'es and a peculiar T-shaped nose with 
nostrils on tubercles, recalling some of the flat stone heads and three- 
pointed idols elsewhere considered. The eai'S, highly conventional- 
ized, consist of a curved raised ridge arising from just above the ej'es; 
from this position they extend laterally to form the eyebrows, and 
end in a ring-form elevation on the sides about on a level with the 
nostrils. The portion of the head above the forehead has a raised 
circular area in the middle, below which are two lateral tubercles. 
These elev^ations correspond quitt^ closely in arrangement with the 
ornamentation on sonic of the tliree-pointed idols, especially one of 
the third tj'pe figured in a previous plate. On the back of the head 
is an incised circle, and around the neck a necklace in relief, with 
median tubercles, possibly representing pendants. 




The two legs, one on each .side, are very charaeteristic. The ante- 
rior appendage consists of a tubercle with a pit representing the 
shoulder, a slim forearm extending- to an elbow at the rim of the 
bowl, and another forearm brought forward and ending in feet or 

The arrangement of the posterior appendages («') is somewhat 
similar. A thigh is represented on eacii side at the equator of the 
bowl, and from it arises the upper joint that extends backward to the 
knee, forming a projection with tubercle and pit. The lower joint 
of the posterior appendage is bent forward and ends at the mouth of 
the jar. The soles of the feet are triangular. A ridge extending 
directly from the thigh joint to the feet of the posterior limbs incloses 
a triangular area, in the middle of which there is an incised circle 
with central dot. There is a similar ridge connecting the shoulder 
with the elbow of the anterior legs, also forming a triangle deco- 
rated with a circle and dot. On the side of the bowl between the 
two pairs of appendages there are _ 

Fig. 36. Bird-efligy buwi. iXinimann collection 

incised triangles, a semicircular 
groove, and rows of pits. 

The globular bowl shown in 
plate Lxxix, (/, (/, one of the tincst 
as well as the most instructive in 
the whole collection, was obtained 
by purchase from Seiior Neu- 
mann," of Ponce. Porto Kico. Its 
surface has both relief and incised 
decollations. Seen from one side 
(figure 36) are two eyes in relief, 
over which are arched crescentic ridges that form the eyebrows. These 
ridges merge on the middle line and form between the eyes a low 
ridge, forming a nose that broadens slightly at the extremity, where 
there are two pits representing nostrils. There is no indication of a 
mouth; the evebrows, ej'es, and nose appear in view from above (see 
a'). On the sides of the bowl, behind the eyes, are two flat oval areas 
in low relief crossed by parallel lines, suggesting appendages, possibly 
feet. At the ends of these lines there are small pits, a mode of deco- 
ration found also on the larger areas of this specimen and common on 
other l)owls and decorated fragments of pottery. Opposite the head, 
at about the same distance from the opening of the jar as the head, is a 
broken tail, which, like the relief areas above mentioned, is crossed by 
parallel lines, each with terminal pits. Two half -oval regions, slightly 
raised in relief and situated between the tail and the legs, have pairs of 
parallel lines crossing one another about at right angles, the lines of 
each pair inclosing a row of shallow pits. The four triangular figures 

a Eduardo Neumann Gandia. Benefactores y lioinbres Notables de Puerto Rico, 2 vols.. Ponce, 1896. 


formed by this cross are occupied by parallel incised lines ending or 
alternating with shallow jiits. These two areas, bounded on one 
side by an incised groove surrounding the mouth of the Ijowl, are 
representations of wings. The }>owl may l)e interpreted as an effigy 
of a bird, the wings and tail taking the form of relief areas crossed by 
incised lines. 

One of the linest specimens of Antillean pottery in the whole collec- 
tion is figured on plate lxxx, a, «', and a". This object, purchased 
from Archbishop Merino, of Santo Domingo, has been described in 
the preliminary report of the expedition of that year. In its form 
this remarkable object is exceptional. When seen from the broad 
side («') it will be noticed that the specimen is flask-shaped, by reason 
of two lateral extensions, each resem))ling a human breast tipped 
with a nipple. Its neck is not unlike that of the l)ottle-shaped vessel 
already mentioned, and bears on one side a face with eyes, nose, and 
prominent ears in low relief. This neck is attached to the body of the 
flask with pitch, but it is not clear whether it was originally made in 
this waj^ or had been broken and later mended. The base is flat 
and circular. On the surface of the vessel, surrounding the nipple- 
like terminations of the lateral mammse, are incised grooves inclos- 
ing other crescentic lines, that are not continuous but broken by an 
interval, a "'life door," in which are two short parallel incised lines, 
a repetition of the characteristic mode of Antillean decoration to 
which reference has been made in preceding pages. 

The surface of this vessel is rough, showing evidences of former 
polish. The resemblance of the lateral extensions to mammae and of the 
neck to the male sexual organ suggests that this object may have a 
phallic meaning; but whatever its import, it is one of the most excep- 
tionall}' formed vessels yet found in the West Indies. 

The instructive and interesting bowl shown in 7> and h' was obtained 
in Santo Domingo by Mr Gabb. Although its form is almost 
spherical, it has a pronounced equatorial ridge and a neck well dif- 
ferentiated from the body. The sides of this vessel are decorated 
with two heads made in low relief and placed diametricallj' opposite 
each other, a shoi't distance below the neck. Each head is accompanied 
by raised figures representing hands with palms turned outward. 
Above the forehead are several ridges, forming a head ornament. 
This specimen may be regarded as one of the finest pieces of unt)roken 
pottery from Santo Domingo in the Smithsonian collection, and is of 
the type of several others, most of which exist only in fragments. 

There are two other bottle-shaped pieces of pottery in the Arch- 
bishop Merino collection from Santo Domingo, both of which bear 
faces in relief on the neck. Plate lxxx, <\ represents one of these. It 
is characterized by a globular form, and an angular equatorial elevation, 


its neck being .short and stumpy. The decoration on the surface of 
this bottle consists of three incised parallel lines, the inner one of 
which is broken, the interval being- occupied by pits. The face has 
nose, globular e^^es, and ears; the last named are prominent eleva- 
tions. The upper part of the ears is enlai'ged or perforated as if for 
the attachment of a cord, by which the bottle formerly may have been 
carried. The narrow lip of the bottle is separated from the neck by 
a slight constriction. 

Illustration d in the same plate i-epresents a bottle-shaped object 
flattened on two opposite sides, the neck being elongated above a head 
formed in relief, although clo.sel3' appressed to the body of the bottle. 
Eyes and mouth are deeply sunken in the face; the nose is low, not 
pi'ominent; the ears are lateral projections, with the upper and lower 
lobes indicated by depressions. The incised decorations on the body of 
this object are strikingly different from any yet described. On the 
right side they consist of broken lines separated at their ends by spaces 
in which are short depres.sed grooves. Some of these lines end in deeper 
pits; others are destitute of this character. On the left side this 
decoration consists of various figures among which an irregular triangle 
is conspicuous. The base is flat and circular, the surface rough except 
about the mouth of the Iwttle. 

Potter}- found in Santo Domingo often has a bottle or liask shape, 
as represented in a and o', plate lxxxi. This ol)ject. now in the Imbert 
collection at Puerto Plata, was ol)tained on the nortii side of the island. 
The main difference between it and the one next preceding consists in 
the presence in specimen a of a face in relief on one side of the neck. 
The nose, much enlarged, appears as a series of folds, separated t)y 
depressions, tilling the space between the eyes. The body of the 
flask has a pronounced angular form and a Hat circular base. In J> is 
represented a similar flask-shaped vessel of globular form, the eyes 
and mouth being in relief, and the ears showing on each side. The 
mouth of this vessel is bottlelike. Specimen c is a bowl, wliich, like 
the last, is from the Imbert collection. On opposite sides of the rim 
arise projections that are decorated on the inner surfaces with parallel 
incised lines terminating on one end in })its. Side and lower views of 
a fragment of a bowl in which appear the upturned head and limbs of 
a grotesque human lieing are shown in d and d' . The specimen from 
which this was drawn is now in the collection of Sefior Imbert, of 
Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo. 

A most instrut'tive piece of ethgy potter}', possibly a clay idol," was 
figured hy Pinart, who ascribed the ownership to Padre Bellini, of 
Santo Domingo. It is made of reddish-brown burnt clay, 19 cm. high 

« The early writers say that the Antilleans made their zruiis of clay as well as of stone, wood, metals, 
and cotton fabrics. 


:uid 12 cm. across the base, and is said tu have been found in a cave at 
the Rancho Viejo, situated between the cities Bam and Azua. The 
illustration shows a crouching- attitude, the arms crossed on the knees, 
the head covered with a kind of cap, and the ears with prominent 
ornaments. Pinart I'egards this specimen as the sole known object of 
its kind from the island of Santo Domingo. 

An examination of his illustration, which is not very clear, brings 
out, however, important points not mentioned in his description. The 
image is represented as seated on a stool of which two legs are shown 
and which may be identified as one of those aboriginal ilulios^ described 
later. From the shoulders extends a projection slightly flaring at the 
top, recalling a similar addition on wooden idols. 

This remarkable image seems not to have been described by other 
writers, and its present owner is unknown, which is to be regretted, 
as new and better figures accompanied with more detailed descrip- 
tions are much to be desired. We have, however, knowledge of 
another clay efiigy image from Santo Domingo which belongs to the 
same type. When the author first saw this latter idol or effigy vase 
he supposed that it was the same as that figured and described by 
Pinart, but later study and comparison of photographs of it with the 
illustration given by Pinart shows marked differences. This idol, 
plate Lxxxii, a. is now owned l)y Senor Desanglcs, a noted Dominican 
painter, who kindly permitted the author to examine it and to make 
the photographs and drawings reproduced in plate lxxxii. The speci- 
men is made of burnt clay, having a redtlish color and a smooth, 
unglazed surface. It represents a human figure seated on a stool with 
its head bent forward and the elbows resting on the knees. One of 
the legs of the image is broken; the other is entire and is shown in 
profile. Tiie head is surmounted liy a cap that is rounded above the 
face. The nose, eyes, and mouth are fairly well made. The body is 
curved and crouched forward, narrowing to the waist, the vertebraj 
and the ribs being realistically represented in relief. The arms are 
girt above the elbows with bands. The lower legs are swollen and 
show slight tubercles on th(> outer sides of the ankles. There is no 
indication of an extension from the neck or back above the head as in 
Pinart's specimen, a difference which readily distinguishes the two 
specimens. The whole surface is smoothly polished and is somewhat 
darkened l)y repeated handling, but still retains the original dark red- 
dish or brown color. Illustrations h. ,\ and d are representations of 
fragments of pottery from Nipe bay, Cuba, and show the striking 
resemblance between the ceramics of Porto Rico and those of the 
largest of the Antilles. These are fragments of jars or bowls, broken 
from the rims or sides. 

Several of the more striking clay heads in the collection obtained in 
Santo Domingo are figured on plate lxxxii. These, with the excep- 


tiou of .specimen //, are broken relief decorations of bowls or vases. 
It (/() has a body and limbs, and is not a mere head, the hands being 
represented resting- on tlie knees. Specimen e is a large fragment of 
a fiat bowl with relief ornamentation on the rim and a head in high 
relief. This figure likewise includes ai'ms with pits in the shoulders 
and in other jiortions of the body. Illustration / represents a claj' 
head olttained by the author in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, 
Santo Domingo. In ./', (7, and </ are represented necks of bottles 
bearing faces on one side. They are hollow, with an opening at the 
top. One tine specimen, much more elaborate than the others, has a 
polished surface and the features of the face are more than ordinarily 
well made. Several other specimens. ligures I'-m^ represented in 
plate i.xxxii, are necks of bottles or flasks adorned with laterally 
placed heads made in relief, the incised superficial decorations in each 
occupying the intervals l)etween these heads. Pits at the ends of 
these incised lines, a constant feature in Antillean incised decorations 
on pottery, are shown in 1/ and ;/'. 

The two dishes from Santo Domingo shown in plate lxxxiii, are 
fine specimens of Antillean pottery. Specimen (t is more highly con- 
ventionalized than specimen Ir, the latter has raised heads on the rim, 
surmounted by a projection ]irobiil)ly representing feathers. Both 
these sjiecimcns are ti'encher-shaped and were prol)al)ly used as platters 
for food. They reseml)le the dishes from caves in Jamaica, described 
and figured by Doctor Duerden and others. 

The aborigines of the Lesser Antilles, like those of Porto Rico and 
Haiti, were good potters, and tine specimens of their ware are found 
in St Kitts, Grenada, and Trinidad. The small island of Carriacou, 
near St Vincent, where there are said to be Carib cemeteries, has 
j'ielded instructive fragments of ceramic ware, some of which are 
among the finest yet recorded from tlie West Indies. 

Plate LXXXIII, (•-/', representing potteiy from St Kitts, gives an 
idea of vases, bowls, and platters from this island. The ware has a 
red color and a tine superficial polish and is decorated with incised 
lines filled with white pigment. As there are no effigy vases in this 
collection, it would seem that the makers relied more on painting 
than on relief figures for ornamentation. The texture, color, and 
forms of pottery differ somewhat from the Porto Kican variety, as is 
natural in art products of different races. 

Pottery from the island of Grenada is likewise a fine typical variety 
of red ware, varying in forms, but sometimes decorated with relief 
heads resembling those found in Porto Rico. It is naturally' allied 
closely to ceramics from Trinidad, specimens of which are figured in 
plate LXXXT. 

The Grenada pottery (pl-ate lxxxiv, a-f) is closelj' related to that of 
St Vincent, resembling fragments of heads from Carriacou, which are 


among the tinest West Indian ware that has yet come to the Smith- 
sonian Institution. While in their general character and relief deco- 
rations, these bowls or vases arc not far removed from the Porto Ilican, 
they have a specialized form that is distinctive and readily recognized. 
Plate Lxxxiv contains several heads made of clay covered with what 
appears to be a superficial slip or pigment which becomes red in firing. 
The vessels of which they were relief decorations must have have been 
exceptionally fine ones, ))ut no complete howl was obtained from the 
island of Grenada or from Carriacou. 

The g'eographical position of Trinidad — its contiguity to the main- 
land — links its fauna and flora to those of South America. There can 
be little doubt that the prehistoric culture of this island was identical 
with that of the banks of the Orinoco. Moreover, Trinidad, known 
to the natives as the "land of the humming bird," was the gateway of 
prehistoric migrations from South America to the Antilles. Archeo- 
logical evidences of the character of human culture on this island in 
prehistoric times are particularly important. 

There are several beautiful specimens of Trinidad pottery in the 
Victoria Institute at Port of Spain, two of which, through the kind- 
ness of the officers of that institution, were photogi'aphed and have 
been reproduced in plate lxxxv. These specimens are thus described 
in the appendix to Collens's Guide to Trinidad:" 

The discovei-y of some interesting Indian relics at Erin during the past month 
[May, 1888] is, although I had brought my work to an end, of sufficient importance 
to demand a brief notice. On the occasion of a recent visit of His Excellency Sir W. 
Robinson and suite to the southern quarter of the island, the Hon. H. Fowler, who 
was one of the party, observed a mound nf shells. Dismounting, a closer inspection 
revealed some pieces of rude jKittery, ami subsequent excavations by Mr A. Newsam, 
the warden, led to the unearthing of sume capital specimens, indicating beyond a 
doubt this had been the center, at some period m<jre or less remote, of an Indian 

The pottery is of two kinds, glazed and unglazed, the latter dating back to a time 
anterior to the discovery of the New World, for the art of glazing was unknown to 
the early Indians, nor is it likely that they became acquainted with it after the 
Spanish occupatifm. 

Mr. Fowler has very kindly placed at my disposal plate i, and I gladly jjuljlish it 
in my guide, as it may be of assistance in future investigations in Trinidad. I may 
add that Mr. Fowler himself collected in Honduras the objects depicted in plate r, 
and they indeed form the groundwork of a paper read before the Archaeological 
Society in London by Gen. Sir H. Lefroy, R. A., F. R. S., on the 3d of May, 1888. 

The explanation of the plate in Collens's Guide containing one of 
the objects photographed bj' the author (see also accompanying plate 
Lxxxv, 1), V , J"), is also instructive regarding the likeness of Trinidad 
aboriginal pottery to the Porto Rican. The illustrations that appear 
on the former plate are accompanied by the following explanation: 

Figure 1. A hollow stone, smooth in the concave part, forming a rude mortar. 
The Indians used a hard smooth pestle for pounding their seeds and grains. 

a London, 1888. 


Figures 2, 3, anu -i. Heads of animals in burnt clay, more or less grotesquely 
shaped. The eyes and mouth are often exaggerated, a few broad, bold lines serving 
to bring out the most striking features. In figure 4 the head of the monkey is fan- 
tastically crowned. All these are probably deities « or ornamental attachments to 
earthen vessels. 

Figure 5. A well-shaped squirrel. Perhaps a toy whistle. 

Figure 6. An earthen bowl in fine iireservation, about the size of an ordinary 
vegetal.)le dish. With the liil, which is unfortunately missing, there would doubtless 
be a good representation of a turtle; as it is, the bead and tail are clearly, and the 
limbs somewhat clumsily, shown. 

Of the specimens above described, that shown in h^ I' , //' is the 
only one tigured in this report, but different views of it are here given 
on uiconnt of its importance in t'omparative studies of Porto Rican 
material. Owing to the unusual ntiture of the decorations on its inte- 
rior surface, thei'e is added the illustration of a fragment (plate lxxxv, 
a), that is not described in the passage quoted above. This object is a 
platter of rough ware which, although broken, reveals enough of the 
decoration to show the general intent. It has the exceptional charac- 
teristic of being decorated on the inside surface, not on the exterior, 
the decoration consisting of figures in low relief alternating with 
scrolls and circles in intaglio. The rim of the platter bears rounded 
elevations that are decorated with incised circles. 

In It is represented the turtle-shaped vessel referred to as figure 6 of 
the above quotation. The three views of the object, from the side 
{h), from the top (//), and from the front {h"), bring out clearly the 
turtle form, especially well-marked in the head. 

In addition to ceramics, of various shapes and degrees of excellence, 
the Antilleans made many other objects of burnt clay, .some of which 
are represented in plate lxxxvi. Specimen a is a clay cylinder,* the 
surface of which is covered with geometrically arranged grooves and 
ridges. This object was probably used as a roller to imprint on other 
objects the figures it bears, as, for example, on clay vessels before 
they were fired. 

The circular cla}- stamp, both faces of which are shown, h and J', 
has circular grooves broken at certain points, similar to the charac- 
teristic geometric decorations already noted. The appearance of the 
reverse side (?/) suggests that it formerly had a handle (now broken) 
attached to the middle. 

Illustration e represents a stone object in the Latimer collection 
that was ligiu'ed by Professor Mason in his catalogue, to which refer- 
ence has been repeatedly made. On the side opposite that here 
figured there is a depression of rectangular shape extending toward 
the peripherj' from the central hole and .so .situated as to serve as a 
slot for attachment to a stick, suggesting that the object was part of 
an ancient spindle. 

a There is great doubt of the validity of this suggestion. !> Similar objects occur in Mexico. 


Shell and Bone Carvings 

Tho Porto Rican al)orig'ines were expert in ciii-vino- Vjone. Several 
beautiful specimens of their work are in the Smithsonian collection. 
They made also celts or chisels from shell and used bright nacreous 
shells for eyes for their idols. Shells were used also for beads and 
for bodkins and needles. Several carved-shell objects of unknown 
meaning and use are in the several collections that have been examined. 

On coral islands, like Barbados, where hard rock available for 
implements is scarce, shells almost wholly replace stone for imple- 
ments, and large collections of shell axes occur. The shell generally 
used for this purpose is the common conch, the lip of which is partic- 
ularly solid, often seniifossil. 

Specimen (/, plate lxxxvii, is a string of stone beads, to the end of 
which is attached a shell object of curved shape perforated for suspen- 
sion, and ornamented at both ends. This pendant was found in the 
bowl shown in a and a\ plate lxxvii. attached to a string of beads, 
and was evidently a mortuary offering. 

The object represented in c, plate i.xxxvii. is made of shell, but for 
a purpose that is not wholly evident. It was purchased in Santo Do- 
mingo in the Archbishop Merino collection. Illustration h represents 
shells that were excavated by the author from the tioor in the Cueva 
de las Golondrinas, and, although they are artiticially worked, their 
use is unknown. 

There is an ornament made of shell in the Imbert collection in the 
form of a carved plate, its surface decorated with an incised circle 
surrounded by triangles in the corners. 

The tinest example of Antillean shell and l)one carving in tlic Smith- 
sonian collection, obtained from Archbishop Merino, is a manati rib 
with a figure cut on the handle, the only one of its kind known to the 
author. This specimen is represented in a side view in plate i.xxxvii, d. 
The shape of the shaft practically follows that of a rib, flat on the 
concave, rounded on the outer side. The edges and the end opposite 
the handle are rounded. 

One edge of this object is stained green throughout its length, 
probal)ly by guano or other chemical agents in the floor of the cave where 
it was formerly buried. The most remarkable example of carving 
is in the handle, where there is a representation of a kneeling- figure 
bent slightly backward to conform with the natural curvature of the 
rib. When seen from the side, it will be noticed that the right arm is 
flexed forward, bringing the hand to the breast, and that just below 
the shoulder there is an ornamented armlet. The legs have small 
tubercles on the outside of the ankles and ornamented anklets. The 
forehead is much flattened, the ears are prominent, the eyes large and 
circular. The front view {d') shows that the left hand is not bent to 


the breast, but extended to the abdoiiien, and that it is turned outward, 
with the fingers elosed on the pahus. The umbilicus and genitals are 
in evidence, and a projection on the head resembles a cap. 

The back view {d") shows little in addition to that already noticed 
except a backbone formed b}' a row of five rectangles, each with a 
central pit, corresponding to the vertebr;e. The soles of the feet 
appear on this side, and the toes, like the ringers, are turned backward 
over dei^ressions that represent the bottoms of the feet. The whole 
object is supposed to be a vomiting stick, one of those mentioned by 
Goniara and certain other early writers, that were used to help the 
priests to vomit before they entered the presence of their idols. 
Wooden sticks believed to have been used for the same purpose will 
be considered later. 

The object figured <?, from the Smithsonian collection, is likewise a 
fine example of Porto Rican shell carving. Although too small to lie 
worn, this object has the general appearance of a mask aiid may have 
been attached to the forehead. It was evidentlj- tied, or attached to 
some foreign object or used as a pendant, as the holes in the rim show. 
The face is well cut, eyes, nose, and especially the teeth, being care- 
fully done. The folds under the chin were evidently intended to 
represent appendages, as arms, all resemblance to which is hjst. 

Illustration/' represents a well-carved shell object, ac<iuired like the 
preceding, from Archbishop Merino. It is apparentl}- one of those 
amulets that warriors attached to their foreheads when they went into 
battle. Two parts are distinguishable — a shaft and a head, the latter 
being united to the former by a short neck. The mouth is large, with 
teeth well carved; the lips are small; the chin is absent. The nose is 
prominently curved, but of the tiat type elsewhere conuuented upon; 
the eyes are large, round, with orbits in which foreign objects were 
formerly cemented. The forehead is wanting; the ears are far back 
on the head. Seen from the front, the face is narrow and ears are 
prominent. The shaft is irregularly rectangular when seen in profile, 
and perforated and notched on top and front. The surface opposite 
the neck is very smooth. This is one of the finest known specimens of 
Antillean shell carving. 

Specimen </ also is a finely carved bone I'epresenting a seated figure 
with the hands on the knees. The back is plain and smooth, with a 
perforation for suspension just behind the narrow connection between 
head and body, a region that is not the neck but the lower jaw, upon 
which are markings representing the teeth. The eyes are shallow 
concave pits; the ears in prominent relief. There is a representation 
of a crown with feathei-s on the head. From comparison with other 
objects, and from the fact that the eye depressions have a rough 
surface, it is probable that gold nuggets were formerly inserted in 
these sockets to represent eyeballs. 
25 ETH — 07 13 

19-i THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [etii. ann. 25 


The iihorigiues of Porto Rico were essentially agriculturists and 
raised great quantities of manioc, the root of which was eaten after 
having- l)een ground and the poison extracted. The meal of this root, 
made into cassava bread, was the food of the islanders, as it was univer- 
sally used by the West Indian aborigines. Its use as a food is still com- 
mon among the poorer people, and the processes of maiuifacture now 
followed are practically the same as those employed by the prehistoric 
people, except that a metal plate has been substituted for the former 
frying stone, and the implement used in grating the root is now made of 
iron instead of wood. (Jassava meal and bread are still sold in market 
places all over iSanto Domingo and in Porto Rico, and cassava sieves 
and strainers are oltjects in common use. \o aboriginal cassava 
graters have been collected in Porto Rico, but a few were seen in col- 
lections in Santo Domingo, and there is every pi-obability that these 

im])lements had practi- 
cally the same form in 
the two islands. Senor 
Desangles of Santo Do- 
mingo has one of these 
ancient cassava graters, 
and there is another 
owned b}^ Senor Cam- 
biaso. of the same city. 
The Smitlisonian Insti- 
tution has another speci- 
men from Haiti. 

These graters were Hat 
or slightly curved boards, sometimes having liandlcs, with the surface 
covered with sharp stones, often set in geometrical figures, fastened 
by means of vegetable gums. It is said that stone graters were some- 
times used, but none of these exist in the collections examined, 
although thei'e are rubbing stones without attached sharp stones that 
may have served the same purpose as the more ornamental graters. 


Mr Yunghannis of Bayamon, near San Juan, Porto Rico, has in his 
collection a stone object which shows good evidence that it was attached 
to a staff and carried in processions or dances. 

This unique specimen, figure 37, represents a bird without legs, but 
with head and well marked wings. It has a flat, slightly curved base 
and was apparently bound to a stick hy strings passing through holes 
near the rim, as is shown in the figure. 



The nature of the dancino- sticks .still used in mortuary dances by 
the Indians of Guiana may be learned from im Thurn, who figures one 
of these dance sticks with an effigv of a quadruped attached to one 
extremity. The same author states that "the Ackawoi have one 
dance in which each of the performers represents a different animal, 
and each carries a stick on which is the figure of that animal."" He 
likewise speaks of these dance sticks as "tipped with rude and painted 
images of some bird, fish, or animal." 

There is every probability, since the resemblances lietween the abo- 
rigines of Porto Rico and those of the mainland of South America 
were linguistically and otherwise very close, that the mortuary custom 
of carrying sticks with attached figures or zeiiii.)^ existed likewise on the 
island, and that many of the stone images which show unmistakable evi- 
dences of having been lashed to foreign objects were used for this 


Among the most remarkal)l<' specimens of wood carving from Santo 
Domingo are five curved sticks with elaborate handles cut on their 
ends, representing human beings. Figures of these objects, from 
sketches made by the author, are shown in plate lxxxviii, parts 1 
and 2. These sticks are now owned by Senor Jniljert, of Puerto Plata, 
who purchased them from a man that iuid found them in a cave with • 
the wooden idol later described. 


Plate Lxxxix, h and //, shows fairly well another of the many 
forms of wood carving of the alH)rigiiies of Santo Domingo and 
Porto Rico. They represent two difierent views of the head of a 
ceremonial baton collected in Santo Domingo by Mr W. M. Gabb and 
now preserved in the Smithsonian collection. What animal is repre- 
sented is unknown, but it would appear to have a long tail like a lizard 
and a snout resembling that of a nuunmal. The remarkable feature in 
this figure is the representation of a i)ird on the crown of the head. A 
nearer examination of this efiigy reveals a strong resemblance to the 
stone bird above figured (figure 37), in the collection of Mr Yunghannis. 
The position of the bird on the crown of the head of another animal, 
and its likeness to a stone bird showing evidences of having been lashed 
to another object, add weight to the belief that some of the stone images 
were tied to the crowns of the heads of those taking part in dances or 

a Among the Indians of Guiana, p. 324, London, 1883. 

196 THE ABORIGINES OF POKTO RICO [etii. anx. 25 


Small idols or amulets, as has been already mentioned, are said to 
have been tied to the foreheads of warriors when they went to battle, 
but it is not impossible that some of the larger idols may have been 
attached to the top of the head in mueh the same wa^' that this l^ird 
figure is represented on the head of a four-legged animal carved on the 
end of the stafl' shown in plate lxxxix. 5, V . 

In a of this plate is represented a carved stick purchased from 
Seiior Neumann and said to have been found in Porto Rico. This 
object is not helieved by the author to have been made liy the prehis- 
toric aborigines of Porto Rico, but the incised work on the crook and 
upper part of the handle is thought to be Antillean. The lines clearly 
show the use of a steel knife or other metallic implement introduced 
by Europeans, while the cutting of the ferules and grooves point the 
same way. The object in cpjestion was probably an Indian planting 
stick or dibble, called by the aborigines a coa, but not necessarily 
made before the advent of the Spaniards. 

The wooden turtle shown from the side and the back in plate xc, 
a and «', collected by ^Ir F. A. Ober, is a fine specimen of the Antil- 
lean wood carving. Mr Ober speaks of this object in his Aborigines 
of the West Indies, as follows: 

In this connection I may be pardoned for alluding to my own "finds," in these 
islands, some one hundred .sjiecimens having been sent by me to the Government 
Museum at different times. One of the most unique was a figure of a tortoise, carved 
from hard wood, which was found by me in a cave near .'^t Vincent in 1878. 

When seen from the side, the head of this turtle appears to extend 
considerably bej'ond the plastron and carapace and its throat and sides, 
especially behind the eye sockets, are covered with a carved imitation 
of scales, consisting of a series of incised lines crossing one another. 
On the top of the cai'apace rise two prominences, which, as can be seen 
in the back view, are pierced with perforations that extend through 
the body. When we examine the back of this turtle (ff), we not only 
find the two perforations above mentioned, but also discover that the 
surface of the carapace is decorated with incised lines, ridges, and 
ovate figures. The fore and hind limbs of the animal appear in this 
view as prolongations from the sides of the body, extending a short 
distance beyond the rim of the carapace. The animal's nostrils are 
represented by shallow pits on the upper side of the pointed snout. 
Whether this image was an idol or an amulet is not clearly deter- 
mined, but the two ventro-dorsal perforations suggest that it was tied 
to or suspended from some other object, po.ssibly attached to some 
part of the human head or body or worn as an amulet. Stone turtles 
are known in one or two collections from the West Indies, but they 


ai'e not perforated and were probably idols rather than fetishes. From 
the statement that the wooden turtle was " found in a cave near St 
Vincent" a locality not clearly deiined, this object may be associated 
with Caril) people, who were the last aborigines to inhaliit the Lesser 
Antilles, l)ut it may have been made by an antecedent race wliich these 
people replaced. 

The following legend of the origin of the turtle is recorded by Ramon 
Pane : 

Caracaraccil going into the house of Aiamavaco asked some cazzabi of him, which, 
as lias been said, is bread. He clapt liis hand on his nose, and threw on him a 

Guanguaio, full of Cogilia, which he hail made that day After this, 

Caracaracol returned to his brothers, and told them what had happened to him with 
Baiamanicoel, and the stroke he gave him on the shoulder with the Guanguaio, and 
that it pained him very much. His brothers look'd upon his shoulder, and perceiv'd 
it was much swollen which swelling increased so much that he was like to die. 
Therefore they endeavored to cut it open, and could not; but taking an instrument 
of stone, they opened it, and out came a live female tortoise; so they built their house, 
and bred up the Tortoise. 

One of the finest examples of Antillean wood carving known to the 
author was seen in the city of Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo. It 
represents a serpent. The lateral view of this object (plate xc, b) 
shows the ornamentation of the body and head. The wooden serpent 
has a single coil and is made from one piece of hard black wood, 
the head and most of the body being decorated with incised circles, 
triangles, and parallel lines. The arrangement of these decorations 
may be seen on examination of the illustration, reproduced from a 
hurried sketch made bv the author a short time before leaving Puerto 
Plata. The end of the tail is smooth and mucii flattened, but the 
whole surface of the belly is carved to indicate a series of overlapping 
scales, beginning at the tliroat. Pieces of gold, shell, or some precious 
stones were evidentl}^ inserted into the eye sockets, where tliere 
still remain fragments of the material by which thej' were attached. 
Along the back of the image there is a row of five incised circles, the 
first of which is situated on the upper part of the head. This speci- 
men could not be purchased by the author, but it is to be hoped that 
it may be acquired later by some museum, where it can be examined 
by ethnologists and more detailed drawings of it published. 

The early writers speak very explicitl}' of the use of wooden idols 
by the aborigines of Haiti and, as several of the objects have been 
preserved to the present day. and are available for stud\-, we can 
form an idea of their form and general appearance. So far as the 
author knows there is no wooden idol of the Borinquenos in existence; 
but, as the culture of prehistoric Porto Rico was similar to that of 
Haiti, we may reasonably suppose their idols were similar. Wooden 
idols from Jamaica, Turks island, and Cuba are known. In general 


features there is a remarkable uniformity in these idols, which natu- 
rally supports the inference that those of Porto Rico could not have 
differed very greath" from objects of this kind in the other West 
Indian islands. 

These idols ai'e, as a rule, made from single pieces of wood, as the 
legends state, either a log, root, or branch, in no instance of two parts 
united. Although many of them are now partially eaten away 
by white ants or other insects, rendenng their surfaces rough, the 
indications are that they were once smooth and covered with a super- 
licial varnish or paint. The majority are made of very hard wood, 
but one or two are of soft wood, such as is easily worked with stone 

These wooden images are generally found in caves or other places 
where they were best protected from destruction and where ancient 
rites and ceremonies were probably held. Considering the time that 
has elapsed since they were in use, it is remarkable that many of them 
are so well preserved. It is not certain that all of the smaller wooden 
idols are Antillean. 

Idols were brought to America from Africa when negro slaves were 
imported to replace the Indians who had succumbed to the cruel treat- 
ment of the Spaniards. The author has a photograph of one that 
closely resembles the wooden idols from Easter island. Similar images 
were known to have been carried to the guano beds on the Peruvian 
coast by enslaved Easter islanders, and one of these idols may have 
come by the same means to the West Indies. 

The author has not seen the three wooden idols (jilate i.xxxviii, 
part 1, g,Ii) from Jamaica that will first ))e considered, but finds the 
original figures and descriptions of them by Doctor Duerden" so 
instructive that he quotes theretrom at length, as follows: 

In the last number of the Journal [of the Institute of Jamaica, 1896] is a facsimile 
reproduced on the previous page, of an engraving in .\rch;eologia (1803) of three 
Jamaica wooden images in the British Museum. With regard to these the editor 
supplies the accompanying details: "In 1799 they were exhibited at the .Society of 
Antiquities, London, and the following account appears of them in the appendix to 
"Archicologia," vol. 14, 1803, p. 2H9, April 11, 1799. 

Isaac Alves Rebello, esq., F. A. .S., exhibited to the society three tigure.s, supposed 
to be of Indian deities in wood, found in June, 1792, in a natural cave near the sum- 
mit of a mountain, called "Spots," in Carpenters .Mi luntam, in theijarishot Veve '' in 
the island of Jamaica, by a surveyor in measuring the land. They were discovered 
placed with their faces (one of which was that of a bird) toward the east. 

In commenting on the figurines, Doctor Duerden calls attention to 
the presence of constrictions on legs and arms and quotes Doctor 
Chanca's letter referring to a habit of the natives of the island of 

a Aboriginal Indian Remains in Jamaica, Journal o/t/if Jnstitntr of Jamaica^ vol. 2. no. 4, July, 1897; 
Jamaica Wooden Imafffs in tlle British Museum, ihid., no. 3, ls9tj. 
&Carpenlers mountain is now Ineluded in the county of Manchester, created in 1870. 


Guadeloupe of weaiini^' "two bunds of woven rotton.the one fastened 
iuound tlie knee and the other around the ankle; hy t\w means they 
made the calf of the leg large and al>ove-mentioned parts very sTuall." 
Both Doctor Duerdenand Professor Mason have pointed out the pres- 
ence of these bands in the wooden idol figured by tiie latter. 

^Vhen the images from Jamaica are compared with others it is 
found that the former present several significant characteristics, one of 
which is a wooden canopy over the head suggesting similar append- 
ages in certain wooden idols from Santo Domingo. This canopy may 
be either an extensit)n from the head or mounted on a s]jecial sup- 
port free therefrom. Apparently the first of these images is repre- 
sented as seated on a rudely carved stool, or dului. Anothei' of these 
Jamaica wooden images, that with a bird's head (plate i.xx.wiii. part 
1,/'). differs completely from others; it is to l)c hoped that, on at'count 
of their exceptional forms, some ethnologist may pul)lish later moi'e 
detailed descriptions of these t)bjects. 

One of the best-known wooden idols from the West Indies is owned 
by Sefior R. A. Imbert, of Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, who has 
one of the tinest collections of Indian objects from the island, which 
he has generously permitted the author to study, afl'ording every 
opportunity to take notes and make photographs. This wooden idol 
is represented in plate xc, c-c" . 

In Sefior Imbert's manuscript catalogue of his collection is an ac- 
count of this idol of which the following is a translation: 

No. 16. Wooden Indian idol found in a cave in Loma Sucia, near Ysabella, hy 
Juan Pedro Villaman, and obtained in 1899 by R. A. Imbert. Thi,? idol is made of 
guacan wood; measures 86 centimeters from the cap to tlie helmet. Tlie upper part 
of the helmet appears to have served for sacrifices or for burning resins. On the 
back part of the head one notes a liole tliat appears to indicate tliat the idol was a 
sjieakin}! image, like either the Mexican or those of the ancient Egyptians. Half 
the teetli are similar to a piece of shell of the plastron of a turtle, the other half 
could not be found. Cavities which form the eyes are full of resin, and one can 
likewise see in them some fragments of a marine shell that adheres to the resin. In 
certain regions of the idol one can see a thick varnish that protected the whole of 
the <;)bjeet. Everything indicates that this idol was imported from the north or was 
made by a race more advanced than that which Columbus found in the island of 
.Santo Domingo in 1492. W all events the object was made anterior to the epoch of 
the discovery. 

The Imbert idol represents a half-seated figure of large proportions, 
the head well sculptured, the arms and legs fi-ee, the hands resting on 
the knees. The head is surmounted by a mushroom-shaped wooden 
canopy, and the base of the idol is enlarged into a kind of pedestal. 
The whole surface of the image appears to have tieen covered origi- 
nally with a black glaze of a resinous substance that still adheres to the 
surface in several places, although the exterior, especially the base, 
is now considerablv worn and eaten bv ants or other insects. The 


eyeballs have lieen removed, l»ut it is evident from fragments in the 
resin which still adheres to their sockets that thej^ were made of shell 
and have been torn from their former attachments. The chin, face, 
and breast show the least wear, the varnish in these regions being 
black and glossy. One-half of the mouth is occupied by a piece of 
shell, upon which are carved the teeth; the othei- lialf shows only a 
comparatively deep cavity and is destitute of inserted shell. There is 
a cavitj' within the head with an opening at the back with which a tube 
once apparently communicated. This image may well be considered 
one of those idols that the Indians consulted for oracular purjjoses and 
from which they are said to have received responses. 

Probably the priest who gave these replies was concealed somewhere 
near and spoke tiirough a tube that conmuuiicated with the cavity 
of the head. In some of the early writings it was said that on one 
occasion the Spaniards, having destroyed an image and its parapher- 
nalia, detected and exposed a deception of this kind. 

Few specimens of these idols with hollow heads exist in collections, 
although it is probable that some of the known stone masks, especially 
those with perforated mouths, may have been heads of similar images. 

One of the mast complicated wooden idols from the West Indies 
is shown in a and a' , plate xci; this was first described and figured by 
Professor Mason, who writes: 

This carving rejirei-ents two individuals seated on a canopied cliair. Tlie wliole 
thing is interesting to the highest degree. The chair has a high l)ack urnaniented 
with scrolls and concentric rings. Both individuals have embroidered skullcaps, 
the nearest ajiproach to which are the basket-work, close-fitting embroidered hats of 
the Indians of the Great Interior Basin of the United States. The ears, much dis- 
tended, are to be looked for. The most noteworthy feature, however, is the bands 
of embroidered cotton just above the calves. In his second voyage, cruising among 
the Caribbee Islands, Columbus came on the 10th of November, 1493, to Santa Cruz 
Island. Here he had a fight with some natives in a dugout and wounded some of 
them. The hair of these savages was long and coarse, their eyes were encircled 
with paint so as to give them a hideous expression, and bands of cotton were bound 
firmly above and below the nmscular part of the arms and legs so as to cause them to 
swell to a disproportioned size. (Irving's Columbus, i, 333.) Height, 31 inches. 

Professor Mason accompanied his description of this idol with two 
good figures that have been repeatedly copied b\' later writers. The 
two new figures of the idol under consideration are reproduced from 
the original, one {a') a view from the side and the other one (<i) from 
the front, showing certain features not clearly brought out in previous 

In its general form and ornamentation the stool on which these fig- 
ures are seated resembles the Antillean seats called duhos, specimens 
of which fi'om Turks island and Santo Domingo are mentioned later 
in this report. This seat was once elaborately decorated, especially on 
the back, where parts of the former ornaments are still clearl3' seen. 


It must not necessarily lie supposed that the nativ'es drew up their 
legs in the way shown in the wooden idols occupying these stools, for, 
owing to the small size of these seats, such a position would have been 

These figures were uudoul)tedly idols worshipped by the aborigines 
of the island upon which they were found. They probably stood in 
niches in caves or in special houses dedicated to them. 

The twinning of idols in one figure recalls .statements of early 
autiiors that the great deity of the Haitians had two attendants to do 
her bidding. The author of this paper has referred to a twin amulet 
from Santo Domingo and has heard of an image of clay composed of 
two united idols. All these figurines evidently represent the same or 
a very similar conception in Antillean mythology. 

The wood of which this idol is made is so eaten in parts by insects 
that its surface is riddled with holes and has l)een so exposed to the 
elements that anv varnish or resin with which it was once covered has 
almost whollj' disappeared. 

It is not known whether another idol formerly stood on the raised 
cauop3' above the twin figures; if so, it may have represented the 
great Earth Mother of the Haitians, mentioned earlier in this report, 
who is reputed to ha\e had two scr\'ant gods. 

In his report on the (luesde collection. Professor Mason describes 
another wooden idol, shown in plate xci, h and 1/: 

A human figure carved from a single log of wood. The portions broken away render 
it impossible to tell how large the image was originally and what position the figure 
occupied. Especially noticeable are the ear plugs and the bands drawn tightly 
around the muscle of the arm. Length, 43 inches. 

These objects, according to Mr F. A. Ober, were found in a cave 
near the ruins of Isabella, the first city founded by Columbus, on the 
north coast of Santo Domingo. He writes: 

I saw the old negro who discovered them, some years ago, and he described their 
position and the great fright they gave him. . . . They were placed in a niche 
beneath an overhanging rock, at the entrance to a deep cavern, and doubtless they 
had remained for at least four hundred years — since the advent of the Spaniards — 
and how much longer no one knows. 

An examination of the last-mentioned wooden idol brings out .signifi- 
cant details. The canopy is here attached to the top of the head instead 
of arising, as in the twin idol, from the stool. The fillet over the fore- 
head is decorated with parallel incised lines that are broken at inter- 
vals, following a design constantly occurring in Antillean geometrical 
decorations. The ferrules surrounding the upper arm, resembling 
armlets, represent woven cotton bands. It is highly probable that 
in making this image the intention was to represent an animal's body 
witii a luuuan head. Its normal position is with the body, not upright, 
but slightly inclined, as indicated in the plate. This object is one of 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

those zemix to which reference is made in earlj' acfounts as having 
been made from a branch of wood or the trunk of a tree. 

Tlie author has tigured in his account of zeinls from Santo Domingo 
another wooden idol, figure 38, with a canopj' over tlie liead and an 
ornamental Ixind on the forehead. The arms are enlarged at the 
elbows, and the hands resemble feet, with their palms turned out- 
ward. This image stands on an enlarged base, l)oth idol and base 

beini>- cut out of the same log 

of wood. 


Duhos, or stools made of 
stone or wood, were common 
in the houses of the caciques. 
These objects, consisting of 
seats supported on four short 
stumpy legs, generally rep- 
resented animals, and a head 
was carved at the upper or 
lower end. The forelegs 
often had depressions in the 
shoulders, in which may have 
been inserted stones, shells, 
or nuggets of gold. The 
upper surface of the seat, 
especially the back, was some- 
times decorated with designs 
recalling those of collars and 
idols, consisting of spirals, 
circles, triangles, or parallel 

These stools were probably 
used both secularly and cere- 
monially, serving at times as 
seats of honor in the house of 
the caciques, who themselves 
occupied dulios on state occasions. The dead were often placed upon 
similar seats," and certain clay images already described had imitation 
diihos, as has been pointed out. The great care given to the decoration 
of stools shows how highly they were esteemed. 

A few specimens of these seats have been found in Poi-to Rico, among 
which mav be mentioned one now in ^Nhiyaguez and another in San- 
turce. The Smithsonian collection has two from this island, and two 
from Turks (Caicos) island (plate xciii). 

Fig. 38. Wooden idol, Santo Domingo. 

o Dr Liborio Leida, Eldorado: Mummified Body in Cist. See im Thiirn, Timehrl, i, 271. 




The tirst mention nf tlic u-e by the West Indians of chains of state 
Ofcurs in the diary of Columbus " published by Las Casas. Rodriguez 
de Xeres and Luis de 
Torres, the latter fa- 
miliar with the He- 
brew, Chaldean, and 
Arabic languages, 
were sent by the 
admiral to visit an 
Indian town in Cuba 
and interview the 
ruler, supposed to be 
the ( J r a n d K h a n , 
whose territory' Co- 
lumbus thou.ylit he 
had discovered. This 
embassy penetrated 
1:^ leagues inland and 
visited a village of 
about 50 houses, 
where it was received 
with great solemnity 
by the natives and 
escorted into one of 
the largest houses of 
the pueblo. The In- 
dian chiefs took the 
envoys bj* the arms 
and led them to two 
seats, "sillas," in 
which they sat, while 
the natives occupied 
seats about the Span- 

Although in the 
account given by Las 

Casas the form of these seats is not mentioned, 
Herrera introduces the following: "Causing them 
[the Spaniards] to sit down on seats made of a solid 

«The original of Columbus's diary of his first voyage is now lost, but it was printed 
by Navarette, Coleccion de los Viajes y descubrimientos que hioieron por ear los 
EspanolcB desde fines del siglo xv, 159-313, and by Las Casas. Coleecion ini^dita 
eg para servir por la Historia de Espana, Madrid, 1842, It has frequently been 
republished, as, for instance in Slonte y Tejada's Historia de .Santo Domingo, 
Doctor Cronau'.s Amerika, and numerous other works, where the text of Las Casas 
is often somewhat abridged. Las Casas apparently had the original copy, for he 
repeatedly notes "the admiral says," as if quoting from the manuscript itself. For 
references to the Indians whom Columbus saw in his second voyage, see Andros Bernaldez, History 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the letter of Doctor Chanca to the Municipal Corporation of Seville. 


piece of wood in the shape of a beast with very short legs and the tail 
held up. the head Ijefore, with eyes and ears of gold." As Professor 
Mason has shown, the wooden seats which were sent to the National 
Museum by Mr Gabb "are facsimiles of those spoken of by Herrera." 
It is probable that the stools or seats were chairs of state and that the 
two Spaniards, })eing regarded as supernatural personages, were led 
to these seats on that account. These du/iox were regarded in a way 
as sacred and were highly prized, although, according to Herrera, 
sometimes given to the Spaniards as tribute. 

Many references to the use of seats called tureys among Orinoco and 
other South American tribes might be cjuoted from early writings, 
but one or two will be sufficient to show their similarity to those of 
the West Indian aborigines. Gumilla writes of the Guayquiries, one 
of the poorest of the Orinoco tribes, which since his time has disap- 
peared, that their houses had no furniture except hannnocks, and seats 
"roughly made of solid logs of wood and called turryx.'' " 

Mr im Thurn mentions the use by the Indians of Guiana of similar 
wooden seats and points out their resemblance to those used l)y the 
aborigines of the West Indies. He thus describes these wooden stools 
of the Guiana Indians:* 

Next in importance among the wooden articles made and nsed by the Indians are 
the low seats or benches common in their houses, which are also hewn in spare 
moments from solid blocks of wood. The very desirable object of these seem to be 
to raise the hams of the Indian, when sitting, out of the reach of the jiggers which 
usually abound on the floors of the houses, and are painful enough when they enter 
the flesh of the feet, but are far more inconvenient in other parts of the body. These 
benches are from 6 to 10 inches high, and they are often so carefully scfifiped out and 
shaped to fit the body of the sitter that they are as comfortalile as any cushioned 
stool could be. They are often formed into grotesque figures nf tortoises, frogs, arma- 
dillos, alligators, and other animals. One in the Christy collection, which, though 
not from Guiana, is Carib, is in the form of a man on all fnurs, the miilille of the back 
forming the seat. Bright-coU^red seeds, and occasionally jiebliles, are inserted to 
represent the eyes. 

The duhos or tu7't<ys, h\ both of which names the aboriginal seats or 
stools were designated by the aborigines of Porto Kico. were of two 
types, one flat and stool-like, without back, but horizontal with short, 
stumpy legs, the other having a curved back, rounded to tit the body, 
also with stumpy legs, and commonly with a carved head on the 
lower rim. 

The first type (plate xcii) is always made of stone and has been con- 
sidered a kind of metate upon which seeds, pigments, or even maize 
were ground. This consists of a slightly concave stone slab of small size, 
genei'ally having scanty decoration, but always with legs. One of these 
objects is represented from thiee sides in plate xcii, a. a', a" . The 

"This same word is applied at present by the country people of Porto ilico to a characteristic chair 
that is still used among them. 
(>,\mong the Indians of Guiana, p. jys, London, 1883. 


author ha.s seen two .speciiDeiisof this type in rorto Kico. One of tlio 
best specimen.s of the type i.s owned by the well-known historian and 
teacher. Senor Cayetano Coll y Toste, of Santurce. 

The other kind of stone t/u/io from Poi'to Rico i.s represented in 
b and //'. wliirh show one of these ol)jects from side and front. In the 
side view, h, it is seen that the specimen has si low. curved back, remind- 
ing one of a hannno< k, crescentic form, short leys, and a turtle-shaped 
head. Such an object naturally calls to one's mind, as it did to that 
of the embassy sent ))y Columbus to the interior of Cuba, an animal 
of some unknown, but bizarre, form. The carving, well brought out 
in //. is liest seen on the back and consists of a rectangular figure in 
which is an incised ring with a central pit and a scroll on each side. 
The head on the lower edge reminds one of a turtle. One lower corner 
of the stone is broken; the other is occupied by a tiipperlike extension, 
on which are parallel incised lines representing the toes. 

This specimen is thus described by Professor Mason: 

It is ii thin and deeply sajjged slalj of grayish sandstone and ^tands on four sliort 
legs. At tlie less elevated end three projections are neatly earved to reijresent the 
head and forefeet of a turtle. The eyes are deeply sunken, as if for the insertion of 
pearls or jewels. The higher end is abruptly elevated about six inches, and is 
crossed by a band ornaniented with a scroll, which occurs with certain modifications 
on other objects. There is a decided warping or in the upper surface, the orna- 
mentation of which, as suggested l:)y Doctor Ran, renders the idea of its having been 
a metate doubtful. 

The duhu.y with high backs, whether of stone or of wood, may be 
divided into two types. In the tirst type there is a head carved on 
the upper end of the back (plate xciii, <(-<("), with a representation of 
sexual organs, in place of a head, on the lower edge or front margin 
of the seat. In this type the figure is represented as lying on its 
back, the concave portion being the abdominal region. Two speci- 
mens of this type are known, one of which, made of stone, is in 
the Guesde collection, the other " («-«"), made of wood, is now 
owned 1)y the heirs of Doctor Llenas, of Santiago de los Caballeros. 
The second type of liigh-backed duhos {h-d) represents an animal 
in a reversed position as compared with the first. The concave part 
represents the back; the head is carved on the lower or front 
margin of the seat, and the upper end of the back has nn head, but 
resembles more closely the fiattened tail of some animal. "Whereas 
the two objects of the first type ha\e a decidedly hianan cast of coun- 
tenance, those of the second, in most instances, are more like turtles. 
This latter type is also made both of .stone and of wood. Three 
specimens of this type are mentioned and figured by Professor Mason, 
and there are two in Santo Domingo, one each in the Im))ert and 
Desanofles collections. 


A remarkable stone duho^ figure 40, is figured and described by 
Professor Mason in liis catalogue of the Guesde collection: 

A stone stool or chair of the variety mentioned and ilhistrated in the Smithson- 
ian Report, 1876, page 376. The material of those there described, however, is 
either sandstone or wooii. and the device is some animal form. In Mr Guesde's 

specimen the material is a dark-brown 
volcanic stone and the device is the hu- 
man form. Moreover, the position is in- 
verted. The man is lying on his back 
with his feet drawn up to form the legs of 
the stool. His arms, without any attempt 
at accuracy of delineation, are doubled 
on his neck. The eyes and mouth are 
like the .same features in all aboriginal 
statuary, and beautiful shells were doubt- 
less inserted in them. The ears have 
large openings, in which were inserted 
plugs of W'Ood, stone, shell, or feathers. 
The legs of the chair, just beneath the 
man's shoulders, are mere projections 
". from the stone. The markings in the 

\ \ head and forehead are quite tastefully 

-% designed. The back does not slope up- 

'£■ -^'^ ward as much as in the Latimer speci- 

S ' \ mens. . . . Length, 16 inches; width, 

« ■'. ^\ inches; height of head, 6J inches; of 

^- '■ feet, 2 to 'A inches. 


^^:.; > V. ;■ :: -^ Au exaniinatiou of a wooden 

.?j:. ■" :..::■■■'-:,■ ■.'■'•^^ seat (plate xciii, «-«"), owned by 

-■/ ' V' ■]"'■'- ^''■''''^''':'''' 0d-- ^'^1^ I'lt® Doctor Llenas shows a 

;.;; similar head on the upper end of 

-%\ the back, arms at the side, but no 

S; :-:%' indication of a head on the lower 

X?. end. It belongs to the same type 
%::'■' y^^ ^ as the preceding, where the curved 

%;:,.; surface represents the abdominal, 

5; ^SS;^v:,. , V \; ■ {;V|:.: " not, as in other wooden or stone 

T? ; ■ -Siv-vv- : ■• duhos, the dorsal region. This 

0,,,, i' i .,^ .specimen is one of the best wooden 

% 'f 'sftMii^'Kisiis I ;'/ seats seen by' the author, and is 

exceptional in having a head cut 
on the end of the back. This 
head has eyes, mouth, and ears 
well represented and is ornamented on the back {a") with incised 
circles, triangles, and straight lines. Unlike some of the other 
dii/ios, it is a comfortable seat and is in a good state of preservation. 
Attention is called to the small tubercle on or near the ankle of 

Fig. 40. Stone duho (from Mason i. 


each fi'oiit foot, a feature that has already been noted in considering 
some of the wooden idols. 

Plate xciii. //, represents another duh<> from Santo Doming'o, now 
owned by Senor Imbert of Puerto Plata. This stool, like the one 
next precediiiL''. has a larye head, which, is situated, however, on the 
lower end between the fore legs; its back is lower, the curve being an 
arc of a greater circle. The surface of the upper end of the back has 
no decoration, but on the side, at the point </, there is a spiral geo- 
metrical ornament that is enlarged in h' . The resemblance of this 
object to an animal with a human head is pronounced; its likeness to 
a seat more distant. 

Another specimen of dnJia {<■) from Turks (Caicos) island, is thus 
referred to bv Professor Mason: 

Professor William it. (iabb has sent to the National Mnsenm, with the joint com- 
pliments of himself and ^Ir I). K. Frith, of Turk's and Caicos islands, two wooden 
stools, facsimiles of those spoken of hy Herrera. . . These ohjects are made of 

a very hard dark wood, and are just fitted to an ordinary man when reclining as 
in a hammock, from which the pattern of a stool is possibly derived. These two 
specimens were found in a cave. 

Representations of this stool, taken from Professor Mason's report, 
are to be found in iJ. They show that these specimens are very sim- 
ilar to those found in Santo Domingo and have like superficial orna- 

Professor Mason, in his catalogue of the Gnesde collection, thus 
describes still another wooden dulio, the third which he figures: 

A low wooden stool from Turk's island, collected liy the late W. I\L (Tabl>. This 
form is similar to those described in a previous pulilicatiini, and referred to )jy the 
historians of Columbus. The ornamentation of the countenance of the human head 
are [is] liest shown in figure 202" [Mason]. The labyrintlnne design of the seat 
ornament, the scrolls, lozenges, and chevrons in the head ornaments are most praise- 
worthy. Lengtli, 46 inches. 


The prehistoric West Indians were essentially a maritime people, and 
the insular Carib at the time of Columbus navigated from island to 
island with the greatest ease, using canoes which carried many men. 
So extensive were their voyages that there was probably not an 
island in the whole West Indies which they did not visit. 

The sea voyages extended over 24 degrees of longitude, from Cape 
San Antonio, the extreme western end of Cuba, to South America. 
Martinique, which was a Carib island, is situated almost as far from the 
Florida Keys as Ke3' West from Eastport, Maine, and the distance 
from Guanahani, the landfall of Columbus, to the lesser Carib islands 
by sea, following the West Indies, is greater than the length of the 



[eth. a.n.v. 25 

whole eastern coast of the United States. Yet these ahoriaiiuil navio-a- 
tors made this long voyage, touching at island after island, extending 
their excursions to places situated farther from their homes than the 
Florida Keys are from New York. 

The natives had canoes of several kinds," which differed from one 
another in size and mode of construction. They navigated the inland 
waters and bays in small boats (figure 41), each of which would accom- 
modate one or two men, but the canoes in which they went to .sea were 
often large enough to accoiumodate a hundred or more persons. These 
canoes were manufactured by a people ignorant of .the use of iron or of 
any cutting instrument except of stone. The larger canoes they made 
in the following way: They first chose a large tree and built a fire 
about its base to kill it, leaving the tree standing, that the wood 
might season. They then felled the tree, which they hollowed out 
with coals of fire placed along the log, and by means of "hatchet or 
wedge of a very green stone." This stone, Charlevoix observes, had 

never been found on tiie 


I'IG. -H. Cauuo Ul'tJlii OVU'dn 

island, and the general opin- 
ion was that it came from 
the Amazon river. After 
the log had been hollowed 
out in this way by fire, sup- 
plemented by stone imple- 
ments, it was buried in moist 
sand and staves were wedged 
in l)otween the sides in order 
to spread them as much as the 
elasticity of the wood al- 
lowed. The two ends which 
were left open were then closed with triangular pieces of wood form- 
ing bow and stern. The log formed the bottom of the canoe, and 
the sides were built up with sticks and reeds, all fastened with fibers 
and pitched with gum to render the whole water-tight. These canoes 
were painted with bizarre figures and ornamented with carved images. 
In some cases they had awnings at one end. They were propelled 
by wooden oars (na/io.^) and are supposed by some to have had sails 
made of cotton cloth. The oar is said to have had a crosspiece at one 
end and a paddle at the other. 

o Doctor Chanra states that the Borinqiienos did not know how to navigate the sea. As compared 
with the Carib they were not a maritime people, but if tlieir ancestors came by way of tli^ sea 
tliey at least must have been intrepid navigators. Consult Dr Diego Alvarez Chanca, Letter to the 
Corporation of Seville (translation ). In this letter Chanca gives an account of Columbus's second 
voyage and his discovery of "Burenquen." Boriquen, or Porto Rico. This letter was copied by 
Martin Fernandez de Navarette (i. 198) from a codex in possession of the Kcal .\cadcmia de la 
Historia. written in the sixteenth century. The copy of the Chanca letter used by the author is 
the reprint in Coll y Toste's Colon en Puerto Rico. 


Although no specimen of an aborigcinal canoe is known to have been 
preserved to the present day, it is probable that the eanoes that put 
out to-daj" to the steamers, from Dominica and other islands, are to all 
intents and purposes of the same type, although not made in tlie same 
way. as the Carib canoes. One mav see on the Ozama river, near the 
capital of Santo Domingo, many canoes not wholly unlike those manu- 
factured in prehistoric times. Some of these modern canoes are of 
considerable size and are used to transport the produce of the interior 
of the island to the city. They may often be seen drawn up on the 
banks of th(> river near the old market place, surrounding the ancient 
ceilia tree, to which Columbus is said to have tied his boats. 

The hollowed logs of wood shaped like canoes that are still used in 
the Yuncjue mountain region of Porto Rico for transportation of ])ro- 
duce from the highlands to tlie plain may be survivals of ancient 
canoes, but in these no attempt is made to increase their capacity by 
building up their sides. There are reports that old Carib canoes have 
been found in caves of the smaller islands, but none of these ha\'e yet 
been seen oi- studied by ethnologists. 


The absence of stone arrow heads and spear points in all collections 
from the island of Porto Hico, frequently referred to by archeologists, 
argues that the bow and arrow were not used by the al)origines in war- 
fare on this island. We have historical evidence that the Carib and 
also some of the tribes on neighboring islands had spears, and Samana 
bay in Santo Domingo received from Columbus its former name 
from that fact. The main weapon of offense among the peaceful 
people was apparently a wooden club, uiacann, but on some occasions 
the natives armed themselves with their coas, or planting sticks, 
weapons wtich were not to be despised. The author has seen several 
specimens of wacanax, or war clubs, in Santo Domingo that were said 
to be aboriginal weapons. These are made of very hard wood and 
are sometimes knobbed at the end like a mace, sometimes smooth, not 
uidike the sticks called cocomacacs, still used by the Haitians. 

Although the wooden handles in which the petaloid celts were 
inserted have not yet been found in Porto Kico, there is every evidence 
that they were formerly plentiful and that they were similar in form 
to the one found in a cave on Turks island by Mr George J. (xiblis and 
illustrated by Professor Mason in tigure 12 of his catalogue of the 
Latimer collection. It is conjectured that these handles wei'e finely 
made and decorated on their ends and surfaces. The specimen referred 
to has a knot and traces of carving on the extremity opposite that to 
which the petaloid celt was attached. 

25 ETii— 07 14 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

It is proliahlo that a race capable of luakiiiy wooden stools of the 
fine character shown in specimens descri))e(l manufactured also many 
wooden implements and carved them with elaborate symbols. The 
beauty of carved wooden objects from. Haiti is connnented on by early 
chroniclers, especially those who i-ecorded the visit of the Spaniards 
to the realm of Queen Anacaona. 

Ceremonial paraphernalia, especially masks made of wood, are 
mentioned by the early writers. Few of these objects now remain. 
According to Doctor Cronau there is one in the capital of Haiti. 
Columbus received from a cacique a wooden mask with e^yes, tongue, 
and nose of solid gold. Although no specimen of wooden mask from 
Porto Rico has been preserved, from the similarity of the aborigines 

of this island to those of Hiuti and 
Jamaica it can hardly be doulited that 
the former, like the latter, were famil- 
iar with masks of wood. 

The West Indian islanders accom- 
panied their rhythmic ureitrm^ or 
dances, with instruments, among 
which may be mentioned bells," tink- 
lers, rattles, and drums. They had 
likewise a hollow calal)ash with notches 
cut on the exterior, which, when 
.scraped with a stick or stone, emitted 
a rasping, rhythmic sound for the step 
of the dance. A similar instrument 
is still used by street musicians in 
Porto Rico and othei' West Indian 

The aboriginal drum was made of a 
hollow log of wood, the form of which 
is shown in an illustration given in 
Oviedo. It is not unlikely that the drum employed in the African 
dances called hniulixs. when held in the West Indies may be directly 
derived from (his primiti\-e drum of the aborigines, although it may 
have been imported from Africa. 

Besides stone mortars and pestles the aborigines of the West Indies 
employed wooden implements for the same purpose. The shape of 
these wooden mortars was radically difl'erent from those of stone, 
and the wt)oden pestles are cylindi-ical, with a hand-hold midway in 
their length. 

Wooden mortars (figure 41'), apparently closel}' resembling those of 
the ancients, are common in some parts of the island, being used at 
the present day in grinding cotlee. They are probably direct sur- 

^ ilKii 


Fig, A'2.. Wooden morliir 

a The Antillean bells are said to have been made of wood. 


vivals of the Indiiin iniplements ha\ini;' a similar form, while tiie 
pestles still used have doulitless the same antiiiuity so far as their 
shape is concerned. Wooden mortars and pestles of the same form 
are mentioned by Gumilla as still u>ed by the Orinoco tribes, who 
employ them in grinding' corn or other seeds. They are widely dis- 
tributed over the whole of tropical South America. 

Gold Ob.jects 

The aborigines of Porto Rico, unfortunately for them, were ac- 
quainted with gold. They obtained it in the form of nuggets from 
the sands of the rivers which rise in the high mountains and flow into 
the Atlantic, especially at the eastern end of the island, where gold 
dust is still obtained in small quantities by most primitive methods. 

This gold was washed out in wooden pans, and nuggets were beaten 
into oi-naments or cemented to the ej'es, ears, and other parts of masks 
or the heads of their idols. The caciques wore flat plates of gold on 
their breasts, apparently as pendants, but not one of these escaped the 
greed of the Spaniards. They were traded for hawk liells made of 
base metal, which the Indians were glad to obtain in exchange. The 
precious metal was regarded by the natives in a more or less sacred 
light, and was never collected without preliminary fasts and purifi- 

Gold was used for a \iiriety of purposes besides ear or nose pend- 
ants. The cacique Guacanagari presented to Columbus a crown or 
headband of gold. The metal was employed not only in the decora- 
tion of masks, but also for adornment of other ceremonial objects, 
dance staves, and the like. The wooden seats cut in animal forms 
were inlaid with gold. 

On the return from his second voy^age Columbus held a formal 
reception at the Spanish court in which he decked out the Haitian 
cacique, Maniatex. brother of Caonabo, with a crown of gold which 
he had received from a cai'ique. and decorated his son with a chain of 
the same metal. The rest of the Indians are said to have carried gold 
masks, plates of the same material, and gold ornaments among which 
were beads as "large as nuts." Taking into account the general pov- 
erty of the Antilleans. it is probable that there was a considerable 
quantity of this metal in the possession of the natives at the time of 
the discovery, but all of this was greedily collected by the Spaniards, 
melted into bullion, and carried to Europe, so that in the vai'ious col- 
lections of antiquities there is not a single gold object of Indian manu- 
facture from Porto Rico. 

The great desire of the Spaniaixls for gold led the Indians to regard 
it as the god of the white man. A caci(iue named Hatuej'. who lived 
ou the eastern end of Cuba, wishing to retain a strict union with the 


other caciques, in order to resist tlie Europeans, said to them that all 
defense would be useless unless thej' endeavored to propitiate the 
Spaniard's "god." " I know their god," he said, " who is more power- 
ful than any other god. I know how to gain his power, and will 
teach you." He immediately brought them a basket full of gold 
objects and, showing it to the cacifjues, said: "There is the Spaniard's 
god. Let us celebrate a fete in his honor that he may look favorably 
on us.'' Immediately he smoked around the basket; then they sang 
and danced mitil they fell, drunken and exhausted with fatigue. On 
the next day Hatuey assembled the caciques at .sunrise and said to 
them: "I have reflected very much over the aflairs of which I spoke 
to vou, and my mind is still unsatisfied; all considered, I do not think 
we shall be safe so long as the Spanish god remains in our midst. 
Wherever the Spaniards go the}' seek their god, and it is useless to 
hide it, for they have marvelous ways to find it; if you swallow it, 
they will disembowel you for it; the l)ottom of the sea is the onh' 
place where they will not go to get it. When we have no more gold 
they will leave us alone, for this is the only thing whicli makes them 
leave their homes." 

The suggestion was thought to l)e an admiralile one, and they threw 
into the sea all the gold they possessed. 

Basketry a.\d Textiles 

There are frequent references in early writings to the basket ware 
of the Antilleans, and there is every probability, judgitig from these 
statements, that their l)askets were of fine quality. Baskets called 
haran were employed for many household purposes, as for straining 
the juice of the manioc in the manufacture of cassava; coverings for 
hammocks were made of basket ware, and ofl'erings of cakes and l)read 
were carried to the gods in baskets, which were laid on the top of a 
table of the same material. 

The islanders u.sed several kinds of plaitings in the ))asket work, 
which was said by the older writers to have })een of great beauty and 
so closely interwoven with leaves that it was water-tight." These 
havas were sometimes of spherical form and made in pairs to l)e 
attached to the ends of a stick which the Indians carried on their 
shoulders in such a way that the baskets balanced each otiier.'' 

Skulls of the dead were sometimes inclosed in basket ware. In a 
village not far from the ill-fated settlement of Navidad. in searching 
for the remains of the settlers, Columbus found, according to Doctor 
Chanca, a human skull wrapped in a basket, showing the existence 

« A double woven basket witb.leuves between the two parts was used to hold liquids. 
(>Oviedo gives u tigure ui an Indian carrying baskets in this-way, which is still practiced in Porto 


of this burial custom among' the Haitians. The Orinoco tribes pre- 
served the skulls of their dead in the same way, according to early 

The lieautiful basket ware now made in the penitentiary at San 
Juan is worthy of mention in this connection. While thei'e is nothing 
to prove that it resembles the ancient basketry, there is indirect evi- 
dence pointing that way. This kind of luisketrv resembles that still 
made by the Carib and related tribes. The basketry of the Carib of 
St Vincent and Dominica is well known. 

The islanders made use of the fibers of several plants in plaiting 
basketrj', among wiuch ma}' be mentioned the cahaya, heneqiien, and 
■inaques. Cotton fiber was quite extensively employed for cloth, and 
feathers were artistically used in the manufacture of headdresses. 
These feathers were obtained from parrots and other bright-colored 
tropical birds, which were domesticated for that purpose. So highly 
prized were these birds that they were regarded as gifts worth}^ of 
the gods. 

The hammock of the prehistoric Porto Rican closely resembled some 
of those still used by the tribes of the Orinoco and manufactured by 
Indians elsewhere in South and Central America. The character of 
the weaving probably varied in diti'erent islands. Hammocks of palm 
fiber are still made in the mountain regions of Porto Rico, esuecialh' 
on Yunque and neigliboring sierras. 

The Antilleans were familiar with native cotton and wore fabrics 
made from it, among which were the garments of the married women, 
called //(f(/'«^y, and the ))reechcloths of the caciques. ^Mention is made 
in the early accounts of cotton garments worn ])y the latter reaching 
below their knees, forming a kind of kilt. 

The Carib and the Antilleans tied cotton bandages around their knees 
and elbows to increase the size of the cahes of their legs and of their 
arms. The dead were sometimes wrapped in cotton cloth, and '" cot- 
ton puppets," or effigies of stutfed cotton cloth in wiiicii the bones 
of the dead were wrapped, are mentioned in early writings. One 
of the best of these is figured in an article by the author in his 
pamphlet on Zemis from Santo Domingo and bj' Doctor Cronau in his 
work on America." The author's figure was made from a sketch whicli 
did not l)ring out several essential features of this instructive speci- 
men. On his visit to the city of San Domingo in l'J03 he sought the 
original specimen, now owned by Sefior Cambiaso, but as the former 
owner was away, he could t)btain no additional information about it. 
The figure, which was found, according to Doctor Cronau, in a cave 
in the neighborhood of Maniel, west of the capital, measures 75 

"Rudolf Cronau. Amerika; die Geschichte seiner Entdeckung von der altesteii bis auf die neuste 
Zeit, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1892. 



[ETH. ANN. 25 

centimeters in heioht. Acconlino- to tiie same author the head of this 
specimen was a skull with artiiicial eyes and covered with woven 

Alioutthe upper arms and thiohs (figure 43) are found woven fahrics, 
probablv of cotton, foUowiuo- a custom to which attention has been 
already called. There is a representation of bands over the forehead. 
The small projections or warts on the wrists and ankles are duplicated 
in some of the carved shell ol)jects described in the preceding- paoes. 
It is much to be regretted that our knowledge of this figure, which 
could shed so iiiiich light on tiie mortuary rites and worship of the 

prehistoric Antilleans, is so im- ' 
pei-fect. The author was told 
that it is now somewhei'e in 
Italy, but whether it is lost to 
science could not be learned. 


When we examine as a whole 
in a comparative wav the archeo- 
logical ol)jects from Porto Rico 
and . Santo Domingo, we find 
them quite ditierent from those 
of North. Central, or South 
America. Types like the stone 
collars and three-pointed idols 
are not known to occur on the 
American continent, but are lim- 
ited to Porto Rico and Santo Do- 
mingo, specimens which have 
been reported from the Lesser 
Antilles being readih' accounted 
for on the theory that the\' were carried there by Carib or other 
wand(!rers. These types do not occur in Cuba or Jamaica and are 
great rarities in the Lesser Antilles, being practically unknown in such 
islands as Trinidad. It is believed that these stone objects are pecu- 
liarly Antillean and indicative of a characteristic culture stage in 
Porto Rico. 

It is, however, equally evident that there is a likeness in some par- 
ticulars between the prehistoric culture of Porto Rico and that of Ven- 
ezuela, although the natives of the latter country had never developed 
a stage of stone working equal to that of the former. The germ of 
the island culture is therefore thought to have originated in South 
America, but to have reached a higher development in Porto Rico than 
in any other locality, except possibly Santo Domingo. 

Fic;.4>. Zt'iaimaduoi uoUollcluth ^liom L'rouau). 


Tlie evolution of a culture as complicated and characteristic as this 
demands time for its growth. It may have reached its zenith and 
have been on the decline when the island was discovered. 

The territory inhabited l)y aborigines having an Antillean culture 
is insular, and according to well -recognized l)iologit'al laws must have 
been peopled fi-om neigh))oring continents. It is logical to suppose 
that prehistoric man, like the fauna and flora, was derivative rather 
than autocthonous on the island. Moreover, it is evident that when 
man came to Porto Kico he had advanced so far in knowledge of navi- 
gation that he was no longer in a primitive condition, but possessed 
culture sufhciently developed to make long voyages in seaworthy 
canoes, to fashion polished implements, and was otherwise well ad- 
vanced in technic arts. 

Another point is pertinent. His culture, as indicated by the prehis- 
toric objects left on the island, was uni(jue and characteristic. The 
most striking stone objects, as the stone rings found in numbers in 
both Haiti and Porto Rico, are different from objects occurring in 
either North or South America. It is evident from the time necessary 
to develop such culture that the ancestors of the islanders had lived 
for a long time in a distinctive environment before they went to the 
West Indies or had inhabited these two islands for a comparatively 
long epoch. 

This culture, while peculiar to the ^\^est Indies, was not confined to 
any one island, like Porto Kico, for all the islanders have a certain 
similarity in manners, customs, arts, and languages, which has led us 
to call it t)y a special name, the Antillean, oi' Tainan, culture. 

With these preliminary ideas in mind, it is evident that we are con- 
sidering a race culturally identical, extending from Florida to vSouth 
America, the northern limits of which are as near to North America 
as is its southern extension to South America. A portion of tiiis 
race inhabited the eastern end of Cuba. There are three points where 
communication with the continent was possible and from which the 
islanders may have come: Venezuela in the south, Yucatan in the west, 
and Florida in the north. Each route of entry has had its advocates, 
and each presents strong arguments for acceptance I\v ethnologists. 

Porto Kico lying, as it does, in the middle of a chain of islands, 
may have derived its first people from Haiti, the adjacent island, or 
from the Lesser Antilles. It is improbable that its first settlers came 
over the broad stretch of sea, north or south, or from Yucatan. 

Both Florida and Venezuela have claims to be considered the route 
by which the earliest inhabitants of the West Indies passed from the 
continent to the islands. Each probably furnished a quota of colonists 
to the neighboring islands. It may not be possible to discover from 
existing data whether the first canoe load of aborigines which set feet 
on Borinquen landed at the east or the west end, but it is possible 

216' ■ THE ABORIGINES OF PORTO RICO [eth. ann. 25 

to .show that the characteristic culture of prehistoric Porto Rico 
resembled more closely that of South America than it did that of the 
southeastern United States, Central America, or Yucatan. In forming 
a conclusion we take into consideration the physiography not only of 
the fringing coast of the adjacent portions of the continents, but also 
that of the inland regions, which could be visited b}- chance visitors 
belonging to the Antillean race. That the littoral tracts of Florida 
and Cuba were inhabited by people with a culture like that of the 
prehistoric islanders" is a legitimate inference from the maritime hab- 
its of both, which imply f reciuent visits to these shores. If the cul- 
ture of all the West Indian islanders were related to that of dwellers 
on neighboring continents, we should expect that tiie similarit}* would 
extend be3'ond fringing coast populations far inland, where relation- 
ships have not been detected. 

It can hardly ho said that a likeness to the Antilleans reaches far 
into the interior of Yucatan or Florida, for there was little *n conmion 
between the Maya race as a whole and the people of prehistoric Porto 
Rico, nor have tlie last mentioned any kinship with the Indians of 
Georgia or central Florida. Art designs are apparently more widely 
distributed than blood relationship. * 

If now we turn to the gateway at the south, to Venezuela and the 
north coast of South America, we find cultural similarities reaching 
far inland, almost to the middle of the continent. Resemblances here 
are not confined to coast peo|)les but extend to the uplands. 

The linguistic relationship, perhaps the strongest, allies the speech 
of the Antilleans with that of the widespread Guarano and Arawak 
races of the interior of Venezuela and Brazil. It Mould seem improl)- 
able that this e.xtensive stock developed its language on islands and 
spread to the heart of South America; it is much more natural to 
believe that the language of the island population originated on the 
continent and spread to the islands. 

When we examine the ancient stone implements we tind another sim- 
ilarity l)etween those of the prehistoric pi>ople of Venezuela and of the 
Antilles. Te.xtile fal)rics were alike in the two regions for the simple 
reason that the Hora was similar. The discovery of a method of 
extracting food from a poisonous plant was not simple, but among 
both prehistoric Antilleans and Venezuelans it was known, and cas- 
sava was one of the main foods. It is improbable that this method 
could have developed independcntl_y; more likely it was derivative. 

The Porto Ricaiis made wooden .seats in the form of animals and 
inlaid the eyeballs and shoulders with shell. So do the tribes of the 

fi F. H. Gushing, Preliminary Report on the E.xploration of Ancient Key Dweller Remains on 
the Gulf Coast of Floriiia. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Snrirti/, xxxv. im, ln3, i^liiladel- 
phia. 1S97. 

''■.\'. H. Holmes, Cariblieau Influences on the Prehistoric Ceramic Art of the .Southern States. 
Amcncfin Anthropoloyii^t, vil, 71. 1H94. 


Orinoco to-day. The mode of burial of ^oine of the Venezuela tribes 
and that of the ancient Porto Ricans were identical. Similar methods 
of preservation of skeletons or human skulls in baskets were adopted 
by both peoples; they were equally adept in canoe building; their 
houses were similar; and we might go on pointing out resemblance 
after resemblance, each new likeness adding in geometrical ratio to 
the prol)aliility of the identity of Antillean and Orinocan cultures. In 
the author's judgment these facts admit of but one interpretation — 
that the culture of prehistoric Porto Rico was South American rather 
than Yucatec or Floridian. 

Of the many tribes of Venezuela to which the ancient people of 
Porto Rico ma}' have been related the Carib may first be considered. 
At the time of the discovery this people had made excursions through- 
out the whole of the West Indies and had occupied the Lesser Antilles 
as far north as the island uf Vieques and the eastern end of Porto Rico. 
That this vigorous stock came primarily from South America, where 
its survivors now live, there can hardly be a doubt, and that it origi- 
nated there seems highly probable. In peopling the islands the Caril> 
followed the same law of migration us the earliest inhabitants, their 
predecessors, and at the time of Columlius had already concjuered the 
Lesser Antilles. 

Of other peoples of the Orinoco akin to the prehistoric Porto Ricans 
it would be difficult to decide upon any one among tlie many tribes as 
the nearest kindred of the Borincjuenos, but geographical, linguistic, 
and cultural conditions point very strongly to the Ouarano. who once 
lived along the Orinoco anvl the coast of Venezuela and now occuj)}' 
the delta of that great stream. 

It may be theoretically supposed that the germ of the maritime cul- 
ture of the island people preceding the Carib was developed on riv- 
ers — as the Orinoco and its tributsiries — where environment made 
canoes absolutely necessary for movement from place to place. This 
Huviatile culture, the product of necessit\', easily becomes maritime, 
and when once it had passed into this stage the peopling of the adja- 
cent islands was an inevitable result. It does not appear that environ- 
ment in the southeastern parts of the United States was adecpiate to 
develop a Huviatile culture of great development, certainly not to tlie 
extent that was found on the Orinoco, nor were conditions and neces- 
sities favorable to it. Life on the Orinoco was specifically a river 
life, and, with the means of river navigation, visits to the islands were 
what would l)e expected. Urged by their I'elentless foes, the Carib, 
the Orinoco people of more peaceful nature were driven to seek ref- 
uge in the delta or pushed out on the islands. 

The South American origin of West Indian islanders is not accepted 
b\ all writers on these aborigines. The account which Davies gives of 
the Carib he derived from a certain Master Hrigstock, an English 


o-entlemeii who "had at'quired the Virginia and Floridian hmouages 
and had .spent .some time in North America." The hitter say.< the 
Caribbeans were originally inhabitants of that part of America which is 
now called Florida. But Davies's .subsequent discussion of the ques- 
tion of the origin of the Caril) shows that this opinion had little weight 
with him. for he advances arguments for the derivation of the Caril) 
from South America. 

According to Alexander von Humboldt. "theCaribs in the sixteenth 
century extended from the Virgin islands on the north to the month 

of the Orinoco, perhaps to the Amazon Those of the 

continent admit that th(> small West Indian islands were anciently 
inha))ited by the Arawaks. a warlike nation yet existing on the 
Main. . . . They assert that the Arawaks. except the women, 
were exterminated by the Caribs, who came from the mouth of the 

According to Rochefort the Carib came from Guiana, and Edwards 
says that the Caril) considered the islanders colonies of Arawak. 

According to Brinton" "all the Antilles, both Greater and Lesser, 
were originally occupied by its members (Arawack stock), and so were 
the Bahamas."" . 

The argument for a derivation of the islanders from South America 
drawn from the nature of the food supply is one of the strongest. 

" \^'e have seen," says Ober, " that historical traditions point toward 
the southern continent as their ancestral abiding place: let us make 
another inquiry. Of the animals that constituted their food supply, 
nearly all the mammals were allied to species or genera of the South 
American continent. Such were the agouti, peccary, armadillo, opos- 
sum, raccoon, muskrat, the dumb dog (now extinct), perhaps the aico, 
the yutia. and alinique (of Cuba), and possibly, in the extreme .south, 
a species of monkey. Add to these the iguana, which is peculiarly 
typical, . . . and we have their entire food supply of an animal 

The linguistic argument contirming the affinity of the ancient lan- 
guage of Cuba to South American, rather than to North American, 
languages, is well put by Lucien Adam, who .says: " J'ajouterai que. 
sur 41 mots du taino ou ancienne langue de Cuba qu'il m'a ete possible 
d'identifier, 18 appartiennent au parler des femmes Caraibes, 8 a I'Ar- 
rouague, 13 soit au Galibi, .soit au parler des hommes, 3 au Cumanagota 
et au Ghayma'" — all of which, writes Torres, in a commentarj' on this 
passage, were languages of South America. If this be the true rela- 
tion of the ancient Cuban tongue, the conclusion is logical that the 
language of the island Borimjuen, which lies nearer South America than 
does Cuba, had the same relation. 

aThe .\niwack Language of Guiaua in its Linguistic and Ethnological Relations. Transnclions oj 
the Ameriemt PMIvsi/phical Society, Philadelphia, 1871; The American Kace, New York, 1891. 


The various accounts wliich we have of the tribes of the Antilles 
indicate that the Indians of Boi'inquen were a composite race, a mix- 
tilre of Arawak and Carib. 

Davies writes: "But those who have convers'd a long- time together 
among the savajjes of Uominico relate that the Caribbian inhabitants 
of that island are of the opinion that their ancestors came from out of 
the continent, from among- the Calibites, to make a war against a 
nation of the Arouagues, which inhabited the islands, which nation 
they utterly destroy'd, excepting only the women whom they took to 
themselves, and by that means repeopled the island. Whence it comes 
that the wives of the Caribbian inhal)itants of the island have a lan- 
guage different from that of the men in many things, and in some 
consonant to that of the Arouagues of the continent." 

Whether the West Indies had a population antedating both Carib 
and Arawak is a question upon which little light can be thrown at 
present by archeology or ethnology. The resemblances between pre- 
historic stone work from Guiana and that from the islands would seem 
to connect the peoples of these localities, although there are some 
objects, like the stone rings, which are peculiar to the islanders. 

It is difticult. perhaps inipossil)le, properly to assign the place of 
Antillean culture among primitive men except in a comparative wa_y, 
but that they excelled their neighbors in certain arts there can hardly 
be a doubt. The technic of stoneworking among them certainly 
equaled that of other Aiuerican tribes, and was not far Ix'low the 
highest. To fashion the stone collars peculiar to them and to orna- 
ment their idols required both skill and industry-. The smoothness of 
their stone implements, often made of the hardest rock, is unsurpassed, 
and their textiles were of a high order of merit. 

That the race was inferior to that which Imilt the great cities of 
Central America there is little doubt; ))ut it was superior to people 
of contiguous regions of North and .South Anuu'ica. The character of 
the stoneworking and the forms into which rock was cut are char- 
acteristic, showing a specialized culture, indicating long residence on 
the islands. 

It is pertinent in the consideration of the peopling of the West 
Indies to give weight to the possibility that profound geological 
changes iii the contours of the islands may have taken place since man 
first colonized them. Have the Lesser Antilles been geok)gically con- 
nected with South America in times so recent that man may have 
migrated to them dry-shod, or was Cuba continuous with North America 
at the time when the former received its first human inhabitants? 

Thei-e is no doubt that the chain of islands, from Trinidad to Porto 
Rico, is of volcanic origin, and it is held by some geologists that the 
Caribbean sea, and possibly' the Gulf of Mexico, constituted an inland 
lake in comparatively recent times. Well-marked changes of level 

220 THE ABORIGINES OF POKTO RICO [eth. an-n. 25 

can be detected at present 'on several islands, showing that the contig- 
uration of this region is changing. The evidences we have of man's 
great antiquity on the North American continent are not decisive, but 
coni'lusive studies are yet to be made also in the very localities on the 
American continent, where man has probably lived the longest — the 
tropical parts of South America. We can not satisfactorily estimate 
how long the human race has been in the New World until careful 
investigations have been made as to the age of his remains found in 
the caves of Brazil, Venezuela, and the Antilles. Those who have 
investigated the subject claim great ag(> for the remains of man in 
these regions. Climatic conditions, such as existed for instance in the 
glacial period, ma}^ have rendered the greater part of North America 
unfit for human occupation, but man may have lived in the West Indies 
when the whole northern j)art of North America was uninhabited and 
the Antilles were continuous land from north to south. 





Bv Jesse Walter Fkwkes 


The explorations and studies embodied in the present paper were 
undertaken hy Doctor Fewkes, Ethnologist in the Bureau of Aineriean 
Etlinology. at the instance of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, and funds for the field work were furnished by tlie Institution. 
The particular field of operations was chosen witli the view of deter- 
mining, if possible, by means of a reconnoissauce of the eastern states 
of Mexico, whether or not any definite connection or relationship existed 
between the ancient peoples north of the Rio Grande and within the area 
of the United States and those to the south in Mexico, especially the 
semicivilized tribes of middle Mexico and Yucatan. The present study 
nuist be regarded as prelnuinary only, the field work not yet having 
progressed sufficiently to furnisli data for definitive results; but it is, 
nevertheless, a very important contribution to our knowledge of the 
ancient culture of the Gulf states of Mexico, and it is hoped that the 
researches thus initiated may be continued and completed in the near 

AV. li. Holmes. Chief. 


C^ ( ) IT T E ^^ T S 


Introduction 231 

Ruins of Cempoalan 233 

Construction of buildings 23(5 

. Nomenclature and jiosition of buildings 237 

Building A 238 

Building B 240 

Building C 240 

Building D - 242 

Building E 243 

Mounds near Antigua 243 

Ruins of Xicoehinialco 244 

Texolo mounds - 245 

Xico Viejo - 246 

Stone idols near Xico 247 

Modern Xicochiinalco 248 

Papantla 249 

Castillo de Teayo 250 

Objects from Cenijioalan and Xico 250 

Classification 251 

Stone ring , 251 

Closed stone yokes 253 

Open stone yokes - 253 

Curved stones 258 

Theories of the use of stone yokes 259 

Paddle-shaped stones 261 

Padlock stones - 263 

Stone heads 264 

Sling stones 266 

Stone idols 266 

Clay objects from Barra C'hachalicas - 268 

Mounds near Tamjoico 271 

General remarks 271 

Shell heaps 275 

Ruins near Altamira 276 

Ruins near Champayan lagoon - 277 

Archeological objects 277 

Stone idols at Altamira 278 

Tampico stone idols , 280 

Huaxtec pottery 280 

Conclusions 284 

25 ETH — 07 15 225 


Plate XCIV. Relative positiDiif of the main IniilciiiiL'S at Cempoalan. 
XCV. ^[o<U'rn building on foundation of Cempoalan pyramid. 
XCVI. Templo del Aire. 
XCVll. Building A, Cempoalan. 
XCVIII. Buildinj; B, Cenjpoalan. 
XCIX. Building C, Cempoalan (front view). 

C. Building C, Cempoalan (lateral rear view). 
CI. Building D, Cempoalan (front view I. 
CII. Building D, Cempoalan (lateral rear view). 
CUT. Building E, Cempoalan. 
CIV. Mounds at Texolo. 
CV. Mounds at Texolo. 
CVI. Stone idol at Xico N'iejo. 
CVII. Ptone serpent at Fuente. 
CVIII. Stone idol at Texolo. 
CIX. View of Xico Viejo: 
(I, the pyramid, 

b, view of the old houses. 
ex. View of el Tajin, Papantla. 

CXI. Castillo de Teayo. 
CXII. Stone yokes >.{ the tirst grou|) ( Deliesu c.illectioii): 
II, front view 
/;, side view . 

c, top vifw. 

CXIII. Stone yoke-s of the tirst group ( 1 lehesa collectioii): 

a, front view. 

///side view of n. 

i; front view . 

(/, side view of c. 
CXIV. Stone yoke of the first aroiip (Soiima News ( niiipaiiy cnllcction) . 

a, front view. 

b, side view, 
r, base view. 

CXV. Stone yokes of the tirst group (Dehesa eolleetion) : 
II, a', front and lateral views of same yoke. 
b, c, il, side views of other yokes. 
CXVI. ] "addle-shaped stones (Dehesa collection): 
11, front view. 
/(, front view. 
CXVII. Paddle-shaped stones (Dehesa colleriion ): 

a, front view. 

b, front view. 



Plate CXVIII. Paddle-shaped stones (Dehesa cnllwtinn): 
a, front view. 

h, reverse view of a, plate cxvi. 
CXIX. Fan-shaped stones ( Dehesa collection): 
fi, }i, with human face. 
r, with bird head and body. 
CXX. Stone heads, masks, and idols ( I'ehesa collection): 
a, small j'oke. 
h, flatiron-shaped specimen. 

c, perforated specimen. 

d, e, f, heads. 

(/, h, padlock-shaped spe<-imens. 

(, seated figure. 

j, mask. • 

CXXI. stone heads (Dehesa collection): 

fi, h, heads of clowns. 

c, rl, heads of old men. 

<". /> ff, masks. 

h, flattened head. 

)', bird-shaped specimen. 
CXXIl. Clay images from Cempoalan and vicinity (Dehesa col lection): 

a, etRgy. 

h, head of Rain god. 

c, Rain god. 

(/, e, bowls in shape of death's head. 

/, head of Flower goddess. 

17, small painted efiSgy. 
■ CXXIII. Pottery images from Barra Chachalicas: 

a, h, front and side view of figure without arms or legs. 

c, painted effigy of female figure. 
CXXIV. Clay objects from Cempoalan: 

«-/, small heads. 

g, well-made large head. 

h, painted head. 

i, j, heads from panel of temjjle. 
CXXV. Pottery from Otates (Estefania collection): 

0, ft, decorated bowls, from exterior. 

c, painted bowl, showing spiral ornament. 

d, deep bowl, side view. 

e, bowl with interior decorated with picture of monkev. 
/, bowl with exterior decorated with death's head. 

CXXVI. Pottery o'DJects from near .Talapa and Tanipico (Estefania and 
Pressley collections) : 
a, classic pitcher with graceful handle. 
6, food bowl with three legs, 
c, d, bowls with two handles. 
e, bowl with legs. 
/, g, h, clay heads. 

1, claj- effigy of a human being. 
j, section of a bowl. 

k, rude effigy of human being. 
I, m, dippers. 


Plate CXXVIl. I'cittery objects from Panuco valley ( I'resi?U^y nillection): 
a, melon-shaped specimen. 
h, melon-shaped specimen with handle. 

c, double-handled vase with human face. 

d, globular dipper with human face. 
e-h, clay heads. 

i, j, unknown objects. 
k, I, figurine.?. 
Hi, seated figure. 
n, paint mortar. 
CXX VIIT. Tottery images from the Panucci valley (Pressley collection) : 
ri, h, c, d, figurines. 
e-h, clay heads. 
I, seated figure. 
j, figurine smoking (?). 
k, unknown quadruped. 
/, bowl with legs. 
CXXIX. Pottery from Champayan lagoon, Tampico: 
«, vase with meridional spelling. 
h, vase with painted carved designs. 

c, undecorated vase. 

d, I', painted vases. 


Figure 44. Battlements of building A, Cem[)oalan 240 

45. Stone idol at Xico Viejo (front view ) 247 

46. Stone idol at Xico Viejo (back view) 247 

47. Stone idol at Texolo (side view) 248 

48. Stone idol at Texolo (back view) 248 

49. Stone ring ( Dehesa collection ) 252 

50. End view of arms of stone yokes (Museo Nacional, Mexico) 254 

51. Side view of stone yoke, second group (Dehesa collection) 256 

h2. Side view of stone yoke, second group (Dehesa collection) 257 

5.3. Convex side of curved stone ( JIuseo Nacional, Mexico) 258 

54. Concave side of curved stone (Museo Nacional, Mexico) 259 

55. Paddle-shaped stone representing lizard ( Dehesa collection ) 262 

56. Reverse of paddle-shaped stone 263 

57. Paddle-shaped stone with dancing figure (Dehesa collection) 26S 

•58. Reverse of a, plate cxvii 263 

59 Bird-shaped stone with notched base (Dehesa collection) 264 

60. Sling stones ( Dehesa collection ) 265 

61. Sling stones ( collection) 266 

62. Snake idol from Jalapa Viejo 266 

63. Maize goddess ( Dehesa collection ) 267 

64. Rain goddess ( Dehesa collection) 268 

65. Bowl from Cempoalan 269 

66. Clay image (Dehesa collection ) 270 

67. Serpent-god idol 278 

68. Stone idol at Altamira 279 

69. God with staff ( Pressley collection ) 280 

70. Jlelon-shaped vaae with handle (Pressley collection) 283 


The geogi'aphical position of the Gulf states of Mexico gives them 
a special siguiticance in comparative studies of the prehistoric culture 
of the mound builders of the lower Mississippi valley and that of the 
Ma_ya and other tribes of the far south. Notwithstanding this fact 
very little has been contributed in recent years " to our knowledge of 
the archeology of this interesting region, and comparatively little is 
known of the culture of the prehistoric races that inhabited it. With 
hopes of increasing this knowledge the author was directed in the 
winter of 1905 to visit portions of these states for field work under the 
auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. Some of the general results 
of this visit are published in the following pages. 

When Hernando Cortes disembarked his little army of invasion in 
what is now the state of Vera Cruz he found it inhabited by aborigines 
of comparatively high culture. The inhabitants called themselves 
Totonac, and their territory was known as Totonacapan. The con- 
queror was not long in discovering that the Totonac were subjects 
of Moctezmwa, a great ruler in the mountains to whom they unwill- 
ingly paid tribute, and that they chafed under his yoke. Shortly 
after landing Cortes visited their settlements at Quiauistlan and Cem- 
poalan. near the former of which he laid the foundation of a. city that 
he called Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, the Rich Town of the True Cross. 
He was well received by the inhabitants of these cities, making friends 
with those above mentioned and thirty other dependent pueblos whose 
aid greath' facilitated bis march to the interior of ^Mexico. But this 
friendship of the natives of Cempoalan and their settlements for Cortes 
was not shared by all the Indians of the Mexican Gulf coast. In the 
valleys of the Panuco and Tamesi rivers, that is, in what is now northern 
Verq, Cruz and southern Tamaulipas, dwelt the so-called Huaxtec, a 
people linguistically allied to the Maya and culturally similar to the 
Totonac. They had populous towns, having reached a high degree 
of culture, and they had never been concpiered by the Aztec. At 
first they resisted the Spaniards, but sul>s('quently were subdued by 
Cortes and their main city, called Chlla, situated on the Panuco river 
about 1.") miles from its mouth, and certain other settlements on 

a A valuable summary of what is known of the ruins in these states may be found in Bancroft. 
The Native Races, iv (Antiquities). San Francisco, 1882. Jlr Hugo Fink, in Smtth;^mtiair Beport (ov 
1.S70. p. 373-37-^. refers to the abundance of aniiqiiities in Vera Cruz. 



lagooiLS of the Tamesi near the present pueblo, Altainira. were 
destroj-ed. The survivors of these villages who escaped slavery or 
massacre lied to the mountains, where their descendants, bereft of 
ancestral arts, lost much of their culture and settled in new localities. 
Let us begin our account with the Totoiiac ruin, Cempoalan, and 
follow with a brief description of prehistoric earth mounds near Xico," 
a Nahuatl puel)lo not far from Jahipa. closino- witli a brief mention of 
that near Antigua, the modern name of the second Villa Rica de la 
Vera Cruz founded b}' Cortes. 

« A contracted form of Xicochimalco; abetter known pneblo of the name Xico is situated on an 
island of Lake Chalco near Mexico City. 


The earliest hist()ri( ill references to Cenipoiilaii occur in tlio accounts 
of the Conquest by Bernal Diaz del Castillo," Francisco Lopez de 
Gomara,* and other contemporaries. At the time of the Conquest 
Cempoalan was so strilvino- a metropolis that it excited the admiration 
of the Europeans, and from its many temples ("towers'") and large 
building's was called Sevilla. Its streets and ])lazas are said to have 
swarmed with people, one author estimating' the i)opulation at >iO,(tOO 
souls. AVhether this statement was exaggerated or not we may never 
know, but the size and number of the temples prove that the city had 
a consideralile population. After the Conquest Cempoalan rapidly 
declined in power and its population so dwindled that in 1580, accord- 
ing to Patino,'' it had slirunk to 30 inhabited liouses; it is stated that in 
the j'ear 1600 only one or two Cempoalafios lived on the old site, the 
most of the survivors liaving been moved to the jurisdiction of Jalapa, 
where they were distributed in new "congregations'' by the then 
Viceroy of Mexico, the Count of Monterey. The adjacent forests and 
an exuberant tropical vegetation rapidly grew over tlie deserted build- 
ings of the once jiopulous city, so tliat in a few generations its site was 
practically forgotten b}' students. 

Regarding the position of the ruins, Bancroft writes as follows:'' 

About the location of C'empoalan, a famous city iu the time of the Conquest, there 
has been much discussion. Lorenzana says that the place "still retains the same 
name; it is situated 4 leagues from Vera Cruz and the extent of its ruins indit'ates 
its former greatness." Rivera tells us, however, that "to-day not even the ruins of 
this capital of the Totonac jjower remain, althougli some human bones have been 
dug up about its site." 

All the old authors agree that the people who inhabited Cempoalan 
belonged to the Totonac stock. This identitication giv^es the study of 
this ruin both an archeologic and ethnologic importance. A student of 
the antiquities of Cempoalan need not doubt the kinship of its inhabit- 
ants; but regarding the affinitv of the inhabitants of manv other Vera 

"Historia Verdadera de la Conqvista de la Nueva-Espaiia, Mexico, 1632. 

t> Croniea de la Nueva-Espana. In chapter xxxii of this work the author describes a jdaza of Cem- 
poalan with rooms on one side and towers on the other, the walls of the latter shining in the sun like 

c Manuel Rivera. Historia Antigua .v Moderna de .lalapa y de las Revoluciones del Estado de Vera 
Cruz. .Talnpa, 1869. The author had an opportunity to examine this work in Jalapa and from 
it obtained the above statement ascribed to Patifio, whose writings were not seen. According to 
Rivera, Alonzo Patifio presented a "piano" of Cempoalan iu 1.5S0 to Martin Enriquez. but much to 
his regret the author has not been able to see this plan. 

^Bancroft. The Native Races, IV (Antiquities), 436, San Francisco, 1882. 



Cruz ruins there is not tlie sunie cortaintv. Some are Naiuiutl. iiiiip.j 
are Totonac, and still others were once inhabited bv people of unkno\vi> 

Although lost and foi'gotten by the outside world, the name of the 
Totonac metropolis clung to a geographical locality near the left bank 
of the Actopan river, where certain mounds and ruined pyramids are 
still known to the people of theneighl)orhood as the remains of ancient 
Cempoalan. In modern times the attention of archeologists was first 
called to this site by Sra Estefania Salas, a lady of Totonac extrac 
tion, still living in Jalapa, who was then a zealous collector of land 
shells. In 1S83 Dr H. Strebel, led by information furnished by Sra 
Estebauia and others, pu))lished an illustrated account of six of the 
temples of Cempoalan " that represented for several years all that was 
known of the ruins.'' 

Descriptions of objects from Cempoalan appeared also shortly after 
in Strebel's work, Alt-Mexico,'' which has long been the authority on 
the antiquities of Vera Cruz. Strebel apparently had not visited 
Cempoalan when his articles were written, and he makes no attempt 
to locate the geographical or relative positions of the buildings he 
describes. In 1891, eight j-ears after the pul)lieation of Strebel's 
work, in commemoration of the fourth centenary of the discovery of. 
America by Columbus the Mexican Government made a survey of 
Cempoalan and neighlx)ring ruins, under direction of the well-known 
Alexicanist, Sr Paso y Troncoso. At that time the dense, almost impen- 
etrable jungle covering the mounds was thoroughly cleared away and 
the walls of several large buildings, including those described by 
Sti'ebel, were laid open to view. The whole ruin was then surveyed 
by an engineer, Pedro Pablo Romero, and a model prepared of the 
central buildings adjoining a court identified as the Plaza !Mayor. In 
the course of the work here and in the adjoining Totonac region more 
than two hundred photographs were taken and umch valuable material 
was collected. The models and plans were exhiiiited in the Columbian 
Exposition at Madrid in 1892, where they attracted considerable atten- 
tion, and an account of the material as well as of the different temples 
was published in a catalogue*' of the exhibits that appeared at that 
time. The above-mentioned model and plans, with crayon copies of 
some of the photographs enlarged bv Sr Jose M. Velasco, are now on 
exhibition in the Museo Nacional in Mexico city, and the collection 
of photographs preserved in the library of the same institution is open 
to inspection. With the exception of a visit of Senor Batres, official 

a As SO often happens in Mexico, tlie same name is applied to several places. The Cempoalan near 
Paso del Ovejas from its position can not be the historic city conspicuous in the conquest of Mexico. 

bDie Ruinen von Cerapoallan in Staate Vera Crnz (Mexico) and Mitteilungen iiber die Toto- 
naken der Jetzeits. Abhnndliinfjcn dca yatitrwi&seuifchajt Vercins zu Uamhurfi, Vll, Teil 7. 18.S3. 

c.Vlt-Mexico, Archeologischer Beitriige zur Ivultur^eschichte seiner Bewohner, Hamburg. lyS^i. 

rfCatalogo de la Seccion de Mexico en la E,\posici6n Hist6rico-Amerieano de Madrid, 1892. lomos, 
i-ii. 1892-3. 


inspector of archeoloi^ical mommieats and one or two others, tlie 
ruins of Cempoalan passed the next decade without being disturbed 
or even visited, and a new jungle spread itself over the stately pyra- 
mids. The author made two excursions to Cempoalan in February, 
1905, remaining there a week on his second visit. The limitation of 
time prevented extended work at the ruins, but photographs of the 
main buildings were made and data regarding them collected. Even 
this limited work was attended with some ditficulty, since the clearings 
made by Troncoso in 1891 had already disappeared, the trees and 
underbrush having grown to so great an extent as to obscure the build- 
ings, making it difficult to secure satisfactory photographs. Although 
nnich of this vegetable growth was cut away b}- the owner, the junglp 
is still dense over the greater part of the ruins." 

A visit to the ruin Cempoalan can be readily made from .Talapa oi' 
Vera Cruz in a single day. It lies not far from the left bank of the 
Chalchalicas or Actopan river, a short distance from the coast and 
two hours" ride on horseback from a station on the railroad between 
Jalapa and A'era Cruz, called San Francisco. The roads (plate X(^iv) 
from this station to the ruins are fairly good, passing through a com 
parativelj- level country, lined in part with groves of tropical trees 
to which cling tieautiful air plants, and in the branches of which 
live many parrots and other brilliantly colored liirds. The shortest 
road passes through haudets called (iloria and Bobo, and near the 
latter is a ford of the Rio Actopan. Although the road from San 
Francisco to Bobo at tirst is uninteresting, distant moiuitains are 
always visible, and as the traveler approaches the river trees are more 
numerous and the country becomes more attractive. 

On the right side of this road before fording the Actopan'' there 
are several artiticial mounds belonging to the Cempoalan group, the 
first being passed a mile from what was once the central plaza of the 
cit}'. After fording the river the traveler crosses several irrigating 
ditches and the cultivated fields increase in number, showing evidences 
that much of the plain on the left bank of the river is fertile and once 
may have been extensively farmed.' 

<■ My Investigations in the state of Vera Cruz were greatly facilitated by Governor Dehesa, who not 
only gave me permission to study his valuable I'ollection, but also directed the owner of the hacienda, 
Agostadero, and the alcalde of Ban Carlos, to aid me in every way. I take this opportunity to 
express my gratitude to Governor Dehesa for this and many other kindnesses. Don Firmen Zarete. 
owner of the property on which Cempoalan stands, Sr .\lejaudro Viu, alcalde of San Carlos, and 
Mr Gaw, of Jalapa, also rendered valuable assistance, forwhich I wish ti> thank them. I was accom- 
panied to Cempoalan and Xicochimalcoby Senor Ximenes, photographer of the governor of Vera Cruz. 

''G6mara says the river crossed by Cort(5s was about a mile from the court of Cempoalan, which is 
approximately the distance of the Bobo ford (Paso del Bobo). He also mentions the irrigated gar- 
dens (Huertas de regado), which were evidently north of the -Actopan, through which the road 
passes. From G6raara"s account it api)ears that Cempoalan was nut a compact city with buildings 
crowded together, but composed of many clusters of buildings, each surrounded by gardens, and 
groves of trees so tall that the buildings were not visible from a distance. 

<! Actopan, according to Alonzo de Molina, means litiid, rich andJ'crtUc. Its Aztec rebus is a maize 
plant growing out of an irregular circle filled with black dots. Note, however, the difference in 
spelling the name of the river, Aclnpan and Atdciiaii. 


The visitor may obtain shelter and food near tlie ruins at the liospi- 
table hacienda, Agostadero, owned 1)y Don Firmon Zarete. This set- 
tlement consists of a collection of primitive cabins of the simplest 
construction cliaracteristic of the Tierra Caliente, clustering alwut 
the house of the owner. Evidences of the older population crop 
out everywhere in this region, and well-defined rows of rublilestones 
mark the remains of foundation walls of old temples that have been 
appi'opriiited for the same purpose in modern cabins (plate xcv). 
It would appear that practically the majority of the houses of Agos- 
tadero are built on walls of the older settlement, and that the pi'esent 
inhabitants cultivate the same fields as their prehistoric predecessors. 
There are indications that these fields are still irrigated by water 
drawn from the Rio Actopan, as in prehistoric times. 

The ruins of Cempoalan are quite extensive, covering a large extent 
of territory, but, as a majority of the mounds are inaccessible except 
by cutting one's wav through the underbrusii with a machete, the 
locations of their sites can be only surmised. Mounds belonging to 
this metropolis were found extending over a territory a mile square, 
but the main buildings are crowded into a limited area. Wherever 
one turns in this neighborhood, if vegetation permits he encounters 
evidences of former human occupation. Not only mounds and p}'ra- 
mids rise on all sides but also plastered walls, and fragments of con- 
creted road-beds lined with rows of stones set in cement (not unlike 
curbs) are seen on all sides. It does not take long to discover that 
Cempoalan was constructed almost entirelj" of plaster and rubble- 
stones;" none of its walls were made of adobe or of cut stones. 


So far as can be determined, the four ))uildings of old Cempoalan 
now standing are pyramids, the bases of former temples. They are 
constructed of a concrete core made of water-worn stones laid in lines 
one. above another and faced with concrete. Wherever this super- 
ficial covering has fallen, especially on the stairwavs, rows of stones 
are clearly seen. The surfaces of these buildings were originally 
highly polished, so smooth!}' that it was supposed by one of the sol- 
diers of Cortez that the walls were covered with plates of silver. 
These walls were decorated with yellow and red paintings, traces of 
which are still visible, especially in places not exposed to the weather. 
Two typical forms of buildings are represented at Cempoalan. one 
circular, the other I'ectangular. Both types have stairways with mas- 
sive balustrades on one side. Examples of the circular type are not 
as well preserved as those of the rectangular. Init their form is similar 
to that of the temple now in ruins at Calera near Puente Nacional.* 

"In this respect unlike the Totonac ruin Tajin, near Papantla. 

6See Bancroft, The Native Races, iv (Antiquities), San Francisco, 1882. 



The rectangular type (plate xciv) may l)e still further elassitied into 
two groups, one of which (plates xcix, ci) has two stories, forming- a 
basal and a second terrace on the latter of which stood the temple. 
The other group (plates xcvii, xcviii) has more than two stories or ter- 
races, diminishing gradually in size from base to apex. The top or 
upper platform of the latter group is reached by a continuous stairway " 
on o\w side, but in the former there are two Mights of stairs, one 
above the other, the lower mounting to a landing or the platform of 
the basal story, from which the second flight of staii's takes its rise. 

As a rule the foundations of these Cempoalan pyramids are con- 
cealed by a luxuriant growth of vegetation, but it is apparent from 
the clearings of the foundations made here and there that all were 
built on slightly raised artificial bases, somewhat larger than those of 
the pyramids. In some instances small buihiings or annexes of the 
temple were erected on the same foundation platforms as the pyramids. 

Nomenclature and Position of Buildings 

One observes the first group of temple mounds of Cempoalan on 
the left-hand side of the road from Agostadero to San Isidro, just 
after leaving the hacienda. The hirgest belongs to the round type 
and lies in a cultivated field much overgrown with liushes and vines. 
Venturing into this field, which is full of troublesome insects, the ol>- 
server discovers that near these two mounds are others forming a group. 
One of the largest of these two mounds (plate xcvi) was called by 
Troncoso Templo del Aire ("'Temple of the Air''''), and like all round 
temples is supposed to have been dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, Plumed 
Serpent, or the God of the Air. The many smaller mounds are crowded 
together, indicating houses once possibly inhabited by priests. On 
the right of the road crop out fragments of walls, some of which, 
extending into the adjacent forests, are lost in the jungle while others 
continue parallel with the road for some distance and farther on dis- 

Slabs of plastering or rows of rubble stones extending in all direc- 
tions indicate the crowded arrangement of houses in this immediate 
locality, which must have been not far from the center of the city. 
Just beyond the second of the two mounds identified as temples of the 
Plumed Serpent, there enters from the left the road to San Isidro, a 
little-traveled pathway' (plate xciv) that follows the barbed-wire fence of 
the field in which lie the circular ruins. Making one's way with some 
difficulty through a dense forest along this pathwaj' a short quarter of 

!i These stairways are not uniform in their orientation; that of building A faces west, that of B, south, 
while those of C and D face east. 

^GOmara i Cronioa, p. 83), in speaking of the temples of the City of Mexico, says: " I entrc ellos 
(teocallii havia vno redondo dedicado al Dios del Aire, dioho Quezalcovatlh; porque asi como el 
Aire anda al rededor del Cielo, asi hacien el Templo redondo." There are many other references to . 
the round temples of the Air god, Quetzalcoatl. 


;i mile north of the Temple del Aire, one suddenly sees rising before 
him, in fact, blocking the way, a pair of massive pyramids (plates xcvii. 
xt'viii) that evidently formed parts of two sides of an inclosed court. 
An observer facing the larger of these, with the smaller on the left 
hand, probably stands in the great court of C'empoalan, where, perhaps, 
Cortes marched his soldiers on his memorable visit to this city almost 
four centuries ago. 

The larger of the two massive pyramids (plate xcvii) is locally known 
as Templo del Pozo (" Temple of the P'ountain "), or Chinimeos (•' Chim- 
neys"); the other is nameless. Peering into the jungle that surrounds 
these liuildings, we get glimpses of other mounds hidden for the 
greater part in the dense forest. 

Passing onward between the two great p3'ramids (a, b) already- men- 
tioned, leaving the larger on the right, following a fallen wall one 
descends Ijy a few artificial steps (plate xciv) to a plastered pathway par- 
alleling to the eastward a barbed-wire fence. This trail brings one in 
a short time to one of the best preserved buildings (plate xcix) in Cem- 
poalan, locally called Las Caritas ("'Small Heads"), from th(> manj- 
small pottery heads that have been found at its base, apparently having 
fallen out of the walls. 

A fourth pyramid (plate c), sometimes called Casa de Moctezuma, lies 
in the forest about due east from that last mentioned and is approached 
})y a circuitous trail through the woods. This structure is likewise 
the p3'ramiilal base of a temple l)ut is less shut in by the forests than 
those already considered. 

In an open field north of the temple Las Caritas, and to the left as 
one passes to it from the main plaza, there will bo noticed a large 
structure (plate cm) overgrown with shrubbery, from which project 
smooth polished faces of cement walls. This is one of a group of 
mounds designated by Troncoso, Sistema de los Paredones, and is fig- 
ured in the accompanying illustration. The several buildings above 
referred to are designated by the letters a. b, r, d, e. The name 
Templo del Aire is retained foi- the round ruin. 


This building (plate xcvii) is one of the large pyramids in the main 
court and, judging from its present size and annexes, must have been 
one of the most important structures in Cempoalan. Its ruins are still 
impressive and, considering the material used in construction, in a fair 
state of preservation. The pyramid is simple" and has several adja- 
cent minor buildings evidently belonging to it, forming a cluster. The 
front of the pyramid is indicated by a stairway, before which is a sec- 
ond building, longer than broad, the roof of which was supported by 

a In the author's description the term " temple " is applied to the room on the upper terrace, and 
" jiyramid " to the solid terraced base upon which this sanctuary stood. 


columns, two of wliicli are still vi:>ible at the base of the pyramid. 
This building- was possibly an antechamber or g-atewaj^, a waiting 
room for those who took part in the ceremonies in the temple on the 
pyramid. A third structure on the same base as the others is a roof- 
less inclosure. situated in the rear side of the p\'ramid and extending 
the whole width of the basal platform." 

All these buildings stood on a common platform that was slightly 
raised above the surfaie of the court or plaza. The steps bj' which 
one mounted to the platform are still visible. 

The accompanying illustration (plate xcvii) shows this pyramid as 
seen by one facing the stairway, which is continuous from the base to 
tlie apex. At the foot of the stairs are seen the broken remains of 
hollow, chimney-like plaster columns that once supported a roof, for- 
merly decorated on their flat sides with stucco figures. Adjoining them 
are fragments of the foundations of old walls of the room. Three of 
the four pillars appear in the illustration, the missing one having been 
broken off at its base and covered with rank vegetation and other 
debris. The round pedestal of solid concrete seen a little to the right 
in the foreground of the plate resembles a pillar, but is in reality an 
altar, the remains of which stood in front of the pyramid. An exami- 
nation of the structure of the rear and sides of the pyramid shows that 
it had six terraces, the size of which graduallj' diminishes from the 
base to apex, the upright walls being inclined slightly inward from the 
perpendicular. The plaster covering the surface of the lowest story 
is somewhat more broken than that of the upper, revealing the rows 
of rul)ble stones laid iu the concrete which forms the interior. On the 
left face of the pyramid, about midway from each corner, a row of pits, 
one in the surface of each terrace, forms a continuous series of foot 
holes, by means of which one could ascend to the top of the pyramid 
without making use of the main stair, a feature not found iu the other 
Cempoalan temples. 

Tiie stairway is continuous from base to top and has a massive bal- 
ustrade on each side, following the angle of inclination of the steps 
except at the top, where it ends in a cubical block, the sides of which 
are practically perpendicular. This structure, like all other parts of 
the pyramid, is made of plaster applied to a core of water-worn stones 
laid in concrete. 

On ascending to the spacious top or upper platform of the pyramid, 
remnants of tiie temple walls are found somewhat back from the land- 
ing of the stairs. These walls, now fallen or broken, once formed 
three sides of a chamber, the fourth side being occupied by a door- 
way. It would appear that formerly there were two idols in this 
temple, the pedestal on which one of these stood being still visible to 

*i Possibly the bodies of those sacrificed in the temple were thrown down the pyramid into this 



the left of the middle line. Oii the lateral margins of the platform of 
the upper terrace there are still found remnants of a row of terraced 
battlements (Hgurc 4-i), that were ab.sent from the rear margin. A 
wall a few inches higher than the plastered surface of the terrace margin 
served as a base on which these l)lock:s stood. This base was perforated " 

at intervals on the floor 
level by round orifices 
to allow the escape of 
rain or other water that 
fell on the platform. 
In front of the basal 
platform, supporting 
the pyramid and its an- 
nexes, there are remains 
of smaller structures, 
among which may be 
the remains of a circular 

F'IG. 41. Battlements . f Imiiciiiiir A. Cempoalim. 

mentioned a pile of stones constituting 

In the forest opposite the stairway is a small pyramid not more than 
4 feet high, with upper parts of a stairway and terraced sides, their 
bases now half hidden by vegetation. 


No two of the pyramids of (Jempoalau have exactly the same form 
notwithstanding their general similarity. The pyramid (plate xcviii) 
near that just described has a larger number of tei'races than any 
other and no indication of a special stairwa}'. It is probable that the 
terraces on the south side, that toward the great court (Plaza Maj'or), 
served for the purpose. Apparently the temple which stood on the 
platform of this pyramid was manj^-chambered, containing several 
idols. Nothing now remains of this building but traces of the founda- 
tions, the walls htiving long ago fallen. The floor of the platform of 
the pyramid was smoothly- plastered, and there was formerly a mar- 
ginal row of terraced battlements on two sides.* 

miLUING c 

The temple of this building (plate xcix) is fairly well preserved and 
its pv ram idal base is almost entire. From remains of structures around 
the latter, it would appear that the whole building was formerly 
inclo.sed ])y a wall whose ridges of stone and disintegrated mortar still 
remain to mark its former position. Facing the well-preserved stair- 
waj', it will be noticed that this part of the structure is divided 

" These holes are figured In picturesof temples in Aztec codices, when they are sometimes supposed 
to represent rafters. 

''When the author first visited this structure it was almost concealed by tlie dense growtli of vege- 
tation, witich was partially removed Ijefore the photograph was taken. 



into two parts, one above the other, the lower extending from the 
ground to a landing on the margin of the basal terrace, the upper 
from the terrace to the platform of the second storj-, the edge of which 
is indicated by the seated tigure. The relation of basal and second 
terraces is best seen from a rear corner-view given in the accompanying 
illustration (plate c). On the rear side of the second terrace, directly 
opposite the stairway, one niaj' see a square shallow recess in the wall 
the purport of which is unknown. The relative size of the pyramid 
is evident from the two figures standing on the ridge between the l)ase 
of the temple proper and the edge of the second terrace, where there 
is liarely standing room for a man. 

The walls of the temple proper are almost continuous with the mar- 
gin of the platform of the second story, imparting to that part of the 
pyramid, when seen from one corner, the appearance of a third story. 
The walls back of the standing figures form sides of a room open on 
the side toward the stairwa\'." 

An examination of the outer surf ace of the walls forming this cham- 
ber, which is the temple, shows an overhanging cornice, and a slight)}' 
raised horizontal band extending around the building midwa}' between 
cornice and base. Below this band the surface wall is plane continu- 
ously around the three sides, Init between it and the cornice there are 
sunken panels separated b}- vertical bands, the surface of which is 
flush with the lower surface of the wall. There are two sunken panels 
in each lateral wall and three in the rear, all together forming a frieze 
the surface of which is rough, indicating that foreign bodies, as rows 
of stones, claj' heads, or possibly human skulls, were formerly attached 
to these panels. The smooth surface below the horizontal band still 
exliil)its traces of red and yellow pigment, remains of former pictures. 
Similar panels containing embedded objects are reported from the 
Castillo at Huatusco, and panels of a like kind were architectural fea- 
tures of other Aztec temples, judging from existing pictures of those 
buildings.* No temple well enough preserved to show the nature of 
the ornaments embedded in the frieze or panels over a doorway, now 
remains in tlie Valley of jNIexico, but in the cornice of the Casa de 
Tepozteco, at Tepoztlan, there are remains of carvings in volcanic stone, 
representing human skulls. An aboriginal drawing by Sahagun' of 

"In views of a similar pyramid near Huatusco, given by Sartorius, there are representations of 
niches in the blocks, containing idols. 

^See Penafiel, Nombres GeogrAficos de Mexico, aiexico, 1SS5. On page 57 we find the rebus of 
Atenanco, a water symbol att flowing from a battlement, tonanco, or tcnamiU; p. 181, tcnanco and 
lenantzinco: p. 197, ietcnanco, in which the same element icnamitl, battlement, appears. These pic- 
tures of the battlements ienamitl are good representations of the line of battlements on a Cempoalan 

<• Die Ausgrabiingen am Orte des Haupt-temples in Mexico. The discussion of the form of the 
great pyramid of Mexico by Seler brings out aclose likeness between it and the Cempoalan pyramids. 
In speaking of the Mexican Codices, reference is made to those of the Aztec, so-called, but the author 
believes that the Codex Cortesianus and Troanus, commonly called a Maya Codex, was obtained by 
Cortes on the coast of Vera Cruz, at or near Cempoalan. 

25 ETH — 07 10 


the temples of Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc ou the great pyramid of Mex- 
ico represents a panel over the doorway with horizontal rows of white 
circles on a black ground, and in a somewhat better figifre of the same 
temple there are added to these white-circle repi-esentations of human 
skulls. Although nothing now remains in the panels forming the 
frieze of the Cempoalan temple, the many clay heads found at the base 
of the pyramid, as well as statements of the early visitors, indicate 
that these panels were ornamented with such heads. The inner sur- 
faces of the temple walls correspond to the outer so far as the panels 
are concerned, but the surfaces are less worn and show more clearly 
the remains of superficial paintings. 

The floor of the temple, which is likewise the surface of the plat- 
form of the pvramid, w^as formerly smoothly plastered and had a 
scjuare depression several feet deep in its middle. Evidently this 
depression, which is still visible, was originallj^ covered by a square 
stone whose edges rested in a groove. 

This ruin, like the others, has been much damaged by the roots of 
large trees that are tearing the cement apart, but the exposed surfaces 
are still well preserved — a remarkable fact considering the age of these 
buildings and tlie erosive action of the vains to which they have been 

A few feet in front of the lower steps of the stairway is a low, cir- 
cular pedestal made of concrete covered with plaster, which was prob- 
ably an altar, and in front of this a rectangular platform marks the 
position of a basin-like structure, present in front of other pvramids 

nrii.niNu d 

1 his building (plate ci) belongs to the same type as that last mentioned, 
and is in about the same state of preservation. Its pyramid is com- 
posed of two stories, a basal story somewhat lower than in l)uilding C, 
and a second stor}', well preserved, resting upon it. This temple is 
smalhn- than the others, its walls being a little higher than tiie heads of 
tlie persons who stand in the embrasure, formerly a doorway. Breaks 
in the walls of this temple indicate the position where lintels have 
been wrenched from their places. One featui-e of the second story 
shown in a view from one corner (plate cii) is a battlement or row of 
terraced projections arranged along the margin of its platform. The 
stairwaj', with lateral buttresses, is situated on the east side, and is 
broken into two parts, one above the other, separated by a landing. 
The lower stairs end on the top of the basal story, fi'oin which the 
second stairway rises to the platform on which stood the walls of the 
temple or .sanctuarj'." 

n Compare this building with a sketch of a Yucatan temple in Landa*s Relacion de lasCosasde 
Vut'atan. sacada de lo escrivio el Padre Fray Dieso de Landa de la Orden de St. Francisco. See 
Rosney's Ensayo sobre la Interpretacion de La Escritura Hicratica de .Vmerica Central, translation by 
Rada y Delgado, Appendi.\, p. 104, Madrid, ISS-I. 



This structure (plate cm) was evidentl}' an important one in Cempoa- 
lan, althuui;'h its pyramidal form is ditlicult to discover. It lies in an 
open field, but is more or less covered with bushes and is considerably 
broken. In the printed plan illustrating the Troncoso exploration, this 
building and the adjacent mounds are designated Sistema de los Pare- 
dones ("System of Walls'"). 

The four buildings described in the pi'eceding pages give a fair 
idea of the architecture of typical Totonac temples and pyramids, 
not only in the valley of the Actopan, but also elsewhere on the 
coast of Vera Cruz. But when Totonac buildings or temples in other 
parts of this state are considered it will be found that ])uilding mate- 
rial or environment has strongly affected their construction. In the 
plains where Cempoalan is situated there are no quarries from which 
stones could have been obtained, but instead a multitude of small water- 
worn bowlders; hence the builders made use of the latter in their 
buildings. In mountainous regions stones were employed and these 
stones were hewn or cut into shape, as at Papantla. The forms of the 
Cempoalan temples remind one of Yucatan, Chiapas, and Tobasco and 
resemble those of the Valley of Mexico, but the building material 
is different. 


In all accounts of the preliminary scttiemcnts founded by Cortes in 
the coast region of the Totonac countiT, there is found associated with 
Cempoalan another city called Quiauistlan, said to have been situated 
only a few nules from the Totonac metropolis." The site of this place 
has never been satisfactorily studied, although its proximity to the 
first city founded by Cortes in Mexico is given by several early wa-iters. 
Bernal Diaz says that Cortes traced the plaza and church. Villa Rica 
de la Vera Ci'uz, in the plain a half league from the fortified pueblo 
called Quiauistlan. This city was later removed to another site, also 
called Vera Cruz, where remains of crumbling walls and the little 
church mark the oldest settlement of Europeans on the continent of 
America. Antigua, as its station on the railroad is now called, offers 
little to interest the traveler. It has an unfinished church and remains 
of barracks ascribed to General Santa Ana, who owned a hacienda in 
the neighborhood, but with the exception of these and its old walls, 

n On Brasseur's map Quiauistlan is placed north of Cempoalan. but its exact site is as yet an open 
question. Cortes founded the city, Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, about a mile from Quiauistlan. 
Clavijero. as pointed out by Humboldt (Ensayo Politico sobre de la Nueva Espaiia) shows that there 
were three cities called Vera Cruz founded by Cort6s — the present metropolis of that name, Villa 
Rica de la Vera Cruz, now called Antigua, which was the second of that name, and the first settle- 
ment, that near Quiauistlan. G6mara speaks of the second as near Chia\dtzlan or Aquiahuitzlan, 
the Indian settlement. Field work is necessary to determine whether the Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz 
near Quiauistlan was the first or the second Villa Rica, for if the latter, it was south of Cempoalan. 


the second Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz is little different from other 
more modem settlements. In searching for the ruins near the second 
Vera Cruz, the writer unexpectedly found a H:roup of instructive earth 
mounds that have never been described by archeologists. These 
moimds, visible from the train, lie on the opposite bank of the river 
from the old settlement of the Spaniards, about half a mile from the 
station, Antigua. They are arranged irregularl\' about a level space 
that may have been a plaza and closely resemble some of tlie earth 
mounds of the Mississippi valley. The remains of Quiauistlan, which 
lie near the site of the first Villa Rica founded In* Cortes, were not 
visited by the author. 


The true route of (yortes to Mexico immediately after he left Cem- 
poalan is indicated by Chavero," after Orozco y Berra. Gomara sayt< 
that for the first three days after leaving the Totonac metropoli.s the 
ai'my traversed a friendly country' and came to Japala, where it was 
well received. This friendly pueblo was not the present city of that 
name but another called Jalapa Viejo, situated al)out a mile fi"om the 
present site. On the fourth day, continues Gomara, the army came 
to Sicuohimatl and thence went on to Theuhixuacan. According to 
Bernal Diaz the ami)- went from Cempoaliin to Jalapa, from which 
it marched to a settlement called Socochinia; he does not mention 
Gomara's Theuhixuacan. It is evident that the pneblo Socochima of 
Bernal Diaz is the same as Sicuchimatl of Gomara, the dili'erence in 
spelling Indian names being a very natural one and fi'equent in other 

It is highly desiralde in tracing the route of Cortes from Jalapa 
over the Cofre del Pirote to the plateau, to identify the site of Sicu- 
chimatl. Gomara has mentioned several characteristic features of 
Sicuchimatl'' that apply to Xicochimalco, called Xico Viejo, one of the 
ruins near a modern pueblo of the same name, Xicochimalco. This 
ruin is about a day's march from -Jalapa oi' four days' f I'om Cempoalan, 
and is situated in an almost inaccessiljle place in the mountains, 
approached by a trail so steep that it might well be called an artiticial 
stairwaj', a fact mentioned by Gomara and others. At the base of 
the lofty and precijiitous clitf upon which Xico Viejo stands are 
the cultivated fields in which are waUs, fragments of potter}', and 
other evidences of a past population. One of the early writers asserts 
that Moctezuma could draw 50,000 warriors from this region. Cer- 
tainly a handful of men could have prevented a large army from 

a Mexico & travgrs dc los Siglos. p. 844. 

6 The writer has Ijeen aided in identifying Sicuchimatl by legends current iu the modern town, Xico. 
As in the study of Ilopi archeology, much can be learned regarding the inhaljitants of ruins, from 
migration traditions, so Aztec legends still repeated in Indian pueblos shed much light on many 
Mexican ruins. 


oliiuhini;- the steep trails and euteriiii;' Xico \ iejo had the}' wished to 
do so. The inhabitants were ordered by Moctezuma to receive Cortes 
in a friendly manner and to furnish the strangers with food. 

According to Herrera, Cortes consumed one day in niarching from 
Cempoalan to .lalapa. This feat would have rerjuired a forced march, 
and. considerint;- the size of th(> army, its impedimenta, and the distance 
between the two points, would have heen almost impossible; more- 
over the statement of the lenyth of time does not agree with that 
given by the other authors, Bernal Diaz and (xomara, already (juoted. 
Herrera does not mention the pueblo Xiehochiuialco, but says that 
after leaving .lalapa the con(|uerors went on to another place, where 
they were well receixed on account of the fact that both places be- 
longed to the Cempoalan confederacv. The other place (iitr<> Inijar) 
luentioni'il by Herrera was evidently either Xicochimalco or Izhuacan." 

Many other contemporary references to the route of Cortes lietween 
Cempoalan and the pass of the Cofre del Pirote might be quoted and 
will be considered in a more extended report, but the accounts given 
by the authors al)ove named are suflicient to establish X\w site of Sicu- 
chiniatl, from which place the trail went over the mountains to the 
pueblo TheuhixLiacaTi. tht> old settlement whose descendants now iniialiit 

There are three towns not far from Jalapa that bear the name Xico 
or Xicochimalco, two oi which are now in ruins. The two ruined set- 
tlements are claimed l)y the jiresent inhaliitants of Xico as pueblos of 
their ancestors, and while legends are very definite concerning one of 
these the}- are more vague about the other.'' These may l)e called the 
Texolo mounds and Xico Viejo; the former are believed to ha\'e t>een 
made by a race ditierent from the inhabitants of the latter, who were 

Texolo Mounds 

The oldest and largest ruin in the neighborhood of Xico, one of the 
two above mentioned, is called Texolo, but its true name is unknown. 
This remarkaljle group of mounds (plates civ, cv) lies at the base of the 
volcanic mountain San Marcos (Acatpetl), visible from the plaza of 
Jalapa. It consists of a series of large mounds, some of which have 
markedly angular shapes, extending from San INIarcos to a short dis- 
tance from the Xico station on the narrow-gauge railroad from Jalapa 

aSome authors, as Prescott, say that CortOs went from Jalapa to Naolingo. but it is not so stated in 
Bernal Diaz and G6mara. 

!'An ol<l Xico Indian stated that Xico Viejo was on the highway to Jlexico from the coast of the 
Gulf and that it is commonly believed by his people that this road was that used by tlie couriers who 
carritd to Moctezuma the news of the arrival of the Spaniards. It this legend is reliable, it has a 
distinct corroborative bearing on the probable route of Cortes, who naturally would have followed 
this trail. 

cI am much indebted to Mr William Boone, director of the .lalapa electric light plant, forvaliiable 
aid in my studies about Xico, 


to Teocelo. The road from this statiou to the falls, now utilized \>y 
the Electric Light Company of Jalapa, passes along- one side of a row 
of these mounds and continues past two other isolated pj-rainids situ- 
ated in an adjacent tield. A superficial examination revealed that these 
mounds are constructed of eai'th, with no indication of cut stones or 
ado))e, or of cement or plaster tinish. Their general form is rectangu- 
lar; they are arranged in two rows inclosing a court now planted with 
lianunas and cotfee. In superticial appearance the^' are identical with 
the mounds at Antigua and with those also at many other places in the 
states of Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas. 

The kinship of the former iiihahitants of this region is proVdematical, 
for there is no historical reference to them, and the objects found in 
this vicinity have no resemblance to those characteristic of Nahuatl or 
Totonac archeology. The physical features of their site difler from 
those of Sicuchiniatl as described by historians, which according to all 
earlj' writers stood on a hill inaccessible or nearly so to a visitor. The 
legends of the people of the inhabited or modern pueblo Xico, who are 
Aztec, claim that the mounds of Texulo were built b^' their ancestors, 
which may be true for certain families, but the o))jects found near 
tlicm are not Aztec. These objects are diti'ereiit also from those of 
the Totonac. but are more closely allied to them than to those from 
the ruin Xico Viejo, where the Xico people lived at the time of the 

Xico Viejo 

The ruin identified by the author as the Sicuchimatl of Gomara is 
now called Xiro Viejo. It is reached from modern Xico by a horseback 
ride of an hour and a half over a rough road, in some places across 
steep barrancas almost impassable except on foot. The last half mile 
of this road is practically impassable for horses and must be made on 
foot, justifying the statements of Gomara regarding the difficulties the 
horsemen of Cortes encountered in reaching the pueblo. The best 
preserved structure at Xico Viejo is a temple pyramid (plate cix, <() with 
a platform on one side, evidently faced with hewn stones. At the base 
of this p3'ramid several stone blocks, parts of a battlement like that 
on Cempoalan pyramids, were observed, and two of these are intro- 
duced in the illustration of the idol (plate cvi). In the open space at 
one side of the pyramid are remains of other fallen walls of l)uildiiigs. 
before which stood at least one, possi))iy two, large idols, one of wliich 
will presently be described. There ;ire many fallen walls of buildings 
some distance from the pyramid, on the slope of the hill (plate cix, 7>) 
upon which the pueblo was situated, and the plain Ijelow is thickl}- 
strewn with walls referred to the ancient inhabitants. 

The stone idol (plate cvi) still standing in the open court near the 
central pyramid attracts one's attention as by far the most interesting 




object at Xico Viejo. When the idol was visited it had Imiianas upon 
it; these were offerings lately placed there, wliiih would indicate that 
belief in the powerof the idol is not wlioUy extinct in that neighborhood. 
This idol is a plintli of liard biaclv rock aliout 4 feet higli with a human 
head cut on one end. This head (tigiires 4.5, 46) has elaborately 
carved ear pendants and a peculiar nasal ornament, the latter ])oing 
found lilcewise in an idol of the Plumed Snal-:e found near Jalapa 
Viejo. On the back of the head there is a rabbit's head under a circle 
(rv fiirhli, one rabbit), possibly the date of the foundation of the town. 
The inhabitants of moder 
Xico have a legentl tliat the 
pueblo, the ruins of which 
they call Xico A'iejo, was 
founded l)y the immediate 
predeces.sor of Moctezuma I. 
A second plinth, almost 
identical with the other in 
form and size, lies on the 
ground near the idol, but 
this stone shows no evidence 
of having been carved on its 
end, although such carving 
may exist on the under side, 
the object being too heavy 
to be turned over. 

Stoxe Idols Near Xico 

There are in the neighbor- 
hood of Xico several stones 
with carved idols upon them 
that may be mentioned in this 
connection. Among these 
are two that bear upon their 
surfaces ligures of animals 
cut in high relief, evidently 
reverenced by the ancient 
inhabitants of that rea'ion. 

Flii. 45. Stone idol at Xico 
viejo. (Front view.) 

Fig. 46. Stone idol at Xico 
Viejo. (Bark view.) 

One of these (tigures 47, 48) is sculptured 
on a bowlder in the middle of a cornfield near the railroad, a few hun- 
dred feet beyond the station at Xico. It represents an animal with 
human head, the limbs extended as if grasping the rock on which 
it is cut. (Plate rviii. ) 

The other stone (plate ('Vii) is found on a hillside near the station 
Fuente, a short distance from Xico. The figure on this rock is a gigan- 
tic serpent represented as crawling out of a spring. This figure 



sculptured in relief is about '20 feet in length, the upper part of the 
bocW being horizontal, the lower vertical and zigzag in form. The 
image is cut on the perpendicular face of a rock that has at its Ijase a 
spring, the tail of the serpent being hidden in this spring." It would 
naturally be supposed that this image was formerly worshinod as a 
water sod. 

Fig. 47. .Stone idol at Toxolo. {Side view.) 

FKt. 48. Stune idol at Texolo. (Back view.) 


The present pueblo XicochinialcD was foiuided after the Conquest 
bj' descendants of the people of Xico Viejo. Most of its popvilation 
are Isidians and speak the Aztec, or Mexican, language. Their feast 
da}' occurs on July 22, when they have a dramatization of the Con- 
quest with personations of Malinche, Cortes, Moctezuma, floors, and 

The conclusions regarding the two ruins near Xico are that the 
mounds at Texolo are nuich the older'' and were constructed by a highlv 
cultured people, supei'ior to the Aztec, to whom the}' coiitriltuted 
both l)lood and culture. The second ruin, now called Xico Viejo. was 
a flourishing Aztec pueblo or garrison town, recently settled when 
Cortes passed through the country. The present Xico, containing 
descendants from both the previous settlements, was founded later 
than the Conquest by descendants of those who inhabited Xico Viejo; 
its inhabitants now speak Nahua and claim both Texolo and Xico 
Viejo as ancestral settlements, but racially they are closer to the 
people of the latter than to those of the former. The bearings of 
artifacts from the Texolo mounds on these conclusions will be con- 
sidered later. 

o Probably the stone serpent mentioned by Rivera (Historia de Jalapa) as near Jala pa. For a figure 
oj a goddess of water forming a fountain, see Nebei's picture of an image from Tusapan. 

!>Tlie neigli boring jpueblo, Teoceln ("divine tiger"), where' there is a large Indian population , like- 
wise represents in the fiesta of its patron saint, Negros, Tocontines, Santiagos, and Moros, but 
the celebration occurs on August l,i. 

cThe inhabitants of Texolo may have been contemporary with those of San Juan Teotihnacan and 
their epoch may have antedated the rise and extension of the Aztec confederacy. Their interme- 
diate descendants may have been Totonac or some related people. 



An exaiiiiniitioii oi otlier pyramids in Vera Cruz ascribed to the 
aiH-ient Totonae shows a general siniihxrity to the mounds referred to 
in the preceding pages. Some of these, oi whicii Papanthx is probably 
the best Isnown, are faced with di'essed stone. The pyramid El Cas- 
tillo, at Huatusco, and those at Tusapan and Mizantla have the same 
general form as those at Cempoalan, but the material used in their con- 
struction is ditierent. One of the best preserved Nahuatl pyramids in 
this country is situated at Teayo, not far from Tuxpan. and will be 
considered presenth\" 

The pyramid called El Tajin. " the Lightning" (plate ex), situated in 
Vera Cruz near Papantla. is one of the most striking as well as excep- 
tional ruins in the ancit>nt Totonae territory. From what remains of 
this magnilicent monument we may t'onclude that in its prime it was 
not inferior in architecture to the most stately structures of Central 
America to which it is closely related. The pyramid has this excep- 
tional architectural feature: While solid throughout there are arranged 
in series around the four faces, with the exception of the space occu- 
pied Ijy the stairway, numerous niches in which formerly stood idols 
or possibly other objects. The temple proper crowned the platform 
or uppermost of the six terraces. The exceptional feature in El Tajin 
is the seven rows of niches, one above the other, the homologues of 
which exist in no othei- pyramid in Mexico, either Maya or Nahuatl. 

The modern pueblo Papantla, situated in the midst of the \anilla 
zone of Vera Cruz, is a connnunity of Totonae Indians among whom 
survive many ancient customs. One vi the most interesting of these 
is the game of the dyers (ri>Iadorr.s), which was once widely distributed 
in Mexico. In this play men disguised as birds mount to the tops of 
upright poles and, attaching themselves to ropes, junni into space, 
seeming to fly thi'ough the air. It would appear that this game has 
preserved in Papantla some of its ancient vigor and that the perform- 
ance here retains much that is more or less ceremonial. An old woman, 
the so-called Irujn (witch), makes offerings of co])al. aguadiente. and 
a fowl, which are placed in the hole when the pole is put in position. 
and various minor rites are performed during the several days the 
ceremony continues. The volador festival has degenerated into a play 
in modern times and in most Mexican pueblos has come to be a secu- 
lar occasion. It is comparable with the Sun dance, one of the most 
serious ceremonies of our Plains Indians. 

aThe pyramids of the Sun and Moon, at San Juan Teotihuacan, not far from Mexico City, are of 
earth, not differing, except in size, from many earth mounds of Vera Cruz. 



This pyramid lies not far fi-om Tiixpan, and is one of the best exam- 
ples in Vera Cruz of the p\'ramidal mound with cut stone surface and 
continuous stairway. This pyramid (plate cxi) is situated in the plaza of 
the pueblo of the same name and is a much-prized monument; as shown 
in the accompanying plate the structure above the teuiple is modern. 
The image (n' idol that once stood on the summit of the temple is now in 
the Dehesha collection at Jalapa. According to Doctor Seler," all the 
carded stone images found near Teayo indicate that its culture was 
Nahuatl and not Totonac, (^r that Tea^yo was an Aztec garrison town. 
The style of cutting and sym))olism of the stone idols found in this 
neighborhood by Doctor Maler leaves no doubt that Seler is right ir. 
calling this an Aztec building. Teayo was probably a Nahuatl garrison 
town in the Totonac territory. 


The general appearance of the mounds of Cempoalan, Xico, and 
one or two other Totonac ruins has been indicated in the preceding 
pages. This brief notice is next supplemented with a few observations 
on archeological specimens found in the neigliliorhood of some of these 
ruins. Notwithstanding the wealth of ancient Totonac material in 
collections, the.^e ol)jects have lieen superficially treated by students, 
and practically notliing lias been written in English on this subject. 
The localities from which many of these objects have been obtained 
are not known, so tliat we are not able to refer tliem to the Totonac 
rather than to other cultures. This is particidarly unfortunate, 
especialh' as the state of Vera Cruz was once inhabited by distinct 
peoples,* whose culture \aried considerablj'. 

In his comprehensive work, Alt Mexico, Dr H. Strebel has figured 
and described a numb(>r of stone and clay artifacts that well iihistrate 
the art proflucts of the Totonac. This worl< is an authority on the 
subject but is in German and has never been translated; moreo\'er, 
many important types of stone objects are not mentioned in this valu- 
able memoir. A consideration of some of the more striking specimens 
observed in the courst' of studies at Cempoalan and Jalapa might enlarge 
our knowledge of the culture of this I'egion and properlj- form a por- 
tion of the general account of the author's visit to Vera Cruz. As there 
is no collection of Totonac i)rehistoric o})jects in the world that can com- 
pare with that of C)ro\'. Teodoro Dehesa at eJalapa, the autlior lias given 

a Since writing this paragraph the author has read Doctor Seler*s comprehensive account of the ruins 
of Teayo. published in the proceedings of the Stuttgart meeting of the Americanists. 

/> Although some of the Vera Cruz pueblos were Nahuatl and others Totonac, the expert can readily 
distinguish objects characteristic of these cultures. 


considerable atiention to a study of this eollectioii b^- permission 
of the governor, who has allowed him to photograph and publish 
figures of objects therein. Sra Kstefania Salas of Jalapa has sev- 
eral very instructive specimens from Otates" and elsewhere, which 
supplement those above mentioned. These likewise were examined, 
together with a few additional objects in other collections. Sev- 
eral fine ceramic specimens illustrating Totoiiac culture were pre- 
sented to tlie author by 8r Alejandro Viu, alcalde of San Carlos. 
The}' we]-e found at Barru Chachalicas. near the mouth of the Act()i)an 
river and therefore not far from C'empoalan. As tlieir general ciiar- 
acter is Totonac, they may l)e regarded as well illustrating the general 
feature of the ceramic art of C'emj)oalan. Not being permitted to 
remove these specimens from the Reyjnblic, the author has been 
obliged to rely on the accompanying plates made from photographs 
of them while in Mexico. 


The objects considered in the following pages are of clay or stone. 
They differ in form and include besides vases, jars, and various forms 
of ceramic ware, idols, weapons, and problematical objects, as stone 
yokes, paddle stones, padlock stones, and animal effigies. The majority 
of the ceramic objects are clay heads, some of which are of a verj' 
remarkable form. 

Several aboriginal stone objects from the vicinity of Xico are char- 
acteristic of that region and markedly different from those found in 
Aztec or Totonac ruins. 

Some of the more striking types are: 

(1) Stone rings, or collars, (2) closed rings or yokes, (3) open 3'okes, (-A) 
curved stones, (.1) paddle-shaped stones, {(>) human heads and birds 
with notched bases, (7) stone feathers, (8) padlock-shaped stones, (9) 
stone weapons. 


Among the more unusual objects found in this region is the stone 
ring of the Dehesa collection, the general form of which recalls that 
of the stone collars of Porto Rico. None of these Mexican stone 
yokes, however, have the characteristic panels, projections, and pro- 
tuberances on the surface that are universally represented in some 
form or other on Porto Rican stone collars. Manj' archeologists in 
connnenting on Mexican stone yokes have referred to their likeness 
to Porto Rican collars, but have recognized in most instances that this 
resemblance is of the most general nature. The nearest approach to 
the Antillean stone collar that was seen bj' the author is the ring in 

« A pueblo about 25 miles east of Jalapa. 



the Dehesa collection mentioned above and represented in accompany- 
ing fioure v.). This object has an oval form and bears at one pole an 
indentation or notch on the outer margin. The exterior surface is 
not decorated with figures but is ridged, imparting an angular form 

Fj)., i'J. .'?tu!ie riiiR. ( Deliesa cnllectinn. ) 

to a cross section. The notcli at the upper pole suggests the connect- 
ing bar that unites tlie two arms of certain yokes, forming the closed 
variety, which will be considered jiresently. Another specimen now 
at the hacienda San Bruno, near Jalapa, shows a transition form 


between this .stone ring and tiae closed j-oke. Its surface is not deco- 
rated and a cross section shows angles identical with those of the stone 
ring of the Dehesa collection above described. From a stone ring 
of this kind the passage to a closed yoke is easy, and from the last 
mentioned one readily passes to the yoke proper. It would seem that 
these three types are morphologically the same — a fact which would 
imply identity in use. 


A closed yoke is simply a 3'oke with the ends of the arms united. 
While some of the closed yokes from eastern ^lexico have a smooth 
or undecorated surface, a larger number of this type are ornamented 
with elaborate incised geometrical designs, sometimes with elaborate 
figures. The morphological resemblance between the closed and the 
open j'okes is so great that we may regard them as practically identical 
in function. 


The geographical distril)ution of Mexican stone yokes leads to the 
belief that they belonged to the ancient Totonac. Although a few 
of these remarkable objects have been found in adjoining states 
(Puebla. Chiapas, and Tlascala), the majority originally came from tiie 
state of \evn Cruz. Stones of this type thus appear to have l)een 
made by an aboriginal people of this region, and not hy the Maliua. 
who reduced the former to vassalage when they extended their domain 
from the valley of Mexico to the Gulf. These objects are generally 
referred to the Totonac culture and it is thought they were adopted 
from the Totonac by neighboring tribes. Although these yokes have 
a common form, they diU'er one from the other in size and super- 
ficial sculpturing, the latter feature affording the best basis for a 
tentative classification. In order to comprehend the dift(M-ences in the 
syniljolic reliefs on these stone j'okes, it is convenient to jjlace them in 
the same position for ol)servation. The vertical or arched position in 
which they are generally represented reveals comparatively little 
of their superficial decoration. AVhatever appears is confined mostly 
to the outer curve of the arch. In this way one fails to see the sides 
and any decorations, when present (figure 50) on the ends of the arms. 

The ornamented regions are more clearly seen by placing the 
j-oke in a hoi-izontal position — that which Strebel urges it had when 
in use. In such a position the curve of the arch lies at the left of the 
observer, and the undecorated edge, which is rougher and narrower 
than the other, serves as a base upon which the yoke naturallv rests. 
Strebel and later Holmes have pointed out that this rather than the 
upright is a natural arrangement and that, when a yoke is so placed, 

nProfessor Holmes {Field Columbian iluseum Puhlirations, i, no. 1, 310-315), describes at length the 
symbolism of one of these closed yokes, from a specimen in the Field Columbian Mu.seum. 



heads cut in relief on the sides and ends of the arms will })e seen in 
natural positions. As a rule, when yokes are placed otherwise than 
horizontal, the majority of the heads cut on the sides of the arms 
are reversed or thrown into unnatural positions, although there are 
some specimens, as in plate ('x\', where an upright position of the 
3'oke is necessary to give normal positions to the figures cut upon the 
arms. Having placed the yoke horizontal, with the curved part of 
the arch at the left, the two arms of the yoke may be distinguished as 
proximal and distal, the curved or arched end may be designated the 
anterior, and the free arms the posterior; the base is the lower side or 
margin upon which the yoke rests. 

Fig. 50. "Enfl view (if arras of stone yokes. (Museo N.. 

An examination of decorated stone j^okes leads the author to clas.sify 
them in two large groups each with subordinate divisions, some of 
which have their surfaces decorated with geometrical figures, others 
•with representations of heads or limbs of men or animals. Many highly 
decorated yokes are covered with a much con^'entionalized tracery of 
geometrical designs, oftentimes so elaborate and intricate that they 
conceal or obscure the figures, if anj'. which are cut on the j'oke. 
This is especialh' true of arms or that part representing the body, and 
in some specimens this ornamentation extends over the legs, head, and 
even the protruded tongue. As a rule, geometrical figures when com- 
plicated are deeply incised, forming rectangles and curved ornamental 
designs, some of which remind one of representatives of feathers on 
stone images of the Plumed Serpent. It is to be noticed also that 


siniilur yt'oiiR'tricul I raccrie.s occur like wise on thcprohlcniaticiil paddle- 
shaped stones, indicating an intimate cultui-al resemblance. 

A scientific classiticutiou may be built on the number of heads of 
human beings or animals cut on the external surfaces of the yokes and 
on the general identification of these figures. Thus we recognize a first 
group that contains those in which the yoke represents one hmiian 
beino- or animal, the head being cut on the arch and the limbs and bodv 
on the arms, while the second group contains those yokes with hejlds of 
two or more human t)eings or animals represented on the sides and arch 
of the yoke. The first group is subdivided into two classes, in the first 
of which human faces arc represented: in the second some animal, as a 
frog or reptile, is cut in relief on the stone. The head or face of the 
first subdivision has many human features, and the likeness extends 
to representations of appendages, which take the forms of arms and 
legs, bands, and human feet rather than claws or hoofs. In the second 
division of the first type the evident intention was to represent head 
and legs of some ))izarre animal rather than those of man; the figure 
represented is commonly called a frog. The head is not that of 
a human being, although unlike an animal's, and the limbs are not 
arms and legs with hands and feet, but animal ap])endages with 
claws, hoofs, or similar digits. At times these ai)pendages Itecouie so 
conventionalized that their resemblances to legs is almost wholly lost 
and can ])e detected only by compaT-ative studies. 

The superficial scul2:)turing of the first type indicates that one ))eing 
was represented on each yoke, or that all the ornamentation together 
forms the head and various organs of one animal. This is not true of 
the second type, where two or more iieads, legs, and bodies of as many 
individuals are cut on tlie same yoke. In this type the several heads 
rej)rest'iited ar(> sometimes identical, but more often diverse, so that 
while the face of a grotcs(jue animal may appear on the arch, repre- 
sentations of skulls and human faces occur on the arms. 

The accompanying plate, (plate cxri, a, h, c), chosen to represent a 
decorated 3'oke of the first type, is one of the l)est specimens in the 
Dehesa collection. As indicated by the human face, it Ixdongs to the 
first subdivision of the first group, in which a linman head is cut in 
relief on the curved end, the legs and arms being clearly seen on the 
proximal and distal arms of tlie 3oke. A side view (plate cxii. h), 
reveals an elaborate system of geometrical designs, indicating the body 
with legs and arms in relief, the same ornamentation (jeing found 
over the whole surface of the yoke. The superficial ornamentation is 
intended to represent a figure witli a human head, the body lying 
prone on its breast like an animal. 

In the specimen figured on plate cxii. is an example of the first tj'pe 
of stone yoke, but one in which the superficial sculptured designs 
cover the body, tongue, and legs to such an extent that the joints 



of the legs and the feet are imich obscured, and the hands wholly lost. 
In plate cxiii, k. is represented another specimen, also from the Dehesa 
collection, belonging to the first type. There is a remarkable simi- 
larity between this specimen and the last-preceding one, both of which 
represent human beings with sandaled feet, wearing bracelets and 

Of the same general character is the ornamentation of a \'oke (fig- 
ured in plate cxiv) owned l)y the Sonora News Company, of Mexico 
City. One of the significant variations in detail 
between this and the last mentioned is the struc- 
ture of the upper lip, which is here split into 
three parts — a not uncommon feature in these 
heads. While the face in plate cxv, a, is unlike 
that represented in plates cxiii and cxiv, the 
upper lip is split as in the latter specimen. 
The second subdivision of the type of stone 
yokes representing animals is fairly well repre- 
sented in all collections and has been figured 
by Strebel, Chavero, Holmes, and several other 
authors. In most instances, as pointed out by 
them, the figui'cs represent frogs, but sometimes 
the character of the feet seems to indicate clawed 
or hoofed animals, suggesting lizards, panthers, 
or tapirs. A beautiful specimen of a decorated 
yoke of this kind is exhibited in the Museo 
Xacional of Mexico City. 

A uni((ue yoke in the Dehesa collection ditt'ers 
from others in the presence of rows of holes on 
the lips or about the mouth, suggesting that teeth 
were once inserted on the edge of the oral open- 
ing. This yoke, shown in accompanying plate 
(cxiii, <\ '/), has the limbs carved on the .sides, l)ut 
their appendages are so conventionalized that it 
is impossible to tell what animal the maker in- 
tended to represent. From the circular disks 
on the head and from the general shape it is not 
improbable that it was a frog. The relati\el3^ 
enormous tongue protruding from the large mouth imparts a gro- 
tesque feature to the whole object, which, in several particulars, is 
one of the best specimens of yoke ever found. 

Yokes of the second group are reducible to two kinds: (1) those hav- 
ing a single head, four limbs, and a bod\' represented on each yoke, and 
(2) with several, generally three, heads cut in relief on each j'oke, 
one on the arched end and one on each arm of the yoke. In this type 
appendages and bodies may or may not be represented and there may 

Fig. 51. Side view of stone 
yoke, second group. 
(Dehesa collection.) 




be additional incised or relief medallions of heads on the ends of the 
arms. There is an excellent specimen of a stone yoke with a face on 
the curved outer surface and heads of ditTerent kinds on the two arms, 
in the Dehesa collection, shown from the side in figure 51. An 
examination of the structure of the arch shows that the head resem- 
bles that of a frog as identified in other specimens. There are two 
round disks on each side of the upper part of the head above the 
mouth, possibly representing ear-drums, a common feature in Mexi- 
can stone images of frogs, and there is a total absence of human 
features in nose and chin. Viewed 
from the convex side of the arch, 
this yoke shows but a slight difl'er- 
ence from those of the second sub- 
division of the first type, but on 
examination of its sides or arms 
(figures 51, 52), this too is wholly 
lost. In place of appendages on the 
arms, as in yokes of the first tj'pe, it 
has representations of other heads 
and those of different shape from that 
of a frog. On one arm thei'e arc 
cut a skull and a conventionalized 
skeleton witli upraised arms, and 
with ribs, legs, and feet. On the 
other arm we find a head of a human 
being, resembling sculpturing on the 
convex side of the arch of yokes of 
the first subdivision. The remark- 
able and unique figure of a human 
skeleton lies on one side when the 
3'oke is in a horizontal position so ^"'' 
that the yoke must be placed vertical 
to bring this figure into a natural attitude. It will be noticed tliat a 
human face is represented in a depressed area or recess on the upper 
side of the arch. Similar representations of death heads or skulls are 
not uncommon decorations on stone yokes; so far as it goes, this fact 
suggests the sanguinary rites of human sacrifice which are known 
to have been practised among the Totonac as well as among the 

Another stone yoke alsoon exhibition in the Museo Nacional, belongs 
to the second type and has a skull or death's-head cut on the arch and 
other heads on each arm. 


Side view of stone yoke, second 
group. ( Dehesa col lection. ) 

25 ETH— 07- 




Among other problematical objects from the Totoaac region — almost 
miknown elsewhere — may be mentioned curved stones, bearing some 
likeness in form to sections of the j'okes from which, however, they 
differ in size, shape, and superficial decoration. One of the best of 
these, already referred to and shown in figure 53, exhibited in the 
Museo Nacional of Mexico, has a figure of a human being engraved 
in its outer or convex surface, with legs extending over one end of 
the object, the feet showing on the under or concave surface of the 
stone. Commonly these curved stones have smooth surfaces and 
simple forms; as shown in the figures, sometimes resembling flatirons 
(plate cxx, h) with curved surfaces and destitute of handles. The 
remarkable object from the Museo Nacional of Mexico shown in figures 

Fig. .^3. Convex side of curved stone. (Museo Nacional. Mexico.) 

53 and 54, does not fall into either of the types of stone yokes illastra- 
ted in the preceding pages, but is a unique representation of a type 
of curved stones. The- design on the surface extends across and 
around one end and the inner surface. It represents a human being 
with the face in profile and the arms extended, and the legs, body, 
and feet in low relief. The use of these problematical stones, like 
that of the yokes and rings, is unknown, but, like the latter, they 
occur in greatest abundance in the Gulf states of Mexico. 

A true yoke in the same collection as the next preceding object like- 
wise has a head with outstretched forearms recalled that on the curved 

Another of the stone yokes in the Museo Nacional, Mexico, has 
three skulls cut in high relief, one on the anterior end and one on each 
of the arms. 





These problematical objects have been variously interpreted by dif- 
ferent writers, but the theories thus far presented, like those sug- 
gested for the Porto Rican collars, are not conclusive. They are com- 
monly called sacriticial stones, and in an early catalogue of the Museo 
Nacional of Mexico are referred to as "yokes or collai's that served in 
human sacrifice by placing them under the back of the victim to make 
the chest protrude, and thus facilitate the extraction of the heart, or 
by applying them upon the necks of victims to produce asphyxia, or 
at least to obtain immobility. These yokes are 
found in ]\Iexico,Tlaxcala, Orizaba, and Chia- 
pas." A large array of authors might be 
quoted as interpreting the Mexican yokes in 
this way. Mr Francis Parry abandons the 
name "Stone Yoke," substituting that of 
"Sacred Maya Stone,"" and considers them 
as connected with germination or phallic 

At a meeting of the Sociedad de Geogratia 
y E.stadistica of Mexico, held in February, 
1891, there was an animated discussion of the 
use of these yokes, revealing a difference of 
opinion regarding their function. A commit- 
tee was appointed to investigate the subject, 
but as yet no repoi-t has been published by it. 

Regarding the use of the sculptured yokes, 
Professor Holmes writes: * 

Considering the number of these objects and their 
importance as works of art, it is certainly remarkable 
that nothing is known of their use, and that they do 
not appear to be represented in any of the ancient man- 
uscripts or in any of the thousands of subjects engraved 
or sculptured on stone or painted on or modeled in clay. 
That they were sacred and symbolic and had some im- 
portant office to fill in gaming or divination, in rites or 
ceremonies, requires no proof beyond tliat furnished by 
our knowledge of the culture of the people to whom they belonged. Numerous definite 
uses have been assigned to them, but I can see no sufficient reason for adopting an)' 
one of these rather than another, and it is quite probable that the real use has not 
yet been guessed, save perhaps in the most general way. 

Attempts that have been made to decipher the meaning of the stone 
yokes by comparing them with figures in Mexican and Maya codices have 
not been wholly successful, although shedding some lighton the subject. 

Fig. 54. Concave side of curved 
stone. (Museo Nacional. Mex- 

«The Sacred Maya Stone of Mexico and its Symbolism, London, 1893. 

b Archeological Studies among the Ancient Cities of Mexico. Field Columbian Miiaeum, Anthropo- 
logical Series, v, no. 1, p. 319. 


Investigations in this line were early suggested by Strebel, hut not car- 
ried out. The rebus or place name, for instance Nautzinlan, consists 
of a yoke-formed figure placed above the legs and abdomen of a human 
being and is interpreted b_v Penatiel as "a place of fruitfulness.'" The 
figure of the yoke, according to this author, " is a kind of receptacle 
full of black spots, a symbol of maternity, reproduction or fecundit}^" 
In the Codex Vaticanus, a profile figure resembling a yoke has been 
thought to symbolize the Earth god or the Death god or goddess. In 
other words, the scant pictographic material available supports the 
theory that the Mexican stone yokes are associated with germination 
rites. Mrs Nuttall" and Doctor Rust' suggest that the curved 
stones used by the California Indians in certain puberty rites may 
have some relation to the stone yokes of the Mexicans. This would 
fall in line with the hypothesis that the latter were connected with 
rites of germination or with gods presiding over germination, which 
interpretation the author regards as not far from the truth. 

It is evident that these yokes'' should not be interpreted as imple- 
ments used to hold down victims for sacrifice, and the repi'esentations 
of supernatural beings upon them are not necessarily connected with 
human sacrifices. Very small forms of these yokes, as that shown in 
plate cxx, a, could not have been so used; they may have been a fetish, 
and possibly used as a personal cliarm. The majoritj- of sculptured 
figures on these yokes may be reduced to symbolic representations of 
the Sk}^ or Sun god. The death's-heads may be interpreted as symbols 
of the god of the underworld or abode of the spirits of ancestors, while 
the birds refer to the Sky god, worshiped as father of all life. The 
death's-head and skeleton so constantly repeated do not refer so much 
to the victim of the sacrifice as to the ruler of the realm of the dead, 
the underworld where dwell the ancients and other supernaturals. It 
is suggested, however, that the figures on the surfaces of these 3'okes 
represent in some specimens beings that are not identical. Thus on 
the arch of one yoke we have a frog's head, a skeleton on one arm, and 
a human face on the other. Some j'okes have reptiles and others birds 
cut upon them. Strebel has identified the majority of the second sul)- 
division of the first group as frog forms: this identification may be 
good so far as it goes, but it is not unlikely that these frogs symbolize 
other conceptions, as the Sun or the Moon god. In other words, the 
so-called frog yoke maj' be a representation of the sun in his function 
of rain-bringer. There are several marked resemblances between 
figures identified as sun gods graven on stone slabs from Santa Lucia 
Cosamawhupa, and figures on the stone yokes here considered. This 

a Old and New World Ci\'ili2ation, Memoirs of the Pedbody Museum, ii, 1901. 
'> American Anthropologist, n. s., viii, January-March, 1906. 

c A crescentic figure is repeatedly found in Mexican painting as a symbol of supernatural beings 
connected with growth or germination. It sometimes replaces sun symbols on shields. 


likeness is especially striking in figures of gods and goddesses con- 
nected with fecundity or germination. Some of the former are 
represented as prone on their breasts. A celebrated carved stone from 
Tuxpan presented by Governor Dehesa to the National Museum of 
Mexico has head and feet not unlike some of the figures on Mexican 
yokes. The tongue is represented as protruding as in other pictures 
and figures of sun gods." 


Several years ago there was found in a cache near the mounds at Texolo 
a number of flat, paddle-shaped stones (plate cxvii), made of lava rock, 
ornamented on the two surfaces with figures and geometrical designs. 
These valuable stones, now in the collection * of Governor Dehesa, at 
Jalapa. give a very high idea of the art of their makers. For some 
time this collection was unique, but within a few months, as the writer 
is informed by Mr Boone, director of the Jalapa Electric Light Com- 
pany, another similar cache lias been found in the same locality. It 
may reasonal:)ly l)e inferred that these objects are typical of the cultures 
of those who built the Texolo mounds and possibly characteristic of 
the ancient people of the state of Vera Cruz, but it is not evident that 
these people were necessarily of Totonac stock, although thus far they 
have been so considered. These objects are generally enlarged at 
one end, which is angular, with transverse groove that is always present 
and maj' have been fitted to an angular base. Many forms of stone 
birds with well-made heads and bodies, with wings extended, are found 
in the collection of Governor Dehesa, and there are images 
like human iieads with helmets. All of these are finelj^ carved and the 
majority have characteristic notches at their bases, by which they may 
be supposed to have been supported on a bar or basal pedestal. The 
base is generally angular, the object broadening and becoming thinner 
at the opposite end. One face is generally slightly convex, the other 
flat or concave. In a few instances the margins are perforated with 
rows of holes. 

The function of these paddle-shaped stones is problematical, but the 
indications are strong that when in use they were placed in a vertical 
position so that both faces were visible. It would appear also from 
their numbers that many were used at the same time; possibly they 
may have formed pai'ts of altars. It is of course also possible that 
they were simply ornamental and furnished architectural features or 
permanent attachments to buildings. 

"This iigure, which has claws of the same kind as those on some of the stone yokes, and whose 
crouching attitude suggests yokes of the first group, is identified by Doctor Seler as a turtle god. It 
may be the summer solstice hun symbolized by a turtle. 

b These objects were sold to Governor Dehesa by Don Jos6 Piroz, of Coatepec, who bought them 
from a farmer living at Xico or in that neighborhood. 




( - . 

One of the most instructive of these paddle-shaped stones is shown 
in plate cxviii, a. This specimen, which has a rare decoration, repre- 
sents an alligator or lizard whose back is cut on the convex, the belly 

(figure 55) on the opposite or 
flat side, the mouth being open 
and the tail forming a graceful 
curve, so that if this specimen 
were placed vertical the head 
would be at the l>ase and the 
animal would be in an unnatural 

The design on plate cxvi rep- 
resents a human figure bearing 
a stafl" in the hand. As with 
other human forms on these 
stones, the e_yes are closed as if 
the person represented were 
dead or asleep. This figure, 
like others, wears crests of 
feathers, which in this specimen 
appear to be very large. One 
of the best made as well as the 
most instructive designs on fig- 
ure 57 shows a dancing figure 
holding aloft an ear of corn, in 
one hand, raised above the head. 
Plate CXVIII, 5, represents sev- 
eral birds' heads more or less ob- 
scured or concealed b}' the elab- 
orate tracer}' of geometrical 
figures, feathers, and other or- 
naments. A whole bird, with 
extended wings, appears in fig- 
^ ure 59. 

^W^ v."^," .. ,yv ,-# There are many similar speci- 

V i ■ ^v^. ^Jji^'!^-'"^J mens, possibly having the same 

use, somewhat different ill form 
from the paddle-shaped stones 
above mentioned. Some of 
these, as those figured (plate 
cxix), are fanlike, with ridges 
on each side radiating from a common base. Others appear more like 
headdresses, the radiating feathers being cut from stone. It would 
appear that all these different objects were connected in some way, but 
how we can not yet answer satisfactorily. 

Fig. 56. Paddle-shaped stone representing lizard 
(Dehesa collection.) (Reverse of a, plate cxviII.) 





The problematical objectis from the Totonac region include certain 
stones I'ecallinfj in shape common padlocks, circular in form, with Hat 
surfaces and mai'gins, each with a triangular opening excentrically 
placed. These stones may be conventional forms of Huaxtec idols. 
In their less conventionalized form these problematical objects recall 

Fig. 56. Reverse of paddle- 
shaped stone. 

Fig. 57. raddle-shaped stone with 
dancing figure; of a, plate 
cxvi. (Dehesa collection.) 

Fig. 5S. Reverse of a, plate 


stone idols, resembling an aged man leaning on a staff, as shown in 
figure 69, an idol believed to be characteristically Iluaxtec in origin 
and limited to the Iluaxtec territorj' in its distribution, although .some- 
times found in regions adjoining that in which this culture flourished 
in ancient times. 





Among manj" evidences of a high ability in artistic expression 
attained by the ancient people of eastern Mexico may be mentioned the 
carved stone heads, specimens of which are represented in j^lates cxx 

and cxxi. These objects 
are made of lava rock, and 
all have notches at the necks 
corresponding in a general 
way to those at the bases of 
the paddle-shaped stones. 

In some cases, as in that fig- 

l -"^^ ^^^^^^ , ',''-^ ured (plate cxx, e), a human 

face is sculptured within a 
helmet representing a sec- 
ond head. Another on the 
same plate (a) has a median 
crest, which is a feature in 
many of these stone heads. 
One of the most instruct 
ive of the many specimens 
presented by Governor 
Debesa is the flat, oval- 
shaped stone (plate cxx, j) 
said to have come from near 
Cempoalan. This object 
was evidently once attached 
to some foreign body, but 
for what purpose is not 
clear from either size or 
shape. The holes for 
attachment are seen on each 
side of the forehead. 

The stone ring (plate 
cxx, c), with a handle on 
one side and evidences of 
another on the opposite 
margin, from the Dehesa 
collection, is, so far as 
known, a stone object of 
unique form, from this 
region. It must be regarded, however, as belonging to the same culture 
as the rings, j'okes, and paddle-shaped stones. Plate cxxi, a, illus- 
trating one of the best-made stone heads in the Dehesa collection, repre- 

FiG. 69. Bird-shaped stone with notchea base, 





sents a laughing face, with mouth wide open, tongue evident, hut no 
teeth, .'sugge.sting an old man. This head has a median crest extend- 
ing from the bridge of the nose backward to the top of the head; the 
nose and cheeks have many wrinkles. Plate cxxi. h^ also represent- 
ing a much-wrinkled face, has the median crest passing from the nose 
over the head; the eyes are closed and the features those of an old man. 
In c and d are figured extraordinary examples of rock sculpture, the 
specimens here represented being in Governor Dehesa's collection at 
Jalapa. The exceptional feature of this specinien is the long nose, 
suggesting the trunk of a tapir, but the features are human rather than 
animal. Like other heads, this specimen has the notched base so com- 
mon in carved objects from the Totonac territor}-. The two small 
heads {> and /'), belong to the same type as the preceding (c and d), 
being found in the same col- 
lection. Specimen g bears a 
remote likeness to the head 
of a clown priest or mud head 
of the New Mexican pueb 
los. Clowns accompanied the 
masked dancers in Central 
American ceremonies, and it 
is not unlikely that this stone 
head was intended to repre- 
sent one of these performers. 

Other heads here repre- 
sented may belong to the 
same category as the laugh- 
ing face above mentioned. 
Specimen /( is one of the most 
unusual forms of these stone heads with the notch at the neck. This 
specimen, which is in the Dehesa collection, is aiade of lava stone of 
the same kind as the paddle-shaped objects. The face is artistically 
carved and apparently the nose was continued into a curved extension, 
reminding one of the long-nosed god of the codices. The unusual 
feature of this stone head, in addition to its Hattening, is the headdress, 
probably of feathers, arising from a crown. 

In / is represented a notched stone of bird form. Several similar 
specimens are figured by Strebel in his work on the anticiuities of the 
state of Vera Cruz," referred to in previous pages. 

One of the best of these bird-shaped stones is shown in tigure 59. 
This, like the specimen last described, has a notched base, expanded 
wings, and tail. Its use must have been somewhat like that of the 
paddle-shaped stones as it has a similar base and the same general form. 

Fig. 60. sling stones. (Dehesa collection.) 

ti AU Mexico. 




The spherical objects shown in figures 60 and 61, a number of which 
are to be seen in the Dehesa collection, are weapons. Those shown in 
the illustrations are either smooth or covered with protuberances, 
spherical or more or less conical. Several have the shapes of .stoppers 
for bottles or flasks. The Indians call them chimaUes, a general name 
for shields or weapons. 

Flo. I'll. Sling stones. (Deliesa culketion.) 


The ruins about Jalapa have j'ielded man_v stone idols, generally- 
made of lava, some of which show signs of Nahuatl, others of Totonac 

culture. There are .several of these in the 
Dehesa collection and others in private 
possession. A stone idol in the patios of the 
Hacienda Bruno, Jalapa Viejo, represents a 
fine stone image of Quetzalcoatl (figure 6^), 
with body coiled and head upright, the yawn- 
ing mouth revealing a human face behind 
trenchant teeth. On the head of this idol a 
cluster of feathers is carved in low relief. arise from a ring and extend down the 
back. The mouth has protruding fangs, or 
a long tongue hanging from the front of the 
jaw below the chin of the inclosed human 
There is a large stone idol in one of the 
houses facing the church at Xico that is somewhat different from 
any Aztec or Totonac image yet figured. Although the owner of 
this image has daubed it with bright paint, which gives it a very 

Flu. 62. 

-nuke idol from Jalapa 




modern appearance, there is no doubt of its antiquity. It is a 
colossal stone head and has limbs carved on the back. Feathei's 
are represented On top of the head. Just below a characteristic 
breast ornament one may see a shallow depression corresponding in 
place to that receptacle for otferings which is found in Cliac Mol 
and some other idols. This huge head, which is 3 feet high and 
very heavj% has been for 
many years in the possession 
of the family now owning it. 
In the same collection is also 
another image of colossal size, 
which is made of a soft brown 
stone. This itlol is rudely 
sculptured without legs, the 
arms being brought to the 
breast. The sj'mliolism is 
insufficient to determine 
what supernatural or other 
being was intended to be rep 
resented by this massive fig- 
ure. In the Dehesa collec- 
tion there is a stone idol 
(tigure 63), possibly repre- 
senting a maize goddess, hav- 
ing a crown of radiating 
feathers and a visor-lik(> 
projection above the face. 
She wears the ceremonial gar- 
ment tied by a cord and car- 
ries in her extended right 
hand two ears of maize or 
Indian corn; the left arm is 

Another idol (figure 64) in 
the Dehesa collection is not as 
well made as the preceding 
and is more massive in form. 
Arms and legs are not repi'c 
.sented and the body below the waist is enlarged into a pedestal on 
which the figure stands. The characteristic feature of this idol is the 
elaborate headdress, which has the form of the cloud tablets that 
characterize the Goddess of Rain. Figure 64 possibly represents the 

a The Uvo stone images, representing a youth with a ball in each hand and a woman with similar 
objects, which were formerly owned in Xico by Sra Maria de la Luz Gomez, are not regarded as 
genuine antiquities, although they are said to have been found at Texoloaud are not unlike the ball- 
player idol in the Museo Nacional. Their form, however, shows Spanish influence. 

sa. Maize goddess. (Dehesa collection.) 



characteristic Totonac goddess Toci, Our Grandmother, one of the most 
prominent supernatural beings of the Gulf Coast people of ancient 


The Barra Chachalicas, situated at the mouth of the Actopan river, 
only a ievc miles from Cempoalan, has yielded many archeological speci- 
mens. The clay objects 
found in this locality 
are practically identical 
with those from CemT 
poalan, and from them 
we can obtain a fair 
idea of the general 
character of Totonac 
ceramic ware in this 

A pottery specimen 
(plate cxxiii, (I, h),h-om 
the Barra Chachalicas, 
presented by SefiorViu, 
is made of tine brownish 
claj', with a smooth 
surface, painted red. 
It has the form of a 
human being wearing 
a Totonac dress, and 
apparently represents 
a woman. On one 
shoulder there is an 
orifice through which 
one may blow, making 
a whistling sound. In 
fact, this image is a 
whistle in the form of 
a human being. 

A number of clay 
lieads, large and small, 
were fotmd at the same 
place as the preceding 
effigies and images. These are identical with the heads from 
Cempoalan, Otates, and other Totonac ruins. Similar clay images 
once adorned the panels of the Cempoalan temples, especially 
that called Caritas ("Small Heads'") for this reason. One of 
the most striking objects made of burnt clay, from this locality, is 
the effigy (plate cxxiii, r-) of a human being, the head and body 


being' present, but no arms or legfs. Seen fi'oni one side this eiBgy 
shows distinct Indian features in the face, two prominent teeth in 
the upper jaw. an ear plug, and a head covering not unlike a Tui'k's 
cap. Around the neck is a cord and a belt girts the loins. Appar- 
enth' there never were legs, but the trunk is broken off in such a way 
as to suggest that the image formerl}' stood on a pedestal. The Turk's 
fez reminds one of the so-called Huaxtec cap. This specimen was 
presented by Setior Viu, alcalde of San Carlos. 

An instructive fragment of pottery from Barra Chachalicas is the 
head shown in plate cxxiv, l, one of the best of these clay i mages. From 
the lobes of the ears of this specimen hang ear plugs, and there are 
two pi'omineut teeth in the upper jaw, a marked feature of several 

Fig. 65. Bowl frum Cumpualan. 

clay images from this region. This specimen is made of red- 
colored clay, and is unpainted. These Totonac clay heads show high 
artistic ability and an artistic power not inferior to that of any of the 
Central American people. All the specimens that exhibit signs of 
having been painted generall}' show traces of red, yellow, or black 

Another pottery head (plate cxxiv, (/, h) from Barra Chachalicas is 
made of red ware, smooth, and painted with red pigment, especially on 
the cheeks and forehead. In this specimen there is a row of triangular 
projections, colored red, some of which are broken, overhanging the 
forehead. This specimen has a necklace and a representation of a 
gorget and ear plug. The left side of the head is more or less broken. 

There are manj' verj' good pieces of pottery and several clay effigies 
in the Dehesa collection, some Nahuatl, the majority Totonac. Some of 



the most instructive are shown in plate cxxii and figure 66. Of bowls 
in this collection in form of death's heads, that on this plate {(I) is espe- 
cially fine, but there are many others which merit notice. (Plate 

cxii, ,\ and fig-ure 65.) 

It is probable that the major- 
ity of clay objects in the Dehesa 
collection came from near Cem- 
poalan, and hence illustrate the 
same early culture." 

Some of the more striking 
forms of pottery in Sra Estef- 
ania's collection from Otates are 
figured in plates cxxv and 
cxxvi. On plate cxxiv, a, is 
represented a figure with well- 
made head and body, but no 
lower limbs: this is undoubtedly 
Totonac, The object has a nose 
ornament, the shape of which 
recalls that of the stone image 
from Xico Viejo, alreadj' de- 

One of the most instructive 
figures on the Otates pottery is 
that of a monkey apparent on the 
interior of a bowl (pi. cxxv, e). 
Another important decoration is 
found on the outside of a bowl 
(/'), where a death's-head sim- 
ilar to that found in the codices 
appears. The ornamentation of 
the majority of flat bowls from 
Otates is as a rule on the exte- 
rior, and consists of spiral 
figures, as shown on plate cxxv. 
Other clay objects from the 
neighborhood of Jalapa, as those 
on plate cxxvi, are a classic pitcher {a), several amphores (c, d), clay 
heads (_/, (/, A), and food bowls with legs (J, e). One of these (/) is 
a clay image or effigy, duplicated also in Z'. The two figures I, m, 
are clay ladles. 

a It is to be regretted that the author has not been able to determine the localities where many of 
the specimens of the Dehesa collection were found; still it is not difficult to distinguish objects of 
Nahuatl from those of Totonac'origin. 

Fig. 06. Clay image. {Dehesa collection.) 


General Remarks 

Among the many forms of earth mounds in the United States ascribed 
to the aborigines there are two t3'pes that are radically different in 
their mode of origin. One of these is formed by destruction of 
former houses, the upper walls of which have fallen into the rooms, 
filling them with debris. When an archeologist makes excavations in 
a mound of this type, he lays hare the walls of former rooms and their 
foundations, finding an accunudation of fallen roofs, overturned walls, 
and chambers tilled with debris of buildings and with drifted sand. 
Mounds of this type have resulted from destruction and were not con- 
structed in their present form by human hands. The structure of the 
second type shows no indications of house walls in their interior. 
Mounds of this type were originally constructed solid throughout; 
the}' were built for foundations, and upon them once stood buildings, 
or superstructures, that have now disappeared, leaving their remains 
strewn over the surface of a mound-shaped foundation. 

These two sharply defined types of mounds in the United States 
occur also in Mexico, where their distribution is instructive. The 
Mexican Republic is preeminently the home of the second of the above- 
mentioned tj'pes, although in certain regions the first is very abundant. 
While there are many well-known mounds in Mexico constructed 
wholly of earth, without cut stone and with a superstructure of per- 
ishable material, many others are faced with cement or have their sur- 
faces formed of carved stones laid in courses, some of which, as the 
pyramid El Taj in near Papantla, are most imposing and show archi- 
tectural development. In these cases the superstructures likewise were 
built of stone, so that the walls remain in place, affording a good idea 
of the relationship of the mound to the building upon it. 

There is scanty evidence that sacred buildings or domiciles were ever 
erected in the northern pueblo region of the United States, on artificial 
mounds, although there are many instances of the use of natural eleva- 
tions for that purpose. The mounds in this region are all of the first 
t}'pe; on the other hand, no mounds are known in the Mississippi 
valley which belong to this type. It is therefore evident that this 
feature presents a fundamental difference between the mounds of the 
Rocky Mountain region and those of the central plains of North 
America. As we go south in the pueblo area the evidences of the 
existence of the second type are practically very few and not so 
decisive in character. Bandelier claims that he has found "artificial 
mounds resting on artificial terraces" at Tempe and Casa Grande and 


elsewhere in the Gila ruins. He writes:" '"It will be remembered 
that the artificial platform already appears on Tonto creek and perhaps 
on the Upper Gila also; at Tempe it assumes a greater degree of per- 
fection, as does the mound. The latter resembles the rectangular 
truncated pyramids of Mexico, with the difference that it is wholly of 
earth and that its height is inconsiderable." In the few ruins exam- 
ined by the author in the upjser Gila valley, near Solomonville, he has 
not been able to detect the second type; Casas Grandes in Chihuahua 
is apparently of the first type, but the so-called "vigie" lookout in 
the mountains above the latter ruin, judging from the. figures given 
bv jM. E. Guillemin, is a true terraced pyramidal base of a super- 

The region of the ruins of the second type in the central part of 
Mexico begins at the Casa del Edificios near Quemada, about 30 miles 
north of the city of Zacatecas. If we follow the parallel of this ruin 
eastward to the Gulf of Mexico, it will be noticed that south of it there 
are ruins of both types, but that this region is essentially one of solid 
pyramidal mounds built as foundations for superstructures, a type 
rarely represented in the mountainous regions north of this line to 
Utah and southern Colorado. 

The climatic and physiographical conditions of these regions of the 
United States in which these two types occur are radically different. 
The first type is confined to an area distinctly arid and mountainous; 
the second belongs to a well- watered, generally level plain. This same 
connection between climatic conditions and phj'siogi'aphical contours 
applies also, but closely, to the distribution of these types in 
northern Mexico. In its distri})ution north and south the first type 
follows the central plateau i-egion while the second t3'pe is more pro- 
nounced and extends farther north on the lowlands along the coast of 
the Mexican gulf. 

From Vera Cruz to the mouth of the Panuco river and beyond, the 
country is thickly strewn with mounds of the .second type, some of 
which, as that at Papantla, rank among the finest in Mexico. 

While it is known that these mounds belong to the same type as some 
of those in the Mississippi valley, the nature of the mounds (if any 
exist) between the Panuco and Louisiana remains unknown. It is 
evident that what is now most needed to determine the southern limits 
of pueblo and mound l)uilders' culture is more facts regarding the 
antiquities of northern and eastern Mexico. It has long been known 
that there are extensive earth mounds in Tamaulipas and Vera Cruz, 
but we have only limited knowledge of their character, and the arche- 
ology of Texas is practically unknown. The author's studies of the 
mounds in the vicinity of Tampico, which is situated in this little known 

a Final Report, p. 445. 


region, wei"e made for the purpose of adding- new facts bearing on a 
possible connection " between the temple mounds of Vera Cruz and 
those mounds of the Mississippi valley that served as foundations for 
superstructures, religious or secular. The limited space allotted to this 
article allows only a very general consideration of the subject. In 
studying the Mexican earth mounds of the second type we find a good 
example of the conditioning of aboriginal l)uildings by the material 
available. Many of the Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas mounds are made 
of earth alone. Especially is this true in places where stone for the 
builder was not at hand. The mounds at Cempoalan were consti'ucted 
of river-worn rubble stones laid in cement or lime because the plain of 
the Actopan furnished no better building material. At El Tajin, near 
Papantla. the surfaces of the mounds were faced with cut stones, as 
shown in the plate. These differences in building material are not 
evidences of differences in culture. 

In comparisons of the Mexican mounds with those of the Missis- 
sippi basin the objection has been raised that the former are made 
of carved stones, while the latter are simple earth mounds. While 
there is no doubt that in stone working the Mexicans reached a higher 
degree of excellence than anj' other people in North America, we must 
not lose sight of the fact that there are nmltitudes of mounds in Vera 
Cruz and Tamaulipas similar to those of the Mississippi valley and, 
like them, wholly destitute of a superficial covering of carved or 
worked stone. The mounds we are considering are not the work of 
a race that liad \anished before the advent of the Eui'opeans. Thej^ 
were probabh- made by the Huaxtec and were in use when the 
Spaniards discovered the countrj\ At the beginning of the sixteenth 
century there was a thriving settlement of Indians at Chila and others 
on or near the banks of the lagoons north of where Tainpico now 
stands. Still other settlements existed along the Panuco and Tamesi 
livers and their tributaries. 

The inhabitants of these places were hostile to Europeans and 
vigorously attacked the Spaniards on their first appearance, forcing 
them to sail away without making a permanent landing. Later expe- 
ditions were more fortunate; the Indian villages were destro\'ed and 
their inhabitants dispersed or killed. Many were taken to distant 
lands, as the West Indies, for slaves; others fled to the mountains, 
where their descendants still live. 

Apparently the ships of Grijalva did not enter the Panuco river in 
1518, but, meeting the Huaxtec near Tuxpan, were driven out to sea 
and proceeded northward, sighting land again at Cabo Rojo. The 

a This thesis is an old one and has been ably discussed by several authors, all of whom have recog- 
nized the necessity for additional facts regarding the archeology of Tamaulipas and Texas for satis- 
factory proof of a cultural resemblance of the mound builders and the peoples of eastern Mexico. 

25 ETH— 07 18 


next year D. Francisco de Garay sent an expedition to the Paniico 
province under command of Alonso Alvarez de Peneda, which entered 
the mouth of the river, but was attacked and driven back, as was 
likewise Ruiz de Asis, who had brought reenforcements to Peneda. 

These early failure'^ of the Spaniards to obtain a foothold in the 
Panuco territory led no less a person than Hernando Cortes to organize 
an expedition mucii larger than any previously attempted, said to 
number 40.000 Mexicans and Tlaxcaltec in addition to Spaniards. 
En route this army encountered at Coxcatlan 60,000 warriors, whom 
they defeated. After this defeat Cortes proposed peace with the 
natives, wliich was refused, and he then pushed on to occupy their 
city, Chila, on the Panuco river, 5 leagues from the sea. This 
aboriginal city he found abandoned by its inhabitants, who had fled to 
the settlements on the Champaj^an lagoon. After waiting fifteen days 
at Chila, Cortes made his way by means of balsas and canoes to this 
lagoon town, which was completely destroyed. The various events 
that followed this sunnnary proceeding concern the historian rather 
than the archeologist, Init the outcome of them was that the sedentary 
people of the neighborhood were driven to the mountains or sold into 
slavei-y. Thus arose a lively industry in this region, for Tampico 
at one time sent many slaves to the West Indies. Such Indians 
as were left were gathered into missions, but their distinct- 
ive culture was practically destroyed, and their former temples 
were neglected and fell into ruins. We owe the little that is 
known of the antiquities of the neighborhood of Tampico to Messrs 
Vetch, Lyon, Norman, and especially to ex-Governor Prieto and 
Doctor Seler," who have published instructive facts regarding the 
character of the mounds, their distribution, and contents. The 
writings of two of these authors supplement each other. Governor 
PrietoV* account dealing more especiiilly with the ruins north of Tam- 
pico, on or near the Champayan lagoon, including those at the .San 
Francisco I'anchand the Sierra de Palnia, while Doctor Seler considers 
tiiosc to tlie south of the Panuco river, at Topila, Palacho, and else- 
where in the Huaxtec country. Tlie ruins in the Tampico region 
are pyramidal mounds, evidently constructed as solid foundations to 
support superstructures. These mounds show no signs of having l)een 
formed of debris gathered about preexisting houses. They are ordi- 
narily built of earth and in some cases are faced with cut stone, having 
one or more stairways of the latter material. Apparently the super- 
structure was generally liuilt of perishable material, but sometimes of 
stone or cement. Some of these mounds are practically the same as 
the so-called "temple mounds" of tlie lower Mississippi vallej'. In 

a Die Alter Ansiedlungen In Gebiet der Huaxtecan. Gesammelte Abhandlungen, band I. 
^Histo^ia, (ieognnfia y Estadlstica del Estado de Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1873. 


addition to these mounds of the second type there are in the vicinity 
of Tampico many shell heaps, some of immense size. The natui-e of 
the coast line and the many lagoons in the neighborhood offered i-are 
opportunities for a fisherman's life, and from Tampico northward we 
find many mounds of the character just described. The aborigines 
who left deposits of shell there were not necessarily a distinct race, 
but led a specialized life as a result of their environment. 

Shell Heaps 

One of the best collections of mounds near Tampico is situated about 
a mile from the city, near the ranch directed by Mr Kiilke. It is 
readily reached after a short walk from the terminus of the tramwaj% 
the cars of which start from the bridge near the railroad station of 
Tampico. A few hundred feet beyond Mr Kiilke's house the fields are 
covered with a thick forest growth, a portion of which has recently 
been cut down to enlarge the area under cultivation. In removing 
this growth the workmen l)i-ought to light a cluster of mounds, some 
of which are of comparatively large size. In following the road from 
Mr KiUke's house to these mounds one sees many evidences in the 
plowed lands of small shell heaps, some of which were formerly much 
larger. These were situated on a high bluff overlooking the neigh- 
boring lagoon, on the banks and islands of wliich there are much more 
extensive deposits. Their position is indicated ])y shells strewed on 
the ground. The cluster of large mounds lately ln'ought to light by 
clearing the forests stands on the same bluff', a few feet l)e3ond which 
one may have a fine view of the neighboring lagoon and the city of 
Tampico. The general arrangement of these mounds is .such that they 
inclose a level space that formerly may have been a plaza. There are 
eight mounds in the cluster, five of which are on the arc of a circle 
and form one side of the supposed closed area. Two other mounds, 
not of the series inclosing the space, stand neare*' the road than tlie 
cluster just mentioned. About sixt}^ paces nearer the road is a circu- 
lar depression like a reservoir. There is little difference in the general 
form or size of these mounds. Two are large and flat-topped and 
two are much elongated. Their interior structure is i-evealed by lim- 
ited excavations made in one of the largest by some local antiquarian 
or treasure seeker who discovered many shells in this mound and 
fragments of a hard rock like coquina limestone. The greater num- 
ber of the mounds are constructed entirely of earth and are covered 
with vegetation. The accompanjing map shows roughly tlie arrange- 
ment of the mounds and their relative distances from one another. 


Ruins near Altamira 

The ruins on the banks of the Champayan and other lagoons north 
of Tampico, probably the remains of the settlements visited bj- Cortes, 
have been described and tigured by Prieto." Among- these may he 
mentioned the mounds at the San Francisco ranch and the pyramid at 
La Palma. Easy trips may he made to the former from a railroad 
station (Cervantes); for La Palma one must alight fi'om the train at 
Estero; the ruin near Aldama may be visited from the station, Gon- 
zales. There is a fine collection of pottery and other antiquities from 
the San Francisco mounds, in Altamira, at the house of Senor Don 
Antonio Parras, owner of the ranch. Efforts to visit the ancient city 
Ctwla were not successful, although enough was learned of its situation 
to impress the author with the desirability of future exploration. 
Those who said that they had been at the ruin claimed that it lies in a 
thick forest and that the hill where it is situated is visible from Tamos. 
A peon who has been there informed the author that it would be neces- 
sary to cut a pathwa}' through the jungle for a considerable distance 
but that once there, the visit would be rewarded liy views of plastered 
walls, many mounds, and other evidences of former inhabitants. The 
most convenient station on the I'ailroad from which to visit Chila is 
Ochoa, about halfwaj^ between Tamos and Chila. Possibly this is the 
ruin on the Cerro de Chila mentioned by Doctor Seler, but his account 
is not complete enough to identify Old Chila. The author is under the 
impression that no archeologist has j'et visited Chila, the city that 
figures so prominently in the early campaigns into the Huaxtec coun- 
try by Cortes and his lieutenants. The most northern ruin of which 
the author received information, but did not visit, is a mound said to 
be covered with carved stones, situated near Aldama (foi-merlj- called 
Presas), about 10 leagues from the station Gonzales on the Victoria 
and Tampico railroad. According to information received this ruin 
has faced stones, and was probably not unlike the temple mound at 
Palma. Either this or one of neighboring ruins ma}' be that men- 
tioned by Prieto as situated about a league north of Chocoy. He sa3's 
that it is near the banks of an arroyo which passes the Tancuayave 
ranch and uniting with other arroyos from Aldama, later flows into 
the lagoon San Andres. Northward from the ruin near Aldama 
stretches to the Rio Grande a vast territory the archeology of which 
is wholly unknown. What mounds may be here hidden can be ascer- 
tained only by later studies and field work.* 

a HLst6ria GeogrAfica y Estadistica del Estado de Tamaulipas. p. 43-57, Mexico, 1873. 

& Wild or partially savage tribes were encountered in this region by Escandron and others. Many 
names have been applied to these tribes, bvit as yet no one has been able satisfactorily to determine 
their synonyms. See Orozco y Berra and various other authors. 

fewkes] archeological objects 277 

Ruins near Champayan Lagoon 

Seven leagues north of Altamira, in the jurisdiction of that city, a 
small range of mountains extends in a general north and south direc- 
tion, ending in the neighborhood of the Champayan lagoon. Con- 
siderable ruins, called Dio/'odnns, are reported in tliis locality. These 
consist of artificial mounds arranged in straight lines, and are said to 
be covered with rectangular blocks of stone showing artificial work- 
ing, indicating the remains of a large settlement. Prieto, who has 
described these mounds, has also given in his article representations 
of several characteristic objects of stone and clay fi-om the same 

The mounds of Topila and Palacho lie south of Panuco near the 
right bank of the river. These ruins are so extensive that there is 
no doubt the settlements were large and important. Seler, whose 
brief account is about all that has been published concerning them, 
speaks of a quadrangular plaza with a temple mound on one side and 
smaller pyramids on the other. He is led to believe that there were 
passageways at opposite ends of this plaza arranged so as to lead into 
a ball court. 

He speaks also of stones found at the corners of the pyramids in 
Palacho, and describes and figures worked plinths from both these 
ruins. In examining the representation of these latter, one is struck 
with their resemblance to so-called pillar stones of the ball courts of 
the prehistoric Porto Ricans, to which reference is made in preceding 
pages. The carving upon the stylated stones from the mainland is 
much finer and the symbolism upon the insular specimens quite differ- 
ent, but the possibility that both stood near similar ball courts gives 
them additional interest from a compai'ative point of view. 


The archeological specimens found on or near the mounds next claim 
our attention. These are highly characteristic and naturally closely 
connected with those from the Totonac. The most striking are pecul- 
iar stone idols and characteristic pottery, some of the former standing 
in the streets or public places, where they have been set up for pres- 
ervation. There are several stone idols in Tampico, these having been 
brought to the city from different localities in the neighborhood. Two 
of these are figured by Doctor Seler," but as the present author's photo- 
graph of the second one illustrates a few additional points, there is here 
(figure 67) published a new figure of this interesting idol. The locality 
in which this object was found is given by Doctor Seler as "Cerro 

aGesammelte Abhandlungen, band i. 20. 21. 



de Topila," a Huaxtec ruin that has yielded other reniarkal)le idoLs. 
The idol now under consideration is fastened to the wall of a passage- 
way, and stands on a modern pedestal in the open patio of a building 
opposite the Hotel Comercio, in Tampico. This idol is carved out of a 
monolith, and like the nsajority of Huaxtec idols is mounted on a 

pedestal. It repi-esents a 
well-developed female figure, 
with hands brought forward, 
as is usually the in this 
rude art. The most striking 
feature of this object is a head, 
or small face, represented 
inside the open mouth of a 
monster the lower jaw of 
which hangs down on the 
lu'east, while the upper is 
raised almost verticallj'. 
Eight small holes, placed in 
pairs about the margin of the 
jaws, served for the insertion 
of teeth. The eyes are con- 
spicuous, above the angles 
of the jaws; a radiating fan- 
shaped appendage on the back 
of the head represents feathers. 
The idol is intended to be an 
image of a woman wearing the 
head of some supernatural 
reptilian monster. 

Stone Idols at Altamira 

The pre.sent town Altamira, 
on the bank of a lagoon a few 
miles north of Tampico. was 
founded b}' Escandron on the 
2d of May, 1749. For many 
years after its foundation it 
grew rapidly, becoming a very 
important place at the close 
of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. A 
mission church for the Anacana Indians was early built at this place. 
Since the foundation of the present Tampico, in 1823, Altamira has 
lost its couunercial preeminence and declined in prosperity. Old 
Tampico, or Tampico Viejo, which is older than Altamira, has 

Fig. 67. SL-rpriit-t;...! idul. 



suffered a similar decline. On his visit to Altamini to imestigate 
its antiiiuities the most instructive archeological objects seen by the 
author were two large stone idols that stand on the street corners, 
one of which (figure 68), owned by Senor Justo Garcia Enriquez, is 
characteristic. Endeavors to trace this idol to its prehistoric home or 
aboriginal owners were not successful, nor coukl it l)e discovered how 
long the .stone had stood in its present situation, but there is hardly a 
doubt that it once belonged to some of the aborigines that inhabited 
the banks of the adjacent lagoon. It is made of light brown stt)ne 
and stands erect, the top of the head ))eing about three feet above the 
ground. Although the surface is rough and 
more or less battered, the characteristic symbolii' 
features of a Huaxtec god have not wholly dis- 
appeared. The carving is confined to the front 
side, the back having been left rough and slightly 
rounded and marked with parallel lines. Head 
and body are well represented, but the legs are 
not now visible; possibly they were broken off 
or are buried below the surface of the ground. 
The idol wears a cap-shaped projection, which 
Doctor Seler has shown to be characteristic of 
Huaxtec idols, out from which hood-like cover- 
ing peei's the face, reminding one of a helmet, or 
of a mask representing the head of some animal, 
possibly a serpent. 

The ear ornaments consist of two parts — a 
round disk at the lobe of the ear and a curved 
pendant recalling a carpenter's square. There is 
a representation of a rectangular raised object 
over the breast, above the hands. The depres- 
sion at the umbilicus is concave, surrounded by 
a rim, reminding one of similar concavities in many Mexican images. 
Comparing this idol with others from Tanquin or Tuxpan, figured b}- 
Doctor Seler, resemblances in certain details are found, for like th(>m 
it has a conical appendage to the head and representations of a plate- 
like ornament of peculiar shape on the breast. In the Tanquin speci- 
men figured b}- Seler the corresponding ornament is large, forming a 
kind of plastron covering breast and abdomen, while in the Tuxpan 
representation the plate is circular and perforated. In speaking of 
other Huaxtec idols, which the Altamira specimen closeh' resembles. 
Doctor Seler says: "Einerseits des Ohrschmucks wegen der an den 
des Mexicanischen Windgottes (Quetzalcoatl) und der Pulquegotter 
erinncrt, dann aber auch des merkwiirdigen Gegenstandes halber den 
die Figur vor der Brusthangen hat.'' The same author calls attention 

Fifi. 68. Stone idol at Alta- 



likewise to the resemblance of the ear ornaments of Huaxtec idols to 
a turtle-like relief figure from (Tepeziutla) near Tuxpan, to which ref- 
erence has already been made. In the figure of this turtle-shaped 
idol, by Chavei'o," the ears have hook-shaped pendants resembling 
the "epcolli" of the god Quetzalcoatl. It would appear that the 
resemblances between the Altamira idol and those mentioned above 
are close enough to warrant identifying them as the same god; if the 
latter represent Quetzalcoatl the former is the same god. 

Tampico Stone Idols 

While in Tampico the author saw 
for the first time a stone idol (figure 
Q9) of a strange type, diflerent from 
any known to him, although suggest- 
ing others of aberrant form. On 
his return to Washington specimens 
of the same type were found in the 
Smithsonian collection. Although 
these stone images are undoubtedly 
lluaxtec, so far as the literature of 
the Panuco ruins is known the type 
is undescribed. In general form 
this image resembles a man walking 
with a cane, or an animal like a 
bear standing on its hindlegs, grasp- 
ing a staff with the anterior extrem- 
ities. The attitude is a stooping 
one, and the whole figure, which is 
large, is made of one stone. The 
base is a pedestal continued below 
the feet, as if for attachment to or 
Insertion in earth or masonry, to impart a firm support. As has been 
shown in descriptions of other stone idols, this basal pediment occurs 
in other Huaxtec specimens. Cut in low relief on the back is an eleva- 
tion indicating a garment; a ferrule about the waist represents a belt. 

Fig. C9. God with staff. (Pressley foUection. ) 

Huaxtec Pottery 

The ancient people living on the banks of the Panuco and Tamesi 
rivers were good potters, and their ceramic work is excellent. Frag- 
ments of bowls, vases, or jars occur in almost all the mounds indicating 
the ancient habitations, and may be seen in several places where sections 

a Mexico d Trav<?s de los Siglos. 


of the river bank have been washed out b}" freshets. Although not 
common, whole pieces of pottery are found in several collections. 
These have a distinct character which is readily recognized. As a 
rule, effigy and relief designs are the most constant forms of orna- 
mentation, although painted specimens are also common. The pottery 
has a light or reddish-brown or cream color. Modern Panuco ceramic 
ware closely resembles the ancient in both character and the designs 
painted or cut upon it. One of the most constant forms of Vases is 
melon-shaped, with a hollow handle considerably separated from the 
body of the pitcher, which has a wide flaring neck. As objects of this 
kind sometimes have a handle above the orifice, it is conjectured that 
the hollow tube on the side, always open at the end, ma}* serve to 
assist in drinking. As some of these objects recall modern teapots, 
the so-called handle may have served the same purpose as a spout. 
Man J' of these pitcher or teapot vases have their necks or other parts 
decorated with heads in relief. In certain forms, as that here figured, 
the meridional elevations are continued into projections about the 
margin of the base, which is flattened. The meridional lobes so con- 
stantly found in Huaxtec pottery occur on the "white mai'ble vase" 
of classic form found on the " Isla de Sacrificios " " near the city of 
Vera Cruz. 

In all localities near the Panuco ruins are found burnt clay images 
which exist in a variety of forms in several local collections. Most of 
these are simple heads, possibly broken from the rims of jars or the 
surfaces of ceramic objects, but others are pai'ts of figurines often 
found entire. Senor Antonio Parras, owner of the ranch San Fran- 
cisco, who lives in Altamira, has several specimens of pottery which 
give a good idea of the ceramic pi'oductions of the aborigines of the 
Champayan Lagoon settlements. These vases (plate cxxix)have lobed 
sides without relief decorations, but painted with brown figures much 
the same in color as some of the ware from pueblo ruins on the Little 
Colorado river in Arizona. The ornamental patterns on some of these 
vases are particularlj' good. Among them is a vase with the surface 
decorated with spiral ornaments that appear to be representations of 
human faces. On another figure are painted somewhat similar designs 
consisting of spirals, and on a third an ornamentation very much sim- 
plified, smaller in size, yellow and not brown in color, but with black 
line decoration. The other two figures represent vases with lobed 
surfaces which in one are shallow and in the other prominent. Mr 
G. A. Reichert, superintendent of the Tehuantepec ]\Iutual Planters' 
Company at Tamos, has a few specimens of pottery found on the 
Chanca plantation that illustrate the character of claj" efligies from 
that region. Tamos, on the left bank of the Panuco river, about 10 

aSee Branz JIayer, Mexico as It Was, and as It Is, p. 96, Philadelphia, 1847. 


miles from Tampico, has a few mounds. A characteristic of these 
few clay objects is the enlargement of the body, which in one specimen 
has the form of a cup. It suggests the general appearance of some of 
the figurines from Vera Cruz and the state of Chiapas. 

The author's studies in the Tampico region bring out in strong relief 
the desirability of renewed exploration of the archeology of Tamaulipas. 
There is no doubt that this state contains many relics of the past in 
the form of mounds, the sites and character of which are unknown to 
archeolog'ists. The mounds in the immediate neighborhood of Tampico 
are shell heaps, pyramidal foundations of temples, and mortuary hil- 
locks, Imt thus far none have been found with walls in their interior 
or ci'opping out on their surfaces. The mounds of Tamaulipas are 
related in form and apparently in structure to those of Cempoalan, 
but the building material employed in the two regions is diilerent. 
Certain of these mounds are similar to the earth mounds at Antigua 
and Texolo, near Jalapa. As has already been pointed out, they 
resemble superficially the mounds of Louisiana. i)ut objects found in 
them are quite different. 

The pottery of the Huaxtec has in general a similarity to some of 
the Hopi ware, especially that from along the Little Colorado, but 
the designs upon it are somewhat different and characteristic. The 
ancient people of the Panuco valley were distinctly potters, as the 
variety of forms they manufactured makes evident, and their descend- 
ants still retain the art. They were given to making images of 
clay, as well as vases, bowls, jars, and claj' heads, and these pottery 
images and bowls were painted or decorated with reliefs. These 
productions are found everywhere in the soil, particularly near 
mounds, which occur in numbers at certain points, especially on banks 
of rivers and lagoons. Some of the connnon forms of pottery from 
the neighl)orhood of the Champayan lagoon aie figured in the accom- 
panying plate (cxxvii). The specimens in the plates named below were 
found along the Panuco and Tamesi rivers and were probably made by 
the Huaxtec. Thcj' are owned by Doctor Pressley, the missionary 
at Tampico, and the author was allowed to photograph his collection. 
Figure 70 is the largest and one the most bizarre in form. It has an 
hourglass shape and a vertical hollow handle on one side and a melon- 
shaped base, the enlargements being continued into lobes as here 
shown. There was formerly a handle attached to the rim of this 
vase, but it is now broken off. Plate cxxvii, a, represents a melon- 
shaped vessel with a vertical spout and contracted base. Specimen c 
is an amphora with the face on the side of the neck and a contracted 
orifice. In specimen ?», which is also a small melon-shaped vessel like 
a teapot, there is a handle over the orifice by which it was carried. 
The majority of clay objects of the Huaxtec in most collections are 




claj' figurines, .sovenil forms of whirli are given in tlie acconipanying 
plates. Many of tiiese are simply heads, others complete figures. 
One is reminded of the famous Taiiagra images (see plate cxxaii, /■) 
in some eases. Specimen d is a globular dipper with handle; speci- 
mens r and _/', (7, and h are fair examples of the Huaxtec pottery; 
/ and /' are clay objects of unknown use; in / is represented a clay 
image wearing- a kilt and l)reastplate; m has the attitude of an East 
Indian idol which is found also on some of the figures on the temple 
of Xochicalco, in ^Morelos. Specimen n is a stone paint o-i'ind(>r or 

Melon-shaped vase with liandle. (Pressley collection.) 

mortar, one of the few known from this region. Some of the best 
of these Huaxtec images are those represented in plate cxxviii, a-li. 
The animal form shown in /■ and the headless image in / are artistic 
clay olijects; j prob;il)ly represents a figure smoking, and / is a bowl 
with legs. 

It is to be noted that several of the Huaxtec chiy images have 
notched bases similar to those of the paddle stones and heads from 
Xico, which would indicate that the objects in both these classes stood 
on an angular support of some kind. 



The most important conclusion arrived at in these general studies 
resolves itself into a plea for additional field work. The earth mounds 
in eastern Mexico are temple foundations, solid throughout, evidently 
having been constructed in their present form rather than resulting 
from the decay and falling of the ancient habitations with superadded 
growths and debris. These mounds belong, in other words, to the 
second rather than to the first type of earth mounds, and once had 
superstructures on their tops. The nearest northern analogues of these 
mounds must be looked for in the Mississippi valley rather than in 
the pueblo region of North America. On the south they are related 
to the pyramidal temple mounds of Vera Cruz. Other important 
relations might be discovered if we knew more of the archeology of 
the vast region that lies between the mound area of southern Tamau- 
lipas and western Louisiana. 

It has been shown by several historians that superstructures once 
existed on the apices of some of the mounds of the southern Missis- 
sipjji valley, and it is claimed that they were used as temples by a 
people identical with modern tribes of Indians at the time of their 
discover}' by Europeans. This claim is supported by historical and 
archeological investigations which show conclusively the identity in 
kinship of the mound builders and certain modern tribes where the 
older culture had survived. 

The northern Indian of certain parts of the Mississippi valley bore 
somewhat the same I'elation to those who built some of the mounds as 
the surviving Totonac and Huaxtec do to their own ancestors who 
erected the temple mounds of Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas. The build- 
ings above described were undoubtedh' in use by Huaxtec at the close 
of the fifteenth century, and possibly the same may be said of some of 
the mounds in Vera Cruz. The change in culture in both instances 
may have been due to the same cause — the coming of Europeans. The 
present culture of the survivors of the mound builders of the Missis- 
sippi valle}' and of those of the Tamaulipas mound region is very ditiei'- 
ent from that of their ancestors. While there survives in the Indian 
Territor}' and elsewhere certain remnants of the mound-builder cul- 
ture, before the Europeans came a I'adical change in culture, largely due 
to nomadic hostiles, had taken place throughout extensive areas in the 
United States where mounds or other evidences of sedentary popula- 
tion are found. Apparently northern Tamaulipas was inhabited by 
wild tribes at the time the Spaniards first sailed along the coast, but 
whether these tribes were preceded by a jjeople having a mound-build- 
ing culture is as yet unknown. From the most northern of the known 
Tamaulipas mounds, or those near Aldama, to the Rio Grande river is 
a region of great possibilities, but until more of this archeological 
terra incognita shall have been properly studied, there will be but 
little inducement to new speculation on the relationship of the mounds 
of Louisiana and those of the eastern part of Mexico. 



ACKATVOI, dance sticks of 195 


on Fray In igo 20 

on stone collars IHT, lii9, 170-172 

ACTOPAN BIVER, name of 235 

Adam, Lucien— 

on ancient language of Cuba 218 

on Autillean language 78 

Africans, brought as slaves to Porto Rico. 23 

Ageiculture. Antillean 50-53 

Agueban'a. a Haitian cacique 38 

Agtjeban'a the First, a Porto Rican ca- 
cique 32, 33, 35-36 

Aguebaxa the Second, a Porto Rican ca- 
cique 32,36-37,141) 

Agueyxaba. (See Agnebana.) 

Alaskan tribes, researcli work among x 


Alonso, Manuel a., on Porto Rican folk- 
lore 20 


founded by Escandron 278 

ruins 276 

stone idols 278-280 

Ambrosetti, idol figured by 141 

American Indian games xx 

American Indians, Handbook of x, 


American languages, Handbook of. x,xix-xx 
American race, achievements i>f, illus- 
trated .\ni 

Amulets — 

as idols 196 

shell .. 193 

twin 201 

{See algo Stone amulets.) 

Anacaona, wife of Caonabo 59, si 

Antigua, modern name of Villa Rica de la 

Vera Cruz 232,243-244 


agriculture .50-53 

areitos 210 

art 142, 1,=>2 

bone carving 192-193 

culture 215-217 

divination 63 

food 48-50,51-53,218 

games 84-85 

government 33-35 

houses 41-17, .84 

hunting and fishing 48-50 

language 76-78, 216 

mortuary customs 58,213-214 

j Antilleans— Continued. 

music 210 

myths 72-76 

narcotics 63-64 

origin 215-220 

: physical characteristics 28-31,144,145,213 

religion .53-54, 130 

rites and ceremonies 64-72 

sacrifices to gods 49 

shell carving 192-193 

tobacco 113-64 

totems 59 

voyages 207-208 

weapons 35 

(See also Borinqucnos, Carib, Cubans, 
Haitians, etc.) 
.\ntilles. (See Greater Antilles, Le.sser An- 
tilles, i 

Antiquity of .man 220 

Arapaho tomahawk dance xiv 


culture xii-xiii 

exterminated by Carib 218 

language 77,216 

mortuary custom 72 

in Porto Rico 90 

prehistoric objects 141 

tobacco 54 

Aecheological map ofTnited States.. .x, 


Archeological objects— 
Antillean — 

bearing on aboriginal culture . . . 89-90, 91 

classification 91, 92 

distribution 214 

material for 92 

variation in types 214 

Mexican — 

conclusions 284 

from Cempoalau and Xico — 

classification 2.51 

general description 2.50-2.51 

Huaxtec pottery 280-283 

stone idols at Altamira 278-280 

Tampico stone idols 277-278, 280 

(See al^o names of objects — Amulets, 
Celts, Curved stones, etc.) 


character 37, 38, 68-69, 83, 84 

in marriage ceremonies 48, 65 

in mortuary ceremonies 65, 68-69, 70, 83, 84 

musical accompaniment 210 

plazas .83-84 

(See aUu Dances, Antillean.) 





Armas, on Carib (.•annibulism 50 

Arotages, an ancient Antillean race 219 

Asis, Ruiz de, expedition 274 

Axes. (.SVe Celts.) 

A Y >i AMON, a Porto Rican cacique 38-39 

Baceiller y Morales, Antonio— 

Antillean language studied by 77 

citing M tiller on dance plazas SO 

citing Perez on areito 69 

on Antillean name for Creator 55 

on Cuban caneys ^2 

on Fernando Columbus's liie of father. . 5J 
on human bones found in Porto l.ioo.. 29 
Bahama islands— 

aborigines 30, 21S 

pielograpliy 148 

slavery 2:1, 25 

Baird, Prof. S. F., on contour cf Porto 

Kico 129 

Ball courts. (.See Juegos de bola.) 
Baltazar de Castro, on Carib raid on Porto 

Rico 2S 


on Cempoalan ruins 233,236 

on ruins in Vera Cruz 231 

Bandelier, on Mexican mounds 271 

Barbados — 

archeological collections IS, 19 

archeological reconnoissance xv 

Barni'm, William, work of xxiii 

Barra Chachalicas, clay objects from.. 268-270 

Bask etry, Antillean 212-213 

Bateys. (See Juegos de Itola.) 

Batons 195 

Batres, Senor, visit of, to Cempoalan... 234-235 

Beads 108-109, 192 

Becekrillo 40 

Behechio, a Haitian cacique 49,70,81 

Benton, Dr Elbert J., work of xxiii 

Benzoni — 

as a historian 19-20 

on character of Antilleans 31 

on grinding maize 106 

on Haitian ceremony for crops 67 

on Haitian zemis 54 

on treatment of sick 61-62 

stone muUers figured by 99 

Bernaldez, Andros — 

on dress of Cuban cacique aiul ^vife 35 

on second voyage of Columbus 203 

on sentiments of Antilleans 32 

on wearing of masks by Antilleans 136 

Berra, Orozco v. (iS'ee Orozco.) 

Bifa. a vegetable dye 31 

Blake, Edith, cited on Jamaican shell 

heaps 87 

Boas, Dii Franz, work of xn,.Nrx-xx 

Boil, derivation of name 130 

{^ee also Priesthood. Antillean. i 

BoMBAS, negro dances 09,210 

Bone CARVING, Antillean 192-193 

Boone, William— 

aeknowledgmenis to 24'* 

on paddle stones 201 

Bortnquen. discussion of the name 78 

(Nee aim Porto Rico.) 



agriculture 50-51 

as potters 179-1 80, 189 

bone carving 192-193 

cannibalism 50 

canoes 208, 217 

cave-dwellers 41 

chief authorities on 19-20 

clans or phratries 42 

cul ture 47, 89-90, 91 , 178-179, 214-215, 216 

dances 69 

effect of SpaTiish conquest on 25 

food 22, 51, 106 

government 33-35 

hieroglyphic writing 149 

houses 41-47, 84, 217 

human sacrifice 168 

hunting and fishing 48-50 

idols 197 

language 77-78 

line uf descent 47 

marriage 48 

medicine practices 61-64 

mental and moral characteristics 31-32 

mortuary customs 58,80,82-83, 19', 217 

myths 73 

naming children 47 

occupations 107 

physical characteristics 28-31 

population 23-24 

priesthood 69-CO 

race and kinship 24,26-28,90,219 

religion 42,53-54,129-132 

researches among 19-21 

resistance to Spaniards 31 

rites and ceremonies — 

ceremony for crops 66-69 

general account 64-66 

mortuary rites 69-72 

shell carving 192-193 

skeletal remains 82-83 

slavery 23-24 

weapons 93, 209 

zemis 54-59 

(See also Antilleans, Porto Kico, > 

Brasseur deBourbourg — 

Antillean vocabulary by 77 

map of 243 

Brau, Senor— 

on Antillean pueblo 33 

on enslavement of Indian ■ 24 

on population of Porto Rico 23 

principal work 24,40 

Brazil, antiquity of man in 220 

Brett, Rev. W. H.,on Arawak dance 72 

Brigstock, Master, on origin of Carib.. 217-218 

Brinton, Dk D. G.— 

on Antillesiii aborigines 218 

on Antillean language 78 

on Arawak language 77 

on petroglyph from St Vincent 159 

Brooks, Prof. W. K., on Lucayan skulls.. 30 

Broy'Uan. (.See Urayoan.) 

Buhiti. (,See Boii, also Priesthood, Antillean.) 

Buret de Longchamps, on Borinqueno tra- 
dition 130 

Caeello, Doctor, acknowledgment to 83 




Cabraken, a Kiche god 130 

Cacimab, a Carib ruler 40 


death and burial 69.70,71 

description of office 33-35 

dress 34-36 

marriage customs 48 

ornaments 146 

Calchaqui of Argentina, idol of 141 

Calibites, a South American tribe 219 

California TRIBES, research work among x.xvii 

Cambiaso, Senor. on certain zemi 38 

Canevs, prehistoric Cuban mounds 82 

Cannibalism 50. 72 

Canoes, Antillean 207-209. 217 

Cantero, Dr Calixto Romero, on three- 
pointed stones 129-130 

Caonabo, a Porto Rican cacique 32,39,80,81 


allies of Aguebana the Second 40 

amulets 132. 142, 147 

basketry 213 

cannibalism 50 

canoes 207-209 

cassava used by 53 

character 27-28 

culture xii-xiii 

festivals 65 

fishing 49 

habitat 24 

. houses 47 

language 78 

medicine-men 60-01 

mortuary customs 58, 71-72, 213-214 

name for pritsts 54 

origin and migrations 90,217-219 

physical features 30-31, 142, 213 

pictographs 159 

polygamy 48 

raids on Porto Rico 28.40,97 

relationship with Borlnquefios 26 

slavery 25 

stone implements 92 

turtle associated with 1'J7 

voyages 207-208 

weapons 209 

zemis 58 

Caribbean sea. locatiun and extent of 21 

Caribbeans. (See Carib.) 

Carriacou, pottery from 189,190 

Cassava 51-53, 106, 194, 216 

Castillo de Teayo 250 

Cato, Josiah, on stone collars 167-168 

Cave-dwellers, Antillean 41 

Cayam Inca god 143 

Celt handles 209 

Celts 89, 92-97, 192 

Cemi. (5eeZemi.) 

at the conquest 231 

ceramic art 251 

material of mounds 273 

name applied to several places 234 

ruins xxvni 

buildings 236-243 

general description 233-236 

(See also Archeological objects.) 

Cercados de LOS iNDios. (Scc Dance 

plazas. ) 
Ceremonial batons. (See Batons.) 
Ceremonies. (See Rites and ceremonies.) 

Ceron, distribution of slaves by 23 

Champa YAN lagoon, ruins near 276 

Chanca. Doctor— 

letter of. discussed 77 

on Antillean mortuary custom 212-213 

on Borinquenos 208 

on Carib cannibalism 50 

on natives of Guadeloupe 198-199 

on second voyage of Columlju^ 203 

on the utia 49 

Changing names, Antillean custom of 34,36 


on aboriginal Antilleans . . . : 28, 29 

on Antillean amulets 139 

on Antillean dances 69 

on capture of parrots by Antilleans 50 

on Carib canoe-making 208 

on cave of Yobobala 56 

on foods of Antilleans 49-50 

on Haitian ceremony for crops 67 

on Haitian creation legend 74 

on implements from Amazon valley... 93 

on Jamaican mortuary customs 71 

on polygamy among Carib 48 

on suicide of Antillean women 53 

zemis tigured by 156 

Chavero — 

archeological objects figured by 256,280 

on route of Cortes 244 

Chemi. (See Zemi.) 

Cheyenne, researches among xiii-xiv 

Chila, city of Huaxtec 231 

Children, naming of, among Borinfuienon;. 47 

Chisels 192 

Clan syste.m, Antillean 33-34,42 

Clark. Miss May S., work of xxv 

Clavijero. on cities founded by Cortes 243 

Clayton, J. B., work of xxiv 

Clerical work of the Bureau .. x. xxiv-xxv 

Closed stone yokes 253 

Co A. (See Planting sticks, Antillean. ) 

Collars. (See Stone collars.) 

Collections made by the Bureau ... xxi-xxit 

CoLLENs, on Trinidad pottery 190-191 

Coll y Toste, Senor— 

Antillean language studied by 77 

on name Borinquen 78 

Columbian exposition at Madrid. (See 
Madrid American Historical Ex- 
Columbus, Bartholomew, native recep- 
tion to 81 

Columbus, Christopher— 

diary 19, 203 

Haitian idols described by 57 

landing place of 33 

method of tishing observed by 49 

on Antillean zemis 55 

on character of Antilleans 31,76-77 

on names of Antillean islands 78 

presents received from Antilleans 35, 

136, 137, 153, 211 
race found in Haiti by 80 





CoLCMBUs, Christopher — Continued. 

regarded as supernatural 

search by, for Navidad settlers 

Columbus. Fernando, on Antillean reli- 

Coma, Goillermo, on character of Antil- 

leans 32 

Conquest Play at Xico Viejo 24S 

Coos Indians, researches among xvii 

COEDERU, Teofilo, archeological material 

found by 100 

Corn. (See Maize.) 

Correspondence OF the Bureau xix.xxiv 

CoRTts. Hernando— 

figure in Conquest Play 248 

in Mexico 231,243,244,248,274 

CosA, Juan de la, map of 77 

Creation legends, Antillean 72-74 

Ceonau, Doctor— 

archeological objects figured by. . . 64, 136, 213 

diary of Columbus republished by 203 

on Haitian mask 210 


archeological collections 18 

archeological reconnoissances xiv- 

XV, xxvi 

author's visit to 17 

geological change 219 

irrigation 51 

juegos de bola 79 

Cubans — 

aboriginal art 142 

cave-dwellers 41 

description of cacique 35 

fishing 49 

houses 46, 47 

language 77, 7S 

physical characteristics 'iS-SI 

pictography 148 

primitive culture 17S-179 

relationship with Borinquenos 26 

skeletal remains 29.30 

slavery 25 

use of tobacco 64 

CuLEBRA. island of 26,30 

CULIN, Stewart, work of xx 

Culture, largely dependent on environ- 
ment 21 

Curved stones 93,258 

CusHiNG, F. H. , on prehistoric Cubans and 

Floridians 216 

Dance inclosures. (See Dance plazas.) 

Dance OEjEfTs. Antillean 194-196 

Dance plazas 79-85,, 175-176, 178 

Dances, Antillean 64,65,72 

{See also Areitos, Dance plazas.) 
Davies — 

on aborigines of Santo Domingo 219 

on Carib festivals 65 

on Carib medicine-men 60-61 

on fishing among Carib 49 

on origin of Carib 217-218 

on physical features of Carib 30-31 

Dehesa. Governor Teodoro, acknowledg- 
ments to xxviii,236 

De la Borde, on certain Carib customs... 65 

Delgado. {See Ubeda y Delgado, Manuel. ) 
De Montagnac, C. P. O'R., Jamaican am- 
ulets found by 140 

Descourtilz, on Antillean pictographs 148 

Diaz del Castillo, Bernal — 

on Cempoalan 233 

on route of Cortes 244, 245 

on Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz 243 

Dibble. (.See Planting sticks, Antillean.) 

Disks with human faces 135-138 

Divination 60-61. 63 

Do.minican Republic, native houses in 46, 47 

Dorsey, Rev. J. Owen, work of xviii 

Duerden, Dr J. E.— 

Antillean pottery figured by 189 

on certain mortars 106 

on Jamaican amulets 140 

on Jamaican idols 198-199 

on Jamaican pestles 106 

on Jamaican pictography 148 

DUHOS, Antillean 157,200-201,202-207 

DuMoNT. Enrique, on Porto Rican pictog- 
raphy 149 

Du Tertre 68 

Ear pendants 99 

Editorial work of theBvreau xxiii 

Edwards, on the Antilleans 218 

El BERME.IO, Fray 55 

Elbow stones 172-174 

El CA.STILLO, Totonac pyramid 249 

Elliott, W. M., on area of Porto Kico 21 

El Ta.iin, Totonac pyramid 249,273 

Enigmatical OBJECTS 96-99 

Enriquez. Justo Garcia, ownerof idol 279 

Enriquez, Martin, plan of Cempoalan 

given to 233 

Environment, as a factor in culture 21 

EscANDRON, founder of Altamini 276,278 


Exposition work of the Bureau xi-xiii 

Faerell, E.g., work of xxiii 

Fetishes, feeilingof 147 

Fewkes. Dr J. Walter, work of x, 


Field, on Davies's work 31 

Field Columbian Museum, agreement of, 

with Bureau xiii 

Field work of the Bureau xiii-xvii 

Financial statement of the Bureau xxv 

Fink, Hugo, on antiquities of Vera Cruz. . . 231 

Flaking of stone 91 

Flinter. Col. George D., on Porto Rico. . . 20 

Florida, as source of Antilleans 215-220 

Flower, Sir Willia.m H., on Jamaican 

skulls 30 

Folklore, significance of term 20 

Games, Antillean 84-85 

Gandia. Zeno. on Porto Rican archeology. 86 

Garay, Francisco de. expedition of 274 

Gatschet. Dr.\. S., work of xix 

Gaw, Mr, acknowledgments to 235 

Gibaros, modern Porto Rican natives 47, 

68, 73, 76, 156-157 

GiLii, on preparation of cassava 52 

Gill, De Lancey, work of xiii,xxii-xxiii 

Gill. W. H., work of xiii 

Gold among Borinquenos 107, 211-212 



GOmara— Page 

historii_-al work 24,66 

on aboriginal Antilleans 28 

on Borinquenos 170 

on Cempoalan ruins 23H 

on cities founded by Corlus 243 

on Haitian ceremony for crops 66-67 

on Haitian myth 73 

on Haitian zemis 56,146 

on prophecy of Indian gods 6fi 

on route of Cortes 235, 214, 245, 246 

on slavery in West Indies 23 

on temples of Quetzalcoatl 237 

on use of tobacco by Cubans 64 

on vomiting sticks 193 



Could, Miss A. B., on cave of El Consejo.. 156 

Government, Antiliean 33-35 

Greater Antilles, archeologieal recon- 

noissances of xxvi-xxvin 

Carib influence on 27 

{See also Antilleans, Borinquenos. and 
Cuba, Haiti, etc.) 
Great Plains tribes, research work 

among x, xiii 

Grenada, archeologieal reconuoissance of. xv 

Grijalva, expedition of 273 

Grinding stones. (.See Mullers.) 

Guabonito, a Porto Rican ruler 109 

Guacanagabi, an Antillcan cacique 108, 


GUAGUiANA, ancient Porto Rican hero 109 

GUANIN, meaning of term 146 

Gtaninis, an ancient Porto Kiean tribe 109 

Gi'ARABO, a Carib chief 39,40 


linguistic position 216 

mortuary customs 71, 72 

relationship to Borinquenos 217 

GUAKIONEX, a Porto Rican cacique— 

caciquedom of 39 

hostility to Spaniards 23, 37, 39, 40, 150 

oracle delivered to 65 

zemis consulted by 56, 00 

GuAYQUiBiES, an Orinoco tribe 204 

Guiana Indians 195, 204, 219 

GviLLEMiN, M. E., mounds figured by 272 

Gumilla — 

on Antillcan dances 83 

on Guarano mortuary custom 72 

on Guayquiries 204 

on Saliva Indians 70,71,137 

Haddon, A. C, on Jamaican skulls 30 

Haida, researches among xvi-xvii 


archeologieal reconnoissances xxvii 

author's visit to 17 

juegos de bola ^ 79 

location 21 


agriculture 50-51 

as potters 189 

author's researches on 19-21 

chief authorities on 19-20 

culture 27, 178-179, 215 

Haitians— Continued. Page 

dress 34 

bouses 41, 42-13, 46 

idols 146 

language 77,78 

myths 73-74 

physical characteristics 28-31 

relationship with Borinquefios 26 

religion 131,201 

resistance to t^paniards 31 

rites and ceremonies 64-72 

skeletal remains 29, 30 

slavery ; 26 

wood carving 210 

zemis 54, 58, 197 

Hall, Edward, acknowledgments to. 121-122,143 
Handbook of American Languages x, 


Handbook of the Indians x, xvii, xix, xx 

Harrisse, on Fernando Columbus's life of 

father 55 

Hartman, Mr, clay image figured by 136 

Hatchets. (.See Celts,) 

Hatuey, on gold as Spaniard's god 211-212 

Havana, archeologieal collections in 19^ 

Havas, Antillcan baskets 212 

Head, artificial flattening of 29, 30, 31 

Hendlev, H. \V., work of xiii 

Henriquillo, an Antillcan cacique 31,81,147 


ceremonies for crops mentioned by 65 

material taken from Las Casas 42 

on aboriginal treatment of disease 62 

on Antillcan mortuary custom 69 

onduhos 203-204 

ou houses of Haitians 42 

on reception to Bartholomew Colum- 
bus 81 

on route of Cortes 1 245 

sketch of 42 

Hewitt, J. N.B.. work of xviii-xix 

HiSPANioLA, HispaSola. (.See Haiti.) 
Hjalmarson, Antillcan skulls found by ... 29 

Hodge, F. W., work of xx 

Holmes, Prof. W. H.— 

acknowleflgments to 18 

administrative report ix-xxix 

on distribution of art designs 216 

on stone yokes 253, 256, 259 

work of XI, xiii, XXVI 

Hopi X II, 147 

Horse collars. (.See Stone collars.) 
Hough, Dr Walter, on specimens in Lati- 
mer collection 182 

Hrdlicka. Dr Ales, work of xxi 

Huacanqui, an Inca god 143 

HUAXTEC pottery 280-283 

Humboldt, Alexander von— 

on Carib and Arawak 50, 218 

on cities founded by Cortes 243 

Huntington, Frank, work of xx 

Idols — 

at Xico Viejo and Xico 247 

shells used as eyes for 192 

three-pointed 128-132, 214 

wooden 196-202 

(See aim Stone idols, Zemis. j 

25 ETH — 07 




' ■ Page, 



IMBERT. Ramon — 

acknowledgments to IS, 143, 199 

on Haitian skulls 30 

.(in Santo Domingo idol 199 

IM Thurn, E. F.— 

■ ' on Antillean stone implements 9*J, 97 

on Carib mortuary cnstom>? 71 

on customs of people of Guiana 147 

on dance sticks of Guiana Indians 195 

on preparation of cassava 5'2t53 

\ on races of the West Indians 97 

' on seats used by Indians of Guiana '2i)4 

Indian delegations, study of .\,xxi 

Indiera, location and inhabitants of 25 

iNUio, Fray— 

as a historian 'iO, 40 

on aboriginal Antilleans 28 

on Borinquenos 23, (is-69, 93 

on burial customs of 18th century 72 


Irrigation 50-51 

Irving, Washington— 

citing Ramon Pane on Haitians 139 

<^m Carib cannibalism : 60 

Jacobson. Mr, acknowledgments to is, 97 

Jamaica — 

archeologieal reconnoissances . .-. xxvi 

mortuary customs 71 

: pictography 148 

skeletal remains 29-30 

slavery . . ,■ 25 

John. Andrew, work of xxi 

Jvarebo. [See Yuhubo.) 

JuEGOS DE bola 42, 79, 81-85, UO 

JuNCOS, Fernandez, on Porto Riean folk- 
lore '. . . 20 

Kiowa, researches among xiii-xiv 

Knobbed heads 174-175 

KrOg, L., on Porto Rican pictography 119 

Laet, Juan de HS 

Landa. Padre Fray Diego de. <ui Yuca- 
tan temples 242 

Las Casas— 

as a historian 19-20 

; Columbus cited by 77, 203 

on Antillean name for creator 55 

on betrothals of caciques 48 

ouBorinqueiios 27 

on cacique Aguebana 38 

on dress of Haitians 34 

on Haitian idols 57 

on mask presented to Columbus 137 

Latimer collection, feature of, noted by 

Mason 91 

Leary, Miss Ella, work of xxv 

Leida, I>r LiBORio. on duhos 202 

:Lesser Antilles— 

aboriginal art 142 

archeologieal researches, xv, xxvi-xxvin,17 
cannibalism 50 

- geological changes 219-220 

location and extent 21 

; native houses 4(1-47 

natives as potters 189 

occupied by Carib 27,217 

Lesser Antilles— Continued. 

pictography i 148 

slavery 25 

( .S'rcaZ^'o Antilleans, Carib, and namesof 

Library of the Btreau x, xxiv 

Llenas, Senor— 

acknowledgment.s to 18 

on Antillean workshop 91-92 

on skulls from Santo Domingo 83 

LoiSA, a Porto Rican ehieftuiness 39 

Lorenzana, on Cempoalan ruins 233 

LorisiANA Prr.CHASE Exposition, exhibits 

for x.xi-xiii, XIV, XVI. XXII 

LucAY'AN ISLANDS. {Sfc Bahama islands. 1 

Lyon, Mr, acknowledgments to 274 

Mabodamaca, a Porto Rican cacique 40 


derivation of term 1.30 

(.See o/ao Priesthood, Antillean, and Zemis.) 
Maboy'As. {See Mabouya.) 

Macana, an Antillean club 93,209 

McCORMicK, L. M.. photographs of picto- 

graphs supplied by 157-158 

McGee. Dr W J— 

acknowledgments to 18 

resignation i x 

McGuiRE. .1. D., work of xx-xxr 

McXeil, Mr, sketch of pictographs by 151 

Madrid American Historical Exposi- 
tion 18, 100, 102, 234 

Maler, Doctor, idols found by 250 

Mallery. on Indian picture writing 1-18,149 

Mammiform stones, (^'ce Tbree-pointed 

Manatibex, a Haitian cacique 56 

Maniatex, a Haitian cacique 211 

Manioc as food 106 

Manuscript.s in Bcreai". cataloguing 


Maquarri, an Arawak dance 72 

Margal. {See Pi y Margal. i 

Maria de la Luz Gomez 267 

Martiniqve, island of 207 

Martyr. Peter. ySee Peter Martyr. ) 

Masks — 

shell 193 

stone 83 

wooden 136, 210 

Mason. Prof. 0. T.— 

archeologieal objects figured by 143, 


citing Ramon Pane on Haitians 139 

on amulets 138, 139 

on beads , 109 

on boot-shaped stone specimen 96 

on celts 92, 9(1, 97, 98 

on curved stones 93 

on disks with human faces 136 

on duhos 204, 205, 206, 207 

on el bow stones 173-174 

on Gue.sde collection 92 

on human sacritice by Borinqueiios 168 

on Latimer collection 90. 92 

on leg-bands of ancient Antilleans 199 

on mealing implements 105-lOfl 

on mortars 106 



Mason, Prof. O. T.— Continued. 

on pestle 1*^3 

on pillar stones 1.52,176,178 

on pottery fragments 181-183 

on stone collars . . 159-160, 163, 164, 165-166, 168 

on stone heads 133, 134, 135 

on stone masks 136 

on three-pointed stones 111. 113. 114. 

115, 116, 117, 118, 119. 120-121, 123, 124, 128-129 

on wooden idols 21)0, 201 

on zemis 139,140 ' 

MAfci TiuvEL, a Haitian cacique 73 

Maya, relationships of 216 

Mayan calendar sy'stems xix 

Medicine-men. (.See Priesthood, Antillean.) 
Melarejo, Caitain, on slavery in Porto 

Rico -S 

Merino, Archbishop, archeological col- 
lection of 17-18 

Metates. (Sff Mortars.) 

Methods or research 19-21,26 

Mexican Government, work on Cempoalan 

ruins by -'^-^ 

Mexico — 

ancient ball game 81 

eastern, archeological reconnoissance 

in xxviii-xxix 

mound-builders in Gulf slates 231 

ruined buildings xlll 

slavery --^ 

stone yokes and collars 167 

Mississippi Valley mound-builders 231 

MocTEZUMA, chief of Aztec 231,248 

Molina, Alonzo de, on name Actopnn 235 

MoNA, island of - 26,27 

Montesinos, on lovers' idol 143 


iliary of Columbus republished by 203 

on Dominican amulets 139 

MoNTONt, on aboriginal Cuban skulls 30 

Mooney, James — 

on Davies's v/ork 31 

work of x,xiii,xiii-xiv,xxi[ 

Morales, Andreas, on irrigation in Haiti. 50 

Morales, Bachiller y. (.See Bachiller.i 

Mortars, .Autillean — 

general description lu.5-108 

three-pointed stones interpreted as . . 128, 129 
wooden 210-^11 

Mortuary customs— 

Antillean •. 69-72,202 

Borinqueuo 80, 82-83, 84. 217 

Carib 213 

Haitian 212-213 

Orinocan 83, 217 

(See also Kites and ceremonies. ) 

Moscoso, distribution of slaves by 23 

Motul Dictionary, transcription of xi 

Mound-builders 231 

Mounds, Mexican — 

near Antigua 243,244 

near Tampico — 

general remarks 271-275 

shell heaps 275 

ruins near Altamira 276 

ruins near Champayan lagoon 277 

types 271 


MCLLER, J. G., on dance plazas 80' 


MuSoz — 

on Antillean village 33 

on Indian pueblo "^-l 

on Porto Kican houses -t 1-42 

MuSoz DOCUMENT, Oil distribution of In- 
dians among Europeans 24 

MusEo Nacional, Mexico City 2.i4 

Music, Antillean 210 

Myths, .\ntilleaii 72-76 

Nahas, oars used by Carib 208 

Narcotics, use of, by Antilleans 63-64 

Nataios, blood kin 34.35 

National antiquities, preservation of x x 

Navabette. Agustin— 

Chanca letter copied by '20S 

citing Cantero on three-pointed stones. 129- 


diary of Columbus printed by 203 

on Porto Eican shell heap s6 

on stone collars 168-169 

Nazario, Padre— 

archeological c(»llection of 18-19 

<m landing place of Columbus 33 

on map of Cosa "" 

Neumann collection, description of xv 

Neu.mann, Kduardo — 

elbow stone figured by 174 

on specimens of Antillean skulls 29 

on stone collars r 1''9 

Nichols, Mrs F. S., work of xx,xxv 

Norman, Mr, acknowledgments to 274 

North America, three-pointed stones lack- 
ing in Ill 

' Northwest Coast tribes — 

researches among xvi-xvii 

symbolic decoration of the .xii 

Nuttall, Mrs, on use of stone yokes 260 

Ober, Frederick A.— 

citing Llenas on aboriginal workshop 

in Santo Domingo 91-92 

on aboriginal Cuban skulls 30 

on idols, Santo Domingo 201 

on Santo Domingo dance plaza 81 

on stone collars ItJ^ 

on tortoise from St Vincent 196 

' Office work of the Bureau xviii-xrx 

Open stone yokes 253-2.57 

Orinoco tribes— 

culture 21-22, 217 

dances ^^ 

hammocks 213 

houses '*'* 



mortuary customs 70-72, 83, 213 

poisoned arrows 93 

preparation of cassava 52-53 

seats 204,216-217 

wooden pestles and mortars 211 

(See also Carib.) 

Orozco y Berra— 

on names of savage tribes 276 

on route of Cortes 244 

Ovando. companion of Las Casas 19 


as a historian 19-20 

biographical sketch 23 



OviEDO— Continued. 

objects figured by 63. 210, 212 

on Aguebana the First 36 

on Antillean mortuary customs 70, 72, 83 

on Antillean religion 129 

■ on cannibalism of Borinquenos 50 

on Carib in Porto Rico 25 

on ceremonies in dance plazas 84 

on culture of Haitians and Borinqne- 

iios 27 

on early Porto Ricans 170 

on game of batey 84, So 

on houses of Haitians 41, 42-43 

on Juan Gonzales 37 

on polygamy among Borinquenos 48 

on Porto Rican stone balls 110 

on punishment of theft among Antil- 

leans 31 

on racial affinities of Borinqueiios 27 

on Spanish troubles in Porto Rico . 23, 36, 38-39 

Paddle-shaped stones 93-94, 261-262 

Padlock stones 263 

Palmer, William, work of xxi 

Pane. {See Ramon Pane.) 

Papantla, Mexican pueblo 249 

Parry, Francis, on use of stone yokes 259 

Paso y Tronooso, Senor— 

on name of Cempoalan temple 238 

survey of Cempoalan by 234 

Passailaique, Luis, amulets found by 145 

Patino, Alonzo. on Cempoalan ruins 233 

Pedro Pablo Romero. (See Romero. j 
Pen a Fi el — 

on a Cempoalan building 241 

on name Nautzinlan 260 

Pendants 109, 192 

Peneda, Alonso Alvarez de, expedition 

of 274 

PKORIA dictionary and grammar XIX 

Perez, Joaquin, on areito 69 

Pestles, Antillean— 

general description 99-105 

in connection with three- pointed 

stones 12.S 

wooden 210-21 1 

Peter Martyr— 

as a historian 19-20 

on Antillean zemis 55, 56, 57, 58, 140 

on gods of Haitians 67 

on Haitian creation legends 74 

on Haitian idols 14G 

on sentiments of Antilleans 32 

Petroglyphs. (See Pictographs.) 


in Antillean pottery specimen 186 

in forms of idols 64 

in Indian games 85 

in pestles 100 

Phratry system, Antillean 42 

PiCARD, Haitian procession figured by 67 


cave pictographs 149,150,155-159 

general discussion 148-150 

literature of subject 148-149 

on boundaries of dance plazas 149, 150 

river pictographs 149-155 

Piedra del ray"o, Antillean "thunder 

stones " 94 

Pierson, Rev. Hamilton, on aboriginal 

Antillean dance 69 

Pillar stones 152, 175-178 


Antillean skulls found by 29 

on clay idol from Santo Domingo 187 

on deformed legs of Antilleans 144 

on elbow stone 173-174 

on Porto Rican pictography 148-149 

Porto Rican caves explored by 87 

Pi y Margal, SeSor, on stone collars 169 

Plans of operations of Bureau ix 

Planting sticks, Antillean 196 


on Cuban skulls 30 

on in West Indies 100 

Polishing stones, Antillean 93 

Polygamy among Antilleans 48 

Ponce de Leon— 

defeat of natives by 40 

native name assumed by 34 

relations with Aguebana the First 36 

Ponce, Juan, slayer of Aguebana the 

Second 38 

cacique shot by 146 

Porto Rico — 

nrcheological reconnoissance xiv- 


j archeological sites — 

caves 87-89. 155 

dance plazas 79-85 

general discussion 78-79 

shell heaps 85-87 

as a folklore field 75 

! author's visits to 17 

j beads 109 

I canoes 209 

center of an Antillean culture 90 

! climate 21 , 22 

contour 129 

! fauna and flora 22 

geology 21,22 

location 21 

modern 41,43,45,47 

j monographic treatment 19-20 

I mounds 82-83 

i people 24-26, 215 

I physical features 21-22 

j pictography 149-159 

pottery 22 

I prehistoric political divisions 35-40 

I skeletal remains 29-30 

[ (See also Archeological objects, Borin- 

\ quefios. West Indies.) 

I Postley, Miss, work of xxv 

' Pottery', Antillean — 

bowls 180, 181, 183, 184, 185-186, 189, 190, 191 

canteens 180 

clay heads 181,184,188-189,191 

clay idols 187-188, 189 

cooking pots 184 

dishes 180. 182, 184. 189 

flasks 180,186-187,189 

fragments 191 



Pottery, Antillean — Continued. 

general description 1T9-1N0 

handles 1S1,184 

Huaxtec 280-283 

miscellaneous objects 191 

mortars 190 

ollas 181 

pitchers iJ^a-lSS 

use of, by Borinquenos 107 

vases ; . . 180, 182, 183, 184-185, 189, 190, 191 

whistle 191 

zemis 381 

POWELI.. MaJ. J. \V.— 

acknowledgments to 18 

archeological reconnoissance by xxvi 

linguistic data collected by xix 

Prescott, on route of Cortes 245 

Presslev. Doctor, acknowledgment to ... 282 
Priesthood, Antillean— 

divination 03 

general account 5^-60 

treatment given by 61-64, 147 

Prieto, Ex-Govkrnor— 

acknowledgments to 274 

on mounds near Champayan lagoon... 277 

ruins described and tigured by 276 

Property of Bireau xxv 

Publications of Bure.w xxiii 

Qr r.TZ A Lco ATL 237 

Quiauistlan, a Totonac ruin 231, 243-244 

Quirk, Richard, on Antillean stone im- 
plements 9J 

Rafn, CARi.CHRiSTiAN,ob3ectsfiguredby.. 9ti 
Ramon Pane, Fray— 

as a historian 19-2U 

cited on inhabitants of Haiti 139 

Haitian dialect spoken by 77 

on Antillean priesthood 147 

on Haitian ceremonies for rain 65 

on Haitian traditions 73-74 

on polygamy among Borinqueiios 48 

on Porto Rican legend 109 

on religion of Borinquenos 129,131 

on treatment of medicine-men 62-63 

on treatment of sick 61-62 

on zemis — 

Antillean 55,56,57,146 

Haitian 54.73 

origin of turtle recorded by 197 

Read, Mr, arknowledgment.s to 99 

Reinoso, Alvaro, on Haitian agriculture. 51 

Renato de Grosoi'rdy 51 

Repartimientos in ancient Porto Rico 23-24 

Report of Chief of Bureau ix-xxix 

Research work of Bureau ix-xi 

Right of the first nujht 48 

Ring. (.SVe Stone rings.) 

Rites and ceremonies of BoRi.vtiUESos.. 64-72 

Rivera, Manvel— 

on Cempoalan ruins 233 

on idol near Jalapa 248 

Rivera, Tapia y. (See Tapia.) 


historical work 31,68 

on Carib 218 

Rodriguez de Xeres, emissary of Columbus 203 


RdGUE River Indians, researches among, xvii 
Romero, Pedro Pablo, work of, on <'eni- 

poalan ruins 234 

Roth, H. Linc; — 

citing Descourtilz on Antillean picto- 

graphs 148 

on use of tobacco 61 

on witchcraft in Santo Domingo 67 

Rubbing-stones 108 

Ruiz de Asis. {See Asis.) 

Rust, Doctor, on stone yokes 260 

Sahagun, drawings by 241 

St Clair, H. H., 2d, work of x,xvii 

St Thomas, archeological reconnoissance 

of XV 

St Vincent, archeological reconnoissance 

of XV 

Salas, Estefama, on Cempoalan ruins 234 

Salazar, a Spanish leader ;;j-39,40 

Saliva Indians— 

images used 137 

mortuary dances 70 

Samana bay, origin of former name 209 

Sanger, Col. J. P., on population of Porto 

Ri.-o 25 

Santa Ana, General, barracksof 243 

Santiago, Senor. acknowledgments to 86 

S5ANT0 Domingo— 

aboriginal art 142 

j aborigines 219 

amulets 139 

archeological reconnoissance.. xtv-xv,xxvi 

as folklore field 75 

belief of people regarding caves 156-157 

culture of natives 91,214 

dance plazas 80-81 

native pottery 179-180 

pictography 148, 152-153, 156, 157 

relationships of people 26 

resistance of natives to Spaniards 31 

weapons 209 

j Sarma, Manuel Maria, on landing place 

I of Columbus 33 

Sartorius, on pyramid near Hua.xtusco... 241 


on Antillean cemetery 83 

on Haitian dance court .'.. 80-81 

Schoolcraft, on Antillean dance 69 

SciLLACio. XrcoLo, on character of Antil- 

Icans 32 

Seemann, Doctor, pictographs described 

by 151-152 

Seler, Doctor— 

acknowledgments to 274 

on figures of Sun gods 261 

on forms of temples 241 

on Huaxtec idols 279 

on images found near Teayo 250 

on mounds near Panuco 277 

on ruin nearChila 270 

stone idols figured by 277 

Semi. (SeeZemi.) 

Semicircular stones 132-133 

Serpent, woriden 197 

Serpent worship 152-153 

Shamans. (.See Priesthood, .\ntillean.) 




Shell amiilets 193 

Shell CARVING. Antillean 192-193 

Shell heaps 85-87,275 

SicucHiMATL. ruins of 244, 246-247 

Skeletal remains, Antillean 29-30, 83 

Slavery 23-24,274 

Sling stones 2()ti 

Sloane, Sir Hans, on Jamaican mortuary 

customs 71 

Smedes, Miss E.R., work of. xviii, xxi. xxiv-xxv 

Smith, Buckingham, on Davies's work 31 

Smithsonian Institution — 

archeological collections 17, 18, li' 

field work under 231 

recipient of Latimer collection 90 

Smoking among Antilleans 63 

Smoothing stones 94 

SococHiMA. (.See Sicuchimatl.) 

SOQUET, Doctor, excavation of shell lieap 

by S(> 

Sotomayor, Christopher, early Spanish 

leader 23, 36-39 

Soi^TH America — 

archeological material from 94-95 

hammocks 213 

material for implements from 92,96 

mortuary customs 70, 195 

native houses 46 

pictographs 152 

source of Antillean culture 214 

(See also Brazil, Guiana Indians, Ori- 
noco tribes, Venezuela, Venezue- 
lans. ) 
SorTH American tribes, seats used by ... 204 

attitude of Antilleans toward 31,34,81 

attitude of Borinqueuos towii rd 36-40 

corn mill introduced by 106 

figures in Conquest Play 248 

greed for gold 211-212 

intermixture with ancient Porto Ricans 25 

mealing stones introduced by 106 

slavery imnigurated by 23-24 

use of goschis in famines 50 

Special researches of Bureau xix-xxi 

Spinosa, Antillean words collected by 77 

Spinosa. Vall y. (.See Vail y Spinosa.) 
Stahl, Dr Augustin— 

collection of 22 

on Antillean dance plazas M3-S4 

on Antillean pueblo 33 

on Antillean stone implements 92 

on game of batey 85 

on juegos de bola 79,81.82 

on Porto Rican pictographs 149, 151 

on Porto Rican shell heaps 22,86 

on prehistoric Porto Rico 40 

on religion of Borinquefios 129 

on stone collars 168 

Stanislas, Andres, human bones found by, 

in Porto Rico 29 

Stevens, Edward T.— 

cited on pestles in Santo Domingo 103 

on stone collars found in Scotland 168 

Stevenson, Mrs M.C., work of .. x.xv-xvi. xxii 
Stone amulets, Antillean— 

classification 140-145 

Stone amulets, Antillean— Continued. 

difTerences in form 145,147-148 

general discu.ssion -138-140 

similarity between Antillean and Mexi- 
can 140 

uses Mi;-147 

(.Sec also Amulets. ) 

Stone balls no 

Stone birds 195 

Stone collars— 

distribution 214 

general description and classification 159-161 

massive 162-163 

purpose 167-172, 172-1 73 

slender 163-167 

Stone heads 133-135, 264-265 

Stone idols— 

Antillean 178-179 

Mexican — 

Altamira 278-280 

Cempoalan and Xico 247-248, 266-268 

Tampico 280 

(See also Idols, Zemis.) 
Stone implements. (See Archeological ob- 

Stone masks S3 

Stone rings 219,251-253 

{See also Stone collars. ) 

Stoneworking, Antillean 91-92,109,132,219 

{.See also Archeological objects, and 
Stone amulets, Stone balls, etc. i 
Stone yokes — 

closed stone yokes 253 

open stone yokes 253-257 

theories as to use 259-261 

Stools, Antillean. {Sec Duhos. ) 

Stkatton, Miss, work of xxv 

Strebel, Dr H.— 

i on art products of Totonac 250 

on Cempoalan ruins 234 

I on meaning of stone yoke*! 260 

' on open stone yokes 253 

I atone head figured by 265 

I yoke figured by 256 

[ Strube, Leopold B., acknowledgment to.. 161 

' Sun and moon pyramid 249 

Sun dance, Cheyenne xiii-xiv 

' Sun worship 152-153 

swallowing-sticks 195 

j SwANTON, Dr John R., work of x, 


I Tainan, explanation of term 26 

Taino, meaning of term 26 

Taliaferro, Miss, work of xxv 

Tamaulipas, value of mounds at 282 

Tampico — 

mounds near 271-277,282 

stone idols 280 

Tapia y Rivera, Oviedo's Historia re- 
printed by 23 

Teayo. (,See Castillo de Teayo.) 
Tejada. (See Monte y Tejada.) 
ten Kate, Dr H. F. C, on Antillean stone 

implements 92 


mounds xxviii, 245-246 

ruins 248 




Textiles. Antillean 213-214. 216, 219 

Thamara. Francisco, on aboriginal Antil- 

leans 29,32 

Thomas, Dr Cyrts, work of xix, xx 

Three-pointed stones— 

as zeruis 58 

general description Ill 

interpretation 128-132 

relation to stone collars 17()-173 

smooth .stones 127-128 

with conoid projection modified into 

head 125-127 

with face between anterior and conoid 

projections 121-125 

with head on anterior and legs on pos- 
terior projection — 

with bird heads Ill, 112, 119-121 

with hnman heads Ill, 112-117,119 

with reptilian heads. Ill, 112, 117-118. 119 

Thunder stones 94 

TisiM, Fray Juan de 56 

Tlingit, researches among x vii 

Tobacco, use of, by Antilleans 63-64 

Tolentino, SeSor. amulet found by 144 

ToMAS DE CORDOVA. Pedro, on Porto Rico 20 

ToRQUEMADA. on Ramon Pane 55 

Torres, Luis de, emissary of Columbus 203 

Torres. Luis Lorens— 

on ancient South American languages. 218 

on Antillean languages 78 

on cave of Yobobala 56 

on name Borinqaen 78 

Tortoise. {See Turtle.) 

Toste. {See Coll y Toste. ) 

Totonac, ancient inhabitants of Vera 

Cruz 231,250 

ToTOXACAPAN. uative nime for Vera Cruz. 231 

archeological reconnoissance xv 

author's visit to 17 

native houses 46-47 

prehistoric culture 190 

Troncoso, Paso y. {See Paso.) 
Tubbys. {See Duhos.) 

legend of 197 

stone specimens 196-197 

wooden specimens 196 

Ubeda y Delgado, Manuel, on area of 

Porto Rico 21 

United States National Museum — 

additions to collections 17 

three-pointed j^tones in 116 

Urayoan. a Porto Rican chief 39 

Vall y Spinosa, Federico, modern Porto 

Rican legend by 75-76 

Valle Ateles, Francisco del, on Porto 

Rican folklore 20 

Van Middeldyk, R. A., on slavery in Porto 

Rico 23 

Velasco, Josfe M., work of, on plans of Cem- 

poalan ruins 234 

Velasquez. Sancho, on slavery in Porto 

Rico 23 


antiquity of man in 220 

as source of Antilleans 215-220 


(!anoe building 217 

culture 214 

houses 217 

language 78 

mortuary customs 217 

prehistoric implements 2ir, 

{See also Arawak, Orinoco tribes.) 

Vera Cruz 231-232 

Vetch, Mr. acknowledgments to 274 

Vieques, island of 26,27-28,30,40 

Villagutieke Soto Mayor, J., on oracle 

delivered toGuarionex 6.'v-66 

ViNCENTE UsERA, acknowledgment to 87 

Viu, Alejandro, acknowledgments to .. 235,251 

Vomiting, as ceremonial act 67 

Vomiting-sticks 193 

Walther. Henry, work of xxii 

Walton, Mr. on phallicism in West Indies. 100 

Wabraus. mortuary customs of 46,71 

Weapons, Antillean 209 

Weaving, among Borinqueiios 107 

Webb, E. B., stone collar obtained by 167 

West Indies— 

antiquity of man in 91, 220 

archeological collections xii-xni 

archeological reconnoissances xxiv- 


fauna 22 

flora 22 

geologicu 1 changes 219-220 

wooden masks 136 

{See also Antilleans, Greater Antilles, 
Lesser Antilles.) 
WlLLOUGHBY,W.F..acknowledgmentsto. 103,110 
Wilson. Dr Daniel, on stone collars from 

Scotland 168 

WiNSOB, on Davies's work 31 

Wood, Herbert S., work of xxiii 

Xico — 

earth mouuds near 232 

objects from 250 

stone idols near 247 

{See also Archeological objects. ) 


modern 248 

mounds xxviii 

foundation 248 

ruinw 244-245 

X ICO ViEJO 244, 245, 246-247 

{Seealso Xicochimalco.) 

Yokes. {See Stone yokes.) 


as source of Antilleans 21.5-220 

games 85 

prehistoric culture 179 

ruint'd buildings xiii 

YuHUBO, a Carib cacique 40 

Zarete, Firmen, acknowledgments to... 235,236 

Zemis, Antillean — 

among the Carib 68 

amulets used as idols 146 

as totems 69 

figured by Charlevoix 139 

in houses of Haitians 42 

in shape of three-pointed stones 121 

materials from which made \s~ 



Zemis, Antillean— Continued. 

meaning of term r>3-o4 

pietograph of lnr> 

relation to serpent worship 153 

specimens figured by Charlevoix 150 

with three points 131 

wooden -^01-202 

Zemiism 54-59 

(!<€€ aliio Zemis.) 
ZoLLER, SeSor, archeological specimens 

presented by 18. 117, 119, 183 


researches among x v-xvi 

symbolic decoration xii 





a Framework without covering 
b With straw on sides; rouf nut covered 

e With sides covered; roof partially thatclied, showing inetliod of lasteniiig tliatcli 
(/, e Completed Porto Kican houses, with tliatelied roof and sides 
/ Typical street in Porto Rican village, showing poorer houses 

o ^. 




-' . 'X- 







(/, ((,' Fishermen's liuiisrs on tho dunes at Arecihii 

/) With walls of >-piii palm trunks; roofs of thiitch. nt'iir Bari-eloncta 
f\ d, e Of the Gibams in tliu niMimtuin districts; one t>f these has both mnt and walls of ydfimi 










^^v ^^H ,»^^B l^^H ^^^V 1^ 

(.Une-liah" natural size) 



(.One-half natural size) 




a. b. c. f! Port<i Rico. (One-half natural si/.ii 
'\/. ji. fi Santo Domingo (Arrhhishop Mi_Tiuo collfction). (One-haU natiiml size) 




a Santo Domingo i Archbishop Merino collection i; length 14 inches 
b Cuba (Santiago Mnseum) 






a Ciales, Porto Rico; length -li incht-s 

b (length 4; inclies), c, d (length 5 inches), Porto Rico (Latimer collection) 



(Oiie-lV'Urtli iiutural .size) 



(Two-fifllis natural size) 






(Onu-tliinl uatunil t^ize. i /^i'l by oi iiiclie* 





(Three-eighths natural size) 



lOiie-liMll iiutunil sizu. 1 II Sliiiu' ImU. i— s by I iiiclics 




(.One-half natural sizej 


y "'fyl^ 

1 - Sr i 
c 37*. S o 

o2 =^ C - ; 




? ^ - — ^^ : 

tt r; — t, 7" i 

5 •= c 5 S jj 
o -5 = r>. t ; 


■' /// 

■r5 r^ M C 

■e-r t- o 
— ._ - 1 tj 

JC— _ _ ill -M 

? S B = ~ 3 

5 « S — ■§ 5 
■= E r-= c 5 













= 5 1 s-^l 

r— v.. ^-t 

S S =^ =^ " 

d Si cy o 'Oj 


CO :r. 5^ & c a 
UJ ^ ^- ^- t'- "- 

h- -y. ^ ° ^ ° 

« t; m K K ^ 

UJ S ;: &S ^ 
Q. .^ a; (1) Qj u 

UJ ^'?'?*?'>^ 

z o a o D oj 
O *- T! "I' rr ':3 

I- - 'f. ^ X "^ 

CO -rr-r-T-^. 

^ c ^ c S 

-2 3; (- c; ;i 

*^ p c o 3 
rt e- tH [-. t-i 



Jr il- 


a Elitiiu'ui'il ^|..-(■im^.•n witli rutU- lu-ad on one end; length lU inches 

b Ru«i<' s|n(UiH-n without head; ht'iglit Ah inclies 

c Willi tiliilmlar eiilar^enicnt at one end; height 6 inches 

d With eyes on one end; height 5^ inches 
(' Witli animal on one end; height (1 inclies 
?(, (' Rude speeimens without deonration ( three-fourllis ujiluml size; 




a With large base (Archbishop Merino collection); height ih inches 

h With globular base (Archbishop Meriiio collection); height 4| inches 

c With human face (Latimer collection); height 3^ inches 

d Rude specimen (Archbishop Merino collection); height 4 inches 

e With the handle cut in imitation of a human being (Archbishop Merino collection); heijjht 5^ 

/ With human head on end of handle (Archbishop Merino collection): height -41- inches 
}f With rude human head on one end (Archbishop Meriiio collection) 
)i In form of an idol (Archbishop Mi-rifio collectinn i; lu'i-rht Vj inches 

i In form of bird (Archbi-liH|i M.TifH' '■ollmion i; lieight ■'» inches 
i Rude specimen. St Vinr.-iit. Hritivii Wf^i In. lies HUi.r collection) 
k Rude specimen in form of idol ( Arclibishop Merino collection); height V^ inches 

I Rude specimen (Archbishop Meriiio collection) 




a, h 
c, il 
c. f 

i. J 


s, t 

Frtiiit and side views of specimen with liead 

Fnint and side views of speoimen with head 

Front and sidi' views of specimen wiili plobnhir base 

Fnnit ami sidr views of specimen with globuhir base 

Side ;ni<i iKnk i-i" liird-formed specimen 

r)isk->h;iprd >prcimen 

I)iiMil)-ln'ti --jn.'ciinen 

With liiiinan faro 

EIon.u'^ati_'<l specimen with eunical appendage to the head 

Willi liead; ears prominent 

AVil h human face 

With two terminal disks 

With swollen handle: conical head 

Front and side views of specimen with globular base 




a, h, r. d Suuill spefimeus, Porto Rii'o; diiuiieters: <(, 3^; b, 3J ; c. 6i; f/, fi^ inches 

f Large spefimeii. top view i Arrhbishop Meriiio collet'lion ); 1;^ by 12^ by 4 inches 
/ Broken collar (has been used as a pestle i; length 4 inches 




„ (, Top and b.ittom views of fragment from Santo Doniulgo i Neumann eoll,-. - 

lion): length 104 inches , . . u 

r d Pigment grinders; diameter— c, 2) inches; d. 4J nuhes 
' . Elongated I Archbishop .Meriflo collection) ; li by 8' inches 


"C !r — 




«.s = 


-Wx = 


2 = 2 

C- ^ H 




a Beads and pendants, Portu Rico 
b Cylinder, Porto Rico: o.^ by ^ inches 
c Cylinder. Porto Kico; length 4^, diameter 1§ inches 
d Ball with eyelet (Archbishop Merino collection > diameter 2| inches 
e,/, fj Balls, Porto Rico; one-fourth natural size 



adilat. .M. U. Gill 


II Sitli- \ ifw 
b Tdp \ ii.-\\ 



6L d' 


a, a' Lateral and face views of sfn-iinu'ii \\ iih low cniiical proifction; length 5f inches 

b. h' Lateral anil face views of s|M-iimfn with rounded oonieal projection; length lOJ inches 
r. c' Lateral and faie vieu-^ oi >iit'iiinen; length 14 inches 

d, d' Lateral and face view^ of speeimen, showing prominent ears and chin; length 9^^ inches 





a. ti' Lateral and face views cif spieeimen with very smooth surface i Latinu-r eollection*; length 

10 inches 
6. /)' Lateral and face views of specimen with cnrved base, showing patches of varnish (Latimer 

collection); length 11 inches 
c, r' Lateral and side views of specimen (Latimer collection); length 10.3 inches 
(1, iV Lateral and side views of specimen with rude head (Neumann collection) ; lengttt 10 inches 





a. a' Lateral and front views of specimen, sliouini^ deeuriLitjii band over eyes; 

length 4.; inches 
6, h' Lateral and front views of specimen (Latimer collection); length 5.8 

e, c' Lateral and front views of specimen with prominent nose; length 5J 

d, d' Lateral and front views of specimen, Santo Domingo (Archbishop Merino 

collection); length Synches 




a, "' Lateral and fact- virus of spuciinen with brokon side (Niiiniaiin collection): length llj- 
h, h', l>" Side. face, and \tip views (if war])cd s|iecinicn (Latimer <'(tlleetion): length II3 inches 




a, a' Lateral and fact' views of specimen with two pits on eaeli side ( Latimer eolleelion): 

length t.1.15 inches 
b, }>' Lateral and face views of specimen (Latimer collection i ; length ~iS> inches 
c, (•'. c" Side, face, and base views of fragment (Latimer collection); length Vl.a inches 









^^ "^ 







a, a', 6. 6' Face and lateral views of twn fra^niK-nt-^ (Laliimr luHct-tiniii: width 3 inches 
c, r' Lateral and face views of siu'ciiin'ii ( Liilinicr i-itll.iii<.n ); length H inches 
dy c Two specimens with very much cnnlcd .surfaces; Icn^^th ><% inches 




a, fi'. a" Top. lateral, and face views of specimen with dcprespinn in the tnp of the coni(':il pro- 
jection ( Latimer collection i: length 9.(i5 inches 

6.6' Lateral and face views of specimen with flat face (Latimer collection); length 7.95 

c, c' Lateral and face views of specimen with depressions on the side (Latimer collection); 
length 11.65 inches 



I'l It'll. M. W. (iill 


5; BY 2i INCHES 




ft, fi' Lateral and fafo views of a frasraoiit; U'lifrtli n.^ inches 
ft, b' Lateral and face views nf lizard-formed s|jecimen: leiisth 10 inches 
c, (■' Lateral and face views of lizard-formed specimen (Zoller collection); 11^ 

; by BJ 




(I, ii' Liiteral and fme views of spcfimen with liziinl hcnl i L.itiiiuT collcctioin; k-n.irth T2.n5 

6, // Lateral and face views nf specimen with lizard head (Latimer cnllcction ); length 4..S5 

c, c' Lateral and face views of specimen with hird's head (Latimer collection); length 6.8 

(/, <{' Lateral and face views of specimen witli rndr lace i Ljiiimcr cnlU'ction) 




a, a' Lateral and top views of a lizard-hi'aded speoimen (Zolk-r collection); length Hi inches 
6, b' Lateral and face views of a bird-headed specimen, duck shape (Latimer collection) ■ length 

11.95 inches 
c, c' Lateral and face views of a bird-headed specimen with two lateral pits (Neumann collec- 
tion); lU by 4 Inches 




(I, a' Bird-shaped specimen (Neumann colk-ctinu): length 10 iuclius 
/», // With bird head ( Latimer eoiieetiun): length 6.t>o inches 

«•', (■" Lateral, lace, and rear views of an owl-headed specimen ( Latimer collect ion j: length 4.y5 





n. ii' LMtiMiil and face views fLaiimer collection^: length ii inches 

h, h' Lateral and face views; length S ini-hes 

c, <■' Lateral and face views of specimen with ajipendages; length 7J inches 



:il md. M. \V. IJiil 




ad lint. JI. W. Gill 







././ ,„il. y\. \\\ (iill 






a Lateral view ot a specimen iif tlie third type (Arelibisliop .Merino eolleetion): lengtli luj 
h, h' Lateral ;unl iaee views of head; length 9.j inches 
c, il Three puinicl sprriniens ot the fourth type; lengths 3J and Vi inches 

r Three-poiiiteil specimen of the fonrth type; 8 by 4^ inches 
/, /' Face and side views uf semieircnlar specimen Avith face; 7 by 4; 8 iiielies 
p.V/' Face and side view^s of semieircnlar specimen with face 




a, a' Lateral and front views (Latimer coUeotion }; length s.65 inclies 

b, b' Lateral ami Iront views (Latimer collection); length 6^, height 3^, width 4 inches 




^■^ *' Ilk 





t ''^5^f 




((. a' Front and lateral views of specimen ( Latimer c'olleetion i ; 93 Iiy 4 inches 
(.. ()' Front and lateral views of mask-like face; 7J by 2} inches 





a, <(' Front and lateral views; length 7^. width 5 iuelies 

b, h' Front and lateral views (Latimer collection i: length 7 inches 

c, c' Front and lateral views (Latimer collection); 7^ by 3J niches 






((. a' Front and lateral views of rude head with neok; 9 by 5s inches 

b, b' Front and lateral views of head {Latimer collection); 5 by 4^ inches 

r, c' Front and lateral views of disk; ti by 4^; inches 




(I, «' Front and lateral views of face: 5i by 4 inches 
b Front view of face; 44 by 3k inches 
(• Front view of face: ft} by 5 inches 
ri Fragment of face: width 31 inches . , , , . , 

c Fragment of face (Xeumann collection i: wutth .J inches 

!3 2- 













^^^^^^^ / 

. -^ V 











«, a' Lateral and top views of animiil of unknown cliaraeter, Trinidad. British West Indies; nat- 
ural size 
h Twin amulet. Santo Domingo fArclibishop Merino collection); length 1^, width ]J inches 
c. c' Front and lateral views; natural size 
d, d' Front and lateral views; natural size 

X // 


O — > I. S: 

■ !- ■•'"■ ?- 'fi 

: o £ o 




rt On bowkk'r. near Utuadi) 
6. c With horns on head 
d. e Sun 

/ Of unknown meanint; 

(I Of unknown meauiuK 

'h P^oni "EI Salto (U'l Mm. vis" 
(■ (H nnknown iiieiininK 




/.- Hiiiiiiin l'iii-<_' 

/ i;rJM('--rIilJnf,' the mo 

/// i;r|iiT>rniiiif,' fact' 

/I Umiuin I'acL- 

t/ Two spirals, wjilnr sviuImiI 

II. r. ir oi iiiikiiowii meaning 

II HiiniaTi face 

'/ Rei'rescntiiii,' bead 

/■ Rfiiru^ciiliiii,' Iiunian huad and Imcly 

^! Face wilh circle 

t Human liead and bndj 











a, h. r. (I From riive near Ptiiu-e 

' . j\ fj From eastern end of Porto Rico 




PL. LXll 




-i' :-.-^lilr^« 



mm-i^ _^„ 

" ;v 


''' i 

'■ ' ^:-. t 

'■ * 


^ y 


' ■#* 

^^W^"*®^ . ; 









> a^ 



a 1/5 bv 15 inches 
6 18 by 13t infhes 


r 17^ b\' 1;-J inche>i 
</ 19 by 14? inches 

*; Hi bv 9 indies 
/ 18 by 135 inches 




a Specimen ( Lntimer oollet-tion); 17 by 11 iiiclios 

h Well-polishert specimen i Neumann collection ); 15.^ inches 

c Simple specimen ( Latimer collection): 15 inches 

d With heart-shaped projection i Latimer collection); In inches 



c d 


(( With dt.n'oniii_'d piiiu-l border; 18^ by 12^ inches 
h With decnriiir'l paiK'l border; 18 by 12^ inches 
c With head i.n j.ri>jt-i-tion: ITJ by lU inches 
d With decorated panel border; 184 by 12^ inches 

^^^^r "''■"'*^""»— ^ 


1 - •>^'^ 

^f!^^^ ' -^J^ 

3-0 t> 




a Stnne collar with attached three-pointed stone; diumeter 16J inches 
b, b' Face and lateral views of an elbow stone (Latimer collection): length 7} inches 



= ■■3^0 

'- -^ OJ -J 

■^ o a o 
rt * :s rf 

Co v« 




((, a' 'j-i by 4; inches 
h loi by 12 inches 
c 16 by 7 inches 
d 3 feet t> inches 




n, a' Front and lateral views of specimen made of coral rock (Santiago de Cuba ^[ust'umi. (Reduced 
b Engraved stone, Nipe bay. (Reduced one-half) 
c Specimen made of coral rock in form of a pestle (.Santiago de Cuba JIuseum). i, Reduced onedialf) 

^^F^ ^^^^^^^H 


^^^m :'^'^i^^^^l^^^l^^^^^H 


^H "^"^^il^Hdl^^^ '-'^' ^^1 

^H '^^^^1 

^H'-;' ^.M»mi^ IK^^^^^fcWW ^^^1 

1 ^If^ 


^^H ^--'^&^^^^l 

^^^^^^^^^^^K'^ '^ '^S^^^^^^^^^^H 

^H ^IHH^^I 

^^^^^|^^^^^^^^^H^^<* ' >->^^^^^P^^^^^^^H 

^^^H ^^^^^u 

^^^^^1' v'^inflJ^^^^^^E* ^ ^^^B ^^1 

^H ^^^grfj^H 

^^^^^m '^^^Bl^^^B^^^^^^^^^^^V ^1 





^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^r ^^^^■^^^^1 



^^L '^ ■ ^^K 













VH& CfcA 
















^^B "^.^ ^^^M 

^B ; — ^ ^^1 







B^. y^^^^^^H 











^^^C - ^ ' «] 

^^^^^^^^^* ^^^^^^^^H 





^^P.. ^9^^| 

^b^ # ^^^^^^^^H 

^1 ' ' •" "i 

^^^^i f Skfl^^^fl 



^^v r flP 




^^^^^ ^^^^Hm 




^^B 'S^^^^^^l 










« ^ oS 

^ O O 

i5 12 .'5 





a, a' Top and side views oi buwl from near I'tuado, Porto Rico: diameter 4 by 2i iin-hes 
h Lateral view ol a globular bowl, Porto Rico; diameter 7 by 3 inehts 
r Rough boui with two handles, riiiado; diameter 7 by c»k inehes 
(?, (/' Two fragments of a dish fnmi Purio Kii-o; one-fourth natural size 

c, e' Top and lateral views of a bnw 1 \\iili two heads (Archbishop Meriiio cnllectioni: di;iiiu'ter 
t)^ and 3 inches 




a; BY 63 INCHES 







«, n', (f" l'>i'iii. lat'.-nil, aii'l tup views of innnuiiitnnn viise ( Airhhishup ;Mfriu" (jollcction): height 
lo; inches 
/(. h' Liiterjil iind front views of Iniwl witti relief ilecorution; diameter 5, height :^,.i iiu'hes 
(• Knttle-shaped vessel ( Archliislni]i Merino eolleetion \: 4h by 3 by 2 inehes 
(/ Bottle-shappd vesspl (Archbishop Merino collection): 3| by '2| inehes 




(1. II' Front anil liitrnil \-if\\> of hnttle vase, with perforation on one side o( neck 
h \'ase witli head re[>rrsented mi side of neel; 
(■ Bowl with opposite elevations on the rim. (.See Plate 1 1 
(( Fragment of flat boivl or dish; d view from below; d' lateral view 



h. C. d 



a Image made of burnt flay, Saiitr> Domingo (Desangles collection) : si/f mm-Ii 
5, c. (( Three fragments from Xipc bay, Cuba: one-half natural size 
c-i, k-in Fragments from Santo Domingo (, Archbishop Mcrini> collection), one-third 
natural size 
J Purchased by author 







.,.-. - mi 











m^fy ■ 


F V"^-^ 


' r'^i'^ 

1, J"^m 

. .^ 






^*^^^' ^^^^^H 











(I Shallow buwl or dij^li, 12! by Oj by 3 inches 

h Elongated dish, with ht'iid/on oppositu rims: 13 by 11| by 4 inches 
, d, C.J Flat bowls and shell-shaped pottery, St Kills, British West Indies (reduced one-fourth) 




' -if Fragnu'iits of Imwls or \ use; I reduced cine-third) 
f . / r\ny lieiLds (-ligiuly reduced) 




'I Interior of decorated dish 
b, b', b" Lateral, top, and front views of turtle-sliaped etiigy bowl 




a Cylinder for stampins pottery i Archbishop Meriiiii culleetion i: length 3}, diameter I J inches 
b. b' Obverse and reverse of a stanip with inscribed designs ^A^cllbishop Merino collection): diatD- 
eter 24 inches 
(■ Spindle whorl (Latimer collection); diameter 1' inches 




a Necklace of stone beads with iiltached shell iH-iuIant, Utimdo, Porto Rico 
b Cut-shell objects, Cueva dc las GoloTidriiias, Porto Kico 
r Carved shtdl (.Archbishop Meriuo collection i; one-half natural size 
, d" Swiillow stick made of bone ( Archbishop Merino collection); one-half natural size 
r Shell mask i Latimer collection ) 

/ Froutal annilet made of shell (Arehbislmp Merino collection); three-fourths natural size 
rj Frontal amulet made of bone (Archbishop Merino collection); one-half natural size 




a, a', b, c. il Ends of i-urvt'd swnllow sticks (luibert culleetion) 
(■ Decoration on the side of one of the swallow sticks 
/. f/ Idols, Janiaicii, British West Indies 
//, h' Front and side view of idol, Jamaica. British West Indies 







n Ornamented planting dibble (Neumann colleetion); length 3 feet li inehe.f 
6. !)' Lateral and Iront views of the end of a eeremonial baton (Gabb eoUeeliun): lengili 27^ inelies 





WnL^, 3^& 





a. a' Lateral and top views of turtlo. St Vincent lOber cullei-tion i: 4; by 2| iiu-hes 
h Serpent. .Santo Dnuiingo (onc-lialf natural size) 
c, (■', c" Front, back, and lateral views of idol i,ImbiTt collection i; approximately ?. feet higli 




a. a' Front and Irttoral views of twin idols seated in a duhn; heiglit 31 inolies 
6, b' Front and lateral views of idol, Caicos, or Turks Island: height 4:i inches 




<i, '('. It" Top. lillcliil. illni linttoni views t LiltillKT fiilU-ctioii ); 7^ Iiy -l.i inches 

h, h' I,nter:i! mid front \ iews of tliilin with back ( Liitimer colleetion ); 11} by 5i iuehe.s 

S -a 
o So 

■J c '^ .3 

-I ^ ^rr M 
o ; i ; P 

8 .Se^g 

t c: - a'-J 




11icilMi;r:ii.lici] by Xnji.'lii'S 




In ■i<iL,'i;iitiK-ii liy Xiuifnes 




Pliotugraplied h\ Ximeiies 








^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^?^' >r^^i*' TB 
























^^^^^^^^^^Hr '- ^^^^K 



















■~ "V 



liiiiM-niphed by Xinn 


(( The pyramid 
b The old houses 



rliDtouraitlK'tl liy Xiiiienes 


a Front viuw 
b Side view 
c Top view 




■a^ -^ . 


I'ii.-ioL'niplu-'l l.iy Xiinenes 


n Front view: width 4.i inches 

b Side view of a; width 4.^, length Iti-i inchtvs 

c Front view 

d Side view of c 



Photograph fd by Wailf 


a Front view 
b Side view 
(' Base view 








i ! 


Ph(itogr;i[»he»l by Ximenes 


(I Front view: size 324 by KJ im-lles 
b Frout view; size 33 by 9 inulies 





^ # 


i..J. I 






riKiiD^TJiplu'd l)y Ximenes 


.t Fniiu vJL'w; size 2H by U iiu-lu's 
b Fruiit view; .size '2Gh by yj inches 



{^ !M' ' 





Photographed hy Xiiiieues 


n I-'ront view; size 27 hy 9 inches 
b Reverse view of a, Plate CXVI 







riic)tn^iai:»lii'(I liy Xiiiiencs 


(I. /( With human fiu-e 

r With bird liead and bod\' 
f/ 28^ by 7^ inches 
* 18 by %k inches 
/ 23^ by 8| inches 



riiotoLTaphfil by Ximuiies 


a Small yoke*; 5 by 4 ini'lies 
h Fl:itiri'iv«li:M"-(! specimen: by 5.^ iiiflus 
c r«ii'iT;iii'l -(I. ■< linen: H^ bv id inches 
(f. €,f Wv.uU . . s ),\ ;;■, ,/. 6 by 3^" inches 
r/. h Tinllurk .^il;^n■.l .siicoimens; 8 by 4^ inches 
i Seated tiKure: 12^ by 7 inches 
j Mas„; 6 inches 



Photographed by Ximenes 


a Effigy 

h Hfjid of Rain god; 7J by 6 inches 
c Rain god; VA hy 7 inches 
<i. V Bowls m shjii'L- of dciith's head; 8 bv 8 inches 
/ Head of FIuwht ginldrss; 8 by 6 inches 
<j Small painted efligy; 7 by 3 inches 

1 y 


< r 

I = 


< ;= 

1 2 
" 5 









Photographed by \Vait« 


a. b, c, ff, »',/ Small heads 

{f Well-made large head 
h Painted head 
i,j Heads from panel of temple 



Plmiogr.ipheil by Ximenes 


a Decomled bovvi. from exterior 

b Decorated bowl, from exterior 

e Painted bowl, showing^ spiral ornament 

({ Deep bowl side view 

r Bnwl with interior decorated with picliire of nmnkey 

/ Bowl with exterior decorated wiin death's head 




a Classic pitclitT with ^'racel'iil liiunlle 
b Food bowl with three legs 
c, d Bowls with two handles 
r Bowl with legs 
/, (/, h Clay heads 

I Clay effigy of a hninaii being 
./ Section of a bowl 
k Rude effigy of human being 
/, m Dippers 




n Molnti-shiipod specimen 
h Meloii-shrtped specimen wilh liamlh' 
r Duubk'-handleri vase with Iiiiman invc 
il (JlobiiUr dipper with human faee 
''. /. .*/■ '' <'lay heads 

i,j Unknown objects 
k.'l Fignrines 
m Seated figure 
n I'aiiit mortar 



I k 


(1, b, c. il rigurines 
c.y. ff^ h Clay heads 

i Seated figure 

j Figurine smoking (?) 

A: Unknown quadruped 

I Bowl with legs 




a Vase vvitli meridioiial swelling 
h Vase with painted curved designs 
c Undec'orated vase 
d, c Painted vases 

-h ., 



3 9999 



734 1