Skip to Main Content
Treasures ... of black wood, brilliantly polished : five examples of Taino sculpture from the tenth-sixteenth century Caribbean.Author(s): Joanna Ostapkowicz; Alex Wiedenhoeft; Christopher Bronk Ramsey; Erika Ribechini; Samuel Wilson; Fiona Brock; Tom Higham
Source: Antiquity. Vol. 85 (2011): p. 942-959.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (1.45 MB)
DescriptionFive wooden sculptures from the pre-contact Caribbean, long held in museum collections, are here dated and given a context for the first time. The examples studied were made from dense Guaiacum wood, carved, polished and inlaid with shell fastened with resin. Dating the heartwood, sapwood and resins takes key examples of ‘Classic’ Ta´ýno art back to the tenth century AD, and suggests that some objects were treasured and refurbished over centuries. The authors discuss the symbolic properties of the wood and the long-lived biographies of some iconic sculptures.
CitationOstapkowicz, Joanna; Wiedenhoeft, Alex; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Ribechini, Erika; Wilson, Samuel; Brock, Fiona; Higham, Tom. 2011. Treasures ... of black wood, brilliantly polished : five examples of Taino sculpture from the tenth-sixteenth century Caribbean. Antiquity. Vol. 85 (2011): p. 942-959.
KeywordsCaribbean, Taino, wood, sculpture, tenth–sixteenth centuries AD, ethnohistory, Caribbean art, carving, decorative arts, figure sculpture, wood sculpture, American sculpture, ancient sculpture, ethnology, Cuba, Ta´ýno sculpture, Ta´ýno art, Ta´ýno Indians, antiquity, Ta´ýno wood-carving, wood-carving, Hispaniola, Caribbean Americans, art, Guaiacum, prehistoric antiquities, Indians of the West Indies, wood identification, cultural property, cultural heritage
- Paired dating of pith and outer edge (terminus) samples from prehispanic Caribbean wooden sculptures
- Integrating the old world into the new: an ‘idol from the West Indies’
- Chronologies in wood and resin: AMS 14C dating of pre-Hispanic Caribbean Wood Sculpture
XML: View XML