by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner
Bianca Gralau is producing outstanding videos on the history, current conditions and future of Puerto Rico from a Native American perspective. I have provided links to two of her videos, but there are several more.
By analyzing place names in the Lower Southeast, I have found that the Taino People had a substantial presence here. The original name of Jekyll Island, GA was Guadauquini, which is a Taino word, meaning “a large circular plaza for perform dances. St. Catherine’s Island’s original indigenous name is unknown, but its villages contained those same large circular plazas. The Toa Province on the Lower Ocmulgee River was visited in March 1540 by the Hernando De Soto Expedition. Toa was the name of a Taino province around Arecibo, Puerto Rico and a major river, flowing through the heart of Cuba. There was another Taino province in what is now Southwest Metro Atlanta. The Sweetwater Creek stela, pictured above was found there. Toa People also settled in the vicinity of present day Birmingham, AL. They were called the Toasi, which means “Descendants of the Toa People.” Did you know that Tennessee is the Anglicization of the Creek word, Taenasi, which means “Descendants of the Taino?”
Here are two of Bianca’s excellent videos on Puerto Rico. I am certain that you will enjoy them all.