Discovered in southeastern Veracruz, Mexico in 1986, La Mojarra

Hispaniola, Taino/Arawak, 2000 BCE
- 1500 CE
“Unthinking Eurocentrism”
(left) Joaquin Torres-Garcia (Uruguay, 1874-1949) Map of South America, 1943
(right) André Breton (French Surrealist poet, 1896-1966) Surrealist Map of the World, 1929
In the Surrealist "Map of the World," 1929, the Pacific
Ocean is central, the United States does not exist.
Dimaxion map
Voyages of Christopher Columbus, 1492, 1493, 1502
The Taíno:
The Caribbean before Spanish Conquest
Reconstruction of a Taíno village, Cuba. Significant populations in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Haiti
(left) Taíno Zemi, Dominican Republic, cotton, shell, and human skull, 22” inches high, C.1200 to 1500,
Anthropological museum, Turin, Italy
(right) Large stone Taíno Zemi created between 800 and 1500, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Taíno art centered on objects associated with the veneration of zemis-revered deities, ancestors, or landscape
spirits. The objects were believed to be inhabited by powerful spirits. Large stone heads are thought to
represent the lord of the Land of the Dead. Zemis were kept in the home or in sanctuaries where they were
honored with food and gifts.
Taíno Duho, Dominican Republic, wood and manatee bone, 45 x 62 in,
Museum of Dominican Man, Santo Domingo; (right) detail of duho carving
Taíno (left & center) Zemi, clay & stone; (right) stone belt or yoke, C.E.1200 to 1500
Taíno reliquaries, hollow earthenware, C.E.1200 to 1500
Taíno, ritual objects: monkey-effigy ax, stone (left) and rattle,
incised clay (right), C.E.1200 to 1500
Latin America was the main destination of the millions of people enslaved and taken out of Africa between 1500
and 1850. The U.S. received about 523,000 forced and enslaved immigrants. Cuba alone got more than the US.
Spanish America absorbed around 1.5 million and Brazil at least 3.5 million. Their descendants form about half
of the population in the Caribbean and Brazil – the two historic centers of sugar production.
Taíno, Zemi, (left: front view), Dominican Republic, c.1510-1515 CE, wood, cotton, shell, and glass, 32” H,
National Ethnographic Museum, Rome. Combines Taíno, European, and African materials, a syncretic
spiritual object made for a high-ranking cacique. It is among the earliest known post-contact works made
by a native artist to be sent to Europe and one of very few surviving Taíno beaded objects.
El Escorial, palace-monastery of Philip II of Spain, mid-16th Century, this vast
complex was the center of the Counter-Reformation in Europe funded by the
enormous wealth drawn from Latin America. The Reformation began in 1517.
El Escorial, designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo, Spanish architect and sculptor who
had studied under Michelangelo in Rome.
Diego Velázquez
(Spanish 1599-1660),
Las Meninas, 1656.
Velázquez was the
leading painter of the
Spanish Golden Age.
The influence of his
painting is
unsurpassed in the
history of Western art.
Detail of Las Meninas showing the lady in waiting offering the princess a bucharo on a silver tray. The
bucaro was imported from Guatemala (although they were made in other regions of Spanish America as
well), and the silver was mined in Bolivia.
Detail of Las Meninas. The red pigment used to represent the curtains and other objects in the image
was cochineal, a dye made in Mexico.
Northern Coastal Peru, c. 100 C.E to 800 C.E
Moche stirrup
spout portrait
vessel, (detail)
unidentified artist,
painted and
earthenware, 11
½ “H. c.450 CE
(right) Peruvian, Moche, Male Effigy Vessel, unidentified artist, painted earthenware, 9
7/16 in H, A.D. 100-600
Compare (left) self-portrait mug by Paul Gauguin, c. 1889
Moche, Portraits of “Cut Lip” (L-R) at about 10 yrs, early 20s, and middle 30s
ceramic, c. 300 CE
Moche, Portraits of Bigote, head (right) and full body as warrior (left) ceramic, 430 CE
Moche (left) Man with a Flower Headdress, painted earthenware, 10” H, 100-600 CE
(right) Stirrup Head Vessel, painted earthenware c 12” H, 100-600 CE
Moche, Male Effigy Vessel (stirrup missing), unidentified artist, painted earthenware
4 in H, A.C. 100-600