Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Legend of Hatuey: A Taino Pagan With Cojones

I am currently reading Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan by Hugh Thomas.

One brief story from the book that caught my interest was the capture of the Taino cacique (chief) Hatuey by the Spaniards on the island of Cuba. Having led a band of Tainos against the Spanish invaders, Hatuey faced execution.

According to the legend, before he was executed, Hatuey was told that if he converted to Christianity, all of his sins would be forgiven and he would go to heaven. Hatuey asked, if he accepted the religion of the Spaniards, would he encounter Spaniards in heaven? When told that he would, Hatuey allegedly spurned the offer and said that he would rather burn in hell then spend an eternity in heaven with the Spaniards. Having rejected their offer, the Spaniards proceeded to have Hatuey burned at the stake, as depicted in the picture above.

As horrible as Hatuey's fate was, if the story is true, one cannot help but admire his bravery. If it was me in his place, I probably would have opted for faking a conversion to Christianity in order to meet a quicker and less painful death.


Anonymous said...

Fuck the Katholickass church!!!!! Isn't Spain where the INQUISITION DEALT DEATH to so many INNOCENT VICTIMS??? I'd like to see the f--king Poop tortured to death! ON LIVE TV!!!!

Lucian said...

If it was me in his place, I probably would have opted for faking a conversion to Christianity in order to meet a quicker and less painful death

I've already told You that You're f___in' weak, man, haven't I? Well, anyway, looks like someone has lost his cojones at the other end of the rainbow (no homophobic or leprechaunophobic puns intended). Why do You think atheists lose so much time defending women's rights in the first place? It's because they've been emasculated and effeminized! And BTW, do You also spend Your Sunday evenings watching "Desperate Housewives"?

Sparrowhawk said...

Cool post. I've done a little bit of research on the Tainos for an undergraduate class I took on Puerto Rico. Pretty fascinating, though the ones on Puerto Rico were wiped out VERY quickly.

Tommy said...

Thanks Sparrowhawk.

I plan to do a follow-up post on the Canary Islanders. It is interesting that their experience served as a preview to what would happen in the Americas. And like the Tainos, the native Canary Islanders didn't long survive their encounters with the Spanish either.

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