To send a message simply fill out the form below.
Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Caribbean Dominican Republic Taino Vomit Spatula made from the rib of a West Indian Manatee"
|If you do NOT want to receive newsletters from us regarding the antiques trade, please UNCHECK this box.|
To send this page to a friend, fill out the form below..
Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Decorated with the figure of a ‘Zemi’ in the form of a skeleton
Circa 1000 – 1500 AD
Size: approx: 10cm high, 13cm wide – 4 ins high, 5 ins wide
Once a year every Taino village would pay homage to the Zemis of their chief.
The ceremony began with a procession of villagers wearing their ornaments carrying baskets of cassava bread and singing songs about the Zemis. The chief sat at the entrance to the temple beating a drum while the priests entered and dressed the Zemis. The villagers presented themselves before the temple and purified themselves by pressing a vomit spatula down their throat to induce vomiting. The women then brought cassava bread to the priests who offered it to the Zemis. Dancing and singing followed praising the chief, the ancestors and the Zemis. Prayers were then offered for the prosperity of the village. Finally, the priests broke up the cassava bread and distributed pieces to the heads of families and these fragments would be preserved throughout the year as protection against accidents and illness.