The Chief Is Dead Analysis

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In the scholarly journal, “The Chief is Dead” by Antonio Curet, the subject of discussion is the tribe of the Taino, which inhabited the island of Hispaniola. Curet examines the Taino in order to determine how the tribal society functioned. According to Curet, the accounts of the Taino are unreliable due to European influences on the succession process. Curet creates an argument explaining that European documents are vague and unreliable in regards to the Taino society due to the lack of knowledge about the tribe.
The article states that the European documents of the Taino are unreliable and false. Curet writes with the intention of exposing the European accounts of the Taino and determine the truth about the rules of succession in Taino society.
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This strength also helps in convincing the reader the Taino were falsely documented. The foundation of Curet’s strengths relates to the number of primary sources cited in the scholarly journal. The works of authors such as William Keegan and Roberto Cassa are cited in the article to determine the rules of succession in Taino society. Keegan believes that the Taino practiced “‘viril-avunculocality’, where, after marriage, the couple went to live with the husband’s maternal uncle” (Curet, 2002, 268). Cassa disagreed with Keegan, as he believed the Taino “Transition from matrilineal to patrilineal rules of succession and descent” (Curet, 2002, 267). The number of primary sources present in the journal is a strength that is associated with persuading the reader to the author’s position. The sources utilized in the reading are also contradictory to one another, since this is the argument Curet establishes. In order for the reading to be convincing, the author must present evidence to support the claims made. Curet is successful in creating a strong argument because of simply providing sources that support his position. Kathleen Deagan is a well renowned historian that specializes in tribes such as the Taino. Deagan’s work titled “Taino Social Dynamics” theorizes how Taino society functioned before contact with the Spanish. According to Deagan, “There exists a dearth of information generated in Taino …show more content…
The argument established explains that European accounts about rules of succession in Taino society are false. In the reading, Curet specifies his position on the Taino stating, “some rules of succession Described in the chronicles for Hispaniola include both matri- and patrilineal inheritance” (Curet, 2002, 270). Curet’s weakness is the position he has taken is based upon false European documents. In the reading, Curet’s statements in regards to his position are “it is unlikely that European-style rules were present amount the Taino elite” and “Flexibility in the succession system also allowed for the election of the best candidate” are inferences based on the European documents (Curet, 2002, 272- 274). Curet argues that these documents shouldn’t be trusted, but also utilizes these accounts to form his position. Curet’s position is created when he cites the two opposing sources and settles in the middle of the bias, and also justifies why the argument is legitimate. The persuasiveness of the article is not as effective due to the author’s position that is based on unknowingly accounts of the Taino. The documents about the Taino are scarce because of the Spanish slaughtering the tribe to its extinction. Studies of the Taino are revealing in the fact that there is always new information about characteristics of Taino society that come to light. The article still remains essential to the study of the

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