Summary Of Antonio Curet's The Chief Is Dead

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In the scholarly journal, The Chief is Dead by Antonio Curet, the subject of discussion is the tribe of Hispaniola, the Taino. Curet examines the group of natives and focuses on how the tribal society functioned, specifically determining the rules of succession. The European accounts of the Taino, according to Curet, are unreliable due to the European influence on the tribe and also being biased against the natives. Curet details reasons to why the Taino’s rules of succession is inaccurately documented. Curet also cites many European accounts of the Taino to support the argument of the article, which is proving the accounts to be false. Curet creates an argument explaining that European documents are vague and unreliable in regards to the Taino …show more content…
Curet writes with the intention to expose the documents and determine the truth about the rules of succession in Taino society. The majority of the documents taken on the Taino are vague and contradictory to one other due to the lack of knowledge concerning the rules of succession. The author cites several primary sources from the time frame from which the Taino were alive. Curet features many European authors to show how one contradicts another. One of the many authors cited in the article is Fernandez de Oviedo and Bartolome de Las Casas. Curet intentionally mentions the authors to portray how they oppose one another. Las Cases believes that the Taino ruled by giving the son of the chief’s sister the position of the high office. According to Las Casas, the Taino claimed this category of rule was important because “The sister’s child certainly shared the chief’s own bloodline, while this could not be proven with his own children” (Curet, 2002, 264). Oviedo disagreed with Las Casas, as he …show more content…
The strength not only develops such a good argument, but also persuades the reader into believing the Taino were falsely documented. The foundation of Curet’s strengths relate 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 associates with persuading the reader. 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. Curet’s work is very comparable to that of other historians that specialize in the study of indigenous tribes. Kathleen Deagan is a well renown historian that specializes in tribes such as the Taino. Deagan’s work titled Taino Social

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