Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sarobei is cotton

DID YOU KNOW - The cotton flower and plant is called sarobei (sarobey) in the Taino language. Traditionally cultivated, harvested, spun, yarn or thread from sarobei was woven into blankets, clothing, aprons, arm-, leg- and head-bands, and even cloth semi (cemi/zemis) – spiritual icons. The Taino word for the cotton spindle is huso (juso) or ‘uso and it is still used in rural communities in Kiskeia (Dominican Republic) and Kuba. Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to comment on the high-quality of the cotton blankets and cloth presented to him as gifts from indigenous Taino people. Today, the two New World varieties of sarobei - Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypium barbadense - first encountered in the Caribbean, South America and Mexico account for the vast majority of modern cotton production. – UCTP Taino News © 2012