The Bohio

tribal art

The thatched roofed hut of a Taino household was called a bohio (boh-ee-oh). It was built out of planks of palm wood roofed with thatch made of the leaf or frond of the palm tree called “guano” in Cuba. The common bohio was either rectanguar or round. Larger buildings housed the royal family of the Cacique chief and his family as well as the matrilineal clan mother of his blood line. These larger buildings doubled as ceremonial temples and were called “Caney”. The caney was the home of all of the most important ceremonial and religious objects of the Taino village or “yukakeke”. It was the place where the most important indoor ceremonies were held.

The inside of a Taino home was filled with all of the necessary household objects needed for the maitenance of a Taino family. clay, stone and wooden food-preparation and cooking utensils abounded. Ritual objects had their place. Hammocks served as both bed and, when slung low close to the ground, as a temporary stting stool. Hammock-shaped wooden stools called duhos evolved from the habit of using the hammock as a stool and were richly decorated with intricate carvings and gold or mother-of-pearl inlay.