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Native American Nations In US Island Territories

Updated on December 16, 2015
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on Indigenous Peoples for over four decades.

Guam in the 21st century.
Guam in the 21st century. | Source

Oral Traditions: Creation Legend of Guam

A folktale and creation story of Guam, from the oral tradition:

Puntan and his sister, Fu'uña, were born of space and had neither a father nor a mother. They existed before the sky and the earth. When it was Puntan's time to die, he instructed his sister to make a place for humans by using his chest and back to make the sun and the moon, and his eyebrows to make the rainbows.

Fu'uña followed the instructions of Puntan and then took the red earth of Guam and mixed it with water. Then she built a great rock called Laso de Fua. This rock divided into many smaller stones. These stones became the first people on earth.

In a volcano (Mt. Sasalaguan) there lived a god named Chaife. He governed the winds, the waves, and fire. He created souls in his blacksmith shop to be his slaves. One day he was busy pounding out another soul into shape. Since he was in a hurry, he put too much wood in his oven. All of a sudden the whole place exploded into a huge eruption. Ash and stones were thrown into the air, and rivers of liquid fire began to pour down the sides of Mt. Sasalaguan. Chaife was angry and he began a search for any souls who might have escaped. He wanted to kill the lost soul.

One of the souls fell to the earth at Fouha Bay on Guam and turned to stone. The rock was near the ocean, and the waves caressed the rock's feet. Over time, the sun shone on the rock, and the rain and wind weathered it and it became a man. The man was so pleased with the beauty of Guam that he took the red earth and mixed it with water. From this clay he made sculptures of humans. Using what he learned from Chaife, he made souls for the statues from the heat of the sun. He named these people the children of the earth.

Guam: Located East Of the Philippines

A markerGuam -
get directions

Chamorro marketplace.
Chamorro marketplace. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
The son of a Samoan chief about 1890.A Carrib Family.
The son of a Samoan chief about 1890.
The son of a Samoan chief about 1890. | Source
A Carrib Family.
A Carrib Family.

Peoples Of the US Territories and Outlying Areas

  • Guam - Chamorro, Filipino, Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and mixes.
  • Puerto Rico - Arawak Indians. Today, nearly all residents are Hispanic, except for a few that are a mix of Hispanic and indigenous peoples (much like the Metis/Metiz of other nations).
  • U.S. Virgin Islands - Originally peopled by the Carrib Indians, which are now living in Tobago and Trinidad.
  • British Virgin Islands - Arawak Indians, who were displaced by the Carribs.
  • American Samoa - Proto-polynesians, Samoans.
  • Northern Mariana Islands - Chamorro.
  • Midway Islands - No Indigenous Peoples.
  • Wake Island - No Indigneous Peoples.
  • Johnston Atoll - No Indigneous Peoples.
  • Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands - Unknown.
  • Kingman Reef -No Indigneous Peoples.
  • Navassa Island - No Indigneous Peoples. Became home to freed slaves after 1857, working to gather fertilzers until they revolted against inhumane workling conditions.
  • Palmyra Atoll - No Indigneous Peoples.

Samoa: Haka War Dance

Indigenous Island Peoples Associated With America

show route and directions
A markerPuerto Rico -
Puerto Rico
get directions

B markerU.S. Virgin Islands -
U.S. Virgin Islands
get directions

C markerAmerican Samoa -
American Samoa
get directions

D markerNorthern Mariana Islands -
Northern Mariana Islands
get directions

E markerGuam -
get directions

The Caribbean Connection

While the nation Cuba is not a US Territory, that country has been home to Indigenous Peoples found in the islands that are US Territories, like Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.

Awaraks | Source

CUBA & Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean

Cuba's small Native Indigenous Arawak and Taino population preserve many of the old natural ways, particularly the use of medicinal plants and crop planting systems.

As mountain people, they are keepers of Cuba's oldest musical traditions.The mountain folk culture of Cuba is altogether open and engaging.

Discovering the Taino

Cuba, a Caribbean Island

A markerCuba -
get directions

Some Taino Groups Around the USA

Taino Indian Culture

The Taino are a subgrouping within the Ararawak Indian Tribe, indigenous to northeastern South America. However, they have migrated northward to Florida and even as far north as to New Jersey. The Taino people have inhabited all of the Greater Antilles, which area includes:

  • Cuba,
  • Jamaica,
  • Haiti,
  • Dominican Republic, and
  • Puerto Rico.

The Taino constructed there own ballparks to play a ceremonial tribal game that required a rubber ball (rubber came from trees) and was important, even central, to their religious life.

Stone structures around the ballparks looked a little like Stonehenge.

Today, the Tekesta Tribal Band of the Taino is located in Bimini, Florida.

Some American Locations Of Taino People

show route and directions
A markerTampa FL -
Tampa, FL, USA
get directions

B markerBimini FL -
Bimini, FL 32110, USA
get directions

C markerTaíno Indian Cave in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico -
Las Piedras, Las Piedras 00771, Puerto Rico
get directions

D markerJatibonicù Taino Tribal Band of New Jersey -
New Jersey, USA
get directions

United Confederation of Taino People

This group has a headquarters in New York and representatives in the following places:

Puerto Rico - recognized as an original homeland of the Taino People.

New England Area:

  • Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York

American South:

Midwest and Central States:

West Coast:

In the Caribbean:

  • Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic & Haiti

© 2007 Patty Inglish


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      We're always booking for new information about Indigenous Peoples; maybe you will run across some and share. Thanks!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      This is my favorite subject. Thank you for sharing this great information. Voted up and shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      That would be great, Gilberto - Please write a Hub about the tribe!

    • profile image

      GILBERTO 5 years ago


    • profile image

      GILBERTO 5 years ago


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      Happy 2012 to you, too. We have a lot of information on HubPages. :)

    • gconeyhiden profile image

      gconeyhiden 5 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      this is fantastic!!! so glad i found your hubs. now i know why I joined sure wasn't to read hubs on proving or disproving the existence of God or learning how to bake a cake. have a great new year.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      That you Mukaro, I have that link listed above and am glad to be reminded of it. I admire your people and culture and wish you long life.

    • profile image

      Mukaro 8 years ago

      Greetings Patty. Bo'matum (Thank you) for your pages and for remembering the Taino People. Please also visit our site - The United Confederation of Taino People - to get more insight into what we are doing as a people today. Peace and blessings!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I look forward to reading that Hub.

    • profile image

      Christopher Jay 9 years ago

      Thank you for this much needed cultural lesson. I am just starting a hub on the Carribeam inclusive vacation, so this gives me a much better insight on the plans for my pages. Keep up the great work.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Lastsha - I will gather together all the information I can find. Our university is doing studies in this area and that should provide some additional materials for you. I have kown people from this area who have been a mixtire of all that you indicate and they have been lovely people, inside and out. This will be enjoyable to find more information for you. Give me a few days to get started.

    • profile image

      latasha 9 years ago

      I would like to know more about africans and the native americans that inhabited the caribbean long long ago since most of my family is from the caribbean. I feel like a lot is missing about the history of my people and their heritage and it sometimes makes me feel incomplete. There's so many mixtures of races in the caribbean sometimes I feel like I look like a mixture of them all. With that said, every once in a while I look up information about the history of the caribbean so that I can feel some sense of completion. I would like to make some type of documentary of the history of my people BUT there's not really much info. Can you help?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you very much for this insight. Popularizations are certainly not concurrent with ancestral fact. It is very useful for you to add your input!

      luvnlyf, do you have pictures of the dance/patterns, I would live to see them posted on Hubs! I may make a request for you...

    • profile image

      luvnlyf 9 years ago

      Interesting hub and glad to see Guam on here. Only thing I'd say is traditionally Samoans don't have a Haka. That is actually from the Maori people (the indigenous people of New Zealand). You'd be surprised how many islanders are themselves mistaken about this. I danced with a Polynesian group (now my in-laws) for years and have brothers from New Zealand and they are really big on educating others about this. You should check out the Maori culture--one of the most beautiful and powerful of the Pacific Island cultures esp when you get to experience it firsthand.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you for reading!

    • gabriella05 profile image

      gabriella05 9 years ago from Oldham

      I will defiantly want to read the Mexico history.

      Another great hub thank you

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Yes, I will keep going. I will next write about Mexico.

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      Abhinaya 9 years ago

      Patty I am yearning for more information.This is a great series and I would like to have complete information please.I hope you will continue to write without a break in between.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thanks; I'm glad you like it.