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Dennis E. Chaney Jr.


Dr. Dabian Whiterspoon
English 101
05 October 2014
What has been the effect of colonialism on Puerto Ricos View itself?
In my opinion, the effect of colonialism in Puerto Rico was struck by migration, culture
and political dependence. In the book The Meaning of Consuelo it gives an in depth
description of the history of Puerto Rico and the lifestyle of the Taino culture. It tells how they
live and their religious beliefs. Colonialism is how one country changes another. Puerto Rico was
never able to be their own country or their own people because the land was always ruled by
another country. As a result of Colonialism, the view of Puerto Rico changed in so many ways
such as the traditions, the land, the lifestyles and the people.
Puerto Rico is an amusing melting pot of cultures, even though the strongest influences
came from the Taino Indians, Spain and Africa. The Taino Indians brought names of various
towns, villages, foods, objects and domestic utensils. In todays times you can still see the
famous hammocks in many Puerto Rican homes that they still sleep in. Spanish Catholicism and
the Spanish language was a principle legacy brought to us, Puerto Ricans also inherited the
traditional bomba and plena dances as well as percussion instruments such as the drums and
maracas which can from the African culture. But before the Spaniards arrived in Puerto Rico, the
Taino Indians use to hunt, fish, and grow their own food. After the Spaniards arrived, the Taino
Indians were forced to forget about their tradition and convert to the Spanish tradition. Those
who refused to follow their rules and regulations were killed. As time went by the Americans
came to the island and brought the American lifestyle to Puerto Rico and showed them the way

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of Democracy. The Americans also gave Puerto Ricans freedom from the Spanish rule and
allowed then to become their own country and people. In The Meaning of Conseulo, Cofer
describes how the Americans introduced the Puerto Ricans to their cement houses that sat on a
street planned according to the geometric designs of North American developers (5). That gives
inference on how people in a country can forget about their way of life and pick a new tradition
and lifestyle. In Puerto Rican the culture can be seen and felt year round, but when its Christmas
thats when the people celebrate the traditional parrandas which is the Puerto Rican way of
singing carols. In Puerto Rico festivities get underway around November 23 and last until about
the end of January, thats when the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastin takes place. This happens to
be the Puerto Rican Christmas which is the worlds largest. The Epiphany is another deeplyrooted celebration in which children visit their relatives and receive gives left by the three wise
men. Puerto Ricans also celebrate the Night of Saint John, where crowds of people flock to the
beaches around the island to jump backwards into the sea seven times. This shows their love for
the Christmas tradition.
In the land of Puerto Rico the Taino Indians had their little farm and crops before the
Spaniards changed that. The land was once filled with trees and wildlife, but after Spain came
over they just destroyed the homes of the Tainos and their farms and started to expand it for their
slave plantations. The Spanish also brought over diseases that started to kill the Taino people.
The Puerto Ricans now have buildings to represent the Spaniards and Americans way of the life
that they brought to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is now a tourist destination where people go to
learn more about the culture and to see the buildings that they built in honor of the Spanish and
Americans.

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In Puerto Rico the people have changed because of their values. Since the different races
that have interacted with one another have changed Puerto Rico. While the Spaniards left their
wives and families home they started to mate with the African-American and Taino women that
are why the skin color, hair texture and eye color of the Puerto Rican people have changed so
drastically. Now, because of that the Puerto Rican people now have different values. Puerto
Ricans for example believe that if you are white then you are Spanish and you will get treated
with respect. But on the other hand if youre light skinned then you are a Taino Indian and the
people wont talk to you because they are gone think that you are better than the others but if
youre black then youre an African American you wont get much respect from anyone. Cofer
infers how most people wanted to be high class and saw others as low class and no more equal to
them. That shows the effects of colonialism in regards to the countries values and traits.
Colonialism has had some good and bad effects on different countries. It can stop
countries ways of life and introduce their people to new values, traditions, and lifestyles.
Colonialism can also make people change their way of life even though they dont want to. The
exploration of different cultures is good but that doesnt mean it has to change your way of life
on the your visiting. This is how Colonialism has affected the view of Puerto Rico itself.