Chorro de Maita

The Chorro de Maita
The Chorro de Maita

General Information about Chorro de Maita

The Chorro de Maita is located in the southeast foothills of the Cerro de Yaguajay (Yaguajay Hills), in the region known as the Cuban Archaeological Capital: Banes, north of the Holguin province. This archaeological site is one of the most important Aboriginal burials found in Cuba. It’s a deathly enclosure of 2 thousand square meters in which 56 aboriginal funerals of aborigines belonged to the agricultural-artisans group are located in the same manner; place and depth that were discovered. In the world there are few museums-sites like this and is the only one in the Antilles. The project was carried out so that the portion of the excavated area will be contained within the building and that since its galleries it could be seen the archaeological and cemetery set. Moreover, it is exposed material evidence that was taken from the place.

The Chorro de Maita and its Peculiarities

The agricultural group is the one that inhabited this territory before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. They constituted a large population and reached a sufficiently significant cultural development as can be observed today by the diversity of material evidence. Chorro de Maita, in particular, was favored as a living place by the presence of abundant water, climate and soil fertility. The village that existed here used the spring that runs about 100 m south of the site. That is why it was called Chorro de Maita (Maita Stream. Since 1930 the scans in the Chorro de Maita began to be organized and even small excavations by locals, fans and scholars. Some specialists in the field make researches as Garcia Robiou and Irving Rouse among others. The latter published in 1942 in Yale University and Archaeology Article about the Maniabon Hills, which describes in detail the findings made in the Chorro de Maita: human bones, shells, beads, pieces of flint, fragments of ceramics, with human form handles, animal and decorated with incision, plates, Buren, abundant lithic artifacts, hammers, stone and shell earrings – the most beautiful found in the area -, mortars, pestles, plunging networks, accounts and shell carved dentures.

The Chorro de Maita Burials

Led by East Central Department of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba – led by Jose M. Guarch – in 1986 the most important finding of the Chorro de Maita occurs: a graveyard of great proportion, the first to be located on a site of Cuban aboriginal farmers. In the excavated area a scientifically controlled extraction and study of 108 burials, which were located between 0.18 meters and 0.88 meters deep, and a grown both isolated fragments of bones and skulls and postcranial skeletons of number. Most of the bodies were found facing east. The heterogeneity of the present forms of burials in this aboriginal cemetery could be due to the inclusion of new traditions in the midst of profound cultural changes brought about by the Spanish presence on the island. There all forms of burial found not only in the country but in the Caribbean and some variants are evident. It is where there may have been contact between the Spanish and the Aborigines as an evident acculturation. The presence of pottery, ornaments, pieces of brass bells are added Spanish Christian burials elements : extended limbs and crossed up to the chest.

The Chorro de Maita and other Data of Interest

There is another compelling element to think that there was also the presence of Mexican cultures in the Chorro de Maita. a collar (only jewel in Cuba) made of pink coral, quartz, pearl, golden two-headed accounts and bird head also carved in gold they called Inrirri: remains of what must have been a princess judging by her attributes were found the Arawak mythology. The way in which these objects came to Chorro de Maita remains unknown, however, we cannot forget that Cuba was populated by successive waves of aborigines from dissimilar ends. The group that inhabited the site was marked by a high economic technical development reflected in ceremonial rites, funerary customs, possibilities to produce accounts in bulk, styling ornaments, metal artifacts and make cloth and other activities, all of which is shown in this site museum opened on November 1st, 1990 and was declared a National Monument on November 30th, 1991.

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