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Women did not dedicate themselves solely to cooking and the art of motherhood; many were also talented artists and made pots, grills, and griddles from river clay by rolling the clay into rope and then layering it to form or shape.Taíno women also carved drawings (petroglyphs) into stone or wood.In the early part of the 19th Century the women in Puerto Rico were Spanish subjects and had few individual rights.Those who belonged to the upper class of the Spanish ruling society had better educational opportunities than those who did not.Not only did she enjoy a materially superior lifestyle, but her children were held in high esteem.The Naguas were a long cotton skirt that the woman made.This contributed to many of them marrying the native Taína.
They were representative of each woman's status, the longer the skirt, the higher the woman's status.
The cacique (tribal chief) was the only person who could afford to sustain multiple wives.
It was a great honor for a woman to be married to a cacique.
The Spaniards took advantage of the Taínos' good faith and enslaved them, forcing them to work in the gold mines and in the construction of forts.
Many Taínos died as a result either of the cruel treatment that they had received or of smallpox, which became epidemic on the island.