As a critical point in history, the Discovery of America brought two cultures —and their respective religious beliefs— into contact. At the time the Spanish arrived in Puerto Rico the Taino people had a belief system based on principles of good and evil, represented in the deities Yocahú and Juracán. In their religion, which was anchored in natural phenomena, there were also minor gods, who took on the shape of cemís — small idols fashioned of clay, wood, or shells. The Tainos also believed in life after death.
The Tainos had a spiritual leader called a bohíque or healer-priest, who performed the ceremonial rites of the areito in a central square or batey in the village, a space where there rites of passage, weddings among the caciques and the elite, funerals, and ascension ceremonies for caciques were held.
This was what the conquerors found. They brought with them a monotheistic religious concept, under the dogmaDogma: In the Catholic religion, the truth as revealed by God and declared by the church to be infallible and unquestionable. of a Christian religious institution, the Roman Catholic Church. This Church has a hierarchical system, similar to the monarchy, based on a medieval world view. The transplanting o Spanish social structures also included religion and the conversion of the indigenous people to the new faith. This historic process has been called Evangelization.
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