From Arte del mar: Artistic Exchange in the Caribbean exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

From Arte del mar: Artistic Exchange in the Caribbean exhibition that explores the artistic exchange around the rim of the Caribbean Sea before the 16th century between the Taíno civilizations of the Antilles archipelago and their powerful peers on the continental mainland. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028 

Ceremonial Performance (in Pre-Colombian South America and the Caribbean)
All around the Caribean sea, people came together to build public plazas, which wee the sites of dances, musical performances, and processions that united communities. Taino performances (areitos) relayed the complex histories of ancestors and political leaders through dancing and lyrical chanting. Other public ceremonies drew upon ritual knowledge to reinforce the political power of noble families. Greenstone objects and gold pendants in the form of eagles were worn as symbols of power during these performances and pendants with bells and groups of stone beads added a sonic quality to dances.
Ritual competition in the form of a game played with rubber balls (batey) also brought together communities, especially in the Greater Antilles. Like the more widespread games from mainland Mexico and Central America, batey involved hitting the ball with the hips, knees, shoulders, elbows and head. Sculpted stone belts or collars with zemi imagery may be effigy versions of textile or leather ball game regalia worn by players. More than mere sport, ball games in the Americas had religious, diplomatic, and moral dimensions, perhaps even functioning to resolve conflicts.

Actuación ceremonial (en América del Sur y el Caribe precolombino)
Alrededor del mar Caribe, la gente se unió para construir plazas públicas, que serian los sitios de bailes, actuaciones musicales y procesiones que unieron a estas comunidades. Las representaciones taínas (areitos) transmitieron las complejas historias de antepasados ​​y líderes políticos a través del baile y el canto lírico. Otras ceremonias públicas recurrieron al conocimiento ritual para reforzar el poder político de las familias nobles. Los objetos de piedra verde y los colgantes de oro en forma de águilas se usaron como símbolos de poder durante estas presentaciones y los colgantes con campanas y grupos de cuencas de piedra agregaron una calidad sónica a los bailes.
La competencia ritual en forma de un juego jugado con pelotas de goma (batey) también reunió a comunidades, especialmente en las Antillas Mayores. Al igual que los juegos más extendidos de México continental y América Central, el batey involucraba golpear la pelota con las caderas, las rodillas, los hombros, los codos y la cabeza. Los cinturones de piedra esculpidos o los collares con imágenes de zemi pueden ser versiones efigie de los artículos de juego de pelota de tela o cuero que usan los jugadores. Más que el mero deporte, los juegos de pelota en las Américas tenían dimensiones religiosas, diplomáticas y morales, tal vez incluso funcionaban para resolver conflictos.

Zemí

Three-Pointed Zemís (Trigonolitos) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC exhibit
10th-16th century
Taíno, Puerto Rico
Stone
From:
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Museum Description or Artifact:
Sculptures known as three-pointed stones, or trigonolitos, had a symbolic connection to yuca (or cassava), a staple root crop. Appearing in various sizes and featuring humanlike an animalllike zemí imagery, they may have served as tangible representations of the mountainous island landscape and may have held some elusive spiritual significance. They are found mostly in the Greater Antilles, but some examples come from as far south as the islands of the Grenadines.