Were Hutia Domesticated in the Caribbean?


The Caribbean islands had limited endemic terrestrial fauna and they lacked any of the New World domesticated animals until fairly late in prehistory. Given the depauperate terrestrial fauna of these islands the early Native American inhabitants relied on marine resources and endemic rodents for a significant proportion of the animals in their diet. It has been argued that rodents from the family Capromyidae, various species of hutia, were managed and perhaps domesticated in the Caribbean. In this paper we review literature on the prehistoric management of hutia and present archaeological faunal data from Cuba dating to the pre-ceramic era and faunal data from later time periods from the Bahamas.

Cite this Record

Were Hutia Domesticated in the Caribbean?. Roger Colten, Susan deFrance, Michelle LeFebvre, Brian Worthington. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430478)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14915