The Tairona Civilization

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The Tairona civilization, one of the Chibcha family tribes, flourished in northern Colombia between 200 CE and 1600 CE. Like the Muisca of Cundinamarca, the Tairona were known for their expertise in crafts and metallurgy, especially goldsmithing. Primarily occupying the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region in present-day Magdalena, they left behind bountiful archaeological evidence of their lifestyle, which was surprisingly modern as viewed from the perspective of their relative isolation to more developed civilizations.

Pre-Columbian Tribes of Northern South America
The Tairona were as skilled in agriculture as they were in metallurgy. Archaeological finds from as early as
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Not surprisingly, many Spaniards became admirers and wrote records about this mysterious, all-powerful tribe that could resist western influence. Many chroniclers recorded the Tairona way of life, their trading systems, their religious beliefs, and their apparent lack of interest in the monetary value of precious metals. So it is not very surprising that the Tairona are believed to be related to the Muisca tribe as they both shared the same system of power division and belief in the spiritual significance of…show more content…
The earliest ceramic objects excavated from the area occupied by the Tairona was dated around 2500 BC, even though they are believed to have flourished only after 200 AD. Another thing that links the Tairona to the Muisca is the similarity in goldwork. Both of these Chibcha-speaking tribes had the same variety of offerings for their deities, and even had almost the same kind of tunjos. Tunjos are figurines made from tumbaga, which is a mixture of gold, copper and silver. They generally depict the tribespeople going about their daily life. Another interesting aspect about the modernity of the Tairona is that scholars believe the tribespeople had freedom of divorces. Also, their religious practices were very similar to their present-day counterparts, the Kogui, and went on for days, primarily involving deliberation, coca chewing and deep meditation.

Tumbaga Bells of the Tairona Civilization
Tumbaga Bells of the Tairona Civilization

Even though the Tairona fought with the conquistadores in an attempt to stay free, they were finally overpowered by the mid-17th century, their chiefs murdered and their homes burned. It signified the end of a glorious era in the history of both ancient Colombia and Latin

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