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The First European Account of Beliefs of the Americas' Natives ("Relación" by Ramón Pané)

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

E.G. Alexandrenkov | led_alex@mail.ru


Ramón Pané, Christopher Columbus, Bartolomé de las Casas, José Juan Arrom, the Antilles, myth, beliefs, healing, black magic


Ramón Pané’s “Account” (also known as “Treatise”) of the worldview of the Americas’ natives – namely, of Haiti’s population – was written in the late 15th century and is a description of a myth about the origins of people, as well as a number of cultural and natural elements. It also describes some of the beliefs and rituals, the use of hallucinogens in prophecy, the healing of the ill and revenge for their death. It introduces deities of various chiefs. The “Account” closes with some observations on the con-version of the natives to Christianity. The myth described by Pané reveals certain parallels to myths of native peoples of the Continental Americas, primarily of South America. Pané’s “Account” is valuable as the earliest report on the worldview of peoples inhabiting the Western Hemisphere at the moment of Europeans’ appearance there, and the only one available for the Greater Antilles in particular.


Alexandrenkov, E.G. 2014. The First European Account of Beliefs of the Americas’ Natives (“Relación” by Ramón Pané). Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 149-163

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