taino-culture

Columbus Day

Columbus Day is this Monday. Here’s a reminder that Columbus didn’t land on Plymouth Rock or anywhere in North America. He landed in the Caribbean and in his lifetime committed genocide in the Caribbean and in Central America. He is the cause for the colonisation of the Caribbean and Latin America and later the Caribbean and Latin American slave trade. In his lifetime and many years after North America wasn’t part of the picture. Stop erasing Caribbean and Latin Americans from Columbus Day history/discourse. Stop erasing the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Latin America. Centre us. We know more than anyone the aftermath and the history of Columbus because that is our history. Most of the indigenous people that Columbus oppressed are now Black and or Latino. It is also a form of anti blackness and racism against PoC Latinos to erase us from our own history. I encourage all Caribbean and or Latin Americans to take back Columbus Day history and discourse and make it about ourselves, the descendants of the indigenous people Columbus terrorised. Don’t let our ancestors get erased.
#CaribbeanLatinxIndigenousDay

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El centro cultural de Taino de Puerto Rico en Jayuya pueblo y el barrio Coabey.

Jayuya is known as the Taino capital of Puerto Rico. The town gets its name from the Taino Cacique (chief) Hayuya. Coabey is a part of the town were the Coabey river runs through with rocks that have Taino pictoglyphs carved into them along the river, and the Cemi museum is located there as well. Coabey is the Taino mythical land of the dead.

Preliminary sketch for The Taino Girl, a self portrait. IB Art 2011. It’s based on my cultural background (I’m Dominican but the aboriginals were called Taino Indians) and I sort of love the idea of face paint and tribal feathers.
My mom thought there was too much boob in the picture. Oh no, modest nudity. For shame!

So I was dozing off during my Social Science class thinking bout ass when all of a sudden my professor said some deep ass shit that knocked me off my seat here’s a quick summary:

“As far as we know, Puerto Rico has no indigenous nations. Perhaps they’re here, but they’re not open about it. Indigineity is not biological, it is cultural. You are not racially Taino. Its a cultural identity. There are communities in regions like Utuado and Adjuntas who, when they trace their lineage back, their ancestors never intermarried with folks who weren’t amerindian. Taino kept marrying taino, but at some point, a very vital point, this taino person assimilated to another culture and began saying I am jíbaro, I am Puerto Rican, and he is no longer indigenous. There are countries who have lost their indigenous peoples entirely. Let’s pray to God that this is not the case for Puerto Rico.”

This is coming from a middle aged black Puerto Rican sociologist/professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras and I’m just affected by this @this-is-not-taino @indigenous-caribbean