tainos

El areyto

La primera manifestación de poesía en Puerto Rico procede de los taínos.
El areyto era una especie de cantar o romance taíno con que los nativos acompañaban en sus bateyes los ritmos de sus danzas. Se utilizaba para narrar acontecimientos pasados de la tribu, mientras los danzantes añadían a la danza (araguaco) un estribillo en forma coral. Se teatrizaban en las fiestas solemnes de los pueblos, las cuales podían durar muchos días.
Se utilizaban también para educar a los niños.

El areyto se ejecutaba de la siguiente manera:
Un guía o corifeo dirige el canto de la danza. Este director de ceremonias es el que marca el cambio de tono o contrapaso, ademas de señalar a los cantantes el paso de un tema a otro. El resto de los participantes coristas repiten el estribillo o estrofa de ritornelo.

I wish there was a tumblr Taino community

Beyond the few of us that use the tag.
Something to find a way to learn our language, to share what we know within our community and yet still be proud of our distinct Taino heritages.
I think that’d be so awesome (and kinda necessary for some of us).

3

Throughout the ancient Americas, rulers and shamans used hallucinogens to connect with the spirits of the otherworld. Only those in touch with the supernatural realm could heal the sick, predict the future, ensure the fertility of the world, and resolve the larger problems of existence. Natural hallucinogens were regarded by the Arawak and Taíno cultures of the Caribbean, as sacred and endowed with inherent force. Their preparation and ingestion were associated with elaborate rituals, and they were consumed only by people considered to have sufficient power to communicate with the spirits and ancestors who dwelled in the otherworld.

The most important sacred substance for the Taíno was cohoba, a psychoactive powder ground from the seeds of trees native to South America and the Caribbean. The Taíno sometimes mixed cohoba with tobacco to maximize its effect. Taíno shamans took cohoba to cure illnesses for individual patients and to ensure the well being of the community. Caciques (native chiefs) took cohoba to communicate with zemies (an ancestral spirit); they acted as the primary intermediaries between people and the supernatural realm. Before ingesting such hallucinogenic mixtures, caciques and shamans fasted and purged themselves with vomiting spatulas of wood and bone in order to consume the “pure foods” of the spirits. Then, they inhaled their concoctions from small vessels and trays, using delicately carved snuffers of wood and bone.

Top: Taíno people

Middle: A ritual cohoba inhalador (inhaler), which is also used to house the Zemi.

Bottom: A Taíno vomit spatula, flat and curved, procured from the rib bone of a manatee.

It has been said that the word “manatee” is derived from a word used by the Taíno, which means “breast”.

6

MUPANAH Museum, Haiti 🇭🇹

🌟The Mupanah Museum is a cultural and architectural jewel summarizing the rich history of Haiti.

Magnificent exhibition dating back several centuries to the present day tracing the Indigenous Tainos epochs, slavery, independence then the various heads of State and presidents of the Republic.

Condensed, simple but effective.

🌟El Mupanah Museum es una joya cultural y arquitectónica que resume la rica historia de Haití.

Magnífica exposición que se remonta a varios siglos hasta nuestros días, trazando las épocas indígenas Tainos, la esclavitud, la independencia y luego los diversos jefes de Estado y presidentes de la República.

Condensado, simple pero eficaz.

🌟Le Musée du Mupanah est un joyau culturel et architectural résumant la richesse Historique d'Haïti.

Magnifique exposition datant de plusieurs siècles jusqu à nos jours retraçant les époques Indigènes Taïnos, l'esclavage, l'indépendance puis les différents chefs d'Etat et présidents de cette République.

Condensé, simple mais efficace.

Puerto Rico and Taínos

Okay, I just identified one reason why I’m usually weirded out whenever my fellow Puerto Ricans and their descendants talk about their own indigenousness, literally claim to be indigenous, or talk about the genocide of Taínos in a way that either blames “white people” (whatever that means cuz I’ve noticed some blame Spaniards, some blame all descendants of Spaniards, some weirdly blame gringos which is fucking weird) or blames no one (“the Taínos were massacred” “by who??”).

I am really bothered by this phenomenon because it ignores two facts:

a) Puerto Rico was created as a settler colony. Puerto Rico’s institutions, culture, society was built on top of the foundations of a settler colony. A settler colony is by definition detrimental to the original inhabitants of the land. Your being Puerto Rican doesn't make you the heir of the Taínos (at least not directly), it makes you the heir of the colonising project that destroyed them (and this is very direct). 

b) If your ancestors were indigenous, then (given the very high rates of European ancestry on the island and mixing between Europeans and indigenous people in the early days of the colony) your ancestors were probably also European. If you are a descendant of indigenous people (which a lot of people in PR claim whether they have proof or not which is besides the point but whatever), then you are almost for certain a descendant of those who killed them. You are a descendant of those who killed the Taínos. Why do you ignore this though?? It’s one thing to honor the memory of the Taínos (which I believe is important), but to rid yourself of the inherited blame for their genocide is such a huge disrespect and frankly just weird, especially being a member of the continuation of the settler colony that destroyed them. 

4

New comic gives Groot Puerto Rican roots

Guardians of the Infinity 3 writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez has made everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic tree Puerto Rican. In the story, Groot and Thing are attacked by Plantman, who possesses Groot and turns him against Thing. The only person able to save Groot is a Puerto Rican abuela named Estela. She teaches Groot that he is a descendant of the Taino and that his ancestors reside inside of him. Groot’s Taino heritage, like many Marvel characters, borrows from real world cultural mythology.

If you are part of or support neo-Mexica revisionism or any neo-indigenous revisionism you are supporting erasure and violence towards Indigenous peoples.

Whether it be the Mexica Movement (which is NOT the only neo-Mexica group), neo-Taino “tribes”, Mayanism, Rainbow Warriors or whatever else; it is all appropriative, silencing, full of erasure and violent.

  • You do not become Indigenous by yelling that you are Indigenous the loudest.
  • You do not become Indigenous by the popularity of your ideas among non-Indigenous majority populations or by misleading Indigenous folks who are not familiar with the Peoples you falsely claim.
  • You do not become Indigenous by propaganda.
  • You do not become Indigenous by defining indigeneity so that it suits you.
  • You do not become Indigenous by self-imposing rules based on your interpretation of non-indigenous scholarship.
  • You do not become Indigenous by silencing the Indigenous peoples you are most directly violent towards.

If you want to be “enlightened” if you want to find your People and learn more about heritage down your family lines you do that respectfully through your People/Nation and them alone. You cannot get this from books. You cannot get this from those who strong arm their way into Indigenous spaces.