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Celebrando 2008 - Rediscovering Boriken
Taino Project

Our Celebrando 2008 brought The Concilio Taino Guatu Ma Cu A Boriken to Austin so that our community could come to know, for the very first time, the native dance, music, history, craftsmanship, and traditions of our Taino Heritage. For many, this project was a life changing experience that brought to life that which has always resounded in our soul. We will never be the same. This project was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.

For PRFDance Director, blood Taino descendant Ana Mari-á Tekina-eirú Maynard, the project began in 2007 as all Celebrando projects begin, one year earlier with an intensive research investigation to build a solid foundation for the project to come. What began as research in petroglyphs and history under the tutoring of the Concilio's Cacike Cacibaopil (Martin Veguilla) became the opening of a door to her own family's lost heritage. Enjoy these photos from when the project began: Journey Back to our Primera Raiz...the Beginning (2007).

After one year of ongoing teaching of our PRFDance Director, The Concilio Taino's key leaders came to Austin to personally teach our performing company, teachers -- and our children -- about Taino culture and history. On April 3-8, our cultural center was excited to host the Cacike and his people, who taught a variety of important Taino traditions, including native percussion and dance, songs in Taino, how to make maracas, our own jewelry, and paint our native dress. We even learned how to play the ancient Taino ballgame of Batu! But the most beautiful experience was a ceremony to consecrate our ceremonial Mayohuacan (native drum), held in a beautiful forest in McKinney State Park, where our people danced in their very first Areyto! Enjoy these photos from the Mayohuacan ceremony: La Ceremonia Consagrando El Mayohuacan

On June 15-22, The Concilio Taino returned to Austin for the culmination of this project year. Cacike Cacibaopil held a Naming Ceremony at the beautiful McKinney Falls for 20 of our own who wanted to embrace our Taino heritage by taking on a Taino name. Enjoy these photos from the naming ceremony:
Ceremonia de Nombres en Austin

During "show week" The Concilio built on the knowledge we had gained in April, and joined us for a joint live music and dance performance for our community. For all, it was a first-exposure to our native traditions and scenes of life depicting Ancestral traditions before colonial contact.

We are forever grateful for the open generosity of the Concilio Taino that has taught us the traditions from our "lost" Taino heritage, which the Concilio is working hard to rescue and preserve. Research has shown that 61% of the Puerto Rican population have native DNA. Because Puerto Ricans are a mestizo race, native at our very base, we cannot be a complete people until we understand our native history and traditions. This project gave us important knowledge of a cultural history that we can now pass down to a new generation.

Enjoy the complete set of photo memories of these incredible last two years.

Celebrando Performance for our Community
Ceremonia de Nombres en Austin
La Ceremonia Consagrando El Mayohuacan
Naming Ceremony for Tekina-eirú on Boriken
Journey Back to our Primera Raiz...the Beginning (2007)

Check back regularly over the next few weeks. We have a TON of pictures to post!

For more information:
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13, Austin TX 78702-3738 (Map & Directions)
Mailing Address: 15228 Quiet Pond Court, Austin TX 78728-4555
Phone: +1.512.251.8122      Email: dance@prfdance.org          Web: www.prfdance.org     
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