Activites included a hike to the beautiful Pedernales Falls -- in the Taino style our Director enjoys on Boriken -- with mayohuacan (log drum) and maracas along for the adventure. It was an exploration of the amazing falls that ended in an areito (ceremonial dance) on the rocks between the cascades! On Saturday, the sun shoned down on all who wished for a Taino name, as El Cacike conducted a formal Naming Ceremony in the beautiful Pedernales river. During the weekend, sports lovers enjoyed playing the 1000 year old game of batu', the ceremonial ballgame that introduced Europeans to the rubber ball. On Saturday evening the young Taino from Boriken had his first leadership experience, conducting a joyful celebration of "Guayli' Caribo", a ceremony in which the children received their first dibujo (drawing). Our families were so happy for the children -- and so proud of the young Taino who painted a Coqui (Puerto Rico's mascot tree frog) on the children in Bija (red Taino spice known today as Achiote) -- that we celebrated with a VERY joyful areito!!! The State Trooper who later "stopped by" said he could hear the mayohuacanes and guamos going full blast...on horseback 5 miles away!
On the last day our families received a Taller of Artesania (artisan workshop), where they made Taino-style ceremonial accessories to wear for the closing event. It was a ceremony to remember, as the Cacike surprised us with a change of plans. Instead of the "coming of age" ceremony that was originally planned, Manayani (William) received a nombramiento into the Concilio that is his birthright, and was named the first Bujiti' in his family in 500 years. Our Cultural Center Director-Mom got a gold star for holding it together!
We enjoyed a weekend full of keepsake memories thanks to the Cacike of El Concilio whose generously shares his mission to rescue and restore Taino heritage with us. For many, it was a beautiful weekend of learning about Taino traditions that are part of Puerto Rico's heritage. For others, the weekend was a reclamation of a lost and personal family heritage.
Tekina-eirú is a Tekina in the Suania -- a Teacher of Taino traditions in the Americas, and a leader of ceremonial dance.
Adventure & Areito at the Falls!
Ready to Dance!
In the Forest!
Juego de Batu
Ceremonia de Nombres (Naming Ceremony)
Ceremonia de Guayli' Caribo - Children's Ceremony (Primer Dibujo)
Manayani - Ceremonia Bujiti' (Primer Paso)