Indigenous Caribbean Network

The Taino resurgance movement is dedicated to the restoration & continuation of all aspects of our Indigenous culture. Having the right to self determination many Taino are setting the foundation that will put the Taino in its rightfull place among indigenous peoples.

As we embark on this mission the question of what type of regalia will best represent our ancient ones for this noble quest.

1.) Should regalia represent the Taino revealing much of the body depicting the Taino of 1492?

2.) Should regalia represent the Taino taking into consideration of the times we are living?

Do they play to Indian stereotypes that label the wearers as re-enactors?

Views: 1902

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think all cultures grow and change and so does the clothing. I think the clothing should take the time we live in into consideration as well as the context in which you will be wearing it.

For my graduation this spring there was no way I was going to wear a top with my bare midriff, as well as as have my legs all out. But if it was a historical presentation or re-enactment then that wouldn't be a problem.

Other tribes go through this choice as well. For example my Navajo friend made a choice to wear a more traditional rug dress at her graduation rather than the velveteen shirt and skirt combo that is from a later date, but still considered Navajo dress.Even the Eastern band Cherokees have stopped wearing the tear dress as their tribal wear and instituted a more traditional Iroquoian dress.

I think the wannabeism comes into play when people start constructing their dress based on what they think an Indian should look like, so many times at powwows I see people wearing a brown felt material or that really really golden leather, and then cut it up so that it has a whole bunch of fringe. And then top it off with a big ol medicine bag for everyone to see. Meanwhile, no one else is dressed like that. Also I think on the other hand people can get too strict. For example one of my Taíno friends said she was criticized for putting a button on her anklet because supposedly "They didn't have those back then."

I think the important thing for people to note is that the more feathers you put on doesn't make you more Indian. A Taíno in blue jeans is still a Taíno. I've seen some people try way too hard.
Ah, what I have come to love about you, dear brother, is your lack of fear in taking on the controversial and divisive. You keep us thinking, exploring and learning. For this I am thankful! My words on this should be taken in a inclusive and loving tone, not in an argumentative or defensive tone. That said, here is my response. ~ There are pieces of my clothing, pieces of the things I have decorated my home with, pieces of the way in which I act, react, believe and grow that are a reflection of the pieces of me. The pieces of me include both conquered and conqueror, ancestor and descendent, child, mother, daughter, and as of this weekend, grandmother. As I look into the eyes of my son, I see my own grandfather. It is apparent in the way he walks, the way he looks, the way he is becoming a man. The pieces of his past are a part of him as well. Must we dress as the men who landed ashore or as the people who greeted them in order to claim ancestry to either? Must we eat only the foods of our grandmothers least we be accused of being not a real or whole indigenous person?? If I choose to wear an arm band with a representation of Ata Bei, does that make me more or less indigenous??? If I live in NY as opposed to my Caribbean island home, does that make me more or less indigenous? I think that honoring our ancestors mean honoring ourselves. When we respect, acknowledge and honor ourselves, we respect honor and acknowledge our ancestors. That should be done regardless of whether we are in a busy downtown office wearing a suit and tie, at a family celebration in a guayabera or dressed in regalia for a community celebration. Just using the terms reenacting or ‘’playing Indian’’ is a dam good way of playing separatist and pointing fingers when the focus should be more about our spiritual selves and community and less about what we wear and what other people think about what we wear. peace&luv~c
Taino Ti

What we wear is very important, for Native Americans regalia has always been sacred and the tradition of regalia making is passed down from generation to generation. Making regalia is very spiritual and honors our Ancient ones. It has nothing to do with what shoes one wears according to the weather. What is being submitted today by the doers of this movement will one day be Traditional. This is a RESURGANCE MOVEMENT and the mission of those in this movement is to leave a solid foundation for others to follow.

tainoray

quotes from Native Americans speaking about the importance of regalia.

"Our traditional regalia is grounded in our culture. It has spiritual dimensions. ... It also has special ties to our ancestors, those people who also used regalia in previous times. ... It's not just dance regalia, it has all of those ties to our culture."

Rosita Worl, President of Sealaska Heritage Institute

The importance of Regalia
By Teri Tibbett Juneau Empire
When the dancers approach the stage for the Grand Entrance at Celebration on Thursday, June 5, the robes and blankets, headdresses and other accessories they'll be wearing are not costumes. They are regalia.


"(Regalia) is a step up from costume because of the depth of the spirit in this significant piece of clothing that can transform people's emotions and mental state and spiritual state," said Clarissa Hudson, a Tlingit regalia maker.

. "The regalia shows what clan you are, what moiety you are, Eagle or Raven," said George Ramos, an elder on Sealaska Heritage Institute's Council of Traditional Scholars. "It shows what house you are from. Like mine, I'm from the Frog House, so I have a frog on my vest. ... Different areas have their different styles of regalia. In the original time, things that got put on your regalia, it meant something really close to the culture."

"The regalia that people use today as individual property is usually made by someone in their family. They don't have to go through the formality of commissioning it and then paying somebody from the opposite clan," said Worl, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Tlingit property law.

In modern times, Southeast Alaska Native people wear both traditional and new regalia. New regalia follow many of the same designs and principles of traditional regalia, but with new themes and materials, minus some of the rituals.

Many aspects of Southeast Native culture are reinforced through making and wearing regalia.

Hudson said making regalia has therapeutic value, almost like medicine. She names cultural identity, sense of place, spiritual connection and pride in one's heritage as important aspects of making and wearing regalia.

"One of the things that is very important to the people, especially the grandmothers and mothers because it's mostly the women who make the regalia, is that they want to give identity to their children so they know where they come from. ... It gives a sense of place in the world when they know," Hudson said.

"There is a sense of pride when they put on the robe. ... There's a spiritual aspect that comes with it. When you have this spiritual connection it can better your life because the spirit affects the emotion, and when the spiritual aspect is strong in you, all else will become more harmonious," she said.

"When we have that sense of well-being, we lift ourselves up and we lift up our communities at the same time, and we come full circle. And the songs continue."
Certainly, what is worn on stage and what we wear in our every day lives are often times two different things, as the purpose of what we wear on each occasion is different. When I go to work, I wear certain clothing I do not wear daily at home, or would not wear if invited to a family party. I would hope that the new regalia being developed today would be a refection of the past along with a snapshot of where we are today, and as each generation contributes to this tradition, each adds to, rather than overshadows the previous. My uncle came to visit wearing a white guayabera one day with white colored slacks. My son was wearing nearly an identical shirt, but with jean shorts. An expression of the times I guess! I am unsure how to express or add to the taino regalia of the past that reflects our lives today though. I am curious how you think that would that be reflected????
I am in agreement sister. One of the many factors that sadly play a big role in the divisiveness that is rife in our resurgence movement is the fact that many of our people confuse the importance of regalia as a part of tribal identity/ pride with close-mindedness and restrictive judgementalism.
I fully agree that in this resurgence movement it is vital to maintain a clear vision of what in our regalia connects us with our ancestors. I believe that research and spiritual connection with the spirits of our forbears is an important source of accurate information on the imagery that characterizes the tradition of Taino clothing. I want to point out the fact that, as mentioned earlier by others in this forum, many Native Nations experienced transition and evolution in the way that they dress. The patchwork clothing now so typical of the Florida Seminoles does not in any way resemble the traditional clothing of these people even as recently as the seminole Wars of the 19th century. That does not mean that the Seminoles are "wannabee" or inaccurate in their regalia or that they should all go back to the drawing board and change the hallmark patchwork of their regalia. By the same token, who would deny the Cuna of Panama's San Blas Islands their hallmark stitched "molas", a tradition of regalia that replaced their ancient aboriginal near-naked regalia culture in the late 1800's. Is someone going to accuse the Cuna's of inaccurace or being "wannabees". Each Native culture has the right to allow its regalia tradition to evolve and grow naturally as its members explore their sacred imagination and the inspiration that comes from the spirits. Nobody has the right to point fingers and call what anyone else is wearing "false" or "wannabee"
Taino Ti
Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague
and on a deeper personal note
I lived in Oregon for 19 years and wore suits to work for 10 of those
when I moved to Puerto Rico I wore flip flops and swim wear (I owned a kayak excursion company)
when I moved back I had somewhat of a panicked feeling...
what was I going to wear???
jajaja!
it's cold here, so I can only wear flip flops in the summer
but it hardly became the issue in our sudden cultural adjustment!
time do change and so does our clothing
tainoray I think you raise a lot of valid points, and so have the others. It seems justified to argue for special wear for special functions -- we all do it, and if we want to ridicule we can start with academics who wear bizarre Florentine and other outfits at formal occasions such as graduation ceremonies. I have a couple of cloaks myself, and was forced to wear one every night when having sherry with the Master of a college at my university in Australia -- we can laugh about that before we point fingers at anyone else.

The regalia also functions as a marker, delimiting who belongs, and who doesn't. When you speak of resurgence, you hit on a vital point: dress is one of the markers available, that is readily available, that functions to define membership and identity in public. So my starting point is that people do what they do because they need to.

I think the regalia does, inevitably, reflect the times in which we are living, simply because of the fact that the regalia is made and worn in the present.

We don't have exact and precise ideas of what the Taino wore before the arrival of Europeans, just some loose and varying descriptions. For example, some would argue that just having a piece of cloth, square, hanging down in front like an apron is wrong -- that it should instead be wrapped around to the bottom, between the legs, sort of like underwear in fact. Some depictions cast the bottom as naked, and the front as covered, and so on.

As for playing to stereotypes, that can be a terribly loaded question, and I don't think we will find one answer that can win every argument.
I am in agreement with our sister Carrie. One of the many factors that sadly play a big role in the divisiveness that is rife in our resurgence movement is the fact that many of our people confuse the importance of regalia as a part of tribal identity/ pride with close-mindedness and restrictive judgementalism.
I fully agree that in this resurgence movement it is vital to maintain a clear vision of what in our regalia connects us with our ancestors. I believe that research and spiritual connection with the spirits of our forbears is an important source of accurate information on the imagery that characterizes the tradition of Taino clothing. I want to point out the fact that, as mentioned earlier by others in this forum, many Native Nations experienced transition and evolution in the way that they dress. The patchwork clothing now so typical of the Florida Seminoles does not in any way resemble the traditional clothing of these people even as recently as the seminole Wars of the 19th century. That does not mean that the Seminoles are "wannabee" or inaccurate in their regalia or that they should all go back to the drawing board and change the hallmark patchwork of their regalia. By the same token, who would deny the Cuna of Panama's San Blas Islands their hallmark stitched "molas", a tradition of regalia that replaced their ancient aboriginal near-naked regalia culture in the late 1800's. Is someone going to accuse the Cuna's of inaccurace or being "wannabees". Each Native culture has the right to allow its regalia tradition to evolve and grow naturally as its members explore their sacred imagination and the inspiration that comes from the spirits. Nobody has the right to point fingers and call what anyone else is wearing "false" or "wannabee"
Taino Ti
Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague
This is an interesting topic to think about...

A couple of years ago I was considering creating my regalia and I got stumped. There was a lot of details that needed to be considered! There is the weather, one's personal comfort, one's own need for creative expression, the need for something spiritually fulfilling, the desire to project something historically accurate and aesthetically pleasing; what materials to include, what style to follow, what colors... This can go on and on to the point of become daunting!

Which is why I still have no regalia! LOL!

I believe we need to take into account the times we live in. In the 1400 we walked around nude and it was not an issue, it was the way we lived. In these days this is not only not socially acceptable but would make many uncomfortable; native and non-native alike. Also, there is intertribal sensitivity; some nations consider the exposure of so much skin immodest. The bra top and the nagua would raise eyebrows at an intertribal. Especially when we don't really have a set "regalia"

I liked the idea of getting a couple of Taino who's creative juices flow towards design and tailoring regalia together, and for some of us this would be great...

To be honest, I am still a little iffy on how important the garments really are... Yes, it does identify us as a group, however there are a lot of Taino spread out worldwide and we are influenced by different environments and thoughts. Like David said, there hasn't been an unbroken continuity in us as a group and this will reflect in the tastes and needs we will have regarding dress.

The quotes on the importance of regalia were made by people who were from areas where being dressed could make the difference between life and death. We are Caribbean. We had decorations, feathers and such but not much by way of clothing... as far as I know.

I am open to learning though...
Hi Nanu!!! Trust me, I hear you. Like it has been said in this thread more than once, this has been an issue of divisiveness. The fact is that it isn't too difficult to come up with your regalia. Look at glyphs, see what they are and mean as well as what they mean to you. There are common things such as material that's usually used, specifically cotton, and with that as you piece these things together, search within yourself as to what shows who and what you are. There are always critics who'll say "They didn't wear this like this and that". Just tell them "Welcome to the 21st century!!! I am NOT a museum show piece. I am the present, living and breathing. If you want a 1492 Taino, pick up a book and read about them. If you want the living, present day Taino, follow me into this century". That's what I told the last individual who came at me with that nonsense. If they don't like it, "Que se muerda un ojo!!!", like my old man used to say.lol Let me know how I can answer any questions. I'll be glad to help whichever way I can!!!
Han Han Brother I have seldom heard it as well put as the way it has been put by you and Nanu
Taino Ti
Miguel
There are certain points to consider when you decide to do it, Nanu. Back in the islands and anywhere where tropical weather dominates, a woman's two piece attire is just fine, because it is considered normal in these places. In the 'States, it's a bit different altogether, and of course, more times than not, because of location, weather and customs, perhaps a one piece or attire not showing too much mid-riff would be best. Besides what I stated earlier, also look at what best compliments your figure as well as what best shows "Nanu" as an individual. Examples;

Recent pic of a young Taino woman in regalia in Boriken.

Photobucket


Present day New York City. Look at the women in the standing row, 2nd and 3rd from left to right. They have one piece with a belt and slits on either side of the skirt area. Decorate what Nanu is on it!!! I hope this helps in some way!!!

Taino nation Pictures, Images and Photos


...and thanks brother Sobaoko for your comment. It's very much appreciated!!!

RSS

Notes

La Bruja

Created by Miguel Sague Jr Apr 4, 2016 at 12:07am. Last updated by Miguel Sague Jr Apr 4, 2016.

Angel Rodriguez Caguana archeoastronomy

Created by Miguel Sague Jr Mar 29, 2016 at 3:10pm. Last updated by Miguel Sague Jr Mar 29, 2016.

Badge

Loading…

Events

© 2019   Created by Network Financial Administration.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service