Indigenous Caribbean Network

Taino Ti

I have been in the Taino Resurgance monvement for 14 years now and I'm getting concerned at the latest trend of Taino reenactments that I'm seeing in the Caribbean islands and the USA.

I'm in the TAINO RESURGANCE MOVEMENT and want no part of people playing to Indian stereotypes playing on what they think the Taino acted 500 years ago.

In all of my 14 years I have remained a naboria but I have seen a plethora of so called Cacikes, Behikes, Bojitis and Nitainos come after me playing to Indian stereotypes.

Its time for a new restoration!!!

What does the community think ???

I'm ducking!!!!

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I share with everyone on this thread, which is why I post to the thread and not to any one person in particular. The second post I speak of is this one , the second one from the top under "What does it meant to be "indigenous" in the Caribbean today?"

As for just taking the opposite of what's been stated, I think that is a request that others guess at what you need (you in the general sense of the word, not personally). Mind reading is a popular pass time but not very productive.

What is the opposite of reenactors? What is the opposite of labels? What is the opposite of stereotypes? All these are solved with patience and education, not punishment; allowing for others to be as they are, regardless of whether or not you agree with them; respectful dialogue, suspending disbelief and allowing for the possibilities as opposed to trying to convince the other party they are wrong; focusing on the good of what is being done, how to use that passion, that energy, that talent, to further the cause together, as opposed to how "they" are doing it wrong.

This thread may have allowed for open dialogue but it was begun with a negative and not much positive has come from it. The thoughts and feelings it seems to have created, from what I have seen so far, has been critical in nature, attacking what is and not necessarily promoting unity, learning nor respect. I know this is not what is wanted and yet we have seen this happen time and again with numerous groups that have formed and then disbanded.

Dialogue can still occur in an atmosphere of unity if we focus on what we want and not on what we don't want. Stating clearly what we desire and not expect others to guess at it, providing what we need to receive. We want respect? We act like respectful people. We want education? We will endeavor to teach and be open to learn. We want acceptance and allowance? We need to start accepting and allowing.

However, we need to start by knowing exactly what it is we want and be able to express that clearly.
Maybe you don't see the positive of it, but I do. The opposite of stereotypes: find out the truth. The opposite of labels: stop clinging to them.

As for the other thread, I saw it last night before it was going to bed. I'm in Arizona, in a much later time zone, so I'm pretty sure others on the east coast were sleeping by then. It also was not on the front page this morning, so the others might not have seen it.
Kacian, I will admit that being in the US I had no clue as to what is happening in the presentations over there until now. My experience is with the presentations over here, which include all shades, including blonde and blue eyed.

Although, being fair skinned myself, I have had my share of discrimination in native circles.

If things are as bad as you say, I can understand your upset with stereotypes. I think then that the folks in charge of the group or organizers are responsible for educating those people that ask for such accommodations. Maybe that leader can show the person making this request their very own racism.

In a case like this, I don't see that it is the reenactors that's the issue; the leader of the group is the one who needs the backbone to stand up to this racist onslaught. The kids doing the show will only be discouraged and like you said, Kacian, we may loose a lot of good people.

I agree with open dialogue and I agree that there are changes that need to happen, I just don't agree with belittling as opposed to education.
And this, Keisha, Is exactly what I mean by education~

Brooke hit on a very important aspect that I may not have expressed as thoroughly as I thought, or maybe I should just keep my posts shorter...LOL!!; the fact that there are different interests and talents. Those interested in acting may not be interested in the details of academia, those into academia may not be interested in the details of spirit and those into spirit may not be interested in the details of leadership. But instead of tearing at each other the scholar may assist the choreographer in creating a particular dance, the leaders may make sure that the appropriate venues are present to see this, maybe even getting one of our writers to put out an essay stating the truth of what and where we are today.

My whole point is that if the focus changes from what is wrong to what is right and we improve on what is working by giving that more attention we may be able to move forward. The positive attention will avoid defensiveness and allow people to be more open to what is being said; Infighting and micromanaging will get us nowhere.

My question is not what is NOT working but what IS? And what else would you like to see there?
God!!! What a cliffhanger!!!

Kacian!! Finish the story!!!


As for Columbus, I have made my feelings clear about "that one" in my blog. I cannot believe that this was an adult.

Kacian, that is a very sad situation. Are you or your friend planning to offer education to those who need it, or express interest?
They really do need a character count feature, lol. Posts are getting chopped off all over the place hahaha.
I know it... I had to post two messages earlier, cuz'!!
Taino Ti

I just finished with the weeklong celebration of Afro Puerto Rican culture BomPlenazo 2008. Boy am I tired, the event finished with a block party at the famous "Casita de Chema"

The Rincón Criollo Cultural Center has been an oasis of Puerto Rican and Latino history and traditions in the South Bronx for over 25 years. Founded in 1987, this incredible "community garden" also serves as an important cultural center, internationally recognized as a school and performance space featuring the traditional music of Puerto Rico

A contingent from the community of Loiza & Pinones were there, it was a fantastic block party of Bomba, Plena a pig roast & dancing & socializing. The people from Boriken were great, I saw "Nina" a Taina from the resurgance movement of the 90s. She is married to Samuel Lind a famous artist of Loiza where she now resides. I loved their faces, their beautifull Black Faces.

Las Caras Lindas

Las Caras Lindas

Las Caras Lindas de mi gente Negra

They spoke of Yuisa who their community is named after. They said that Tainos lived with the African people of Loiza and they influenced thir culture. There was no Loiza Cacike leading anybody, no council of Nitainos telling people what to do, every body was doing their own thing.

The highlight was when Tito Cepeda and his wife danced their Bomba dances. Tito suffers from diabetes and has lost alot of mobility and travels in a wheelchair but still wowed the crowd with a very emotional dance. I was so happy for him and screamed at the top of my lungs.

Man what response to this thread, I learned that there are more stereotypes than previously mentioned. Thanx to everyone for responding. What I think people should know is when you belong to a Taino Group, Yucayeke, Nation you see this stereotyping firsthand, even participate in it. Then you come to your senses and say "is that it" all the other things that the people hunger for are being pushed to the side. The others in this thread have not walked in their mocassins so its hard for them to understand.

To Sobaoko you see that the people can agree to disagree without venom & vile namecalling, no need for what Max calls a "Jefe" moderating the site. I wish Taino Yahoo Groups were like this Ning. Keisha, Nanu, Kacian you guys are awesome. I hope you guys will always be around in the Caribbean Indigenous Network cuz all of you have some serious things to say. Brooke is my homey and the rest of you are valued a great deal.

I'm back to join other Taino discussions happening in the forum. Orocobia is amazing (I'm scared of her lol)
Her discussions are so thought provoking. We all are accomplishing a great deal.

ps If I omitted anyone is not that I don't respect you.

ALL OF YOU ARE NEEDED IN THIS RESURGANCE

ALL OF YOU ARE IMPORTANT

tainoray
I think a much needed line has to be drawn of what is reenactment and what is presentation. Reenacting is just that re-en-acting, it does not present our current state or culture. Which leads us into presentations, in general a presentation is suppose to be academic and as accurate as possible. It allows us to present the current music, language, food, dress, and customs from the diaspora of the culture (this may include for example in the case of the taino the other elements of our taino culture which are not of indigenous origin, the Afro-Spanish Caribbean influences within our culture)

Presentation-{ej.. The vast majority of language spoken by Taino people today is derived from Spanish origin due to colonization in the late 1400's. However some fragments of the original language (Tainey an Arawak based language) still remain and can be heard throughout the campos and has ties to contemporary Caribbean life. Some Tainos are taking initiatives in steps to restore parts of the langauge that have been lost or misrepresented. Uses modern awareness to identify.

Reenactment-{ ej.. Taino people speak an Arawakan based language stemming from the Orinoco Basins in South America. Uses historical awareness to identify.

Neither are wrong however, using historical awareness to identify the people leaves us exactly as is, in history, which doesn't allow indigenous culture and heritage to permeate past 1492 to the Caribbeans current state. What does this mean if Taino life only stays stagnant in between those years? Does this give us amply room for an Indian reality in the here and now?

Or could it be that we are just acting/playing Indian and it would be defiant and negative ask or ponder about such questions?
Asking questions and pondering issues that are important is never wrong nor a waste of time.

My point is that there are way and there are ways. Candy wrapped poison is a lot easier to swallow than that which is sour. If we deliver our arguments in a negative way we are bound to get resistance, egos become defensive and our egos become involved. Then it becomes a matter of proving the other wrong- that's all ego.

We may not live in the past, but history can definitely teach us something. In the past, the heyokas, the sacred clowns, taught people to look beyond what is defined by the eyes. They did this by mocking the leaders, misbehaving at sacred ceremony and bringing people back to the understanding that what you see is not real, what it represents is what is important. They would feign copulation on sacred shrines and they would show the medicine man/shaman's tricks for all to see. All this was to teach that it's not the shrine that is important, but the act of reverence that can be practiced anywhere, to teach that the the tricks the shaman used were not magical, but symbolic of the power that does heal which is invisible. Black Elk said that the people were made to feel "jolly and happy at first so that it may be easier for the power to come to them".

By laughing, by pleasure, we can teach and guide.
I do not need to redeem myself, as bringing up critical posts and issues is not misbehavior. As far as “harping” on “critical posts”, I have contributed about 23 posts to this site in which you have only left remarks on the ones that you labeled “critical”, which only add up to about two posts. In regards to this I also find it amusing that you refuse to deal with certain points I have made. So I will be blunt: where are your contributions and critiques to my other 21-22 posts? You are full of contradictions and say that your posts were not about me and then go on to say that it is just about my behavior. Then you say it is not about my youth just to turn around and say that my posts are attributed to my youth. If my behavior is due to my age then what is your excuse for your behavior Nanu? Treating a child like a 21-year-old woman would be considered abusive. However, you seem to not be able to apply this in a reversed situation. So I will tell you that treating a 21-year-old woman as a child is just as abusive as treating a child as an adult. I am soon to be 22, and yes, I am young and still have many moons to experience but this does not make me any less of an adult or my opinions invalid. If you did not agree with another same aged member's opinion, post or behavior you would not refer to their opinion as a product of their age. So in the future you will not refer to me, or anything that has to do with me, such as my behavior, as a product of my youth. You will give me the same respect that I have given you as a fellow adult. This is a discussion it is not up to you to distort and attack my behavior. It is for you to digest, understand, and reply so we can come to a consensus about issues. You have rehashed an old discussion to critique people who you feel should not critique: another contradiction of yours amongst the many. What you should try to do is understand that for the past 20 years people have been dealing with the issues of regalia and the over the top clothing in presentations, our posts are a call to shed light on this topic, not misbehavior. Rehashing a discussion to accuse people of having bad behavior only detracts from the real issue of Taino regalia. It pulls people away from the original idea and discussions that are being dealt with giving us a never-ending debate away from the true cultural restoration; you are distracting us from the issue of regalia.
This thread was started by criticizing and putting down others. He stirred the pot and ran, then became personally offended when pointed out.

My whole point, if you read my posts, is that we all have a part to play in this resurgence and we don't need to put anyone else's participation down. If you don't like it, don't do it.

My blog post on Cultural Dissonance seems to have plucked a nerve in some and they have made it personal to them. I mentioned no names, but if you saw your behavior there, maybe there is a reason.

In PR they say "El que se pica es porque ajo come" meaning “If the shoe fits, wear it”. If you don’t like what you are doing, take the time to do something about it.

I post, when I have the time, to the venues and comments that I find interesting: if I didn't comment, it's because I didn't see it or it probably didn't interest me.

Ad hominem is an informal fallacy whereas an issue is ignored in favor of discussing the person. (Refer to genetic fallacy and red herring. ) The issue is not the people, it's their behavior. This behavior is destructive and not conducive to growth- of people or of Nations.

I refuse to further discuss people, I am, however open to discussing behavior.

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