Indigenous Caribbean Network

Takaji My Relatives

It was a wonderful honor for me to guide our Day Of The Dead Ceremony this year at the Ringland Sanctuary in Washington County, Pennsylvania, the home of our friend Sol Shanti and his family, on the evening of Saturday November 3, 2012.

I got a ride south to the community of Amity, PA from our sister Nancy with whom I had the honor of sharing Fall Equinox Ceremony during the three-day Areyto dance organized by our brother Akichitai back in September.

We were joined by Peaceburgh community members mostly from the Pittsburgh area, as well as our brother Chris Sibaboinael Hansen and his wife Sally all the way from hurricane-struck New Jersey.

Our ceremony included the traditional burning of the sacred fire floating on a pool of water within a large copper cauldron that our brother Sol Shanti provided for us from one of the barns which stand on this 250-acre farm where he lives with his beautiful family.

We normally celebrate a similar sacred floating guatu fire ceremony on a smaller scale when we honor an individual loved one who is recently departed.

But this evening the CoaiBai was created out of whole corn tortillas instead of cornhusks and it was floated in Sol's enormous copper cauldron to honor the hupia souls of all the loved departed ones that were being remembered on that day by all of the celebrants of our ceremony.


The ceremony began as usual with the setting up of the sacred objects, sacred food mothers in the four directions green squash in the South, black beans in the West, white casabe yuca bread in the North and yellow maize kernels in the East, the holy semies of Ata Bey and Yoka Hu as well as a beautiful altar upon which we placed the photos of many of the departed loved ones of the participants.

We shared in the tobacco ceremony and passed Sol's wooden pipe around the circle offering our prayers in the sacred smoke of the tobacco spirit.

After the rituals we shared generously with some of the most deliscious covered dishes that have been brought to ceremony.

I want to send a big Bo Matun to all of the beautiful people who shared this great ceremony with us and also to our friends Sol, Cherylann and their sweet children for inviting us into their grand old house.

Seneko kakona (Many Blessings)

Taino Ti


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Replies to This Discussion

Beautiful Thing Honoring The Dead, Very Beautiful Pictures!
My brother Markus we have been celebrating DAY OF THE DEAD in this manner for many years but I must admit this particular ocasion seemed very special.



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