Takaji My Relatives
It is a pleasure for me to report that our third annual Winter Solstice Ceremony in Miami was again a wonderful experience for all the participants who took part in it. Our sister Mildred Karaira of the United Confederation of Taino People was again present to bless and purify the grounds before the ritual, offering a plate of food to the spirit of a near-by tree, as well as taking on the responsibility of smudge-cleansing each participant individually as they arrived. We were honored by the presence of our Kubanakan Taino brother, Frank Akuturey who brought his mother and two friends to the event, including Maritza of Kiskeya. She honored us by playing the ritual role of Ata Bey
My own nephew Eddie Santiago Beck performed the role of Yoka Hu during the sacred Shark Dance ceremony
The tying of the two sacred images was carried out according to our tradition and the ceremony was closed by a solemn circle dance to the rhythm of our Caney chant to Yoka Hu "TAINO TI BO MATUN GUAKIA BABA TUREY TOKA"
We are infinitely grateful to sister Karaira for the awesome delicious Boricua pasteles, arroz de coco and arroz con gandules which totally dominated the after-ceremony meal.
As usual in attendance were a large number of my own family members who traditionally congregate in Miami to spend the holidays with my dad and mom.
Several newcomers demonstrated interest in enrollment procedures for the UCTP census and the UCTP Taino language project.