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CREADOR O CREADORA?-----CREATOR OR CREATRESS

CREADOR O CREADORA?.....CREATOR OR CREATRESS?

 ponencia bilingue (Espa~ol-Ingles)..............bilingual post (Spanish-English)

(Go down below the Spanish version to find the English version)

Takaji Datiaono

Saludos mis parientes

Greetings My Relatives

 

    El pueblo Makiritare es un grupo indigena que vive en la zona ancestral del Rio Orinoco donde se origina parte de nuestra propia cultura taina. En la tradicion oral de esta gente existe una narracion sagrada llamada WATUNNA. En un episodio de esta narracion los Makiritares mencionan un huevo mistico llamado Huehanna. Este huevo contiene todas las almas de los seres humanos que en aquellos tiempos antes de la Creacion no habian nacido todavia.   Estos seres humanos son, en parte, el producto seminal del pensamiento sagrado del espiritu masculino, Wanadi, pero es imposible que nazcan sin la colaboracion de una fuerza femenina y un utero que lo engendre. Esto quiere decir que la humanidad no puede existir si no nace atravez de un proceso maternal.

    En la narracion de WATUNNA, una divinidad femenina llamada Frimenne, quien es la manifestacion de la fuerza femenina del Universo se presta para la labor sagrada y mantiene el huevo Huehanna dentro de su vientre por determinado tiempo hasta que ese objeto se encuentra listo para abrirse y para permitir el exodo humano hacia el mundo terrestre. Cuando llega ese momento la mujer sagrada Frimenne se convierte en una culebra anaconda y de la apertura ventral de ese reptil nace toda la humanidad. 1

    Es importante estudiar cuidadosamente como se expresan los hechos en esta narracion porque en una parte del episodio se habla de la vagina de Frimene y se le llama “cueva” 2. Cuando el indio makiritare denomina esa estructura anatomica de la mujer como “cueva” es obvio que existe un vinculo indudable en la mente makiritare entre las cuevas y la apertura que los Indigenas comprenden que es el origen del ser humano. 

    Estas son cosas muy importantes para el entendimiento de la  narracion sagrada taina, pues en nuestra tradicion taina tambien se mencionan “cuevas”. Aunque las cronicas del cronista Ramon Pane nos hablan de un “Dios” masculino en la creencia taina, es obvio que el hermitano ahi esta escribiendo desde su propio punto de vista cristiano y no entiende bien la sabiduria spiritual de aquellos a los cuales esta describiendo. Es obvio que en ningun momento los tainos que el usa de interpretes le hablan a Pane de un “creador” masculino, y hasta en el episodio donde se menciona la deidad masculina, Yocaju, en ningun momento el escritor menciona que ese es el creador del universo. La razon por la cual Pane no dice queYocaju “creo” el universo es porque los Tainos nunca dijeron eso, y no creian eso tampoco.

      Pero Pane si menciona “cuevas” y en su mencion de esas “cuevas” siempre el se esta refiriendo al proceso creador. Este fraile catalan es cristiano y el si cree en un creador masculino biblico, que produce el universo de la nada, solamente atravez del poder de su palabra. Pero Pane presenta en sus cronicas de los tainos una evidencia indudable de una creacion femenina muy diferente a la creacion biblica que el fraile conoce. En el episodio de la cueva Iguanaboina 3, Pane relata la creacion del sol y la luna. Los dos astros celestes proceden de la cueva sagrada como infantes que emergen de una vagina cosmica. En el episodio de la creacion de la humanidad Pane relata que los Tainos emergen de una cueva llamada “Casibajagua” 4. En ningun momento el escribano menciona que Yocaju a creado a los seres humanos. Yocaju no es creador, no crea nada!

     No cabe lugar a duda que el pensamiento taino llevaba todavia en el a~o 1492 la sabiduria que habian heredado, atravez de miles de a~os, de los antepasados del Orinoco, que, como los Makiritares, entendian que la palabra “cueva” se referia a una apertura vaginal de un ser femenino creador, que en nuestra lengua taina se llama Atabey.

      Hay muchos que se refieren a Atabey como una deidad asociada a las aguas terrestres, y eso es verdad. Pero la madre divina de los viejos Tainos es mas que un ser aquatico. Si es verdad que ella representa la energia femenina del universo entonces ella tiene que representar a la tierra tambien porque las cuevas que representan la apertura del vientre de Atabey son una manifestacion de la superficie solida de la tierra. Es importante tambien recordar que la palabra “Iguanaboina”, que es el nombre de la cueva desde donde emergen el sol y la luna en la narracion sagrada de los Tainos, es una palabra que quiere decir “culebra parda”. Recordemos que en la narracion sagrada WATUNNA de los Makiritares la madre cosmica se convierte en una serpiente, y del vientre de esa serpiente femenina emerge la humanidad. Desde los a~os 1960 el arqueologo boricua Fernandez Mendez nos explica que el espiritu femenino materno del universo quien el identifica con el nombre Guabancex (una de sus muchas identidades) es un ser que se manifesta en forma de serpiente 5.

    Con tantas pruebas y evidencia solidad de la naturaleza femenina del proceso creador en la tradicion taina es ilogico oir tantas veces a los Tainos modernos de ahora cuando se refieren a un tal “creador” y tambien dicen la palabra “dios” cuando se refieren a Yaya, el ser supremo de la tradicion taina, como si Yaya fuera un “Papa Dios” masculino al estilo de los cristianos. Tambien insisten en identificar a Yaya con Yocaju como si los dos fuesen la misma persona. Esto es ridiculo. En ningun momento en las cronicas de Pane o de Las Casas o de Anghiera se encuentra una relacion entre Yocaju y Yaya. Estos son dos identidades diferentes y distintas que no hay que confundirlas.

    Por suerte, el brillante escritor boricua Robiou Lamarche aclara la situacion en su libro ENCUENTRO CON LA MITOLOGIA TAINA . En su libro Robiou Lamarche explica con claridad sorprendente y lucida la relacion entre Atabey, Yocaju y Yaya. Robiou Lamarche nos aclara que Atabey es el elemento femenino del universo entero (representando los niveles de abajo como la tierra y el inframundo), y Yocaju es el elemento masculino del universo entero (representando los niveles de arriba, como el cielo). La union de esos dos con equilibrio balanceado es lo que produce el fenomeno masculino/femenino llamado “Yaya”. Esta es la pura verdad de nuestros antepasados. Yaya  es un ser “hermafrodita” (palabra usada por Robiou Lamarche) que contiene qualidades de ambos sexos. No nos debemos de referir a Yaya con el pronombre masculino “el” pues Yaya no es macho solamente, no es “el”. Yaya es macho y hembra al  mismo tiempo, “el” y “ella” 6.

 

    La insistencia de muchos Tainos de esta epoca de referirse a Yocaju como “creador” y confundir a Yocaju (el espiritu macho) con Yaya que es un espiritu bisexual, se debe a la mente colonizada que persiste en continuar viejas costumbres y creencias impuestas sobre nuestro pueblo por los cristianos. Aun muchos que pretenden “defender” nuestra cultura de las influencias cristianas no se dan cuenta que mucho de lo que ellos mismos acceptan incluyendo todo eso de un “Papa Dios creador” como si fuera doctrina taina en realidad es la doctrina catolica de Roma.  Nuestros antepasados nunca creyeron en un “Papa Dios creador”. Esta fue una doctrina ajena, foranea, cultivada en las zonas del Medio Oriente, Israel, Palestina, que es la inspiracion de la tradicion cristiana y no tiene que ver nada con nosotros.

     Entre nosotros existen muchos hermanos y hermanas tainos cristianos que persisten en cultivar la tradicion cristiana en sus hogares y sus familias. Estas personas tienen todo derecho a escojer la religion cristiana para sus familias. En esos casos es logico el uso de esas frases y esa ideologia cristiana. Yo respeto esa decicion de parte de nuestros hermanos y hermanas cristianos. Pero cuando se habla de aquellos que pretenden adoptar la antigua cultura taina que se nos arrebato hace 5 ciglos atras ya la cosa es diferente.  Si nosotros pretendemos honrar la cultura autentica de nuestros antepasados de verdad debemos de despojarnos de costumbres extranjeras que aunque nos parecen confortables por lo familiar que son, NO SON DE NOSOTROS! Paremos de decir esa frase tan familiar “El Creador”. Los Tainos antiguos nunca creyeron en un tal “creador”. Basta ya de ese oxidentalismo. Eso si es defender nuestra cultura!

     La creacion es un proceso femenino, con la ayuda de las fuerzas masculinas del Universo. En la mente Indigena de los Tainos es el vientre de Atabey, y no la mano de Yocaju, el origen del cosmo. Acceptemos esa verdad y honremos verdaderamente la memoria de nuestros antepasados.

       The Makiritare people is an Indigenous group that lives in the ancestral zone of the Orinoco River where part of our own Taino culture originates. In the oral tradition of these people there exists a sacred creation narrative called "WATUNNA". In a certain episode of that narrative the Makiritares mention a mystical egg called Huehanna. This egg contains  the unborn souls of all the human beings who are waiting to come into the world at the point of Creation. Primordial humans are, in part, the seminal product of the sacred thought of the male divine spirit  Wanadi, but it is impossible for these ancestral humans to be born without the collaboration of a feminine force and a divine uterus where they can be engendered. This means that humanity can not exists unless it is born via a maternal process.

      In the WATUNNA narration, a female divinity called Frimenne, who is the manifestation of the feminine energy of the Universe volunteers to take on the sacred responsibility of gestating ancestral humanity and therefore she holds the Huahanna egg in her own womb until that object finds itself ready to hatch and allow the great exodus of the first people out into the newly-formed world. When that moment arrives the sacred woman Frimenne turns into a great anaconda snake from whose ventral opening is born all humanity. 1

     It is important to study carefully  how the events of this narration are expressed because in a certain portion of this episode the story mentions the vaginal opening of Frimenne and this opening is referred to as a "cave" 2. When the Makiritare Native calls this anatomical structure of a woman a "cave" it is obvious that there exists an unmistakable connection in the Makiritare mind between caves and the body aperture that the Natives understand as the physical origin of a human being. 

      These concepts are very important in the effort of understanding the Taino sacred creation narrative, because in our Taino tradition there are also numerous mentions of "caves". Although the writings of the chronicler Ramon Pane do mention a male "God" in Taino belief system it is obvious that the good friar at that point is writing from his own Christian point of view and that he really does not fully understand the spiritual wisdom of those whom he is describing. It is obvious that at no point do any of the Tainos that he is using as interpreters actually speak to Pane about a male "creator" and even in the episode in which the male deity, Yocahu, is mentioned, at no point does the writer mention that this entity is the creator of the Universe. The reason that Pane never says that Yocahu created the universe is because the ancient Tainos never said that, and they did not believe in such a thing either.

     But Pane does mention caves. And in his mentioning of those "caves" it is clear that he is referring to the creation process. This Catalan friar is a Christian and he definitely does believe in a biblical male creator who produces the Universe from nothing through the mere power of his word. But Pane presents in his writings about the Tainos, unmistakable evidence of a female creation that is very different from the biblical creation that he is familiar with. In the episode of the cave Iguanaboina 3, Pane relates the story of the creation of the sun and the moon. The two heavenly bodies rise out from the sacred cave like babies emerging from a cosmic vagina. In the episode concerning the creation of humanity Pane writes that the first Tainos emerge from a cave called "Casibajagua" 4. At no point does the scribe ever mention that Yocahu creates human beings. Yocahu creates nothing!

    There is no doubt that ancient Taino understanding in 1492 still retained the wisdom that it had inherited, over thousands of years, from the Orinoco ancestors who, like the Makiritare, understood that the word "cave" refers to the vaginal aperture of a female creator spirit,  a female creator spirit who in the Taino language is called Atabey.

    There are many now who refer to Atabey as a terrestrial water deity, and that is accurate to a certain degree.  But  the divine mother of the ancient Tainos is much more than just a water being. If it is true that she represents the female energy of the whole Universe then she must also represent the earth itself (not just the waters of the earth), because the caves that represent the opening of Atabey's womb are a manifestation of holes on the solid surface of the planet. It is important also to remember that the word "Iguanaboina", which is the name of the cave from which emerge the sun and the moon in the sacred narration of the Tainos, is a word that means "brown serpent". Lets remember that in the Makiritare people's sacred narration of WATUNNA the cosmic mother turns into a snake, and from the womb  of that female serpent emerges all humanity. As early as the 1960's the Boricua archeologist, Fernandez Mendez explained that the maternal female spirit of the Universe whom he identifies with the name "Guabancex" (one of her many identifiers) is a being that manifests in the form of a snake 5.

    In the presence of this much proof and so much solid evidence in regard to the female nature of the creation process in Taino tradition, it is illogical to hear so many modern-day Tainos who nowadays refer to a "Creator" with an obvious male meaning attached to the word. And they also use the word "God" when referring to Yaya, the supreme being of the Taino tradition, as if Yaya were some Chrsitian-style "God the Father". Many also insist on identifying Yaya with Yocahu (who is a male spirit) as if they were one and the same person.  This is ridiculous. At no point in the writings of Pane or Las Casas or Anghiera can you find any direct relationship between Yocahu and Yaya. These are two distinct and different identities who should not be confused one with the other.

   Fortunately, the brilliant Boricua writer Robiou Lamarche clears up the situation in his book ENCUENTRO CON LA MITOLOGIA TAINA. In his book Robiou Lamarche explains with surprising clarity and lucidity, the REAL relationship between Atabey, Yocahu and Yaya. Robiou Lamarche clarifies that Atabey is the female element of the whole Universe (representing the lower levels of existence such as the earth and the underworld), and Yocahu is the male element of the whole Universe (representing the upper levels of existence such as the sky). The balanced union of those two is what produces the male/female phenomenon called "Yaya". This is the plain truth of our ancestors. Yaya is an hermaphroditic being (this word is used by Robiou Lamarche himself), that contains qualities of both sexes. We should not refer to Yaya using the male pronoun "he" since Yaya is not exclusively male, Yaya is not "he". Yaya is male and female at the same time, "he" and "she" 6.

    The insistence of many Tainos of this era of referring to Yocahu as a "creator" and confusing Yocahu (the male spirit) with Yaya, who is, in fact, a bisexual spirit, is due to the phenomenon of the colonized mind, which persists in continuing old habits and beliefs imposed on our people by Christians.  Even many who are supposedly "defending" our culture from Christian influence do not realize that much of what they themselves accept, including the stuff about a "God the Father" and a "creator God" as if it were Taino doctrine, in reality, is the Catholic doctrine of Rome. Our ancestors never  believed in a creator "God The Father". This was a foreign doctrine that evolved in the Middle East in Israel and Palestine. It is what inspired Christian tradition and has absolutely nothing to do with us.

    There are many Christian Taino brothers and sisters among us who persist in cultivating Christian tradition in their homes and with their families. They have every right to do that because that is the religion that they have chosen. In these cases it makes perfect sense to utilize Christian phrases such as "God the creator". I respect that decision on the part of these Christian brothers and sisters because they are operating within a Christian environment. But when we are talking about those who supposedly adopt the ancient Taino culture which was torn from us 5 centuries ago, things are different. If we are supposedly honoring the authentic culture of our ancestors, we truly ought to divest ourselves  of foreign habits that, although they seem comfortable and familiar, THEY ARE NOT OURS! Let's start by discontinuing the familiar term "The Creator" which implies a male meaning. There is no male creator in Taino tradition. The ancient Taino never believed in a "creator" like that one. Enough already of this Euro-centric concept. That is what defending our culture really is!

     Creation is a female process, with the assistance of the male forces of the Universe. In the Indigenous mind of the Tainos it is Atabey's womb, and not Yocahu's hand from whence the Cosmos originates. Let's accept that fact and let's truly honor our ancestors.

1. Selected abridged episodes from Marc de Civrieux, Watunna: Mitologia Makiritare (Caracas: Monte Avila Editores, C.A., 1970), translated, with an introduction and glossary, by David M. Guss as Wattuna: An Orinoco Creation Cycle (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1980)

2. Guss, Watunna, pp 47-50

3. Ramon Pane, Relacion acerca de las antiguedades de los indios, ed Jose Juan Arrom (Mexico: Siglo Ventiuno, 1977)

4. Ramon Pane, Relacion...

5. Eugenio Fernandez Mendez, Arte Y Mitologia De Los Indios Tainos De Las Antillas Mayores (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Ediciones Cemi, 1979)

6. Sebastian Robiou Lamarche, Encuentro con la Mitología Taína (San Juan, P.R. : Editorial Punto y Coma, 1992)

Jan Jan Katu

Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague

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Comment by Miguel Sague Jr on April 30, 2017 at 11:42am

Here are the relevant pages from the story "Watunna" which is the ancient creation narrative of the Makiritare Native people of the Orinoco River region in South America. In this episode of the story the principal character is Nuna, who is a troublesome male lunar-cycle entity similar to our own Taino Guakar(whose name means "Our Harsh Menstrual Cramps"). Like Guakar, Nuna presents a recurring threat to the welfare of humans. Unlike Guakar this threat is existential, since he is not only a cause of pain and suffering but instead he is actually a ravenous cannibal who seeks to devour all of the unborn humans who are still waiting to be born living inside the primordial egg Huehanna at the beginning of time. The primordial egg Huehanna is under the care of the supreme male deity Wanadi. Wanadi, who lives in heaven, has created an emanation of himself called Attawanadi and sent him down to earth to attempt to establish balance and equilibrium there. Part of the goal of Attawanadi's mission is to cause the creation of humans. This is not an easy task because the only way that humans can be born is for a female divinity to hatch the egg in her womb. This mission has failed several times already with several other female divinities. In this particular episode Attawanadi has temporarily left the egg in the care of some spirit guardians and Nuna sneaks up to the place where it is being kept and tricks the guardians to give him the egg by pretending to be Attawanadi. He takes the egg home with the intention of eating all the unborn people inside, but his sister Nuna immediately realizes what is going on and steals the egg from him when he is not looking. She hides the egg inside her vagina and intends to hatch it herself. This is where we find the word that creates a clear connection between this Makiritare narrative and our own Taino narrative, because Nuna tries to get in there and take the egg back, and when the Makiritare story-teller narrates this particular scene of the story instead of saying that Nuna stuck his hand in her vagina, he says "Nuna reached into her cave". By using the word "cave" the Makiritare informant has just made the crucial link between Frimenne's womb and a cave which takes us back to our own Taino legends in which humans are "born" out of the female divinity's "cave" womb. 

Comment by Miguel Sague Jr on April 30, 2017 at 9:12am

It is important to add to this information that the name "Yaya" was used by Pane only once in his narration. In that instance the name "Yaya" does not appear to refer to a deity. When Pane mentions Yaya he talks about a "man" who keeps house, has a food garden where he grows maize (and supposedly other crops). This "Yaya" has a son who threatens to kill him and is banished for four months. This "Yaya" does not seem to resemble in any way the supreme deity that Jose Juan Arrom or Sebastian Robiou Lamarche describe in their research work. The "Yaya" of Pane's narration is very human. On the other hand, according to Arrom and Robiou Lamarche, his name appears to indicate someone more than just a man with a house and garden and an unruly son. The word "Yaya" is the repetition of the term "ya" or "ia" which literally means "soul". In many Indigenous languages when you repeat a term it gains magnitude. The repetition of  word makes it a superlative. So if "ia" means "soul" the the word "ia-ia" means the "ULTIMATE SOUL" or the "SUPREME SOUL". In the reasoning of Arrom and Robiou Lamarche the name "Iaia" or "Yaya" is the name of the supreme being, the Great Spirit. By extension Lamarche goes on to assume that the character in Pane's story of a man with an unruly son is, in fact, that supreme being. We  in the Caney Circle agree with the contention that the word "Yaya" refers to a supreme being but we also must suggest that this supreme being is NOT the relatively vulnerable and extremely human character of Pane's story. This man in the Pane narrative must be just an individual who bears the name of the deity in the same way that thousands of Catholic Hispanic men are called "Jesus" without actually being the original Jesus of the Bible who is God himself. Just because my next-door Puerto Rican neighbor is called Jesus that does not mean he is my "lord and savior". In the same way that the ancient Aztec deity Ce Acatl was known by the name "Quetzalcoatl", but later on a very mortal human king by the same name ruled the kingdom of Tula, we must accept that our Great Spirit may be called "Yaya" as Arrom and Robiou-Lamarche suggest, but at the same time the Yaya in the Pane story is just a guy that goes by the same name. So, in our opinion there are TWO Yayas. One Yaya is the bi-gendered Great Spirit as suggested by Arrom and Robiou-Lamarche (we call him Yaya GuaTurey), and the other Yaya is the man in the Pane story, who has a house, a garden, and an unruly son (we call him Yaya Lokuo). We suggest that although Pane called this human Yaya a "man", Yaya Lokuo is probably also bi-gendered just like the Supreme Being. We suggest that the Taino Yaya Lokuo was the very first human. We identify our Taino Yaya Lokuo with the first human in the Kalinago creation story called "Lokuo". That is why we borrowed his name for our own "first human". Remember that the Kalinago people of the island of Dominica are linguistic cousins of the Taino and they have similar creation stories.  If the supreme being Yaya identified y Robiou Lamarche is bi-gendered then, by the same token the first human Yaya must also be bi-gendered since in our opinion this human Yaya is created in the image and likeness of the Great Spirit. In a manner similar to the "split personality" of Deminan Karakarakol (who is actually one boy manifested in the form of four distinct characters), so the human Yaya can manifest as a man and his wife, both actually being the same person. The way we see it, when the Yaya of Pane's story asks his wife to bring him the gourd containing the remains of his dead son, he is actually the male manifestation of Yaya lokuo talking to the female manifestation of Yaya Lokuo. This is why just like Deminan's three brothers don't have names (because they are actually three other manifestations of himself), so Yaya Lokuo's wife also has no name, because she is just the female manifestation of Yaya.

Comment by Miguel Sague Jr on August 8, 2014 at 2:21am
I honor your support my dear brothers.
Comment by Jeffry Johnson on August 7, 2014 at 8:45pm
Jan Jan Katu, my brother! Powerful stuff! And not only does this faithfully teach what the ancestors discerned and believed, it is an empowering message of cooperation (between Atabey and Yokahu) and honor for the sacred female (for women and the feminine part of us all). Bo'matun!
Comment by Joey Karei Inherst on August 7, 2014 at 8:32pm
Hahom Behike!!! This is beautiful, and makes total sense. I will continue this belief, teach it to my kids and hope they carry it on.
Seneko Kakona!!!

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