hello juan I just wanted to comment a litlle on what you said,I to tell anyone that I am Taino and they accept it,but when it comes to my people or P.R or DOMINICANS they say they where all killed.I tell them there is a difference in killing and forced assimilation,which was done to the Taino as of to the africans.the Tainos where given new names and new life styles to live.2 years ago a Chinese friend of mine became an American citizen his name is Ching but was suggested to pick another name because Ching would be hard to remember,his name is Allen now,sounds famillar,it is still happening today,assimilation to where you live.history on the islands was taught by the conquer same as here in the United States.sorry if I got of the topic a little,thankyou for reading
I agree with much of what has been said. We need to allow people to grow at their own pace and do what they need to do to achieve that growth. However, when I run into agendas, I do my best to step back unless asked for my opinion. I don't have the vision to look into people's hearts and motives -I cannot assume I know best, I only know what's best for me.
The Trickster Spirit is out there, I believe, culling the herd as its purpose calls for. Who am I to say who the lesson is directed to? If I see it, as head of my household, I will speak it to mine and expect obedience. I can guide others to my answers with the right questions, but it's not my place to tell others what is right or wrong for them. Their spirit is there to guide them. Who am I to say that the experience will not teach them something they may need to learn?
The idea that people intuitively know what the right actions are for themselves is central to my practice, both as a Life Coach and as a Spiritual Guide/Bohike/Bujiti/Shaman/Medicine Woman/Place-your-preferred-label-here. There is more than one road to Rome...
I don't have a problem with someone who introduces themselves as Cacike or any of the other titles. However, I do like to ask how long they have been so and what they have done for the people they serve. If you have a title and are not being of service to your people, you are playing indian. If you have a title and are not working on your own personal growth, you are playing indian. Again, this is just MY opinion- it may be different for another.
As a Life Coach, I suggest people "fake it till you make it". Pretending has it's place. Children pretend their adult selves into existence. Young adults pretend their relationships into existence. We pretend to be strong, we pretend to be brave, we pretend to be whatever we want to create into reality for ourselves. We pretend until we believe and until it becomes real.
As for the idea of re-labeling ourselves...
Our brain works by using labels, this is just a biological function. The labels allow us to categorize what is safe and what is not, what is good and what is bad, so our autonomous system can respond when needed without conscious thought. You don't have to think too much about taking your hand out of a fire.
However, labels are words and words carry power; an emotional kick. Call a black person a "nigger" in some places and they will get pissed; you might even get a good whippin'! "Mestizo" carries the same stigma in places like South and Central America where they still suffer from the mental genocide practices of colonial times. If this movement is to be across political borders, we need to take that into account.
I would reconsider owning the word "mestizo" only because I haven't seen much benefit by the blacks taking ownership of "nigger". It seems to me they took the word as a whip, out of the hands of the oppressors, only to be used now against each other. We could learn something from that. To take the word back without changing is energetic power will not move us forward. And to do that would take a re-education of society as a whole.
The Metis (I believe) are a mix of, not only anglos, but various tribes of the Six Nation Confederacy. The Six Nations have a long history of European contact and the children may have never had a doubt of where they came from. Because our history is different, we may have a more difficult climb. The Metis were considered mixed and lesser than, not eradicated like the Caribbean people were.
I don't pretend to have all the answers... The answers that I do come up with seem to engender only more questions- donnit?
Maybe if we just call ourselves by the people we identify with?
The Metis are mixed French and Cree people from specific areas. They speak Michif which is a mixed language of French and Cree. Sometimes the Metis are tolerated, sometimes they are not. The picture is not always rosy as it seems.
I wouldn't like to be called zambo. I'm not a zambo. I'm Kalinago, and if you really need to know more then I am Kalinago AND I am Black. I have no problem with this.
The Taino resurgence movement is not an isolated thing, this is happening to a lot of indigenous cultures, Maori, Hawaiian, American Indian. I think what astounds me in the Taino movement is the sheer number of titles and egos. It only shows that some of us have big holes in our hearts that we are trying fill. You know, just sitting and listening to one of the older people in your family can give you a lot of info. Jorge Estevez is an example of this. I love hearing his stories of all the Taino things he's observed in his family, just by talking, listening and asking questions. That is patience and their needs to be more of it.
I really don't like seeing stereotypes reenacted and it's unfortunate when it happens, but I think a post like this is finally getting some dialog about it.
What I mean to say with those terms. Even though yes they are racist terms. But so is hispanic/latino. What if your a mayan who speaks spanish with no admixute.What will you be labeled? Hispanic/latino. Look at xuxa from brasil. She is of german and irish deccent. No admixture. She too is consider latino, cause she speaks pourtoges. Indigenous people who have no admixture or who do have admxiture are consider hispanic/latino just like other in our part of the continent who have no ameridan ancestory.
Yes, story from our elders are great. But if we going to move on, fabricated label needs to come off.
I do think that these cacike title needs to be back up with something. The queen of england dies one of her linage get the title. With all royal family this is how it is. If yor claiming to be a cacike, this is what your claiming. I dont think these titles help the movement. Before I met Jorge Estevez. I was actually asked to join a organization. They had a cacike. I turn the other way and left.
Jorge is very sincere with the movement. He knows many aspect of the taino, culture, history, etc etc etc. He works in the native american museum so he is truly intersted in all native people. I mean thats what I have seen.
I think you have a strong point there Keisha- there is a LOT of ego in the Taino Resurgence, and I mean ego in the negative sense of the word. I also agree with your diagnosis about these people having damaged hearts needing to be filled. Shouldn't we have patience with them, too? Maybe some compassion? Is critisizing, putting down and making fun of also negative ego? Who am I to say what is best for them?
I think that people want and need to fill a void and will do so as their spirit moves them. Who am I to say that someone is not Behike or Cacike or Whatever? If they have a following, they are a leader- whatever label they choose. I don't care as long as they are doing good for the people as a whole.
Wow, it's cool to hear from someone from the beginning. In regards to inheriting the title for Taino, wasn't it traditionally matrilineal? It passed to the child of a woman's brother or something like that. Anyway the way it was explained to me made it seem really unlikely that anyone using the title Kacique was getting it from purely hereditary means.
Keisha, that was my whole point. You see I am really bad and translating my thougth into text.
But I dont think is right that these folk are calling themselve that. These were royal familys. That was inherted. So how am i going to start a organization and have people call me cacike. Now a founding member can be a leader. But to me calling some one cacike is such a big deal. I want to know why?
Aww Juan you are too hard on yourself. I was mentioning hereditary titles just to illustrate the fact if someone was claiming it through hereditary means I doubt that they were doing it the traditional Taino way.
If they are elected by the people then well yes I guess you could say that they are the leaders of those people. I would hope that the person elected does some real service or has some real leadership ability though. (I can think of only a few people with the title of chief in the Taino, Kalinago, and Arawak communities combined where this is true.)