With much respect to all,
I agree with much of what is said including this Kasike situation. I will however mention that some but not all ARE elected by their family and or group. Kasike means the one with the house. One who leads the people where the people want to go. It does not mean that they are any better or smarter then anyone else. To have this expectation is to set one's self up for constant disappointment. It is not a realistic expectation. During the Spanish colonial times Kasike was a title also given to the head of house hold in the early census. If we currently have frail or unworthy leaders, might it not be because we are not trained for leadership? Nor have we been trained for the past 500 years, the system was created to keep us following but never leading. We need representation in order to have a voice in today's world.
If a person is called Kasike by a group or following then I will respect that title whether I get along with that person or not. For in fact they have become leaders to the people that have made them so. So it always comes back to the fact that it is the people who empower. I'm less tolarent of persons calling themselves Kasike who then turn out to be a group of one. I think we must be careful of not idealising those who accept leadership roles. It is mostly a thankless job. I've yet to know of even one case when they made any real money because of these titles. They for the most part have given their whole life, often putting family and friends second. And for what? at most they get 15 mins of fame. Yes our old Kasikes where of noble bloodines, but guess what? All native bloodlines in Boriken come from 19 original Taino maternal lineages. So we must all be at least counsins to each other in the past and in the future. There are Kasikes today that have let the position go to thier head. But I place the responsibility on the people who follow and support such a person. For the power is always with the people. I love the response given about we used to live in Bohios but we don't anymore. It was great. I don't think leadership should be inherited. Not in today's world and we must live in today's world if we are going to be of benifit to our people.
I don't think its fair to follow the mindset that The people deserve the leaders they support given the fact on how Taino yucayekes function. Policy among most yucayekes are instituted by the Cacikes and their nitainos without the imput of the naborias. Changes are made without any grand announcements but more in a subtle way.
Case in point
Peace meetings were organized some time ago and for most of the meetings only Cacikes, Behikes, nitainos and people that were considered leaders were allowed to attend.
Anther yucayeke only allows its Cacikes and nitainos to vote
All Taino blogs except this Ning moderates or Censor posts
Try getting an audience with some Cacikes or nitainos
Or to address a particular issue
You' will see what results you will get from that
This type of mindset permeates most of Taino society.
This mindset absolves the leadership from taking any responsibility despite over a 15 year feud
Naborias for the most part are humble people who want to connect with their heritage and community. They are not experienced enough or don't have the desire to take on battles
Life is stressfull enough so many do not want to add to that stress with negativity
most naborias just leave a yucayeke when injustices occur, proof of that is the countless people who we all know and can personally attest
If the leadership was doing a good job then most would still be with us.
The power is within the people and the responsibility falls squarely on those who are considered Kacikes, Nitainos, Behikes, Boitus, or Taino leaders who are the ones that affect policy
Cacikes are no longer born. So a person either follows one who has created their own yukayeke or they are in a yukayeke which has appointed a Cacike. Quien es responsable? El loco o el que lo sigue?
I agree that responsibility falls squarely on those making decisions: those who lead AND those who chose to follow.
There ain't much leadership without a following...
Doesn't make much sense to me to dip when things don't go one's way. People leave a yukayeke and join another until that one pisses them off or does something they don't agree with, and so goes the pattern... Doesn't allow for much development nor growth.
On the other hand, the old Taino goverment is not going to work today, this is a fact. People will need to commit to growth and stick it out, this is a fact.
Seems even the Taino have modernized into a disposable society- even disposing of people, this is an opinion :)
We need to decide what is more important- being right or being at peace, growing and getting along.
This is exactly what I tried to say a while back when I last posted in this discussion. I don't really see how simply abandoning a group that one has belonged to and which has a following is going to do anyhing to fix the problems in that group. I see a kind of pattern of fractionalism and dissepation in our resurgence as a result of folks just picking up and leaving whenever things don't appear to go exactly the way they want it to go.
If you are, it seems you are not happy with your governing body. Have you tried to effect a change in your group? How are you encouraging your own people or are you just pointing out the things you dislike, criticizing and micromanaging? If you don't like the way your Cacique is leading and you are not being heard- don't follow and support that leader. You are not a victim of the Yukayeke or the Cacike.
If you can do better leading a group, get on with it. Create your own Yukayeke, become a Cacike or part of the Council of your new group... Like you said, walk in their mocs and see what they see... I'm just surprised you haven't done it yet!
Other than that, how do you add to your group? In what way do you teach people, native and non-native, about our presence? How do you extend yourself to the world as a Taino person?
This whole thread (forum discussion) was started by you stating that:
1) you "want no part of people playing to Indian stereotypes playing on what they think the Taino acted 500 years ago."
2)"I have seen a plethora of so called Cacikes, Behikes, Bojitis and Nitainos come after me playing to Indian stereotypes."
And it's interesting to note how you wrote "I'm ducking!!!!" right after. You knew this topic would cause strife and you encouraged it! You kept to your word by not contributing substantially to the topic until just yesterday. The only other comment regarding the topic was on Oct 9th and it was inflammatory, inciting more argument. You stir the pot and then walk away.
I was taught to respect my elders and that would generally include you, too. But then my elders are generous of spirit and, as cantankerous as they can be, they wouldn’t demean themselves by inciting disagreements and encouraging ridiculing behavior in our youth.
Ray, I don’t know how you feel, I won’t pretend that arrogance but I know how I feel.
I don’t feel good being right, I rather be wrong- especially in this case with an elder. I feel shame for a Taino brother who has been active longer than I have and engages in these behaviors. I feel shame for a man who is in his 50’s admiring the unpolished behavior of a 20 year old and thinking that they have “a thing or two to teach”.
This is not a way of “building a great Taino Nation for our people” as you claim to want to do on your myspace.
I did ask about your tribal affiliation, your behavior is like one who doesn't have any. I have a Cacike and I don’t always agree with the decisions made or how things are run. At times I can’t stand being in the same room with him. However, when I don’t agree I will speak my truth to his face, I will complain and object and offer alternatives and reasons, but I would never be so disloyal as to drag his name, his position or his reputation in the mud, in real time or the internet. He has no reason to ever doubt my loyalty. Sadly, your Cacike cannot say the same of you.
A Cacike’s power is only equal to the support he has, regardless of his personality. Your Cacike may not be worthy of loyalty, but his position is.
Ray, I see you misunderstood me when I said you have been active longer than I, I didn’t mean in the resurgence, I meant in life. You are 12 years older than I am. According to your post, you have been in the resurgence 14 years, I was raised Indian. When it comes to being Taino, I'm at Tainosaurus Rex! LOL!
I was 18 when I saw one of the Cacikes, who’s picture is on your site, in Tibes -over 20 years ago. I remember how he offended every Taino and their mother with his arrogance and unkind words. I remember how many Taino were upset at his conducting meetings and ceremony in the basement of a church, even getting the church to bless them! I remember sitting in the same room with a woman who is also in your pictures, hearing her bait other Tainos into joining her group because she knew where "the last standing Cohoba tree was located". I remember the egos from 20 years ago, so the egos today are no big deal; the fact that you expect me to know what Yukayeke you belong to is no surprise.
So I may be a newbie on this site and I may not know many people in NY (I know the ones that matter:) but don’t confuse that with lack of acumen or discernment- or of experience with easily bruised Taino egos such as yours. I won't demean you for your youth in the movement as you have tried to demean me. Like you said earlier- we are all important in this movement, even the Trickster serves it's purpose.
The truth stands on its own two feet. Your ego is bruised by my blog post. I never mentioned names, you could have remained "ducking". Instead, you put the shoe on, it fit, and you have been tap dancing in it since. Yet nothing I said here or there, is a lie.
It saddens my heart to see how people can demean you to just a number, Dismissing your thoughts as a human being because of a thing called youth, the same youth that we aim to aspire to follow the path of the red road, the same age group you where when you joined the movement Nanu
Well Nanu you will realize that the number of years on this earth does not equate wisdom, being able to learn from your experiences during those years does, and some people may take longer to understand those experiences regardless of years put in
What I also find sad is your distortions and dismissal of my posts, you always harp and respond to my more "critical post" but never to my other posts, and discussions that are less critical and more about restoration; which are by far more numerous then my "critical post"
You accuse people of doing what you do Nanu, I am not sure if you see that your projecting yourself onto others, you calm that people belittle youth and then you turn around and do exactly what you set out not to do.
But i understand hard topics will always bring about hostility and force certain people to attack others in the process, however, it still needs to be discussed. An for future thought you might not want to bring down the youth to a simple number we often have positive and insightful things to say. After all, contribution of the future rests with us and so do the directions this movement, we will carry it to the next level as our elders have done before us.
Brooke, you may wish to reread my posts with a clear eye, putting aside bias, assumptions and what you have been spoon fed by Scaramouche. Use that sharp mind you have demonstrated on the forum before. In doing this you may find that my posts were not about you, and lacked even the passion of “always harping” that you’ve just padded on. You may also find that in the above post to ray my comment was regarding your behavior and not your youth.
However, your behavior is due to your youth which is why you may be reacting now. Personally, I have nothing else to say about you. You are where you need to be for your age. Like it or not, there are just certain things that are part and parcel of certain time frames in life, and there is no getting around it. That’s life, that is not me bringing you down to a number.
You are the future of the Taino Nation, Brooke, you are tomorrow’s leadership. Don’t you think I would want excellence for you? Not knowing who you are, I still want you to receive the best guidance possible because I do realize what you mean to our Nation. The last thing this nation needs is another abusive leader and encouraging this behavior in you now, only exposes you to the kind of leadership backbiting that we’ve seen already. Not something I would want for you, or anyone in that position.
This is not a matter of what regalia you wear or how you want to be “Indian”, this is a matter of training our future leaders to degrade and humiliate their followers, the members of our Nation. And what kind of Taino sister, would I be if I saw that, said nothing and allowed that to happen to our future?
It seems you seek to redeem your misbehavior by pointing out your “discussions that are less critical and more about restoration; which are by far more numerous” and I ask you to look at today’s leaders- all the work they have put into our Nation and how much slander they get regardless. I do not want that for our future leaders.
I do not underestimate you in any level, Brooke, but I will not overestimate you either- that would not be fair to you. With the kind of intellect you demonstrate today, I know that tomorrow, when you are an elder you won’t behave that way, nor condone that kind of behavior in others.
"I don't care as long as they are doing good for the people as a whole." I thnk this is a good point, but I don't necessarily agree, as what is "good" might be subjective.
As far as criticizing and putting down egos, well culturally yeah that's what you would do, at least that's what I've seen with Kalinago. We have patience with it to a point but once you go past that expect an insult, joke, or criticism at your expense. Funny I've seen it done with Navajos here too. We don't do too well with egos lol.
I don't think it's best to let people fill their holes "as their spirit moves them", because what if that hole-filler is drugs, alcohol, or bad stereotypes of Native Americans, or even worse cultural appropriation.
You can make the argument that both a behike and a cacike are only made by the people they serve. That is to say you can say "I'm a cacike" but if there is no one that thinks of you are such, then what exactly is your job? Same with a behike, if no one goes to you for your service, than how will you practice your healing? These titles are not self appointed. I can't just make myself a chief.
I mentioned ego and titles because honestly I've seen people be downright rude just because of it. I myself have been on the receiving end of such. Someone's bad ego is partly the reason why I'm working all by myself on the language. It's really unfortunate.