I have been a member of this site for maybe a week and I have enjoyed re-encountering old friends and making new ones, sharing opinions and challenging each other. In the last few threads and posts I have participated there seems to be a lot of different opinions on matters of Taino or native identity: wannabes, titles, group organization, reenactments, religion, language and so on...
This is not quite a discussion as much as it is an unearthing of opinions, there are no wrong answers here. I am just curious since we all come from different places and have different values.
If I may ask:
What is your ideal of a Taino today?
How do you see us organized, governed and living our daily lives?
What are our home lives like? Our work lives? Our religion and language?
What is our social life like? Our education of selves and others? Powwows? How would we participate in the Native world as a whole?
What are our religious activities? How do we participate (open or closed ceremony, on sacred grounds or in someone's yard, etc)?
What does our regalia look like?
How is our language to be revived?
Please, forgive the broad scope of my questions. feel free to choose what you wish to answer or not...
I would like to see more intertribal gatherings. For example Tainos visiting Kalinago communities, Kalinago visiting Taino communities etc. There would have to be some major fundraising to do that but I think it can be done.
In terms of language, I am working hard so that I can raise my children speaking Karifuna. There are people working on Taino too. I think all amerindian languages in the Caribbean could use some major support.
A Taino living in the here & now, active in evironmental, political issues, self determination ,being one with all Indigenous nations. Preparing the young to follow after we're gone.
Being active in all aspects of cultural restoration. Teach, Teach, Teach.
Help others along the way, NO HOARDING.
Revive our spirituality , poetry , Art.
2.) How do you see us organized, governed and living our daily lives?
A governing body of 12 elders elected by the people, accountable to the people that will provide for the people with term limits.
3.) What are our home lives like? Our work lives? Our religion and language?
I would love to be with a woman that will support my vision of a sustainable Taino Nation. I would like us to develop a cooking style for our indigenous food.
Practice my spirituality believing in Deminan Caracracol, Bibi Atabey & Baba Yocahu & all the Cemis while respecting all other religions, Basically love & compassion for all living things.
I think we should keep our Taino words that we know and mix it with another related language that has the grammatical structure ie. Nahuatl, Arawak, Karifuna etc
4.) What is our social life like? Our education of selves and others? Powwows? How would we participate in the Native world as a whole?
I love hanging ouy with my people in a social setting with no egos. Participating in Powwows respecting their protocals in solidarity with other native nations and their issues
5.)What are our religious activities?
Marriage ceremonys, naming ceremonies, coming of age, blessings, Areitos, seasonal equanoxes, the full gamut. Funerary rites.
6.) How do we participate (open or closed ceremony, on sacred grounds or in someone's yard, etc)?
It depends on what type of ceremony.
7.) What does our regalia look like?
It should reflect how we live in the here & now
8.) How is our language to be revived?
With extreme dedication
I would like to see a Taino Cultural center / Museum building.
With Arts & Crafts workshops, studio space, spiritual classrooms, educational clasrooms, music & dance rehearsal space, Artifact exhibit space, shrine (caney)
There is so much to do, probably omitted many things that don't come to mind now. I leave that to the other members of this ning.
I would like for our people to take on the tough issues among our community. To be courageous enough to tackle the tough problems, For the naborias to tell our leaders that we love them but they will be held accountable. The naborias have held their tongue for too long. We know what we want, follow your bliss & do not be afraid.
However, when the tough issues arise there is no dialogue: there is anger, upset and ad hominem arguments- where the person is attacked instead of the issue.
The naborias have not held their tongue, all the contrary, they wag it left and right "viejos sin tabaco" style. The naborias must now put their egos in their pocket and step into action. We have talked the talk, now we must walk the walk.
Ruben I understand what your saying but taino's are native american. Just like the mayans, incas, navajo, inuet. All indigenous people of the americas are native americans.
Also keep in mind that before the europeans came to this continent florida was taino territory too. When the spaniords came to the mainland they even found tainos staying with the mayans. From what I read, antrhopolgy, archoeoligy, dna, hablogroup etc etc. The tainos that columbus incountered were a admxiture of many ameridian tribes including from south, central and north america. Taino and caribs are native americans. I catogorize a taino, carib, kalingo, inuet, mayan, aztec, cherokee, apache etc etc etc as the same people.
That is something I am looking forward to see on my lifetime.I would love to speak how our ancestors spoke. Sure we still use many taino words. More than what we realize. From what Jorge Estevez has told me even our spanish has a taino accent to it. Hearing a spanniord speaking clearly tells us that. I read a while back that in cuba a person did document the language using the last person in cuba to actually speak the full taino. I think it might have been in the 1850's. Not sure where I read this and what happened to this taino dictionary.
How do you see us organized, governed and living our daily lives?
Concerning us being recongized. That one is a problem. Tainos dont only have a link to the caribbean. But as a admixture of many native people. We actually have a link to the whole continent. USA goverment could say that we are only indigenous to the caribbean. But like I wrote to ruben. Florida was ours land before the europeans came. On top of that all native people regarless if they are from tip of alaska to the tip of argentina are but one family.
Juan, you make an excellent point with regards to our link to the mainland as a whole.
I would point out though, that although all indigenous people are related, we still have political borders. A real good example are the people of Mexico- they are mestizo and yet they come here and are not considered Amerindian but Mexican. Same goes for the Tlingit from Canada, I believe (I may be mistaken due to Canada/US relations). Then you have other people that like us, have been moved from their original lands or were somewhat nomadic and never had one place. Being that we are archeologically linked to the Caribbean wouldn't affect our status because we are a US territory.
BTW, Juan, I wonder if you could suggest a good book to read regarding DNA and haplogroups and how it relates to us...Is there any one particular one I should start with?
I was just confused as to whether you were talking about the United States only or the countries of Mexcio, Guatemala, Ecuador etc. Because the indigenous population of those countries would outnumber the population of Indigenous folks in the United States much less the Cherokee.
One more thing. Its estimated that only 5% of the amerdian deccendans of this whole continent survived our holocust. I am sure if we do the math. There are more amderidian deccendants living in mexico, central and south america (I am including the caribbean) than in USA, canada and alaska put toghether.
Thats the problem with the hispanic label. That people who have no amerdian ancestory can also be considered hispanic.. There are people in argentina who are full blooded europeans and are condider hispanic. I have a friend who is from belize and he is hindu deccent, doesnt even speak spanish. And people tel him that if he is from central america then he is hispanic. The truth is not neighter of us are hispanic. If yuou look of the diffinitions up in the dictionary "of or relating to the people, speech, or culture of Spain or of Spain and Portugal" On one of the dictionary it even said a thing of spain. So to me a real hispanic is a person who is pure blooded spaniord or portugal. Hispanic use to be use as a linguistic term but now it is consider a race.
Latino is another word that we are not. The real latinos are europeans.
I hope the above doesnt offend anyone. But I think these two labels are used to deny us. Especially to deny our mexican brothers who they are. Many mexican family are distroyed even if the kids are born in the states. They are called illegal aliesns. When infact we have been invaded for over 500yo by outsiders.
Just venting as a friend send me a youtube clip of our mexican and other south american so called illegal aliens being killed and deported. We all know that cali, texas etc etc was all mexican land. Just like florida was taino land.
Honestly I seen other folks who have no amerdian ancestory being consider hispanic. There is something wrong. I mean also two european countrys are also consider hispanic.
I want to say that. I heard that mestizo label used alot on mexicans. I dought that they are all mestizos. Over 30% of the mexican populatoin if not more have no european admixture. I use the mestizo label too. Because I notice if you say your taino its laughable but using mestizo is more acceptable with our people. But when speaking to non-dominicans, puerto ricans and cubans who are or not of taino deccents. I just use taino. More and more now that I met Jorge Estevez.
You wrote"BTW, Juan, I wonder if you could suggest a good book to read regarding DNA and haplogroups and how it relates to us...Is there any one particular one I should start with?"
Actually most of what I read has been online. I cant read from my screen so I printed it out. Some is good some is junk. Youtube has some good anthropolgical clips. I also make alot visits to the librarty. Plenty of magazine scientific america, naitonal goegraphic etc etc. I am only intersted in the anthropological stuff. But what I could do if I find anything that is relevant I can email to you. Jorge Estevez is also a good source of infromation.
You wrote "I would point out though, that although all indigenous people are related, we still have political borders"
Very true. But at one point the eagle's and the condor's had no borders.
Notice that the USA only calls ameridian mexican, south america, etc illegal aliens. But if your from europe or any other part your a political refugee.