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The Seventh Annual DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON: A NATIVE AMERICAN FESTIVAL - DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON features Manhattan’s only open air pow wow, which is a celebratory gathering of Native people.

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Comment by Caracoli on June 16, 2009 at 9:40am
Taino Ti Alex

It is truly the Taino story, Its where it got its start and where the Taino continuity is showcased for the world to see.

I took a while to answer because I was waiting for others to chime in.

I come from the old guard of Tainos who without dna studies, computers, cell phones or blackberry's took on the academics and the cynics and have now changed the mindset of many people regarding the survival of the people that are known today as the Taino

I say that because Taino was a word given to our people by Sven Loven in the early 1900s. The academics at the time realized that they had to be a classification between the Arawaks who lived in the mainland and the distinct culture of people that lived on the islands. We were mistakenly called Arawaks and now we have been given the name Taino. Taino being the word that was uttered to Columbus when he visited our people as it is written in the Spanish chronicles.

Go to any elder and they will tell you that they are Indio, that is the word that was used by the jibaro's, campesino's and guajiro's

Indio being another word given to describe us by Christopher Columbus, I would venture to say that its our people from what is known today as the bahamas that have a name that they truly called themselves. That word was "Lucayos" which is the Taino word for the chain of islands in the bahamas.

Its a shame that the Spaniards never bothered to ask our people what they called themselves and now we have to rely on the limited data of the chronicles. I have been seriously thinking to drop the name Taino and just use Caracoli my given
Indigenous name name.

Our people do few outreaches, they are more concerned with politics now but I shy away from that and continue my arts which gives me the opportunity to foster awareness of my people and culture.

The Nacion Taina of the Antilles has a annual Areito for the last 16 years held in November in NYC. You should try to attend. They meet as a people every month as well as their council. No other Taino groups hold Areito's but I think that they should. These Areito's ,Pow Wow's, Parades, Presentations and gatherings is what foster fellowship and continuity among our people.

The UCTP has a long standing census project, Sobaoko Koromo is travelling far from his home and is fast becoming The Beike of the people. Taino poetry nights by Ku Karey and Yucayeke Yamocuno are awakening the people.

After the dna studies done by Martinez Crusado there has been a new wave of Taino descendants emerging visible on the internet with no resume. However I do not see the same initiative from them compared to the original pioneers of the 90's.

Complacency has set it and as the internet is a tool for showcasing our culture it is not the only tool. I often wonder what is going to happen to our movement once we're gone.

I call on our new bretheren to follow the example of our pioneers and spread the story of our people to the 4 sacred directions. Get up from your computer keyboards and get out and MEET THE PEOPLE like the pioneers did. Those friendships, alliances and deeds will insure that our people will survive and that our story wil be told

Taino Culture will never die as long as one Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Caracoli on June 16, 2009 at 8:07am
Taino Ti

I can't believe you asked this question Max

The Taino Nation of the Antilles has hosted an Areito in November annually for the last 16 years.

The entire Taino community have always been welcome to attend.

Comment by Maximilian Forte on June 15, 2009 at 11:24pm
Is there an all-Taino, or Taino-only pow wow anywhere? Is anyone thinking of creating such an event?
Comment by Caracoli on June 15, 2009 at 7:28pm
The question "What is the importance of Pow Wows?"
is like asking what is the importance of air to a human or what is the importance of water to a fish

In the United States where the organized Taino Resurgence Movement began it was at the Pow Wows where Tainos would find each other and form friendships and alliances that birthed the first Taino organization called
"The Assosacion Indigena Taina"

At the Pow Wows Tainos would meet in fellowship and participate among the various Native nations.

People of Caribbean descent flock to the Pow Wows

There we would meet our greatest teachers the North Native Americans

At the Pow Wows Tainos learned the concept of nationhood and confederacys.

The Pow Wow has always been the single most important meeting place for Tainos period.

Today the Pow Wow is the place where Taino artists, storytellers, artisans, dance troupes, singers, dancers, naborias & leaders foster awareness about our culture and heritage to the native and non native community.

The Pow Wow begins with THE GRAND ENTRY, a procession of the various nations of Native America.

As the Singers call and the Drum sounds within the sacred circle one can put oneself in a sacred place that resonates to the 4 directions and in every fiber of your being.
Comment by Caracoli on June 15, 2009 at 3:42pm


Taino Ti

Before I answer the question I would like to brief the community of what happened in the 1960's

A Lakota man living in NYC befriended some Puerto Rican Youth in Brooklyn,N.Y. These youth belonged to the Boy Scouts and the Lakota Man taught the Puerto Rican youth the Pow Wow culture of his people. One of the Young men Joe Quijano, learned the Grass Dance.

History of the Grass Dance

The Grass Dance was originally a sacred ritual that was part of a long and complex ceremony performed by warrior societies among various tribes of the plains.
There is more than one version of the origin of the Grass Dance. Versions of its origin differ throughout various locations in Canada and the United States.

In some regions, First Nations people believe that the Grass Dance is a healing dance. In this interpretation, a grass dancer was called upon to perform his dance in a ceremonial healing a long time ago. The healing was intended to doctor a sick child who was too weak to move. It was the grass dancer's ability and strong belief in his dance that enabled him to render such a healing.

Another version of the origin of the Grass Dance is that the grass dancers were called out to the place where feasts and special events were to take place. The dancers blessed the ground while they danced in time with the beat of the drum. While the grass dancers danced, they flattened the grass with their feet in preparation for the ceremonies to take place.

The general agreement in each of the versions of the dance's origin is that the Grass Dance is a ceremonial dance.
Long ago, the dancers wore outfits that were made solely with the materials that were naturally available such as grass, porcupine quills and hair. Contemporary grass dancers still incorporate some of these items. But, now the dancers have added brightly coloured fringe made of ribbons or yarn, elaborate beadwork and bells to their outfits.

The grass dancers'outfits of today consist of a belt, cuffs, headband and harness with a porcupine roach which adorns two eagle feathers or a set of plumes.

Each outfit is designed to move with and enhance the motions of the dancer. The dancer moves his hips, arms, head and shoulders in harmony with the movement of his legs and dance steps. Dancers attempt to imitate nature, resembling the gentle swaying of grass on a windy day. Grass dancers must display balance, endurance, coordination and gracefulness. All movements are done both on the left and right sides.

Powwows today classify the Grass Dance into two categories: old style and free style. The old style of Grass Dance is further divided into the American old style and Canadian old style. However, many grass dancers maintain that the dance is the same and varies only by individual interpretation.

Joe Quijano and his friends would go on to form
Brooklyn Drum a Pow Wow group of Singers & Dancers. in the 1960's, they would travel all over Indian Country participating in all kind of American Indian activities

Today Grass Dancers have replaced the traditional grass and porcupine quills with Yarn and Beadwork.

What many people don't know is that it was a Puerto Rican family that first introduced the Yarn to the Grass Dance regalia. When Brooklyn Drum travelled among Indian country with their new regalias it was accepted as the new requirement for the Grass Dancer of Indian America

40 years later Joe Quijano still is an active participant In Native American Pow Wows and hasn't lost a step.
Comment by Monika/Mamona on June 11, 2009 at 7:54am
for allowing those of us who could not make the powwow in NY see some of our relatives, please note that there are many Taino here in Ga, Fl, NC, and southern states, please note also some of the events held here in Ga. will have Taino's dancing and being part of the Headstaff for these events...

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