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Taino Indians Still Thrive in Cuba

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Bianca
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« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2008, 11:52:52 am »









Lets hear it

Among Tainos, the women and some of the men harvested corn, nuts, cassava,
and other roots.

They appear to have practiced a rotation method in their agriculture.

Boys hunted fowl from flocks that "darkened the sun," according to Columbus, and
the men forded rivers and braved ocean to hunt and fish for the abundant, tree-
going jutia, the succulent manati, giant sea turtles and countless species of other
fish, turtles and shellfish.

Around every bohio, Columbus wrote, there were flocks of tame ducks (yaguasa),
which the people roasted and ate.

Father Bartolome de las Casas, the Spanish friar who arrived on Columbus's heels
and lived to denounce the Spanish cruelty toward Indians into the next century.

Tainos along the coasts of Espanola and southern Cuba kept large circular corrals
made of reeds which they filled with fish and turtles by the thousands.
In parts of Puerto Rico and Cuba, Jivaro and Cuajiro fishermen used this method into
the 1950s.

The early Taino and Ciboney of Cuba were observed catching fish and turtles by
way of a remora (suction fish) tied by the tail.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 11:56:22 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2008, 11:57:43 am »









Meeting




The Taino world of 1492 was a thriving place.

According to archeological evidence, the earliest human fossil in the region is
dated at 15,000 years.

The Taino existence was not threatened more than a modern American's existence
is threatened by street crime.

Bohio was the Taino name for Españiola, it means "home" in Taino.

It is true that Caribbean Indian peoples fought with each other, taking prisoners and
some ritually eating parts of enemy warriors, but even more often they accommodated
each other and as "discovery" turned to conquest, they allied as "Indians," or, more
properly, as Caribbean Indigenous peoples against Spanish troops.

As a peaceful civilization, the Taino caciques apparently made diplomatic use of their
agricultural bounty to appease and tame more militaristic groups.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 12:01:10 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2008, 12:03:09 pm »

                                                                 







                                             "Cuban Indians, Tau Natiaos by Umfufu"




a Cuba Travel Page by Umfufu



See the Entire Cuba Travel Guide
 


 

Umfufu:   

"When God created man,.........she was only kidding!"





Real Name: Yvette
Lives In: Bleiswijk, NL
Member Since: Jan 07, 2001
VT Rank: 400

 
  Umfufu's Travel Pages





 > View Larger Map



* Holguín, CU  34  104

* Banes, CU  39  53

* Punta Cana, DO  42  175

* Santo Domingo, DO  13  79

» more...


http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/c2da/
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 12:15:41 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2008, 04:10:38 pm »










                                         "We Are NOT Extinct": Indians in Cuba





Dr. José Barreiro,
American Indian Program
Cornell University,
Ithaca

In these eastern mountains of Cuba, region of Baracoa, Guatanamo Province, there are
several enclaves of indigenious comunity culture that have survived 500 years of coloni-
zation. This remote and yet culturally important area of Cuba has been characterized by
its historically rural quality and its major historical import to Cuban movements of autho-
cthonous liberation.

While the continued existence of several Native populations appears in the deep scientific
record (Marti, Rousse, Arrom, Rivero de la Calle, Nuez), the assertion of complete extinct-
ion of Taino Indians in the Caribbean became commonplace in the academy throughout
the twentieth century. Recently, however, some of these isolated Native groups have be-
gun to represent themselves within Cuba and to communicate with other Native groups
around the hemisphere.

                                   

                                         Reina Rojas Ramirez,
                                         Baracoa, Cuba,


Cuban and international documentation was initiated, with several articles appearing in
scientific journals. Most prominently, the Taino community at Caridad de Los Indios, near
Guantanamo, has retained various Native dances and songs, as well as considerable oral
history and understanding of ecological relationships.

There are as well, Native populations near Bayamo, Santiago and Punta Maisi in this east-
ern-most triangle of Cuba. As a result of the indigenous revitalization now in process, the
several Native-based community enclaves are now reaching out to each other to generate
an awarenes of the remaining Taino identity and culture in the area.

While the Taino-descendant population is not dominant, this is a region of Cuba that has
maintained the most sustainable indigenous agricultural traditions (the conuco system)
and features an "old Cuba" flavor. The agricultural base of the region is largely self-suffi-
cient farming, with families maintaining gardens and small animals. The Baracoa-Guanta-
namo region is a great living microcosm of the Cuban ethnogensis, rooted in the tri-
raciality of Indigenous (Taino), Spanish, and African peoples. The natural history of the
region offers nature walks in tropical forests, cultural exchanges with Native communities,
ocean fishing and snorkelling and cultural/historical tours tracing the route of Columbus


www.pathcom.com/~cancuba/articles/extinct.html - 4k -
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 05:26:06 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2008, 04:26:01 pm »









                                             Lost in the smoke of time





Reina María Rodríguez, Cuban poet and novelist, author of La Foto del Invernadero (Casa de las Americas prize, 1998) and Te daré de comer como a los pájaros

(La Habana, Letras Cubanas 2000).
(Source: UNESCO.org)





 The Viñales Valley, near the western tip of Cuba, is a magical landscape of hills and
caves where life centres on growing tobacco. A Cuban writer recalls discovering this
World Heritage site through books well before setting foot there.

In the west side of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico, at the foot of the Sierra de los
Órganos, lies a region of limestone outcrops known as mogotes. These huge round-
topped hummocks rising out of the ground emerged from the sea more than two million
years ago and were formed during the Jurassic period. Born in the vicissitudes of history,
the land still bears the marks of precipices, chasms and seams carved out by erosion.

Tobacco grows in the valley—strange red leaves almost starved by the salty soil but
brought to life by permanent sunshine. 

 I always dreamed of the Viñales Valley but never ventured there. In school I could
touch the lush tobacco leaves pictured in textbooks and see the caterpillars that live
off them, slowly and avidly taking on the aroma of tobacco before devouring the plant.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 04:29:50 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2008, 04:33:56 pm »








My life was that of the concrete city, though the sensation left by dew on my hand
was so strong that I still recall it as if it were real. The leaf, bright and green like a
child, turns a deep toasted brown before it is smelt, chewed or burnt, becoming like
time itself and ending up, in old age, as wisps of smoke.



Farmers, most of whom came from the Canary Islands, arrived around 1800 and began
cultivating tobacco across the region, which is commonly known as the Vuelta Abajo.
Two hundred years later, tobacco is still the lifeblood of the Viñales Valley, which pro-
duces 661,000 quintals of it every year. Only the best leaves get sent to Havana,
where hundreds of workers called torcedores and anilladores handroll them into cigars.

Cuba produces 65 million cigars a year, packed in cedarwood boxes and exported to
the entire world.

Growing tobacco calls for patience.

Some even say that the plant grows better if you speak to it.

Once the seeds are sown (between October and December), the moment to reap and
pack is of critical importance, marking all the difference between acidity, sourness or
waste-product.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 05:03:27 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2008, 04:36:56 pm »







The valley is like its tobacco—discreet, thrifty and tranquil, stuck in the same serene
pocket of time as its villagers.

People who have never been to the Viñales Valley, in the Cuban province of Piñar del
Río, should know that it boasts a unique variety of plant and animal life, some of it in
danger of extinction, such as the cork palm, the agabe, the macusey hembra, the alli-
gator oak and the dragon tree. Unaccustomed to the ways of civilization and to music
unlike their own songs, the valley’s birds also come in a kaleidoscope of species, with
names as evocative as the pine-forest grass quit, the mockingbird and the totí.













Exploring caves to the tune of haunting tales



It was here that the Guanajatabey Indians built their primitive homes in caves hollo-
wed out of the limestone mogotes, where relics of this nomadic people have been
found along with fossils of Pleistocene mammals embedded in the rock. Deep inside
the caves, albino fish swim and butterfly bats flit.
 

Some caverns, such as the Cueva del Indio, rediscovered in 1920, have close to four
kilometres of underground streams which can be explored in a small dinghy so long as
you don’t mind listening to all the scary tales the peasant guides love to recount.

As the streams slowly work through the limestone and mix with the mogote clay
falling from above, they become solutions of minerals and coppery earth, both of
which are then deposited on the roofs and walls of the caves, turning the surfaces
ochre milky green, rendering the scenery all the more mysterious.

We are only 150 kilometres from Havana, but millions of years away.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 05:00:20 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2008, 04:40:17 pm »










Where Nature invites painters to take place



 Returning to Viñales is a bit like returning to a museum.

A silence hangs over it, a mysterious calm that dwells in the early morning mist.
In Viñales village we visit a church built in the last century with sombre pews that
have been repaired countless times.

The musty odour mingles with the smell of warmed-up food. Heavy rainfall in the
wet season has spoiled the splendid facades of the houses, which now look like
faded mosaics.

And Cuban hands, always touching and caressing things, cherishing the past,
have worn out the fine wooden railings at the front of the houses. As in every
village in my country, Viñales also has a central square—a byword for order amid
confusion.



Four kilometres from the village, on one side of the Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters)
mogote, stands the Mural of Prehistory, a impressive 120-metre high fresco paint-
ed by Cuban artist Leovigildo González, disciple of the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.
Depicted are the animals and other creatures that lived in the valley in prehistoric
times.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 05:14:24 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2008, 04:47:45 pm »










But how does one take leave of the valley?



Through its cliffs, its hollows?

Through the passage in a mogote and its columns of gentle stalagmites?
 
Through the long line of big-belly palm trees with their fiery plumes lit by summer?

Through its chattering streams full of blind fish?

Through the echoes of cockfights left in an old sugar factory?

Or through a cheap painting on the yellow wall of a restaurant somewhere in
Havana’s tourist district?


Which path home is best?


http://cuba-junky.com/pinar-del-rio/vinales-home.htm
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 05:08:43 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2008, 05:35:25 pm »

                                                 

                                                       
 
The UCTP flag represents a unified Taino Nation reaching out in solidarity across the waters in all the sacred directions to our relations on other islands, lands, and beyond. The flag symbol was created for
and gifted to the UCTP By Taino Artist: Marie "Nana" Crooke.







                                       United Confederation of Taino People
                                                   Honoring Cuba







Cuban Taíno Indian leader Kasike Panchito Ramirez

Photo: R. Borrero © Copyright 1998


The UCTP would like to express our great appreciation to Kasike Francisco "Panchito" Ramirez
of Caridad de los Indios and all our Taíno Indian sisters and brothers in "Cubanakan" for their
commitment to defend our shared ancestral heritage and for promoting ideal of unity among
all Caribbean Indigenous Peoples.


La Confederación Unida del Pueblo Taíno quisiera expresar nuestro gran aprecio a Kasike Fran-
cisco "Panchito" Ramírez y todas nuestras hermanas y hermanos Taínos de Caridad de los
Indios en Cuba para su dedicación a defender nuestra herencia ancestral y para promover la
unidad entre toda las indígenas del Caribe.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 08:23:06 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #55 on: February 29, 2008, 07:14:32 am »



Los Taínos Aun Vivimos:
Taíno Women Dance in Baracoa, Cuba.

Photo: R. Borrero






Boriken Taíno leader, Naniki Reyes Ocasio
(center) meets with members of the

Taíno Indian Community of Caridad de los Indios
in Baracoa, Cuba.

Photo: R. Borrero
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:20:08 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #56 on: February 29, 2008, 07:21:34 am »








Additional Resources - Recursos Adicionales

We are Not Extinct: Cuba's First Nations
by Dr. Jose Barreiro


A Note On Tainos: Whither Progress?
by Dr. Jose Barreiro


Smithsonian returns Taíno Indian remains to descendants in Cuba
http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/taino/taino-reburial.htm

UCTP Story: Taíno Repatriation in Cuba
http://www.uctp.org/Volume5/JulySeptr2002/index.html


The Story of Cuban Taíno Indian Leader Hatuey
http://www.uctp.org/Volume1/issue1/UCTP_Newsletter_-_January_.html


Taíno Nation Live and Strong
http://www.indiancountry.com/article/466

Cuba - Taíno Link to the Maya / Relaciones entre los Maya y el pueblo Taíno:
http://www.rom.on.ca/digs/belize/cuba.html

Taíno Find in Cuba 1999 (Arqueología Cubano)::
http://www.archaeology.org/9911/newsbriefs/taino.html

http://www.islandsmag.com/islnd98/logbook.html

http://www.rom.on.ca/news/releases/public.php3?mediakey=jncygqam0i

Taíno Find in Cuba 1998 (Arqueología Cubano):
http://www.archaeology.org/9809/newsbriefs/taino.html


Taíno Voices: Indigenous Legacies
http://www.pathcom.com/~cancuba/articles/voices.html


1597 map of Cuba / Mapa del 1597
http://www.athenapub.com/mpcubaMr.htm


Map of the Voyage of Grijalva (1518)
http://www.athenapub.com/mpgrij1.htm


The Grijalva Expedition (1518)
http://www.athenapub.com/grijalv1.htm


"Duho" or carved effigy seat from a Taíno town in Cuba
http://www.athenapub.com/duho2.htm


Model Taíno Village Proposed at Jardines del Rey
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/diciembre02/lu30/aeropt.html


‘Diccionario de Voces Taína’ (Taíno Dictionary)
http://www.uctp.org/VocesIndigena.html

Taíno: Virtual Exhibition on Cigars
http://www.cigarnexus.com/nationalcigarmuseum/exhibit1/
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:27:08 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #57 on: February 29, 2008, 07:23:13 am »














Depictions of Taíno Indians on Cuban Cigar Box labels 

Pinturas de indios Taíno en etiquetas de cajas del cigarros cubanos


http://www.uctp.org/cubar.htm
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:31:08 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #58 on: February 29, 2008, 07:38:15 am »









By 1527, Spanish control of the Greater Antilles* was complete and some ten million

Taino-Arawak Indians had perished.



The few survivors, in their infinite grief, spoke of The Great Dying of their peoples.

They did not know then that the dying would go on and on as the Spaniards and rival
Europeans, still lusting after conquest and gold, swept like a demon plague through
Middle and South America.

As the year 1600 dawned the holocaust had engulfed a further 95 million Indians.

(*Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico).







"Today, there are 40 million Indians in the Americas.

In many ways they still struggle against suppression,
racism, and subtler forms of genocide and assimilation.

But now they are strong of will and purpose and are
experiencing powerful ethnic resurgence."




 Rigoberta Menchu* in a foreword to Phillip Wearne's
marvellous book, 'Return of the Indian', 1996. writes:



"We are moving into the light of a new era.

After so many years of waiting for a new dawn we
believe that our voices will make themselves heard,
that you will listen to us and support our legitimate
aspirations."

*Rigoberta Menchu:

Mayan Indian and Nobel Prize winner of 1992.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 07:40:57 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #59 on: February 29, 2008, 07:47:28 am »

                                              
                                                  Taino Indian Bohio -
                                                    thatched dwelling   








                                            W E   A R E   S T I L L   H E R E





For five hundred years, historians asserted that the Caribbean Taino-Arawak Indians were
wholly extinct, victims of Spanish conquest. Today, it is known that thousands of Taino
descendants are alive and well, not only in Cuba but in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Florida,
New York, California, Hawaii and even Spain.

Since 1997 Taino Indians have been reunited annually with their relatives of the diaspora at
a conference held in Baracoa, Cuba's First City. For Panchito Ramirez, healer, herbalist and
Taino cacique (chief) of Caridad de los Indios, a Cuban mountain village, the reunion is on-
going answer to his many prayers. "It is as if our ancestors are now sending their children
back to us, for we now know we are not the last of our kind and are not alone."




Cacique Pedro
Guanikeyu Torres,

Principal Chief of the
Jatibonicu Taino Tribal
Nation ofBoriken
(Puerto Rico)


The conferences have opened up to the world the reality of Taino continued existence, their
invaluable contributions to the fabric of Cuban society, and in 2001 brought together the
largest contingent yet of Native representatives, scholars, medical professionals and jour-
nalists. On the last day of the conference, Cuban government officials gave the gathering
the welcome and ringing assurance that "Cuba fully supports and will not allow any harm to
come to its Indian Peoples." 

Caridad de los Indios is so remote from mainstream Cuban modernity that Ramirez and his
350 Indian villagers live today as simply as did their ancestors, keeping deep resonance
with their ancient customs and spiritual lifeways. "Our Taino homes," says Ramirez, "are
traditional bohios, huts with thatched roofs, set amidst Conuco's, our permaculture*
raised-bed gardens. The Conuco's are our ample 'grocery store' and provide us with most
of our fruits and vegetables." (*The contraction of 'permanent agriculture')

The Taino intuitive at-oneness with all of Nature is still being manifestly expressed, health-
wise, by the richly enduring benefit they reap from the harvesting of plants from their lush
valleys and forested mountains. Their unbroken practice of extracting efficacious herbal
medicines now attracts global interest and is a constant theme for conference discussion.

Indeed, Taino 'green medicine' as it is known is greatly valued by the Cuban government
which promotes its wide use as an alternative to pharmaceutical medicine. Cuban children
in elementary schools are trained in herbal remedies which they can prepare at home as
poultices, tinctures, salves and teas. And local gardens, even in cities, are almost all or-
ganic and stocked with natural medicine plants.

As an extension to the 2001 conference, Panchito Ramirez and his daughter Reina* offered
delegates a tour of a 'healing forest' on an island in Cuba's Toa River. Vigilantly conserved
and protected, the sacred forest is a cornucopia of hundreds of medicinal plants. Delegates
agreed that it was a highlight of an already unforgettable conference and reunion. Before
their leave-taking, Reina asked the delegates to carry a message home to Native women in
the North to remind them "that we are all related. Tell them that the women here in Caridad
send greetings to our sister-mothers in the North Americas and other lands. Tell them to keep
their traditions. We wish for them healthy children." (*Panchito's helper in healing ceremonies.)

Daniel Wakonax Rivera, a Taino Indian from Brooklyn, New York, wistfully recalled how six
days into his visit he found what he was longing for. "When we climbed over that last ridge
in the mountains and I heard the drums and the songs of our people welcoming us I was over-
whelmed with emotion." With tears in his eyes, he added: "It was like coming home."
Echoing Daniel, Inarunikia Pastrana, a Taino Indian nurse, said, "Our ancestors fought for
survival and thanks to their tenacity the resurgence and restoration of the Taino people
are a reality. Our language is heard again, our songs are sung again. Against all odds we
have defeated extinction and continue to rescue our ancestral heritage and culture."
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