Sunday, January 5, 2014

Taino Rising

Indigenous Taino People of Puerto Rico, and residing on the U.S. mainland, are over 30,000 strong, according to current census reports. This official data victoriously and ‘officially’ trumps the propaganda spread by other mainstream sources, such as Wikipedia, that the culture went “extinct” after Spanish colonization. Affirmation of Taino identity is gathering momentum towards achieving inherently deserved recognition as part of the larger trajectory of re-claiming explicit community and individual rights to self-determination and sovereignty within national and international affairs.

The Taino People are Pre-Columbian occupants of an extended area that includes present day Puerto Rico, Cuba (‘Havana’ is actually a Taino word), Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the northern Lesser Antilles, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Their traditional territory extended even further outwards, on into the southern tip of Florida. Historically, this extended network of island and continental tribal populations maintained a strong sense of community. Tribal elders sustained their affiliation through a cohesive foundation of nonviolent family-expansion maintained through constant networking by ‘canoa’ (a Taino word for canoe that has been adopted into the Spanish vernacular.) The first step in Taino Peoples’ journey to reclaiming the sovereign powers of their birthright begins with overcoming a state of ‘guimasoa’, which is the Taino word for ‘invisibility’. This term is strongly synchronous with their current status in the context of international affairs.

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