Thanksgiving Day: to Thank or not to Thank…

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Every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, the US celebrates Thanksgiving Day with food, drink, parades and sports.  Families gather together, whether they like each other or not, to eat, drink and be merry.  But this merry-making is not to be found everywhere for the day is not a celebration to many of the original peoples of this land. Continue reading

In the spirit of Hatuey

It has come to my attention that my words have caused a flurry of confusion, anger, criticism and gossip regarding the thoughts and feelings I have shared about the UCTP and the behavior of its president, Roberto Borrero.

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Christianity’s Continued Attack on Indigenous/Non-caucasian People- a rant

I usually don’t slam Christians.  I know many people who follow that faith and they are good people.  There are some times, however, that the magnitude of the stupidity reflected by some christian leaders is just too much to be ignored…

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Are you a good witch or a bad witch?~ Segregation in Native American Spirituality

With the recent deaths occurring in an Arizona sweat lodge, three so far, many Indigenous Americans are rabidly repeating the mantras “That’s what you get when you mess with things you have no right to mess with”, “Non-natives have no right to participate, let alone conduct sacred native ceremonies” and “The spirits are clearly expressing their disapproval, when will non-natives learn?”

These are sad, angry and fear filled sentiments with which I do not agree.  They weigh in my heart as I hear my relations repeat them at family events, powwows and even sacred gatherings.  I have shared my feelings before pertaining to the separatist attitudes my relations have regarding our spirituality.  Yet, further understanding compels me to revisit the issue and clarify, albeit to myself, this particular concern.  Although I still do not agree with the segregationist views, I do believe my relations have some very good points and real reasons for concern.  However, I suggest pause and deliberation lest our fears overcome and misguide us.  By clarifying to ourselves exactly what it is that is really important, we can better express our concerns to others without sounding like rabid, bigoted hypocrites.

This is important because no one listens to rabid, bigoted hypocrites except other rabid, bigoted hypocrites and you end up preaching to the choir.

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When is abusive behavior acceptable?

These questions have been running around my head for a couple of weeks now… I had to put them out there. Just thoughts to ponder…

Is the good that a person does reason enough to accept abuse and disrespect from them?

Does the fact that a person chooses to sacrifice and give so much of his/her time and effort to a people, compensate for that person becoming dictatorial or tyrannical?

Do great strides allow a government the freedom to trample upon rights they claim to defend?

Should we over look the violations committed by leadership because of the “good” that leadership does for the people as a whole?
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“Tau” as religious infiltration?

The thought of “Tau” being a religious corruption was a very interesting element added to the “Tau” discussion…

Some folks believe that “tau” is of christian origin because of the tau cross used by the Franciscan monks,  as a mark of those who accept Christ as their savior, and maybe even the mark painted in lamb’s blood on the doorpost of the Israelite’s homes; protecting the first born of the household against the angel of death during the tenth, and final, plague the western God imposed on Egypt when ordering the pharaoh to “let his people go”.

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Cultural Dissonance?

Note:  The following post is a long one. I hope you feel like reading!   ~N

I am a modern Caribbean Indian woman; a mixture of Taino, European and African descent.  However, it is my Taino Indian heritage that I choose to follow, learn and endorse.  The existence of my Taino ancestry has been covered up, denied for many years because of greed and genocide.  This cover up is pernicious and has infected not only the familial roots of my Nation but has disowned our indigenous heritage  on a grand scale.  Society wide- to the point where in school I was taught that the Taino people became extinct due to poor constitution and laziness;  and world wide- because although many know that Columbus reached the Caribbean Islands in 1492, few recognize the Taino people as the Indians he met there.

Recent studies have shown that a good percentage of the population tested (in PR)  not only carry Taino genetic markers, but that in fact,  carry most of the DNA material inherited via  Taino female bloodlines.  I find this very appropriate since the Taino have traditionally been a matrifocal society.  Additionally, there has been more extensive study of Spanish documents, census taking and log keeping.  This history is now being looked at as written by very human people who were not above a little underhandedness…  So, scientists and historians are now finding that the Taino did not become extinct as has been propagated, but survived; having chosen invisibility over death, and blended blood,  religion and culture to what is present in the Caribbean islands today.

These scientific and historical findings have engendered a grand movement.  For some time now, there has been a resurgence of people reclaiming Native Caribbean Indian ancestry and identity.  Hand in hand with this resurgence comes a strong desire to unite as a tribe and create community.  Folks are meeting in cafes and parks,  fairs and powwows, museums and  kitchen tables to discuss the reclaiming  of our Taino heritage.  Websites have been put up,  groups and organizations have been created to promote union and sharing, teaching and learning.  Some have assembled family groups, clans and tribes, others have organized and incorporated; all with different purposes but the same idea- to join with others of like mind.

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