Tau~ The great “Taino greeting” debate?
There has been a huge controversy generated by one of the groups supposedly representing the interests of the Taino and Circum-caribbean people. Sadly, it seems to me, that these interests have a lot more to do with the leadership’s personal opinions and preferences, rather than the furthering of the Taino Nation.
What else could it mean when a word used as a greeting among people is more important than the relationships you build and maintain among them?
The following are essays I wrote with regards to the use of the word Tau as a greeting among the Taino today. This topic started as a discussion on the UCTP.org website forum, innocently enough, by Mukaro, the president of this organization. And although there were very few who participated in this discussion, it did get intense. Events unfolded in such a way that presently, although my information is still retained to pad the UCTP census, and thus I am still a “member”, my opinion is not allowed expression on the UCTP site forum- the same forum presented to the United Nations as the only site in the world where the voice of the Taino can be heard and is represented.
Ah! The irony!
Personally, I believe these actions go fully against the Declaration of the UCTP, which everyone is required to sign upon joining. I also believe that this behavior disagrees with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which seems to be fully supported by the UCTP via it’s president, Roberto Mukaro Borrero’s, very public activities as well as the participation of other members of the UCTP’s “leadership”(?).
The points of argument brought up were never really addressed but instead were unceremoniously deleted from the UCTP site, along with some of the folks who shared these views. Thus the UCTP silences the voice of dissent via coercion, invalidates the ideas, as well as the people who present them, and effectively controls the information provided to the people who limit themselves to their site for educational purposes.
Personally I think that anyone who limits themselves deserves what they get, but it’s incredible to see when an internationally recognized social organization like the UCTP does it.
I insist that discussions like these are important and that these points are valid, should be open to discussion as opposed to being suppressed, and the people should be trusted to make their own decisions as opposed to being intimidated into the choices the organization prefers; particularly an organization that makes a big deal of self-determination and Indigenous rights. Creating pissing matches that only the UCTP can win, is not only counter productive but undermines all that the UCTP says it stands for!
Considering “mental models”, this behavior reflects the euro-colonial, patriarchal attitudes of the colonizers and not the holistic, matriarchal mindset of our ancestors. But we can only give what we have in our hearts, and that having been said…
The following are the links to these essays presenting my arguments; if not for the use of the word “Tau”, for the resilience and creativity of the Taino people; for the unique position in which we find ourselves in, for the freedom of growth and variety of perspective which is to be found among us naturally; for the universal human right to self-determination and the indigenous tradition of respect that should be afforded by any leader to each one of us who choose to follow, as a viable and valuable individual in this Taino resurgence.
Many of our people were murdered and others committed suicide rather than face the invaders. Those of us who are still here, are descendants of the Taino who had the audacity to survive; those who had the courage to stand up for their lives and the strength to make sure that their bloodline was still alive in future generations. We are the descendants of strong Taino survivors and this needs to be recognized and respected.
Like Hatuey, we can refuse the forced assimilation. We do not need to be silent.
You are invited to read these essays regarding Tau as a modern Taino greeting, and come to your own conclusions.
May your choices be respected.