Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Taina moin daca, nichi,bi,naniki ah!
Soy Taina, sangre, corazon, vida, y espiritu!
The Journey Back...At Last
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard is a proud blood descendant of the
native Tainos who call the island Boriken, the great-great-great-great
(many generations) grandaughter of a Bujiti' family, Taino priests
who served the people (oral tradition). Her Amerindian Mitochondrial
DNA identifying her as Taina from Boriken (Haplogroup A-1) was "confirmed" by
Juan Carlos Martinez Cruzado, Professor of Genetics at the University of
Puerto Rico-Mayaguez in 2008, and further identified that her family's Boriken
origins were of the ancient peoples that predated the Tainos, the Arcaicos (The Ancient Ones).
The DNA results were of no great surprise to her Mom, who wondered
what was the question (see photo of her Taina grandmother on the right).
In 2006, Tekina-eirú began a project for her Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance &
Cultural Center (PRFDance) that would forever change her life, intensive
research to build a solid foundation for a "Taino Project" that
PRFDance would execute in 2008. For her, this project was
a lifetime dream to learn more about her own family heritage she thought
was forever lost. Under the tutoring of the Concilio Taino Cacike Caciba
Opil (Martin Veguilla), research that began in the study of ancient
petroglyphs and history became "an awakening," the opening of a door
that can never be closed again.
Photo of Abuelita, circa 1938.
In October 2008 she made an amazing journey back to the mountains near Cayey
where, in oral tradition, her great-great-great-great-etc
grandfather, the Bujiti' Macu-a' (El Gran Sagrado), took her ancestral grandmother
Ju-ana (Flor Blanca), and his people to find refuge from the conquistadors in
Yareyoguama (which translates to Yarey, palmas; monta~na del gran senor).
Her family survived in these cool, high mountains, in a forest inhabited by
many birds and owls, where the water meets the sky, where the palm and
tabonuco trees grow, where El Rio del Toa is born.
Barrio Quemados de San Lorenzo
Of the many gifts Tekina-eirú has inherited from her Taino Ancestors,
the one that has meant the most is the deep connection she has always
felt to God, the one true God who has always been a visibly-active
and constant presence, a blessing of deep Taino spirituality that is present
in every aspect of life.
Today Tekina-eirú continues the mission of her familia by dedicating her
life to serving her community, and preserving and handing down Puerto Rico's
cultural traditions to the next generation, through her all volunteer-run
nonprofit cultural center, PRFDance (founded 1997). In March 2009, Dr. Maynard
AREITO AWARD FOR DANCE AND THEATRE from the Taino community
in recognition of outstanding achievement at a
ceremony at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. But her mission
goes beyond the preservation and teaching of Puerto Rico's cultural arts
is a Tekina in the Suania -- a Teacher of Taino
traditions in the Americas, and a leader of ceremonial dance.
Through this work, a reviving of Taino consciousness
in Central Texas has begun. Many have awoken and are
embracing their Taino heritage beyond the educational.
See the story of Tekina-eirú 's "Journey Back" from
and, enjoy these photos that include a visit to the forest preserve,
El Bosque del Charco Azul, in the mountains of Cayey.
The Journey Back...
-- John Two Hawks (Native American Lakota)
We hold the banner high for Puerto Rico everyday!
Thank you in advance for your donation of any size!!
For more information:
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13, Austin TX 78702-3738 (Map & Directions)
Mailing Address: 15228 Quiet Pond Court, Austin TX 78728-4555
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