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.
Barrio Quemados de San Lorenzo
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.

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 received an 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 traditions.

Tekina-eirú was consecrated an elder in 2011. She 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 the beginning, 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...

"You are 100% descendant of all your ancestors.
Learn all you can, become who you are."

                                                -- John Two Hawks (Native American Lakota)

See more of our
Taino Project - The Journey Back to our Primera Raiz

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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
Phone: +1.512.251.8122      Email: dance@prfdance.org          Web: www.prfdance.org      Facebook: www.facebook.com/prfdance
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