2nd Annual Taino Family Camping Trip
Pedernales Falls, Texas - Oct 9-12, 2009

On Oct 9-12, 2009, our PRFDance & Cultural Center families enjoyed a Taino camping trip for the whole family, this time to Pedernales Falls, Texas. This 4-day event, sponsored by Ruta Maya Coffee, Fiesta Mart, and many private donations, flew (Chief) Cacike Caciba Opil of El Concilio Taino Guatu-Ma-Cu A Boriken and young Taino Priest Guari-na-ri-cimu to Austin for a special weekend that celebrated our Taino heritage and gave our families an "outside the classroom" experience in Taino traditions.

Activites included a hike to the beautiful Pedernales Falls -- in the Taino style our Director enjoys on Boriken -- with mayohuacan (log drum) and maracas along for the adventure. It was an exploration of the amazing falls that ended in an areito (ceremonial dance) on the rocks between the cascades! On Saturday, the sun shoned down on all who wished for a Taino name, as El Cacike conducted a formal Naming Ceremony in the beautiful Pedernales river. During the weekend, sports lovers enjoyed playing the 1000 year old game of batu', the ceremonial ballgame that introduced Europeans to the rubber ball. On Saturday evening the young Taino from Boriken had his first leadership experience, conducting a joyful celebration of "Guayli' Caribo", a ceremony in which the children received their first dibujo (drawing). Our families were so happy for the children -- and so proud of the young Taino who painted a Coqui (Puerto Rico's mascot tree frog) on the children in Bija (red Taino spice known today as Achiote) -- that we celebrated with a VERY joyful areito!!! The State Trooper who later "stopped by" said he could hear the mayohuacanes and guamos going full blast...on horseback 5 miles away!

On the last day our families received a Taller of Artesania (artisan workshop), where they made Taino-style ceremonial accessories to wear for the closing event. It was a ceremony to remember, as the Cacike surprised us with a change of plans. Instead of the "coming of age" ceremony that was originally planned, Manayani (William) received a nombramiento into the Concilio that is his birthright, and was named the first Bujiti' in his family in 500 years. Our Cultural Center Director-Mom got a gold star for holding it together!

We enjoyed a weekend full of keepsake memories thanks to the Cacike of El Concilio whose generously shares his mission to rescue and restore Taino heritage with us. For many, it was a beautiful weekend of learning about Taino traditions that are part of Puerto Rico's heritage. For others, the weekend was a reclamation of a lost and personal family heritage.

Tekina-eirú is a Tekina in the Suania -- a Teacher of Taino traditions in the Americas, and a leader of ceremonial dance.

Taino Family Campout!

Adventure & Areito at the Falls!

Ready to Dance!

In the Forest!

Juego de Batu

Batuilli! Batuilli!

Ceremonia de Nombres (Naming Ceremony)

Ceremonia de Guayli' Caribo - Children's Ceremony (Primer Dibujo)

Manayani - Ceremonia Bujiti' (Primer Paso)

"Proud of our Taino blood! From the roots of this noble tree,
the next generation grows!" -- Tekina-eirú

Enjoy more photos of our Taino Heritage!!

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     
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