Friday, September 18, 2009


Did You Know:
Traditionally, the Taino people practiced an elaborate name exchange ceremony to build their family and community alliances. This “making relations” ceremony called GUAITIAO was recorded by early chroniclers where they documented Taino Kasike (chiefs) practicing this custom with Spaniards. Hence, the European took the name of the “Indian”, and vice versa. One of the most renowned of these exchanges was between conquistador Ponce de Leon and a powerful Boriken Chief named Agueibana. The name of the Kasike’s mother was changed to the Spanish doña Inez, and his brother took the name of a captain in Ponce de Leon's company. This exchange of names, accompanied with ceremonies, symbolized a lasting bond that was supposed to link the families together in solidarity for generations. While the Taino respected the Guaitiao custom as sacred, most Spaniards revealed their disregard for it by their actions against the Indigenous Peoples of the islands. – UCTP Taino News © 2009