Friday, July 01, 2011

The Taíno and the 13 Moon Calendar

DID YOU KNOW: The ancient Taíno observed the solar and lunar cycles in calendar fashion. Many of the ancient ceremonial grounds and ball courts (batei/batey) are aligned with equinoxes and solstices. Elders note that life was based on these cycles and in particular to a 28 day moon calendar that is in alignment with the female menstrual cycle. Even into contemporary times the importance of the lunar cycle is observed by traditional agricultural workers, medicinal plant specialists, and fishermen, etc. Some elders state that the 28 day observance translated into a 13 moon calendar, which was actually a ‘solar-lunar’ calendar harmoniously following the Earth’s journey around the sun. A few Taíno words for moon are karaia (caraya), nonum and kati. Among the Sibonei (Siboney) Taíno in Kuba, the human-like personification of the moon was a long-haired female being called Maroia (Maroya) who came down from the sky during the new moon to bathe in certain lagoons. In the Taino and related languages the word for moon was usually the same word for month. – UCTP Taino News © 2011