Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anakaona


DID YOU KNOW -  Kasike (chief) Anakaona, whose name translates to “Golden Flower”, was a well-respected leader on the island of Kiskeia (Haiti/Dominican Republic). She was considered “Queen” of the Haragua (Jaragua) territory by the Spaniards. Anakaona was the wife of Kaonabo, one of the five regional leaders in Kiskeia encountered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. She was renowned throughout the island by the local people as a composer of ballads, dances, and narrative poems, called areito. In an example of Spanish treachery against the Taino people, Governor Nicolas de Ovando requested that Anakaona invite the regional chiefs to a feast he would give in her honor. Once the chief’s entered the ceremonial hall the Spaniards blocked the doors and set fire to the building burning most all of them alive. Anakaona who survived the blaze was captured and then hung by Ovando. - UCTP Taino News © 2011
*Representation of Anakaona by J. Villalona