Monday, September 02, 2013

Guayiga and Marunguey are Taino

Did You Know: Traditionally, Taino People made special use of a type of cycad plant species in the Zamia family that grows in several varieties throughout the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and even Florida (Zamia pumila, Zamia debilis, Zamia amblyphyllidia, Zamia integriflora, etc). This plant is known as guayiga in Kiskeia (Dominican Republic), it also is known as marunguey in Borikén (Puerto Rico). The indigenous Seminole Peoples of Florida call it Coonti. In Kuba (Cuba) these plants are known as Yuquilla de ratón or Yuquilla de paredón. While guayiga/marunguey is extremely poisonous, the Taino learned to make a bread called Chola or Cholla, out of its roots. The production of this bread is similar to that of Taino kasabe (yuka/cassava/manioc bread). According to local traditional knowledge, once the bread is made, it is left outside, and when insects begin to land on it, the bread is deemed ready to be consumed as the poisons have been sufficiently extracted. Today, on the island of Kiskeia, the communities of Higuey and Haina produce most of the chola bread made on the island. – UCTP Taino News © 2013