Saturday, March 4, 2023

Remembering Anacaona

In National Women’s Month, we honor the first acknowledged Queen of the Americas, Anacaona.

A major part of America's Invisible Indian Syndrome, she paid with her life and must be remembered for her role in Women's History.

Uniquely considered diplomatic, poetic, and beautiful, she was the Queen of Haragua, the large western island province in Ayti Bohio, or Haiti, until her murder in 1504, just 11 years after the Spanish invasion of the Americas. When the invading Spanish arrived Anacaona was a 19-year-old mother and the wife of Caonabo, a kacike (ruler) of a neighboring province who had encountered Columbus when he first arrived on their large island. Today, we call this shared second largest Caribbean Island, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. one French Creole-speaking and the other, Spanish.

She was also the first royal, along with over 100 of her kacikes, massacred by the arriving, pompous Spanish barbarians, whose megalomaniac ego, made them believe that they had "discovered" an Ancient “New World” into existence. In search of a circumventing route past the Islamic blockade to the exotic spices of the East Indies, and obsessed with their own self-importance, the deluded lost Iberians thought that the Italian, Cristobal Colon, or Columbus, had arrived in India, China, the Biblical Terrestrial Paradise, occupied by people whom they ironically debated whether or not these Amerindians had souls.

Clues to the contrary, which their Christian clerics missed, was that the Taino were more religious than the Spanish who believed in many saints. While the Taino actually equally believed in a variety of saint-like gods along, with a Supreme Being, Yucahu Bagua Marocoti, lord of the Bagua/Caribbean Sea, and the life-giving yuca (cassava/manioc}, bread of life tuber. He was the result of a virgin birth by Atabey, Goddess of Childbirth, similar to the Catholic, Virgin Mary.

Above: My sculptural interpretation of Anacaona in a spiritual, ancestor contacting cohoba trance, seated on her dujo (throne) inside of a bohio, representation of an Iguana-Boina (Sun & Raincloud source of life imagery). I used Jennifer Lopez’s Puerto Rican Taino facial Amerindian physiognomy for the sculpture’s facial features.

So, how was Anacaona depicted upon her murder?

: The Hanging of Anacaona

Anacaona’s crime? She was a Caribbean monarch in the way of barbarous Spain’s bloodletting course in their invasion of the Western Hemisphere. 

Above: Anacaona was mythically viewed by the Spanish Queen and King of barbarous Spain at the beginning of the European-introduced pandemic that heralded in the 100 million Amerindian Holocaust, which was further aided by murderous Conquistadors.

Above: A more stately Anacaona, carried on a liter, as depicted by the 16th-century Spanish.

Who was the real Anacaona?

 After her husband, Caonabo was forcefully shipped to Spain by Christopher Columbus, and when her brother Behechio died, Anacaona ruled so well she was hanged for it.” (Click here to see her story and culture.)

Her murderer was performed by visiting invader, the Spanish barbarian Governor Nicolas de Ovando,  the second Spanish government official, who succeeded the inept (their words) Italian, Cristoforo Colombo, a.k.a. “Cristobal Colon” to the Spanish, and “Christopher Columbus” to us.

By 1492, the extensive Taíno Civilization was on the verge of becoming nation-states, a step away from the empires of their Central American neighbors, with whom they traded. Their territory included over one thousand islands in the Northern Caribbean and Bimini on the North American continent, which became today’s SW Florida. Some writers estimated that there were approximately six million Tainos at the time of the Encounter. Taíno tradition required Queen Anacaona to extend hospitality to foreigners. So, she invited Ovando to a welcome party with her over 100 sub-kacikes, or regional and village leaders.

Upon his arrival at Anacaona’s large bohio (roundhouse), Ovando had her seized and strung up. He offered her the “opportunity “ to become his concubine. Anacaona refused this barbaric offer. Ovando had her Bohio surrounded by his crossbowmen, who set the bohio ablaze and shot any kacike who attempted to escape the flames. He then hanged Anacaona, a woman known for her recital of traditional historical poems, called areitos. Only Hatuey, a kacike of next door Gonâve Island, escaped to Cuba because he was late for the reception. He is now a Cuban hero because upon his capture, and pending burning at the stake, Hatuey refused the Spanish priest's offer to be converted to Christianity. 

"If you become a Christian, you will go to Heaven," the priest said.

"Are there Cristianos in Heaven?" Hatuey asked.

"Yes, " answered the priest.

"Then I don't want to go there!" Hatuey answered. So they burned him.

The barbaric Spanish Empire continued Ovando’s set example to massacre Amerindian leaders from the Mexica or Aztec’s Montezuma of Mexico to Peru's 13th Inca emperor, Atahualpa.

Today’s results of Anacaona’s murder? The Western Hemisphere became: (a) “Hispanic”, (b) Anglo, and (c) Francophile speakers who continued to plunge our hemisphere into the lie of the conveniently extinct and, therefore, “Invisible Indians”. The natural wealth of the Americas was plundered by Europe. allowing them to build their own empires.

Is there an Anaconda Look-alike?

Could any of these Amerindian-descended images look like  Anacaona?

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez of Puerto Rican Taíno descent?

Or, this Amazonian Indigenous woman?

Or is she like Haiatin-born, Edwidge Dantecat’s book cover illustration of her local homegirl heroine?

Sunday, November 20, 2022

History Whitewashed

National Native American Heritage Month

Part 4: Separate Realities

The Two Americas: "Whitewashing History”

Halves of two sculptural heads: (Left) A marble carving of a Greek head, of a Caucosoid racial stock, representing Europe's Mother Civilization.
(Right) A gigantic basalt 14-ton stone Olmec head called "El Rey" (The King) is of an Afro-Asiatic racial mixture, representing the Mother Civilization of the Americas. [This replica is on the campus of the University of Texas, the original is at San Lorenzo, Mexico.]

What if America had the opportunity to develop along two separate realities? This Indigenous Month's blog begs the following questions.

Question #1 for this month: 

Why did “real history” only begin in 1492?

As a Tri-Racial person born in the Americas, I’ve asked myself, “What if my European ancestors did not come into the Americas and disrupted my Amerindian ancestor’s Civilization Progress, and did not do the following?”

  1. Did not bring European diseases to wipe out over 100 million of my Amerindian ancestors, cut down vast forests, redirected rivers, over-fished the oceans, rape the earth's minerals, build coal & oil-smoking factories, then obliterated the scientific and organizing abilities of vast Indigenous empires and governments. Global Warming, anyone?
  2. Did not steal entire territories, gold, exotic woods, other precious treasures, and Indigenous ideas, to build universities, cathedrals, palaces, and armies to fight wars in Europe and colonize most of the rest of the world.
  3. Did not enslave my African ancestors to build their societies in Europe and the Americas. 
  4. Did not “borrow” the Iroquois Constitution (Guyanashagowa) to build a “More Perfect Union" to orderly construct and govern the young United States of America.  

The author's illustration of how we are taught the history of the Americas.

Question #2 for this month: 


This second segment of the blog is an idealized separate reality of American development, and asks the question, "What if" Columbus, who came from a wool-trading family in Italy, had arrived in the Caribbean in 1492, but negotiated mutual trade agreements with the cacikes (leaders) of the Tiano Casigazos (Chiefdoms)? Let's explore an alternative to the violent invasion of the "Terrestrial Paradice" which the Spanish monarchs termed the "New World". Let's ponder...

An Amerindian Future Without European Interference. 

A FUTURISTIC ASIA EXTENDED: An imagined image of an Indigenous Mexican "Asiatic woman" of our Western Hemisphere. Her ancestors arrived here over 100,000 years ago (according to new discoveries, although this early date is not believed by all current archeologists). She is standing on the roof of her apartment building, overlooking a city on Chakoia (near today's St. Lois, Missouri). 

Next to her is a gravity-defying, hovering Eagle-canoe with others flying with passengers over the city behind her. Just think. the craft was constructed from plans in the Sun Pyramid of Teotihuacan in Central Anahuac (Mexica or Aztec name for Mexico), similar to a model found in an Egyptian pyramid.  

What if this image above could be that of an indigenous woman in 1700, on top of her Aztec/Mexica-influenced cityscape in the continental US?  What if Spain had not meddled in the developmental progression of islands and continents that they misnamed a "New World"?

NOTE: Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were the influences that civilized Europe's development. In Asia, there were ancient India and China, and others in Indonesia which were the civilizing models in that continent. Similarly, in my idealized future, in the Americas, the OlmecMaya, and Aztec (Mexica) Empiresand other local ones would possibly have been the models adopted by the rest of the Americas.

The above illustration is a concept of early flight that is not farfetched. This is the author's idealized rendering of mythological Anahuacan (Mexica or Aztec) scientist's 1493 invented flying craft used in the above illustration. This idea came from a replica of an ancient Egyptian model of a glider (below) which, when discovered in a tomb by Egyptologists who had mistaken it for a bird effigy. A balsa wood replica was made, "which flew as far as the hand could throw it."

Above: "The Saqqara Bird is a small wooden figurine that was excavated in 1898 from a tomb in Saqqara, Egypt. It’s estimated to be about 2,200 years old and is shaped something like what we’d recognize as a modern-day airplane with the head of a bird. It’s a controversial piece because it’s prompted some people to speculate that the ancient Egyptians may have understood the processes of aerodynamics and that the Saqqara Bird may have been a scale model of an actual working aircraft or glider of some type." --By Doug Aamoth, June 09, 2010, --Time

NOTE-- EARLY FLIGHT IN THE AMERICAS: This concept is in keeping with aerial views of the gigantic drawings in the Nasca Desert in South America; the Taino "S"-shaped image of a hurricane centuries before satellite photography revealed this configuration; and the Native American name of "Turtle Island" for the North American continent, which actually looks like a giant turtle from the sky.

  1. This idealized engraving shows Aztec King Montezuma II meeting Spain's Hernán Cortés in Anahuac. (Montezuma II ruled from 1502 to 1520. But what if Cortés was an honorable man instead of a murderer?

    What if, instead of murdering Montezuma and many in his empire, Cortés and Taino representatives of the Bagua (Caribbean) Nations met in Madrid, Spain at a United States of Europe's first conference. In this scenario, they would have been at the Spanish court of Queen Isabela and King Ferdinand to negotiate the first shipment of guanin (14k gold), and pearls from Venezuela's Margarita Island in exchange for four tonnes of Spanish's high-quality Toledo steel. The Taino also brought a team of batey ball players whose rubber ball astounded the Spanish court. 
    An etching of Taino batey ball players (and protective stone belt), at the Spanish Court (the 1500s), showed off the rubber ball game which mesmerized the ambassadors and the public who thought that the balls bounce was by witchcraft.

  2. What if the result of the introduction of the Mesoamerican negotiations was that a deal was made with the Maya Emperor for rubber trade to the Spanish after they had seen the ball game.  The ball players had shown the Spanish how to play batey by allowing them to kick the ball instead, mimicking this ancient player on a Teotihuacan mural below. The Spanish then began to use imported rubber for their cartwheels. Next, the automobile!
    Precolumbian football/soccer player on an ancient mural in Tepantitia, Mexico.
  3. What if instead of murdering Queen Anacaona in Ayti Bohio (Haiti) in 1504, Nicolas de Ovando had invited her to the Spanish Court? There she could have negotiated the trade of Taino guanin (14k gold) for Spain's prized high-quality Toledo steel?
    Idealized image of Anacaona arriving at the Spanish Court of Ferdinan & Isabela.

  4. What if there could be a visit from the Oba of Benin, Nigeria to the Bagua Nation's headquarters in Ayti Bohio where he would have met with Cacike Anacaona for trade talks in the importation of ivory from the West African Union. Ambassadors would also be exchanged. The Oba and his advisors would go on to Tenotchlan, Mexico to negotiate the trade agreement for Teotehuacan obsidian and rare jade.
    Benin commemorative bronze of the Oba of Nigeria and his attendants.

How different our history would have been if this had been the defining events of our hemisphere instead of murder, theft, and slavery.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Taíno, Amerindian & Ashanti Folklore

Taíno Mysteries

Copyright 2022 by Michael Auld

These are events in the adventures of a young Spider-Boy which begin in "Ticky-Ticky's Quest", which is Part 1 of a trilogy. He is a determined 12-year-old daydreamer attending a Jamaican boy's school. In this first story, Ticky-Ticky is forced by the strict British headmaster to bring his missing father, the infamous folkloric Anansi the Spider-Man, to school.  

About this guy: Ticky-Ticky's father is half god and half spider. His mom is a full-blood Yamaye Taíno woman, indigenous to the Caribbean island which she calls Yamayeka. We know it as Jamaica. So, Ticky-Ticky is a young tri-racial Jamaican schoolboy with an itch to travel the Americas. He’s also a determined undercover Spider-Boy who likes to hide the fact that he is four-legged. It's complicated!

As a son of Jamaica's Anansi the Spider-Man from Ghana, with ancient roots among the Ashanti gods, he is 1/3 god, 1/3 spider, and 1/3 human! In the first book about his Quest, he introduces the reader to some of the following facts:

  • Zombies first came on the scene in Haiti, where the Caribbean puffer fish's toxic flesh was used, probably learned from the indigenous Taíno, to paralyze victims.  Later, the potion's use allowed Haitian Voodoo or Voudon priests to turn a person into a controllable zombie creature whom the priest could continue to manipulate. But, first, the victim had to appear dead and be buried. Then the Voodoo priest would dig the victim up and order the zombie around and use him like a slave! This is what Cuffie the Obeah-man did to Osebo, the Terrible Leopard in this story.

  • Cuffie the Jamaican Obeah-man, once a doctorwith a slimy, poisonous puffer fish that would blow up like a balloon when caught, and who learned his craft from a Haitian Voodoo man.[An illustration from "Ticky-Ticky's QUEST"]

  • Ticky-Ticky is sent to Coabey, the Taíno's Island of the Dead via a cohoba potion made from the puffer fish, given to him by Cuffie, so that the kid could meet with Guayaba Maketaurie, the Lord of the Afterlife, to see if Anansi's soul was there in Coabey. The guava fruit is ironically Makataurie's symbol of the "Sweetness of Life". The Taíno would leave guava pulp out at night for their deceased relatives who wanted once again to taste life's sweetest. 

    Above: Guayaba's iconic fruit, the guava. Also known as a Super Fruit with more vitamin C than an orange.

     Guayaba Maketaurie and his symbol behind him. As seen, Ticky-Ticky was transported in a cohoba trance by Cuffie to the Island of Coabey where the deity loaned his young god-relative a flying bat-canoe and his retriever spirit-dog, Opiyel whose job it is to hunt down wayward spirits at night, when he was not helping Ticky-Ticky. The plan was to traverse time and realities in the duppy-spirit bat-canoe in the QUEST's search for Anansi.

 Check out Ticky-Ticky's first story, and go on the young Spider-Boy's Adventures with him. So...

Follow and join Ticky-Ticky in his educational adventures.


Find out about Ticky-Ticky's encounter with Guabancex, the hurakan (or hurricane). Yearly, she comes to the Caribbean, Central, and North America’s Eastern Woodland’s Coast, all the way up from Florida to Massachusetts.  However, she is misnamed by meteorologists who give her non-Amerindian names! This is why she remains angry! 


Above is Guabancex, The Angry Woman Wind Goddess known as the Hurakan, riding GuatauBA, her herald who announces her pending arrival, and his twin brother Coatrisque the Deluge or the hurricane's Surge which follows her. She is forming in the Atlantic again as we speak! But meteorologists are calling her out of her name, They now call her "Fiona", and then to add insult to injury, they now use a Scottish man's name, "Ian"! ... Shiish! What's next?


Let’s get it straight.


Above: A Taíno clay potsherd showing their impression of a hurricane. It is exactly like the “S”-shaped satellite image of recent hurricanes. Uncanny, huh? How did these Taino women know the shape of hurricanes hovering thousands of miles above the Earth Mother?


Above: Two satellite images of hurricanes. One looks like the skull of a human, while the other is a Taino "S"-shaped image superimposed over hurricane Katrina as she made landfall over Louisiana.

Historically, the Caribbean’s Taíno civilization was annually in the path of the three weather entities whose destructive forces they knew well. 



GET THIS BOOK! Since it is Part 1 of a trilogy that takes Ticky-Ticky on later adventures in Part 2, to North America to visit his ancient spider relatives in South and North Carolina, the Prairies, and New Mexico!

Above: The front cover of PART ONE of the Ticky-Ticky Trilogy. The illustration is of the mythical Caribbean Sea.

ALSO: Click on this link so that you and your children can get the hurricane lowdown! 


Part 2, which is in production!

In Part 2, Ticky-Ticky "Travels to Turtle Island", which is Ticky-Ticky's adventure into North America, still in search of his dad who is visiting what Anansi is convinced are his "rich American god-relatives". This adventure takes Ticky-Ticky to ancient American places to meet his Native American spider-god relatives, heroines, and heroes. 

Above: Front & Back covers of PART 2 of the Ticky-Ticky trilogy. Ticky-Ticky is surrounded by and wears an ancient protective shell spider amulet from archeological sites found in North America.

Figure 1: Turtle Island, named so by Native Americans. Can you see the continent’s turtle shape? How did they know North America's shape from above? The back, head, tail, and legs make the Island of the Big Turtle or the North American continent as interpreted from the air by some Amerindians. Also shown here, are the Colors of the Four Sacred Directions (red, yellow, black, and white, also representing the four races of humankind) and associated with the 4-cardinal points on a compass.


Figure 2: Ticky-Ticky and the hijacked bat-canoe's Caribbean refugees from Haiti, came across a Miccosukee Native American man in his wooden cypress canoe peering into the water. This "Seminole" man had carved his watercraft from a cypress tree, while the bat-canoe was carved from the Caribbean’s sacred ceiba or cottonwood tree.

Figure 3: Anansi confronts the Swamp Dragon, a gigantic Seminole alligator he plans to capture on a dare. It is in the Florida Everglades, where Ticky-Ticky later makes the first landfall on the American continent, next to the Caribbean Sea. The alligator is about to be surprised at Anansi's cunning.

Figure 4: The bat-canoe swooshed up out of the swamp followed by a snapping alligator frenzyrescuing Ticky-Ticky and his friend, Opiyel snatching them from gaping jaws.

Figure 5: Ticky-Ticky saw an elderly Gullah Sea Island man casting a shrimp net into the surf.


Figure 6: After kicking, butting, and belly-jamming the figure, Aunt Nancy got stuck to the Tar Man in the batata field where "she" was stealing sweet potatoes in the field one night. This was just like what happened to both Br'er Rabbit and Anansi in stories about "The Tar Baby."

Figure 7: Fables. Br’er Rabbit’s fuzzy daughter, Bunny Rabbit stood at the Old Gullah’s front door.

Figure 8:  Michabo the Great Hare’s daughter, Oginimínogowan (or "Rose", in Algonquian) stood with her arms on her hips, the style that West Africans call akimbo.

Figure 9: Sunlight residue from the Grandmother Spider’s sun-collecting ceramic pot,
still clung to the vessel hanging from the ceiling of her asi (a roundhouse).

Figure 10: Seeming to glide over the water's surface like a water spider, Grandmother Spider displayed her signature weaving technique outside her asi. She is the most ancient Cherokee heroine who brings sunlight to the dark side of our world, and, like the other spider-gods, teaches the people how to weave.

Figure 11: Stomping down the tall prairie grass, the Plains Indian boy moved to the thump-thump sound of his heartbeat, turning step by step on the arching edge of a sacred dance circle. 


Figure 12: Kezia Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent/Wampanoag) beside her
contemporary Powhatan totems telling the Algonquian story of
Michabo the Great Hare.

Above: The protective Creation heroine, the Diné or Navajo Spiderwoman or Na'ashjé'íí Asdzáá, lives on Spider Rock in New Mexico. It was she who in ancient times, taught the Navajo how to weave rugs.

Next: Ticky-Ticky and Opiyel in the Bat-canoe over Spider-Woman's lair above Spider Rock, New Mexico. A zombie attacks and tries to hitch a ride. (The zombie was Illustrated by Ashkii, my 8-year-old Navajo grandson).


In Part 3 of the trilogy, Ticky-Ticky goes back in time to Central Mexico's ancient pyramid city of Teotihuacan to meet with Great Spider Mother, another relative! Yamayeka Taínos have been going there for centuries. Spanish destroyer of the Aztec or Mexica (May-she-kah) Empire, Hernan Cortez met an island woman from Jamaica there in 1519. And the older, travel-savvy, undercover Spider-Boy is following a follower of a "Golden Hunch". 


(You can click on the above link to see a bit about my history on my website.)

Ticky-Ticky's adventures are based on my own experiences in Jamaica and the United States of America. I've known about Kweku Anansi the Spider-Man all my life. I am an exhibited visual artist, published author, and educator from the elementary through postgraduate levels. I was born in Jamaica where, from infancy, the practice was to swap Anansi stories. So, we entertained ourselves with the antics of the Ghanain-originated Spider-Man from the Akan-speaking Ashanti/Asante people. One of my first elementary school books was about him. It was about Anansi going to bird country. Anansi was very deep in the Jamaican psyche and we reinforced our island's morality via his stories that ended with local morals, of which there are many. 

A member of Taíno cultural groups, I received a British Colonial education up until my graduation from Calabar High School (see Ticky-Ticky's uniform with the school's colors on his shoulder tabs). So, Ticky-Ticky is based on some of my own high school experiences and my arrival in the United States to attend Howard University to major in Design. I married a District of Columbia Native American on campus from Pocahontas' Pamunkey tribe, the leading nation of the historic Powhatan Paramountcy. Both artists and educators, we traveled the Eastern Woodland's powwow circuit informing audiences about our Indigenous heritages via educational handouts and hand-printed posters and apparel. My grandchildren have Navajo ancestry from New Mexico, while others have Mixteca ancestors in Cuernavaca, Mexico.