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?