Concilio Taíno Guatu-Ma-cu A Borikén in Puerto Rico. Photo by Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Taíno dancers to perform at Sacred Springs Powwow Nov. 18
The Taíno Native Americans were the first people to encounter Christopher Columbus when he arrived in the Bahamas in 1492. Today, after surviving the scourge of near-extinction imposed by the European invasion, the Taíno descendants still work to preserve their ancient culture and support each other.
On Nov. 18, the Sacred Springs Powwow will host a local community of Taíno people at noon in the powwow’s main arena tent. The Taínos will perform traditional dances to support the restoration of their cultural center’s main building, destroyed in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“We want to thank the Sacred Springs Powwow for inviting us to share our ‘areyto’ and old ways that date back thousands of years,” says local Taíno leader, Dr. Tekina-eiru Maynard. “We bring an important message to San Marcos about healing and hope and the transformative power of witnessing each other’s ceremonies.”
Maynard is considered a teacher and important liaison to the Concilio Taíno Guatu-Ma-cu A Borikén, a pueblo of Taíno descendants whose home base is in Borikén (Puerto Rico). This nonprofit is increasing public knowledge of Taíno culture and history through education and the sharing of customs, language, areytos (ceremonial dance) and craftwork. Thanks to the efforts and dedication of the Taíno people, and their Cacike (tribal leader) Caciba Opil, their pueblo today includes communities in the United States and abroad, including New York, Texas and others.
“The Puerto Rico Cultural Center in Austin has been a major inspiration to indigenous communities who are rebuilding their cultural presence and sharing their knowledge,” says powwow organizer and Indigenous Cultures Institute Executive Director Maria Rocha.
“All over the Western Hemisphere, Native people are stepping forward to unite human-kind and positively address the challenges facing Mother Earth and our continued existence on this land.”
The public is invited to experience the Taíno and other Native American cultures at the eighth annual Sacred Springs Powwow, scheduled Nov 17-18 at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, 201 San Marcos Springs Drive. Sponsors for this event are growing and include funding from the city of San Marcos Arts Commission, the Tomblin Family Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Precision Camera & Video, Friends of the Powwow, Pedernales Electric Coop, and co-sponsorship from Texas State University’s Bilingual Education Student Organization (BESO), Hispanic Business Student Association, Hombres Unidos, Sigma Lambda Beta and Sigma Lambda Gamma.