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From: RunningFoxes@aol.com
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 01:27:45 EST
Subject: Fwd: #40 - Guaroko-Guaaji-Karaya

From: STaino@aol.com
Full-name: STaino
Message-ID: <0.b2a99d71.25637c30@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:34:08 EST
Subject: #40 - Guaroko-Guaaji-Karaya

Guaroko-Guaaji-Karaya: Month of remembrance & enslavement

By Bo Matum
17 November 1999

Biaraku wishes to remind all our readers that November 24th is the "Day of Remembrance" and November 25th is the "Day of Enslavement" on the Island of Boriken. As November is Native American Month in the United States, it behooves us to remember the struggles our ancestors had to overcome to survive the European encounter and that we still struggle today to live our indigenous inheritance.

We view the Taino people as a people still in the process of evolution and self-discovery. Biaraku supports the need for harmony, understanding and the spirit of unity which was and is vital part of our ancestral ways.

So we are Tainos, we do exist, now what? Where do we go from here -- and how? Do we bicker among ourselves as to who is cacique and who isn't; who is representing us and who is misrepresenting us? These issues pale in comparison to the larger need -- the environmental destruction of our homelands, the disrespect of our culture and our ceremonial grounds; the disrespect and lack of awareness among our brothers and sisters who are lost in drugs and alcohol, materialism and greed; and the need to educate our young in the spiritual ways of our ancestors. We are sure there are many other issues that need to be addressed.

What matters most is the work. What is the work? To live as our ancestors lived knowing that we must survive in a modern context. We need to ask ourselves as individuals "what am I doing to contribute to this awareness and how am I living?" For example, am I respecting and honoring my elders by helping them when they need help and going to them for guidance? Am I honoring and respecting my brothers and sisters around me or am I being judgemental and criticizing them for who they are and they way they live. Sometimes we need to swallow our pride, and push aside our egos for the better of the whole.

Areitos and ceremonies can be part of the healing process that are necessary for us to live in harmony and understanding as our ancestors would have wanted. Taller Tiju is holding a winter solstice ceremony in Boriken that is open to all. We welcome these overtures and any other ceremonies that will bring our people together.

In honor of our ancestors, may we discover the true meaning of walking on this path.

Bo Matum, taino ti
Biaraku - First People of a Sacred Place

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