I’m very honored to be a member of the Multicultural Kid Blogs. Together with 15 of our member blogs we are hosting the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15.
Also, throughout this month I will have a special series called: “Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry.” This is the first installment of our series. We will be celebrating our Hispanic heritage and teaching little one about his Taíno ancestry.
This past summer we visited Puerto Rico. However, this visit was unlike any other it was our son’s first “real” Spanish immersion trip, and I was also on a quest to teach our son about his Taíno heritage.
We had the opportunity to see “La Cara del Indio” it’s a rock sculpture of a Taíno Indigenous man located at the entrance of the town of Isabela and El Túnel de Guajataca. This impressive sculpture pays homage to the Cacique Mabodamaca who was a heroic chieftain from the 16th century protected his people, and way of life from the European invaders. This sculpture is visible from the main road and a vivid reminder of every Puerto Rican’s Taíno heritage.
|Taíno rock sculpture of Cacique Mabodamaca. Picture taken 2013.|
|La Cara del Indio. Rock sculpture of the Chieftain Mabodamaca. Edited to add that this was sculpted in 1987 by artisan Juan Ramón Rodríguez Román I took this picture back in 2001.|
Once home I focused on doing fun learning activities about the Taínos with little man. We read the book, On this Beautiful Island. We also referenced the activity book Habláme de Puerto Rico.
We practiced keywords in Spanish:
- Taíno: native indigenous inhabitants descendants of the Arawaks
- Cemí: a three-pointed stone that was the physical representation of Taíno deities (gods)
- Borikén: Taíno name of Puerto Rico
- Coquí: Small tree frog native to Puerto Rico
Yucayeque Taíno Sensory Village
We also created a mini-sensory small village called yucayeque with bohíos, and a batey. The batey was a special plaza surrounded by stones with petroglyphs in which the Taínos celebrated their ceremonies and played the game bato with a ball made out of roots, herbs, and tree gum, and the areytos, a celebration of big events with music, dance, and storytelling. For the mini-sensory village. We used rocks with petroglyphs that little one made, and I had purchased in Puerto Rico Taíno figurines and cemíes. Little one also made some bohíos, and we cut some greenery from the yard.
- The nitaínos were the noble class, and this is where the chiefs or caciques came from. The cacique wore a guanín (a gold medal around his neck) as a symbol of his status.
- The bohíques were the priest, wise men, and doctors.
- The naborias were the lower class. They were the farmers and fishermen.
This post was part of the 2013 Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs.