Saturday, March 31, 2007

Untold Origins -- Caribbean Indigenous Museum Exhibition

"Untold Origins," an exhibition dedicated to indigenous Caribbean heritage and identity, took place under the auspices of the Cuming Museum in Southwark, London, from October 19, 2004 to February 26, 2005.

The Cuming Museum sought to challenge several myths of Caribbean history, such as those of the cannibalistic Caribs eating their way through docile Arawak communities, or those pertaining to the often repeated notion that indigenous peoples in the Caribbean are extinct. In this vein, the organizers of the exhibition explain, "the Cuming Museum wanted to explore their survival in more depth and to discover whether there are any echoes of indigenous culture surviving in Southwark's Caribbean culture today." The Untold Origins exhibition was originally presented for Black History Month in 2004. It sought to explore "the untold history of the indigenous people of the Caribbean and their contribution to the Caribbean culture of today." An attempt was made to join reflection of Caribbean indigenous survival with contemporary ways of making sense of one's identity, and how movement and cross-cultural contact could affect the process of making one's identity.

The Cuming Museum has since decided to provide online the various photographs and information boards that were used for the exhibition, for the sake of those who could not have been present.

These materials include the following:

Please click here to go to the original site for the exhibition.

Una travesía por nuestra cultura

[Ed: article submitted by Jorge Estevez]

1 de agosto, 2007: Una travesía por nuestra cultura

El 1 de agosto, 2007 se producirá un evento histórico en Boriken. Taino Almestica, junto con David Mayoleth y Wendy Killoran, navegarán alrededor de la isla de Boriken, haciendo escalas en las islas de Vieques y Culebra.

El señor Almestica llegará a Boriken el próximo 29 de julio y permanecerá allí hasta el 1 de septiembre, 2007. Su esperanza es inspirar a otros en Puerto Rico a aprender sobre las maravillas de la navegación en canoas y en kayaks. Su visión es ver más personas involucradas en estos deportes.

Nuestros ancestros eran maestros mareantes que viajaban a las islas del Caribe en sus canoas todos los días. Taino Almestica viajará alrededor de la isla de Puerto Rico con este espíritu. Taino ha expresado muchas veces que cuando se navega en canoa o kayak en alta mar, donde cada ola es diferente, aunque igualmente persistente, se alcanza un despertar espiritual. Esto nos recuerda a nuestra cultura, a pesar de haber pasado 500 años después del primer contacto, del colonialismo y la aculturación: nosotros como pueblo, con una cultura singular, persistimos.

Taino es hijo de Boriken y miembro de la sociedad Guabancex Viento y Agua, con bases en Kiskeya y en los Estados Unidos. Esta organización está dedicada a investigar y diseminar los aspectos de las expresiones culturales tainas pervivientes, incluyendo la cultura material, la tradición oral y el rescate de tradiciones culturales que han desaparecido con la rápida expansión de la cultura occidental en las islas caribeñas.

Para Taino el ideal sería contar con el apoyo de todas las personas, grupos y organizaciones tainas. Sería un reto para todos enfocarnos sólo por 24 horas como colectivo y vitorear a Taino y sus acompañantes en este arduo viaje.

Por favor apunten esta fecha en su agenda y oremos porque Taino tenga un buen viaje y un mejor regreso a casa. Para más información, por favor visite estos enlaces: y

Bo Matum
Jorge Baracutei Estevez (Taino)
National Museum of the American Indian
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
(212) 514-3716

A Voyage for the People

[Ed: this article was submitted by Jorge Estevez]

On August 1, 2007 there will be an historic event taking place in Boriken. Taino Almestica (Taino) along with David Mayoleth and Wendy Killoran will circumnavigate the island of Boriken, making stops in Vieques and Culebra.

Mr. Almestica will arrive in Boriken on July 29, 2007 and will be there until September 1, 2007. His hope is to inspire others in Puerto Rico to learn about the wonders of Canoeing and Kayaking. His vision is to see more people involved in this sport.

Our ancestors were master seamen who traveled the Caribbean islands in their canoas on a daily basis and it is in this spirit that Taino Almestica will travel around the island of Puerto Rico. Many times Taino has expressed that there is a certain spiritual awareness that a person comes to when Kayaking/Canoeing in the open sea, each wave different than the next yet equally persistent. This is reminiscent of our culture, despite 500 years after first contact, colonialism and acculturation, we as a people, with a unique culture, persist.

Taino is a son of Boriken and a member of Guabancex: Wind and Rain Society which is based in Kiskeya (Dominican Republic) and the USA. This organization is dedicated to researching/investigating and disseminating all aspects of surviving Taino cultural expressions including material culture, oral tradition and the rescue of cultural traditions that have disappeared with today's rapid western expansion on the Caribbean islands.

For Taino the ideal would be to have full support of all Taino people, groups or organizations. It would be a challenge for all to focus just for one day as a collective to celebrate and cheer Taino on this very arduous voyage.

Please keep this date in mind and let us pray for Taino"s safe trip and safe return home. For more information please visit: and

Bo Matum
Jorge Baracutei Estevez

Jorge Estevez (Taino)
National Museum of the American Indian
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
(212) 514-3716

Cherokee Citizenship Deceptions By Anglo Saxons

[Ed: This letter was submitted on the condition that it be published anonymously. I have decided to do so simply because it reflects the very strong opinion of someone who has had to live with these problems of race and citizenship. The author of the letter lives in Colorado Springs.]

History has proven that whenever the Anglo Saxons came into a place that was new to them, they not only took over, but drew up all kinds of Laws and Treaties that they themselves had no intentions of honoring, at at the same time made darn sure - ( like they do in this day and age ), their family and generations to come are covered, and to deceive is the way that Anglo Saxons, some make their living!

It's a sad situation to look at the many people of various Indian Tribes suffer needlessly because there are those who are in a position of authority, who are stealing from the tribes, and actually have no rights to such benefits, but because there are wicked cooks stirring the stew, only those foolish enough to be a part of such wickedness benefit from such deception. I believe after all these years that because many are being confronted about such
deception, these people scramble by deceptive practices, with some tribal members included, to maintain that deception so that their families can maintain the quality of life that is refused to those that truly deserve to be recognized, can have a better quality of life that many Anglo Saxons are used to.

Anglo Saxons were not taken out of their homelands, stripped of their culture, denied the basic freedoms and rights that rule the land - ( laws that they made, they didn't honor, but they received the most benefit from such laws, while denying others their basic rights, and at the same time stating, the best kind of Indian, is a dead Indian! ) Good grief don't people recognize that when these people live over a 100 yrs. ago, that before they died, they groomed the generations that were alive to carry on in such mass deceptions? The KKK is a fine example of such because they teach their generations the same message, generation, after generation!

What I recognize in all of this is greed! Anyone whose Ancestor has Citizenship within any tribe, and such can be traced to a manipulated roll, such as The Dawes Rolls, should be allowed to maintain that citizenship, whether by blood or not! If one's ancestor has Citizenship within the Cherokee Nation, what is really the big deal, especially since the Cherokee Nation is supposely proud of their mixed nationalities within, and that family filed all the paperwork during the 1900's to prove such, considering the history that wicked and greedy Anglo Saxons were the one's behind such deception, and I believe such is the case today!

Many Native Americans were black, and what's so chilling about that? Many Native Americans do not have the same texture of hair or skin color, which does not signify that they aren't Native Americans! What is wrong with people? Oh I believe I'm getting it, if you can't prove either way, you're done! If one can't prove their ancestor's citizenship, and or a bloodline, then all efforts of proving such is a lost cause, and many in a position who can not prove such...have lost completely, unless by the grace of God, something is found to verify their families history has been recorded, not to mention The Dawes Final Rolls is not a perfect account because, how can you approve the children and leave out the other siblings and or parents, bloodlines are listed elsewhere, and if one doesn't know this fact, that's also a loss, because if one examines the rolls they will see where some bloodlines are listed for their family members, and some bloodlines are listed, but it's mixed up, one has to do extensive searches to find the truth, and one more thing...Misspelling People's Names! The name in some cases is the same Person, but misspelled...what a mess those Anglo's have created, but God always fights the battle, especially if you're a true believer!

*The hottest places in hell are reserved for those in moral crisis who remain in netural.
- President John F. Kennedy

How can a few deny many, when they themselves are subjected to the same kind of abuse of power that they so honestly serve, knowing that what they do is not right, but to keep peace with the Devil they continue to look the other way while deceit destroys their souls, killing'em everyday because they don't recognize today, America by the Anglo Saxon was established upon deceit, deception, and corrupt Anglo Saxons who misrepresent their authority and even today, twist the truth where such will benefit them and others who have the same spirit of...I could care less, I'm getting mines!!!!!!!! How sickening!

P.S. Since everyone is under the authority of Laws made by Anglo Saxons, why allow their mindset to destroy the legacy of a people who deserve to have what truly is theirs, especially since they're being stripped of all things, except the opportunity to pray. Many other nationalities are compensated for oppression suffered at the hands of Anglo Saxons. Why are people so down on the Black Indians, Slaves, and others who are a part of such a people? Why?