03 June 2005

Taino Children's Poetry

On May 19th, the Taino Nation of the Antilles and U.S. hosted a dinner, panel discussion and a cultural presentation by the children of the nation for the delegation members of the forth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The children played music, danced, sang and recited the following poetry;

We're Here to Stay! By: Erica Karayaru Velez,14 year old High School Student
A nation believed to be extinct and never coming back Now rising to the surface and slipping through the cracks Coming together to celebrate life Columbus could not take away Because he thought he could invade our lands and stay But we fought back and let Mother Earth be our guide And listen to the voice that we heard inside The voice telling us that they're greedy and what they're doing is wrong And instead of fighting we should be coming together to sing a song But that was the past and this is now And we are bring our nation to life the best way we know how We have a lot of elders who are wise and mature And a lot of young ones who will carry the nation to the future So if anyone tries to tell you we don't exist You'll look back and remember this We are the Taino Nation and we're here to stay So no matter what you do we won't go away

Dakia Kuyaya(Kuyaya is my name)By: Alejandro Kuyaya Pastrano, 10 years old
I speak the language of Columbus, I wear European style clothes. My shoes are from ChinaAnd my socks are from Japan.I like pizza and I play basketball, But there are things about me that you don't know.You see I'm a Taino, My ancestors left me a culture that is still alive today. My people sailed in big canoes,And played the scared drumsAnd if you would listen to my heart,You would hear how it sounds.So even if you see a change in what I wear today. My heart, my mind and my spirit are Taino, Kuyaya is my name!The future of the Taino Nation will firmly rest in the hands of our children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters. After all the hard work and sacrifices throughout these last 12 years, since the resurgence and restoration of our nation. It will ultimately lie in the hands of our children. Who will inherit what we've worked so hard to restore and take us into the coming Millenniums. It is up to you to immerge your children into our culture. So they can learn the language, we have restored, so that they can learn the customs, traditions and culture that will prepare them to take their rightful place in the future of the Taino Nation. The Wanakan Cultural Center is now sponsoring classes in language, dance, music and all aspects of our culture, in order to better prepare both you and the children to continue the work we have initiated. After 500 years of silence and the declaration of our ancestor's extinction. We have fought our way back destroying the myth of extinction by our colonizers. It is your duty and responsibility to leave this inheritance to your children, as we are leaving it to ours. So for those of you in registry all you need do is show up for the classes, for those of you who have not requested registry into the Taino Nation of the Antilles and U.S. and would like to attend, what are you waiting for? The registry is living proof of our existence as a nation both now and for future generations to look back on and know that we existed, and that we loved and cared enough about them to insure that we never go back into obscurity. The prophecy of our return has been forfiled; it is now up to you to keep it alive for future generations to come.
Reprinted with permission by Tomas Waribonex Gonzalez of the Taino Nation of the Antilles.
For more information please e-mail, Waribonex@hotmail.com

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