UCTP Taíno News - Taíno community members have expressed outrage upon learning that the renowned Christies' Auction House will be auctioning off "Taíno Masterworks" in collaboration with France's Musee de l’Homme on November 10, 2021. An online petition calling for a halt to the auction and a return of the sacred items has garnered substantial visibility of the issue with thousands of signatories and mainstream press coverage. Individual community members have taken to the internet to support the call to stop the sale and for the repatriation of the cultural items.
The United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) has expressed public support for the petition and condemned Christie's for facilitating these sales. In a communication sent to Christie's representative, Fatma Turkkan-Wille, UCTP President, R. Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero stated:
"The UCTP condemns these auction plans and demands a halt to the scheduled proceedings. The UCTP further calls upon the seller to immediately enter into a dialogue with Taíno leadership and the Government of the Dominican Republic to plan an appropriate repatriation process."
The UCTP communication further states that the pending sale is "a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."
|Taíno community members manifesting Bronx Indigenous Futurisms at Snakapins. |
Photo by Kaxhyêk
|Caridad de la Luz|
Leading the ceremonial portion of the gathering was Behike Miguel Sague, a founder of the Caney Indigenous Spiritual Circle. Sagua's Taíno lineage originates in Cuba. Elder Sague is also the United Confederation of Taíno People’s Ambassador to Cuba. Lonnie Harrington, of Seminole heritage, was also a featured presenter who also shared songs that encouraged those gathered to join the circle and dance.
Also addressing the gathering by invitation was the President of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), R. Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero who attend with his spouse, Joselyn Borrero (Tlingit). Borrero, who is also a Kasike (chief) of the Guainía Taíno Tribe, presented a special gift to Caridad de la Luz in recognition of her efforts and on behalf of the UCTP.
Among the cultural presentations featured at the event will be a presentation by members of the Kasibahagua Taíno Cultural Society on Sunday. At the evening concert on Saturday, Brother Mikey, a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe will share his music.
"Music is leading me back to my indigenous Taino roots and back to the Mother Earth" said Brother Mikey.