Taino Elder Participates in Four Day Ceremony in Baja, Mexico

Baja California, Mexico (UCTP Taino News) - UCTP representative and Taíno elder, John Hu’acan Vidal participated recently in a four day indigenous ceremonial in the high desert of Baja California with representatives of Indigenous Nations from all over Baja California (Mexico), Utah, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and other areas.

The ceremonial, called a “danza” by the locals, was held to honor the Earth and the Ancestors. Some of the Indigenous Nations represented included Yaqui, Maya, Apache, Pai Pai, Kumiai, Mexica, Taíno and many others.

Elder Hu’acan, a Boriken Taino, was received with the utmost respect and given the honor of being named “grandfather” of the ceremonies. Many people were directed to him for counsel and teachings.

Hu’acan was especially impressed by the “Temezcal” purification ceremonies conducted by the local leaders. Hu’acan noted an interesting difference from North Native “sweat lodge” ceremonies as they called the sacred stones "grandmothers" and at each direction, an elder is assigned to caretake that direction's door. These same elders, one at each “direction”, also conduct a portion of the purification ceremony.

The ceremony began each day at approximately 4 a.m. with the sounding of the guamo (sea shell trumpets), which the local people simply call 'caracol'. After the sounding of the guamo, a morning purification would take place and be followed by an Earth Dance. Each day consisted of four temezcal and four dances (danzas).

At the conclusion of the ceremonial, it was decided by the leaders present that discussions should begin on the possibility of the organization of a larger ceremonial, which would bring other spiritual leaders from throughout the Americas to the Baja area in 2008.

Aracoel (Elder) Hu’acan was asked to be a part of these discussions and will keep the Taíno community aware of new developments as they occur.

Participants in the four-day Ceremony for the Earth in Baja California, Mexico

*To contact Hu’acan in California email pvidal_ny@yahoo.com