El Concilio Taino is bringing cultural awareness and increasing public knowledge for those who have an interest in Taino culture throughout the island of Puerto Rico and abroad through education, including the revelation of the true Taino history, and the sharing of our customs, language, areytos (ceremonial dance), music and song, and craftwork.
Thanks to rising interest in Taino heritage, we regularly are invited to bring demonstrations of our ancestral traditional instruments to schools. We also teach the making of traditional maracas de higuera (dried native fruit) in different communities. We offer workshops in the crafting of ancestral pottery, using traditional methods and the open-flame firing of mud-clay from Mother Earth. We are invited to present authentic Taino areytos, nationally and internationally, throughout the year. Our educational outreach is supported by Fomento Artesanal,the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and the Puerto Rican Tourism Company.
Through heritage education, our children and young students have been transformed into bastions of traditional values who enjoy their knowledge and take it to their schools, teachers and other students. They have created projects in their classrooms, such as ceremonial plazas and other projects dedicated to our Taino ancestors. Our outreach has awakened a consciousness, through the channeling of positive energy in cultural directions. This has rescued people of diverse communities, the majority youth and young adults, who were living a way of life that was harmful for society and for themselves.
Our Cacike Caciba Opil (Martin D. Veguilla) is an official consultant of Taino traditions to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (I.C.P.). Thanks to the breakthrough research of Dr. Juan Carlos Martinez Cruzado (University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Year 2000) documenting the first the Amerindian mtDNA of the Taino of Boriken, our pueblo has been able to document our Taino blood. Our Cacike's Taino Mitochondrial DNA is Haplogroup-C, whose origins are the Arawak (Ingneri) ancestors of the Taino, originating from the border of the Orinoco River in the Amazons of Venezuela.
Thanks to the efforts and dedication of the people of our Taino pueblo, and our Cacike Caciba Opil, a new generation is growing. We are proud knowing they will never know life without our rich Taino traditions, or the depth of our spirituality.