Monday, January 12, 2009
Who Was Anacaona?
Anacaona is a Taino name that means, "Flor de Oro" or "Golden Flower" in English. Anacaona was a Taino woman of intelligence, graze, who possessed immeasurable beauty. So strong were her assets that she captured the eye of many of the Spanish colonizers upon their arrival who to them was the new world. She was the wife of Caonabo, who was the cacique of one of the 5 major cacicazgos, which was Managua (today modern day Dominican Republic). It is thought that Caonabo was of Carib origin, for his warrior-like nature. Hence, he became known for his exceptional governance. Equally as talented, Anacaona was considered the most famous and talented poet amongst the Tainos in Quisqueya. When she first encountered the Spanish she felt great admiration for them, thinking of them as a superior people. However, her thoughts changed with the daily continual abuse the indigenous people endured from the Spanish. Her admiration soon turned into hatred.
After the death of her brother (Bohechio), at the hands of the filthy Europeans, who at the time was cacique of Jaragua, she took over the cacicazgo. At the time of her reign as cacique of Jaragua, Ovendo, a Spanish colonizer, had just become governor of Santo Domingo. Supposedly, he received noticed that she wanted to attack him. Scholarly research points to the fabrication of such an excuse to rid themselves of one of the native regions. It is highly probable that the Spanish saw her as a threat to the continuance of the Tainos as a unified people. As a result, the Spanish made up their minds that they had to destroy her land and kill all indigenous folks inhabiting Jaragua, including her. 300 soldiers and 70 horsemen were sent to Jaragua. Anacaona thought it was just a peaceful visit. However, when the Spanish got there, it turned into one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of Tainos in Quisqueya. Some other caciques, who were helping Anacaona formulate a welcome party for the Spanish, were also murdered. Anacaona fought furiously, but she was captured, tortured, and later on was hanged in an area within her cacicazgo. The Tainos that were able to survive this massacre became the slaves of the Spanish.
Truly this Taina warrior was one that resisted Spanish colonization, but because of her peaceful nature, was captured and murdered. She truly is an inspiration to many women fighters in this world. She was one of the first ones. May she be remembered for her struggles, her talents, and the amazing leadership depicted through her historical importance. It is important that we are aware of our immediate history, and of those original women who were a part of it.
Peace to all Original Women, all Earths!