Notes from a Wise Woman

Breath of Life

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

I am Taino - Da Ka Taino.

My family tree has roots on the Island of Borriken, now known as Puerto Rico. The greatest part of my healing journey has been the reconnection to ancestral energy and a reclamation of our traditions.

As we move past harvest season, it is time to remember our ancestors and honor our culture. It is with this intention and for them, that I am here to share wisdom and some of our culture.

Taino believe that all things are "alive" and sacred and containing some sacred energy.

The very first sacred action we take, the moment we are born into this world, we experience we take our first breath. The breath of life or Hu.

To this end tribes had many rituals and ceremony around Hu. We celebrate the life force that is within and the energy that is all around us!

The Breath of Life was celebrated in all things but especially in song.

Arawakan from everywhere believed that song carried our life force to the heavens and so we sang.

In order to prepare ourselves for gatherings we sing and during our gatherings we sing.

We sing to the sun and the moon

We sing to the crops

We sing to each other

We sing to the dead

We shake marakas, beat the drums and the guiro and we sing to make spaces sacred.

Shamans would take in malevolent energies from people and places and cough them out into a ceremonial gourd, using just their Hu, to cleanse the spirit.

Hu is in everything but no Hu is more celebrated and sacred then that energy which animates and gives us life.

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