Anacaona, India de Raza Cautiva

Anacaona, meaning Golden Flower, was born in 1474 in Yaguana known today as the town of Léogane, Haiti. She was the wife of Caonabo, who ruled what was then known as Maguana and was one of the five Caciques who possessed the island of Quisqueya. Her brother Bohechío, was Cacique of Xaragua (Jaraguá) which was the largest surface area of the island.

After her brother’s death, Anacaona became Cacica of Xaragua making her one of only two Taino Cacicas, the other being Yusia of Puerto Rico.

Photo courtesy of http://www.powhatanmuseum.com/Anacaona.html. Detail of Anacona.
This sculpture was made from cherry
wood, wisteria vines, gold leaf, conch
shell and Amazon parrot feathers.

It is said that when “Nicolás de Ovando came to the island to govern it on behalf of Spain in 1502, he announced a “peaceful visit” to Xaragua (which was the only chiefdom yet to be conquered by the Spaniards) but brought with him a well-armed contingent of three hundred infantry and seventy cavalry. The visit turned into a massacre in which the many dozens of Taíno dignitaries that Anacaona had assembled as a reception party were burned alive or lanced to death. Anacaona herself was declared guilty of instigating native rebellion against the Spaniards” and was put to death by hanging.

Her immortalization in the intertwining histories of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic have resulted in the use of her name for various places in both countries. Many in Haiti claim her as a significant icon in early Haitian history and consequently a primordial founder of their country. Renowned Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat wrote an award-winning novel, Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490, in dedication to the fallen Chief. She was immortalized by Puerto Rican salsa composer Tite Curet Alonso in his song ” Anacaona” which was also sung by Cheo Feliciano and the Fania All Stars.

You can listen to the song here: 

Anacaona Lyrics: http://www.maxilyrics.com/fania-all-stars-anacaona-lyrics-9d8b.html

photo taken from http://www.elrinconmatero.com/canciones.htm

References:
http://www.executedtoday.com/2009/09/29/1503-anacaona-caciques-xaragua-ovando-cacique/

http://www.elrinconmatero.com/canciones.htm

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Pa’lante Latino showcases current events in the arts, entertainment, politics, and culture as it affects our community. Above all, we are ferocious advocates of the contributions that Hispanics/Latinos have made to the United States and feature articles based on historical facts to reaffirm our relevance.Please feel free to email us at info@palantelatino.com.
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