Taino Chronicles 7

One day the youth quarreled so violently and insultingly with Iaia Lokuo that the father-mother banished him from the household. Iaia-el was forced to wander bitterly over the land in shame. One night the repentant youth returned to his old home with the intent to apologize. But the elder, who was nearby praying to the spirits of the crops, on seeing a strange figure in the dark walking among his standing corn, thought it was an enemy. Iaia Lokuo rushed upon the dark figure in the corn patch and killed him. Only when it was too late did Iaia Lokuo realize that it was Iaia-el that had been killed.

Iaia Lokuo grieved bitterly over the loss of that son. The elder performed the funerary ceremonies and then, after treating the body in the customary way, buried the young man’s skull in a clay urn in the ground, and hung his long bones from the rafters of the hut in a large higuera gourd. The metamorphic magic of the sun transformed the elements in Iaia-el’s body into the body tissues of living fish. As a result of that, there were fish swimming around in a pool of salt water in the gourd that had once held Iaia-el’s bones. From time to time Iaia Lokuo took the gourd down from the place where it hung suspended on long cords. Iaia Lokuo would sit alone in the hut and mourn the loss of the boy.

FIFTEENTH VERSE

In that community there was a man who prayed for a closer connection with the divine female element of Nature. The Mother Spirit, Ata bei answered him in a dream one day and told him that she would come down to Earth for a brief period of time and become incarnated in the form of a human woman. Then she would take him for a husband and give him divine children. The man was overjoyed at this news but then was grieved when she informed him that after the birth of the children her human incarnation would have to die so that her spirit could return to its rightful place in the cosmic scheme. Ata bei insisted to him that these were the conditions of the agreement and that there would be no other way for her to accomplish what he wished of her. Finally, the man agreed.

itaba cahubaba 2
Itaba Iaubaba is the human manifestation of Ata Bei. She is the physical grandmother of the Taino race. Her four sons, along with Turtle Woman became the parents of our people.

Ata Bei became incarnated in the human form of a woman called Itiba Caubaba. Itaba Caubaba married the devout man and she conceived quadruplets, four boys. These four boys contained within their souls the magic of the four directions.

Itiba Caubaba died in childbirth just as she had predicted. Her death was very bloody and the blood was a divine sacrifice for the sake of the people. The four babies had to be cut out of the belly of the dying woman. After Itiba Caubaba died, the divine spirit of Ata bei re-ooccupied its proper place in the cosmic scheme.

The Children of Itaba Iaubaba were ultimately destined for greatness but first they were to undergo a period of inappropriate behavior and to experience the consequences of that behavior. They were known to delight in tormenting and playing cruel tricks on the elders of the community.

One day they stole into the hut of Iaia Lokuo while the elder was working in the fields. They found the gourd that held the remains of Iaia-el. They brought down the gourd and began to consume the fish that were inside. As the four boys sat there eating the forbidden food, Iaia Lokuo returned from the field. Upon hearing the arrival of the elder, the most irreverent of the four youths, a boy named Deminan Karakaracol, jumped up suddenly to replace the large heavy gourd to its rightful place. But when he tried to hang it from the rafters by the long suspension cords, it dropped and shattered on the ground.

Great amounts of water began to gush out from the gourd alongside hundreds upon hundreds of all sorts of fish and marine life. The water was salty like the tears that Mother-Father Iaia Lokuo had shed for the lost son Iaia-el. The waters continued to flow until the low valleys and empty plains below were completely covered creating the seas and oceans that we know now in the world of humans. This new sea rivaled in size the primordial sea that shimmered and rippled out beyond the furthest horizon of the world of humans.

The irreverent quadruplets managed to escape Iaia Lokuo’s wrath and indignation. Soon after that they were on their way to cause more trouble elsewhere. They left and approached the home of an elderly beike called Baiamanako (Bayamanako). They entered the bohio (hut) uninvited and rudely ordered the old man to hand over his food to them. “Let us see our grandfather” Deminan cried out. “Hey Grandfather give us some food!” he demanded.

demiban caracaracol
Demiban (also called Demiman). Demiban’s back developed a great swelling, a hump that hurt him terribly.

The old beike had been inhaling the powder from the ground seeds of the hallucinogenic kohoba plant as he journeyed to mystic realms. This made his nose run excessively and the old man periodically wiped the mucus from his face. As the boys ransacked his home the old man calmly raised his hand up to his face and covered one nostril with his finger. Then he aimed the other nostril at Demiban. He blew a large wad of powder-laced mucus from his nose in the direction of Demiban. The wad landed on Demiban’s back and stuck there. Demiban was outraged and disgusted by what the old man had just done. He cursed loudly at Bayamanako. Then his back began to burn at the spot where the mucus had landed. The four young men were very shaken by this development and quickly left the old behike’s bohio very worried. They watched Demiban’s back very carefully for a while after that and indeed soon it seemed to redden and become sore. Eventually the pain became unbearable and the flesh on Demiban’s back seemed to develop into a large swelling, almost a hump of sorts. The other three boys tried to cure Demiban by lancing the swelling with a sharp knife, but nothing helped. Deminan screamed in pain as the other boys suddenly began to notice that the hump on his back was actually squirming and moving. Ultimately, they watched in astonishment as a great female turtle erupted from the freshy cut gash on the boy’s hump. This turtle emerged from Deminan’s back and eventually turned into a beautiful woman. In fact this woman was the personification of the human quality of compassion. Compassion is one of the most important qualities of human nature. A person can not be a complete human being if he or she does not express compassion and the four boys had been suppressing the quality of compassion within their souls all their lives. They did not allow this emotion to surge out of them. The old behike Baiamanako forced the quality of compassion out of Deminan and the boy became a principled human being for the first time in his life. Then something remarkable happened. The four boys all coalesced into just one person because they had all actually been just the disparate disjointed personalities of one man. When Baiamanako performed his magic on them he healed their dissociative disorder.

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