The Legend Of Itaba The Crying Indian Maiden of Jatibonicu

It was said by our Mother Dona Josefina, that a long long long time ago, before the times of our Grandfather Baba Keyu "father WhiteEarth", in the days of our common ancestor Chief Orocobix of Jatibonicu in the year of 1500. It was the sad era of the great Spanish encumendas. The Spaniards were then, the terrible enslavers of our Taino Village people of the Island of Boriken

They say, that their lived an Indian maiden named Itaba who moved as though she had the wings of the Hummingbird and the wind spirit Huracan, "Center of the Wind" beneath her gentle foot steps. It is said that Her gentle footsteps can still be heard within our ancestral mounTAINOus Village of Jatibonicu. It was further said that she spoke with the sweetest of voices, like that of the cooing mountain Love Birds, that today is known in the Taino Jibaro mestizo language as La Paloma Turca. She freely roamed in the mountains without a single care in the world. She would happily play with all the wild aninals of the Yunke, the rainforest and with the children in our Conuco Yuka fields of yesterday... It was further said, by our Aracoel's, Grandfathers that, it would come to pass that the Guamikena, the "Covered People" would come from afar, in three great Canoas, dressed like the Carey, Sea Turtle with shining shells upon their backs and that they would be a very cruel people upon our gentle Taino, good people. It was further said, that Nana, a young girl, that was known as Itaba, bleeding girl by her people, was one day at the rivers edge, washing her father sacred elders cotton rainbow hued belt. As she was working in the labor of washing her fathers belt, a tall white palefaced Spaniard Hildalgo of the Spanish Catholic King's crown, who was known by the name of Don Gonzalo Cervera was passing by the river way to the Yucayeke Baros, village of the Fatherman. He had come upon her as he was traveling the mountain road. From afar he noticed her lovelyness, yet he had only a madness and lustful look within his green Spanish eyes. He lusted for this young beautiful black haired copper colored skined nake indian maiden. The gentle maiden Itaba did not know of the lust of men as she was still a young virgin. She carried the loveliness upon her, of what can only be compared to the loveliest of the Taino women. This lovely woman that we speak of in our Taino history was known by her noble Taino name of "Anacaona" the Chieftest of the region of Jaragua on the Island of Haiti. It was on a Sunday, the most holy of days of the Spanish Catholic faith, that it would come to pass, that on this day, Itaba would have her world riped apart, when she looked into the evil green eyes of the Spanird named Don Gonzalo Cervera. It was said that he loudly yelled at her from a hilltop, as he arrogantly sat upon his large armor covered white horse. She could sense Maboya, great evil, coming closer with every step that his white horse would take. She now could sense his cold cales yet lustful arrogant stare of his eyes cuting deep into her soul like a sharp sword. He yelled to her again, in a poorly spoken Taino language. Ocama Perra India!, Attention Indian dog! Stop what you are doing and come here? He rode up to her on his horse and said, You know that you pagan Indians are less then dogs, in the eyes of us good God fearing Christians. You need to be kicked like the dags that you are. We must keep you pagan indians in your place! Itaba looked up saying nothing, yet quietly looked down and continued her work of washing her fathers Rainbow belt. She slowly started moved down river away from the Spaniard Cervera when he was not looking in her direction. She suddenly heard a fearful and strange sound in the thicket of the bush behind Gonzalo's horse. The sound of the Mankiller, could be heard now in the bushes. The maiden Itaba suddenly became scared because she remembered the many terrible stories of the Mankiller, the White dog as big as a small buro named "Burocillo". She recalled in her memory of the stories told by her people of what he had done to her Village people in the past. The loud evil growling sounds from the bush came closer and now she could see a large fierce looking white head emerging from the bush. It was the large image of the terrible Burocillo, the great white Mankiller that her people feared and spoke about as though it were more terrible then Opiel Guabiron, the Mandog of the Coabey. Her people feared Burocillo the Mankiller more than Maboya, the Great Evil, the evil bush spirit. She froze at the sight of the great Mankiller. She looked deep in the redish bloodshot dark evil eyes of Burocillo the Mankiller. The Spaniard Gonzalo, yelled again in a very loud voice, "Ven aca perra India!" Come here you indian bitch! Still the maiden did not move, for fear that the Mankiller would attack her and rip her stomach out as was told by their village Bohiti, Shamen in their arreito, story telling dances. The Mankillers were trained to hunt dowm and attack our people in the rainforest, as this was a kind of Spaniard sport. The Spaniards would always have these great white dog, ready to attack and kill our village people, if they should ever dare run away in fear of the brutal Spanish invaders. The fact that Itaba did not move, only infuriated Gonzalo the Spaniard Hildalgo even more, so he dismounted from his horse and angrily walked up to her with a clinched fist. He stood before the Taino maiden Itaba, holding his Spanish Toledo sword in his hand with a very mean look in his eyes. It was as though he had the look of 500 years of bitter hatred all rolled up into one mean looking paleface. He said angrily, When I speak to you, you Indian bitch, you stop what you are doing and listen! I am the kings servant and the lord of this land. I am your lord and master. Then Gonzalo in a fit of rage drew his large Toledo sword to further make his point as the kings authority over the Indian maiden. Still Itaba did not move for fear of the Bullmastiff dog, Burocillo, the great white Mankiller that was now eyeing her for his final vicious attack. The innocent Itaba was now in great fear of the Dag, she did not move even one single hair on her head. At that moment she could hear her father calling to her, Itaba! Itaba! Itaba! where are you? The Mankiller also heard the calls of her father and suddenly, Gonzalo smiling, gave the command to his dog Burocillo "Tomalo!", "Take Him!" and he suddenly turned and ran into the bush in the direction of her father who was standing on a hilltop. She later could hear the attack and angonizing crys of her beloved father, as the killer dog ripped him apart. She bitterly cryed in sorrow as she saw the dog return with the blood of her innocent father upon his redish-white bloody Mankiller face. The Hildago Gonzalo just smiled as he praised his dog Burocillo, by peting him on the head, for his cold bloody act of murder. He then walked up to Itaba smiling without any kind of pity whatsoever for the death of her father. The Spanird Gonzalo suddenly came up behind her and grabbed the weeping virgin girl. He thus began to brutally rape her at the rivers edge. They say that he brutally raped her repeatedly. After raping her he then took his Toledo sword and killed her by cutting off her head at the rivers edge. Thus he murdered her, so no one would ever know of the terrible thing that he commited on that Sunday, upon this innocent girl of the village of Jatibonicu. The people further believe that because of this Spaniard's terrible act of murder, that Itaba's Spirit still walks the mounTAINOus hills crying for the murder of her beloved Elder father.

Thus they said that a young village boy that was accompaning Itaba's father at the time of the terrible murders, had queitly hidden in the bush and went unnoticed by Gonzalo. The Taino child had been the witness to this brutal act of murder upon Itaba and her Elder father. Today the Tainos of this mounTAINOus region say, that " Our Jatibonico River still run red with the innocent blood of Itaba and the rest of our Taino ancestors"... To be continued in the book "Three Million Tears", On The Taino Trail Of Tears 1492 .....

Tribal Legend Keeper: Elder Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu' Tribe

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Photography: Wilfredo Alvarado 609-696-4571
Music: "Guayaba.wav" by Paseo Taino, Trujillo Alto, PR

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