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Juracán is the phonetic name given by the Spanish colonizers to the zemi or deity of chaos and disorder which the Taíno natives in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Cuba, as well as the Island Caribs and Arawak natives elsewhere in the Caribbean, believed controlled the weather, particularly hurricanes (the latter word derives from the deity's name).
Actually, the word "juracán" merely represented the storms per se, which according to Taíno mythology were spawned and controlled by the goddess Guabancex, also known as the "one whose fury destroys everything".
The Taínos were aware of the spiraling wind pattern of hurricanes, a knowledge that they used when depicting the deity. Her zemi idol was said to depict a woman, but the most common depiction of Guabancex presents a furious face with her arms extended in a "~" pattern.
From Juracán we derive the Spanish word huracán and eventually the English word hurricane. As the pronunciation varied across indigenous groups, many of the alternative names, as mentioned in the OED, included furacan, furican, haurachan, herycano, hurachano, hurricano, and so on.[ citation needed ]
The term made an early appearance in William Shakespeare's King Lear (Act 3, Scene 2) and in Troilus and Cressida (Act 5, Scene 2), in which Shakespeare gives the following definition:
the dreadful spout Which shipmen do the hurricano call, Constringed [i.e., compressed] in mass by the almighty sun.
According to Taíno mythology, the zemi of Guabancex was entrusted to the ruler of a mystical land, Aumatex. This granted her the title of "Cacique of the Wind", but it also imposed the responsibility of repeatedly appeasing the goddess throughout his long reign. Furthermore, due to the importance of the wind for travel between island and the need of good weather imperative for a successful crop, other caciques would offer her part of their food during the cohoba ceremony. However, given Guabancex's volatile temper, these efforts often failed. When they did, she would leave his domain enraged and with the intent of bringing destruction to all in her path, unleashing the juracánes.
She began by interrupting the balance established by Boinayel and Marohu, the deities of rain and drought. By rotating her arms in a spiral, Guabancex would pick the water of the ocean and land, placing it under the command of Coatrisquie, who violently forced it back over the Taíno settlements destroying their bohios and crops. She would threaten the other deities in an attempt to have them join the chaos. She was always preceded by Guataubá, who heralded her eventual arrival with clouds, lightning and thunder.
The easternmost of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico is often in the path of the North Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes which tend to come ashore on the east coast. The Taíno believed that upon reaching the rainforest peak of El Yunque, the goddess and her cohorts would clash with their supreme deity, Yúcahu, who was believed to live there.
Guabancex has an unspecified connection to Caorao, a deity that was also associated with storms and that was said to bring them forth by playing the cobo, a musical instrument made from a marine sea shell.[ citation needed ]
The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples of South America and of the Caribbean. Specifically, the term "Arawak" has been applied at various times to the Lokono of South America and the Taíno, who historically lived in the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. All these groups spoke related Arawakan languages.
In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification and goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods.
Huracan, often referred to as U Kʼux Kaj, the "Heart of Sky", is a Kʼicheʼ Maya god of wind, storm, fire and one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity. He also caused the Great Flood after the second generation of humans angered the gods. He supposedly lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters and repeatedly invoked "earth" until land came up from the seas.
In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. She is referred to as a woman, and described as the glistening one. It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a sacred marriage between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second Chaoskampf Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.
Utuado is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the central mountainous region of the island known as La Cordillera Central. It is located north of Adjuntas and Ponce; south of Hatillo and Arecibo; east of Lares; and west of Ciales and Jayuya. In land area it is the third-largest municipality in Puerto Rico. According to the 2000 US Census, the city has a population of 35,336 spread over 24 wards and Utuado Pueblo. The name Utuado derives from the Taíno word Otoao, meaning "between mountains". The municipality is known as La Ciudad del Viví meaning "The City of the Viví", derived from the Viví River which runs through Utuado: one river branch comes from Adjuntas and the other from Jayuya. These two rivers then meet near the Fernando L. Ribas Dominicci Avenue and continue the journey to Lago Dos Bocas.
Yúcahu —also written as Yukajú, Yocajú, Yokahu or Yukiyú— was the masculine spirit of fertility in Taíno mythology. He was one of the supreme deities or zemís of the Pre-Columbian Taíno peoples along with his mother Atabey who was his feminine counterpart. Dominant in the Caribbean region at the time of Columbus’ First voyages of Discovery, the peoples associated with Taíno culture inhabited the islands of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles.
The indigenous peoples of the Caribbean included the Taíno, the Island Caribs of the Lesser Antilles, and the Guanahatabey of western Cuba.
A zemi or cemi was a deity or ancestral spirit, and a sculptural object housing the spirit, among the Taíno people of the Caribbean. They were also created by indigenous South American cultures.
The culture of Puerto Rico is the result of a number of international and indigenous influences, both past and present. Modern cultural manifestations showcase the island's rich history and help to create an identity which is a melting pot of cultures - Taíno, European, African, Anglo American (U.S.A.), Latin American/Caribbean Asian, Hawaiian and other influences.
Coquí is the common name for several species of small frogs in the genus Eleutherodactylus native to Puerto Rico. They are onomatopoeically named for the very loud mating call which the males of two species, the common coqui and the upland coqui, make at night. The coquí is one of the most common frogs in Puerto Rico, with more than 16 different species found within its territory, including 13 in the El Yunque National Forest. Other species of this genus can be found in the rest of the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Neotropics, in Central and South America. The Eleutherodactylus coquí is a national symbol to their native island, Puerto Rico. There is a Puerto Rican expression that goes, “Soy de aqui, como el coquí”, which translates to “I’m from here, like the coquí."
Agüeybaná II, born Güeybaná and also known as Agüeybaná El Bravo, was one of the two principal and most powerful caciques of the Taíno people in "Borikén" when the Spaniards first arrived in Puerto Rico on November 19, 1493. Agüeybaná II led the Taínos of Puerto Rico in the Battle of Yagüecas, also known as the "Taíno rebellion of 1511" against Juan Ponce de León and the Spanish Conquistadors.
A weather god, also frequently known as a storm god, is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain, wind, storms, tornados, and hurricanes. Should they only be in charge of one feature of a storm, they will be called after that attribute, such as a rain god or a lightning/thunder god. This singular attribute might then be emphasized more than the generic, all-encompassing term "storm god", though with thunder/lightning gods, the two terms seem interchangeable. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions.
Taíno is an Arawakan language that was spoken by the Taíno people of the Caribbean. At the time of Spanish contact, it was the principal language throughout the Caribbean. Classic Taíno was the native language of the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and most of Hispaniola, and it was expanding into Cuba. The Ciboney dialect is essentially unattested, but colonial sources suggest it was very similar to Classic Taíno and was spoken in the westernmost areas of Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and most of Cuba.
The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and the northern Lesser Antilles. The Taíno were the first New World peoples to be encountered by Christopher Columbus during his 1492 voyage. They spoke the Taíno language, an Arawakan language.
Atabey is the supreme goddess of the Taínos, one of two supreme deities in the Taíno religion. She was worshipped as a goddess of fresh water and fertility; she is the female entity who represents the Earth Spirit and the Spirit of all horizontal water, lakes, streams, the sea, and the marine tides. This deity was one of the most important for the native tribes that inhabited the Caribbean islands of the Antilles, mostly in Puerto Rico (Borikén), Haiti/Dominican Republic La Hispaniola and Cuba.
Rafael Rivera Garcia is an artist, muralist and professor of Art. Garcia was born in New York City in 1930. As of 2012 he lives in Puerto Rico with his family. Garcia has a son that is also an artist and lives in Puerto Rico. He has painted murals in Puerto Rico, New York City, Miami and Boston.
The Spanish and Taíno War of San Juan–Borikén, also known as the Taíno Rebellion of 1511, was the first major conflict to take place in the modern-day Puerto Rico after the arrival of the Spaniards on November 19, 1493.
The areíto or areyto was a Taíno language word adopted by the Spanish colonizers to describe a type of religious song and dance performed by the Taíno people of the Caribbean. The areíto was a ceremonial act that was believed to narrate and honor the heroic deeds of Taíno ancestors, chiefs, gods, and cemis. Areítos involved lyrics and choreography and were often accompanied by varied instrumentation. They were performed in the central plazas of the villages and were attended by the local community members as well as members of neighboring communities.