Native American Nations In US Island Territories
Oral Traditions: Creation Legend of Guam
A folktale and creation story of Guam, from the oral tradition:
Puntan and his sister, Fu'uña, were born of space and had neither a father nor a mother. They existed before the sky and the earth. When it was Puntan's time to die, he instructed his sister to make a place for humans by using his chest and back to make the sun and the moon, and his eyebrows to make the rainbows.
Fu'uña followed the instructions of Puntan and then took the red earth of Guam and mixed it with water. Then she built a great rock called Laso de Fua. This rock divided into many smaller stones. These stones became the first people on earth.
In a volcano (Mt. Sasalaguan) there lived a god named Chaife. He governed the winds, the waves, and fire. He created souls in his blacksmith shop to be his slaves. One day he was busy pounding out another soul into shape. Since he was in a hurry, he put too much wood in his oven. All of a sudden the whole place exploded into a huge eruption. Ash and stones were thrown into the air, and rivers of liquid fire began to pour down the sides of Mt. Sasalaguan. Chaife was angry and he began a search for any souls who might have escaped. He wanted to kill the lost soul.
One of the souls fell to the earth at Fouha Bay on Guam and turned to stone. The rock was near the ocean, and the waves caressed the rock's feet. Over time, the sun shone on the rock, and the rain and wind weathered it and it became a man. The man was so pleased with the beauty of Guam that he took the red earth and mixed it with water. From this clay he made sculptures of humans. Using what he learned from Chaife, he made souls for the statues from the heat of the sun. He named these people the children of the earth.
Guam: Located East Of the Philippines
Peoples Of the US Territories and Outlying Areas
- Guam - Chamorro, Filipino, Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and mixes.
- Puerto Rico - Arawak Indians. Today, nearly all residents are Hispanic, except for a few that are a mix of Hispanic and indigenous peoples (much like the Metis/Metiz of other nations).
- U.S. Virgin Islands - Originally peopled by the Carrib Indians, which are now living in Tobago and Trinidad.
- British Virgin Islands - Arawak Indians, who were displaced by the Carribs.
- American Samoa - Proto-polynesians, Samoans.
- Northern Mariana Islands - Chamorro.
- Midway Islands - No Indigenous Peoples.
- Wake Island - No Indigneous Peoples.
- Johnston Atoll - No Indigneous Peoples.
- Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands - Unknown.
- Kingman Reef -No Indigneous Peoples.
- Navassa Island - No Indigneous Peoples. Became home to freed slaves after 1857, working to gather fertilzers until they revolted against inhumane workling conditions.
- Palmyra Atoll - No Indigneous Peoples.
Samoa: Haka War Dance
Indigenous Island Peoples Associated With America
The Caribbean Connection
While the nation Cuba is not a US Territory, that country has been home to Indigenous Peoples found in the islands that are US Territories, like Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.
CUBA & Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean
Cuba's small Native Indigenous Arawak and Taino population preserve many of the old natural ways, particularly the use of medicinal plants and crop planting systems.
As mountain people, they are keepers of Cuba's oldest musical traditions.The mountain folk culture of Cuba is altogether open and engaging.
Discovering the Taino
Cuba, a Caribbean Island
Some Taino Groups Around the USA
Taino Indian Culture
The Taino are a subgrouping within the Ararawak Indian Tribe, indigenous to northeastern South America. However, they have migrated northward to Florida and even as far north as to New Jersey. The Taino people have inhabited all of the Greater Antilles, which area includes:
- Dominican Republic, and
- Puerto Rico.
The Taino constructed there own ballparks to play a ceremonial tribal game that required a rubber ball (rubber came from trees) and was important, even central, to their religious life.
Stone structures around the ballparks looked a little like Stonehenge.
Today, the Tekesta Tribal Band of the Taino is located in Bimini, Florida.
Some American Locations Of Taino People
United Confederation of Taino People
This group has a headquarters in New York and representatives in the following places:
Puerto Rico - recognized as an original homeland of the Taino People.
New England Area:
- Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York
- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina (where Roanoke Colony has been found), Tennessee
Midwest and Central States:
In the Caribbean:
- Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic & Haiti
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS