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#2588: Lasiren : Harvey comments

From: sean harvey <seanharvey@juno.com>

It can often be deceptive to talk about Taino origins for some syncretic
beliefs because this is so often used as a cover for the more full
African heritage of vodou and related religious forms, but with the
water-dwelling women I can't help thinking there must be a large Taino
component. The major Taino site La Aleta is a huge ceremonial cenote
where large wooden rafts were lowered into the water on ropes for
subterranean ceremonies. All relatively untouched cave systems on the
island with water sources in them show unmistakeable signs of religious
importance to the Tainos, including panels of quite beautiful rock art.
In vodu dominicana they speak of water spirits that are worshipped in the
southwestern region that are invariably identified by locals as Taino
spiritis. And around the border on both sides you hear of ciguapes,
mythical blue-skinned women with their feet on backwards that lure young
men sleeping in the woods to their deaths at the bottoms of streams. One
version of this myth holds that the ciguapas are Taino women who fled the
rapacious Spaniards and whose spirits still seek revenge. 

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