As a means for you to understand better the myths and information on the Taino culture we find it prudent to provide you a small vocabulary. This will be organic and thus it will be edited as we go adding more stories to keep you up to date, with the new words we use each time, as we pass along more stories to you.
Anacacuya – First Cacique of the humans in the myth of creation.
Areito – 1. Ceremony and/or celebration performed in the batey | 2. Sport or game they played in the batey.
Batey – Ceremonial Plaza or Central Plaza in which they gathered around to celebrate the areito. The plaza was surrounded by way-stones with petroglyphs usually of cemíes.
Bayamanaco – God of Fire.
Behique – Religious leader and advisor to the Cacique.
Boínayel – One of the three gods of good weather and the life-giving rain.
Cacibajagua – Mythical cave from where all the humans came. (Symbolizes birth)
Cacique – Political leader of the yucayeque.
Caney – The Cacique’s house and temple used with the Behique for rituals like the cohoba ritual.
Cauta – In mythology, it is the center of the universe.
Cemí – Deities and their representations in wood or stone.
Coatrisquie – One of the three gods of bad weather and hurricanes.
Coaybay – 1. Mythical cave where the dead went. | 2. After life | 3. Throne of Maquetaríe.
Cobo – Sea snail.
Cohoba – Red seed from the Cojóbana tree used in the most important ritual the Cohoba Ritual.
Digo – Medicinal herb used to clean the body in mythology.
Deminán Caracaracol – One of Itiba Cahubaba’s quadruplets.
Guabancex – One of the three gods of bad weather and hurricanes.
Guahayona – Anacacuya’s brother and murderer.
Guanín – 1. Metal alloy from copper, gold, and silver, reddish color and peculiar odor and sacred to Tainos. | 2. Guahayona’s island.
Guatauba – One of the three gods of bad weather and hurricanes.
Haití – Island in the Caribbean, sacred place, in mythology, from where life came. It was represented with the body of a woman. (Known today as the Hispaniola Island where Haiti and Dominican Republic are.)
Hamaca – 1. Sling made of fabric, rope, or netting suspended between two points. | 2. Taino beds inside their bohíos.
Iguanaboína – 1. Devine Serpent and one of the three gods of good weather and the life-giving rain. | 2. Devine cave where Iguanaboína lives and where the sun rises.
Inriri – Puerto Rican Woodpecker which was sacred for the Tainos.
Itiba Cahubaba – Mother Earth also known in short as Atabey or Atabeira.
Juracán – Deity spirit summoned by the three gods of bad weather in the form of storms. (Now a days it is the origin of the word hurricane)
Mácocael – Guardian of Cacibajagua’s entrance.
Márohu – One of the three gods of good weather and the life-giving rain.
Maquetarie Guayaba – God of death or the afterlife.
Matininó – Island where Guahayona left all the women.
Nitaínos – Principal men of the yucayeque.
Yahubaba – Human, in mythology, that was in charge of daily tasks which was turned into a Puerto Rican Nightingale.
Yahubabayael – Puerto Rican Nightingale.
Yaya – Yocahu Bagua Maórocoti, celestial/elemental being and life giver. (creator)
Yayael – Son of Yocahu Bagua Maórocoti or Yaya.
Yucayeque – Village of Tainos.