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Before the world of humans began,
there was the world of the gods, made of fields, plains and gardens.
Four brothers wandered this celestial realm.
They had no family other than each other—
they didn’t even know who their parents were.
One of the brothers, Deminan, looked different from the others.
His skin was covered in painful scabs,
and he wondered why he alone had been marked with this affliction.
One day, while the supreme spirit Yaya was out in his gardens,
Deminan and his brothers snuck into Yaya’s house.
After feasting and exploring, they spotted a giant gourd hanging in the corner.
But as they tried to look inside the gourd, they dropped it.
The gourd broke apart, releasing a deluge that swept the brothers away,
separating them from the celestial lands forever.
The waters from the gourd formed a new world.
This realm was covered in seas, which didn’t exist in the gods’ world.
The waters were full of fish and other creatures,
and dotted with islands and caves.
This world of seas was also cut off completely from the celestial realm,
and the brothers wandered aimlessly,
even more lost than they had been before.
One day, three of the brothers stumbled upon a house.
In the house lived an elder named Bayamanacao, and he invited them in.
When Deminan caught up slightly later, he followed them into the house.
Bayamanacao told the brothers he was their grandfather
and gave them a gift of special cassava bread.
He revealed their family lineage to them:
their mother had been the Earth Mother Goddess Itibi Cahubaba
and had died when they were born.
The brothers were grateful for his hospitality and insight into their past.
But then Bayamanacao turned on Deminan,
blowing tobacco spittle from his nose onto Deminan’s back.
The spot where the spittle landed immediately began to swell and sting.
Soon Deminan was delirious
and his back was so swollen his brothers feared he would die.
Not knowing what else to do, they cut open the welt.
A turtle emerged from the wound and swam away,
alternating easily between sea and land as she went.
When Deminan recovered from his delirium,
he finally understood what the curse of his disease meant:
he was a caracaracol, able to communicate with the gods.
He was the link between the celestial realm and the earthly realm.
Deminan was the first in a long lineage of caracaracols.
The world of seas he and his brothers had created when they dropped the gourd
became the world of humans,
where the caracaracols who followed Deminan maintained the delicate balance
between people and gods.
But their unique power came at a price:
Deminan and all the caracaracols who followed him
continued to suffer from the illness that had first marked Deminan as special.
Represented in Taino carvings and figurines
with a swollen back and emaciated arms,
the caracaracol is both cursed and blessed to be a conduit between worlds.
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The Taino myth of the cursed creator - Bill Keegan

18 分類 收藏
林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 25 日
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