The Realm of the Plant and Animal people (continued)


“Iguana”, the sacred lizard represents the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of the avatars of the Great Mother ATA BEY. Its mouth, is considered to be the sacred cave “Yobobaba” (the opening into the womb of ATA BEY). From this opening is born Guey, the Sun at the moment of creation.

milky way galaxy as an iguana

The massive sea-going “Manatee” (sea-cow) is the sacred provider. It is the great giving-beast of the Tainos, a generous feeder of many whose flesh maintained the Taino people much like the bison (buffalo) maintained the Sioux.

In a life-transforming dream, The leader of the Caney Indian Spiritual Circle, Beike Miguel Sobaoko Koromo saw himself as a manatee. The manatee was hunted by a band of Tainos of which he was a participant. In his dream he played the roles of both the hunter and the hunted, giver and taker. Ultimately he took part in the butchering and distribution of his own gift of sustenance among the people. When the process was completed all that remained was a set of large manatee ribs which the ancient Tainos used to create purging spatulas for self-purification. In his dream this last gift of purification that the great giving-beast offered of his own body lay on the ground. Instead of gleaming white as bone usually does the ribs took on the color of the sacred direction of the West, BLACK, representing inner vision of the night time. The ribs were finally picked up and taken away to be put to use by the tribe thereby leaving nothing to waste of the great beast. The dream was a sign to Beike Miguel and from that day he has identified himself as the giving-beast. He humbly places his gift of sustenance at the service of the people and freely offers the wisdom that has been passed on to him for all to use. Through this dream he gained the name “Ribs of the Black Western Direction” or Black Ribs. (SOBAOKO KOROMO)


“Guanaho”, the turkey is the symbol bird of the direction of the SOUTH in the Medicine Wheel. The South is the place of Innocence and Open Mindedness. It represents the ability to perceive things with the freedom from the obscuring obstacles of prejudice and pre-conceptions.

Cuban Whistling Duck

The duck is the versatile spirit of adaptability. The ability to adjust to any situation. It is an animal of land and air and water, mastering all environments.

Cuban Woodpecker

Inriri, the woodpecker is the legendary bird of transformation. This bird becomes the magical tool through which the first Tainos were able to replace their women when these were spirited away by a wayward leader. The woodpecker is the patron spirit of craftsmen and artists.

Tiger Shark
Tiger Shark

“Kahaya”, the shark is the power animal of Guakar the spirit of Trial and Error. It is the essence of the “trickster spirit”. Kahaya represents the painful consequences of wrong choices. Kahaya represents the ability to learn from painful mistakes.