The Memorial Wall is a space set aside in the family home for the purpose of honoring the ancestors

The elements of a memorial wall can include many things that link us with our ancestors and much of that can be chosen to suit the family that is orgaizing it, but we in the Caney Circle urge those who would set aside such a space in their homes to at least include a memory tablet for each individual person that is to be honored. Aside from that, if the family likes the idea, spaces can be assigned to shelves which can hold flower vases, bowls and cups into which offerings of food and drink can be placed, and special containers in which tabonuko incense (copal) can be burned. It is nice to include a larger memory tablet without a name or photo on it to represent those ancestors about whom information is not available.

It is helpful to have a special place like this set aside in the home which can be the focus of special ritual and ceremony on November 1 the day normally called Day of the Dead. Although this date in the Gregorian calendar is normally associated with the Christian holiday “All Soul’s Day” we recognize that many agricultural Native peoples of the Americas north of the Equator (which includes the Tainos) saw this time of the year as a period of maturation of crops, reaping harvest, and contemplation of the end of Life Cycles. It is a good time to focus on those whose life cycles have already run their full course and whose experience we can harvest to augment the stores of our collective wisdom.

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