TRADITIONAL JATIBONICU TAINO TRIBAL CULTURAL GAMES

The Makebari Mens Circle Game

We seek to revive the ancient Taino game known as Makebari. In the game two men stand off and face each other in the center of a 9' circle. Each opponent attempting to strike each other's calves in a slapping motion with an open hand. Whoever succeeds in inflicting 9 strikes upon his opponent's calf muscle is deemed the winner. If any of the opponents are knocked out out side of the circle by their opponent they will automaticly lose the Makebari game. This game was last played among the Jatibonicu Taino tribal Warriors some 35 years ago. We had revived this ancient Taino circle game on the island of Boriken (Puerto Rico) back in the late 1960s.

The Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation hopes to establish inter-tribal competitions with official rules for interested participants. We would like to invite our fellow Lokono and other Arawak brothers from South America to take part in these Inter-Tribal Makebari games.

The Batey Ceremonial Ball Court Game

We are also seeking to revive the ancient Taino game known as Batey. Two teams of 12 men and/or women assemble in the center of a rectangular plaza or ball court. Each team has one goalie. The goalies try to stop the ball from passing or hitting their stone backrest or goal. Each team attempts to carry the ball from their side of the ball court to the opposing team's goal. The rubber ball used in Batey is called the Batu. The batu can not be touched with the hands. It can only be struck or kicked with the foot and/or bounced off of the thighs, legs and shoulders. The batu can also be bounced off of the surrounding stone walls of the batey ball court. A stone Yuke or Ceremonial Stone Belt was also used in the game. The players would also bounce the Batu off of the ceremonial stone belts that they wore around their waists. The minimum number of players permited in the game is 24. After that the number of players must be in multiples of 12. As the Batey game was played by Taino tribes of the Greater Antillies and was an important Inter-Tribal social gathering event for all the families who would come to take part in the annual games. Its should be noted that you had an East team and a West team. The fathers and sons and cousins would play on the opposite teams.

The Guamajico Taino Children Circle Game

The game of Guamajico is better known by its Spanish name of Gallito. It is stilled played by some of the Taino children in the mountains. The children would squat around a 3' circle with their Guamajicos. The Guamajico are made from the seeds of the Algarrobo and/or Guama trees. The seeds are tied to a cord called a jico. The Guamajicos are placed within the center of the playing circle and each of the children holds the cord attached to their seeds. One of the children is picked by the group to start the game off by remove his or her Guamajico seed from the circle. This child then swings his or her seed down into the circle attempting to strike and break the other player's seeds. If the child's seed breaks he or she is out of the game. The next child does the same as they move in a clock wise direction, until all the seeds are broken. The child that has the unbroken Guama seed is deemed the winner of the game.

Some Additional Taino Indian Cultural Information

Drawings of the Taino Indian Culture by Nelson Rafael Collazo-Grau
Here you will find many drawings of the past Taino indian ceremonial way of life and many other objects of the Taino indian culture of Boriken. You will further find drawings of the past social life of the Taino Indian People of Boriken. Just click on the name of any Taino object and view it.
Debujos De La Cultura De Los Indios Tainos Por Nelson Rafael Collazo-Grau

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