The cemis, Opiel Guabiran and Guatauba Maquetaurie, are present, representing the Taino ancestors. Various batons and palos are present representing ancestors, as well as various other elements of the ancestors. The petroglyphs visible are all Taino petroglyphs. While we are honoring "Day" of the Dead, in reality everyday for us is the "day of the dead". As Nganguleros, Taino, we see the Dead as being instrumental, essential and present in every day movements.
Our offering consists of all the vital elements, cooked and raw, that can be absorbed by the ancestors. The aromas are of particular importance in this process. Cooking the food allows the aromas to be carried upon the winds in all directions, calling the ancestors to approach. Essential elements such as the sweet guayaba for the muertos is present year to year. The sacred root of the Taino, Yuca, is always present, here cooked with name, jautia. Bacalao and smoked fish from the oceans are present. Maiz tostada, grown from our conucos here, and a cacao cake with chili peppers are also part of the offerings.
The offering is varied, as we are making offerings to ancestors from many traditions. We acknowledge the Indigenous ancestors of this region, the various ancestors whose bones are buried here. We honor our Taino ancestors, our African ancestors, all our ancestors, known and unknown. We honor those ancestors we knew in life, and those we never met.
From day to night, the energies shift, revealing faces that were not visible earlier during the day. It is important to us that the ceremony continue throughout the two faces of life (light and dark), the whole circle of life. The night blessed us with a clear sky of stars.