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(Deity)YAYA

Supreme Taino spirit - the cosmic timekeeper. Yaya was involved in the first creation.

Having murdered his rebelious son, Yayael, Yaya hung the body in a giant pickling jar from the rafters of his hut. Imagine his suprise when the dead remains turned into a live fish!

The four sons of Itiba Cahubaba, known as the "caracaracol twins" (even though there were four of them) were forced to fend for themselves since the death of their mother during childbirth and were so hungry when they stumbled upon Yaya's hut they began to eat his son, the fish.

Just then Yaya returned and the twins got in such a pickle trying to put the jar back they fumbled it. Smash... oops... great deluge. But at least the world now had oceans and seas.

Not content with that little disaster, or stroke of accidental genius, depending on which way you look at it, they arrived at their Bayamanaco's hut and stole his sacred fire and the recipe for Cassava - the very essence of all civilized life. The result of this little misdemeanor was Cohoba - the top hallucigen much used by Taino shamen, plus a turtle called Caguama who gave birth to all mankind. No matter how many times some people fall in dung they always come out smelling of roses!
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'Yaya' - Caribbean entry - 02 Feb. 2008
Page last modified on 09 Sep 2010
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