The Little Island That Fought: Mangu


This is the story of a proud little island that has been fighting invaders and enslavers for several centuries. We’ll go back to 1492, when Columbus, supposedly, discovered America. What he actually discovered was a tiny island in the Carribean called Ayiti by its native Taino people (you can read about it here). Taino was governed by five caciques, or kings, two of whom, Bohechio and Caonabo, are important to our story.

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This fascinating young woman, Anacoana, the sister of cacique Bohechio and wife of cacique Caonabo, greeted Columbus on his second visit in 1496, together with her brother, and participated in diplomatic talks as an equal co-negotiator. Relationships were friendly to the extent that both brother and sister took a ride on Columbus’ caravel and were royally entertained (Casas, Historia de las Indias). They were just as royally deceived (s***d is the word that comes to mind!)…

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