[Above] Detail of the
The iguana is the symbol of
the sun. Boina is the dark
rain cloud. Together they
represent the source of life.
Copyrighted 2007 by Auld/Powhatan
[Above] Sculptural installation of Anacaona in a cohoba trance. She is seated on her dujo
(do-ho) inside of a traditional eight sided bohio (house).
Anacaona means "Golden Flower". She was a renowned 15th to 16th century Taíno cacique (of
the large province of Xaragua on the island of Quisqueya ( the island of Hispaniola, i.e. Haiti
and the Dominican Republic). Anacaona's husband was Caonabo cacique of the province of
Maguana. When Caonabo died she returned to Xaragua where her brother Behecchio was the
cacique. After Behecchio's death she became the cacique. She reputedly befriended runaway
slaves. In 1502, the beautiful Anacaona and over 100 of her chiefs were assassinated by
Nicolás de Ovando (governor of Hispaniola, 1502-1509) at a reception held by her in his honor.
A Haitian island was named for her and, today, Anacaona is fondly remembered in many
Caribbean songs, books and poems. She remains a strong feminine Caribbean icon.
The dujo on which the sculpture of her is seated is a ceremonial stool for caciques (chiefs). This
dujo is designed as a reclining male, carved from ginkoba wood. Its eyes are inlaid with gold
colored metal (suggesting 14k guanin) while it's mouth is inlaid with shell teeth.
The bohio consists of a center pole that represents the sacred ceiba tree. Eight boinas
(dark-cloud snakes) make up the roof while eight iguanas are the supporting sides.
[Left] Detail of Anacona.
This sculpture was made from cherry
wood, wisteria vines, gold leaf, conch
shell and Amazon parrot feathers.