Our ancestors were capable
agriculturalists, who had a very close relationship with the land and the ways of the Earth Mother.
We in the Caney Circle honor that tradition with a ceremony that comes to us partly from the ancient ritual of the Tainos and partly from the shamanic inspiration of our boitius when they have dreamed and visioned.
This ceremony is led by a beike and it includes a man that is chosen from the participants to represent "First Man" and a woman that is chosen from the participants to represent "First Woman". Four women are chosen from the participants to represent the four "Food Mothers" (the Mother of the Green Squash who stands for the SOUTH, the Mother of the Black Beans who stands for the WEST, the Mother of the White Cassava Bread who stands for the NORTH, and the Mother of the Yellow Maize-corn who stands for the EAST). Each one of these women is handed a basket or bowl full of the food that she represents. She is also asked to wear a special mask that represents the spirit that she is incorporating into the ceremony.
At the beginning, before the ceremony starts, the beike lays a blanket flat on the ground and folds it in such a way that it is divided in half by a flap. On one side of the flap a specially designed, fully finished digging stick or coa with a foot-rest is laid on the blanket. The other side of the flap is left empty but that is eventully going to be the location of a long tree branch. The blanket should be laid out in such a way that when the flap is folded to one side it covers the branch, and if it is folded to the other side it covers the coa. When the ceremony begins the flap should be covering the coa from view.