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The island of Kiskeya and it's Taíno boundaries.
Anacaona (Arawak for Golden Flower; also Anakaona and Anakawona) (born in Yaguana - today the town of Léogâne, Haiti - 1503 Santo Domingo, Hispaniola) was a Taíno {Native American} queen and the wife of Caonabo (also Kawonabo), one of the five caciques who lived on the the island of Kiskeya (also called Hispaniola) at the time of Columbus arrival in 1492. She was hailed as a composer of ballads and narrative poems, called areitos. She was the ruler of the Taíno kingdom of Xaragua, the last to fall to the Spanish colonialists. Her husband Caonabo, the ruler of the kingdom of Maguana, was deported to Spain in 1494.

In 1502 he Spanish Governor Nicolas de Ovando ordered the arrest of Anacaona, who was captured by deceit, similarily to Toussaint Louverture about 300 years later and then executed by hanging in the town of Santo Domingo in the year 1503. The survivors of the 1502 massacre at the court of Anacaona, during which she was captured, fled to the island of La Gonâve. (Arawak: Guanabo or Guanarana).

Anacaona is celebrated as one of the heroes of Haiti's struggle against colonialism and one of the many women in the fight that ultimately led to the successful Haitian Revolution and the Act of Independence in 1804.

Book by Edwidge Danticat

The Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat has written a book of fiction - aimed at younger readers - detailing the arrival of the Spanish in the Caribbean Sea from the view of the native Taíno.

See also

  • Arawak - Native language of the Taîno.


  • Danticat, Edwidge. (2005) Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 (The Royal Diaries). New York: Scholastic Inc.. ISBN 0439499062

External links

  • Anakaona - Article about Anacaona and her death in the massacre. [Spanish language]
  • Mémoire de Femmes: Anacaona, Fleur d'or - (French text)