Monday 15 July, 2019

Adventures of the Taino brought to life in new children’s book

Dr Lesley-Gail Atkinson Swaby presenting her recently published children's book," Boianani: A Taino Girl’s First Adventure” to an audience at The UWI. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Dr Lesley-Gail Atkinson Swaby presenting her recently published children's book," Boianani: A Taino Girl’s First Adventure” to an audience at The UWI. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

The lifestyle of Jamaican Tainos has been vividly exposed in a children’s storybook titled, “Boianani: A Taino Girl’s First Adventure” by Dr Lesley-Gail Atkinson Swaby.

Atkinson Swaby, who was given the name, “Boianani” by local Tainos during research for her Master’s Degree in the 1990s, recently shared details about the self-titled book at Multifunctional Room at the Main Library at The University of the West Indies.

“Boianani” means water lily in Taino language. 

Taino book launch

Check out the gallery for highlights of the launch by Loop photographer Marlon Reid. 

The local Tainos, also helped Atkinson Swaby ensure the authenticity of the phrases, imagery and storyline used in the book, whose publication was supported by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund as well as the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports.

Illustrator Bianca Bonner-Harrison said, in the effort to get everything right, she had many fights with Atkinson Swaby, who wanted to make the artwork bring to life the scenery of the Taino village.

The Tainos were the native inhabitants of Jamaica before the Spaniards decimated them. 

Guests at the launch were entertained by members of the local Taino community, who belted out songs and chants of the indigenous group.

 

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