Azabache bracelet

In Attire
Azabache bracelet worn when I was young
Azabache bracelet worn when I was young

I do not know much about my culture, but I know that it is full of color and it is very vibrant and energetic. My family is from Puerto Rico. When I was young I had a few dresses that had been handmade and there are many Puerto Ricans out there who still handmake things, Such as making figures. My mom’s uncle makes wooden boats and figures of small characters. When I was young I remember having a black and red bracelet called Azabache bracelet. Back in the day the Taino who were indigenous people, had made jewelry from rocks, bones, feathers, shells, etc. The adornment was used for religious ceremonies. The bracelet is used on infants to protect from the evil eye, envy, and negative energy. It’s not only for a spiritual protection but a constant reminder of our past and the traditions handed down by generations before us. I wonder about my ancestry because Puerto Rico's original inhabitants were the Taino, then Europeans immigrated due to famine, and African immigrants were brought by Spanish conquistadors. Based on research 64% European, 21%African, and 15% Native Taino. European ancestry is stronger on the west side of the island and African ancestry is strongest on the east side of the island. Would I be considered more European, African, or native American? I think I want to try a DNA test to dig deep into my family history.

– GP

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