Queen Anacaona was born in Yaraguana (today the town of Leogane, Haiti in 1474. Anacaona was one of the highest Caciques or chief who possessed the island of Hispaniola when the Spaniards settled there. She was celebrated as a composer of narrative poems and ballads called areitos. Not only is she considered the first Haitian hero, she is the primordial founder of Haiti. Anacaona and her brother Bohechio appeared as equal negotiators during Christopher Columbus’s visit to the chiefdom of Xaragua in what is now southwest Haiti in late 1496.
Anacaona meaning “Golden Flower” from ana meaning flower and caona meaning gold, was the chief of Xaragua after her brother’s death. She had one child whose birth and death are unknown to history. Anacaona has been and still is immortalized and revered in both the intertwining histories of both Dominican Republic and Haiti. She fought the Spaniards who were trying to colonize Hispaniola at the time. When the Spaniard governor Nicolas de Ovando ordered the meeting house to be set on fire to burn them alive, Anacaona and her noblemen were arrested and charged with conspiracy.
Anacaona was offered clemency if she would give herself as a concubine to one of the Spaniards, which was common in those times. Anacaona stood in solidarity with her fellow Tainos, the Caribbean indegnious female leader chose execution over colluding with her Spanish enemy, this refusal cementing her legend. Anacaona remained independent, remained rebellious, remained a loyal warrior until the end. “Warrior Queen”
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