Attabeira is a feminine goddess (Diosa Madre). She is the mother of Yucahu. This is unique in the sense that she would technically be considered more powerful than her masculine counterpart. Today their is a common misconception that machismo is a unique trait to Puerto Ricans. While this might be true, it is important (at least to me) to note that in many families the female figure often carries the most authority irregardless of the universal fear of the masculine. This, I believe, is just in the fabric of Puerto Rican culture and can be traced way back the the Tainos. Attabeira is the mother of water, mostly fresh waters, rivers and ponds. She is also the symbol of fertility and is often depicted legs splayed like a frog. This imagery isn't meant to be erotic or demeaning but a symbol of her power. It is by her that all life is sustained and by the female that all men and women in Taino culture gain they're rank. Women often prayed to Attabeira for a safe child-birth and she was coined the 'Venus of the Arawaks' by early anthropologists. Images of her can be found near sacred places in Puerto Rico. She is often larger than life size and carved into stone.
Frogs and Yuca go hand in hand, believe it or not. Yuca was planted with the phases of the moon and often indicated that it was mating season for the islands many species of frogs. Frogs were kind of an erotic symbol but not in the va-va-voom sexy way we think of eroticism today. Frogs kind of helped men and women in indicating that it was time to get it on. It's not like they were like "I hear frogs mating so we should have sex tonight" but more as a kind of method of keeping track of a woman's cycle. When the frogs came out, it was indicative of a multitude of really important events that all harken to the cycle of birth, rebirth and fertility. So when the frogs came out, it was also time to plant yuca with the surety that it will be a plentiful harvest, and time to conceive children. One of the ideas I really liked was the idea was that when it was time to plant yuca, it also meant that the women were "close" to the the earth again. The implication that women traveled spiritually and had the capacity to sort of control when a man can get close to them physically seems significant.
Unrelated to the residency: I have my schedule all planned out for my Masters program! I'll be taking two courses this quarter and am looking at graduating in Spring of 2017 with a Masters in Arts Administration. So this year I'm going to be pretty busy with my job as Franklin and Marshall's photo-tech, the residency at Millersville AND my Masters Program. F&M starts this coming Wednesday so I'm looking at splitting my days between the two locations and working in time for coursework on the weekends and evenings. I'm tired just typing that!
Here's to being young, ambitious and Latinx!