When the English colonists in Barbados faced starvation in 1627, John Powell sailed from Barbados to the Dutch Essequibo colony in Guyana for help and the Dutch Captain Adrian Groenewegen assisted him with a cargo of cassava and other food supplies. He also sent 40 Lokono-Arawaks to teach the English colonists in Barbados to plant cassava and other root crops on the island for one year – thereby saving their lives.

Did the English gratefully THANK the 40 Lokono-Arawaks for saving their lives and send them back to Guyana with rewards, gifts or payment for vital services rendered? NO!

The English colonists in Barbados re-payed the kindness of the Lokono-Arawaks with TREACHERY, they refused to let these 40 native men & women go and made them slaves instead!

It was ONLY because our ‘docile’ (according to the books about us written by Europeans) Lokono-Arawak Hereditary Chiefs at that time who’s Chiefdoms surrounded the Dutch Essequibo Colony threatened to “kill every Dutchman in Guyana if our people were not returned to our tribe” – so the Dutch Captain (who was so terrified he even married the daughter of a powerful Kalina-Carib Chief in an attempt to get her Tribe to protect him) had to beg and bribe his English ‘friends’ in Barbados – to let the 40 Lokono-Arawaks go; which they reluctantly did (because they depended on the Dutch colony in Guyana for goods they needed so could not afford to loose that geographically nearby source of re-supply)…..the English in Barbados later got into the business of sailing their own ships to capture Amerindians in the region and selling them as slaves in Barbados (this is where a Lokono-Arawak woman called ‘Tituba’ was captured on the Guyana coastline and sold in Barbados to Rev Samuel Parris – who later took her with him to the Boston colony and she became famous in the ‘Salem Witch Trials’ his paranoia unleashed there – that most Americans have heard of (but few know it had a native Amerindian – not African – ‘star’ – who was in fact a Lokono-Arawak from Guyana) .

Samuel Parris, son of Thomas Parris, was born in London, England in 1653 to a family of modest financial success and religious nonconformity. Samuel emigrated to Boston in the early 1660s, where he attended Harvard University at his father’s behest. When his father died in 1673, Samuel left Harvard to take up his inheritance in Barbados, where he maintained a sugar plantation.

In 1680, after a hurricane hit Barbados, damaging much of his property, Parris sold a little of his land and returned to Boston, where he brought his Lokono-Arawak slaves ‘Tituba’ (female) and ‘John Indian’ (male) – whom he both purchased in 1675 from Captain Peter Wroth’s slave capturing voyage to Guyana the year before.

Then he married Elizabeth Eldridge. Together they had three children, Thomas Parris, Betty Parris, and Susannah Parris. Although the plantation supported his merchant ventures, Parris was dissatisfied with his lack of financial security and began to look to the ministry for a more steady & secure source of income (as most evangelists do). In July 1689, he became minister of Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts.

* In 1674 Captain Peter Wroth had set sail from Barbados on his ship the ‘Savoy’ for the Guyana coastline in South America, a mere 400 miles south of Barbados. He had a mandate from the English Governor of Barbados Lord Willoughby and his successor in 1673 Sir Peter Colleton – to capture Amerindians for sale in Barbados. It is useful to note that in this same year white colonists in the Carolinas were also capturing the Sowee and Apalachee tribes and exporting them for sale in Barbados.

It is also useful to note (and non-Lokono speakers would NOT know this), but the words ‘Titi Beyu’ in Lokono just means ‘Aunt Beyu’ (Beyu is a traditional Lokono-Arawak name that in English means ‘Deer’)….as a Lokono it is clear as day to me that the native man re-named ‘John Indian’ by Samuel Parris was merely younger that the native woman whom he was captured with – and was heard referring to as ‘Titi Beyu’ (and ‘Titi’ is what we respectfully called ANY older woman (even if just a few years older) unless they are an older sister, one’s mother, or grandmother,…..so if her real Lokono name was Beyu (Deer) and she was older than me – I too would habitually call her ‘Aunt Deer’ (Titi Beyu) …just as my own children call a non-blood relative older man in the tribe ‘uncle Joli’…it does not mean that the person you call ‘Aunt’ or ‘Uncle’ is a blood relative, it just means they are older than you and you would be rude and disrespectful to call them by their name without one of these 2 terms of endearment BEFORE their name (depending on their gender of course). It is even normal for US to shorten our own words, hence if your name is ‘Beyu’ – I could call you ‘Bey’ for short and it would not be odd to you or anyone else in the Tribe. My name is Damon (pronounced ‘Day-mon’) – but most people in the tribe just call me ‘Day’ (just for example)…or ‘Uncle Day’ if they are younger than me and not my own children.

‘Titi Beyu’ can easily be mis-transcribed by a person who does not speak the language as ‘Tituba’, 2 other Lokono words have been similarly mis-transcribed by English writers as in the cases of ‘Barobakua’ = which became ‘Barbeque’, and ‘Sorosaka’ = which became ‘Soursop’.

Lastly, Rev. Samuel Parris based his impression of ‘witchcraft’ upon discovering his 2 young naked daughters and 2 other white girls who were their friends – standing in a circle around a fire with ‘Tituba’ who was wafting Tobacco smoke over them….AFTER Parris shouted ‘WHAT SORCERY IS THIS!” – the 4 white girls (as if on ‘sudden inspiration cue’) immediately fell to the ground when they were discovered and began to scream and writhe (and when they realized they would escape punishment by playing along with this ‘we were possessed by evil spirits’ convenient excuse – they compounded lies with further lies – that caused the deaths of 19 innocent women and men.

To ME as a father of a Lokono-Arawak daughter myself who underwent a 9 day long Puberty rite of passage, it is obvious that ‘Tituba’ was merely performing a traditional puberty rite of passage for these white girls, to US traditionalists the puberty rite of passage is THE most important rite of passage for a human female, we believe all manner of problems will enter the lives of any girl who does not undergo this, so Tituba was doing for these girls – what was in her mind the most important event of their entire lives. The fire is sacred, it is the physical manifestation of the Great Holy Spirit (what you might call ‘God’)…just as in your Christian Holy Book your God appeared as a burning bush and spoke from the flames – so don’t think our beliefs are strange compared to your own!

We also believe that Tobacco smoke is powerful and holy, to be bathed in it is to be abundantly blessed and protected (and these girls got off scott free though 19 others died from the subsequent trials and the lies they told to get themselves and their paranoid father out of trouble) so it is clear to me that the smoke Parris described was Tobacco smoke….as for the standing in a circle, well to us the circle is THE most sacred of shapes, so we pray in a circle whether seated or standing routinely.

So UNLIKE the other fanciful versions of the ‘Tituba’ identity, none have cited the 3 proofs I have to back up my claim that she was a Lokono-Arawak and not any other tribe OR any other race.

I have cited the ship that captured and sold the same 2 Amerindian slaves to Samuel Parris – which he took with him from Barbados TO Salem, I explained her name as being a Lokono-Arawak one, and I explained her participation in what is to us a traditional rite of passage ceremony for girls – but what appeared to Rev. Samuel Parris as being ‘witchcraft’.

To further understand the psychological reasons for these ‘witch trials’ you must take note of these facts as well (and who among us does NOT know some religious freak who would say and do anything to maintain their deceptive ‘I am a mouthpiece of God’ image they use to brainwash their blind-faith gullible congregations):

The village of Salem was divided, Parris sided with the Salem Village farmers trying to gain independence from the merchant dominated Salem town.

Using this Parris wrote 52 sermons between 1689-1694 blaming his personal failures and the villages problems as being a cosmic battle between Christ and Satan (with Parris being on Christ’s side ofcourse). Parris beat his Lokono-Arawak slave woman ‘Tituba’ until she ‘confessed’ that she was a witch, he then beat her some more until she ‘confirmed’ that the two women Parris named himself – Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne – were also ‘witches’ (sounds like a popular Police technique to me!).

Conveniently – Good & Osbourne were not only already disliked in the community, but ‘co-incidentally’ they were also strong critics of Rev. Parris, eventually folks began to realize that they could seize their neighbors property just by accusing them of being witches – so quite a few scores were settled and some families who made the false accusations on neighbors got wealthier by taking over their neighbors land (‘good Christians’ had a ‘right’ to the property of ‘sinners’ of course) as a result of doing so, you just had to accuse people Parris did not like and your accusations were deemed ‘credible’ by him.

Bear in mind – had the TRUTH come out that the 4 white girls (including the preachers own 2 daughters) had participated in a traditional Amerindian ceremony (deemed ‘heathen’ by Christian fanatics) at their own request of the Lokono-Arawak slave woman ‘Tituba’ who was owned by Rev. Samuel Parris – this pioneer opportunist evangelist’s profitable ‘ministry of God’ would have come to an abrupt end! So it was in his best interest to use these trials to FIRSTLY eliminate his opponents, and SECONDLY to strengthen his influence, personal power and control over the community – which THIRDLY increased his personal financial fortune….it was literally a win-win-win situation for Rev. Samuel Parris.

Last Real Indians