Yall Quinones

Da iri le Yallzee Quiñones.

My name is Yallzee Quiñones.

I was born in Ponce, Boriken, and was raised all over the island.  Being Taino has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my family frequently visited el Parque Ceremonial de Tibes. That is where I was taught more about Taino history, my ancestry and how some of our everyday practices and objects had roots in Taino, not just Boricua, culture. Throughout my life, I have been drawn to indigenous music, art, and languages.

In 2018, I moved my family from Rio Piedras, Boriken to Florida. I have always been interested in language, and the Taino language became a focal point. After researching, I learned that hekexi Taino language work was being done in Higuayagua; because of that and news of a soon-to-be-released comprehensive dictionary, I joined in early 2021.  When the English/Hiwatahia dictionary was released in the fall of 2021, I devoured it.  I incorporated language study into my daily routine. I learned new words, created phrases and sentences, spoke to my wife (and myself) in Hiwatahia every day; I mentally translated signs I read or snippets of conversations that I heard from English or Spanish into Taino. I attended every language class and eagerly contributed to discussions in our language.  I now have the honor to be part of the Language Team. As a team member, I assist Tukuda Jessie Hurani, our Language Director in helping to plan and teach our language classes, as well as proofreading Hiwatahia educational materials; I handle Higuayagua’s social media language content; and I try my hardest to encourage Higuayagua members to speak in our language through videos, individual or group conversations, and sharing my own Hiwatahia learning methods and experiences.

I have always been interested in culture, the arts and indigenous people, causes and matters. I am a B-Boy, and a Hip Hop producer and beatmaker. I am also an internationally published tattoo collector and tattoo journalist. I do event hosting as well.