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Vieques, arawak for “small island,” has a long indigenous history beyond the Taíno whose high period in the Greater Antilles is dated to be from 1200-1500 AD.  In Vieques however, lie the remains of el Hombre de Puerto Ferro, an indigenous man dated to have lived 4,000 years ago. With these images, I reference indigenous cosmology, particularly the belief that the ocean is the dwelling place of spirits.  In the evening the world would flip upside down and the dark seas would become the heavens with sea creatures as constellations.  The heavens are the home of the sacred ancestors and gods: the cemies, hence the name of the series. Those featured are viequenses who have passed, sacred ancestors in this continued struggle.  I have painted them in the blue-green glows of Vieques' famed bio-luminescent bay, shining like the sacred spirits they are.

© 2017-20 by Yasmin Hernandez. All rights reserved.  Moca, Puerto Rico.

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