Meet Kati Rahu and Beike
Let’s all wish ‘Usa Aluika’ to Kati Rahu and Beike of Taino Heritage Camp, a place of culture and celebration in a beautiful setting you might never want to leave…
First some History to kick you off for 10 points… how long has the Camp been here?
I just want the 10 points! Let's see… the Camp has been around since 2014.
Kati Rahu collects 10 points for Team Hicotea… Boom!!!
(Our guests are encouraged to participate in team-led challenges — Team HICOTEA and Team COKI.)
How and by whom was the Camp founded?
The camp at Coki Park was founded by our Beike, Florence Gregory, the spiritual leader to the village. Florence’s background is Youth & Culture and developed the yukayeke, or village, to highlight the Taino culture of Jamaica in a fun and interactive way to schools and visitors.
Please describe the Camp and what visitors might expect…
When you enter the gates at Coki Park you take a step back in time to the pre-Colombian era when the Taino were the indigenous people of Jamaica. You will be greeted by the Casike, or chief, of the yukayeke. Our Taino activities are informative whilst being fun and competitive.
Guests get to pit their wits against the elements and explore the skills of the Taino ancestors, and indulge in the beauty of nature, the foods, the river, the greenery.
Beike and Kati Rahu, your roles must give you great pleasure… do you have daily working routines?
Beike: What gives me great pleasure is finding out about the past lives of the Taino and how it connects with today’s life as part of the heritage of Jamaica; how the legacy of the Taino unfolds from day to day with new evidence, and watching how each visitor has the opportunity to have their input in the development of the park.
Kati Rahu: When you have the pleasure of working in the cultural arts you can indulge in your passions. The thing that intrigues me most is the understated talent and intelligence of the Taino ancestors, their manipulation of plant properties to create medicines, their skills with simple tools to make intricate carvings in stone, cotton, wood, and clay.
Passing on these stories to our visitors is super gratifying. Our day changes from group to group, the experiences we offer to our visitors are bespoke, a conversation between guest and team leader.
Are Taino people still around and is the language still in use in any form?
[In unison, Beike and Kati Rahu agree that this question requires an interactive conversation…]
Come and visit us at Coki Park!
Are you associated with other Taino or Arawak sites on the island or other parts of the Caribbean?
We have several partnerships and relationships with other Taino groups, both in Jamaica, and the greater region.
Would an increase in technology be an option for the future, or to keep things as traditional as possible?
Has technology killed creativity and tradition?
What are your wishes for the future of the Camp?
To see all you beautiful people here!
Are tourists/visitors allowed to just drop in for a look around or is pre-booking essential?
As we mentioned, our group tours (minimum 4 people) are bespoke, so if you want to visit us at Coki Park please allow us 24 hours to prepare. You can contact us by phone, email or social media links (see below).
Generally, how could Ocho Rios be made a better place in attracting visitors?
Maintain its culture!
Do carrots scream when you chop them?
Is chewing as painful to us as chopping is to the carrot? Always have a carrot in your bag!
Taino Heritage Camp: “The first interactive Taino Village in Jamaica... relive the fascinating Taino Heritage through interactive workshops for schools, families and corporate groups. Or just drop in to visit our Camp!” Read loads more at their Website or through Facebook and Instagram.
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