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When the Spaniards arrived in "Borinken" (Puerto Rico), they were greeted with open arms by the Tainos, who lived a peaceful and organized life. This made it easy for Juan Ponce de Leon and his men to conquer the island. Before the Spaniards arrived, the Tainos had a form of government. Each region had a tribe headed by a Cacique. Some of the Caciques, like Hayuya, were more powerful than others. They all, however, responded to the "Supreme Cacique", which at that time was Agueybana. The area that Hayuya dominated is considered to be the "birth place" of the Taino culture in the island.
Soon, the Spaniards started to enslave the natives. On February 1511. Agueybana II and Urayoan (The Añasco Cacique), and their men drowned Diego Salcedo. They watched Salcedo's body to see if he resucited, when he didn't, the Tainos realized that the Spaniards where not "Gods" and thus, the Tainos became rebellious.
According to the "Cronicals of the Indias" which are found in Seville, Spain, Hayuya lived and governed the area which is now named after him, in the interior central part of Puerto Rico. On September 7, 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon, who was appointed governor by the "Spanish Crown", sent troops headed by Alonso Niño and Alonso de Mendoza, to "squash" the rebellious Tainos. When they arrived at Hayuya's village, they proceded to raid and murder the inhabitants. They burned the village to the ground. The Tainos that survived were taken prisoners and some were made to work the mines as slaves and the others were sent to Spain where they were sold as slaves for 145 "pesos".
Eventually, the Tainos died from the cruelity of working in the mines or from the smallpox epidemic.
The "National Indigena Festival" (Festival Naciional Indigena ) which honors the memory of Hayuya and the Taino heritage is celebrated anually on November 24 in the town of Jayuya. There is a monument of Hayuya, the only one of its kind to be dedicated to a Taino Cacique, located in Jayuya's Cultural Center next to a Taino tomb. It was sculpted by the renowned Puerto Rican artist Tomas Batista in 1969. Hayuya is also represented in the town's "Coat of Arms".
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