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Arasibo


Arasibo (born c. 1480s) was a Taino Cacique in Puerto Rico who Governed the area which is now named after him (now spelled Arecibo).

Arasibo governed a tribe whose village was located by the shore of the river "Abacoa" (now known as the "Rio Grande de Arecibo"). Arasibo had been known to be a "just" and respected cacique and his tribe had led a peaceful existence before the arrival of the Spaniards. The rivers close to the village were full of fish and turtles and so it was only natural that the members of Arasibo's tribe were fishermen. Their land produced many fruits, such as mangos and papayas; the tribe were cultivators of corn and rice. Arasibo loved to collect all kinds of animals and birds. He, like the rest of the other Caciques, reported only to the "Supreme Cacique" Agueybana.

The relationship between the Spaniards and the Tainos was peaceful at first, however, all that changed when the Conquistadores started to enslave the natives. Agueybana's brother Agueybana II discovered that the Spaniards were not "gods" and this encouraged the Cacique to rebel against the invaders. The rebellion failed after Juan Ponce de Leon's troops confronted and killed Agueyubana.

In the Cronicals of Arecibo written by Puerto Rican historian Cayetano Coll y Toste, Toste states that his research and investigations led him to uncover the following facts. In the year 1515, all of the area of Arecibo including the rivers of "Rio Grande" and "Tanama" were given as a gift to a "Lope Conchillos" (who resided in Spain) by the Spanish Crown. Conchillos sent a helper by the name of "Pedro Moreno" to the island to administer his lands; Moreno found Arasibo and his tribe of about 200 Tainos living in the land; he then enslaved them and Arasibo and his people died shortly after.

The crown in the coat of arms of the City of Arecibo represents the glory of the Cacique Arasibo, who was the first known ruler of the region.


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