At an early age, Lillian Aragones knew her family had a diverse background.
“I grew up a to the stories from my grandmother, my mother, and my uncle… growing up, playing in caves, living in the village and their daily chores routines that they had,” Lillian explained.
After taking a DNA test, Lillian found out she was a Native American Indian. She was excited to learn her roots are a blend of Amerindian, which are tribes from South America and the Caribbean Islands.
The DNA test gave her exact percentages of the several different ethnicities she is a part of, but she decided to focus on one – the Taino.
Her love of history pushed her to continue learning about her family’s lineage and ultimately influenced her most recent decision – to get a traditional Taino name.
“I wanted to get my indigenous name and do it in an authentic way,” Lillian said.
Her indigenous name is Kanarini, it means “a water vessel that quenches the thirst of others with wisdom.”
As a former teacher, Lillian plans to live up to her native name, hoping to spread knowledge about her people to increase awareness and tolerance.
Additional reporting by Jalyn Henderson