April 2022 news

  • April 19, 2022 5:24 PM
  • NEWS

Lots of group news to cover this month!

In Smug Owls, race to craft answers to never-before-seen riddles created by a magic deck. Your answer can be anything—funny, punny, clever, profound, nonsensical, you name it. Slap your hand on the table once you’re ready. When only one player is left, they become the Smug Owl, who listens to all the answers and rewards their favorite.

On November 19th, 1493, Spanish conquistadors, propelled by greed and armed with enlightenment, landed on the sandy shores of Borikén, home of the Taíno people. Deceived by the promise of peace like so many other natives of the New World, the Taíno people were stripped of their customs and gods and quickly enculturated into Spain’s Encomienda system, which made them subjects to the crown and placed under the rule of a Spanish governor. Under this new rule, the Taíno people were forced to cultivate the land to the benefit of the new “owners,” mining gold and harvesting crops that were shipped back across the Atlantic. As time passed, working conditions devolved into a form of communal slavery, and as things got worse, the desire for rebellion began to grow.
 In 1511, led by Agüeybaná II, the Taíno people rebelled against the Spanish and banded together in an all-out war against their captors. The Taíno fought valiantly but ultimately lost the war and were forced into slavery. Those that were not captured fought from the shadows through sabotage and guerilla warfare for over a decade. But, after so much loss of Taíno life, the survivors decided that their best chance was to leave Borikén behind and seek a new life in the neighboring islands and beyond. 
 When the Spanish arrived in 1493, it is estimated that there were over 50,000 Taíno people living on Borikén, and by 1529, it is believed that less than 500 Taíno people were left. In less than 40 years, the Taíno had been displaced and nearly annihilated. By the end of the 16th Century, they were nearly forgotten.

 Borikén, modern-day Puerto Rico, is now home to a people that proudly trace their heritage back to its Taíno, African, and Spanish roots. These three different cultures were brought together by some of the worst measures of the human condition—greed, slavery, and genocide—but the result is a vibrant culture, rich with history and traditions, and known for its beauty and passion.
 The Taíno people are gone, but they live on through the people that are trying to connect the broken pieces of their culture almost 500 years later. To that end, this game tells the story of Borikén through the eyes of the Taíno people—a people who existed and faced their own challenges even before the Spanish arrived on their shores (pre-1493), who rallied together to try and rid their home of the overwhelming invaders (1493-1512), and in failing to do so had to make hard sacrifices so that a few might survive (1512-1529).