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Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean

Amerindian Survival and Revival

Maximilian C. Forte

Views of the modern Caribbean have been constructed by a fiction of the absent aboriginal. Yet, all across the Caribbean Basin, individuals and communities are reasserting their identities as indigenous peoples, from Carib communities in the Lesser Antilles, the Garifuna of Central America, and the Taíno of the Greater Antilles, to members of the Caribbean diaspora. Far from extinction, or permanent marginality, the region is witnessing a resurgence of native identification and organization. This is the only volume to date that focuses concerted attention on a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored. Territories covered include Belize, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guyana, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Puerto Rican diaspora. Writing from a range of contemporary perspectives on indigenous presence, identities, the struggle for rights, relations with the nation-state, and globalization, fourteen scholars, including four indigenous representatives, contribute to this unique testament to cultural survival. This book will be indispensable to students of Caribbean history and anthropology, indigenous studies, ethnicity, and globalization.
Contents: Maximilian C. Forte: Introduction: The Dual Absences of Extinction and Marginality - What Difference Does an Indigenous Presence Make? – José Barreiro: Taíno Survivals: Cacique Panchito, Caridad de los Indios, Cuba – Lynne Guitar/Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate/Jorge Estevez: Ocama-Daca Taíno (Hear Me, I Am Taíno): Taíno Survival on Hispaniola, Focusing on the Dominican Republic – Kelvin Smith: Placing the Carib Model Village: The Carib Territory and Dominican Tourism – Paul Twinn: Land Ownership and the Construction of Carib Identity in St. Vincent – Ricardo Bharath Hernandez/Maximilian C. Forte: «In This Place Where I Was Chief»: History and Ritual in the Maintenance and Retrieval of Traditions in the Carib Community of Arima, Trinidad – Janette Bulkan/Arif Bulkan: «These Forests Have Always Been Ours»: Official and Amerindian Discourses on Guyana’s Forest Estate – Fergus Mackay: Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Suriname: A Human Rights Perspective – Joseph O. Palacio: Cultural Identity among Rural Garifuna Migrants in Belize City, Belize – Gérard Collomb: Disputing Aboriginality: French Amerindians in European Guiana – Joseph O. Palacio: Looking at Ourselves in the Mirror: The Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP) – José Barreiro: A Bridge for the Journey: Trajectory of the Indigenous Legacies of the Caribbean Encounters, 1997-2003 – Maximilian C. Forte: Searching for a Center in the Digital Ether: Notes on the Indigenous Caribbean Resurgence on the Internet – Arthur Einhorn: Conclusion. «Before, We Were Asleep: Now We Must Awake from Our Sleep and Move Forward».