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Rise and Fall of an Empire

A Progressive Caribbean

Jerome Teelucksingh

Rise and Fall of an Empire: A Progressive Caribbean emphasizes the significance of literature, media, history, slavery, culture and ideology which helped shape the Caribbean. This interdisciplinary work includes lesser known events, individuals and organizations that have emerged from colonialism and contributed to the foundations of a Caribbean Empire. Furthermore, these personalities and groups made valid contributions to the improvement and betterment of Caribbean societies. There are obvious contradictions within the Caribbean region that denote noteworthy progress whilst other indicators reflect a regression. Undoubtedly, these are features of a dynamic people and stable region that should be considered an Empire.

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8 Caribbean Novels and Their Realities


Caribbean Novels and Their Realities

In the Caribbean, there is a widespread belief in superstitions, folklore and myths. Additionally, in Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean, the fatalism of the early indigenous natives existed among the Tainos, Kalinagos, Aztecs, Incas and Mayans.1 Among the folklore of West Indians include the lagahoo, duppy, douen, rolling calf and la diablesse.2 These superstitions are embodied in the psyche of the Anglophone Caribbean.

All societies possess a cosmology, which assists in explaining the universe and the operation of the spiritual and material elements of the world.3 The fears and myths surrounding religion exist in all societies. There is fear combined with respect for the supernatural and omnipresent forces, which supposedly controlled the weather, a healthy life, death, famine and the success of crops. Sacrifices were needed to appease ambivalent spirits and supplications were earnestly rendered to gods in the hope that good luck would prevail.

West Indian novelists have captured some of the superstition and spirituality, which is prevalent in the region. The Caribbean society is one of adaptation, acculturation and assimilation. This could explain ←151 | 152→the mixture of religious beliefs with superstitions and local practices. For instance, Shama, one of the characters in A House for MrBiswas requests a “house-blessing ceremony” to bless the home and shop.4 Likewise, in Black Midas, based in Guyana, during the funeral of one of the characters there is a mixture of superstitious and religious practices:

Because he had...

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