Caribbean region-Anthropologists cut the world into regions as a way to get a more in depth
understanding of a particular area. The whole world is too big.
-Can create too much focus and stereotypes. Mobility clouds the true culture and focusing on one
culture can be too micro and ignore globalization and how that region interacts globally.
-The region is a political and geographic term, it is made up, the countries it comprises of are not
homogeneous and the region was not always called that.
-Original inhabitants of the Caribbean and European idea of them (peace loving Arawak and the
warlike taino). The name comes from cannibalism because the original carib people were
perceived to be cannibals, the carib people do not call themselves this. The name was created by
European explorers and their writings were full of stereotypes. As soon as the Europeans landed
they began all forms of domination such as looting, enslaving people, sexual relations and
naming the land.
Pre-Columbian movement-the islands are approx.. 6000 years old and are in existence because
of volcanic activity. Most of the land is volcanic and fertile.
-first 3 tribes of the Caribbean were: Siboney 4000 BCE (Cuba), Taino 2000BCE (Awawak),
Carib (Kalinago and Kalini in Dominica) 1450 BCE. These names were either given to them by
themselves or by Europeans. Believed that the Taino people told the Europeans that the Carib
were cannibals to prevent the rape and destruction of the people on their own lands.
-Stereotype of the peace keeping Arawak and the savage, raping Carib. Carib men and women
speak different languages believed because the women were originally Arawak and the Carib
men stole and raped them. Carib people do still exist today. Saying they are extinct could be the
idea that there are no pure blood Carib people anymore due to mixing.
Columbus-1492 Columbus lands, colonization begins immediately. Primarily the Spanish after
silver, Gold and coal. By 1600’s other European powers such as England, France Dutch etc. also
came to the Caribbean for a piece of the domination, territory and the exports, in fact some parts
of the Cthibbean are not fully independent politically or economically.
-16 -19 Century slaves are imported from Africa through the transatlantic slave trade.
Indigenous peoples did not take well to slavery so slaves were brought in for their labour on
large plantations. Slavery was emancipated in 1800’s.
-African and Creole slaves escape and form 13 Maroon colonies.
-slaves were expected to farm their own food and were able to sell crops which let them
sometimes buy their freedom.
-There was great diversity in the migrants from Europe; some were voluntary who managed the
plantations, some were serving sentences in the new world, some were poor indentured servants.
Triangle of Trade-Islands were set up as exports and most of the new land was used to farm 1-3
principal crops for the colonial power. The idea that slave labour brought into the Caribbean,
sugar, cotton, coffee, tobacco, is produced on massive scales, some processed and then exported
to Europe and America put into cotton mills which was made into clothing which is also at the
same time as African colonization told them to wear certain clothes made from cotton (the
inevitably they were producing).
Post-colonial-Depends on when/if the island became independent. Lots of migration; now
mostly focused on our migration to get an education, professional degrees and jobs because jobs
are scarce on the islands. Remittances are sent home to children and families. Many who leave
want to return to the islands but often can’t always do it due to retirement cheque restrictions. -Tourism is something that is relatively new (1950’s). some countries are forced into tourism to
create much needed jobs and money.
Black Sugar Documentary
-Slthery has been around forevth and were sometimes blacks enslaving blacks. Slavery began in
15 century and ended in 19 century. Approx. 15 mil sold.
-Imprisoned blacks in Synagol waiting for ships to take them to the West Indies. Price of slaves
was based on physique, weight, height etc. Yoruba were the most costly (human studs) as a way
to reproduce more black slaves. Prodded, poked and checked like cows, just a business.
-Sick or dying slaves were tossed overboard. Slaves were branded with an iron on their chest for
what they are good for (domestic, field etc). They were also shaved and naked.
-Women slaves were bedded and raped by white men. If revolts happened, offenders were lashed
and salt, pepper or gunpowder or all were put in the wound. Wounds were kept clean so they did
not get infected.
-Type 1:Blacks with skills; Type 2: Household/domestic blacks; Type 3: Plantation blacks who
were the most and had the littlest rights with the most labour. Average lifespan of 15yrs, most
died within 3 months of starting work.
Slave Trade-Capture of Africans as slaves became a thriving business. Slave labour was really
cheap so both Africans and Europeans were involved. Approx. 8 million Africans were taken
from Africa to the Caribbean. Referred to as the Transatlantic slave trade.
-Slave trade ended at different times as different European powers abolished slavery. 1807 for
England. Slaves under different colonies also received different conditions such as the French
had slaves baptized, had the right to marry, religious worship, went to church with slave owners
and also learned to read. English didn’t want their slaves to read especially the bible because of
the idea that all men were created equal and in God’s image. Families were sold separately and
babies, as soon as they were weaned, were also sold.
-The death rates on boats were as high as 15%.
-Gender disparities at different times. Men were needed over women at first for the labour but
women were then wanted for their reproductive abilities.
-Bought slaves from different regions to prevent talking and rebellion. Slaves were chosen for
occupations based on their original location, colour, age, gender would be secondary.
-Lots of rape and consensual sex, made generations of mixed race children (most often with
domestic slaves; also more likely to be raped). If a white women has consensual sex with a black
man her child is killed, the man charged with rape and either castrated or hung.
-the Africans still managed to keep language, culture, pride and colonies.
Critical Medical Anthropology-Interpretive approach as well as a focus on the political
economy. It is critical because it focuses on the political economy of Haiti.
1804-Inclusion of political economy of Haiti. Haiti becomes independent.
Structural Violence-Farmer attempts to understand poverty, racism, violence of the economy,
dictatorship, stereotypes and how these work together to create structural violence.
Stereotypes of Sida-Homosexual disease, Haitian’s naturally susceptible (destroyed tourism in
Haiti, effected Haitian’s living in US, access to apartments, medical care etc). Farmer does shift
the blame to American tourism into Haiti (sexual tourism). Perspective Narrative-Different social roles allow us to talk about and see things differently. It
is important to understand narratives from many different perspectives.
Soucouyant-Independent, single, foreign women would likely be attacked because of the
travelling and male attention. They attack based on jealously.
-They are women usually who say bad gossip, have red or bloodshot eyes, have lopsided or
wrinkled skin and would rarely be seen out at night. At night they shed their skin and become a
ball of flame. They fly on a broomstick to find their victims (get through the cracks in the doors)
and suck the blood usually through the neck. Shapeshifter is the African aspect.
-Ways to deter the soucouyant: have a pile of sand or rice outside of the doors. They would have
to stop to count all the grains so it will protect you. Put your shoes in the shape of a cross
(catholic influence), store your broom bristle side up.
Kill a soucouyant-take a mortar and pestle. Get their skin and put it in with salt and pepper and
pound it up. It will shrink and she won’t be able to put her skin back on before sunrise and will
L’ou’g’ou-Translates to like a werewolf and is a male shapeshifter.
Mous-little demon or genie a person can make and it would grant wishes.
-to make a mous take a chicken egg, 40 days before good Friday, put it under your arm for 40
days. On midnight the Thursday it will hatch and a mous will come out. You must say “I am
your master” quickly before the mous says it to you and you must tell it what you will feed it.
-If you stay in control of the mous you will be fine but when it turns on you you become its slave
and you have to do what it wants. It will want you to have sex with your wife, parents, children
and make you want to kill yourself.
-It is an allegory to slavery, considered pure greed to make a mous and also evil.
Kill a mous-keep the shell in a bag. Put the mous in the bag with the shell and go as far out to sea
as you can and toss it overboard and then row back as fast as you can without looking back, if
you look back it will come back onto the boat, kill you then go back to shore and enslave
Creole-A person, animal or plan from the “old world” (Africa and Europe) that has been
transported or transplanted to the “new world” (Caribbean) and changed physically to adapt to
the new environment.
-A person of European decent born in the Caribbean. Same connotations as above. Belief though
at the time that the tropical climate could make people a little less beautiful and civilized.
-Comes from the Spanish work Criollo which is anglicised to Creole.
-A person of mixed blood (Ameridian, African and European).
-Language that emerges through time that has elements of West Africa and European origin but
were now new languages in their own right. Usually West Africa