Creolization: Creole Language and Caribbean

Topics: Caribbean, Slavery, Culture Pages: 2 (748 words) Published: April 7, 2009
Kamau Brathwaite, a historian and poet was greatly inspired by a seminar held by Robert Adams in 1957, where he described ‘Creole culture’. Unlike Adams however, Brathwaitesaw Creole cultures as a process of culture change, rather than just a description of a Creole society. Brathwaite believed that creolization occurs at 2 levels: “ac-culturation, which is the yoking (by force and example, deriving from power/prestige) of one culture to another (in this case the enslaved/African to the European); and inter/culturation, which is an unplanned, unstructured but osmotic relationship proceeding from this yoke.” The result of this process, which is creolization, Brathwaitestates, will become the ‘tentative cultural norm of the society.’ The term creolization cannot be fully understood without taking into account its historical background and geographical context. In these terms, creolization must be seen not simply as a synonym for hybridity but as a phenomenon that is indispensable to understanding the New World experience. Creolization within the Caribbean can be said to have emerged from or catalyzed through colonization, the slave trade and migration, all of which caused individuals from a variety of ethnic, cultural and geographical backgrounds to integrate within one society. This by extension caused the formation of a new culture within the Caribbean to facilitate the coming together of these people. It must be noted however, that the concept of creolization is not limited to the Caribbean only and is a process that is evident usually after decolonization and nation building, which leads one to think that there is a link between them. Globalization Despite the variety of cultures that were brought to the Caribbean, and their differences, there are many positives that emerged from what Brathwaite terms ‘creolization’. The Caribbean composes mostly of small islands and a few larger countries such as Belize and Venezuela. Due to their individual size and...
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