Caribean Studies Handout #1
Early Migratory Movements of the Indigenous Peoples into the CaribeanHistory tels us that before the European invasion into the Americas there were pre- historic Amerindian groups who lived in the region. These groups setled in areas as far back as 500-300 BC to 7, 00 years ago. These peoples were the Ostionoids, Barancoids and the Saladoids who infiltrated the region from which you have the descendants of the Kalinagos, Tainos, Mayas, Aztecs and Incas. Archaeological evidence shows that hese people ate shelfish and made bone and stone they were referedto as the pre- ceramic group. Archaeologists show that he first people to have come to the region traveled from Siberia and Alaska acros the Bering Strait. Some also believed that hese people made their way into the Americas via the winds and curents of the Pacific Ocean; by folowing animals acros the ice bridge which joined Alaska and Siberia. Before the ice- bridge disapeared many groups of hunters pushed those who came south about some 18,00 years ago. Most of the earlier groups who came during the pre- Ceramic period lived in the Greater and LeserAntiles for 500 years before the arival of the other groups. These people were aculturated with the Saladoid, Barancoid and Ostionoid cultures from which came the Tainos, Kalinagos and Mayas. These people had established trading systems conected to the mainland teritories. The Tainos and Kalinagos co-existed with these ceramic groups and in fact mixed with them. These Ceramic group stil live in western Cuba and remote areas of Hispaniola ( they are refered to as Ciboneys) The Tainos were not a separate group that came to the region, they simply where hybrids of the earlier peoples of the Greater Antiles. The Tainos arived in the Caribean through Venezuela- Trinidad gate way about 30BC. The last wave of migrants from South America before the contact was the “Island Caribs so caled to diferentiate them from the present day Caribs of Venezuela and Guianas. However, historians today are of the view that both groups evolved from the common Saladoids. Tainos and KalinagosSocial Organization
Farming activites were caried almost entirely by women; fishing and hunting were done by men. The kalinago society was very miltaristic while the Tainos society was hierarchical. They lived in rectangular and round shaped houses made of poles and thatch. Government Each independent Taino community was ruled by a cacique, a hereditary ruler who also acted as high priest and judge. On the other hand, each Kalinago family was independent; justice was caried out on a personal level. A leser civil eader supervised farming and fishing activites, but his authority was subordinate to that of the “Ouboutu.
A mixture of zemism- the worship of zemis or idols believed to control the forces of nature- and spiritualism, formed the basis of the Taino religion. The cacique, acting as high priest, presided over al religious ceremonies and communicated with ancestors and Gods on numerous ocasions. Tainos believed in the Afterlife. Kalinagos on the hand, was spiritualistic. Special boys were trained as priest and they had the most powerful “maboya” or god and evil spirit.
Customs Both Amerindian group flatened the foreheads of their babies. They enjoyed singing, dancing to music and tobaco smoking. They also played a bal game caled “ batos”.2 The Kalinago boys were trained as wariors and a smal initation ceremony ushered them into manhod. Before they atack the Tainos the wariors worked themselves into a rage, used their war canoes to caryout he atack, always caried way their dead and any captured Taino men who were starved for five days, then ceremonialy kiled and eaten. Captured women became the concubines of the Kalinago wariors. Seafod, vegetables and pepers were the main fod items along with agouti, and iguana. Technology
The Tainos and the Kalinagos were skiled at constructing and using dugout canoes for fishing and transportation purposes. Their stone tols, spears, bows and arows and clubs were fairly wel made, but potery items were crude and soft. Women wove straw baskets, coton cloth and hammocks. Simple farming methods produced a variety of crops, including casava, corn, coton and tobaco. They also did some amount of irigation. Migration of the Europeans
Social Changes in Europe and contributions to explorations in the 15th century *The rebirth of learning (Renaisance) - the new ideas that were encouraged during the renaisance provided the basis for developments in science and technology.
* With the decay of feudalism, the serfs who were at he botom of the social system were able to pursue their own goals and aspirations without he shackles of religious precepts. * The emergent of a midle clas of merchants and tradesman came into existence, and above them was the nobilty, forming the ruling clas. This midle clas was important in that hey contributed to the development of trade and commercial of Europe.
* The rise of printing which alowed for the spread of new ideologies and thinking of Europeans. The growth of ideas led to the growth of schols and universites.
* The spiritual powers of the Roman Catholic Church permeated every aspect of life and made the church the dominant instiution in the Western Europe. It fostered the desire to spread Christianity in foreign lands. The Pope became the arbitrator of politcal disputes, particular those involving the discovery of new lands. In fact, religion was used as a tol for European exploitation and hegemony in the conquered teritories.
Setlement and Impact of the Europeans in the Americas For over a hundred years after Columbus claimed the Americas for Spain, no other European nation was able to establish permanent setlement in the Caribean. The Britsh and French in the 16th and 17th centuries came to raid pilage and capture rich Spanish galeons carying gold and silver back to Spain or to lay siege to and destroy Spanish setlement and steal their treasures. They were caled “ bucaners,” privaters” and “ pirates.” Acording to the Treaty of Tordesilas 1494, Spain was not given teritory in Africa and therefore had to rely on the Portuguese for a suply of slaves. This tok the form of a licence, the asiento, granted at first o the Portuguese, then to the Dutch, Britsh and French. Rivalry began betwen the nations for the licence and they undermined each other at he point of suply on the African coast. No longer gold and silver but human cargo was now proving to be a way to profit from Spain’s empire.3
Once the Britsh and French managed to establish a permanent setlement in St. Kits (1624), migrants spread quickly to Nevis, Antigua, Montserat, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The islands were virtualyignored by the Spaniards and the Amerindian populations were smal and easily overcome. Many of the Colonies established by the French and Britsh in the early 17th century were proprietorships. The Europe monarch gave to noblemen, highly favoured persons, or even companies, the sole right of setling and developing such colonies. These were the Lord proprietors who bore the expenses of the colony and in return taxed the profits of the colonists. The Dutch setled on the Guiana coastlands and the smal island of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St.Marten, Saba and St. Eustatius. They were les interested in agriculture, prefering to be traders, suplying the colonies with slaves and other gods. They used the island as masive warehouses and places were slaves were kept en route to their final destination. Unlike the Spanish, Britsh, French and Dutch, did not enslaved the native populations. Por and unemployed persons from Europe came out as indentured or contracted labour for the tobaco farms before sugar cultivation became widespread. Denmark setled St. Thomas in 1672 and later St. Croix and St. John, while Sweden bought St Barth’s from the French in 1784 and sold it back in 1878.
As early as 1515, Spain gave the Asiento ot licence to Portugal to suply enslaved Africans to the Caribean to work alongside the indigenous peoples on the ranches and in the mines. By the time of the Sugar Revolution in the 1640s the demand for enslaved labour grew astronomicaly. Historians argue that betwen 15-20 milion enslaved Africans came to the Caribean during the plantation era. The new group of enslaved people setled on the plantations in areas designated for them this was usualy the back lands of the estates and /or the crop that hey were responsible for producing. After emancipation they tended to ocupy the rural areas of their respective teritory. The Impact of the Africans on Caribean Society and Culture
The Europeans did everything in their power to alienate the African culture- new names, laws forbiding their religious worship and separating their familes. Despite this many diferent African cultural forms survived examples of these are evident in their religion, language, fods, folk medicine, music, art and festival celebrations. Religious practices- many elements can be recognized in the cults of obeah, vodo and Shango. These were pased down from one generation to the next. In Jamaica for example, Myalism and obeah developed into pocomania. These practices involved sorcery, witchcraft and the use of charms. It is through dancing and music that hese cults are kept alive in contemporary Caribean. Language- the West Africans who came to the Caribean created their own tongue known as Patios ( mixture of African, French, English and Spanish dialects). This dominated not only the vocabulary of the Africans but also in pronunciation and grammar ( nyam, su-su, Kas- Kas, bufbuf, bafan, bobo) Fods- some of the fods of Africa became part of the Caribean for example, yam, cocoa, asham, fu-fu, susumba, peanut duckono).
Folk Medicine – the use and administration of herbs and bushes have survived in the Caribean regardlesof the fact hat modern medicine has ben instiuted. The use of herbal medicine came through the vision and experimentations of the slaves who brought knowledge of nature and its uses. The obeah men were the4 slave doctors who administered various teas, baths ,potions and oils for the purpose of healing. For example, love bush was used for fevers; leaf of life for common colds; Quasie for malaria; soursop leaf to expel worms from the body.
Music- African music can be identified in some Caribean churches, festivals and threatres. The cal and answer style of singing is indigenous of Africa. The use of drums escaped the dominating hands of the planters who tried to wipe it out. In Jamaica some of the melodies and rhythms brought here by the slaves are present in our music even some of their musical instruments such as Congo- talking drum, Abeng, xylophone, bambo, fife and banjo.
Art- The majority of West Africans imported in the Caribean were talented and skiled human beings. The rich cultural heritage was retained and reflects in Caribean art. Much of the ceramics, carvings and sculptures reflects that of the African culture.
Festival Celebrations- Some of the festivals have a strong link to West African practices. Some examples are Jonkonu, Nine- night, Bruckins, Dinki Mini, sesions and Yam festivals.The Indentured Servants Indentured servants were used during the early 160-1640 and betwen 1838-1917. 1. The indentured servants who came in the 17th century were used due to the near extinction of the Amerindian population.2. Servants were imported from Ireland, England, Holand, France and Portugal. 3. Like the Amerindians they were underfed, overworked and exploited; 4. They were fed on Irish potatoes and water alone.
5. Those who came in 19th century came as contract labourers to work on the sugar plantations. Most of these servants came from Maderia, China, India and Africa.
Migration of the Indentured Servants ( 1840- 1917)
Slavery was abolished in the Britsh Caribean over a period of time 1834-1838. Despite that fact, some plantations neded labourers for the sucesful continuation of sugar production particular those countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Britsh Guiana and Suriname.
In the smaler islands such as Antigua, St. Kits and Barbados Africans had fewer options and so return to the plantations and acepted the wages ofered.
In Britsh Guiana and Trinidad which had recently become large scale sugar producers neded a large labour force for the expansion of the industry.
The planters did not utilze ex—slave labour as much because it was “expensive.” However, some historians argue that he planters refused to pay ex-slaves fair wages.5 They first experimented with the Portuguese, Chinese, Germans and Indians to somewhat “ whiten” the ethnic balance of the West Indies. The former worked but he later also went into this area but were prefered because they were wiling to work for low wages.
The indentured servants worked on a contractual system for 5-7 years and were given a pasage back to their homeland while others received a grant of land.
India was proven to be the most satisfactory source of labour and so in 1845 Trinidad and Jamaica monopolize on this and later Britsh Guiana.
By the time the Indian experiment of Indian Indentureship ended there were about 239,00 who went o Britsh Guiana; 14,00 to Trinidad and 36,00 who came to Jamaica. Most came from Northern India- Bengal, Utar Pradesh and various parts of Britsh India and were wiling to work for low wages.
Impact of Indentured migrants on Caribean Culture
Ethnic Diversity- the influx of immigrants particularly in Guyana, Trinidad, and Suriname created sizable sub- groups.
The French brought labourers from Pondichery a French Indian colony who brought heir Kali, Tamil culture from Southern India which stil exists in Guadeloupe today. Large Indian ethnic groups are found in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad. Compared to the Indians, Chinese immigrants readily asimilated into Caribean culture and many maryAfrican women and became Christians. The development of the extended familes became pronounced in Caribean society and culture. COMPARISON OF TAINOS AND KALINAGOS
FEATURES TAINOS KALINAGOS
Technology (1) Bow & Arrow(2) Hammocks (3) Irrigation Bow & Arrow Straw basket No irrigation
Customs (1) Flattened foreheads(2) Singing and dancing (3) Eat agouti (4) Barkless dog(5) Subsistence living Flattened foreheadsSinging and dancing Eat Taino men No barkless dog Subsistence living Religion (1) Zemis worship(2) Priest had power to communicate with zemis (3) Tainos believed in heaven(4) Tobacco used Maboya worship Priest trained boys Boyez had special powersTobacco used Village Headman (1) Cacique (Chief)(2) Position hereditary (3) Distribution of lands (4) Presided over (5) Make laws Oubuto (chief) Position based on fighting skills and strength Lead raids Make all decisions ceremoniesMake laws Government (1) Society rule independently (2) Cacique acted as priest and judge (3) Justice carried out by priest and cacique Society ruleindependentlyJustice carried out on a personal basis Training (1) Priest in charge of training(2) less severe More severe Maboya in charge of training More serve Location of Settlement (1) Top of hill(2) Rectangular shaped house(3) Caneye family house On a flat arearectangular shaped housesCarbet family and warrior houses.