Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recovering a Strand of Our History--Reconnecting With the Taíno Roots of Caribbean Culture

One of the more difficult issues in the construction of Caribbean Latino identity has been the incorporation of indigenous people.  Though el indio Hatuey is revered as a near mythic figure of resistance and independence from colonial masters, the place of the people he led, especially the Taíno, has been more problematic.  For a discussion from the perspective of Cuban identity, see, Larry Catá Backer, From Hatuey to Che: Indigenous Cuba Without Indians and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (March, 27 2009). American Indian Law Review, Vol. 33, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1369422.

It is therefore great to see a renewed interest in Taíno culture and connection among the Latino Diaspora in the United States.  Recently a project originating in Chicago sought to connect Puerto Rican students with Puerto Rican Taíno history and culture.  The project is described in a short video. More information is available from the group--Lost Taino Tribe, the web site for which may be accessed HERE

It would be interesting hear hear more about efforts to create ties among indigenous and other ghroups within Latino communities in the U.S. and in home countries.

1 comment:

  1. Lillian Aponte MirandaFebruary 10, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    I agree that one of the more difficult issues in the construction of Caribbean Latino identity has been the incorporation of indigenous peoples’ history and culture. I do wonder how indigenous communities that have presently sought to establish a distinct indigenous identity would perceive the incorporation of their history and culture in the contemporary construction of Latino identity. Current efforts to create ties among indigenous and other groups within Latino communities might benefit from such perspectives.

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