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Caribbean Studies - Module 1 - Periods of caribbean_history

Caribbean Studies Module one

Caribbean Studies - Module 1 - Periods of caribbean_history

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C A R I B B E A N S T U D I E S
M O D U L E 1
Periods of Caribbean History
Periods of History
 The Caribbean experience several periods of
History that shaped it into what it is today.
1. The Amerindians
2. The coming of The Europeans: Columbus,
Spaniards, Portuguese.
3. Slavery
4. Indentureship
Introduction
 The inhabitants of Caribbean Societies are
not the original people, and the vast
majority came either to plunder or because
of economic necessity.
 For whatever reason, the plural mix that has
resulted , within so small a physical space
through scattered, contributes to what
makes the Caribbean a place and a people,
interesting and fascinating.
The Tainos
 These were peaceful and gentle people
who migrated from South America,
mainly through the Orinocco Valley via
Venezuela and Guyana In the time of
AD600.
 They came in search of food and to flee
the war like Kalinagos.
The Tainos
 They island hopped and settled in the
Greater Antilles. This was were
Columbus ‘discovered’ them.
 In 1494 approximately 60,000 Tainos
were living in Jamaica with large
populations also living in Cuba,
Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
The Tainos
 The Tainos established settlements on
coastal and fluvial (river) plains. This
facilitated fishing which was their main
method of gathering food.
 Their homes were round huts or houses
made of wood and thatch. They were
clustered in small villages. The huts
contained hammocks and low stools,
cooking pots and other domestic utensils.
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Caribbean Studies - Module 1 - Periods of caribbean_history

  • 1. C A R I B B E A N S T U D I E S M O D U L E 1 Periods of Caribbean History
  • 2. Periods of History  The Caribbean experience several periods of History that shaped it into what it is today. 1. The Amerindians 2. The coming of The Europeans: Columbus, Spaniards, Portuguese. 3. Slavery 4. Indentureship
  • 3. Introduction  The inhabitants of Caribbean Societies are not the original people, and the vast majority came either to plunder or because of economic necessity.  For whatever reason, the plural mix that has resulted , within so small a physical space through scattered, contributes to what makes the Caribbean a place and a people, interesting and fascinating.
  • 4. The Tainos  These were peaceful and gentle people who migrated from South America, mainly through the Orinocco Valley via Venezuela and Guyana In the time of AD600.  They came in search of food and to flee the war like Kalinagos.
  • 5. The Tainos  They island hopped and settled in the Greater Antilles. This was were Columbus ‘discovered’ them.  In 1494 approximately 60,000 Tainos were living in Jamaica with large populations also living in Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
  • 6. The Tainos  The Tainos established settlements on coastal and fluvial (river) plains. This facilitated fishing which was their main method of gathering food.  Their homes were round huts or houses made of wood and thatch. They were clustered in small villages. The huts contained hammocks and low stools, cooking pots and other domestic utensils.
  • 7. The Tainos  They were short sturdy people with brown skin who wore few clothes but were beautifully adorned with coloured paints, flowers, beads, necklaces and feathers.  They lives in a communal structure in villages. These villages coalesced to form a province governed by a Cacique or Chief.  The villages were ruled by sub-chiefs.
  • 10. The Kalinago  While the Tainos enjoyed fishing, the Kalinago were farming people.  They planted manioc and sweet potato In the rainforest and near their villages.  These villages consisted of a series of round huts for women and a larger rectangular ones for the men.
  • 11. The Kalinago  They settled in the more humid and fertile islands. They fished and collected shellfish especially crabs.  They hunted and developed techniques to capture agouti, rice, rats and iguanas.  They also hunted turtles as a part of subsistence activity.
  • 12. The Kalinago  The popular foods such as manioc, baked as cassava bread and pepper pot.  Pepper pot consisted of bits of meat and fish, stewed in manioc juices and spices with hot chilli peppers.  The making of beer was a popular task.
  • 13. The Kalinago  The organized themselves socially in a tribal in a tribal or egalitarian form. Where a headman rules the village community but didn’t have chiefs ruling over groups.  Their art and craft was simple, compared to the sophistication of the Tainos.  They wore little clothing and slept in hammocks.
  • 14. The Kalinago  They used calabash as containers and wood to make canoes and little stools.  They were expert weavers who made beautiful baskets.  By the 17th century they used metal objects such as knives, needles, sickles, hoes, axes and griddles to cook the manioc bread.
  • 15. The Kalinago For these warlike people, weaponry was a major element of their culture. These weapons included a bow and arrow, poisoned with manchineel juice. Other weapons included the war club or boutou and a blowgun.
  • 16. The Kalinago  There was a marked difference in appearance between the kalinago in the Leeward islands and the others.  This difference was mostly seen in hair styles.  The caribs of Guadeloupe wore long hair in a ponytail and bangs on their forehead, while the others favoured short- cropped hair.
  • 19. The Amerindians  The tribes that Europeans met are no longer physically in the region, but there is evidence of their existence.  This evidence is seen in the Caribbean’s economic activities, agricultural systems, language, food, religion and herbal cures.
  • 20.  The Amerindians must be credited with fishing in canoes and boats, peasant farming and subsistence agriculture (use of kitchen gardens).  Caribbean people have adopted the plants planted by the Amerindians and have their practices of interacting with the environment.
  • 21. The Amerindians  Evidence is also seen in language as many names for indigenous foods came from indigenous languages.  Some genetic legacy still remains despite the catastrophic decline of indigenous people in the region. Inter-relationships took place between them and Europeans and Africans resulting in a mixture of ancestry in the Caribbean.
  • 22. The Amerindians  They existed in the Caribbean region for may centuries until the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.  Their labour was exploited, they were over worked, treated cruelly and exposed to unfamiliar European diseases such as measles, small pox and tetanus. These were deadly to them as their had no resistance to these diseases.
  • 23.  They died in large numbers and it was reported in 1611 that only 74 were alive in Jamaica.  At this point it was suggested that Africans would make better workers in the West Indies.
  • 24. The Europeans  Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought the ‘Old World’ into contact with the ‘New World’.  He made a few voyages seeking gold and quick riches and lured settlers with the promise of new land and natives to do hard work for them. The first settlers raised cattle, grew tobacco and sugar cane as well as subsistence crops.
  • 25. The Europeans  The Spaniards introduced the Encomienda system where each settler was granted a piece of land and a groups of natives worked for them.  In return, they were to protect them and convert them to Catholicism.  The government of Spain proclaimed that the natives were free citizens but they were usually treated inhumanely; bought and sold and worked mercilessly by the settlers.
  • 26. The Europeans  The Rapartimiento system was then instituted and was meant to be an improvement on the encomienda system, but it had similar results.  A percentage of males in the village between ages 18 and 60 could be recruited to work for a Spaniard who desired their services for a week or fortnight (2 weeks).
  • 27.  Under this system the Spaniards paid wages and treated the natives, but the system was abused as the Europeans seldom held up their end of the agreement.  Their desire to exploit that land for agriculture ignored the communal arrangements of the indigenous people that developed over many generations.
  • 28.  The cattle, horses, pigs, goats and sheep trampled their fields and destroyed the crops gown by the natives.  Their local process of food production was destroyed as a result of European intervention.  Many natives starved or struggles to survive.
  • 29.  By 1493, the New World was rules by Spain and Portugal. This led to rivalry from other European countries that wanted a share in the new found wealth of the new world.
  • 30. Indentured servants  Indentureship in the Caribbean began as white indentureship. With the rapidly declining aboriginal population an alternative had to be found for the plantations. White indentured labour was introduced in the French and English colonies in the Caribbean.  Each labourer was contracted for 5-7 years, usually without pay. The plantation owners were to look after them and at the end of the time frame, they were expected to give the indentured servant a passage back home and a sum of money or a piece of land.
  • 31.  Many of the white indentured servants were deprived whites, political prisoners and criminals. Barbados received the highest number among the British West Indian Colonies. Many of these white indentured servants can be found in some rural districts of Barbados.  The decimation of the Amerindian societies caused a labour shortage for the plantations and the granting of full freedom to most colonies led to another labour shortage crisis for them in the 19th century.
  • 32.  The first time , after the amerindian genocide in the C’bean the solution was to get indentured servants from Europe. The 2nd time (after emancipation) the ex-slaves moved away from the plantations forming free villages; the solution was sought mainly in Asia, particularly India. Some indentured servants were also sought from china to a lesser extent.  The conditions of both types of indentureship were very much the same. The servants were not slaves, who were forced to work against their will for no wages.
  • 33.  Unlike the slaves, ther servants volunteered their labour. However their low wages made them serfs. Their hard labour, however made them experience some of the hardships of plantation life.  From India, came 500,000 and much fewer numbers came from other places such as Portugal 36,000 and West Africa 36,000.  Later many other groups from the Middle East came, fleeing religious persecution.  This system ended in 1917.
  • 34.  Indentureship provided a basis for the continuation of plantation life in a more legal form of oppression. The approximately 50% Indian populations of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have added significantly to the C’bean ethnic mixture. In jus about every C’bean country, there are communities of Indians and to a lesser extent Chinese and other ethnic people such as Syrians, Lebannese and Jews.
  • 35.  The ethnic mixture of the C’bean makes it one of the most racially mixed cultural places in the world, second only to the USA.  Each and all of these ethnic groups have made significant impacts on the culture they came and found. Traces of their contribution can be identified in religion, business, music and cuisine. The struggles and achievements in regard to this mix have made the Caribbean culture a unique and dynamic reality.
  • 36. Africans  African slavery was introduced into the C’bean after the Amerindian and White slavery could not withstand the rigours of plantation life. With the genocide of the Amerindians cheap labour became very scarce.  From about 1517 the Asiento or import licence was granted to West Indian plantation owners to import African slaves. Bewteen the 1600s and 1800s the English and French brought over 3,000,000 captured Africans to the West Indies.
  • 37.  The vast majority came between 1700 and 1800 to the British West Indies with Barbados receiving 134,500; Jamaica got 85,100 and the Leewards 44,100.  The British West Indian slave trade ended in 1807.  The slave trade involved the transporting of human cargo shipped through the Middle Passage from West Africa to the C’bean and then old by auction to plantation owners.
  • 38.  A day in the life of a slave was very long. The beginning was usually at day break (4:00 am) and ended at 6:30 or 7:00pm. Slaves worked an average of 16 and a half hours a day.  Punishment for insubordination was excessive, intended to ‘break’ their resistant spirits and make others cower. These punishments ranged from death to cutting off an arm or leg and terrible floggings.  Instruments of punishment included the iron collar, thumbscrew and the cart whip.