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Indigenous People of the Caribbean

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The Indigenous Heritage Of The Caribbean And Its Contribution To A Caribbean Identity
Text from the Untold Origins Exhibition held at the Cuming Museum, October 2004 to February 2005.

The Cuming Museum

155-157 Walworth Road London SE17 1RS 020 7525 2163

‘Mabrika Mabrika- welcomeIt has been very important to be able to look at the objects in the Cuming Museum. It makes me realise how much we can regain from what we have lost of our culture by studying these objects.’
The Honourable Charles Williams, Carib Chief of the Carib Territory, Commonwealth of Dominica, on a visit to the Cuming Museum, October 6 2004. He is holding a ceremonial baton or club, used by chiefs as a badge of office on ceremonial occasions. From the Schomburgk collection.

The Caribbean has always seen people on the move - from the settlement of people from the South American mainland thousands of years ago, the forced settlement of enslaved people from Africa, to the 'Island hopping' and immigration abroad in search of work in the 20th century. Within the Untold Origins exhibition we explored what happens when people and cultures move and come into contact with each other. What do people preserve from their original culture to maintain their sense of identity? How does contact with a new culture change how they view themselves? The histories and stories of the people who populated the Caribbean prior to the arrival of Europeans 500 years ago seemed hidden. Until recently the received history of the Caribbean as taught in schools repeated the inaccurate story of Carib cannibals eating their way up the island chain, terrorising the more civilised Arawak communities. The indigenous people had been represented as being exterminated, with tiny populations of survivors on a few islands. The indigenous cultures did experience a catastrophic collapse and the populations on some islands were nearly wiped out altogether. But at the same time as official Colonial documents declared the native peoples as extinct, they were finding ways to survive on the margins of society. We wanted to explore their survival in more depth and to discover whether there are any echoes of indigenous culture surviving in Southwark's Caribbean culture today.

the schomburgk collection
The Schomburgk Collection
Many of the objects from Schomburgk’s two expeditions survive as part of the Cuming collection and in other museum collections. The Schomburgk material is an important record of South American tropical lowland life at a time when the culture of groups in the interior of Guiana was only just being influenced by contact with Europeans. The Schomburgk collection objects from the Guianas exhibited in the Untold Origin displays from the were chosen to illustrate a number of key aspects of South American tropical lowland culture, daily life and beliefs. The objects can also demonstrate the link with the culture, ideology, symbolism, rituals, and political organisation that existed in the Caribbean prior to European contact and into the 18th century.

Shomburgk’s Expedition To Guiana
The explorer Robert Schomburgk collected objects during an expedition to British Guiana from 1834 to 1839. It was sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society. He surveyed the upper Guiana River basin and collected botanical specimens and other objects.

The Guiana Exhibition
When he returned to England Schomburgk exhibited his collection of artefacts at the Cosmorama, Regent Street, London in 1840. He also brought with him three men who had worked closely with him as guides during the expedition and who he regarded as friends. Schomburgk’s detailed comments on the objects in the catalogue are refreshingly free of the arrogance typical of the time. The collection was sold at auction and Richard Cuming purchased around 50 objects.

history of migration from south america
The Archaeology Of The Caribbean
Archaeologists studying the pottery of the Guianas and the Caribbean have various theories about which groups of people from the South American mainland moved into the Caribbean and when. However the commonly held view that the primitive and cannibal ‘Caribs’ gradually displaced the peaceful ‘Arawaks’ is now known to be a misleading oversimplification of a very complicated situation.

The Migrations
The people who first settled in the Caribbean around 6000BC, probably from Central America, lived in temporary settlements and made stone tools. By 500BC there were people settling from the South American mainland who practiced settled agriculture and made pottery. They are known by their style of pottery, called ‘Saladoid’. It is believed that they were the ancestors of the Taíno people. From 500AD there was further migration into parts of the Islands not previously settled by the Saladoid people and their culture began to change and develop. Other groups of people continued to move in successive waves from Orinoco Delta on the mainland from 200/250BC -1450AD. How these groups interacted with one another is still being studied and debated.

Trade Between The Mainland And Caribbean
There is evidence from archaeological finds of pottery and carved artefacts that there was regular trade and movement between the islands and the mainland. The culture of the two areas was very closely linked. There is also evidence of the use of a common trade language that originated with Carib speaking groups from the mainland.

Adaptation To A New Environment
The mainland tropical forest way of life developed over thousands of years and was shaped by the local plants and animals. When they migrated to the Caribbean indigenous people retained many of their traditions but they also needed to adapt to their new island environment. The large animals they had hunted for food in the forests were not found on the islands, and instead they became experts at fishing from the sea. They had to accommodate new animals found on the islands into their mythology. The Island boa constrictor took on the role of the anaconda, which features as such a central figure in the myths of the South American tropical lowlands.

the shared culture
The Cultures Of The Mainland And The Caribbean
There were related but different ethnic groups in both the mainland and on the islands, just as there are today among surviving Amerindian groups in the South American tropical lowlands. These groups shared a sophisticated culture and had considerable interaction with each other. The study of today’s existing mainland societies by ethnographers has helped in the understanding of the pre Columbian cultures of the Taíno (Arawak) and Island Caribs. Many traditions and cultural practices were held in common. These included religious customs and beliefs, agricultural practices, patterns of social organisation and ceremonies. They also included the construction of thatched buildings, cultivation of manioc as a staple food, crafts such as hammock weaving, basketry, use of ritual objects such as stools, use of dugout canoes, use of tobacco and other hallucinogenic substances.
Caribbean Sea Atlantic Ocean

Trinidad Venezuela

Orinoco Delta

Orinoco River
Guyana Colombia Surinam

Negro River

Branco River

The South American Mainland
The tropical lowland river system of the Orinoco and its tributaries include the area which today constitutes British Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana and adjacent areas of Brazil and Venezuela. Tribes speaking the two main languages, Arawak (Lokono), Cariban and other smaller language groups, populated this area. There were established trade networks with people in the Caribbean and with the larger Amazonian river basin area and the two areas shared a common culture. The two main river systems, the Orinoco and Amazon, connect together via the Negro River, making it possible to navigate and trade between the two areas.

The Island Caribs
The people now called the Island Caribs lived in the Lesser Antilles and were also Arawakan speaking. There is much debate between archaeologists, linguists and ethnographers about who they were, and exactly when they arrived in the islands of the Lesser Antilles. They are thought to be closely related to the Taíno while being influenced culturally and linguistically by contact with the South American mainland. Columbus called them ‘Caribs’. In sixteenth century records they are identified as "Calliponam" for women or "Calinago" for men. Today they use the names Kalinago and Garifuna. Their way of life reflected the environment of their small, heavily forested islands. Settlements were smaller and less permanent than on the Greater Antilles. Like the Taíno they were expert navigators and seafarers, trading and raiding throughout the Caribbean in dugout canoes. They valued bravery in warfare and were in continual conflict with their neighbours in the Greater Antilles and Guiana mainland.


Language Groups At Time Of European Contact Circa 1492.

Guana-Hatabey Western Taino Taino


Atlantic Ocean

Eastern Taino Island Carib/ Kalinago

Cayman Jamaica


Dominican Republic Puerto Rico

Virgin Islands St Kitts & Nevis Antigua Monserrat Dominica

Guadeloupe Martinique Barbados St Vincent

Caribbean Sea
Aruba & Curaçao

St Lucia Granada


Trinidad & Tobago

The Taíno Of The Greater Antilles
When Europeans first arrived in the Caribbean they found the islands of the Greater Antilles (which include Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba) populated by an Arawakan-speaking people now called the Taíno. These islands were densely populated and their culture was the most highly developed in the Caribbean. There were large, permanent villages, and a complex system of government by hierarchies of chiefs. They traded with and adopted cultural practices from Central American civilisations such as the ritual ball game.

women’s role in indigenous culture
Women had power due to their important role in food production. Unfortunately European male commentators tended to interpret women’s role of working in the fields as slaves rather than that of powerful providers. Island Carib women were even powerful enough to plan raids and older women had a central ritual role in encouraging men to go to war. Taíno women had control over the production and distribution of high status objects such as stools, headdress and clothes used by chiefs. The roles of men and women were segregated but seen as complementary and expressing the balance in nature. They co-operated in preparing tools for agriculture and food preparation. The separation between Carib men and women was reflected in their different languages (this was also the case for other indigenous societies in the Americas).

The Season Of The Frog Woman
All over the Caribbean images of frogs appear, carved on rocks, and on decorated pottery. The frog also appears as the green stone amulets used as jewellery and a form of exchange. These represented women’s fertility and power in South American tropical lowland culture. The highly prized green stone used for the amulets originated in the Guiana Highlands and they were traded along the Guiana and Amazonian river systems and right across the Caribbean Islands. They were highly valued and were presented as status gifts, exchanged between communities on special occasions. The amulets were also believed to help women have children. The image of the frog symbolised the rainy season. Frogs appear when it rains and they produce many eggs. They are a symbol of women's fertility. Halfway through the time of the Frog Woman, as the season began to turn, it became the time of the wrathful spirit Huracán. This powerful spirit could destroy all in his path. On the 21st of December a festival was held to mark the end of the time of the Frog Woman and the passing of Huracán.

Women’s Role In Preserving And Transmitting Culture
The Spanish who colonised the islands of the Greater Antilles were mostly men. So marriages between the local Taíno women and Spanish men were common. In the home the indigenous women would bring their children up with the songs, stories, foods, words and belief systems from their own culture, preserving the elements of indigenous culture that still exist today. The areas of society organised by Taíno men were more visible and tended to be more easily suppressed.

the impact of european contact, conquest and colonisation
The voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492 was the first chronicled journey to the Caribbean by a European. The short time he spent visiting the Caribbean resulted in a series of misunderstandings that had lasting consequences for the people of the Caribbean. It was also the beginning of the tragic process of destruction of the indigenous people and their culture that was to continue for nearly five hundred years.

The ‘Great Dying’
When the Spanish arrived in the Caribbean area in the late 1400s an estimated population of around 1 million people lived on Jamaica and 40,000 people lived on Trinidad. Contact with Europeans resulted in catastrophe for the peoples of South America and the Caribbean. Measles, influenza, small pox and later malaria and yellow fever introduced from Africa swept across the Antilles and deep into the tropical lowlands. Indigenous people had no immunity to these diseases. In some areas around 80 - 90% of the population died. Whole towns and villages were wiped out. The dead were left unburied whilst survivors fled. Social and political networks collapsed.

The Effect Of Colonisation And Slavery
After the epidemics the populations of the Greater and Lesser Antilles were faced with aggressive European colonisation. The stories of the "peaceful Arawak" giving up without a struggle and the "fierce Caribs" resisting to the bitter end are now thought to be an over simplification of what really happened. The Spanish set up a system of control called encomienda on the islands they colonised. The Taíno were forced to work on colonial plantations or in the gold mines. They were required to pay tax to the Spanish crown in the form of food or gold. The disruption to the Taíno economy resulted in starvation and many died from the brutality of the Spanish.

resistance and survival
The Impact Of The European Presence
The political and trading balance of the whole region was altered by the Spanish presence, especially when the other Islands began to be raided for slaves. Large numbers of indigenous people from Central, South and North America were affected, and taken as slaves to the Caribbean islands to replace the Taíno. During the 1600s and 1700s various European countries fought each other to gain control of the islands. Indigenous people were caught up in these conflicts. To begin, with the people of the mainland and Lesser Antilles were happy to trade water, food and other supplies to passing ships. Groups that were quick to exploit the trade opportunities with the Europeans began to acquire greater power in their area. Europeans exploited existing conflicts by supplying arms and employing some groups as mercenaries.

The Myth Of Carib Cannibalism
On his first voyage Columbus was told of a fierce people living elsewhere in the Caribbean who were called "Caribs". The Spanish began using the term for any group who didn't co-operate with them. In the following centuries the term "Carib" was applied to people who resisted European control. Their alleged cannibalism was used to justify their enslavement and extermination. The Island Caribs, as with other groups throughout South and Central America, practised rituals that preserved or consumed the remains of ancestors and enemies. This was believed to transfer possession of the qualities of the dead person. There is no proof that the Island Caribs treated human flesh as a source of food.

The Indigenous People Resist
The Taíno of the Greater Antilles resisted Spanish colonisation by either fighting back or fleeing to less accessible areas. European attempts to settle the Lesser Antilles were met with hostile resistance by the Island Caribs. The Island Caribs also organised themselves with other Carib groups from the Guianas to mount raids on European settlements. Because of their continued resistance the Europeans saw the Island Caribs as the main obstacle to the successful colonisation of the Caribbean.

How The Indigenous People Survived
In the Greater Antilles the surviving Taíno remained on the fringes of society or lived deep in the countryside, unrecognised. Indigenous people found creative ways to adapt and adjust to survive in the struggle against European domination. They learned to conceal their ethnic and cultural identity. They dressed in European clothes, worshipped as Christian converts and spoke the local Creole so that they wouldn't stand out among the ethnically mixed Creole population. Recent study of official Spanish documents shows that greater numbers of people survived than was previously thought. In the Lesser Antilles the Caribs continued to resist the Europeans up to the late 1700’s. When the British took control of Dominica in 1763 the remaining Caribs retreated to the inaccessible West Side of the Island. They also lived on the fringes of Creole society, appearing only to sell their crafts and produce and then disappearing back into the forest. All over the Caribbean surviving indigenous communities and individuals learned to conceal their ethnic and cultural identity in order to survive.

Intermarriage With Europeans And Africans
A recent study of mitochondrial DNA in Puerto Rico found that 61% of the population has indigenous Amerindian ancestry from a female ancestor. Intermarriage between Europeans, Africans and indigenous peoples took place from the beginning of contact and occurred throughout the Islands. The result is that most people in the Caribbean share a mixed legacy that includes indigenous Amerindian ancestors. Some people can be considered to look more 'Indian' than others but in such a mixed population physical features do not always clearly represent genetic inheritance.

The Garifuna Or Black Caribs Of St Vincent
On St Vincent the descendants of a group of Africans, allegedly from a slave ship wrecked off the island, became part of the Island Carib community in the early 1500s and were called the "Black Caribs". They and the other groups of Island Caribs on St Vincent became involved in a bitter war between the French and English for control of the island. In 1796 the English transported the surviving Caribs to Central America. Today the descendants of the Black Caribs live along the coast of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. They are called the "Garifuna" and speak an Arawakan language inherited from their Island Carib ancestors.

How The Culture Survived
Interaction of Africans and Europeans with indigenous people took place over hundreds of years. Secret contact took place at the start of colonisation between slaves and indigenous people. Escaped slaves were given refuge in sacred places such as caves. Fugitive Africans and indigenous people developed their own communities in the countryside. To survive they relied on their indigenous heritage, which represented many generations of knowledge about the Caribbean environment.

the indigenous craft tradition
Importance of craft in indigenous culture
The indigenous people of the Caribbean in the pre-Columbian period believed that the spirits they worshipped were represented on and embodied in their craft products. They believed that the skills and design elements used were passed down from ancient spirit beings. Strict rules were followed when learning craft skills. Even today the measure of the beauty of an object is the care and attention to detail demonstrated by the maker and complexity is highly valued. Good craftsmen and women are recognised and respected in the community by their ability to produce consistently superior work. Traditional crafts practised by indigenous people in the Caribbean today are directly descended from arts that originated on the South American mainland. Many techniques, decorations and patterns and the words and names used have been retained from pre-Colombian times. Today traditional craft is also a valuable way of expressing and preserving traditional culture. Through the sharing of craft skills older people pass on beliefs and identity to the next generation. Traditional crafts such as basketry, calabash work and woodcarving are an important source of income.

Survival of traditional craft
The craft traditions that survived European colonisation did so because of their usefulness to the colonial economy. Specialist crafts such as basketry were required to provide articles necessary for the processes of the plantation system. Traditional canoes continue to be made for fishing, trading and smuggling throughout the colonial period.

Importance of craft today
Today traditional crafts are in demand in the local economy and bring in valuable foreign currency through tourism. Their craft enables indigenous artisans to live sustainable and independent lives. There is a commitment to sustaining the natural environment, as the source of the raw materials for craft products.

indigenous contributions to caribbean culture today
Different cultural traditions - indigenous, African and European, were mixed together to form today’s Caribbean culture. There is evidence of the survival of indigenous culture in many areas- the knowledge of the use of medicinal herbs, food and cooking, in crafts such as basketry and in the construction of canoes and ways of fishing. Indigenous culture also exists in more subtle ways, such as through traditional stories and superstitions and in relations with the natural world. Indigenous language survives in various forms – in plant, food and animal names, agricultural terms and practices. In all parts of the Caribbean place names are a readily recognisable source of indigenous words. The world also owes many important food crops to the indigenous peoplemanioc, maize, cocoa, pineapple and other fruits and vegetables.

Beliefs And Values
Indigenous spiritual beliefs and ancestral values still exist in Caribbean culture. Taíno concepts of family relations and hospitality customs exist in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. In Guadeloupe, the way living spaces are arranged into private and public and the orientation of the house to the sea, are connected with indigenous practices. Many farmers use indigenous spiritual practices of agriculture such as avoiding certain days and using the lunar cycle to plant. Island Caribs’ gardens were placed at a distance from the home and were protected private spaces. In Dominica the practice of locating the garden in the hills behind the house still exists today. The way Caribbean gardens are mixed, with tree crops, root crops, spices and peppers all together, shows a link with indigenous practices. People in rural Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic still live in traditional houses called bohios, a Taíno name. Many Creole stories have indigenous origins, including supernatural beings such as the Ciguapa or Lajables, a beautiful woman beast with long hair and inverted or cow’s feet.

the continuity of caribbean indigenous people
Symbols Of Resistance
Indigenous people also play an important role as representations of unity and symbols of resistance from domination because they were the first to fight against colonialism. Political parties in the Greater Antilles use indigenous symbols as a way of establishing common ground. Indigenous imagery is often found in a romanticised form - Taíno chiefs feature as national heroes and appear on stamps, coins, phone cards, sculptures, and murals on buildings. Indigenous images appear on commercial products and are used by businesses and advertising.

The Indigenous Revival
Today indigenous people of the Caribbean are rediscovering their history, reasserting their right to recognition and endeavouring to revive their culture. This is taking place among the Kalinago of Dominica, the Bethechilokono of St Lucia, the Kalina of Arima in Trinidad, indigenous groups in Guyana, the Taíno of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and the Garifuni of Honduras, Belize and Guatemala. By sharing their culture and language with each other they are putting together a more intact cultural identity. Many in the forefront of this movement have mixed ancestry. They have chosen to see themselves and frame their identity in terms of their indigenous heritage. Eventually it will become easier for more in the Caribbean to recognise and celebrate their indigenous ancestry in the same way as they do today with the contribution of the African culture to the Caribbean identity. What is true in this statement by Edouard Glissent may also become true with regard to the recognition of the indigenous contribution: 'Today the (French) Caribbean individual does not deny the African part of himself. He does not have, in reaction, to go to the extreme of celebrating it exclusively. He must recognise it…(in so doing) he has become Caribbean.’

The Role Of The Internet
The Internet has become a key means of sharing information and linking indigenous communities. Web sites that promote greater cultural awareness and identity and the recognition of the need to re-evaluate history are being maintained by indigenous groups who live outside of their home countries, such as the Puerto Rican Taíno community in the United States.

The Carib Territory In Dominica
The West coast of the island of Dominica is home to approximately 3,400 people of Kalinago or Island Carib decent. The Kalinago called the island Wai'tukubuli- 'How tall is her body'. The Carib people had survived since 1700 by living on the inaccessible Atlantic Coast. In 1903 they were granted their own Reserve of 3700 acres and the office of Carib Chief was recognised. The land is held in common and the Carib Council at the Dominican Parliament represents the Caribs. Most Caribs are farmers and fishermen. Conditions in the global economy have affected the banana industry, making it necessary to search for other means of making a living. Traditional crafts are an important supply of extra income. The improvement of tourist facilities is seen as a key priority. Carib culture has been eroded by the loss of the language and the encroachment of commercial global culture. The establishment of a secondary school and more teaching of Carib history in schools are seen as priorities. There is a movement to revive Carib culture headed by groups and artists such as Karifuna and Jacob Frederick. Caribs in Dominica are part of the wider movement of indigenous people in the Caribbean to reassert their cultural identity. They have maintained links with the Kalina community in Arima, Trinidad and today are part of the Caribbean Organisation of Indigenous Peoples (COIP), which exchanges information and organises projects between other indigenous groups in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the world.

the gli-gli carib canoe project
Reviving An Ancient Tradition
The great canoes encountered by Europeans in the Caribbean have their direct descendents in the fishing canoes on the Island of Dominica today. In 1997 a 12 metre Carib canoe, the Gli-Gli, sailed on a symbolic journey along the Caribbean island chain to Venezuela and Guyana. Carib Chief Hillary Frederick described the voyage as “the first in 500 years”.

The Project Concept
The Gli-Gli was the joint idea of two artists in 1994, Aragorn Dick-Read from Tortola, and Carib artist and activist Jacob Frederick. The aims of the project were to show that long sea voyages in the same type of canoes were regularly carried out before and during colonial times. It was also an opportunity to link surviving indigenous communities with those in Dominica and to research cultural practices and language still in existence.

Construction and voyage
The canoe was built from a giant Gommier tree located in the rainforest on the Carib Territory. It took three weeks for the tree to be felled and carved. The team included master canoe builders Etien Charles, Hyacinth Stoute and Prince Hamlet. Forty men were needed to haul the canoe to the village of Salybia where the canoe was opened out and the ribs, sides and mast built. The canoe was painted with traditional Taíno designs and was named after the sparrow hawk, a symbol of bravery. The 1997 voyage took the Gli-Gli, accompanied by the schooner ‘Carmela’ to visit Carib and Arawak communities on the islands and mainland. Celebrations were held to mark the Gli-Gli’s arrival. The voyage also included visiting communities on the Orinoco delta and up the Barima and Pomeroon rivers.


The British Library for permission to reproduce the Edward Goodall watercolour illustrations. Bodliean Library Oxford , for the use of the image from Sieur de la Borde,’Relation des Caraibes Sauvages’. The Gli-Gli Project, Aragorn Dick-Reed, and Gordon for the use of photographs of Dominica, Guyana and the Gli-Gli. Other photographs of Dominica by Bryn Hyacinth.


Martinez Cruzado, Juan C. (2002).’The Use of Mitrchrondrial DNA to Discover PreColumbian Migrations to the Caribbean; Results for Puerto Rico and Expectations for the Dominican Republic’. KACIKE, the Journal of Amerindian History and Anthropology (on line journal) The Season of the Frog Woman with acknowledgements to Lennox Honeychurch, ‘The Leap at Sauteurs: the Lost Cosmology of Indigenous Grenada’, at ‘Traces of American Indians in the collective memory from Martinique and Guadeloupe’. Henry Petit Jean Roget, presented at the the ICMAH conference in May 2003. Ferbel, P. J. (2002). Not Everyone Who Speaks Spanish is from Spain: Taíno Survival in the 21st Century Dominican Republic. [51 paragraphs]. KACIKE: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology [On-line Journal], Special Issue, Lynne Guitar, Ed. Available at: Eduard Glissent, ‘Caribbean Discourse, Selected Essays’, 1989, University of Virginia Press.

For more information see the following web sites:, The Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink provides a comprehensive bibliography and links to many other relevant web pages. It also provides full text for historical documents that are out of copyright. For an introduction to the history and culture of the indigenous people of the Caribbean we can recommend the book ‘The Indigenous People of the Caribbean’, edited by Samuel Wilson.

This information formed part of the Untold Origins Exhibition of October 2004 – February 2005 held at the Cuming Museum. Text written by Bryn Hyacinth. All material copyright of the Cuming Museum and Southwark Council. Text, photographs and illustrations not to be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holders.…...

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...David Casani November 17, 2014 Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the US and Contemporary Issues The United States is the melting pot of many different ethnicities and indigenous tribes attempting to harmoniously coexist. One of the major ethnic groups is the Indigenous Peoples of America. Who are they? Jose R. Martinez Cobo was a diplomat and politician who elaborated a definition for Indigenous Peoples, although the UN officially never adopted his definition, which is the commonly accepted understanding of the concept of Indigenous Peoples, stating: “Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system” (NCIV). Currently, there are 4.1 million indigenous peoples living in the US, which contributes to 1.5 of the US population (Nelson 1-19). The majority of these individuals are members of one of the five greatest tribes that forms the Confederacy of the Five Nations: Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Iroquois, and Lakota. The......

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...1.2. TRENDS AND PATTERNS OF MIGRATION TO AND FROM CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES Elizabeth Thomas-Hope[1] INTRODUCTION Migration has become deeply embedded in the psyche of Caribbean peoples over the past century and a half. It has evolved as the main avenue for upward mobility through the accumulation of capital – financial and social. Thus the propensity for migration is high and there is a general responsiveness to the opportunities for moving whenever they occur. At times these opportunities have come from within the region itself or the wider circum-Caribbean region, as in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; in more recent times from North America and Europe. The migration dynamic reflects the interplay of international, national and highly personal circumstances. Global changes affect the international economic order and the division of labour and, as a consequence, legislative controls and inducements to the movement of labour across selective national borders. At the national level, economic, social, demographic and political factors influence the variable access of people to economic rewards and social opportunities. But migration is not a passive reaction to internal ‘pushes’ and external ‘pulls’. Within this wider international and national context, migration is part of a dynamic set of negotiations at all levels. For whether ‘free’ movement or refugee, there is a selective process that operates at the interface of the needs......

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Indigenous People

...Sa ating bansang Pilipinas ay may mahigit na 40 tayong iba’t ibang katutubong grupo at sa bawat grupo ay may kanya-kanyang kultura at lengwahe. Bawat pangkat din ay nakatira sa isang “specific” na rehiyon sa isang isla. Ang ating mga pangkat-etniko ay makikita sa iba’t ibang parte ng tatlo nating kapuluan: Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao. Ang ating mga katutubo, o mas kilala bilang mga “Lumads” ay silang mga taong namili na mamuhay ayon sa tradisyon na pamamaraan hindi katulad natin na patuloy na nag-eebolb dahil sa mga mananakop na napapadpad sa ating teritoryo. SINO NGA BA ANG MGA ITINUTURING NATING MGA INDIGENOUS PEOPLE? Sa tagalog, sila ang mga “Pangkat-etniko o mga Katutubo.” Sila ang mga itinuturing nating mga sinaunang tao dito sa Pilipinas. Noong Martes, Setyembre 15, ay ginanap ang Noise Barrage para sa paghingi ng hustisya sa pagpatay sa mga Lumads. Sa aking mga nasagap na balita, ang nangungunang dahilan daw sa pagpatay sa kanila ay hindi dahil sa sila ay pinagbibintangang mga NPA o New People’s Army, ang katotohanan nito ay gusto nilang kunin ang lupa ng mga Lumads dahil sa mga naitatago nitong mga ginto at mga mineral na hindi mapagkakaila na mapakikinabangan talaga. Naisip ko lang— wala bang karapatan ang mga Lumads na angkinin ang lupa na sa kanila naman talaga? Mas nauna pa sila sa ating makatungtong dito sa Pilipinas, pero parang sila pa ang naaagrabyado. Sabi nila, hindi raw ito ang unang beses na nangyari, pero bakit parang hindi nakararating sa gobyerno......

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Amerindians in the Caribbean

...Trecy I. Spencer Dr. Tara Innis FOUN 1101 6 March 2015 All over the Caribbean, the Amerindians have left a rich legacy Forty generations before the arrival of the Columbus, the Caribbean was inhabited by an indigenous people referred to as Amerindians. They were divided into two main groups, the Arawaks (Taino) and the Carib (Kalinago). They had a rich culture and thriving society the evidence of which can be seen all over the Caribbean today. The Arawaks came to the Caribbean from the Orinoco region to Trinidad then spread through the Caribbean. They were of average height, well-shaped and slightly built. They generally wore no clothes except for the married ladies who wore a cotton loin cloth (nagua). It was a common custom for them to do body printing, they would paint their faces, eyes and noses. They wore embellishments made of gold, or an alloy of gold and copper (guanine) in their noses. Tainos, as they called themselves, had organized societies where they lived in villages, carved wood, made pottery, wove cotton and practised religion based on respect for nature and their ancestors which was directed by priests or shamans. They hunted, fished and also planted crops especially cassava in amounts which were adequate for their families. Various types of fish, shellfish, turtle and manatee were consumed. These were captured with nets, hooks made of bones and harpoons; the turtles were caught with a remora (sucker fish). Small animals like the agouti, utia and......

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Stat of Wonder Indigenous People

... Indigenous people and their rights Throughout hundreds of year’s indigenous peoples have suffered most of their time in their native countries. They’ve been under political control that exploited their economy, under dictatorships and abuse of their culture and resources in their existence. These causes mostly occur in brazil. Treating indigenous people and disrespecting the way they live is crucial for them. Just because they have no type of power like certain people have it doesn’t mean they should be treated the way they are treated. On this essay I will argue that if indigenous people adjust a little bit better on in their lives and culture they can live a better life. They’re many issues that affect many characters like Marina Singh and the indigenous tribes in the amazon from the book State of Wonder, a book written by Ann Pattchet. Marina is sent to the amazon in look for her former Co-worker Dr. Eckman who is reported to be dead from a letter Dr. Swenson sent to Eckman’s wife. At the amazon Dr. Swenson, a former researcher for Vogel pharmaceuticals scientist is in search of a new drug that results to be a cure for malaria that is tested on indigenous women. These indigenous people from the amazon think they would be left out of a good health treatment. Other indigenous people work for her without having to have a purpose to do so. In addition, Swenson is concerned...

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Indigenous in Australia

...Australia struggles to bring equality to its indigenous population This article starts by showing us some graphs that represent four different pledges of the “Closing the Gap” commitments made in 2008. The first graph shows the pledge of closing the life-expectancy gap within a generation by 2031. In this graph the blue dots represent the non-indigenous population and the red dots represent the indigenous population. We can see that this target is not on track because, even though the red lines are increasing in a very little measure, it is not enough to close the gap between the indigenous and the non-indigenous, whose life expectancy rate is around 11 points higher. The second graph represents the target of halving the gap in mortality rates for indigenous children under five within a decade by 2018. If we compare the distance between the two dots in 2008 we can see that the difference was very big (100 non-indigenous, 240 indigenous), but today this gap reduced in a great amount because it went from a difference of 140 points to 70 in 10 years, and it still has two more years to keep decreasing. The third pledge shown in the graph is halving the gap for indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade by 2018. This target is marked as unclear because the percentage of year-5 students at or above minimum national standards went up around five points, which is not enough to halve this gap. The last graph shows the objective of halving the gap in......

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Significance of Un Declaration of Human Rights on Indigenous People it sets out how the existing rights standards apply to how the rights of indigenous people are protected and recognized in different nations. This declaration helps to reduce the level of discrimination which countries with different cultures treat the indigenous and also improve their situation globally. The declaration and other instrument are significant since the indigenous people are consulted prior to any decision on their property or even their territories so that they can be aware of what’s going on. If they are not consulted then they have the right to be compensated for violation of those rights. Conflicts can now be resolved fairly and mutually without being biased on one group of people by following acceptable procedures to resolve such conflicts between the states and the indigenous people. This includes procedures such as arbitration, mediation and negations. If the problem persists regional, national, and international courts are involved so that the best mechanisms can be put up for disapproving and human rights violation are examined. The instruments are significant as they now affirm equity among different individuals in the states. The aboriginal can be treated equally and be respected like any other citizen. These people can now consider themselves same as the others. All services to be offered to the public are distributed to all people in the country. The indigenous people can now arrange themselves economically, politically and socially so as to......

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Indigenous Peoples

...DepEd adopts IP education agenda By TONY PE. RIMANDO January 18, 2012, 3:12pm PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines – A national policy framework (NPF) has been adopted by the Department of Education (DepEd) recently to answer the basic education needs of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who live in mountain villages and sitios of Mindanao, and other areas of the country. Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro said the NPF for IPs is in line with the country’s commitment to achieve its Education for All (EFA) targets, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are in pursuant to the DepEd Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). Luistro explained through DepEd Order No. 62, Series of 2011, which was received here lately by DepEd Region 9 Director Walter O. Albos, that the NPF was preceded by a consultative and participatory process held in designated venues of Southern Philippines. Albos said the consultations were followed by a national validation workshop where participants affirmed the principles of the draft framework and later recommended the formulation and implementation of an IP basic education program. The events were attended by qualified representatives from various IP communities in the country, together with concerned government agencies, and civil service society partners to ensure that IP groups can claim ownership of this framework, Albos quoted Luistro’s directive. The DepEd chief, Albos said, described the NPF as “an instrument for......

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