Center/for Latin U2uer i ty
American Studies l t m ai c tis of Florida
The University of Florida LATINAMERICANIST is a publication of the Center for Latin American Studies containing matters of scholarly interest and is distributed the first Friday of every month. Items for publication should be submitted to the editor; R. ]. Toner, 450 Main Library, by noon of the Tuesday preceding the Friday distribution date. The editor reserves the right to select and edit all material, Colleges or other institutions interested in Latin American Studies which desire to be placed on the mailing list may apply by calling university extension 2224, or write: The Center for Latin American Studies, 450 Main Library, University of Florida, Gainesvillc,, Florida 32601.
Volume I1, No. 5 March 17, 1967
TABLE OF CONT0T!TS LATINAMEMRIST
Feature Article 1 This month's feature article is written by Jerry R.
News 3 Williams, a Master's candidate in the Department of
Faculty 3 Geography, University of Florida. Mr. Williams
received his BA degree in History from Chico State College in California. The title of his thesis is: "The Human Ecology of Mulatupu
San Blas: Caribbean Gateway to a Proposed Sea Level Canal." He did his research during the summer of 1966 under a grant from the Center for Tropical Agriculture and the Center
for Latin American Studies, University of Florida. Mr. Wi! iams is 27 years old and
THE CUNA VILLAGE by Jerry' R. Williams
PRIOR TO Mulatap is a Cuna Indian village on the San Blas
A SEA LEVEL CANAL Coast of Panamd. The village is located on one of
the numerous small coral islands strung along the Caribbean Coast. In relation to the rest of the country., it is near the southeastern
end of the Comarca de San Blas about thirty-five miles from the Colombian border.
In almost every respect Malatupu is a typical coastal Cuna village. An effective local
government exists in Mulatpu and, although it is very resistant to outsiders and foreign influence, it has permitted the Panamanian government to build a public elementary school
*on the island. Like almost every other village on this coast, it also has a Baptist
Mission operated by Cuna Indians. The one major difference is that Malatupa now finds
Itself located directly on the proposed route of a new canal through Panama. Being
located on the potential site of a new canal is enough to warrant increased interest in this village. It becomes even more important when it is considered that nuclear energy
is to be used, if feasible, to excavate this new sea level canal. Studies are currently
being undertaken to determine the feasibility of using peaceful nuclear energy for the
excavation of a canal either through this part of Penamg (Route 17) or via the Atrato
River Basin of Colombia (Route 25).
Secial Science Re di Roori
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Volume IIII No. 5, March 17, 1-967 Page 2
With the exception of' anthropological studies, virtually no research has been conducted in this part of' Panama. This past summer I received a grant, jointly supported by the Center f'or Latin American Studies and the Center of' Tropical Agriculture., to study the human ecology of' this village. The Center of' Tropical Agriculture has subsequently been awarded a contract from the Battelle Memorial Institute of' Columbus, Ohio, to do the agricultural ecology studies f'or the proposed routes across Panam6 and Colombia.
An essential part of' my research was directed toward obtaining information concerning the factors that affect the food chain of' these people. It included their agricultural practices; the kinds and quantities of' food consumed locally or exported; and the importance of' hunting, fishing and gathering in their diet. All of' these are important in determining how they may be affectedd, by virtue of' their diet, if' nuclear excavation is used in the construction of' the proposed canal. Detailed measurements will be made to. determine the uptake of' potentially critical radionuclides by both the flora and fauna which constitute the local diet.
The village of' Mulatupu is densely populated. Some 1500 persons, almost seven per cent of' the total population of' the Comarca, are crowded together on this small island of' approximately twenty acres. The people are dependent upon the mainland, approximately one-half' mile from the island, for their crops and daily water supply, and upon the sea f'or most of' their meat.
The system of' agriculture employed by these people is similar to that used in subsistence agriculture in other parts of' Latin -America and fits the general pattern labeled firee agriculture"T by T. Lynn Smith.1 The crops commonly grown in the area include: corn, bananas, plantains, manioc, sugar cane, pineapples,, avocados, Cocoa, lemons, pimentos, mangos, breadfruit and coconuts.
The coconuts are especially important to these people because they provide almost the entire income of' the village. On the island the coconuts are commonly used as a substitute f'or money and are worth a nickel a piece at the local tiendas. The coconuts are sold on a regular basis to small-'Colomibian trading boats whic-hply their trade along the Caribbean Coast of' Panamg. The Colombians pay a set price of' five cents each, in United States currency, f'or the coconuts. Tn turn they sell the villagers instant coffee, rice, sugar, kerosene, gasoline, ready-made clothing, material, and hammocks.
The most important non-agricultural activity is fishing. Fish is an important part of' the diet and most men spend two or three days each week fishing. Most of' the fishing takes place out in the Caribbean by means of' a drop line lowered over the side of' their small boats. This is supplemented by the use of' traps, weirs and spear fishing in the shallow waters surrounding the islands. Excess fish are preserved by smoking them over a coconut husk fire.
Occasionally the men will hunt wild game to supplement the diet. The most common animals obtained are deer and wild pigs. The most popular source of' supplementary meat is the giant sea turtle. They are quite numerous along this coast and both the turtle and its eggs are hunted with considerable success. The shells also provide some income which increases the incentive to catch the turtles.
Although the diet is occasionally varied by a successful hunting trip, it is normally very monotonous. The traditional single meal a day consists of' a stew of' boiled fish and green plantains or manioc. Throughout the rest of' the day, large quantities of' chichi. the local corn drink, are consumed. Seasonal fruits and the availability of' ripe corn in mid-August also provide a temporary change in the diet.
In the summer of' 1966Y Mulatupu. was a traditional Cune Indian village on the threshold of' change. whether or not the canal ever goes through Route 17, the preliminary investigations for such a route are bringing change to Mulatupu and the nearby islands. In order to acquire accurate weather information f'or this area, the United States Government has just completed construction of' a very sophisticated meteorological station on ,a neighboring uninhabited island. The use of' Cuna men f'or much of' the construction labor introduced more money into the local economy. Very detailed ecological studies in the fields of' biology, botany and soils will soon be undertaken in this area. In the process of' carrying cvt these studies, the people of' Mulatupu are increasingly being brought into contact with western culture. The extent of' change and its long range effect on the traditional local culture will obviously depend on whether or not this Bite is the final choice for the new sea level canal.
T. Lynn Smith, Brazil: People and Institutions. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1963, PP. 365-66.
latinamericanist university of florida
Volume III, No. 5, March 17, 1967 Page 3
WEISMAN COLLECTION OF The Florida State Museum will feature "Pre-Columbian
PRE-COLUNBIAN MEDICAL SCULPTURE Medical- Miniatures," a newly formed traveling exhibition comprised of a portion of the Weisman Collection of Pre-Columbian Medical Sculpture, for a two week period starting on the 4th of March.
The clay representations in this traveling exhibition tell the stories of medical problems of the ancient inhabitants of the "New World" as portrayed by their primitive artist-historians. Some twenty-one groups of figurines in this exhibit are concerned with pregnancy, childbirth, congenital abnormalities, physical defects, obesity, twins, and even anxiety and emotional problems of ancient America.
Dr. Abner I. Weisman, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, noted while traveling in Mexico and Central America that many of the pre-Columbian figurines portrayed illness and physical disability. His collection forms a valuable contribution to medical history as well as archaeology.
JUSCELINO KUBITSCHEK In a lecture at the University of Florida on FebLECTURES HERE raary 20, Juscelino Kubitschek, former president of
Brazil, warned that revolution is still coming in Latin America, and that if it does not come through "democracy and development," of which he gave his own presidential administration as an example, then it may well come by violence, since Latin Americans grow increasingly impatient with status-quo-ism .'under the guise of "stability."
LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR BY Mr. George Rylance, Office of the U. S. Information
USIA OFFICER HELD Agency, held a Seminar on Latin America here on
March 13. m. Rylance, who has served in five of the Latin American Republics, is recruiting for the U. S. Information Agency. Anyone who is interested can reach him through Professor Keith Legg, 123 Building E, ext. 2203.
FACULTY NOTES John V. D. Saunders and Daniel Kbat of the Department of Sociology, participated in the Colloquium on Modernization in Brazil at Louisiana State University, February 23-25, where Professor Saunders presented a paper on Education and Modernization in Brazil.
John Saunders has also been invited by the Ford Foundation to attend the Eighth World Conference of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in Santiago, Chile, April 8-15.
William E. Carter of the Department of Anthropology has recently returned from a year as a visiting associate professor at the University of Washington. While in Seattle, Dr. Carter taught in the Department of Anthropology and served as cross cultural coordinator for Peace Corps training. Under the Peace Corps program, volunteers were prepared for service in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Sugiyams Iutake has joined the Department of Sociology as a permanent member of the staff. He ill chair a session on Economic and Social Problems of Population Change at the Eighth World Conference of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in Santiago, Chile in April.
Quadrangle Books, Inc., has just published "The Sandino Affair," by Neill Macaulay of the Department of History. In this book the author, who learned guerrilla warfare with Castro in Cuba, compares the experiences of the U. S. Marines in Nicaragua with the present conflict in Vietnam.
Professor David Niddrie of the Department of Geography led the March 1 Latin American Colloquium speaking on "Present Land Use and Settlement in the Lesser Antilles: the Effects of Colonial Settlement Plans." The major effect of the method of cession of the lands of certain islands was the formation of large plantations which were soon given over to monoculture, with its attendant and consequent evils.
Professor Alfred Hower of the Department of Foreign Languages published a review of Wilson Martins and Seymour Menton, Teatro Brasileiro Contemporaneo in Hispania, Vol. L (March 1967), no. 1, pp. 200-201.
Volume III, No. 5, March 17, 1967 Page 4
BIBLIOGRAPHY READY ON Professor Francine Rabinovitz and Miss Felicity
LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS Trueblood, withth#e assistance of Charles Savio,
have completed the first stage of a study of Latin American political systems in an urban setting under the auspices of the Center for Latin American Studies. The preliminary bibliography on Latin American urbanization and politics, with special emphasis on post-1960 material, will be available, free on request, at the end of March through the Center for.Latin American Studies, Room 450 Main Library, University of Florida.
Categories into which the bibliography is divided are:
1. Bibliographies on Latin-American Urbanization
2. Urban Research Methods in Latin America
3. Collections of Articles and General Discussions of Latin-American Urbanization 4. Urbanization as an Index of Political and Economic Development in Latin America
5. The Nature of Latin-American Urbanization
6. Inter-governmental Relations: Formal and Informal
7. Political Culture and Attitudes
8. Support Building and the Nature of Urban Groups
9. Decision-Making: Formal and Informal
10. Implementation, Planning, and Programs
BRAZILIAN LITERATURE On March 8, Paulo Ronai) Visiting Professor of
LECTURE SERIES Foreign Languagesj gave his third lecture on Brazilian literature, "A Brazilian Genre, the 'Crtnica.'" This brief "column," or article, usually a light, non-moralizing commentary on the present scene or some facet of it, has gained such favor through newspape and magazines that collections df the best "cronicas" of Brazil's top literary figures are bestsellers. The maintenance of the writer's individuality and style including the exclusion of journalese confers upon these offerings the right to be called "a genre of Brazilian literature." The fact that they pay well (among Brazilians, only Jorge Amado and Erico Vertssimo can live from the royalties of their novels) makes writing possible as a profession. And, "without a doubt, historians of the future will go back to the 'crinicas' to reconstitute the physionomy of the Brazil of our time." Professor Ronai read and commented on "cronicas" of Rubem Braga, Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Paulo Mendes Campos and Fernando Sabino.
PCL 631, SEMINAR IN LATIN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, previously scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, Periods 6-8, during Trimester III-A, HAS BEEN CHANGED to Tuesday evening, E 1-3., in Room 203 Peabody Hall,.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
March 27: Brazilian-Portuguese Club, Room 215 Florida Union, 8:00 p.m. Guest .speaker:, Professor A. H. Oliveira-Marques, "A Geraqio de 1910 em Portugal: Salazar,
Fernando Pessoa, Jaime Cortes6, Antonio Srgio."
March 31: Phi Beta Kappa public address, Bless Auditorium (Physics Building.), 8:30 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Juan L6pez-Morill,~s, Chairman, Department of Spanish and Italian, Brown University, "Ortega y Gassett:. The Spectator of Life."
April 3: Brazilian-Portaguese Club, Room 215 Florida Union, 8:00 p.m. Guest speaker: Professor Paulo Ronai, "A poesia de Carlos Drummond de Andrade.:"