Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Index to Volumes VII and VIII
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00033
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Review
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Publisher: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: 1980
Copyright Date: 1980
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: FIU: Special Collections
Holding Location: FIU: Special Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1553369
System ID: UF00095576:00033

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Index to Volumes VII and VIII
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Spring 1980
Vol. IX, No. 2
Two Dollars

What Happened in Suriname, Jungle Politics in Guyana,
Caribbean Edge, Slavery and Race in Haitian Letters,
The Book of the Quich6, Short Stories from St. Lucia and Panama



In Latin




* Over 55 Latin American and
Caribbean related courses in
the University.
* Certificate requirements include:
successful completion of five Latin
American and/or Caribbean
related courses and one
independent study/research
project, from at least three
departments; demonstration of
related language proficiency in
Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
* Certificate program is open to
both degree and non-degree
seeking students.
* Expanded University support as a
Title VI Undergraduate Language
and Area Center.
* Expanded Library holdings in
Latin American-Caribbean
* Special seminar series offered by
distinguished visiting scholars in
Latin American and Caribbean

Latin American-Caribbean Studies
Ricardo Arias, Philosophy and
Ken I. Boodhoo, International
John Corbett, Public Administration
Robert Culbertson, Public
Judson M. DeCew, Political Science
Grenville Draper, Physical Sciences
Luis Escovar, Psychology
Robert Farrell, Education
Gordon Finley, Psychology
Robert Grosse, International
John Jensen, Modem Languages
Charles Lacombe, Anthropology
Barry B. Levine, Sociology
Anthony P Maingot, Sociology
James A. Mau, Sociology
Floretin Maurrasse, Physical
Ramon Mendoza, Modern
Raul Moncarz, Economics
Pedro J. Montiel, Economics
Mark B. Rosenberg, Political Science
Reinaldo Sanchez, Modem
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Mark D. Szuchman, History
Maida Watson Breslin, Modem

For further information, contact:
Latin American-Caribbean Center
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
Miami, Florida 33199

Miami Speaker's
On Latin America
and the Caribbean
The Latin American and Caribbean
Center of Florida International
University will be hosting a Speaker's
Bureau for scholars traveling
through Miami. The Bureau will
serve as a means for area specialists
to share their experiences and
research during colloquia sponsored
by FIU, The University of Miami and
Miami-Dade Community College
New World Center. A modest
honorarium and per diem expenses
will be provided.

Scholars anticipating travel through
Miami and interested in
participating in the colloquia should
contact Mark B. Rosenberg, Director,
Latin American and Caribbean
Center, FIU, Miami, FL 33199 at least
30 days prior to the anticipated
departure from their home cities.


SPRING 1980 Vol. IX, No. 2 Two Dollars
Barry B. Levine

Associate Editors
Pedro J. Montiel
William T Osborne
Contributing Editors
Carlos M. Alvarez
Ricardo Arias
Ken I. Boodhoo
Jerry Brown
Judson M. DeCew
Robert E. Grosse
Herbert L. Hiller
Antonio Jorge
Gordon K. Lewis
Anthony P Maingot
James A. Mau
Florentin Maurrasse
Raul Moncarz
Mark B. Rosenberg
Luis P Salas
Mark D. Szuchman
William T Vickers
Gregory B. Wolfe
Marian Goslinga

Art Director
Juan C. Urquiola
Contributing Artists
Eleanor Porter Bonner
Danine Carey
Production Assistant
Maria P Rodriguez
Assistant to the Editor
Lucy Gonzalez
Managing Editor
Lourdes A. Chediak
Editorial Managers
Juan Cayon
E. Leigh Metzler
Denise Meyer
Beatriz Parqa de Bayon
Yvon St. Albin
Sales and Marketing
Walter H. Hill
Publishing Consultants
Andrew R. Banks
Eileen Marcus

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the
Caribbean, Latin America, and their emigrant groups,
is published by Caribbean Review, Inc., a corporation
not for profit organized under the laws of the State of
Florida. Caribbean Review receives supporting funds
from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida Interna-
tional University and the State of Florida. This public
document was promulgated at a quarterly cost of
$5,098 or $1.27 per copy to promote international
education with a primary emphasis on creating
greater mutual understanding among the Americas,
by articulating the culture and ideals of the Caribbean
and Latin America, and emigrating groups originating
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida Interna-
tional University, Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199.
Telephone (305) 552-2246. Unsolicited manuscripts
(articles, essays, reprints, excerpts, translations, book
reviews, poetry, etc.) are welcome but should be
accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Copyright 1980 by Caribbean Review, Inc. All rights
Subscription rates: 1 year: $8.00; 2 years: $15.00; 3
years: $20.00. 25% less in the Caribbean and Latin
America. Air Mail: add 50% per year. Payment in Cana-
dian currency or with checks drawn from banks out-
side the U.S. add 10%. Invoicing charge: $2.00. Sub-
scription agencies please take 15%.
Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared
in other media in English, Spanish and German.
Editors, please write for details.
Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated
and indexed in Historical Abstracts; America: History
and Life; and United States Political Science Docu-
ments. An index to the first six volumes appeared in
Vol. VII, No. 2 of CR. An index to volumes seven and
eight appears in this issue.
Back Issues: Vol. 1, No.1, Vol. 11, No. 2; Vol. I11, No. 1, No.
3, No. 4; Vol. V, No. 3; Vol. VI, No. 1; Vol VIII No. 2 are out
of print. All other back numbers: $3.00 each. Microfilm
and microfiche copies of Caribbean Review are avail-
able from University Microfilms, A Xerox Company,
300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
International Standard Serial Number:
ISSN 0008-6525; Library of Congress Number:
AP6, C27; Dewey Decimal Number: 079.7295.

In this issue

page 8

page 37

On the cover: "Parcelas
del Viejo Caldas" by the
Colombian artist Olga de
Chica of Manizales, Caldas.
She has exhibited widely in
the United States and Latin
America. One of her works
has been chosen for a 1981
UNICEF Christmas card.

The Year of the Sergeants
What Happened in Suriname
By Edward Dew

Jungle Politics
Guyana, The Peoples Temple, and the Affairs of State
By Donald J. Waters

When the Turtle Collapses, the World Ends
Modernization and the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua
By Bernard Nietschmann

Caribbean Edge
Reviewed by Nigel J.H. Smith

Los Gamines of Bogota
South America's Youngest Untouchables
By Thomas M. liams

This Train
A St. Lucian Short Story
By Augustus C. Small

The Flour Boy
A Panamanian Short Story
By Cubena (Carlos Guillermo Wilson)
Translated by lan I. Smart

Slavery and Race in Haitian Letters
Literature and the Peculiar Institution
By Leon-Frangois Hoffmann

Africa Revisited
Two French West Indian Novels
Reviewed by Marie-Denise Shelton

No Place
V.S. Naipaul's Vision of Home in the Caribbean
By Nana '.llI .:n-TlH.:..

The Book of the Quiche
The Sacred Popol Vuh
Reviewed by Charles Lacombe

Recent Books
An Informative Listing of Books about the Caribbean,
Latin America and their Emigrant Groups
By Marian Goslinga

An Important Library on the Caribbean
A Note by Marguerite C. Suarez-Murias

Index: Volumes Seven and Eight
By Yvon St. Albin


entering our fourth
decade of
distinguished publishing








Social Control and
Deviance in Cuba
by Luis Salas
Only as political, counter-revolutionary crime in
Cuba decreased has the Castro government shifted
its attention to control of traditional criminal activity.
This book examines the development of control in-
stitutions-both formal and informal-including the
courts, State committees, and police. It explains
shifts in crime related to Cuba's emergence as a
socialist system, and describes ways in which non-
political deviance, such as homosexuality and va-
grancy, are treated. Also examined is the corruption
of public officials and the legal system. A final chap-
ter sums up the economic, political, and cultural in-
fluences which have affected social control in Cuba.
416 pp. 1979 $24.95 ISBN 0-03-052471-7
Order from: Praeger Publishers
521 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017

The Catalogue
of the
West India
Reference Library

"The West India Reference Library is the most important
collection of Caribbeana .. It is fortunate that the
publication of the catalogue is making this information
available to libraries and readers all over the world."
-Jean Blackwell Hutson
Chief, The Schomburg Center for Research in
Black Culture, New York Public Library
"The West India Reference Library contains one of the best
collections of rare books, documents, maps, newspapers
and manuscripts found in the Caribbean. Here is not only
the history of an island but of a region. The catalogue will
be of invaluable use to the Caribbeanist."
-Thomas Mathews
Professor and former Director, Institute of
Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico
"The West India Reference Library is an outstanding
bibliographical resource. Although less complete on recent
titles, its colonial holdings are almost unrivalled in the
Caribbean. Publishing the listings of the library will be a
great aid to scholars. '
-Robert I. Rotberg
Professor of Political Science and History,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A photo-offset reproduction of the nearly 100,000 catalogue
cards of printed works on the West Indies from the year
1547. Includes all book, pamphlet, and periodical holdings of
the Library catalogued prior to the end of 1975.
6 vols. Millwood, N.Y., 1980. LC 76-56698
ISBN 0-527-15350-8 cloth $550.00
Part I: Catalogue of Authors and Titles. 3 vols.
Part II: Catalogue of Subjects. 3 vols.

Kraus anticipates publishing the catalogue of prints, photo-
graphs, maps and manuscripts in the West India Reference
Library. Together with the six volumes now available, it will
represent one of the most important bibliographic guides to
Caribbeana ever published.


Route 100, Millwood, N.Y. 10546 (914) 762-2200
A U.S. Division of Kraus-Thomson Organization Ltd.



Conflict in


American City

Boston's Irish, Italians,
and Jews, 1935-1944

by John F Stack, Jr.

Ethnic pressure, whether it is Jewish support for the state of
Israel, Irish antipathy toward Great Britain, or East Euro-
peans' demands for political change in their homelands, has
long been recognized as a powerful influence on American
foreign policy. But little historical attention has been paid to
the correlation between politicking in the United States and
the events in the country of origin. Conversely, the effects of
international events on ethnic rapport in America have also
been largely ignored. But international politics is a two-way
street. The subtle and complex dynamics of the relationship
between the Old World and the New is the subject of Interna-
tional Conflict in an American City.
This highly original book studies three ethnic groups in
Boston the Irish, Italians, and Jews and their reactions
to the volatile international issues of the 1930s and 1940s;
fascism, Nazism, anti-Semitism, isolationism, and the conm-
ing of World War II. John F. Stack, Jr. begins by discussing
the origins of Boston's rich mix of ethnic backgrounds, the
successive immigrations, and goes on to analyze the religious
organizations, foreign-language newspapers, fraternal clubs,
social welfare societies, political affiliations, and employ-
ment patterns that made ethnic groups in the city so cohesive.
He shows how the hardships of the Depression tended to
make the Irish, Italians, and Jews even more insular and
suspicious of "outsiders." He then introduces his main
thesis: that the international conflicts of the 1930s and 1940s,
many of which involved the homelands and relatives of
Boston's ethnic residents, served as a catalyst for ethnic
conflict during this period.
Stack's study takes issue with some traditional notions
about domestic and international politics. He shows America
to be not a melting pot, but a pluralistic amalgam of immi-
grant groups who retain much of theirold national identity for
generations after immigration. He also disputes the notion
that the world's politics are created solely by interaction
between sovereign states. Instead, he argues that other politi-
cal actors religious bodies, multi-national corporations, as
well as ethnic groups can and do influence the course of
the world's affairs.

Greenwood Press, Inc.
51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, Connecticut 06880

CREDIT CARD ORDERS--call toll free 1-800-257-7850
(in New Jersey call 1-800-322-8650)



A Picaresque Tale

of Emigration

and Return

Barry B. Levine

The noted scholar of Caribbean society and cul-
ture, Barry B. Levine, here tells the story of
Benjy Lopez: a Puerto Rican man who came to
the United States, who survived the privations
of poverty, and who emerged from them with
wisdom, skills, and ambition. Benjy then re-
turned to Puerto Rico with a new sense of him-
self and of the possibilities of prosperity.
Told with empathy, literary grace, and scien-
tific dispassion, this lively tale reveals the
harsh exactions American life imposes on the
disadvantaged. But it also shows just how these
exactions may be turned by brave and de-
termined people into new and expanded

"Barry Levine has that increasingly rare gift,
the sociological ear. In this book we have the
result of his listening patiently, sensitively,
with a fine feeling for nuance to what I'm sure
must be one of the most colorful characters to
make an appearance in sociological literature.
Lopez is a man between worlds, at the same
time a man of many worlds, who succeeded in
fashioning a world of his own. No amount of
sociological detachment can disguise the fact
that Levine came to have warm affection for
Lopez. Most readers will feel the same way; I

At bookstores, or direct from the publishers

10 East 53rd Street, New York 10022



.v .



The Year

of the Sergeants

What Happened in Suriname

By Edward Dew

The New Year's message of Parliament
Chairman Emile Wijntuin was grimly sober
this year: "Looking back at 1979, we have to
admit that it has not been the year that
brought us closer in national unity; it was
not the year in which ... the new Surinamer
finally emerged. With all our hearts we had
hoped that at the end of 1979 we could
proudly say that production, devotion to
duty, honesty, and love of country and
people had risen. Alas, we have to record
just the opposite: flight from Suriname,
criminal assaults in the streets and even in
the home, avoidance of work, and
negativism in our development and con-
duct have been predominant." But few of
his listeners suspected that it might be
Suriname's last such address. Although the
year still has months of surprises in store,
Surinamers will inevitably look back at 1980
as the year of the sergeants ... the year that
army unionization and civilian authority
collided head-on, with parliamentary de-
mocracy itself the apparent loser.
The crisis began in late January of this
year, when Prime Minister Henck Arron re-
fused to recognize the right of noncommis-
sioned officers to organize a labor union
modelled after those in The Netherlands,
their former colonial mentor. With long-
standing grievances regarding pay and
promotion policies, the sergeants began a
work action. Arron responded by ordering
the police to round them all up and arrest
the ringleaders for mutiny. Some of the
NCOs later spoke of the police giving them
a thrashing in the course of their detention.
The three ringleaders were promptly placed
on trial this February, with the prosecution
calling for ten-month sentences and sum-
mary discharge from the armed forces.
The rest of the world tuned in to the crisis
- at least briefly -when for eight hours on
Monday morning, February 25, the day
before sentencing in the trial, 300 NCOs
and recruits laid siege to their own capital
city, Paramaribo. The sergeants had
launched their attack at Army headquar-
ters, arresting their senior officers after a 3
a.m. firefight involving automatic weapons
and bazookas. From the Memre Boekoe
barracks on the southwestern edge of town,
armored personnel carriers fanned across

the metropolitan area to disarm the civilian
police. Their greatest resistance was en-
countered at police headquarters on the
waterfront downtown. Patrol boats on the
Suriname River blasted away part of an
upper floor, setting fire to the cavernous art
nouveau structure and burning it to the
ground. Official sources reported that
seven persons were killed in the coup be-
fore the police finally surrendered. Among
the dead were several high Army and Police
officers. That's quite a contrast with the past
forty years, in which only one death in
Suriname can be attributed to civil violence.
In a televised "meet the people" program
two weeks after the coup, a schoolgirl
asked one of the members of the new Na-
tional Military Council why they killed
people. "We don't shoot everyone," he re-
plied lamely.
According to Rudi Korss, a perceptive
Surinamese journalist in exile in The
Netherlands, the uprising may have been
popularly received insofar as it "threw the
rascals out." But, he felt, it was ultimately a
tragic development, for it had no roots, per
se, in the public's dissatisfaction with their
government. Suriname's NCOs simply ap-
peared to be the latest in a string of "lum-
penelites" seeking assurance of a
privileged place in a perennially troubled
On two previous occasions in the past
eleven years, labor and popular unrest
merged into anti-government activity. In
1969, a teachers strike and large-scale
demonstrations produced the resignation
of Prime Minister Johan Adolf Pengel. An
interim government oversaw new elections,
but neither it nor the newly elected govern-
ment of Dr. Jules Sedney was in a position
to adequately satisfy the underlying eco-
nomic discontent. Dutch economic assist-
ance, sharply restricted since 1966, limited
the government's ability to provide spoils;
and, to the extent that the striking teachers
were given some satisfaction, the labor set-
tlement came at the expense of new jobs.
Moreover, Suriname's resource endow-
ments offered little prospect of job creation
- at least in the urban area where the
majority of the population lives. Unem-
ployment rose precipitously from 1966, as

did emigration to The Netherlands.
The Sedney government (1969-1973)
was further handicapped by its dependence
on a multi-racial parliamentary coalition
dominated by East Indians. As both the
unionized and the unemployed primarily
consisted of Blacks, it was understandable
(and perhaps appropriate as well) to blame
the government's failure to produce a better
job and pay atmosphere on its bias towards
the East Indians in agriculture and busi-
ness. At any rate, in February 1973, the
urban masses and unions came together
again in action against the government.
This time the catalyst was a strike by the
customs inspectors, angered by the gov-
ernment's refusal to grant them the same
salary package that had been given recently
to the country's police. After they defied a
court order to resume work, the govern-
ment began to levy fines and demotions
against the leaders. Sympathy strikes by a
broad range of unions in both the public
and private sectors quickly followed, and
once again street disturbances broke out.
With unemployment estimated at over 25%,
it was easy to mobilize the urban popula-
tion. Chanting crowds called for the gov-
ernment's resignation in day after day of
massive demonstrations. For over a month
Paramaribo was crippled by a general
strike, yet the government stubbornly held
out, ultimately claiming triumph as workers
straggled back to work. However, in new
elections in November 1973, Dr. Sedney's
government was driven from office in the
most starkly racial political polarization in
Suriname's history.
Altogether, ten parties or coalitions en-
tered lists in the 1973 elections. The front-
runner was expected to be the VHP-bloc,
combining Suriname's largest East Indian
Party, the Progressive Reform Party (VHP),
with the smaller (East Indian) Action Group,
the Indonesian People's Party (SRI), and the
(tribal) Progressive Bush Negro Party. The
National Party Combination (NPK) was
considered its principal opponent, bringing
together Suriname's largest Black party, the
Suriname National Party (NPS), and two
smaller, but long-established, Black parties
- the (Catholic) Progressive Surinamese
People's Party (PSV) and the radical Party of

the Nationalistic Republic (PNR). These
three were in turn allied with the largest
Indonesian party, the Indonesian Peasants
Party (KTPI). Despite these imposing line-
ups, it was expected that Dr. Sedney's
(Black) Progressive National Party (PNP)
would win a few seats enough to resume
its broadly cross-ethnic government coali-
tion with the VHP At the same time, the NPK
was counting on the new Hindustani Pro-
gressive Party (HPP) to win in East Indian
districts at the VHP's expense. Thus it came
as a double surprise on election night when
(1) the NPK upset the VHP-bloc, and (2)
ethnic polarization between the two major
blocs wiped all the other contenders from
the boards. The new legislature offered the
prospect of no Blacks in the opposition and
no East Indians in the majority an un-
precedented situation in twenty years
of self-government under the Dutch
As if to confirm the East Indians' worst
fears, the new Prime Minister, Henck Arron,
promptly announced his government's in-
tention to achieve independence for
Suriname by the end of 1975. As the VHP
had long opposed independence, prefer-
ring the security of Dutch military and
political protection, as well as economic
assistance, this announcement was re-
ceived with anger and defiance. No such
mandate had been evident in the elections,
they charged, and a national plebiscite was
required. In the months that followed,
Jagernath Lachmon, the head of the VHP
alternately pleaded for Dutch intervention
and challenged the NPK on constitutional
grounds regarding its plans. Mass rallies
were organized among the East Indians,
inflaming their fears of being ruled indefi-
nitely by the Black minority. Although the
East Indians themselves, like all ethnic
groups in Suriname, are a minority, they
especially feared that Arron might do to
them what Forbes Burnham had done in
neighboring Guyana so contrive the
system that East Indians would be perma-
nently excluded from power. Emigration to
The Netherlands, now consisting heavily of
East Indians for the first time, rose precipi-
Rather than seeking a conciliation of

views between the country's two domina-
ting political blocs, Arron rather recklessly
denounced Lachmon and the VHP for sedi-
tion and inciting ethnic polarization. The
Netherlands, confronted with growing
popular resentment against Surinamese
immigration, and eager to improve rela-
tions with the Third World by ending its
"colonial" responsibilities, turned a deaf ear
to Lachmon's entreaties and fully cooper-
ated with the Arron government.

Severing the Ties

As the pace towards independence quick-
ened, Lachmon demanded a double na-
tionality for all Surinamers (safeguarding
their Dutch citizenship and continued abil-
ity to emigrate to Holland after indepen-
dence) and the resolution of long-standing
border disputes with Guyana and French
Guiana to reduce the need for a standing
military. Moreover, he insisted that a new
constitution be adopted before indepen-
dence one that would guarantee funda-
mental human rights, make the electoral
system more equitable, safeguard private
investments, and assure an apolitical
character of the Surinamese Army, if its
existence was essential. With ari eye to the
predominantly Black and heavily politi-
cal Guyanese Army next door, Lachmon
insisted that a Surinamese Army be ethni-
cally representative of the population.
These constitutional demands provided
both the NPK and the Dutch with their
biggest problem, as any revisions of the
present constitution would require a two-
thirds majority approval in Suriname's
legislature, and the NPK was four votes
short of this requirement. Clearly, revisions
would have to be made (or a wholly new
constitution adopted) because of the pres-
ence of Kingdom-related language and
procedures in the existing document. In
January 1975, Arron appointed a nonparti-
san (but multi-ethnic) commission of legal
experts to begin work on a new constitution.
His assurances that this work would be
completed in advance of the independence
date (November 25, 1975) were not very
convincing to the opposition, however.
In the meantime, the rallies and demon-

stations organized by the VHP intensified.
In May, during the visit to Suriname of
Dutch Premier Joop den Uyl and his lead-
ing advisors, a wave of arson swept
Paramaribo, destroying a number of gov-
ernment buildings (including the passport
office) and part of the commercial area. On
one occasion, East Indians and Blacks en-
gaged in a rock-throwing spree, injuring
dozens on both sides. At this juncture, more
conservative Blacks in the NPS began to
press Arron to reconcile his differences with
Lachmon, possibly going so far as to form a
broad-front coalition with the VHP to see
Suriname through to independence. Al-
though Arron finally agreed to a "summit
meeting" with the VHP, he rejected the co-
alition idea out of hand, and the meeting
nearly degenerated into a shouting match.
In August 1975, two NPS legislators
crossed into the opposition a Black and
a Chinese. Joining an Indonesian NPSer
who had earlier defected, this tipped the
balance of power in the legislature to the
VHP's advantage. But then, the Chinese
"defector" disappeared, and the legislature
deadlocked at 19-19. This was not enough
to vote a motion of "no-confidence" but
was sufficient to prevent any business from
being conducted, and from August through
October, the legislature remained
Nevertheless, the Dutch Parliament went
ahead with its debate to terminate
Suriname's participation in the Kingdom in
late October. Suriname's government and
opposition, unwilling to meet in their own
legislature, journeyed to The Hague to pre-
sent their case before the two Dutch
Houses. Despite expressions of concern
from the progressive majority in control of
the Dutch Parliament, Suriname's inde-
pendence was overwhelmingly supported,
and the Surinamese legislators flew back to
face their own moment of truth. On the eve
of the Hague debates, a leading member of
the VHP George Hindorie, now defected,
pledging to provide the NPK a quorum for
the subsequent debates in Suriname, itself.
Despite the loss of Hindorie, Lachmon
stubbornly persisted in his earlier demands,
insisting as well that new elections be held
within five months of independence. The

VHP's approval of the new constitution by
the necessary two-thirds majority would be
conditioned on NPK acceptance of these
The constitution, prepared by the inde-
pendent commission (and published in
August 1975), had been only slightly re-
vised by the government. Still, as submitted
to the legislature, it contained few of the
features demanded by the VHP Debate was
tense and unyielding throughout the first
day. But on the second, Arron made an
emotional appeal to Lachmon for solidarity
and support, and the two embraced on the
assembly floor, later meeting privately to
work out their disagreements. In the com-
promise they reached, Arron promised new
elections within eight months of indepen-
dence. In the Memorie van Toelichting
(explanatory statement) accompanying the
Constitution, Arron agreed to new language
to describe the intended composition and
apolitical character of the military.
Lachmon, for his part, accepted these con-
cessions and dropped his demand regard-
ing special constitutional protection of
private investments. Subsequently, the
constitution and the bill severing
Suriname's ties with The Netherlands
passed swiftly through debate, winning
unanimous approval.
Although the Dutch gave Suriname a
"golden handshake," promising over $1.5
billion in economic assistance over the next
fifteen years, their terms have been strict. To
the extent that moneys have been released
at all, they have been used in the develop-
ment of mining and agricultural resources
in West Suriname, an area of long-term
economic significance. But in the short-
run, the economy remains full of coritradic-
tions. East Indians and Blacks from Guyana
have increasingly found employment in
Suriname's agricultural and mining sec-
tors, while local youth, with abilities derived
from Suriname's excellent educational
system, find no outlet for their aspirations.
As Wijntuin bitterly noted in his New Year's
speech, "only four years after indepen-
dence, countless Surinamese enterprises
are kept afloat by alien workers (gastar-
beiders), while every day, in every key, our
people are singing about the lack of jobs."

A union leader angrily underlined his
countrymen's sense of frustration: "At
Caribbean conferences, I'm always hearing
that'Suriname is the rich man of the Carib-
bean! You have a lot of money.' Sure, lots of
money, lots of intellect, but no future." It is
not surprising, then, that emigration has
continued at a rate only slightly below its
peak during the independence controversy.
With nearly every family having established
a "representative" in The Netherlands be-
fore independence, the social "pull" of Hol-
land's welfare conditions is seldom im-
peded by legal restrictions. In 1979, net
emigration was estimated at over 1,000
month, bringing the total population of
Surinamers in The Netherlands to ap-
proximately 180,000, or over 35% of all
Could there have been a viable alterna-
tive to this ethnically polarized and con-
tradictory path of development? If there
was, it was probably represented by the
small PNR, the radical junior partner in the
NPK government. PNR leader Eddy Bruma
had been instrumental in organizing and
representing a variety of unions among
unskilled Indonesian and East Indian ag-
ricultural workers, while governmental em-
ployees (many of whom might be consid-
ered equally unskilled) also gravitated to his
C-47 union federation. Despite his image
as a nationalistic champion of the little man,
Bruma's efforts in politics went unrewarded
for a decade. In the 1969 elections, Bruma
finally made it into the legislature where he
shared the opposition benches with the
NPS. By joining the NPK coalition in 1973,
the PNR found itself with five seats, and
Bruma became Arron's Minister of Eco-
nomic Affairs. In coordination with Michael
Manley in Jamaica, he is generally credited
with the 1974 tripling of taxes collected
from Alcoa and Billiton, the two multina-
tional bauxite companies which account for
80 percent of Suriname's foreign exchange.
His design for economic development in-
volved government assistance to small-
scale agricultural and other cooperative
enterprises. But he also managed to find
employment for many of his followers by
setting up a "midnight army" of street

Despite his many services to Surinamers
of all races, Bruma was depicted by the VHP
as anti-East Indian because of his long-
standing commitment to the cultural re-
habilitation and further flowering of the
Blacks' folk culture and language,
Sranangtongo. Partly because of this, but
more likely because Bruma's spell-binding
oratory made him a natural rival, Arron
eagerly seized hold of a scandal in the
Economic Affairs Ministry to drop the PNR
from the NPK on the eve of the promised
Although Arron and Lachmon had post-
poned the post-independence elections for
longer than eight months (to allow things to
settle down a bit), they were finally sched-
uled for October 1977. With George Hin-
dorie, the VHP defector, still ostracized from
his own party, Arron now moved to ratify the
new multi-ethnic base of his government
with a pre-election alliance with the HPR
The HPP quickly accommodated Arron by
accepting Hindorie into its ranks.
For its part, the VHP-bloc (rechristened
the United Democratic Parties, VDP) in-
cluded an unusual new ally from the Blacks:
the Suriname Socialist Party (SPS), led by
Henk Herrenberg. As a student in The
Netherlands in the late 1960s and early
1970s, Herrenberg had been known for his
prolific and trenchant analyses of
Suriname's ills. His link-up with the VHP
baffled many ... both for the motives of the
VHP taking him in, and for his willingness to
compromise his beliefs so completely. It is
doubtful that either the HPP or SPS led
many East Indian or Black voters to cross
ethnic lines in 1977. But their appearance
on their respective tickets, with the assur-
ance that they would win seats and possibly
ministries, undoubtedly encouraged
Surinamers that the stark polarization of
1973-1975 was a thing of the past.
But did anything promising lie ahead?
With the PNR isolated and its progressive
credentials somewhat tarnished, a number
of "purer," mostly multiethnic, radical
groups jostled their way into the field, of-
fering programs that ranged from "agrarian
cooperativism" to "Marxist-Leninist revolu-
tion." Led by young professionals recently
Continued on page 46

Jungle Politics

Guy.ana -ThePeopleA Simple.
andTheAMfairs of State

By Donald J. Waters
In July 1979, the Secretariat of the ruling
party in Guyana burned to the ground, an
apparent object of sabotage. Leaders of
opposition parties were held responsible
and jailed. The hierarchy of the armed
forces was shuffled to avert the threat of a
coup. And a Roman Catholic priest who
worked for a local newspaper was set upon,
allegedly by ruling party thugs, and brutally
murdered. He was photographing a public
demonstration in support of the jailed op-
position leaders. These incidents come less
than a year after the gruesome Jonestown
affair rocked Guyana in late 1978. Yet even
as the violence of its internal affairs con-
tinues, the effect of Guyana's affairs on the
Peoples Temple cult still remains obscure.
Many commentators took the final ac-
tions of the unhappy, duped followers of
Jim Jones as grisly evidence of the decay of
modern civilization and the decline of the
contemporary human spirit. The murder of
Congressman Leo Ryan and the mass
suicide of Peoples Temple members led
Newsweek's Meg Greenfield, for example,
to warn that "the jungle is only a few yards
away." Commentators uttered such pon-
derous judgments because they could not
comprehend the particular circumstances
responsible for the terrible Jonestown
Critics of the Peoples Temple have made
much of the internal features of the cult: the
racism, the poverty, the emotional weak-
nesses. But, for the most part, they have
shown little concern for the ways in which
the Peoples Temple was part of a wider
network of relationships. In fact, they tend to

regard the cult as socially isolated: after all,
its members had left the United States to
settle in a remote jungle. Observers simply
remained ignorant both of the country
where the cult established its new home
and of the special conditions that prompted
Guyana to accept the immigrants. Indeed,
so much of the commentary on the
Jonestown apocalypse revealed so little
about Guyana's relations with the Peoples
Temple that the disaster seems to have
been set in a fictional rather than an actual
place. As novelist Diane Johnson recently
observed, "we might have read of the
airstrip massacre in some Tarzan tale." She
then complained that "people have always
imagined Guyana: it is the heart of dark-
But the Peoples Temple was not cut off
from society; nor was its fate a reflection of
the general failure of that society. Guyana
had definite interests in the Peoples Temple
and the Guyanese government regarded
the cult as a special, privileged group of
American immigrants. To see this, notice
that the Jonestown cult was well-armed in a
country where local farmers can hardly ob-
tain pellet guns to scare birds from fields.
John Crewdson, a reporter for theNew York
Times, uncovered evidence that the cult
smuggled its store of rifles and ammunition
into the country. But smuggling activity
became relatively easy once Guyana re-
laxed its customs surveillance of the cult.
According to Nicholas Horrock, also of the
Times, Jonestown received, with the full
knowledge of Guyanese customs officials,
"unchecked night shipments" of goods

directly from America. The Peoples Temple
enjoyed such a privilege not because it was
isolated, but because it held and nurtured
ties with the Guyana government. And
since the imported goods came from
America, Guyana, in turn, must have fav-
ored the cult on the question of customs at
least in partial consideration of relations
with the United States.
If you consider only the feature of cus-
toms regulation, then, you must conclude
that the Peoples Temple was by no means
secluded from the rest of the world, even in
the wilds of Guyana. And customs were
only one set of ties between Jonestown and
a wider society a society embroiled in
delicate questions of international diplo-
macy. Yet even that one set of external links
had ominous implications for the relations
within the cult: The goods imported from
America certainly were scarce items and
made Jones and his cronies relatively
affluent while the other members of the
community suffered deprivation. Moreover,
the opportunity to smuggle arms helped
Jones to strengthen his authority and to
enforce submission among his followers.
These relations of affluence and depriva-
tion, of authority and submission cemented
the cult together. But they also harbored the
forces that eventually led to the cult's de-
mise. What unleashed the fury of self-
destruction cannot be found by looking at
the cult in isolation. The slow fuse was ig-
nited and finally left to burn only in the
context of a further set of relations that
bound the cult to Guyana and to an even
wider society.


A former colony of Great Britain, Guyana
gained its independence in 1966 and be-
came a Republic in 1970. During the long
period of weaning from England, which
began in the late 1940s, a group of increas-
ingly astute Guyanese statesmen struggled
to master the national and international
affairs of their country. In 1964, Forbes
Burnham became Prime Minister after
gaining the edge over his principal oppo-
nent, Cheddi Jagan, in both the national
and international arenas.
Burnham's edge on the national scene
can be attributed largely to his finely honed
leadership of a party representing public
service workers and mine laborers, most of
whom were black. In coalition with the
leader of a party representing the Guyanese
business community, Burnham success-
fully charged Jagan with the responsibility
for a series of violent racial disturbances in
the early 1960s. Burnham accused Jagan
of favoring East Indians in the dispute and
therefore of practicing racial politics. Then,
after assuming office, Burnham shifted the
focus of racial bias to favor the interest of
his own, primarily black constituency. In-
deed, one faction of Burnham's party be-
came so enamoured of Black Power in the
early 1970s that it welcomed American
black dissidents to Guyana, including
Stokely Carmichael. But by 1974, Burnham
had fallen out with the leader of this faction
and had begun to curtail the visits of the
American blacks. Still he continued to
identify with blacks and this certainly dis-
posed him to entertain the predominantly
black Peoples Temple who, in late 1973,

proposed to plant a colony in the Guyana
Burnham also out maneuvered Jagan on
the international front. During visits abroad
in the early 1960s, Burnham contrasted his
own pragmatic political style with the
pyrotechnic marxist rhetoric of Jagan. Fol-
lowing the Bay of Pigs debacle, US officials
feared that Jagan was fast becoming
another Castro and were so impressed with
Burnham that they urged England to insti-
tute changes in the Guyanese electoral
system. The changes distinctly favored
Burnham who formed a coalition govern-
ment and ousted Jagan. For Burnham's
tactics, which also included cooperation
with the CIA, Jagan even today regards him
as an American puppet. But Burnham has
repeatedly trumped Jagan's criticisms. He
put Guyana in the forefront of the Third
World's non-aligned movement and his
government has persistently sought mar-
kets for Guyanese products in non-western
nations. In a move that stunned Washing-
ton, Burnham usurped Jagan's position on
a long-standing issue and nationalized the
Guyanese bauxite industry, taking control of
one firm owned by Canadian-based Alcan
and another owned by American-based
Reynolds Aluminum. Washington retaliated
by removing Guyana from its list of coun-
tries entitled to benefit from the sugar im-
port quota. By the end of 1976, when immi-
gration of Peoples Temple members was
beginning in earnest, relations between the
United States and Burnham's government
had badly deteriorated. Following the Oc-
tober 1976 crash of a sabotaged Cuban

airliner in which eleven Guyanese pas-
sengers were killed, Burnham publicly de-
clared the United States responsible for the
crash. The State Department immediately
recalled its chief diplomatic officer from
Guyana in protest. Meanwhile, Burnham
stepped up a campaign warning of US ef-
forts to "destabilize" his government.
Against the background of these devel-
opments, Burnham must have found the
timing of the Jonestown settlement par-
ticularly awkward. How could he credibly
guard his countrymen against "destabiliza-
tion," if his own government was willing to
make a generous concession of 3000 acres
of land to a large group of Americans with a
dubious religious affiliation? The settle-
ment certainly had the potential to com-
promise his bold stance against the United
States. Evidently, Burnham did have sec-
ond thoughts, for he took few chances to be
politically embarrassed by the presence of
the Peoples Temple. He demanded that
Jones produce not only his religious cre-
dentials but also persuasive character ref-
erences. In response, Jones compiled an
impressive list of endorsements including
the signatures of Walter Mondale, Hubert
Humphrey, Joseph Califano, Henry
Jackson, Bella Abzug and other prominent
Even with this list in hand, Burnham took
further precautions. He controlled informa-
tion about the settlement, making sure that
it received publicity as nothing more than a
model agricultural community. Moreover,
he accepted various expressions of Jones'
commitment to the Burnham regime. But



Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham. Wide World Photo

undoubtedly the most important factor that
led Burnham to risk adverse repercussions
from the Jonestown colony was the lever-
age he hoped to gain on still another volatile
front: his relations with Venezuela.

A Model Agricultural
Jonestown was located less than twenty-
five miles from the Venezuelan border in
Guyana's westernmost county. The county,
named for the Essequibo River, comprises
fully half of Guyanese territory. In 1962, on
the eve of Guyanese independence, Ven-
ezuela reopened a boundary dispute that
had been settled by a Tribunal Award in
1899. Venezuela claimed the entire Es-
sequibo region and, once Guyana became
independent, began to prosecute the case
vigorously. Venezuelan military forces oc-
cupied the Guyanese half of an island on
the border in 1966 and, in 1968, Venezuela
issued a decree claiming territorial rights to
the waters off the Essequibo coast between
the three and twelve mile limits. In 1969,
Venezuela placed advertisements in British
newspapers, warning that it would not rec-
ognize concessions made to firms by
Guyana in the disputed territory. Finally, in
1970, shots were exchanged on the oc-
cupied island. Later in the year, Guyanese
and Venezuelan officials drew up a protocol
in which both parties agreed to relax their
territorial claims and to postpone further
consideration of the frontier problem for
twelve years. Although Guyana had a sound
legal position in the dispute, the Essequibo

region was sparsely populated and thus
difficult to control. Further, Guyana stood
like a David against a Venezuelan Goliath
with respect to military might. In 1969,
Guyana spent US $6,000 to support 1800
soldiers, while Venezuela spent nearly US
$109,000 to outfit an armed force of 15,000
men. Burnham thus accepted the protocol
agreement with the intention of using the
twelve year moratorium to improve his
standing in the Essequibo region with ex-
panded settlements, economic develop-
ment programs, and bolstered defense
The eagerness of the Peoples Temple to
invest in an agricultural settlement fit nicely
into Burnham's plans for developing the
Essequibo region. Members of the Peoples
Temple seemed to have had a purely
romantic attraction to the jungles of
Guyana and probably were indifferent to
where they located their settlement. So
Burnham encouraged the cult to settle in
the Essequibo region close to the Ven-
ezuelan border. Provided the colony devel-
oped as planned, it would tighten Guyana's
control over the disputed region. Moreover,
if Venezuela decided to violate protocol and
press its claims with force, it would have
been convenient for Burnham to call upon
the United States to rescue its citizens.
From the Guyanese point of view, then,
the jungle settlement of Jonestown was
carefully selected and could be justified in
the interest of national security. Still, Burn-
ham wanted to guard information released
about the colony so that nothing could be
construed to compromise his position on

the dangers of national "destabilization."
When the colony received publicity, it was
presented as a model agricultural commu-
nity. Apparently, Jim Jones eagerly cooper-
ated in this program of impression man-
agement, though for his own reasons; he
did not want to be harassed by allegations
that he mistreated his followers. He carefully
orchestrated visits of dignitaries and offi-
cials to illustrate the model aspects of his
earthly paradise. His objectionable prac-
tices were successfully hidden, even from
frequent Guyanese visitors. When
Guyanese officials permitted Congressman
Ryan to visit Jonestown, they probably had
no inkling that he would find anything other
than a model of agricultural cooperation.
By November 1978, Jones' orchestration
had become a slick, well-practiced routine.
With only tightly controlled information
coming Jonestown, the State Department
had difficulty making an informed judg-
ment on the early charges that Jones
abused Peoples Temple members. But
even if it had adequate information, there
were more compelling reasons to resist
meddling in the affairs of the cult. Simple
diplomatic prudence suggested that offi-
cials avoid provoking Burnham. Given the
temper of relations between the United
States and Guyana in late 1976 and early
1977, Burnham could easily have con-
strued any overt action against the Peoples
Temple as an attempt to violate Guyana's
sovereign affairs. Jones, for his part, was
well prepared to persuade Guyanese offi-
cials, if in fact they needed such persuasion,
that outside interference with the Peoples
Temple was outside interference with
Guyana. He detailed lieutenants to
Georgetown where, according to New York
Times reports, they tried to influence gov-
ernment officials with "unremitting letter-
writing, personal visits and parties."
The State Department's refusal to inter-
vene at Jonestown, besides being prudent,
also formed part of a wider diplomatic
strategy in the new Carter Administration. In
an attempt to mollify Burnham, United
States officials ignored his antagonistic
rhetoric while they quietly found ways to
support him. One of the high points in this
strategy of diplomatic stroking came in the
summer of 1977 when UN Ambassador
Andrew Young became one of the highest
ranking American officials to visit Guyana.
The United States also began expanding its
economic aid to the country. By June 1978,
even though complaints against the
Peoples Temple were increasing, restraint
regarding Jonestown was such a key and
sensitive part of US diplomatic policy that
Ambassador to Guyana John Burke had to
cable Washington for permission to ask the
Guyana government to check on alleged
abuses at Jonestown. Several State De-
partment bureaus shuffled Burke's request
and effectively denied it: the answer he re-

Air view of the People's Temple in Jonestown showing some of the more than 400 persons who
committed suicide. Wide World Photo

ceived was ambiguous and was not fol-
lowed up in Washington when the Ambas-
sador went on home leave soon thereafter.
As the settlement of Jonestown sprang
from the jungle clearing, the interest of Jim
Jones and the Burnham government hap-
pily intermingled. Jones wanted room to
construct an earthly paradise; Burnham
wanted a thriving agricultural settlement in
the disputed Essequibo region. Moreover,
both wanted to control information re-
leased about the settlement: Jones to avoid
having US officials investigate allegations
that he mistreated his followers; Burnham
to deflect accusations that he was en-
couraging "destabilization" by foreign set-
tlers. Finally, so that the Peoples Temple
caused him no political embarrassment,
Burnham wanted, besides controlled in-
formation, expressions from Jones of his
deference to the Guyanese government.
Here, too, Jones' interests intersected with
Burnham's. Jones believed, according to
evidence contained in his personal papers,
that by showing his regard for Guyanese
authorities he achieved an influential posi-
tion among them.
Throughout the period of his residence in
Guyana, Jones remained agriculturally
naive, he defended his settlement with
grandiose rhetoric, and he repeatedly
demonstrated his crude political sen-
sibilities. Each of these features made him
obeisant, even subservient, to the
Guyanese. It is doubtful, however, whether
these characteristics helped him achieve
much influence.
Guyanese officials paid much attention

to Jones. But they did so not because they
needed his advice. Rather, he needed theirs.
The Guyanese, from long experience in
rural economy, have no illusions about the
difficulties associated with organizing and
managing innovative agricultural projects.
When Jones came to the country in pursuit
of a rural haven with a group of urban
Americans, he had to defer to Guyanese
wisdom in matters of cultivation. Guyanese
officials and technical experts thus encour-
aged and assisted him. They made regular
visits to the colony and they availed the cult
of various resources, such as the informa-
tion in the Georgetown libraries. Despite
these efforts to overcome the naivete of
Jones and his followers, however, the
Guyanese expected, at best, only modest
agricultural achievements in the so-called
model community. As it turned out, the
results were actually much worse. Accord-
ing to reports in the New York Times,
agricultural production in Jonestown
was always "far too slim to support so
large a group."

Manipulation and Influence

Failing in agriculture, Jones defended his
settlement on other grounds. With high-
minded sounding rhetoric, he extolled the
virtues of cooperation and socialistic en-
deavor. But here, again, Guyanese officials
learned nothing from Jones, for they too are
adept ideologues. In 1970, they began
steering the Guyanese Republic on a
course towards "cooperative socialism."

Jim Jones, founder of the Jonestown settle-
ment. World Wide Photo
Ever since, they have had to submit the
enterprise to searching international
scrutiny. They regularly defend its various
elements when they seek foreign aid, when
they speak out on issues of national con-
cern and when they conduct other affairs of
state. They appreciated the fact that Jones
deferred to them by skillfully identifying the
goals of his community with those of the
Guyanese government. But based on their
realistic estimates of what the cult could
accomplish, Guyanese officials almost
certainly dismissed much of what Jones
said about his settlement as little more than
Jones thus deferred to the Guyanese in
both the agricultural and ideological
spheres without gaining any influence.
Hoping to achieve some authority, he
turned finally to the Guyanese political
arena. Because the country is so small,
comprising less than one million citizens,
Guyanese at all levels are accustomed to a
style of politics based on personal contact
and the refined qualities of political persua-
sion. In California, Jones and his cult mem-
bers organized effective political cam-
paigns that emphasized intense personal
contacts. They resorted to repeated tele-
phone calls, letters, telegrams, and the like.
But to get what they wanted, they had little
use for subtle refinements such as indirec-
tion and dissemblance. Reporters of both
the New York Times and the Washington
Post have revealed that Jones did not mod-
ify his political techniques when he reached
Guyana. So, if Jones actually achieved any
influence there, officials easily recognized

his strategems for what they were: crude
Most indications are, however, that Jones
ultimately did not acquire influence with his
crude tactics as much as he became sub-
servient to Guyanese authority. Unsubstan-
tiated reports abound that Guyanese offi-
cials collected bribes for the favors Jones
enjoyed, including the privilege that per-
mitted various imported goods (and his
weapons arsenal) to pass through customs
without question. There appears to be
some truth to these reports and, if Jones did
pay to ingratiate himself with officials, they
not only lined their pockets but could, at
their pleasure, hold Jones criminally liable
for corruption. As if such liability was not
enough, Jones admitted in his personal
papers that he was willing to go even
further. Apparently, he suggested to the
ruling party that he bring members of the
Peoples Temple to vote illegally in an im-
portant nationwide referendum.
In a vain struggle for influence, then,
Jones increasingly comprised and cor-
rupted his position. He bowed so willingly in
deference to Burnham's government that
eventually he found himself on his knees. It
is no wonder he began suggesting that the
cult move elsewhere, to Russia or perhaps
The referendum that Jones tried to affect
was held in the summer of 1978. It indicated
significant changes that had taken place in
Guyana since 1976, when the Peoples
Temple began settling Jonestown. By early
1978, the Guyanese economy had badly
faltered. The price of sugar, one of Guyana's

major earners of foreign exchange, was
declining in the world market and Guyana's
already bad balance of payments wors-
ened. Imports as a whole fell and imported
food items began disappearing from groc-
ery shelves. Water was in short supply and
urban power failures were common. To
make matters worse, laborers in both the
major export industries, sugar and bauxite,
were dissatisfied with working conditions.
Sugar workers, organized in a union led by
Cheddi Jagan, had just concluded a strike
that had lasted for the better part of the fall
Hoping to ease Guyana's economic
woes, Burnham went abroad in the spring.
He flew to Russia, where he received little
more than the promise of cultural ex-
change. On the way back, he stopped in
England and collected some of the financ-
ial assistance he desired. Back home in
Guyana, Burnham also found the United
States willing to expand its economic aid.
While these moves bolstered the
Guyanese economy, they did little to shore
up Burnham's sagging political position.
For this, he had to resort to drastic meas-
ures. He postponed a national election due
for the summer of 1978 and instead held a
referendum on a constitutional amend-
ment that would transform the Parliament
to a constituent assembly for the purpose of
writing a new constitution. Amid reports
that Burnham rigged the election results,
the amendment passed. Thus, Burnham
managed to avoid facing the voters directly
for an indefinite period, at least until the new
constitution is drafted and becomes law.

Guyana's domestic troubles continued
until in July 1979 the political climate
turned to stormy violence. But as condi-
tions gradually worsened, the government
never pressed Jones and his followers to
leave Guyana. That Guyana fully supported
the Peoples Temple even up to the time that
Leo Ryan entered the country is indicated
by the harassment that members of the
press traveling with the Congressman had
to endure at the airport. Similarly, until
Ryan's visit in November 1978, the US State
Department adhered to its policy, continu-
ing to object to any active intervention in the
affairs of the cult. But once Ryan arrived in
the country on the authority of the US
House International Affairs Committee, he
persuaded State Department officials to
suspend their objections to intervention
pending his investigation of the cult. The
US Embassy then insisted that Guyana
admit members of Ryan's party and clear
them to visit Jonestown.
It is doubtful that Guyana would have
yielded to such pressure in 1976 after the
crash of the Cuban airliner. But conditions
in November 1978 had changed drastically
from the conditions of October 1976. If, in
late 1978, Burnham had objected to an
official United States investigation of the
Peoples Temple, he may have risked losing
one of the linchpins upon which he had
staked the survival of Guyana's economy,
not to mention his own political career.
Under those conditions and fully expecting
Ryan's investigation to reveal nothing,
Burnham yielded to State Department
urgings. The press accompanying Ryan




Scholarly multidisciplinary journal
devoted entirely to Cuba
Volume 9 Number 1, January 1979:
The Cuban Nuclear Power Program-Jorge F. P6rez-L6pez
Juvenile Delinquency in Postrevolutionary Cuba-Luis P. Salas
Volume 9 Number 2, July 1979: Four essays on
Dependency-William M. LeoGrande
Energy-Rafael Fermoselle
Income Distribution-Claes Brundenius
Statistics-Carmelo Mesa-Lago
plus a FORUM ON INSTITUTIONALIZATION, featuring a review
essay on the literature by Max Azicri.
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from FIU's International Affairs Center

* Dr. Antonio Villegas, Rector of Universidad Simdn
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representatives of FlU, the State University
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was admitted and the fateful trip to Jones'
commune was formally approved.
Once he reached Jonestown, Con-
gressman Ryan announced that cult mem-
bers, if they wished, could leave with him.
The full implications of Ryan's visit then
suddenly began to dawn on Jones. He
could no longer depend on Guyana's ability
to protect the colony from American
scrutiny. Indeed, Guyana's willingness to
support Jones without equivocation
seemed in doubt. And here was a United
States congressman encouraging expres-
sions of dissent and repudiation from
among his followers. Jones' leadership, his
very existence, was in jeopardy, especially if
the defectors leaving with Ryan were to
expose his so-called model community to
the world. So he sent his lieutenants to see
that Ryan and members of his party did not
leave alive and he began to prepare the
remaining cult members to "die for the
glory of socialism."
When he had Congressman Ryan, an
official of state, killed, Jim Jones let it be
known in his own crazed way that he lost the
diplomatic gamble of his life, a gamble fully
dependent on the international affairs of
state. After leaving San Francisco, Jones
had found in the jungles of Guyana the
physical and psychological space needed
to create his tortured version of Utopia. But
it was not just the distance of the jungle
from civilization that afforded him the arena
he needed. Rather, the space opened in the
context of the interplay of relations between
Guyana and Venezuela and the United
States. When the logic of these affairs of
state shifted, the space once opened to
Jones began to close. Only then, in Jones'
claustrophobic consciousness did it be-
come apparent that he was socially no
more isolated from civilization in a dark
jungle than he was on a brightly-lit urban
Many commentators, in their efforts to
fathom what happened in the jungles of
Guyana, have ignored important clues and
succumbed to dark imaginings. They have
disregarded the fact that the Peoples Tem-
ple, like any social entity, was bound to
particular circumstances by definite sets of
relationships. In the case of the cult, some
of these relationships involved delicate
international affairs. It probably will never be
made clear whether Jones ultimately in-
tended to escape the mass suicide and,
with a few trusted cohorts, continue his
experiment elsewhere, perhaps in Russia. It
can, however, be made clear what particular
circumstances moved Jones and his fol-
lowers to step first, firmly and with convic-
tion, to the brink of hysteria.

Donald J. Waters teaches Anthropology at Yale
University, Connecticut.


is Available in


University Microfilms
.l International
Dept. F.A.
S, '300 North Zeeb Road
.Ann Arbor, MI 48106
I -U.S.A.
Dept. F.A.
18 Bedford Row
London, WC1 R 4EJ


METAS, New Scholarly Journal
Focusing on Hispanics and Education,
Publishes Inaugural Issue

Metas, a new journal
which examines issues in
education and related
fields, as they affect Puerto
Ricans and other Hispanics,
has published its inaugural
issue, dated Fall 1979.
The journal will be pub-
lished three times yearly by
Aspira of America, Inc., a
non-profit agency founded
in 1961, which strives to de-
velop leadership in Puerto
Rican and other Hispanic
communities by means
of education.
The first issue of Metas con-
tains articles on Socializa-
tion and Education, by Dr.
Angel G. Quintero-Alfaro,
former Secretary of Educa-
tion of Puerto Rico, and now

with Harvard University; on
Suggestions for a National
Information System on the
Education of Puerto Ricans,
by Dr. Jose Herndndez-
Alvarez, University of Wiscon-
sin; and on funding of edu-
cation in schools with large
numbers of Puerto Rican stu-
dents, by Dr. Lois S. Gray
and Alice O. Beamesderfer,
Cornell University
Subscriptions to Metas are
$9 per year for individuals,
$12 yearly for institutions; $17
for two years, individuals,
and $22 for institutions.
Checks should be sent to
Aspira of America, Inc.,
205 Lexington Ave., New
York,N.Y. 10016.


F_ I

When the Turtle

Collapses, the World Ends

By Bernard Nietschman

In the half-light of dawn a sailing canoe
approaches a shoal where nets were set the
day before. A Miskito turtleman stands on
the bow and points to a distant splash that
breaks the gray sheen of the Caribbean
waters. Even from a hundred yards he can
tell that a green turtle has been caught in
one of the nets. His two companions
quickly bring the craft alongside the turtle,
and as they pull it from the sea, its glistening
shell reflects the first rays of the rising sun.
As two men work to remove the heavy rep-
tile from the net, the third keeps the canoe
headed into the swells and beside the an-
chored net. After its fins have been pierced
and lashed with bark fiber cord, the 250-
pound turtle is placed on its back in the
bottom of the canoe. The turtlemen are
happy. Perhaps their luck will be good today
and their other nets will also yield many
These green turtles, caught by Miskito
Indian turtlemen off the eastern coast of
Nicaragua, are destined for distant markets.
Their butchered bodies will pass through
many hands, local and foreign, eventually
ending up in tins, bottles and freezers far
away. Their meat, leather, shell, oil, and
calipee a gelatinous substance that is the
base for turtle soup will be used to pro-
duce goods for more affluent parts of the
The coastal Miskito Indians are de-
pendent on green turtles. Their culture has
long been adapted to the once vast popula-
tions inhabiting the largest sea turtle feed-
ing grounds in the world. As the most im-
portant link between livelihood, social in-
teraction and environment, green turtles
were the pivot around which traditional Mis-
kito Indian society revolved. These large
reptiles also provided the major source of
protein in Miskito diet. Now this priceless
and limited resource has become a prized
commodity that is being exploited for al-
most entirely economic reasons.
In the past, turtles fulfilled the nutritional
needs as well as the social responsibilities
of Miskito society. Today, however, the Mis-
kito depend mainly on the sale of turtles to
provide them with the money they need to
purchase household goods and other
necessities. But the turtles are a declining

resource; overdependence on them is
leading the Miskito into an ecological blind
alley. The cultural control mechanisms that
once adapted the Miskito to their environ-
ment and faunal resources are now circum-
vented or inoperative, and they are caught
up in a system of continued intensification
of turtle fishing which threatens to provide
neither cash nor subsistence.
The coastal Miskito Indians are among
the world's most adept small-craft seamen
and turtlemen. Their traditional subsistence
system provided dependable yields by
means of judicious scheduling. Agriculture,
hunting, fishing and gathering were orga-
nized seasonally according to weather and
resource availability and provided adequate
amounts of food and materials without
overexploiting any one species or site.
Women cultivated the crops while men
hunted and fished. Turtle fishing was the
backbone of subsistence, providing meat
throughout the year.
Miskito society and economy were inter-
dependent. There was no economic activity
without a social context, and every social
act had a reciprocal economic aspect. To
the Miskito, meat, especially turtle meat,
was the most esteemed and valuable re-
source, for it was not only a mainstay of
subsistence, it was the item most com-
monly distributed to relatives and friends.
Meat shared in this way satisfied mutual
obligations and responsibilities and
smoothed out daily and seasonal differ-
ences in the acquisition of animal protein.
In this way those too young, old or sick or
otherwise unable to secure their own meat
received their share, and the village
achieved a certain balance. Minimal food
requirements were met; meat surplus was
disposed of to others; and social respon-
sibilities were satisfied.
Today the older Miskito recall that when
meat was scarce in the village, a few turtle-
men would put out to sea in their dugout
canoes for a day's harpooning on the turtle
feeding grounds. In the afternoon the men
would return, sailing before the northeast
trade wind, bringing meat for all. Gathered
on the beach, the villagers would help drag
the canoes into thatched storage sheds.
After the turtles had been butchered and

the meat distributed, everyone would return
home to the cooking fires.
Historical circumstances and a series of
boom-bust economic cycles disrupted the
Miskito's society and environment. In the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in-
termittent trade with English and French
buccaneers based on the exchange of
forest and marine resources for metal tools
and utensils, rum and firearms -
prompted the Miskito to extend hunting,
fishing and gathering beyond their needs to
exploitative enterprises.
During the nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, foreign-owned companies
operating in eastern Nicaragua exported
rubber, lumber and gold and initiated
commercial banana production. As alien
economic and ecological influences inten-
sified, contract wage labor replaced sea-
sonal short-term economic relationships;
company commissary supplies replaced
limited trade goods; and large-scale
exploitation of natural resources replaced
sporadic, selective harvesting. During eco-
nomic boom periods the relationship be-
tween resources, subsistence and envi-
ronment was drastically altered for the Mis-
kito. Resources became a commodity with
a price tag, market exploitation a livelihood,
and foreign wages and goods a necessity.
For more than 200 years, relations be-
tween the coastal Miskito and the English
were based on sea turtles. It was from the
Miskito that the English learned the art of
turtling, which they then organized into
intensive commercial exploitation of Carib-
bean turtle grounds and nesting beaches.
Sea turtles were among the first resources
involved in trade relations and foreign
commerce in the Caribbean. Zoologist Ar-
chie Carr, an authority on sea turtles, has
remarked that "more than any other dietary
factor, the green turtle supported the
opening up of the Caribbean." The once
abundant turtle populations provided
sustenance to ships' crews and to the new
settlers and plantation laborers.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth cen-
turies, the Cayman Islands, settled by the
English, became the center of commercial
turtle fishing in the Caribbean. By the early
nineteenth century, demands on the

Cayman turtle grounds and nesting
beaches to supply meat to Caribbean and
European markets decimated the turtle
population. The Cayman Islanders were
forced to shift to other turtle areas off Cuba,
the Gulf of Honduras, and the coast of east-
ern Nicaragua. They made annual expedi-
tions, lasting four to seven weeks, to the
Miskito turtle grounds to net green turtles,
occasionally purchasing live ones, dried
calipee, and the shells of hawksbill turtles
(Eretmochelys imbricata) from the Miskito
Indians. Reported catches of green turtles
by the Cayman turtlers generally ranged

between 2,000 and 3,000 a year until the
late 1960s, when the Nicaraguan govern-
ment failed to renew the islanders' fishing
Intensive extraction by foreign com-
panies led to seriously depleted resources.
By the 1940s many of the economic booms
had turned to busts. As the resources ran
out and operating costs mounted, com-
panies moved to other areas in Central
America. Thus, the economic mainstays
that had helped provide the Miskito with
jobs, currency, markets and foreign goods
were gone. The company supply ships and

Miskito turtlemen with green and hawksbill
turtles, Tasbapauni, Nicaragua,
All photos in this article by B. Nietschman

commissaries disappeared; money be-
came scarce, and store-bought items ex-
In the backwater of the passing golden
boom period, the Miskito were left with an
ethic of poverty, but they still had the sub-
sistence skills that had maintained their
culture for hundreds of years. Their land
and water environment was still capable of
providing reliable resources for local con-
sumption. As it had been in the past, turtle
fishing became a way of life, a provider of
life itself. But traditional subsistence culture
could no longer integrate Miskito society
and environment in a state of equilibrium.
Resources were now viewed as having a
monetary value and labor a price tag. All
that was needed was a market.
Two foreign turtle companies began op-
erations along the east coast of Nicaragua,
one in Puerto Cabezas in late 1968 and
another in Bluefields in 1969. Both com-
panies were capable of processing and
shipping large amounts of green turtle
meat and by-products to markets in North
America and Europe. They purchased tur-
tles from the Miskito. Each week company
boats visited coastal Miskito communities
and offshore-island turtle camps to buy
green turtles. The "company" was back;
money was again available: the Miskito
were expert in securing the desired com-
modity; and another economic boom
period was at hand. But the significant dif-
ference between this boom and previous
ones was that the Miskito were now selling a
subsistence resource.
As a result, the last large surviving green
turtle population in the Caribbean was
opened to almost year-round intensive
exploitation. Paradoxically, the Miskito In-
dians, who once caught only what they
needed for food, conducted the assault on
the remaining turtle population.
Another ironic element in the Miskito
turtle story is that only some 200 miles to
the south at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, Archie
Carr had devoted fifteen years to the study
of sea turtles and to the conservation of the
Caribbean's last major sea turtle nesting
beach. Carr estimates that more than half
the green turtles that nest at Tortuguero are
from Nicaraguan waters. The sad and
exasperating paradox is that a conservation
CAffBBEAN 1VI0 /15

Top left photo, personal initials cut into the belly shell of
each captured green turtle help differentiate ownership
when the collectively penned turtles are to be sold or taken
back to the villages; Top right, part of a 300-turtle shipment
received one day at the Bluefields turtle company
Bottom, Miskito turtlemen returning to village in sailing
canoe with turtle. Tasbapauni,

program ensured the survival of an en-
dangered species for commercial exploita-
tion in nearby waters.
Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are
large, air-breathing, herbivorous marine
reptiles. They congregate in large popula-
tions and graze on underwater beds of veg-
etation in relatively clear, shallow tropical
waters. A mature turtle weighs 250 pounds
or more. After a turtle is caught, it can live
for a couple of weeks if kept in shade on
land or indefinitely in a saltwater enclosure.
Green turtles have at least six behavioral
characteristics that encourage their
exploitation: they occur in large numbers in
localized areas; they are air breathing, so
they have to surface; they are mass social
nesters; they have an acute location-finding
ability; when mature, individuals migrate
seasonally on overlapping and shifting
two-, three- and four-year cycles for mating
and nesting; and they exhibit predictable
local distributional patterns.
The extensive shallow shelf off eastern
Nicaragua is dotted with numerous small
coral islands, thousands of reefs, and vast
underwater pastures of marine vegetation
called "turtle banks." During the day a large
group of turtles may be found feeding at
one of the many turtle banks, while only a
few turtles may be found at adjacent marine
pastures. The turtles graze on the vegeta-
tion, rising periodically to the surface for air
and then floating briefly before diving again.
In the late afternoon groups of turtles leave
the feeding grounds and swim to shoals,
some up to four or five miles away, to spend
the night. By five the next morning, they
have gathered to depart again for the
banks. The turtles' precise commuterlike
behavior in moving between sleeping areas
and feeding pastures is well known to the
Miskito and helps ensure good turtling.
Each coastal turtling village exploits an
immense sea area containing many turtle
banks and shoals. For example, the Miskito
of Tasbapauni utilize a marine area of ap-
proximately 600 square miles; with twenty
major turtle banks and almost forty impor-
tant shoals.
Because of their rather predictable pat-
terns of movement and habitat preference,
green turtles are commonly caught by the
Miskito in three kinds of operations: on the

L -

turtle banks with harpoons, along the
shoal-to-feeding-area route with harpoons,
and on the shoals with nets which entangle
the turtles when they surface for air.
The Miskito's traditional means of taking
turtles was by harpoon, an eight- to ten-foot
shaft fitted with a detachable short point
tied to a strong line. This simple technology
pitted two turtlemen in a small seagoing
canoe against the elusive turtles. Success-
ful turtling with harpoons requires an exten-
sive knowledge of turtle behavior, and tre-
mendous skill and experience in handling a
small canoe in what can be very rough seas.

Turtlemen work in pairs: a "strikerman" in
the bow, the "captain" in the stern. Together
they make a single unit engaged in the
delicate and almost silent pursuit of a wary
prey, their movements coordinated by ex-
perience and rewarded by proficiency. Turt-
lemen have mental maps of all the banks
and shoals in their area; each one is named
and its location determined through a
complex system of celestial navigation,
distance reckoning, wind and current di-
rection, and the individual surface-swell
motion over each site. Traditionally, not all
Miskito were sufficiently expert in seaman-

C i~F~ii~~

11D E



Top photo, sign outside one of the turtle companies, eastern
Nicaragua; Bottom, pulling in harpooned green turtle, 12 miles
east of Tasbapauni, eastern Nicaragua.

ship and turtle lore to become respected-
"strikermen," capable of securing turtles
even during hazardous sea conditions.
Theirs was a very specialized calling. Thus,
harpooning restrained possible over-
exploitation, since turtles were taken one at
a time by two men directly involved in the
chase, and there were only a limited
number of really proficient "strikermen" in
each village.
Those who still use harpoons must leave
early to take advantage of the land breeze
and to have enough time to reach the dis-
tant offshore turtle grounds by first light.

Turtlemen who are going for the day or for
several days meet on the beach by two a.m.
They drag the canoes on bamboo rollers
from beachfront sheds to the water's edge.
There in the swash of spent breakers they
load and secure food, water, paddles, lines,
harpoons and sails. Using a long pole, the
standing bowman propels the canoe
through the foaming surf while the captain
in the stern keeps the craft running straight
by means of a six-foot mahogany paddle.
Once past the inside break, the men count
the dark rolling seas building outside until
there is a momentary pause in the sets.

Then, with paddles digging deep, they drive
the narrow twenty-foot canoe over the
cresting swells, rising precipitously on each
wave face and then plunging down the far
side as the sea and the sky seesaw into and
out of view. Once past the breakers, they rig
the sail and, running with the land breeze,
point the canoe toward a star in the eastern
A course is set by star-fix and by back-
sight on a prominent coconut palm on the
mainland horizon. Course alterations are
made to correct for the direction and inten-
sity of winds and currents. After two or three
hours of sailing, the men reach a spot lo-
cated between a turtle sleeping shoal and a
feeding bank. There they intercept and fol-
low the turtles as they leave for specific
On the banks the turtlemen paddle
quietly; listening for the sound of a "blow-
ing" turtle. When a turtle surfaces for air, it
emits a hissing sound audible for fifty yards
or more on a calm day. Since a turtle will
stay near the surface for only a minute or
two before diving to feed, the men must
approach quickly and silently, maneuvering
the canoe to a spot directly in front of or
behind the turtle in order to take advantage
of its blind spots. Once harpooned, a turtle
explodes into a frenzy of action; in its hope-
less underwater dash for escape it tows the
canoe along at high speeds until it finally
tires enough to be pulled alongside.
But the turtle harpooning is a dying art.
The dominant method of turtling today is
the use of nets. Since their introduction, the
widespread use of turtle nets has drastically
altered turtling strategy and productivity.
Originally brought to the Miskito by the
Cayman Islanders, net materials are now
extensively distributed on credit by the turtle
companies. This simple technological and
economic change, along with the high de-
mand for turtles, has resulted in intensified
pressure on green turtle populations.
Buoyed by wooden floats and anchored
to the bottom by a single line, the fifty-
foot-long by fourteen-foot-wide nets hang
from the surface like underwater flags,
shifting with the current. Nets are set in
place during midday when the turtlemen
can see the dark shoal areas. Two Miskito
will set five to thirty nets from one canoe,



Top photo, a Miskito from Little
Sandy Bay with green turtle
calipee. Depending on age, sex,
and condition, a mature green turtle
will yield 3-15 pounds of this
cartilaginous material, used as the
base of the famed "green turtle
soup;" Bottom, setting turtle nets
off the east coast of Nicaragua.

often completely saturating a small shoal.
In the late afternoon green turtles return to
their shoals to spend the night. There they
sleep beside or beneath a coral outcrop,
periodically surfacing for air where the
canopy of nets awaits them.
Catching turtles with nets requires little
skill; anyone with a canoe can now be a
turtleman. The Miskito set thousands of
nets daily, providing continuous coverage
in densely populated nocturnal habitats.
Younger Miskito can become turtlemen
almost overnight simply by following more
experienced men to the shoal areas, thus
circumventing the need for years of ac-
cumulated skill and knowledge that once
were the domain of the "strikermen." All
one has to do is learn where to set the nets,
retire for the night, remove the entangled
turtles the next morning, and reset the nets.
The outcome is predictable: more turtle-
men using more effective methods catch
more turtles.
With an assured market for turtles, the
Miskito devote more time to catching tur-
tles, traveling farther and staying longer.
Increased dependence on turtles as a
source of income and greater time inputs
have meant disruption of subsistence ag-
riculture, hunting and fishing. The Miskito
no longer produce foodstuffs for them-
selves; they buy imported foods with money
gained from the sale of turtles. Caught be-
tween contradictory priorities their
traditional subsistence system and the
market economy the Miskito are opting
for cash.
The Miskito are now enveloped in a posi-
tive feedback system where change spawns
change. Coastal villages rely on turtles for a
livelihood. Decline of'subsistence prov-
isioning has led to the need to secure food
from local shopkeepers on credit to feed
the families in the villages and the.men
during their turtling expeditions. Initial high
catches of turtles encouraged more Miskito
to participate, and by 1972 the per person
'and:per day catch had begun to decline
SIn, late 1972 1 received a letter from a tur-
tleman who wrote, "Turtle is getting scarce,
Mr. BaYney. You said itwould happen in five
or ten years, but it isrhappening now."


Burdened by an overdependence on an
endangered species and by accumulating
debts for food and nets, the Miskito are
finding it increasingly difficult to break even,
much less secure a profit. With few other
economic alternatives, inevitably the next
step is to use more nets and to stay out at
sea longer.
The turtle companies encourage the
Miskito to expand turtling activities by
providing them with building materials so
that they can construct houses on offshore
cays, thereby eliminating the need to return
to the mainland during rough weather. On

their weekly runs up and down the coast,
company boats bring food, turtle gear and
cash for turtles to fishing camps from the
Miskito Cays to the Set Net Cays. Frequent
visits keep the Miskito from becoming dis-
couraged and returning to their villages
with the turtles. On Saturdays villagers
watch the sea for returning canoes. A few
men bring turtle for their families, but the
majority bring only money. Many return with
Most Miskito prefer to be home on Sun-
days to visit with friends and attend religious
services. (There are Moravian, Anglican and

ITop left photo, green turtles for butchering,
"Frescamar," Bluefields, Top right, map of area;
Bottom, setting turtle nets 10 miles east of Rio Grande
I Bar, Nicaragua

Catholic mission churches in many of the
villages.) But with more and more regularity,
turtlemen are staying out for two to four
weeks. The church may promise salvation,
but only the turtle companies can provide
When they return to their villages, turtle-
men are confronted with a complex di-
lemma: how to satisfy both social and eco-
nomic demands with only a limited re-
source. Traditional Miskito social rules
stipulate that turtle meat should be shared
among kin, but the new economic system
requires that turtles be sold for personal

economic gain. Kin expect gifts of meat,
and friends expect to be sold meat. Be-
sieged with requests, turtlemen are forced
to decide who will or will not receive meat.
This choosing is contrary to the traditional
Miskito ethic, which is based on generosity
and mutual concern for the well-being of
others; and the older Miskito ask why the
turtlemen should have to allocate a food
that was once available to all. Turtlemen sell
and give to other turtlemen, thereby ensur-
ing reciprocal treatment for themselves, but
there simply are not enough turtles to ac-
commodate other economic and social

requirements. In order to have enough tur-
tles to sell, they butcher fewer in the villages.
This means that less meat is being con-
sumed than before the turtle companies
began operations. The Miskito presently
sell 70 to 90 percent of the turtles they
catch; in the near future they will sell even
more and eat fewer.
Tension is growing in the villages. Kinship
relationships are strained because of what
some villagers interpret as preferential and
stingy meat distribution. Rather than en-
dure the trauma caused by having to ration
turtle meat, many turtlemen prefer to sell all
their turtles to the company and return to
the village with money, which does not have
to be shared. However, if a Miskito sells out
to the company, he will probably be unable
to acquire meat for himself in the village,
regardless of kinship or purchasing power. I
overheard an elderly turtleman muttering to
himself as he butchered a turtle, "1 no going
to sell, neither give dem meat. Let dem eat
de money."
The situation is bad and getting worse.
Individuals too old or too sick to provide for
themselves often receive little meat or
money from relatives. Families without
turtlemen are families with neither money
or access to meat. The trend is toward nu-
clear families operating solely for their own
economic ends. Miskito villages are be-
coming separated neighborhoods instead
of close-knit communities.
The Miskito diet has suffered in both
quality and quantity. Less protein and fewer
diverse vegetables and fruits are con-
sumed. Present dietary staples rice,
white flour, beans, sugar and coffee -
come from the store. In Little Sandy Bay, for
example, 65 percent of all food eaten in a
year was purchased.
Besides the nutritional significance of
what is becoming a largely carbohydrate
diet, dependence on purchased foods has
also had major economic reverberations.
Generated by national and international
scarcities, inflation has hit the Miskito. Most
of their purchased food is imported, much
from the United States. In the last five years
prices for staples have increased 100 to 150
percent. This has had an overwhelming.
impact on the Miskito, who spend 50 to 75


-.W iA-- -.. -j- -- ~ _
._.-* -. = __ _' .. .. _.

.- : ---_-,- _
-,--- -- :o

E #i- ;- j- --

percent of their income for food. Con-
sequently, their entry into the market by
selling a subsistence resource, diverting
labor from agriculture, and intensifying
exploitation of a vanishing species has re-
sulted in foods that are of poorer quality and
are higher priced.
The Miskito now depend on outside sys-
tems that are subject to world market fluc-
tuations for money and materials. They
have lost both their autonomy and their
adaptive relationship with their environ-
ment. Life is no longer socially rewarding,

nor is their diet satisfying. The coastal Mis-
kito have become a specialized and highly
vulnerable sector of the global market
Loss of the turtle market would be a seri-
ous economic blow to the Miskito, who
have almost no other means of securing
cash for what have now become neces-
sities. Nevertheless, continued exploitation
will surely reduce the turtle population to a
critical level.
The turtles are going down, and along
with them the Miskito. Seemingly, this is a

small problem in terms of ongoing
ecological and cultural changes in the
world, but each local situation involves
species and societies with long histories
and, perhaps, short futures. They are
weather vanes in the conflicting winds of
economic and environmental priorities. As
Bob Dylan sang, "You don't need a weath-
erman to know which way the wind blows."
The situation steadily deteriorated after
1974, the height of commercial exploita-
tion, until the "turtle boom" threatened both
traditional Miskito subsistence and green

turtle survival. From 1969 through 1976, up
to 10,000 green turtles were exported an-
nually. Already depleted by Cayman Island
turtlers on the Miskito Bank feeding
grounds and by Costa Ricans on the nest-
ing beach at Tortuguero, the largest re-
maining green turtle population in the
Caribbean was being subjected to massive
year-round exploitation. Each year their
numbers were fewer and the pressure
greater. And at the same time the Miskito,
the best traditional turtlemen in the world,
could not get enough turtle meatto eat orto
give or to sell. The Miskito had entered an
economic and ecological cul-de-sac. Their
major subsistence resource had become
valuable and scarce, and the declining
chelonian population could not provide
enough income to close the gap between
subsistence shortfall and purchased needs.
Whether the resource was green turtles,
hawksbill shell, shrimp, lobster, spotted
cats, caimans, crocodiles or river otters, the
situation was the same: faunal resources
were diminishing, while economic reliance
on them was increasing. The Miskito be-
came steadily dependent on the sale of
local resources to secure money for the
purchase of imported foods and goods.
And each year the price for imported mate-
rials went up and the number of marketable
animals went down. By 1975 most house-
holds in Tasbapauni, for example, were
spending 80 percent of their income for
tinned and sacked foods. People were not
eating more; they were eating less but pay-
ing more for it. Despite their isolated locale,
the Miskito were becoming citizens of the
world and sharing the global problem of
making ends meet. And whereas subsis-
tence was once the means to an end, the
market now threatened to end the means
and the green turtles and several other


In October 1975 the Costa Rican govern-
ment designated the Tortuguero nesting
beach a national park, and in January 1976
the government prohibited the exploitation
of turtles for international trade, which re-
sulted in the closing of the two processing
plants in Lim6n. These acts placed addi-
tional pressure on President Somoza to do
something in Nicaragua and in early 1977
he banned turtling for commercial export
and indefinitely stopped the three east
coast companies from buying and selling
turtles. The Miskito and other local peoples
were allowed to continue turtling for sub-
sistence. With the protection of the green
turtle's major nesting beach and breeding
colony and the end of Costa Rican and
Nicaraguan international market sales,
came the first real possibility that the green
turtle in the western Caribbean might yet be
saved from what once looked to be certain
While the turtle's future survival chances
were great, the Miskito's economic oppor-
tunities were fewer. Protection of the green
turtle meant the loss of the main source of
money for Miskito coastal villages. The Mis-
kito's response was to increase exploitation
pressure on other valuable species, expand
subsistence agriculture, and to migrate
from villages to seek wage-paying jobs
elsewhere in Nicaragua and in neighboring
Caribbean countries.
The overthrow of Somoza and the estab-
lishment of the new government gave the
Nicaragua people including the Miskito
and other ethnic minorities their first
opportunity to live by their labor rather than
as laborers. Furthermore, the policy of
widespread destructive exploitation of natu-
ral resources for foreign sales that only
benefited a few Nicaraguans was seen in

need of drastic change.
One of the first indications of Nicaragua's
new policy toward natural resources was
presented in November 1979 at the World
Conference on Sea Turtle Conservation in
Washington, D.C. Conservationists and
marine scientists from some 46 nations
participated in the week-long conference to
consider these species' survival status and
how best to protect them. A representative
from Nicaragua's new Institute of Natural
Resources (Instituto de Recursos Natu-
rales) announced that the government
would establish a marine sanctuary cen-
tered on the Miskito Cays in order to protect
green and other sea turtles in this richest of
all habitats in the Western Caribbean. Prov-
isions would be made to insure that the
Miskito could continue subsistence turtling
in waters outside the designated sanctuary.
Because of the country's staggering
monetary problems and need to rebuild so
much of the war-ravaged cities and towns,
the government called on the international
community for financial and technological
assistance to start the marine sanctuary.
The significance of Nicaragua's proposal
was clear to this international gathering:
one of Latin America's poorest countries
would protect a declining resource rather
than profit from its sale. This was a change
of great magnitude, one that was met with
considerable enthusiasm by the partici-
pants in the conference, and one that repre-
sents a new beginning in Nicaragua and a
new direction for the rest of Latin America
and the world.

Bernard Nietschman teaches Geography at
the University of California, Berkeley. This
article is excerpted from his book Caribbean
Edge (Bobbs-Merril Co., New York. 1979).
Reprinted with permission from Natural His-
tory, June-July 1974. Copyright American
Museum of Natural History, 1974.

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Gamines 7 1


By Thomas M. liams
While the caste system never took hold in
any formalized sense in the western hemis-
phere, oppressed subcultures may still be
found in the Andean Amerindian backlands '
and Hispanicized urban centers. Biologi-
cally speaking, the youngest of these
groups, the garines of Bogota, Colombia,
invites comparison with the Neapolitan
scugnizzi, pariahs in a society where aban-
doned boys and girls are looked after by -'
other homeless children because au-
thorities are unable to determine how this
immiscible flotsam and jetsam can be ab-
sorbed into polite society. .
They are the wasteproducts of a loosely
integrated society straining to accommo-
date unskilled provincials in spaces never
intended for concentrated human habita-
tion. They are also reflections of the macho
concept of human sexuality still rampant in
many parts of Latin America where breed-
ing is confused with virility, fecundity with
immortality. Unwanted children of im-
poverished mestizo parents the gamines'
plight is sadder even than that of their pro- .
letarian parents because their stunted
growth and juvenile vagrancy disqualify
them for jobs available only to those who
have had basic vocational training.
In spite of the gains' erratic school
attendance, he has managed to get a fourth
grade education, one year more than either .4
of his two natural parents. In terms of raw .
l.Q. scores, his cognitive development ap- .
pe ars retarded, with some mature-looking
adolescents having the minds of 10-year-
olds. And in common with task-oriented Y
children he invariable scores low in tests
with unfamiliar referents. Having been
treated as subhumans during their forma-
tive years, the gamines remain perversely
subhuman as young adults, either from
force of habit or because their role models
- smugglers, pushers and Mexican film
actors noted for much coraz6n are so



unconventional by middle class standards.
What is so worrisome about the
gamines, is the stigma that goes with their
behavior. In the public's mind, their va-
grancy and savage appearance sets them
apart as untouchables who cannot rightly
be said to belong to any of the traditional
slum communities eligible for public
assistance. This ambiguity in their status
becomes more alarming once they start
seeking regular employment. Under Col-
ombian law, for example, any individual
without a "certificate of good conduct"
from his school or former employer is bar-
red from most gainful employment. In
Bogota, even factory work enjoys some
prestige so that an ex-gamin has difficulty
competing for the limited number of job
openings against qualified candidates with
unblemished records. On the other hand,
owing to their often aggravating individual-
ity, gamines are easily demoralized if the
task they are assigned is too repetitious.
When questioned by a task force of educa-
tional psychologists about the kind of
career they would like for themselves, 50
percent of the interviewees said they had
their heart set on becoming automobile
mechanics. The rest were hopeful of finding
work in the building trades (16 percent),
carpentry (7 percent), or of "cualquier
cosa" (anything at all).

Apolitical and Antisocial
The gamin has not yet reached a level of
social consciousness required for collective
action. He has none of the murderous pas-
sion or ideological motivation of the better
educated urban commandos who use ter-
ror for political ends. Apolitical as well as
antisocial, these hooligansans-culottes are
considered tiresome nuisances by Demo-
cratic Socialists and Marxist radicals
angered by the gamines' vandalism be-
cause their cretin misbehavior serves no
higher purpose.
In clashes between the police and stu-
dent activists the gamin will usually align
himself with the students, even though he
sees them as irresponsible. Unlike these
coddled hyos de Papa' the gamin seeks
only an end to systematic discrimination by
the State.
Forgetful sometimes that ghetto folk and
ghetto law enforcers are frequently made of
the same clay, the gamin is instinctively
hostile to all civilian authority. The greatest
insult you can offer one of them, for exam-
ple, is to call him a sapo or informer.
Chinches, the smallest members of these
youth gangs called galladas, rarely accept
help from the Policia de Protecci6n Juvenil
for fear of losing the esteem of other gang
members. Recruited into the gallada by
older siblings who teach the chinches the
art of begging, these moppets are valuable
commodities capable of earning $2.00 a
day panhandling or serving as a decoy

during a theft.
For juveniles with no family to take them
in, the best institutional alternative is that of
Padre Javier Nicol6, the Italian-born priest.
His youth shelter, the Florida Bosconia,
enjoys a legendary reputation owing to his
own philosophy that boys can be influ-
enced more successfully through peer
models and YMCA-like programming than
through fear and coercion. The atmo-
sphere inside Padre Nicol6'sBosconia re-
sembles that of a working class boarding
school, with spartan dormitory facilities,
classrooms equipped with occupational

The gamines are the
wasteproducts of a loosely
integrated society straining
to accommodate unskilled
provincials in spaces never
intended for concentrated
human habitation.

education paraphernalia and an all-
purpose athletic field.
New boys are either referred to the Bos-
conia by outside agencies or are picked up
by Padre Nicol6 himself during one of his
sweeps of the city. Once admitted, the
young offender or homeless youth is as-
signed a cot, blankets and space for his
personal effects. He is also given a routine
medical inspection. Too intimidated to seek
help from public clinics whose facilities
inspire little confidence, many gamines
reach the shelter with severe cases of
scabies, venereal diseases and unhealed
Regardless of all the medical care and
educational advantages he may be receiv-
ing at theBosconia, the gamin is still very
vulnerable to the lure of the streets. A clean
bed, regular meals and supervised activities
is often no substitute for the excitement and
camaraderie of the gallada outside. Before
becoming institutionalized he was an inde-
pendent entrepreneur, hawking a daily
newspaper or selling his services to au-
tomobile owners who find it cheaper to pay
the gamin a few pesos to watch their cars
than to risk losing a vital part. (With used
windshield wipers bringing up to 50 pesos
on the black market, a resourceful gamin
might steal one from an unguarded vehicle,
concealing it in his multi-purpose shoe-
shine box, and still collect a tip from another
motorist.) The gamin is also a tireless
people watcher, capable of spending hours
crouched down in front of the tourist hotels,
studying the faces in the crowd while plan-
ning his next vandal attack. Going straight

also means foregoing free scraps from the
tables of some of Bogota's best restaurants
owing to the practice of some chefs and
maitre d'hotels to bribe homeless boys with
leftovers to do their mischief elsewhere.

No Overhead or Expenses
Even without a peso to his name, the
gamin never lacks a place to sleep because
eachgallada, by tradition, has its own cubic
meters of sidewalk or a special vacant lot
reserved for its exclusive nighttime use.
Having no overhead or household ex-
penses, he is free to spend whatever money
he earns or steals on Mexican movies or
home grown narcotics.
Readers familiar with Oscar Lewis's ac-
counts of the culture of poverty will recog-
nize the syndrome of extravagant spending
on nonessentials along with the absence
of any personal scruples. In a survey, com-
pleted in 1974, 9 out of every lOgamines
described themselves as addicts in one
form or another: alcohol, gasoline sniffing
or cigarettes. Only 15 percent of the
gamines were nonsmokers while over 90
percent were consumers of hard drugs be-
cause it helped them sleep better on cold
nights or because pills and cocaine were
e .,l., available. In these same interviews, a
majority of these boyish indigents reported
they had had no sexual relations, either
homosexual or heterosexual. Among those
who had, however, more than half admitted
having been sodomized for money or hav-
ing performed fellatio on older gang mem-
As far as Padre Nicol6 is concerned,
however, reclaiming these youthful strays
outside an institutional setting is impracti-
cal. No individual family, he feels, can rea-
sonably be expected to have the patience
and counseling resources these untamed
boys need. And sending them back to their
real father or mother would be risky given
the extreme tolerance of the law regarding
child beating in present day Colombia. At
the Florida Bosconia there is no second
chance. To run away from Padre Nicol6 is to
shut the door forever, to any kind of
humane rehabilitation program. The older
gamin who goes back on the street, there-
fore, is likely to find himself a ward of the
state in one of Colombia's notoriously an-
tiquated prisons or sinking into the sordid
world of the marginado. In either case, it is
disturbing to consider how these children
have been made the way they are by abu-
sive parents in a society that is still strug-
gling to rid itself of that obsequious rever-
ence inferiors were expected to have for
their betters in the Spanish colonial empire.

Thomas M. liams teaches bi-lingual education
at the State University of New York, New Paltz.

This Train

This Train

A St. Lucian Short Story

By Augustus C. Small

"A a man, you here!" Mike said. "So when
you land?"
"Well, last," Clibb started to say but was
"Boy you really looking good man, an
even fat an t'ing," Mike continued.
"Well you know how things are," stated
"Garcon, what you doing up there in the
States? Making a lot of money eh? A a, gar
Clibb wee ("just look at Clibb") I want these
dungaree, you know," Mike said all at once
"Jeans man! Jeans," said Clibb.
"Jeans?" Mike replied. "Mar naylay, ("I
don't care") just keytaye (leave it) when you
leaving. An it's an expensive one eh? I know
a man like you wear good stuff man. Gar-
con, all one hundred dollars for that you
"That expensive!" Clibb muttered.
"Tan misyea wee," (hear this man) Mike
said. "you eh hear nutin' yet. You know a
whole chicken cost fifteen bucks." Clibb
sort of tilted his head to one side and
quickly returned it in disbelief.
Mike then said very casually, "But we cool
man. Just finished building a house at Gros
Islet, and I order a car since two months ago
from Miami-a automatic Toyota. So when
this car come look tax I have to pay. Now I
liming this re-ge-dig (ol car) I buy from
Claude See any of the fellars yet?"
"No man," Clibb replied. "They don't
know that I am here."
"Eh bay (well) leah we take a lime down
town to see if we bounce up wit them," Mike
said. "Wait, let me pick up a bottle of Chivas
for us to drink. A a Clibb, Garcon! well is
now rum go finish, bon dieux (good God)
Clibb St. Lucie! Eh bay chew wom paytay!"
(rum ass burst.)
With this remark Clibb smiled and shook
his head. Yes! he thought, he was home
All of a sudden Mike said, "Hey, you know
this chick down there?"
"Who?" replied Clibb.
"Who! sooshear (sucker)!" said Mike.
"Well that is Cleotar. The same woman you
use to rush. She have three children now,
but she fit like hell. A good piece of meat
garcon. You want me to call her?"

"No man, not now, but I'll check her later,
let us check out the other dudes down-
town," Clibb said.
"Dudes, what that mean man?" Mike
"Well am, you know, dudes are the guys,
you know, cool fellars. You gat it?" Clibb
"Yeah I gat it garcon, and I like to hear you
yank and ting. By the way, when you going
back man?" Mike asked him with a slight
"Back, I just gat here man," Clibb said.
"What do you mean by back?"
"Well I know you fellas when y'all come
down, y'all say de place too slow. So that is
why I ask man," Mike said.
"Ou fashee garcon?" (you vex man.)
"No, not really," Clibb said. "Let's forget it
and check out the dudes, o.k."
But it was not o.k. A strange feeling came
over Clibb just then, that had him to wonder
why did everyone who met him at the air-
port never left without asking when he
would be going back and how long was his
stay going to be. Even the Immigration
Officer who was not St. Lucian, had asked
him about how many days he would like to
stay in the island and that six days would be
all he would be given. Imagine a non St.
Lucian sentencing a son of the soil to time
in his native home.
It had been a long time, ten years to be
exact, since he left his native country to find
fortune and fame in the promised land of
the United States of America. He could viv-
idly remember his long planned departure
from St. Lucia. It was a regular day, then it
was not a regular day, for in the next few
hours he would be flying off on this big 'iron
bird,' leaving behind all the hard times,
pains, sorrows, injustice, drunkeness that
this island had given him. He was also leav-
ing behind a mother who had labored from
sun up till sun down in the houses of the
upper class caring for their children,
washing, ironing, scrubbing the floors,
cooking, tiring herself out solely for him
because there was no father. He used to
watch her come home at night, sleepy, tired,
bitchy but always with the remains from the
Continued on page 26


The Flour Boy

A Panamanian Short Story

By Cubena (Carlos Guillermo Wilson)
Translated by lan I. Smart

The entire neighborhood was awakened
early, as usual, by the desperate shrieks of
the boy who lived in room 33 in San Miguel,
that most Panamanian of neighborhoods. It
was always the same story there, everyday
the same screaming and shouting. It was
monotonous, unbearably monotonous.
Scolding. Licks. Shrieks. The order of
events never varied. Scolding. Licks.
Everyday, everybody in the neighbor-
hood commented on the most strange and
unusual question of the boy in number 33.
They said that other little boys wet them-
selves in bed, but to crown it all, the boy in
number 33 "befloured" himself in bed.
The goodly mother was tired of scolding
her little one and it pained her to punish her
own son with such severity, but the hard-
headed boy would not obey. And there is
none so deaf, as the saying goes, as he who
will not hear. He still "befloured" himself in
bed. Other mischievousness could be ex-
cused but this business of "beflouring"
oneself in bed was the last straw. So, every
day, reluctantly, the same threat would be
repeated: "If you beflour yourself in bed
tomorrow, I'11 beat you again."
The boy would listen to the warning with
resignation because he knew that tomor-
row, today and yesterday would be identical.
Every night, some kind neighbors,
Granny Clara and Auntie Felipa, ad-
monished the boy from room 33, "Boy! for
God's sake let sleeping dogs lie..."
The boy was precocious.
At an age when other youths could
scarcely babble some meaningless utter-
ance, the boy was driving his mother mad
with questions she could not answer:
"Mama, why do fish die out of water?"
"Mama, why does lightning come out of the
sky, and what is lightning?" Mama... mama
... mama ...
The idle women neighbors often quoted
the saying: "Ask me no questions and I'll tell
you no lies." However, the frustrated woman
would declare, day after day, "The inquisi-
tive child gets no candy." And, because of
his incessant interrogations, the perspica-
cious flour boy got to taste few candies

The mother, with great difficulty, found
herself obliged to ignore her son's unset-
tling inquiries because she could not re-
spond to them with any certainty. Her own
education was deficient. In the third grade
she was forced to leave Gil Colunje School,
located at that time on the outskirts of Les-
seps Park. That was the very same public
school where the teachers had told her: "In
this school there is no room for people of
your class." And they advised her to go to
the Republic of Haiti School where the au-
thorities, at their whim and fancy, had the
habit of placing certain students.
Gil Colunje School was three narrow little
streets away from where the flour boy's
mother lived, but the other school was thir-
teen kilometers from her home, near to the
ruins of Old Panama.
The young woman's education was pre-
maturely truncated, because in the third
week of the school year at The Republic of
Haiti school, she had to give up her place to
a fellow student who was a resident of the
ward of Rio Abajo where the public school
in question was situated.
The flour boy, every afternoon, would go
to the Cinco de Mayo Plaza area to play. One
evening around dusk, his attention was
drawn to the peculiar behavior of the other
boys. He observed with embittered eyes
that the band of little boys was happily
amusing itself playing blind fowl, lata,
statue, four corners, floron, miron-miron,
but as soon as he approached them they
would reject him with jeers.
The flour boy avoided fights with the little
rascals, but not out of cowardice. His
mother had taught him at a very tender age
to take little account of uselss folks. It made
-no sense using up gunpowder to kill buz-
The scene played out every afternoon in
Lesseps Park was an abomination. The
ill-mannered boys threw mud on the
white-painted trucks of the leafy trees; they
soiled the park benches with manure; they
made fun of the the elderly people in the
park; they threw stones at the parakeets
harboured in the trees, silencing the joyful
tumult of the winged singers and an equal
Continued on page 27


This Train
Continued from page 24

fate befell the clamour of the bimbim birds
family table for him to eat. Yes, he remem-
bered. "One day I'll make you so very happy
Mama," he said to her many times and each
time after he said it the tears would trickle
down the sleepy, tired and sweet face of his
mother. There were also others he would be
leaving behind; among them was an older
brother who had during the early stages of
his life, cared for him, cleaned him, fed him,
played with him even to the point of aban-
doning his higher education so that enough
money could be saved to prevent starva-
tion. Yes he loved that brother. He was also
leaving behind his girlfriend who although
only sixteen years old had bore him a baby
girl of striking resemblance to the family.
There were also some good friends who
had shared all of his life's thrills, secrets and
intimacies. He remembered the lump rising
in his chest, the blurring of his vision as the
announcement of his departing flight
echoed through the terminal. But he did not
cry because he was too drunk to do so. A
strategy well used.
New York was just what he imagined itto
be. So many stories of the States had been
told to him from his many friends, that he
felt right at home in this new country. He
sensed the same smell that so many times
had pervaded his nostrils, and brightened
up his eyes, when a parcel addressed to him
was sent by his friends. Suddenly, a quiet
fear had invaded him. What if his friends
never received the cable he sent? Who
would pick him up at the airport? He re-
membered to walk as if he knew where he
was going and to act as if he was a man of
the city. But each step brought him further
away from the safety of the plane which was
now the link to his native home and into a
world of thousands of faceless peoples. He
remembered almost wetting his pants
when suddenly he noticed this white police
officer coming towards him with his hand
on his gun. It was the first time for him. The
policemen in St. Lucia and most of the
other islands he had visited never carried
guns, and if they did, it was concealed from
the public eye. This experience was going
to be his first of many in this new land.
The lights of the city were beautiful. He
asked many questions. Every time the car
came to a stop light he found himself being
a little vexed because of the delay. He
wanted to know it all, see it all, hear it all,
Lord! This was heaven, he thought and he
knew that he could never go back home
again. Why should he? St. Lucia had given
him nothing at all. Instead it had only vic-
timized him to most of life's misfortunes.
Just look at the older young men and see
what was happening to them only sitting
around the corner liming, drinking, wom-

anizing and wasting away. No! not him. He
was positive that he would never return.
After what he thought to be an eternity they
finally arrived in Brooklyn. They stayed up
late or rather he stayed up late watching the
color TV., fascinated at the movies on TV.,
the cheapness of the beers, the neatness
and luxuries of the apartment. There was a
lotto learn and he would start right now. But
first he had to emulate the Yankee lan-
The next few days were excellent vis-
iting friends, eating whole steaks, shopping
(although the tax sort of baffled him), the
subway, the peoples, the noises, the build-
ings, the lives. But he remembered his first
Monday when suddenly he awoke and
found himself all alone in the apartment. It
was a beautiful day (by Yankee standards)
and since he had been given keys to the
apartment with careful orders to lock up
when leaving, he decided to ride the subway
to one stop and back. This was done but the
problem was getting out of the subway from
a different exit. He did not recognize the
street. Panic! All of a sudden the buildings
looked alike to him. Who could he call?
Being lost, confused, frustrated, scared and
hungry for the last five hours, he returned to
the subway to find the exit. Experiences!
But ten years has passed quickly. It was
the best of times and it was the worst of
times. He had worked for a while, joined the
Armed Forces, graduated from High
School and College, learned the Yankee
language, married his girlfriend and was
very happy. Never once did he think of re-
turning to his native home except to visit his
mother and daughter.
His disassociation with his native country
was always being enforced by most people
who visited St. Lucia. Everyone had said
almost the same thing basically "dead
place," "nothing to do," "things are so ex-
pensive," "people are drinking more rum,"
"so many Rastas in the place," "govern-
ment exploitation," "no food" all of these
negative vibrations. Although the com-
ments always ended up stating how most of
the people are doing well, despite the hard
times. He wondered about that. Usually they
came to the conclusion that there was a lot
of 'boreball' (embezzlement) going on. But
what always concerned him was the Gov-
ernment. He was becoming more Marxist in
orientation due to the exposure at school,
the negativity of the Viet Nam War, black
power prejudice and above all, man's in-
humanity to man because of the color of his
skin. He read a lot of 'leftist' books really
absorbing what Malcom X, Fanon, Mao and
Castro had to say. One thing he drew out of
all of this and he made it his motto "men
who read Fanon, Mao, Castro and Che, they
don't riot or mass or talk, but dig graves."
He decided to try and establish corres-
pondence with some of his lost buddies,

who were also thinking leftist as he was told.
It astonished him how quickly the replies
came and how very far to the left his friends
had become. He just knew that the time had
come to go home. He would make it a
casual visit just to see his mother and
daughter and to check out the people's
general attitude. His friends had told him
through correspondence that he was to be
careful, speak easy, leave all European three
piece suits in the States, and above all, say
very little to any Government personnel,
especially policemen. Carnival was to be in
a month's time and many St. Lucians who
resided in the States would be going home,
so this would be an ideal time fun, visit
and reacquaintance.
Leaving JFK at noon that Monday, the
Eastern Airlines jet was due to arrive in St.
Lucia at 8:30 p.m. He slept most of the way.
The tropical sun felt good in Puerto Rico.
The air smelt very fresh and sweet. His body
responded to the new environment. He felt
alive. He could hardly wait to get home. Why
did he stay away so long! Lord! he could not
wait any longer. Only one hour separated
him now.
Touch down time was exact. The new
International Airport fell short of his expec-
tations, but it was home. Home! What a
welcome! His daughter was there a
plump sweet girl, beautiful. His brother
friends welcomed him in the traditional way
- liquor. It surprised them to hear that he
had stopped drinking liquor for nearly six
years now. No problem, there would be
more for them to drink and he would drink
the beer (Heineken from the factory now in
St. Lucia). It took them six hours to drive
forty five miles to his home state, Castries,
where his mother would be waiting. What a
meeting that was. She did not recognize
him after so long. She looked older, much
older. He wanted to cry, but it was not nec-
essary to do. He wanted to stay composed
to show how changed he was. "Calamity
had hardened me and turned my mind to
steel." He remembered, but he died inside.
He was safe now. His mother was there they
would talk later. Soon it would be light again
and he had to look well to greet his new
friends, see the changes, show off his Yan-
kee gabs.
He had left home around 10 a.m. that
following morning to let his St. Lucia know
that he had come back home. Not to stay
but for a visit. The many people had stop-
ped to stare at him and wondered who this
stranger was. He felt good, he dressed very
carefully jeans, sneakers, jersey and
sunglasses. His clothes fitted him with
flawless perfection. He knew he looked real
fine because his mother and brother had
stood up in the balcony to see him stride
down the street. He heard her say proudly,
"Tee eich moin" ("My little son"). And this
made him feel good. Also she was the only
one so far who had not asked him about

leaving. Maybe she already knew. Anyway,
he was now on the streets toward the main
shopping area where he was sure to find
many more admirers and friends. And it
was at that moment he had met Mike.
The two weeks had come and gone and
the time was well spent too. He had tried to
put ten years into two weeks' vacation. He
learned so much about where his country
was heading to. He had spoken to some of
the leaders of the now popular cult Rasta-
farians. And he understood more about the
whole situation. Society, he thought, had
caused this division. The people wanted
leadership and proper planning to the now
impending Independence of the island. The
class system was being attacked and slowly
breaking down. That was good very
good. These two weeks had taught him
who he was and what he must do. The is-
land was this way now not because of the
Government but because of him. He was
one of those who had left and vowed never
to come back. He was among the exodous
subjected to the brain draining system of St.
Lucia and the Caribbean on the whole.
Slowly he began to realize why his own
people always wanted to know when it was
time to leave. No one had promised to re-
turn! No one had given credit to those who
had remained, credit! No one returned as a
native! They had to be that way. How much
of it was subconsciously done? He did not
know, but if this question was asked con-
stantly, something had to be wrong. And it
was not them but us. He would return to the
US with an aim and goal for his future.
Strangely, he had never missed the States
during this time, but he was eager to return.
The morning of his departure had come.
His mother would not come to the airport
because it was best for both of them. He
had said his goodbye to the many friends
he had and had made. His daughter had
promised to be a good young lady and
given him gifts for her mother. She was a
leader, always in control of a situation. Al-
ways talking and always leading a group.
They had not become too close but that
was good because he understood her feel-
ings. He had plans for her.
Mike had promised to drive him to the
airport and was there on time. A strange
silence was observed during the ride. And
after a long while, Mike suddenly said, "So
you going back. I wish I was with you. Gar-
con, you fellars are lucky man."
"How?" said Clibb.
"Well you all can come down here and
enjoy yourself and leave. But we have to
stay here until you fellas come back," he
"What do you mean by that?" Clibb
"Well," replied Mike, "1 really enjoyed my-
self since you came down. It was different. I
learned a lot from you man. Garcon, I'll
miss you.

And for the first time Clibb could not
believe that Mike was crying and he had
also begun to cry too.
After they had checked out the luggage,
tickets, and were waiting for his departure,
Mike gave him an envelope, instructing him
only to open it after the aircraft had taken
off. Once in the air, Clibb opened the en-
velope. Within it was a note, along with a
chain, and a pendant of St. Lucia. He read
the note. It ended saying, "I know you will
return, but wear this chain until then. We will
all be waiting for you."
"Yes!" Clibb said aloud to the astonish-
ment of the rest of the passengers, "I'll be
back home Mike, wait for me." Then he
cried some more. He closed his eyes to
remember, but he knew that sleep would
soon envelope him and render him lifeless

for now. But before sleep could come he
would read the note once more and use a
phrase which he could equate to the situa-
tion "his people had done so much with
so little for so long that now they were qual-
ified to do anything with nothing."
St. Lucia had given him nothing but he
would give St. Lucia something himself!
There were so many things to remember,
and so many things to forget. But these soft
words which his mother had told him a very
long time ago, still lingered deep within his
soul deep within his soul. "This train,"
she had said to him, "is bound for glory -
this train." And he was this train.

Augustus C. Small studies Political Science at
the University of Connecticut.

The Flour Boy
Continued from page 25

and the yellow breasts. Not even the curious
squirrels with their timid comings and go-
ings managed to escape the wickedness of
the band.
The most vulgar spectacle the flour boy
witnessed was on the occasion when they
snatched away his mother's gift from him.
The present was a bouquet of flowers. The
demented boys tread and spat on the Es-
piritu Santo flowers, Panama's national
In the neighborhood, while the gossip
mongering women washed their clothes,
dishes, rice, they would speak in whispers
about Hannibal the drunk, Susan the
whore, and Nelson the homosexual. How-
ever, the piece of gossip that circulated with
the greatest gusto concerned the business
of room 33.
"My Pauly wets his bed."
"My Rosey too."
"But you all know who..."
"Beflours himself in bed?"
They all gave free reign to an uproarious,
vulgar, prolonged guffaw.
In the park, the sagacious observer con-
cluded that the gang's repugnant savagery
was induced by some stimulus and, be-
lieving the cause of the frenzies to be color

related, everyday he wore a different colored
shirt. However, the horrendous shouts, the
obscene words, the looks of profound
hatred persisted. It wasjust as if they were all
either sons, or nephews, or godsons of a
certain Hannibal Sanchez-Rapine, of mani-
acal and incestuous countenance.
After a painstaking study of the case, to
all appearances inexplicable, the boy from
number 33 hit upon the explanation. He
discovered why the band behaved so bar-
The color of his shirt was not the stimulus
for the inhuman behavior, it did not really
matter if it were blue, red, chocolate, yellow,
The boy from number 33 pitied his de-
mented peers and, since he was obstinate
in his bent on curing their chronic savagery,
every night he would throw a pound of flour
on himself. The flour boy was black.

Cubena, Carlos Guillermo Wilson, is a
Panamanian author whose works include
Cuentos del Negro Cubena and Pensamientos
del Negro Cubena. Ian I. Smart teaches
Spanish at Howard University, Washington.
This story originally appeared in Spanish in
Cuentos del Negro Cubena.

(305) 442-9430


The Magic City by Haitian Artist
Pretete Duffaut.

Slavery and Race

in Haitian Letters

By Leon-Francois Hoffman

The only successful slave revolution in his-
tory occurred in Saint-Domingue between
1791 and 1804. Once the 40,000 men ex-
peditionary force sent by Napoleon to re-
establish slavery and French domination in
the colony had been annihilated, Haiti be-
came the first country in Latin America to
attain independence.
Haiti is the only Caribbean land where the
aspiration to independence was born of the
struggle against slavery; the two became
inextricably linked as the conviction grew
that the former was the only way to ensure
once and for all the elimination of the latter.
Haiti is also the only Caribbean land in
which both emancipation and nationhood
were achieved at the same time, and were
not granted by the European metropole but
conquered by force of arms, at the cost of
untold sacrifices.
Of the four Founding Fathers of Haiti,
whose statues give its name to the central
Place des Heros de l'independance in
Port-au-Prince, three were born in slavery:
Toussaint Louverture, Henri Christophe and
Jean-Jacques Dessalines; only Alexandre
Petion was born a "free man of color." Hai-

tians are rightly proud of their slave ances-
tors: they revere them as national heroes for
having provided all Blacks, whether in
bondage in the New World or under colo-
nial rule in the African homeland, with
models to follow: the Martinican poet Aime
Cesaire, in a striking and often quoted line
from Notebook of a Return to the Native
Land (Cahier d'un retour au pays natal,
New York, 1947), celebrates Haiti "where,
for the first time, negritude rose and stated
that it believed in its humanity."
Haitian writers have never hesitated to
evoke the time of slavery and the inhuman-
ity to which their forefathers were victims:
torture and humiliations, whippings and
insults were never borne passively, but av-
enged in the blood of the oppressor; an
insult avenged brings pride, not dishonor.
As Pierre Faubert (1806-1868) put it in his
poem To the Haitians (Aux Haitiens):
Brothers, we have broken the infamous
Which too long kept our heads bowed;
Blacks and Mulattos with heroic flames
We have avenged our humiliations.

Herard Dumesle (1784-1858) was the first
of many Haitian poets to have sung the
exploits of Macanda (or, more commonly,
Makandal), the runaway slave precursor of
the revolution, who led a bloody uprising
and was burned at the stake in 1758.
The first Haitian novel, Emeric
Bergeaud's Stella (Paris, 1859) is an al-
legorical account of the war of indepen-
dence. Its first chapters detail the horrors of
colonial life and tell how its two heroes (who
bear the symbolic names of Romulus and
Remus) avenge their mother, who died
under the lash: they burn the plantation and
kill their former master. Am6dhe Brun's Two
Loves (Deux amours, Paris, 1895), cele-
brates the friendship of the slave Jean-
Louis and the liberal Frenchman Henry
Lermant who rise to high ranks in the revo-
lutionary army. Massillon Coicou'sLa Noire
(unfinished, published in installments in the
Port-au-Prince dailyLe Soir in 1905) opens
with a detailed description of the horrors of
slave life, as does a modern historical novel,
Marie Chauvet's The Dance on the Volcano
(La Danse sur le Volcan, Paris, 1957). Even
in works which do not deal specifically with

the days of slavery, one finds frequent refer-
ences to the suffering and the heroism of
the "Ancestors." Indeed, the "Ancestors"
are remembered in the refrain of La Des-
salinienne, the Haitian national anthem
composed by the novelistJustin Lherisson:
For the Fatherland, for the Ancestors,
Let us, let us be united.
In short, far from being a source of
shame or of feeling of unworthiness, the
"peculiar institution" is at the very roots of
Haitian patriotic self-exaltation. Further evi-
dence that slavery has left no traumatic
memory in the Haitian collective imagina-
tion is the fact that writers are able to refer to
it ironically; thus Emile Roumer in Saint-
Domingue 1762:
The planter's gentle daughter
All naked takes her ease
And with ingenuous grace
Stretches her tempting body.
A slave brings coffee.
Her older sister is scandalized:
"How can you remain undressed
Before this arrant good-for-nothing?"
But, playing with a bit of lace,
The blond virgin justifies herself:
"When you bathe, darling, do you bother
If a dog is present?", she asks.
Other writers feel no compunction at
describing instances of relations between
slaves and masters based on friendship and
mutual respect. In Between Masters and
Slaves (Entre maitres et esclaves), a col-
lection of short stories published in 1943,
Jean-Joseph Vilaire tells of an old slave
woman who protects the planter's humane
wife during the revolution, while a slave girl
hides her young master, with whom she is
in love. In another story, a strapping young
slave rescues his master's daughter from a
house on fire; the girl's fiance will give him
an accolade, and freedom. Elsewhere, Vil-
aire narrates one of the early colonial set-
tlers' long and happy life with the Black
woman he loves and the many children she
bears him.
It is possible, then, for Haitian writers to
treat the theme of slavery with the detach-
ment accorded to ancient, and therefore
exotic, matters. However, even today, writers
use colonial slavery as a metaphor for the
oppression of the country's destitute, illiter-
ate rural masses by its urban, Western-
oriented upper class. With deep-felt indig-
nation, Haitian intellectuals accuse this
self-styled elite of having taken the place
and adopted the mentality of the former
slave owners, betraying the ideals of the
country's founders. As the Marcelin
brothers write in The Beast of the Haitian
Hills (La Bete de Musseau, New York,
1946): "...although their ancestors had
abolished colonial slavery at the price of
their blood, these poor people were still
held down by the ruling class in chains of

servitude, ignorance and misery."
In Zulma's Revenge (La Vengeance de
Mama, Paris, 1902), Frederic Marcelin be-
moans the succession of bloody tyrants
who periodically seize power in Haiti: "...the
barbarous planter has all too often, alas!
been succeeded by the sanguinary despot
issued from our ranks, from our own
In an article published in the August 29th,
1936 issue of Le Temps, Louis Mercier at-
tacks the Haitian elite: "We have overthrown
the colonial system but not the colonial

What is shameful is not to
be descended from slaves
but to forget this fact by
perpetuating the very
injustices the Ancestors
died to eradicate, and thus
to betray what is most
admirable in the national

soul. It makes of us either overseers or
slaves: overseers when we hold the least bit
of power [...], vile, crawling slaves with no
spirit or dignity when we are not in power.
[...] It makes us accept as something per-
fectly natural the fate of our brothers
steeped in vice and destitution."
What is significant here is that the writers
do not accuse their compatriots of having a
"slave mentality," but rather denounce the
upper classes for having a "planter mental-
ity," for having adopted an essentially un-
Haitian ideology. What is shameful is not to
be descended from slaves but to forget this
fact by perpetuating the very injustices the
Ancestors died to eradicate, and thus to
betray what is most admirable in the na-
tional tradition.
It may seem paradoxical that the writers
of Haiti should accuse the descendants of
slaves of committing the sins of the mas-
ters, but the accusation is in fact perfectly
understandable: those Whites who were still
in Haiti in 1804 were eliminated two years
later by Dessalines. In most of the other
Antilles, White immigrants have continued
to arrive through the years. In some, Asian
laborers have been brought in from China
or the Indian sub-continent. This has not
been the case in Haiti, where the ruling class
is not made up of descendants of White
planters or Asian shop-keepers and entre-
preneurs, but of Blacks and Mulattos. A
small number of impoverished Arab immi-
grants arrived in Haiti at the end of the

nineteenth century, and their descendants
have by now almost monopolized
wholesale trade. But, while they are bitterly
resented by the rest of the population,
which does not look upon them as "real"
Haitians, they are seldom mentioned in
Haitian fiction, In any case, since the ethnic
composition of Haitian society is compara-
ble to no other in the world, it is not surpris-
ing that the theme of race receives a dis-
tinctive and unique treatment in Haitian
A Black Republic

While the founders of Haiti were forced to
organize the country according to Euro-
pean models, they loudly proclaimed it a
Black Republic. Legend has it that, when a
flag was to be designed for the Black Re-
public, Dessalines ripped the white band off
a French tricolor, thus symbolically reject-
ing any European participation in the des-
tiny of the nation. Haiti's first constitution
forbade the acquisition of land by Whites
and granted the rights of asylum and natu-
ralization to all persons of African extrac-
tion. Haitians have always been aware that
the victory which made them free was not
only one of slaves over masters but one of
Blacks over Whites, and that it therefore had
an exemplary value for all Black people. Of
the many authors who illustrate this convic-
tion, Hannibal Price did so most explicitly
when he composed a long essay entitled
On the Vindication of the Black Race by
the Republic of Haiti (De la rehabilitation
de la race noire par la Republique d'Hafti,
Paris, 1900). Price cogently argues that his
country's achievements give the lie to the
hoary arguments advanced by Whites to
prove the congenital inferiority of Negroes,
and that "...this Black Republic [...] is the
glory of all Negroes, for it is the noblest,
strongest achievement of our common
mother, the Black race." Conversely, writers
point out with sorrow that the sins of Haiti
bring disgrace not only on the nation but on
la Race.
From the first productions of Haitian let-
ters to contemporary works, Haitians have
assumed the role of spokesman for their
exploited brothers wherever they might be.
It would be easy to put together an anthol-
ogy of Haitian prose and poetry consisting
solely of texts that denounce White racism
and protest against its more repulsive man-
ifestations. The lynching of Negroes in the
American South, the rape of Ethiopia by
Mussolini, forced labor in the French Afri-
can colonies, apartheid in South Africa, the
hysterical fear of White women confronted
with Black men, the callous exploitation of
Black workers, artists, and athletes all have
been duly noted and exposed by Haitian
authors. As with other committed Black
writers, whatever their nationality and lan-
guage of expression, this angry detailing of

abuses suffered is coupled with affirma-
tions of Black beauty and pride, and with
visions of a fraternal world born of revolu-
tion. Rene Depestre's Crossroads (Croisee
des rutes, Port-au-Prince, 1946) sums up
this ideological position:
...1 am a nigger
I am murdered at every street corner
I am mistreated, debased, prostituted
My mug inspires painters of grotesques
I remain face to the winds at the doors of
When I rest sewers are palaces
Compared to the black holes where
Certain men of my race sink down
When night comes [...]
My life is a horrible penitentiary
A prison without bars
An ageless despair [...]
In their own language I sing my own
I sing my own love [...]
I know that pain is preparing a dreadful
Which will set on fire
The frontage of wooden houses and of
brick homes [...]
And there will I be the liberated Negro
My chains will serve children as toys
And will be made into broaches
For the glittering busts of wives.
Long before the Harlem Renaissance,
the Afro-Cuban school and the Negritude
writers, Haitian authors were articulating
what Jacques Roumain called the Black
Man's Grievances (Griefs de l'homme noir,
Paris, 1939) as well as what Jean Brierre
called (in English) Black Soul (La Habana,
1947). This ideological quality of Haitian
literature is essential, and permeates some
of its most inspired works reflecting the
peculiar, unique, aspect of race relations in
Haitian society.
Unlike other Caribbean Blacks, Haitians
have never experienced racial discrimina-
tion at the hands of their White compatriots
since, for all intents and purposes, there are
no White Haitians. The wordblan in creole
means "foreigner;" a Black American visit-
ing Port-au-Prince would be referred to as a
blan noua. Caucasians in Haiti are foreign
merchants, missionaries, teachers, devel-
opment technicians, or simple tourists.
Many appear as characters in Haitian novels
and stories: some as open-minded, well
intentioned observers of Haitian reality:
Phillips Benfield, for example, the American
anthropologist patterned after Melville
Herskovits (the author of Life in a Haitian
Valley) in Jean-Baptiste Cineas' novel The
Sacred Legacy (LHeritage sacr6, Port-au-
Prince, 1945), or the sensitive Frenchman
Jean Luze, in Marie Chauvet's Love, Anger
and Madness (Amour, Colere et Folie,
Paris, 1968). Others are brutal, prejudiced
exploiters: as could be expected, most
American characters found in fiction deal-

ing with the US occupation of Haiti (1915-
1934) are of this type. The image of foreign
Whites in Haitian letters is neither sys-
tematically favorable nor consistently
Haitian writers use White characters to
expose the color prejudice they find ram-
pant among the nation's ruling classes.
Despite its loudly proclaimed racial pride,
this "elite" all too often interiorizes White
racism and albeit tacitly equates in-
tellectual distinction and physical attrac-
tiveness with Caucasian features. Foreig-
ners (White foreigners, that is) are therefore

Legend has it that, when a
flag was to be designed for
the Black Republic,
Dessalines ripped the white
band off a French tricolor,
thus symbolically rejecting
any European participation
in the destiny of the nation.

considered desirable mates, because they
can produce offspring of a more "attractive"
physical type. This far from admirable quest
on the part of many Haitian parents for
White sons-in-law (White daughters-in-law
are much less frequently mentioned, possi-
bly because few unattached White women
come to settle in Haiti) has inspired Haitian
satirists like Andre Chevallier in He's White!
(Li blanc!, Port-au-Prince, 1916): "Good old
Madame Busybody loved everything white,
to distraction. Despite her years, she dres-
sed in white. When a chicken was served,
she would only eat its white meat. She used
so much powder that, even though she was
really sepia, she became almost white. She
had sworn to marry her two daughters to no
one but Whites, but to authentic Whites, to
full-blooded Whites for the improvement
of the race."
Other writers are less amused. Maurice
Casseus' comments in his novel Viejo
(Port-au-Prince, 1935) read like a bitter in-
dictment: "You, all of you here, dream of
finding for your daughter any White man
just off the ship. [...] it is enough that he be
White for you and your daughters and your
wives to fall into a swoon. It is enough that
he be White for you to endow him with uni-
versal learning, to bestow upon him all titles
and diplomas. It is enough that he be White
for all obstacles to fade in his path as if by
magic. [...] And with all that you claim to be
at the forefront of Blacks in the whole
And, more recently, Nadine Magloire tes-
tifies to the persistence of the preference for

White husbands; the heroine of her novel
The Pain of Living (Le Mal de vivre, Port-
au-Prince, 1968) declares: "A White man is
a much appreciated game for our girls to
bag. First, because he is generally not
broke; also, because marrying White gives
you a lot of prestige, and above all because
you thereby improve the race.
The theme of race in Haitian letters must
not be viewed exclusively in the context of
Black struggle against White oppression -
it also reflects the tensions that have always
existed, and continue to exist in Haiti be-
tween Blacks and Mulattos. In the absence
of other ethnic groups, these tensions take
on a pervasiveness and intensity unique in
the Caribbean, indeed, in the world.

Race and Social Class
Under the colonial system, many French
planters emancipated the children they had
had by Black slave women. These gens de
couleur eventually came to form an inter-
mediate class which, by the time of the
Revolution, had considerable economic
power: it is estimated that they owned as
much as one third of the land and one
fourth of the slaves in the colony. While they
were feared and despised by the Whites,
who subjected them to all sorts of dis-
criminatory measures (denial of repre-
sentation in the local assemblies, non-
eligibility for officers' commissions in the
militia, segregation in public places etc.),
their wealth and status were also based on
the exploitation of Black slaves. Some left
the country along with the Whites; those
who remained, since they were generally
educated and skilled, quite naturally filled
the positions of leadership vacated by the
In the new republic, they soon estab-
lished themselves as the ruling class and
jealously defended their power and
privileges against the illiterate, unskilled
mass of Black slaves. The self-perpetuating
Haitian ruling class was not, however, com-
posed exclusively of gens de couleur; it
included Black military leaders, who also
established themselves as important land-
owners and public officials. As was to be
expected, members of the ruling class
henceforth tended to intermarry and to
consolidate their position by making up-
ward social mobility as difficult as possible.
With time, this small self-contained elite
saw its absolute supremacy challenged by a
growing class of mostly Black profession-
als, technicians, and shop-keepers, which
Haitian sociologists identify as the classes
moyennes. Since most of the elite were
Mulatto and most of the classes moyennes
were Black (as well, of course, as the
downtrodden masse which was, and is,
exploited by both), specification of race
came to denote social class and vice-versa.
As Rene A. Saint-Louis explains, in Haitian
Pre-sociology (La Presociologie hai-

tienne, Montreal, 1970): "Haiti is a typical
example of racial characteristics having
influenced, and continuing to influence, the
formation of social classes [...] so much so
that they are at the origins of what might
today be called Haitian ideology." A creole
proverb, attributed to the leader of the
peasant revolt of 1843, Jean-Jacques
Acaau, puts it more succinctly: Neg rich se
milat, milat p6v se neg ("A rich Negro is a
Mulatto, a poor Mulatto is a Negro").
Complementing and refining the French
adjectives noir and mul&tre, the Haitian
obsession with appearance has led to the
creation of a whole set of other terms to
indicate all possible combinations of pig-
mentation (from very dark to lightly tan-
ned), hair characteristics (from fuzzy to
silky) and facial traits (from negroid to
caucasian); we thus find, among many
others: marabout, chabin, griffe, grimaud,
caimite, rouge, kribich chode, takte
kodind, all of which are mysterious for
non-Haitian readers of French, and sources
of practically unsurmountable difficulties
for translators of Haitian works.
In the Haitian context, then, the terms
noir andmulatre do not refer to ethnic type
exclusively. They also carry social and
political connotations. Social, because
while the illegitimate child of a Black work-
ing woman and a White sailor on shore
leave might be described as mul&tre in
appearance, he would certainly not be con-
sidered as belonging to the mul&tre (i.e.
upper) class. Conversely, a Black high gov-
ernment official or successful businessman
would make certain he was by marrying
into a mulatre family. Political, because
Haitian political factions have traditionally
formed along class- and therefore color-
lines. This is tacitly understood rather than
openly admitted, and the mulatre group
makes it a point to include some ethnic
Blacks in the government when it is in
power, while the noir group does the same
for Mulattos when its turn comes. In this
respect, some Haitians have been particu-
larly blessed: Senator Jean-Baptiste Re-
nelus Rorrotte, for example, the hero of
Fernand Hibbert's comic novel Sena
(Port-au-Prince, 1905), who "...belonged to
that category of citizens who are neither
noir nor mul&tre, norgriffe. He was alezan.
This neutrality of pigmentation allowed him
simultaneously to join all parties, or at least
all factions."
Thus understood, "race" is of the es-
sence in any discussion of Haitian class
tensions and social behavior. The theme is
present in Haitian letters from the very start.
The reader may have noticed that the quo-
tation from Pierre Faubert's poem To the
Haitians addresses both Blacks and
Mulattos; stanzas which follow call upon
them to desist from their fraternal conten-
tions in the name of national unity and of
God "who, in man, values / only the soul,

and not the color." The same appeal is
found in Bergeaud'sStella, where Romulus
isnoir and his brother Remusmul&tre: only
when they put aside their mutual distrust
can they unite to overthrow the colonial
oppressor, and only if they remember the
nation's motto: L'Cnion fait la force will
Haiti prosper.
By acknowledging the existence of an
internal racial problem in Haiti, the first
generation of writers were already refusing
to participate in a conspiracy of silence. An
understandable conspiracy since admitting

Unlike other Caribbean
Blacks, Haitians have never
experienced racial
discrimination at the hands
of their White compatriots
since, for all intents and
purposes, there are no
White Haitians.

that color prejudice survived the elimina-
tion of the White planters would undermine
the Haitians' claim to legitimacy as illus-
trators and glorifiers of negritude. And we
have seen that this claim is essential to the
image Haitians want to present to the world,
essential in fact to their collective and per-
sonal self-respect. The persistence of color
prejudice was and is a source of con-
stant embarrassment, all the more so since
foreign observers of Haitian reality seldom
fail to expound upon it. Be that as it may, the
fact, again according to Ren& A. Saint-
Louis, is that "...the question of color preju-
dice [...] has never been raised openly and
objectively [...]. It remains a taboo subject,
discussed in the privacy of the home or with
intimate friends, never with strangers, be
they White or Black [...]. [Haitians] deny the
existence of this problem in their country."
But successive generations of Haitian
writers will refuse to keep silent and will
tirelessly identify color prejudice as a fun-
damental cause of the nation's stagnation,
if not degeneration. And here it should be
mentioned that the great majority of Haitian
authors have assumed a double, and to a
certain degree contradictory burden: on the
one hand to defend the country against the
often unfair sarcasm of biased foreign pub-
licists (and the corresponding unfavorable
image held by foreign public opinion), and
on the other to denounce without compla-
cency the very real ills of Haitian society. As
Jean-Baptists Cineas put it in his novel The
Backlash (Le Choc en retour Port-au-
Prince, 1948): "...to lift the curtain on a

dreary stage and to scream out what the
least cowardly only whisper in each other's
In Jacques Bonhomme of Haiti (Port-
au-Prince, 1901), the novelist Armand
Thoby had already declared: "My patriotism
is roused by the gibes of foreigners. But to
hide our sores is not the way to cure them.
There is something worse than being the
butt of Monsieur Gustave d'Alaux jokes:
deserving to be. [d'Alaux was the French
racist author of "Emperor Soulouque and
his Empire" (1856)]."
Obviously, all Haitian authors do not
adopt the same tone when exposing their
countrymen's prejudices. Some do it in a
gently sarcastic way: in The Pitite-Caille
Family (Port-au-Prince, 1905), for example,
Justin Lherisson makes fun of one of his
characters, a local Casanova whose taste in
women is so eclectic that the seventy-nine
children he fathers run the gamut of possi-
ble Haitian phenotypes: "These children
were of all hues: negres francs, negres
rouges, cabins, tacte-codinde, griffes,
mulatres, sacatras, marabouts, tchiam-
pourras, etc."
Others, like Stephen Alexis in The
Masked Negro (Le Negre masque, Port-
au-Prince, 1933), are more explicit and do
not mince words: "Despite White prejudice,
which lumps us all together, from the light-
est octoroon to the darkest Negro, as ob-
jects of contempt, you still establish
wretched epidermic differences among
yourselves! Don't complain about Ameri-
can prejudices: the attitude of many among
you justifies it."
The question might legitimately be
raised of whether the physical type of indi-
vidual Haitian authors influences their views
about, and treatment of, the theme of race.
In the case of writers from the origins until
World War II, whether light or dark-skinned,
all belonged to the elite and had generally
been born into it. None defended color
prejudice; almost all of them deplored it
vehemently, and set themselves up as
spokesmen for its victims: the peasant
masse, of course, and also the emerging
classes moyennes. But, during and after
the "Revolution of 1946" and the noiriste
presidency of Dumarsais Estime, many
young writers issued from the Black clas-
ses moyennes entered the literary scene.
While it is dangerous to generalize, it can be
argued, first that they were even less hesit-
ant than their predecessors to attack color
prejudice and, second, that their ideological
position was more radical. Up until then,
writers deplored the elite's successful ef-
forts to keep a monopoly on education and
power, but did not seriously question its
conception of what Haitian culture was.
This conception was fundamentally
White in its orientation. The French lan-
guage was considered infinitely superior to
creole, Catholicism to vodin, imported

waltzes to domestic yanvalous. The African
(i.e., popular) contributions to Haitian cul-
ture were systematically downgraded and,
whether they admitted it or not, Haitian
writers were anxious to fashion their coun-
try into "a little Black corner of France" (as
the French historian Michelet once called

Cultural Celebration

Taking their clue from the great Haitian
sociologist Jean Price-Mars who, in Thus
Spake the Elder (Ainsiparla l'oncle, Com-
piegne, 1928) and other works, accused his
countrymen of suffering from "collective
Bovarysm" in refusing to accept and re-
spect the African component of their cul-
tural heritage, most writers would hence-
forth celebrate it. They exalt the beauty of
vodun, the courage of peasants, the tenac-
ity of poor Black students of the classes
moyennes. Creole words and expressions
are introduced into French-language texts,
and no longer to amuse or to provide an
exotic note, but with the same respect given
to the official language. Indeed, some poets
and dramatists chose to compose entirely
in creole; novelists eventually followed their
It has been argued that this is populist
writing, to be viewed in the same light as
Zola's proletarian novels or Mistral's
Provengal poems and that Haitian writers
are once again looking to Paris for inspira-
tion and, in typically neo-colonial fashion,
lag fifty years behind the times in their
choice of literary models. The point is in fact
that the term "popular" in Haiti is just about
synonymous with "Black," in contrast with
the term elite which, as we have seen, is
practically synonymous with "Mulatto." By
celebrating the poor, writers are, implicitly at
the very least, taking a position not only on
the class but on the color issue. The new
ideology cut across color line: its most
vocal proponents were as likely to be light
mulatres like Jacques Roumain as Blacks
of the classes moyennes like Jean-
Baptiste Cineas.
When dealing with the race issue, most
Haitian essayists side with their Black com-
patriots and, as could be expected, most
novelists dramatize their unfair treatment at
the hands of those of lighter pigmentation.
The rejection of a young noir by a mulAtre
girl who wishes to "improve the race," or of
a dark girl by a socially ambitious young
man are stereotypic. In Henock Trouillot's
Flesh, Blood and Treason (Chair, sang et
trahison, Port-au-Prince, 1947), Georges
Larue, a mulatre, is driven by financial
necessity to marry a noire, Germaine
Charles, la douce brunette: "Georges felt
ashamed, but of one thing only: of having
had to show himself, during the dazzling
wedding celebrations, with his bride, a
Black, to the assembled guests, whom he

took to be flabbergasted by his loss of
caste." Although Germaine is an exemplary
wife, she will be driven to an early grave by
her husband's obsessive contempt and
Yet the defense ofNoirs againstMulatres
is by no means a reflex reaction on the part
of Haitian writers. They also speak up when
Mulattos are unjustly persecuted. In two of
her novels, Marie Chauvet shows their
plight during the noiriste agitation of 1946
(in Daughter of Haiti [Fille d'Haiti, Paris,
1954]) and although it is not specified in

In the Haitian context the
terms noir and mulitre do
not refer to ethnic type
exclusively. They also carry
social and political

so many words during the Duvalier re-
gime (inAnger [Colre, Paris, 1968]). Marie
Chauvet was herself mulatre in type and
social status, but Black authors do not hes-
titate either to denounce the opportunistic
or even racist foundations of some
noiristes' political stance. In 1937, for
example, E.L. Vernet wrote in Haiti's Worst
Enemies (Les Pires ennemis d'Haiti, Port-
au-Prince, 1937): "In our country, most of
our dark brothers who speak or write about
race and color prejudice are themselves full
of those prejudices. Their defense of la race
[...] is tainted with feelings of jealously and
arrogant individualism. And several, taken
individually, would immediately cease
being concerned with these matters if only
the Whites and the pretentious Mulattos
agreed to tell them this: 'The Black race to
which you belong is in fact inferior; butyou
personally constitute an exception and are
our equal.'"
In his fine novel The Music of Trees (Les
Arbres musicians, Paris, 1957), Jacques-
Stephen Alexis, who was Black phenotypi-
cally and who died fighting the Duvalier
regime, shows how one form of racism
engenders another. He argues that the
pro-Mulatto government of Elie Lescot
(1941-1946) exacerbated tensions and
gave rise to color ideologies which would,
ten years later, result in revengeful persecu-
tion of the elite: "...odd and dangerous
pararacist theories were evolving in the
petty bourgeoisie, and pseudo-revolu-
tionary 'colorism' was wrecking havoc. [...]
Under the ashes of the stupid 'lescotian'
policy, the old traditional struggles between
liberals [i.e., elite] and nationalists [i.e.,
classes moyennes] of the preceding cen-

tury were being stirred up.
Haitian authors have always been willing
to admit the existence of color prejudice in
their country. Their lucidity and courage are
all the more praiseworthy in that by so
doing they risk being accused of providing
grist for the mill of malevolent foreign
analysts. Haitian authors have not limited
themselves to platonic expressions of dis-
may and pious appeals for universal
brotherhood; they have instead under-
scored the peculiar economic, social and
political dimensions of the Haitian racial
ideologies..Any open-minded foreign
reader familiar with Haitian letters cannot
fail to realize that, in its essence and in its
manifestations, the "race problem" in Haiti
resists hasty analyses, and that as far as it is
concerned, seeking analogies between
Haitian society and other societies, Carib-
bean or otherwise, would in all probability
lead to erroneous conclusions. Haitian au-
thors skillfully utilize and combine a wide
range of literary genres, styles and tones in
their self-imposed task of criticizing and
attempting to reform.
And, lest foreign readers of the present
essay be tempted to pass hasty judgment
on Haitians, let them remember, as its au-
thor has tried to, what Marie Chauvet so
aptly put in Love (Amour, Paris, 1968): "It
has rightly been said that it is difficult for
foreigners, learned as they might be, to
understand us even if they spend a hundred
years watching how we live."

Leon-Frangois Hoffmann teaches French at
Princeton University.

Science in



The National Science Foundation Announces a
New Program to support in the biological.
physical and social sciences and engineering:
1 Research Participation Grants for U.S. and
Developing Country participation in
research projects
2) Conference Grants to support national.
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3 Dissertation Improvement Grants for
developing country graduate students
enrolled at MA or Ph.D. level at U S
universities. Only projects related to a
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by a U S research advisor will
be considered.

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Science in Developing
Countries Program
National Science Foundation
Washington, DC, 20550



Two French West Indian Novels

Reviewed by Marie-Denise Shelton

Batouala. Rene Maran. Ed. Albin Michel,
Paris: 1938
Heremakhonon. Maryse Conde. Union
Generale d'Editions, Paris: 1976

While the two novels I shall examine relate
to the same subject, Rene Maran's
Batouala and Maryse Conde's Here-
makhonon, written over fifty years apart,
differ widely in perspectives and in objec-
tives. The first is the work of a Martinican
writer who lived almost all his life in France,
and who, according to his biographers, had
totally assimilated French culture, and lost
all trace of the "Negro temperament." Rene
Maran was also for thirteen years a French
colonial administrator, and his novel
Batouala purported to expose to the
French public the realities of colonial life.
The second novel is by a Guadeloupean
female writer, well aware of her African-
slave ancestry, who attempts to define the
ambiguities that underline the Black's
search for identity. Both of these writers,
ideologically and historically, are outside
the literary current of praise of Africa. In
both cases, the interest in Africa is moti-
vated by concerns other than the notion of
redeeming the Race or Black nationalism.
Rene Maran'sBatouala, also subtitled "a
true black novel," won the Prix Goncourt in
1921. This novel, consecrated by one of
France's most prestigious literary prizes,
stirred a great deal of controversy at the
time of its appearance. It was denounced in
certain influential quarters of French opin-
ion as a work of "hatred," "a slander," and
exposed Maran to the ostracism of the
French literary establishment and his
superiors in the colonial administration.
Maran himself was surprised at the tumul-
tuous reception given to his book, which in
his own words "barely touched upon the
realities of colonial life." His intent, he
claimed, was to show his devotion rather
than his hatred for France.
The rejection of Maran's novel by France
explains what can be viewed as its
paradoxical destiny. Indeed, a few years
later, Black intellectuals of the Americas
and Africa were to claim Maran as the pre-

cursor of the Black Renaissance and Neg-
ritude movements, and acclaim Batouala
as a symbol of black awareness and revolt
against colonialism and European culture.
In spite of Maran's reiterated doubts on the
meaning and value of Negritude and other
such phenomena, writers like Claude
McKay, Leon Damas, Leopold Senghor
and Aime Cesaire attest to the impact that
Maran had on their generation. Today, most
critics consider Maran's novel as an indis-
pensable ferment in the development of
black consciousness.
The adoption of Maran by Black writers
does not however preclude us from exam-
ining his novel in its intended perspective
and viewing, beyond the passions of
polemics, Maran's position towards
colonialism and Africa.
In the preface, Maran introduces
Batouala as a work of "impersonal obser-
vation." "This novel," he writes, "is entirely
objective. It does not attempt explanation: it
is a witness. It does not incriminate: it
registers." Maran considers himself an at-
tentive listener and observer, who recorded
faithfully what he had heard and seen in the
colony of Ubangui-Chari (present day Re-
public of Central Africa) where he served as
an administrator. In his novel, the fruit of a
laborious documentation, he claims to
translate with the objectivity of the
ethnologist the peculiarities of African cul-
ture. But foremost, his intent was to reveal
to the French public the "abuses, malprac-
tices and atrocities which flourish in the
colonies" and which he had witnessed.
Maran's position towards colonialism
was not singular. Many more or less liberal
French writers of the late 19th century and
early 20th century had similarly voiced their
disapproval of certain aspects of col-
onialism. Batouala no doubt places Maran
in the broad current of humanitarian colo-
nial literature of his time. Maran himself
notes that his novel appeared at a time
when "the black question was in the air,"
citing other works which dealt with the Afri-
can situation. If his novel was singled out, it
is only because he was the first known black
writer to talk about Africa and to raise his
voice against colonialism.

Vanishing Paradise
Batouala, like many other novels of its
time, illustrates the ills of colonialism, and
the degradation of African life under colo-
nial rule. In order to maintain his purported
objectivity, Maran launches his criticisms
through the mouth of his main character,
Batouala, the chief of a village in Ubangui-
Chari. Chief Batouala denounces angrily
the hypocrisy, cruelty, greed and insensitiv-
ity of the French and reveals the misery and
the exploitation to which Africans are sub-
jected in the colonial society. The scene in
which Batouala, drunk one day, uncovers
the lies on which the colonial system is
based, is often cited as an example of
Maran's overt revolt against colonialism.
It should however be noted that in
Batouala's dithyrambic speech as well as in
the preface of the novel, it is not colonialism
per se that is being questioned by Maran,
but the methods used by incompetent
colonizers. Maran, in fact, like many anti-
colonialists of his time, did not believe that
the lot of Africans was a result of the colo-
nial situation itself, but dependent on the
good or bad application of colonialist
power. He did not reject the colonialist
ideology as such, for he believed that
France had a moral duty to civilize Africa.
His novel is a plea for an enlightened
colonialism, and also a warning that the
power of the French will weaken if they
cease to conform to the image of superior
and dignified men in the eyes of the col-
onized. Even in the height of anger and
resentment, we hear his main character,
Batouala, admit: "In fact we would obey the
boundjous without protest, if only they were
more consistent with themselves." Maran
calls on the other French writers, his
"brothers in spirit" to echo his criticisms so
that certain abuses may be brought to light
and remedied, so that France's honor may
be served. Thus, Maran's attitude rejoins
that of other humanitarians of the time who
found themselves in the strange position of
both defending and opposing colonialism.
This ambiguous attitude, as can be sur-
mised, greatly weakened the impact of their
criticisms, and probably encouraged rather

than discouraged the proponents of im-
Batouala is also often presented as "a
genuine picture of negro life," "an authentic
portrayal of negro manners." According to
this opinion, Maran's attempt was to re-
habilitate African culture, to show in the
humanistic tradition that human experi-
ence is diverse, and to bring the French to
the appreciation of this diversity. In this
novel however, Maran seems to indulge in
the kind of "colonial tourism" that often
characterizes the attitude of European writ-
ers of the time in their contact with non-
Western cultures. In fact, this novel is less
concerned with showing the confrontation
of Africans with the colonial powers than to
explore various aspects of African life. Most
of the narration is absorbed in the descrip-
tion of the Africans' most banal activities,
their customs, beliefs, and their way of in-
terpreting the mysteries of the world sur-
rounding them.
Following the exotico-romantic tradition
that had flourished in France ever since the
19th century, Maran bemoans the disap-
pearance of local customs, the destruction
of the Africans' "primitive paradise" by
European pragmatism. When Maran
evokes past traditions, he accentuates their
carefree, innocent and nature-like exis-
tence. He summarizes very simply the life of
the Bandas "before the advent of white
men": "They worked a little, for themselves,
they ate, drank, slept. Just now and again,
there was a bloody scrimmage, when they
tore out the livers of the dead to eat their
courage and absorb it." Before the arrival of
the Europeans, adds Batouala, "we only
thought of drinking, eating, sleeping,
dancing and saddling our women." The
Africans that Maran celebrates are unpre-
dictable, poetical in their way, unfit for
abstract speculation, just as the romantics
imagined them, and just as the less roman-
tic colonizer perceived them. They believe
in living "from day to day, without remem-
bering yesterday, without worrying about
tomorrow," and "disdain all complex reso-
Maran, again following a certain roman-
tic tradition, insists on the perfect symbiosis
of man and nature, man and animals, that
in his eyes characterizes African life. In his
tropical bushes, the world of humans is not
very different from the world of animals.
Indeed, Maran uses many zoological
metaphores when depicting the gestures
and attitudes of the Africans: "Batouala on a
cold morning warms himself against the
fire, like an iguana does in the sun." Bis-
sibingui, the rival of Batouala, is "just like a
Kokorro (a snake) wrapped to the branch of
a tree...., he sometimes yawned, then
changed place and returned to a still posi-
tion." Maran also celebrates the indolence
of the Africans. The wife of Batouala, his
"yassi," "was sleeping ... naked, her hands

against her belly, and her legs spread inno-
cently. She sometimes touched her soft
wrinkled breasts which ressembled dried
tobacco leaves, or scratched herself while
letting out deep long sighs." Maran's Afri-
cans yawn, scratch themselves with an
"animal satisfaction" that borders on
"voluptuousness." In fact, two paragraphs
of the novel are devoted to their philosophy
and art of scratching and yawning.

Perceptions of Africa
Each gesture or trait of the African is seen
by Maran as a manifestation of his race.

Chief Batouala denounces
angrily the hypocrisy,
cruelty, greed and
insensitivity of the French
and reveals the misery and
the exploitation to which
Africans are subjected in
the colonial society.

Thus, he tells us that Batouala "crouched as
all men of black skin do." In the sexual
realm, we learn that for the Blacks "the only
law is instinct." We are also told that Blacks
who generally sleep during the day, "prefer
to work at dusk." Among the many aromas
that nature exudes, Maran detects "the odor
typical of the men with black skin." Africans,
according to Maran, express their feelings
differently, bizarrely. The joy of the Bandas
during one of their ritual festivities is de-
scribed as "a strange, abrupt, mobile, dis-
orderly joy." Their dance is "a strange mad-
ness." Africans also manifest their anger in
an unpredictable manner. "When a white
man is angry," says Maran, "he sees red
suddenly. Bandas or Mandjis, Sangos or
Gobous react differently. They, to the con-
trary, mask their hatred under the most
affectionate signs of cordiality," just like
Needless to say that Maran's perception
of Africans is that of an outsider, of a "West-
erner" who views "the differentness" of
Africa with a certain condescending
amusement. At no time, does Maran iden-
tify with the Africans to whom he refers
sometimes as "the Negroes," sometimes
as the indigeness," or in moments of deep
compassion as "those poor people."
Consciously or unconsciously, Maran
subscribes to a view which insidiously fa-
vors colonization. The type of images found
in his novel contributed to create the mythi-
cal portrait of the colonized as defined by

Albert Memmi, and which justified the per-
petuation of the colonial system. In addi-
tion, the fatalism that Maran lends to the
Africans was no doubt interpreted by
readers of his time as an assurance that
colonization was accepted, even approved,
by the colonized. Except for Batouala's in-
ebriated outburst, we find among the Afri-
cans portrayed in the novel no contestation
of their position as colonized. One of the
ancients of the village says with a resigned
wisdom that the Africans are in front of the
Europeans like "the antelope in front of the
lion," convincing the villagers of the futility
of any revolt against the "Masters."
Maran's novel illustrates the contradic-
tions that characterize the position of a
Black writer who found himself in a singu-
larly ambiguous situation. As a colonial
administrator, he was first and foremost
committed to France, and could only give
the Africans the limited compassion of the
humanitarians. Prisoner of the circum-
stances that made of him "a Frenchman
with black skin" he viewed Africans through
the prisms of well-known racial, if not racist,
stereotypes and reacted to their culture with
the condescension of one who feels cultur-
ally superior.

A Personal Quest

The novel of Maryse Conde, Here-
makhonon, is written in quite a different
perspective and reveals another dimension
of the confrontation of the West Indian with
Africa. Unlike Maran's novel, this work
makes no claim to "impersonalism." It is
written in the first person, in the form of an
autobiography, and is a very personal quest.
The main character, a Guadeloupean
woman named Veronica, relates her jour-
ney to Africa in search of her racial identity,
and her selfhood as a woman. Her visit to
Africa is therefore not motivated by exotism,
nor a desire to evoke a world different, nor
to redeem the Race, but by an instinct of
internal renovation, the need to confirm a
transformation of her life. Veronica, who has
lived most of her life in the carceral world of
the island, world of prejudices, self-hatred
and alienation, and who later experiences in
France the malaise of the uprooted, goes to
Africa in an attempt to negate conformism
and liberate herself from the subjugation of
an oppressive education. The purpose of
her journey is to resolve a crisis of personal-
ity and a crisis of identity. She says: "I am
neither a missionary nor a businessman,
nor a tourist; yes perhaps a tourist, but a
tourist of a new variety, one who is in search
of herself."
The Africa that Veronica hopes will
transform her life is not present day Africa,
which she tries to obliterate or at least keep
at a distance. The present realities do not
concern her, or rather she does not want
them to interfere with her internal, self-

redeeming voyage to the past. The reason
she is in Africa is "to attempt to see what
was there before. In other words, I am look-
ing for what might have remained of the
past. The present does not interest me.
Beyond it, I am trying to reach the palaces
of the Obas, the carvings of their masks and
the songs of their griots." She is even
sometimes overwhelmed with the nostalgia
so commonly found in Black writings of the
past forty years. She tries for example to
imagine what her life would have been like if
she had been born in Africa: "I could have
been called Mariama or Salamata, and wear
my hair in braids. I could have vibrated to
the words of the griot." Rather, she is a
Europeanized Guadeloupean, born and
raised in the black bourgeois milieu of the
island, in a society in which the only
redemption offered to the individual is
complete self-annihilation and total as-
similation of European culture. Veronica
expresses her contempt and resentment for
the Guadeloupean society. It is a society
which believes in the "whitening," both
biological and cultural, of the Race. A soci-
ety in which all African vestiges are viewed
as hereditary defects. The society against
which Maryse Conde, through Veronica,
vituperates, accepts as a dogma the
superiority of the white race, and proclaims
shamelessly the historical inferiority of
Blacks. The Guadeloupeans portrayed in
this novel are slaves resigned to their ser-
vitude, who believe that Blacks are incapa-
ble of handling their destiny, and who seek
salvation, and acceptance in Humanity
through self-denial and the adoption of
white culture and reflexes.
Veronica's journey to Africa cannot be
dissociated from her past life which she

tries to exorcize, but which constantly
emerges in her consciousness. She feels
that she has been robbed of her authenticity
and her self-pride as a Black woman.
Hence, her journey to Africa, to find the
world that existed before the opprobrium of
slavery, before the cultural and psychologi-
cal alienation caused by three hundred
years of subjugation. Hence, her search for
ancestors, for "authentic aristocrats,"
whom she could oppose to the "Monkeys"
of the islands, to "the descendants of slaves
who dance the minuet and despise those
who did not have as much luck as them in

Veronica keeps a sarcastic
attitude both towards the
regime whose pretense to
justice and progress
masks violence and greed
and the militants, whose
actions and ideas she finds
ridiculously dogmatic.

their scramble towards Humanity." Hence,
finally, her fascination for Ibrahima Sory, the
African Minister of Defense, who becomes
her lover.
Ibrahima Sory, the descendant of a long
lineage of nobles and chiefs, symbolizes for
Veronica the "true Black," not the "Neg-
roes" she has heretofore known; he is a
Black who "has not been branded." Ver-
onica submits herself passively to this "man



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with ancestors," whom she hopes will help
her recover her wholeness. "I came to Af-
rica, she says, to cure an illness: Ibrahima
Sory will be, I know it, the gri-gri of the
Marabout... Through him, I will accede to
self-pride." The title of the novel is in this
regard evocative, as "Heremakhonon" in
malinke, means "Waiting for happiness." It
is also the name of Ibrahima's residential
compound, the oasis, far from the city, far
from the real world, where Veronica goes to
communicate with the spirits of the past
and with herself. "Heremakhonon is an is-
land where the Santa Maria did not coast; it
has been untouched by syphillis for future
But these initiatic unions with Africa con-
stitute only intermittent instances of self-
delusion. For, generally, Veronica remains
very skeptical on the value of her journey.
She often wonders whether her search for
the past is not as "absurd as the one of the
man who crossing the Sahara, would stop
to imagine what it could have been like
before it became a desert." She also ex-
presses her contempt for those very an-
cestors she is frantically invoking. Were not
those ancestors guilty of having sold their
own into slavery? "All that," she notes with
bitterness, "for pearls of Venice, scraps of
red cotton, a portable organ... Yes, just that.
It is by God a pity." Shortly after arriving in
Africa, when she is welcomed to her post at
the lycee by the President of the country as
"one of the children that Africa has lost,"
Veronica thinks to herself: "Sold. Sold. Not
It must be noted that in this novel, we do
not find the exaltation and oecumenical
enthusiasm often characteristic of this "re-
turn to the sources." The tone is generally

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sardonic, and the character vacillates be-
tween contradictory positions. She is both
attracted to the notion of Race and repulsed
by it. Or rather, she refuses to subscribe to
the idealized and overworked lyricism of the
many doctrinnaires and poets of panaf-
ricanism and negritude. 'The Race-the-
Race-the-Race, you understand why 1 have
it up to the nose with the Race."
Ambiguous as the attitude of Veronica
towards the past, no less ambiguous is her
attitude towards the present. In today's Af-
rica, the real one, there are few "aristocrats."
Rather, there are people victims of poverty,
the ills of underdevelopment, the arbitrari-
ness of a despotic political machinery. In
other words, it is modern Africa, with all its
problems and contradictions. Confronted
with this Africa, Veronica considers herself,
after Montesquieu's character, a "Black
Persian;" that is to say, an outsider to whom
the society she is observing remains
opaque, strange; an outsider who casts the
satirical and often cynical look of the unini-
tiated orthe unconcerned. In this Africa, she
does not find any beauty, any inspiration. In
fact, she satirizes those who'are able to sing
its "beauty:" "What do they see that I do not
see... How do they do it." Besides her black
skin, she finds little else that identifies her
with the Africans. And reverting to her edu-
cational heritage, she often views them
through disparaging and even racist
stereotypes. "Veronica," explains Maryse
Conde, "shares the views that her parents
and her society have given to her. Because
the Caribbeans of her time rarely ques-
tioned the cultural images imposed on
them, even when they claimed to be liber-
ated. Thus, she cannot be blamed, it is the
fault of her education and her environ-

ment." In some instances, Veronica feels a
certain hatred towards Africa, towards "this
country, its men, its women, its children,
simply because [she] does not understand
Her background as a middle class islan-
der, her education, as well as her obstinacy
to find the past, prevent her from having any
real participation in the Africans' life. Look-
ing at the misery and poverty that surround
her, she either feels a superficial, "girl-
scoutish" compassion, or blatant indiffer-
ence. Poverty, for this middle class woman
who does not consider herself "an under-
dog," who "in her way was born with a silver
spoon," remains a distant phenomenon
that does not really touch her.
As for the political situation, the struggle
of the young students and her militant fac-
ulty colleagues against the tyranny of the
Mwalimwana (the President) and his men,
she does not feel concerned or rather she
does not want any involvement. "I did not
cross the ocean to get involved in their
quarrels" she says. Veronica keeps a sar-
castic attitude both towards the regime
whose pretense to justice and progress
masks violence and greed, and the milit-
ants, whose actions and ideas she finds
ridiculously dogmatic. However, she is in
spite of herself drawn in their conflicts,
caught between the two groups: the gov-
ernment, through its representative Ib-
rahima Sory, and the opposition, made up
of students and teachers, who after all had
become her friends. She desperately tries
to remain neutral, wishing to avoid the
choice between Ibrahima Sory, who repre-
sents the regime but who is her redeemer,
and her students and friends who, she fi-
nally realizes, are sincere and truly com-

mitted to their cause. She cannot continue
mocking them and doubting their motives,
as she sees some of them persecuted and
dying for their convictions. As the novel
ends, Veronica, recognizing that her posi-
tion is untenable, decides to leave
Africa, and return to Paris. She realizes that
her quest for the past is incompatible with
the present realities of Africa. "My ances-
tors, through Ibrahima Sory," she con-
cludes, "are playing a trick on me ... They
are forcing me to choose between the past
and the present. They are forcing me to take
position in the drama that is being played in
this country. It is as though they were tired of
my objectivity."
Maryse Conde's novel illustrates the
confusion and alienation that Blacks of the
Diaspora often experience in their attempt
to recuperate their lost identity. It is a circu-
lar novel, and the journey here, like in many
black novels, does not open new horizons. It
is not a prelude to change, but a confirma-
tion of the very ambiguities that the journey
was intended to solve. In narrating the ex-
perience of Veronica, however, Maryse
Conde attempted to bring us to a certain
awareness -the awareness that Blackness
and Africa are not timeless, abstract notions
as often represented by those eager to find
"their roots;" the awareness that negritude
and solidarity with the Race are inoperant
and futile if they are not integrated in a real
'praxis.'" Veronica failed to find Africa, be-
cause she refused all real participation in
the present day struggles of Africans, be-
cause instead of fighting the real dragons
she limited herself to pursuing chimeras.

Marie-Denise Shelton teaches French at
Claremont College in California.


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VS. Naipaul's

Vision of Home

in the Caribbean

By Nana Wilson-Tagoe
As a novelist and a thinker, VS. Naipaul has
travelled a long way fromA House For Mr.
Biswas (1961)to Guerrillas (1975). From a
preoccupation with the trauma of dis-
placement and the dilemma of finding a
new place in the New World he has moved
from an increasingly cynical view of the
Caribbean towards a darkening personal
vision of world placelessness. InAn Area of
Darkness (1964), Mr Stone And The
Knight's Companion (1963), The Mimic
Men (1967), The Loss of Eldorado (1969),
In A Free State (1971) and now in Guerril-
las, he has exhaustively explored and ques-
tioned all our familiar assumptions about
place and relationships. Behind the explo-
ration and questioning is a personal vision
about man and history which he has been
developing since his first major novel, A
House For Mr Biswas.
If in this novel Naipaul had seen a fragile
hope in the possibility of a personal place in
the New World; if he had speculated on the
kinds of bond that could develop between
people in this world, he had no such hopes
in his later novels. For from An Area of
Darkness to the recent novel Guerrillas, he

systematically purges his system of all
dreams of possibility. The purgation, one
could argue, begins even as early as A
House For Mr Biswas. A deep cynicism
shows up even in this seemingly optimistic
novel, a cynicism which expresses itself in
the gratuitously vitiated ending where
Naipaul links the slow corruption of his
protagonist's ageing body with the cycle of
darkness and decay in the New World, in-
dicating his own groping towards a deeper
yet more cynical view of the displaced indi-
vidual's relation to it. The question he raises
at the end of the novel is easy to deduce and
can be summarized thus: What can a per-
sonal vision amount to in the larger chaos
of the New World? The question is one that
requires a re-orientation of perspective, a
different, larger view of the whole subject of
migration and its aftermath. In Naipaul's
later novels, migration is no longer simply a
matter of a personal sense of displacement;
the sense of loss it engenders is no longer
merely a latent disturbance capable of
erupting; its paradox is no longer its most
important point. Migration becomes a
major disequilibrium, creating large scale

restlessness, unconquerable stasis and
This new perspective underlines
Naipaul's thesis in The Mimic Men, his dark
novel about the irremediable disorder of the
New World. InA House for Mr Biswas the
source of his protagonist's neurosis had
been his nightmarish vision of the void of
the future which represented the fears and
uncertainties awaiting the New World per-
sona in the amorphous New World. The
void required confrontation; it needed to be
worked against the protagonist's positive
vision of a house. In The Mimic Men, the
image of shipwreck which is the source of
the protagonist's neurosis is of the past, and
there is no escape from it. This new deter-
ministic view of man and his relationship to
history underlines the existential despair
which from now on colors Naipaul's vision
of the West Indies. In The Mimic Men there
is no center, no tradition, no ritual that can
unite the fragmented society of Isabella.
Each group seems trapped in its private
fantasy, and even the neutral fluid group
that congregates around the protagonist
looks in vain for a common link that can

give a purpose to its actions. Naipaul sug-
gests that beyond the superficies of their
modern life styles, there is nothing that can
bind the New World people together:"...On
power and the consolidation of passing
power, we wasted our energies, until the
bigger truth came; that in a society like ours,
fragmented, inorganic, no link between
man and the landscape, a society not held
together by common interest, there was no
true internal source of power, and that no
power was real, which did not come from
the outside."
The fundamental deficiency of New
World society which Naipaul articulates
here underlines the illusions, the conflicts
and the confused objectives of the politi-
cians in The Mimic Men and is the defi-
ciency which makes all New World politi-
cians mimic men. In the novel, the 'tragedy'
of the politicians stems from their utter
unawareness of this major absence, and
the protagonist's mild 'triumph' consists in
his eventual recognition of this 'fact.' For
Naipaul, the New World persona is capable
only of this wry recognition.
This theory of disorder affects not only
Naipaul's attitude to Caribbean society and
Caribbean man but also his concept of
novelistic form. Correspondingly, in The
Mimic Men there is no solid sense of place
or time. The vividly evoked picture of place
in A House for Mr. Biswas, the frequent
descriptions of houses, of streets, of neigh-
borhoods, of possessions and of people's
solid relationships to them, is given up for a
haziness which is doubly emphasized by
the continual shift in scene between the
metropolis and the New World. Time itself is
deliberately blurred, and the visible
chronology of A House for Mr. Biswas is
replaced by a haphazard time sense. This
absence of flow affects the presentation of
characters they have no progression, are
unable to surprise and represent already
formulated situations, for Naipaul is not
interested in developing relationships be-
tween them. His new theory of disorder
excludes this kind of development. His
preoccupation now is with irremediable
It is this theory of disorder that Naipaul
explores with a new intensity and frenzy in
Guerrillas. On a major level, the novel
seems to be his ultimate statement on the
Caribbean, an omen, it appears, of the
apocalypse that he sees coming. Signifi-
cantly, society in Guerrillas is exhausted
and disintegrating. Landscape is continu-
ally described in images of decay and
desolation and the impression given is of a
simmering collapse: "The land flattened,
the road entered a coconut plantation. And
all at once it seemed to be late afternoon.
The road was narrow, a crust of asphalt and
gravel on the sand. There were so many of
them ... they seemed to be moving criss-
crossing the band of bright sky and the

long, low, muddy breakers, white in the
afternoon light, to which the eye was led
beyond the debris of the coconut planta-
tion: dead palm fronds, brown and shining;
coconut husks in heaps, yellow-green nuts
awaiting collection. It would photograph
well. The camera would get everything,
even the muddy olive colour of the strip of
sea beyond the breakers, even the yellow
froth on the beach. It wouldn't get the de-
solation: the desolation they had driven
through to arrive at this spot, the desolation
of the late afternoon, the idea of darkness

The novel seems his
ultimate statement on the
Caribbean, an omen, it
appears, of the apocalypse
that he sees coming.

and the end of the day, the desolation of the
dim lights soon to come on in the white
washed hutments of the plantation work-
Naipaul had shown a similar obsession
about landscape in The Mimic Men, but
there he had been more concerned about
its wrongness, about the incongruity be-
tween it and the people it held. He had
demonstrated the inhabitants' continual
attempts to deny it and delineated their
fantasies about other landscapes. In Guer-
rillas, his obsession is with dereliction,
urban pollution, exhaustion. The view of
society given here is of a place violated and
worn out, a place that has exhausted all its
possibilities. In The Mimic Men, he had
seen the society's internal disorder against a
stabilizing background of external order, the
colonial order, destroyed in the course of
the novel. In Guerrillas, the colonial order is
replaced by a new kind of American eco-
nomic domination whose values pollute the
island, turn the landscape into a slum and
create a frightening dependency.
In The Mimic Men disorder had been
combated with attempts at order which
failed because they were in themselves a
form of denial. In Guerrillas, dereliction is
not combated; it simply erupts into hysteria
and madness and is manifested in the wild
disordered men, the religious preachers,
the revolutionaries and in the general sup-
pressed hysteria of people's lives on the
island. For Naipaul, the private frenzy of the
religious sects is no different from the hys-
teria of Harry de Tunja's beach party. The
apparent rootedness suggested by the
beach house itself, the easy friendliness that
appear a mark of security and liberation, are
deliberate creations concealing disturbed

personalities. In this novel, even the coolest
and most self-contained character must
create a personality. Behind Meredith's
sharp sensibility for instance, behind his
penetrating understanding of New World
society, is the nervous bullied face of the
frightened schoolboy: "Roche began to see
Meredith's personality, the personality that
had attracted him and seemed so restful -
as a creation. In Meredith's domesticity he
began to see an element of exaggeration
and defiance. He began to detect the strains
behind the personality. In Meredith's capac-
ity to enervate others without appearing to
be touched himself, Roche began to have
intimations of Meredith's own hysteria, of
the rages, deprivations and unappeased
ambition that perhaps lay behind that
domesticity he flaunted."
Against this background of people and
society, the revolution is doomed, because
it cannot bring about change and is itself a
manifestation of suppressed hysteria, a
response to each person's sense of dark-
ness and emptiness. Each revolutionary
grapples with his own vision of the disorder
outside and creates a personality to con-
front it. Jimmy Ahmed's confused motives
show up in the novel he writes, which re-
veals the ambivalence, even the contempt
which he as a half-Chinese has always felt
towards the black people around him. Even
Bryant, minor as he is, is given an insight
into his double role: "...watching the film he
began to grieve for what was denied him:
that future in which he became what he
truly was, not a man with a gun, a big pro-
fession or big talk, but simply himself, and
as himself was loved and re-admitted to the
house and to the people in the house."

A Society in Decay

The historical implications underlining
these delineations are obvious: a man is
what his society makes him. He cannot be
bigger than it. Revolution on the island be-
comes a pose, part of the role created to
confront the larger disorder. And what
makes this view of society and people such
a despairing view is that there is no possibil-
ity of change; the image is of a world lost
Amidst this futility there is no contrasting
vision. On the surface, the larger met-
ropolitan world might appear safe from the
New World's violence, and there is often a
feeling that its two products, Jane and
Roche, can return to its safety after the
novel's action. But the larger world's safety
itself is shown to be the safety of a decaying
world, and although the decay is suggested
from the point of view of Jane's hysterical
vision of the world, her own contradictions
are so exhaustively flayed that in the end it is
possible to separate her explanation of
decay from the author's and to see her own
personality with its innocence, its con-

tradictions and its scattered unrelated
ideas: the debris of a dozen systems picked
up from a dozen men as part of the larger
world's decay: "The sight of an Lcc plague
on a house reminded [Jane] that the people
around her were no longer great, that no
house of today would deserve a plague in
the years to come ... Neither house nor
personalities would be remembered. She
knew that, she felt it... She was alert to every
change of fashion, yet saw the tinsel quality
of most fashions, and in the decor of a
fashionable new restaurant, in the very
newness, she could see hints of the failure
and the shoddiness to come."
This is a view of decay presented from a
flawed point of view, its basis in Jane's own
consciousness of her security, her certain-
ties of class and money: the city is decaying
because it is no longer what it used to be,
and the values Jane sees disintegrating are
the values of her own class which she had
always presumed good and safe. But the
old city is decaying, Naipaul insists, not
because it is not what it used to be, but
because it is not what it ought to be, and
that goes for Jane's own certainties of class
and money as well. This is Naipaul's view,
the view that he finally forces upon both
Jane and Roche as they experience the
New World's greater disorder and imper-
manence. When, after his interview with
Meredith, Roche begins to see through
Meredith's pose, through the poses of all the
other people around and is overcome with
melancholy at the fragility of their world, it is
not from the security of a larger world posi-
tion that he judges these people. For by this
time, it has begun to dawn on him that his
own world is as fragile as this new world.
At his interview with Meredith, Roche is
pushed into recognizing the ambivalence
of his position on the island, forced into
seeing the fraudulence of his support for
the guerrillas. He is goaded into recognizing
the guilt complex that often lurked behind
the larger world's support for people like
Jimmy Ahmed. Finally, he is carried to the
denouement he has avoided all his life; the
realisation that the act of 'political courage'
that had led to his torture in South Africa
and to his role as England's conscience and
Sablich's token liberal, had, after all, been
inspired by a strange sense of physical
shame. He himself was no different then,
from Jimmy Ahmed whose revolutionary
pose conceals his personal fears and
weaknesses, or from Meredith, the poised
analyst who must yet wear a waistband to
hide the bump on his navel. He too was set
adrift like them, a refugee fleeing manipu-
lation, fleeing the dangers which his role as
the 'tortured liberal' exposed him to. The
larger metropolitan world was not safe after
all and could, like this new world, deny a
man his real self.
In the face of this shattering comment on
the two worlds, what can any personal vis-

ion amount to? Strangely, uncharacteristi-
cally, there is no personal vision here: no
vision of a house, no vision of central Asian
horsemen riding to the end of the empty
world. It is as if Naipaul has finally stripped
hirnself of all myth, of all visions of possibil-
All the characters in Guerrillas are
flawed, and no one is left with an untainted
personal vision. In his presentation of
Meredith, Naipaul might appear to be re-
stating the position he held inA House for
Mr Biswas, where the vision of a house had

Each revolutionary
grapples with his own
vision of the disorder
outside and creates a
personality to confront it.

symbolized possibilities of the ideal. For on
the face of it, Meredith's house is like Bis-
was' vision of a house a defiance of the
disorder outside. But from Naipaul's
gradual revelation of Meredith's character,
of the tensions, the fears, the violations that
mar his personality, it becomes clear that
although Meredith himself seems un-
touched by his own vision of an imminent
chaos, the disorder of the outside is a
menacing presence and is right at his door.
His acuteness and his insight may lead to a
correct analysis and diagnosis of his soci-
ety, Naipaul seems to say, but his findings
would be uncreatively applied to his per-
sonal life. The pressures of his society
would demand a role of him, and eventually,
for all his acuteness, he too would become
part of a manipulable crowd.
If, as Naipaul suggests, all endeavour is
futile because society itself is wrong, then of
what use, of what consequence is man's
action? Should he presume to act at all?
The despair generated by this view of soci-
ety which Naipaul imposes on the West
Indies springs from a deterministic view of
history and is suspect. It is suspect because
a careful study of Naipaul's development as
a novelist and thinker would reveal that a
great deal of his judgments on the Carib-
bean are influenced by his own private
philosophy. His protagonist's vision of dis-
order and placelessness in The Mimic Men,
for instance, is not immediately generated
by the New World reality. It is a vision of
disorder which is more a secretion from
within, a generalized vision of disorder
which has become an attitude of mind:
"Certain emotions bridge the years and link
unlikely places. Sometimes by their linking,
the sense of place is destroyed and we are

ourselves alone: the young man, the boy,
the child. The physical world which we yet
continue to prove, is then like a private fab-
rication we have always known."
The emotion that assails Singh here
springs from an acute disillusion not just
with the colonial society of the New World,
but with the world in general. It comes upon
him when he discovers that the larger
world, which had promised so much, can-
not really extend and enrich life: "...the God
of the city was elusive. The tram was filled
with individuals, each man returning to his
own cell. The factories and the warehouses,
whose exterior lights decorated the river
were empty and fraudulent. In the great city,
so solid in its lights...life was two dimen-
sional." Singh discovers, contrary to his
expectations, that no flowering or expan-
sion or self-fulfillment is possible in the city,
and the exile looking for expansion finds
himself offering only simple versions of
himself. The god of the city then is an illu-
sion; its mythology bears no relationship to
the individual's reality either in Mr. Stone
and The Knight's Companion, or in The
Mimic Men. In both novels, what is sys-
tematically dispelled is the protagonists'
easy belief in a correspondence between
their lives and the order of the city; what is
revealed instead is the contrast between the
solidity and permanence of the city and the
weakness and vulnerability of its inhabit-
ants: "...all that was solid and immutable
and enduring about the world, all to which
man linked himself...flattered only to de-
ceive. For all that was not flesh was irrelev-
ant to man, and all that was important was
man's own flesh, his weakness and corrup-
Against this vision of the city, which is in
direct contrast to its myth, even the hope
that the individual could assert himself and
achieve order through creativity is sys-
tematically destroyed. For the fulfillment,
the power that comes with creativity, we are
shown, is corruptible. The moment of con-
ception, Naipaul now says, is the only truth.
Writing (the attempt to communicate, to
assert power) suppresses, distorts, falsifies:
"Nothing that was pure ought to be ex-
posed. And now he saw that in that project
of The Knight's Companion which had
contributed so much to his restlessness,
the only pure moments, the only true mo-
ments, were those he had spent in the study,
writing out of a feeling whose depth he
realized only as he wrote. What he had writ-
ten was a faint and artificial rendering of that
Sensibility, concern, fear these feel-
ings that had generated Mr. Stone's project
- are overshadowed by a feeling of power
which is really a betrayal of the true pure
feelings inspired by his creativity. Mr. Stone
himself is sensitive enough to sense this
and to know that the power he feels will be
temporary and that in the course of his

betrayal, his world had come tumbling
about him, leaving him nothing to which he
could anchor himself. His despair here ex-
tends beyond the mere recognition of be-
trayal and is the despair that comes at the
end of an illusion: "...so much he had seen
before. But ... it was not by creation that
man demonstrated his power and defied
this hostile order, but by destruction. By
damming the river, by destroying the
mountain, by so scarring the face of the
earth that Nature's attempt to reassert her-
self became a mockery."
Mr. Stone is no destroyer and at the end
of the'novel he is a man without hope of
asserting an order, a man at the very end of
desolation, looking forward to a calm which
is really the calm of despair, the emptiness
generated by the knowledge that he cannot
relate to the city's order and cannot create
his own.

Visions of Possibilities

The impersonality of the city is not the only
source of Naipaul's disillusion at this point.
His experience of India; the vision of possi-
bility symbolized by the Himalayas, are
equally disappointing. For Naipaul, the ro-
mance of the Himalayas had also been the
fantasy of his own childhood imagination, a
vision that had yet remained a possibility for
him: "... I felt linked to [the Himalayas]; I
liked speaking the name. India, the

Himalayas: they went together ... The pic-
tures I knew to be wrong; their message was
no message to me; but in that corner of the
mind which continues childlike, their truth
remained a possibility."
This near-mythical vision of possibilities
is a very private vision, a residue in the indi-
vidual consciousness, Mircea Eliade would
say of mythologies which had earlier
been sufficient expressions of traditional
vision but which have either changed or
degenerated with time. In Naipaul's mind,
this residual vision seems to coexist with an
acceptance of loss, a recognition that yes-
terday's mythology may not occupy the
same central position or provide the same
metaphysical explanation of the universe it
might have in traditional society. It is this
recognition of loss that Naipaul impresses
both on himself and his reader, and his
insistence throughout An Area Of Dark-
ness is on an honest re-evaluation and re-
interpretation of myth. His pilgrimage to the
Himalayas then takes on an ambiguous
significance, holding dual possibilities for
fulfillment and failure. It is a pilgrimage to
seek the god of the mountains, a journey
whose very idea fires the imagination, but
whose reality denies fulfillment. For as it
happens, the Himalayas themselves be-
come in Naipaul's imagination, a symbol of
loss loss of certain traditional visions of
the world when myth was more central and
meaningful, an element of civilization.

The flatness that finally comes upon
Naipaul in the Himalayas then, is inspired
by the artist's recognition of loss, of the
degeneration of myth and of the impossi-
bility of fulfillment. It is a recognition which
is sharpened by Naipaul's perception of the
incongruity between the mundaneness of
the pilgrims and the spirituality they seek.
For in their reality, the pilgrims seem so far
removed from the essense of the pilgrim-
age that the possibility of failure is immi-
nent. The god of the mountains is as elusive
to the pilgrims as it has been to Naipaul, yet
as Naipaul is to discover, the loss is not
apparent to the pilgrims themselves, for
whom spirituality consists merely in "the
spirit of the thing." To lose the god, Naipaul
finds, is loss enough, but to lack the com-
plexity to know that one has lost it is much
worse, and this Indian attitude, with its rev-
elation of historylessness and mindless
continuity, is what Naipaul finds separates
him irrevocably from the Indian world. The
quotation from Darwin with which he cap-
tions his experience of India captures the
complex sense of loss which both the
Himalayas and India signify for him: "These
antipodes call to one's mind old recollec-
tions of childish doubt and wonder. Only
the other day I looked forward to this airy
barrier as a definite point in our journey
homewards, but now I find it, and all such
resting-places for the imagination are like
shadows which a man moving onwards
cannot catch."
The mute sense of loss here, the quiet
suggestion that it is possible to dream, that
possibilities for fulfillment exist but that
these may be unattainable these are the
intimations that come on Naipaul in his
experience both of the Himalayas and of
India and, although by the time he leaves
India he is frenziedly aware of his separate-
ness from it, it is ironically his experience of
India that clarifies his own concept of his-
tory and colours his subsequent responses
to the New World.
It is from this personalized philosophy of
loss that Naipaul's protagonists view the
New World in The Mimic Men and in the
later novels. Disassociation and non-
commitment, for instance, appear to be
Singh's private response to a shattered
dream of fulfillment. The New World's
'simplicity,' it appears, is counter-balanced
by a purely personal vision of loss. In
assessing this vision of the New World then,
we should determine to what extent it repre-
sents the ultimate on the West Indies. Is
Singh's choice the ultimate choice for the
West Indian? Would a character looking at
the West Indies, without the extra vision of
the Himalayas or of Central Asian horse-
men, respond like Singh? And what of the
New World's 'simplicity' itself, and the cer-
tainty that it is irremediable? May this view
not be influenced by Naipaul's own shat-
tering sense of loss and by his personal



Kudos 1980

Caribbean Review has once again been
awarded a citation from the Council for the
Advancement and Support of Education
(CASE) recognizing that it is among the top
twenty university magazines in the country.

In addition, the last issue of Caribbean Re-
view (Vol. 9, No. 1), dedicated to the new
Cuban presence in the Caribbean, was
awarded a second place citation in the CASE
competition for special issues.

idiosyncracies as well?
Naipaul's fastidiousness is idiosyncratic
oar excellence. If we should examine his
objections to physical details, for instance,
(objections which he sometimes manipu-
lates to suggest inevitable doom) we would
discover that often they relate to matters of
personal taste and preferences not neces-
sarily irremediable. Here is a description of
the city in Guerrillas: "She had driven
through the city many times and had long
ago ceased to see it. Now, in the excitement
that amounted to stupor, the feeling of a
dissolving world, she found herself catch-
ing at details: the top galleries of old-
fashioned Spanish-style buildings, over-
hanging pavements where ragged beggars
sat vacant beside old women selling
muddy-looking and coloured sweets and
sweepstakes pinned to boards. In this sense
of being transported out of a stable world
into something momentarily unstable, lay
the adventure. She had been half-prepared
for it. What she hadn't been prepared for,
what gave her little twinges of alarm, was
this feeling of a sudden descent into the city
This vision of the city is Jane's vision and
is presented with irony. But the irony is not
directed at her impressions of the city, only
at her illusions, her assumption, until her
sudden descent into the city itself that the
New World is the only unstable world and
that her present feelings of instability are
momentary, an adventure that could be
enjoyed until she could be transported back
into her own stable world. But the physical
details given here, do they necessarily con-
vey instability? Is the feeling of instability not
a peculiarly Naipaulian feeling? It is in-
stances like these that render Naipaul's
certainties about the West Indies question-
able. A writer so fastidious and dis-
criminating cannot give a vision of the
world without showing traces of bias. Such
a writer should be the last one to pronounce
the ultimate doom on the New World or on
any other world, and particularly in relation
to his vision of the West Indies.
Edward Brathwaite's warning should be a
last and fitting comment on Naipaul's
Guerrillas: "We must remember that mod-
els appear at the abstract zone of our spec-
trum/continuum: that if they do not
change, the reality they seek to 'explain'
nevertheless changes around them and
that in the final analysis the model/system
must contain or live with the people... What
we have to keep in mind... is that this social
reality may be as much figment as frag-
ment: results of our apprehension of reality:
that the pessimistic/plantation view of
Caribbean society may very well not be the
last word on Caribbean society."

Nana Wilson-Tagoe researches West Indian
literature at the University of Sussex, England.

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The Book

of the Quiche

Reviewed by Charles Lacombe

Popol Vuh-The Sacred Book of the An-
cient Quiche Maya. (Trans. by Delia Goetz
and Sylvanus G. Morley.) 265 pp. University
of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1972.

The ancient Quiche were a group of Maya
tribes who developed a powerful nation in
the Guatemala highlands beginning about
500 years before Columbus. Their sacred
book, the Popol Vuh, is considered the
greatest literary work that has come down
to us from pre-Columbian America, and we
are indebted to Father Francisco Ximenez,
the 17th century pastor of Santo Tomas in
Chichicastenango for its discovery and first
Father Ximenez was a saintly man, and a
gifted linguist who earned the love and
confidence of the Quiche who were his
parishioners. One of them brought the
book to his attention. It was in the native
language, transcribed in the Spanish al-
phabet, and Ximenez read with amazement
the story of a people who tied their begin-
nings to the creation of the universe, and
recounted the exploits of their gods and
His translation into Spanish lay forgotten
in Guatemala for 150 years until it was
found again in the 1850's and translated
into French by Abbe Charles Etienne de
Because there are quite a few expres-
sions common to the Popol Vuh and the
Old Testament, a controversy exists as to
the extent of the influence of Genesis. We
must consider the element of independent
invention. Man, given the same problem:
What is the origin of all things? And the
same need to know: How does it affect me?
in every culture, in every part of the world,
came up with the same solution-creation
by supernatural divinity, from nothing to the
immediate environment, including himself.
In sonorous and simple words, the Old
Testament begins, "In the beginning, God
created the heavens and earth. Now the
earth was unformed and void, and darkness
was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit
of God hovered over the face of the waters.
And God said, 'let there be light,' and there
was light."
The Popol Vuh begins, "This is the ac-
count of how all was in suspense, all calm,

in silence, all motionless, still, and the ex-
panse of the sky was empty. This is the first
account, the first narrative. There was
neither man nor animal, birds, fishes, crabs,
trees, stones, caves, ravines, grasses, nor
forests. There was only the sky. The surface
of the earth had not appeared. There was
only the calm sea and the great expanse of
the sky."
"There was nothing brought together,
nothing which could make a noise, nor
anything which might move, or tremble or
could make a noise in the sky. There was
nothing standing, only the calm water, the
placid sea, alone and tranquil. Nothing
As in Genesis, the story is told with rever-
ence and beauty, and the English transla-
tion preserves the Maya love of repetition
and rephrasing of the same words, as
though every thought is a nectar to be
tasted again and again. But we must also
consider important differences that attest to
the native origin of the Popol Vuh. For
example, in Genesis, the universe was
created in a specific time period-six days,
followed by a day of rest. The sequence
was: the light, the sky; the sea, land and
vegetation; the sun, moon and stars; the
fishes and birds; and finally, the land ani-
mals and man.
In the Popol Vuh, life begins with the
creator Tepeu-Gucumatz, a dual divinity, in
water, surrounded by light. According to the
Popol Vuh, the light, sky and sea already
existed before creation started. First, the
earth was made. "Like the mist, like a cloud,
and like a cloud of dust was the creation,
when the mountains appeared from the
water, and instantly the mountains grew."
Tepeu-Gucumatz then started the mak-
ing of man in total darkness, without any
sun, moon or stars. This first man was a
disaster. Dirt was good enough to make
Adam, but not the first Quiche. The mud
men were soft, limp, mindless and got
soaked in water. They were broken up and
destroyed. Tepeu-Gucumatz tried again.
This time man was made out of wood. He
could talk, but had no flesh, blood, soul or
mind, and walked on all fours. He too was
destroyed, broken, killed, and to make sure,
finally drowned in a flood. Surprisingly,
there were a few survivors, and their de-




scendants became monkeys, a case of
Darwin in reverse.
There is a pause in creation at this point,
as though the prologue has finished, and
it's time for the play to begin. The curtain
goes up on the adventures of the twin
heroes of the Popol Vuh, Hunapu and
Xbalanque, the Hunter and Little Jaguar.
Like the Archangels Michael and Gabriel in
Milton's Paradise Lost, and Dante and Virgil
in The Divine Comedy, they fight against
satanic enemies of man, pit virtue and clev-
erness against the evil and tortures of hell,
and prove that the Good Guys always
triumph in the end.
First they triumph over a family of giant
nogoodniks. The father 7 Caquix whose
sins are arrogance, avarice and brag-
gadocio, and his sons Zipacna who makes
mountains, and Cabracan who shakes
them. Zipacna was also the killer of 400
boys who were friends of the twins, reason
enough for revenge.
We then come to a flashback of the boy-
hood of the twin's father and uncle, I
Hunapu and 7 Hunapu. Like many charac-
ters in the Popol Vuh, they have the names
of numbered days in the Quiche calendar.
Father and Uncle were great ball players,
and they accepted the invitation of 1 Death
and 7 Death, chief Lords of Xibalba, the
Maya hell, to play a home game with the
Underworld team.

The game never came off, and all the
brothers got for their courtesy was ridicule
and death. They greeted the first men they
saw in Xibalba. How stupid, they were just
wooden dummies. They were asked to be
seated, and the benches turned out to be
hot rocks, and they got burned. They were
put up in the House of Gloom, and the
Lords of Xibalba, their genial hosts, gave
them cigars and lighted them up with Pine
sticks. But there was a Catch 22. They had
to smoke. But the cigars could not burn up,
or else. Well the cigars burned up, and the
brothers were sacrificed. 1 Hunapu's head
was hung in a Calabash tree, and the rest of
him, and all of 7 Hunapu was buried in the
sacrifice section of the ballcourt.
The accommodations in Xibalba were
not Holiday Inns. In fact, they are reminis-
cent of the hotels in Sodom and Gormor-
rah, where long people had their feet cut off
to fit the short beds, and short people were
stretched to fit the long beds.
In addition to the House of Gloom, there
was a House of Cold where guests froze, a
House of Jaguars where they were eaten, a
House of Killer Bats, a House of Knives
where they were stabbed, a House of Fire
where they burned, and many other places
of torture and punishment.
At this point, we come to a charming love
story between members of waring families.
This is a Quiche love affair between Xquic,

daughter of a Lord of Xibalba, and 1
Hunapu who was now literally the head of
his house. The fruit of their romance was
the virgin birth of Hunapu and Xbalanque,
our hero twins. Fruit is also a literal term,
because the head of 1 Hunapu had become
the living fruit of the Calabash tree. Xquic
was fascinated by the story of the live fruit
and went to see it for herself.
The head asked her to hold out her hand,
and then spat on it, saying, "this shall be my
descendants." Thus it was that Xquic be-
came pregnant with the twins, a virgin
The twins grew up largely unwanted and
unloved because of their mother's dis-
grace, and rivalry with their step-brothers, 1
Batz and 1 Chouen, who didn't want to
share their inheritance. Then, just as Jacob
outwitted Esau, Hunapu and Xbalanque
outwitted their step-brothers, who turned
into monkeys.
The drama builds to a climax, with owls,
buzzards, deer, rabbits, rats, mosquitoes,
lice, turtles, ants and hobgoblins joining the
cast for the battle between the Goliaths of
Hell and the two young Davids, armed only
with their blowguns and ball game equip-
Like father and uncle, Hunapu and
Xbalanque are invited to Xibalba by 1 Death
and 7 Death, to play ball. This time the twins
were ready and out for revenge. They ig-



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nored the wooden dummies at the en-
trance, refused to sit on the hot seat, and
survived the houses of horror with clever-
ness and courage.
In the House of Gloom, they didn't light
their cigars, but made a lighter from the red
tail of a macaw and put fireflies on the cigar
ends. Then they went to the ball court, and
the twins drove their ball through the ring
winning the game.
In the House of Knives, they said "Don't
harm us and we'll give you the flesh of ani-
mals to cut." There were more games, and
tie matches. They entered the House of
Cold, but did not freeze because they made
a fire with old logs. They threw bones to the
Jaguars and made it through the night in
that House. They weren't burned in the
House of Fire because the flames were
satisfied with the coals and wood. But, in the
House of Bats, their victory was made bitter
by the death of Hunapu.
The twins had slept in their blowguns and
were safe all night. However, Hunapu
peeked out of his blowgun to see if dawn
had come, and a killer bat cut off his head.
The Lords of Xibalba hung it in the ball
court as a target.
Xbalanque went into immediate action
with a clever plan to steal the head from
right under the noses of the enemy. He
made a model of the head from a turtle, and
under cover of a sky darkened by a buz-
zard's wings, the switch was made. Hunapu
came back to life, and the Lords of Xibalba
lost the next game when Xbalanque hit the
turtle ring with the ball, and it fell in pieces.
Before continuing, we should discuss the
ball game. It was a combination of soccer
and basketball, and was played throughout
pre-Columbian middle America. The Az-
tecs called it Tlachtli, and the Maya, Pok-
a-tok, from the sound of the rubber ball in
play, much as we call ping pong, ping pong.
There was a ring on each side of the
court, and the object of the game was to hit
the ball through or on the ring, without
using the hands. There is hardly an ancient
Maya site without one or more ball courts,
and they are usually located near temples
or pyramids. There is obviously a religious
connection, and in the adventures of the
hero twins in Xibalba, the Popol Vuh pro-
vides a clue in that direction.
Perhaps it was akin to the medieval
European trial by combat. The victory will
go to the pure in heart and the innocent,
and evil will never triumph over good. At
least, that's the way it turned out in the Popol
Vuh, if you were on the Quiche side. The
ball game was used to determine the will of
the gods.
When the Lords of Xibalba decided to
burn the twins, the brothers embraced each
other face to face, and jumped into the fire,
not as a double suicide, but as a planned
resurrection. Though their bones were
ground up and thrown into the river, the

boys came back, handsomer than ever.
Then, disguised as tattered, old entertain-
ers, they set up the Lords for destruction.
After performing dances of the owl,
weasel, armadillo, centipede, and the stilt
dance, they burned houses and restored
them. They cut themselves into bits and
brought each other back to life. 1 Death and
7 Death were delighted with this exhibition
of magic, and begged the twins to do the
same to them. The twins obliged, but
omitted the last act. They didn't revive
The victory was complete and the twins
revealed themselves as sons and avengers
of 1 Hunapu and 7 Hunapu. Instead of kil-
ling the Xibalbans, they took away their
power. No more ball games or sacrifices.
The nobles wouldn't talk to them anymore,
and their only contact was with the lowly
and the sinners.
The Popol Vuh describes their earthly
farewell. "Then they rose up in the midst of
the light, and instantly they were lifted into
the sky. One was given the sun, the other
the moon. Then the arch of heaven and the
face of the earth were lighted. And they
dwelt in heaven. Then the 400 boys whom
Zipacna had killed also ascended, and so
they again became the companions of the
twins, and were changed into stars in the
At this point, the Popol Vuh returns to the
creation of man, Tepeu-Gucumatz have
found a beautiful land, abundant in ears of
yellow and white corn. From this, they
made the flesh, the muscles and the
strength of man. The recipe is quite simple,
First you grind the corn into corn meal, and
then make dough. From this dough, you
make man. If this recipe sounds familiar,
you are quite right. According to the Quiche
Maya, man is just a big tortilla.
This equation of corn and life springs
from an obvious truth, plain to every gener-
ation of Maya for 4000 years or more. Man
owes his life to corn. With it he lives. Without
it he dies. Illustrations in the hieroglyphic
codices show the young corn god at the
mercy of the malevolent forces of nature,
accompanied by the god of death at the
time of drought.
Tepeu-Gucumatz didn't make just one
Adam. They made four of them, and they
became the forefathers of the Quiche
people. Now we come to another difference
with Genesis. Adam and Eve were created
innocent, without knowledge, and they ac-
quired knowledge when they ate of the for-
bidden fruit. The four Adams of the Quiche,
by contrast, were created smart. They knew
everything and saw everything. Their
creator didn't like this, and we read that he
"blew mist into their eyes which clouded
their sight as when a mirror is breathed
upon, and they could see only what was
close, only that was clear to them. In this
way, the wisdom and all the knowledge of


the four men was destroyed.
Their wives were then created, also out of
corn dough, and this was done while the
four husbands-to-be slept. "There were
their women when they awakened, and in-
stantly their hearts were filled with joy."
That's understandable, and as a reminder,
Maya women have been making tortillas
ever since.
So the people of Quiche began. Their
tribes increased and they united with Tol-
tecs from the Valley of Mexico, Olmecs from
the south of Vera Cruz, with the Tamub and
Llocab, and the people of Rabinal, the Cak-
chiquel, and other neighboring tribes in
From the Popol Vuh we learn that the
Quiche tribes traced their beginnings to the
Toltec city of Tulan where they gathered in
the darkness to await the first dawn. If you
will recall, the sun, moon and stars had not
yet been created. Their prayer for dawn is as
moving now, to all of us in this 20th century
of science and space travel, as it was to this
little group of Quiche humanity, huddled in
the dark and damp cold so long ago.
"Oh Thou, Tzacol-Bitol, creator and
maker. Look at us. Hear us. Do not leave us.
Do not forsake us. Give us our descen-
dants, our succession, as long as the sun
shall move and there shall be light. Let it
dawn. Let the day come. Give us many
good roads, flat roads. May the people have
peace, much peace, and may they be
happy. Xpiyacoc-Xmucane, grandmother
of the light, grandmother of the Sun, let
there be dawn and let the light come."
Certainly, to a wandering people, good
flat roads were important, and from here on,
the Popol Vuh tells of the wanderings of the
Quiche tribes from Tulan, east to Yucatan,
and south to the highlands of Guatemala.
Along the way, they adopted the Toltec
feathered serpent deity Quetzalcoatl whom
they called Tohil, and two other deities, Avilix
and Hacavitz.
The Quiche were now a proud nation,
expanding their borders and influence by
warfare, and Part IV of thePopol Vuh is full of
military exploits, battles with neighbors, and
boasts of conquest and manifest destiny.
They carried on a long term war with a
traditional enemy, the tribes of Vuc Amag,
and we are treated to a blow by blow de-
scription of how the Quiche finally con-
quered them and made them vassals to
their growing empire.
First, they tried kidnapping and killing
them as they walked along the road one by
one, or two by two. But this only goaded the
Vuc Amag into a full scale invasion of the
Quiche mountain capital. They vastly out-
numbered the Qhique who tell us they
weren't frightened. They had a few tricks up
their sleeve. They placed wooden soldiers
on the walls at the entrance to their city, and
armed them with shields and arrows taken
from the Vuc Amag that they kidnapped.

Then they put swarms of bees and wasps in
big gourds around the town. When the
enemy was poised to attack, they released
the clouds of insects with swarms of them
attacking every man, stinging their eyes so
they could not fight. The Quiche moved in
with arrows and axes, assisted by their
wives, and the war was over.
The last chapter of the Popol Vuh is de-
voted to the begats, just as in Genesis, and
the lineage of each of the first four men is
given, down to conquest times. All the rul-
ers are named, generation after generation,
fourteen in all. And, just as the Quiche gods
are named in pairs, such as Tepeu-
Gucumatz, Tzakol-Bitol, the Quiche kings
ruled in pairs, two in each generation,
sharing the power. It seemed to work for
Kings Gucumatz and Cotuha of the
fourth generation are called great lords and
wonderful men who began the expansion
of the kingdom, and were loved as well as
feared by their subjects and vassals.
However, Quicab, who ruled with
Cavizimah in the sixth generation, was
hated by the conquered peoples. "If a town
did not bring tribute, the people were en-
slaved, and were tied to trees to be wounded
or killed by arrows."
This is the Quiche talking about them-
selves. The Popol Vuh is very frank about
this behavior, and tells us "in this way came
about the destruction of the towns, which
were instantly razed to the ground. Like a
flash of lightning which strikes and shatters
the rock, so in an instant were the con-
quered people filled with terror."
The Quiche apparently inherited this
military tradition from their Toltec allies,
relatives and friends, and were well on their
way to building a formidable empire of their
own by the time of their conquest in 1524.
Pedro de Alvorado was sent by Cortez to
conquer Guatemala and he did it with ex-
treme cruelty, laying waste to the Quiche
capital of Utatlan, and destroying the
Quiche as a nation. Because Alvorado was
blond, he is called Tonatiuh in the Popol
Vuh, after the sun god of the Toltecs and the
I wonder if Tecum Uman, the Quiche war
chief who fought against Alvorado and is
Guatemala's national hero, ever gave a
battlefield thought to his ancestors who
prayed in the dark for the sun to rise, and
asked their creator for peace. They got not
peace but war throughout their history, and
in the end, it was a Don Tonatiuh, a Spanish
sun god, who destroyed them.
When the sons of the first four men jour-
neyed to Yucatan to visit the land from
which their fathers came, they were given
Toltec picture books by Emperor Nacxit,
also known as the Toltec man-god Quetzal-
coati who was called Kukulcan by the
Yucatecan Maya. These books have disap-
peared, but the stories of creation and the

triumph of good over evil survive on classic
Maya ceramics, and in oral tradition among
the Maya today.
The Popol Vuh is revered by the Quiche
as a bible. But there is little in the way of a
moral code to be found in it. Apparently it
seeks to teach by the example of heroes
rather than dictum. The story of the maiden
Xquic is a noteworthy exception.
Six months after she conceived from the
spittle of the head of 1 Hunapu as it hung in
the Calabash tree, her father noticed her
"My daughter is pregnant, sirs," he told
other Lords of Xibalba.
"Very well," they said, "command her to
tell the truth, and if she refuses, punish her.
Let her be taken far from here and sacrifice
"Whose are the children that you carry,
my daughter?"
"I have no child, my father, for I have not
yet known a youth."
"Very well," he replied, "you are really a
whore." "Take her and sacrifice her," he told
the messengers.
This conversation tells us something
about the Maya. Even the rulers of Hell
frowned on such behavior and punished it
We also learn that they tempered justice
with mercy, because Xquic talked the mes-
sengers out of sacrificing her. They spared
her and brought back a heart shaped from
the red sap of a tree. In this way, an innocent
girl was not punished by death, and the
Quiche insured the continuity of their Popol

Charles Lacombe teaches Pre-Columbian
Civilizations at Florida International University.

Outstanding selection
of North American
and Latin American Art

Painting, Sculpture,
Weaving, Graphics,
Pre Columbian Artifacts


Virginia Miller Galleries
Fine Art and Artifacts--Personal/Corporate
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(305) 444-4493


The Year of the Sergeants
Continued from page 7

returned from the heady socialist ferment of
the Dutch university scene, they spent more
time debating each other than in establish-
ing their credentials among the electorate
at large. Together with the PNR, all went
down to ignominious defeat at the hands
of the NPK and VDP juggernauts. Not
surprisingly, the 1977 results were the
same as in 1973: the NPK won 22 seats to
the VDP's 17.
Again, the lesson that struck most obser-
vers was that, far from being irrational or
"primordial," the Surinamers' voting be-
havior was based on a fairly clear, if depres-
sing, reading of their alternatives.
Suriname's economic condition cannot
yield much good to a great number to
begin with. Alternatives to the measured
development, genteel corruption, and
well-meaning inefficiency of the NPK, or its
VDP counterpart, simply was not expected
to yield more good to a greater number.
With little being changed by the elections,
it was politics as usual. As one journalist put
it, "everyone thinks he holds the balance of

power the NPK members threaten de-
fection if the government doesn't help
them, while the VDPers play the same game
as potential 'converts.' This fragile bal-
ance was made even more precarious, and
the possibilities for heightened political
venality went up, shortly after the elections
when the KTPI broke apart in a leadership
struggle, and two of its three members in
Parliament crossed over to the opposition.
Now the government majority was only
one vote.

In May 1979, an NPS member of Parliament
died. According to a 1955 electoral law,
such vacancies were to be filled by "shadow
candidates" elected in the general elections
rather than through costly by-elections. But
the normally automatic process of swear-
ing in a shadow candidate now became
surprisingly complicated. The VDR insist-
ing that Arron's government had lost its
majority, refused to provide a quorum and

called for new elections. Amid furious
charges and counter-charges about the
rape" of the Constitution, Suriname's gov-
ernment once again came to a painful
standstill. Finally, at the end of August,
Arron acceded to Lachmon's demand for
fresh elections as the necessary price to pay
for VDP approval of the shadow candidate's
credentials and resumption of the Parlia-
ment's operations.
Campaigning for these elections, sched-
uled for March 29, 1980, was just getting
under way when the sergeants derailed the
whole process. Observers felt that
Lachmon's VDP would have been the likely
winner this time around, despite its "spoil
sport" behavior in the shadow candidate
affair. A modest swing of Indonesian voters
from one coalition to the other had proven
decisive in many of Suriname's elections,
and the KTPl's collapse seemed to augur
another such swing. Moreover, given the
consolidation of party lists among the radi-
cal Black-led groups, the NPK could no
longer even count on Black solidarity.
The most peculiar development in the
pre-campaign period was the break-up of
Eddy Bruma's PNR. One group, led by
former parliamentarian Robin Ravales, was
lured by Henk Herrenberg into a coalition
with the VDP This unlikely turnabout appar-


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ently had the blessings of both Jagernath
Lachmon and Eddy Bruma. Not surpris-
ingly, a radical group of young PNR mem-
bers, led by ex-MP and union leader Fred
Derby, balked and entered its own list of
candidates in conjunction with a populist
agrarian party, TALU. Nevertheless, the
PNR-VDP reconciliation seemed to con-
note an end to the worst ethnic and
ideological cleavages in the society.
Surinamers were braced for a change of
government in 1980. But few gave cre-
dence to the talk of revolutionary change
raised in Cyriel Karg's weekly newspaper,
Sonde Spikri. Karg, an indefatigable jour-
nalistic gadfly for two decades, had been
campaigning for Arron's resignation since
founding his own paper early in 1979. The
basis of his indictment: governmental drift,
bureaucratic lethargy, and power surren-
dered to the unions and foreign investors.
Nevertheless, he was worried by the spread
of political unrest and filibustering in the
Eastern Caribbean and warned repeatedly
that the sergeants' lingering grievances
could produce trouble if they were not
promptly and effectively resolved.
To what extent Karg's writings made the
coup a self-fulfilling prophesy is hard to tell.
But the sergeants' thrust into power seems
to be accompanied by the renovating -
even revolutionary spirit of change that
was repeatedly called for in Karg's writing.
Appealing to Surinamers in The Nether-
lands to come home to take part in a new
adventure, the sergeants talked of organiz-
ing a kind of "basic training" for youth that
would produce "real Surinamers" shed of
their European value orientation and ready
to sacrifice for the future. Government
agencies have been embarrassed by the
featherbedding that had gone on in recent
years. Insisting that any bureaucrats seen
on the streets during office hours (7 am to 2

pm) would be fired, the sergeants soon
found that there were not enough desks to
accommodate all the government workers
on the payrolls.
Nevertheless, their military approach to
problem-solving seemed more fitted for
Te'heran than Paramaribo. In a shocking
demonstration of military discipline, the
sergeants televised their corporal punish-
ment of looters arrested during the coup.
Not surprisingly, crime has dropped dra-
matically since then, while other prisoners
in the jails have reportedly volunteered to
work for the government in any develop-
ment projects that it planned.
Other observers, however, wondered if
the looting of the constitution wasn't an
equally punishable crime. If "the boys" (de
jongens) could put forth an effective
interim government as well as a new con-
stitution, perhaps their legacy wouldn't be
so destructive. To assemble such a civilian
cabinet, the sergeants turned to their prin-
cipal civilian advisor, the man who had
helped organize their union and defended
them in court: Eddy Burma.
The civil decorum of Suriname's post-
coup strain for procedural legitimacy has
been reassuring so far. President Johan
Ferrier, far from being a ceremonial chief-
of-staff, has zealously watched over
Bruma's and the sergeants' work in pro-
ducing a stand-in government, exercising
vetos on a number of occasions. All that
remains of the ancien regime, Ferrier is
stubbornly fighting to preserve a commit-
ment to democrative principles. The
sergeants have accordingly reduced their
expected stay in power from four or five
years to one or two. Ferrier reciprocated,
finally, by swearing in the new interim gov-
ernment on March 15. Headed by a medical
doctor, Henk Chin A Sen, the cabinet fea-
tures a mix of young professionals and PNR

Thus, it appears that for some time to
come Ferrier and Chin A Sen will be locked
in a behind-the-scenes struggle with
each other, and with the noncommissioned
"militants" holding the democratic future of
their country hostage. Ferrier's refusal to
disband Parliament produces the addi-
tional problem of subjecting the Chin A Sen
cabinet to an NPK legislative check a
mind-boggling situation. A Latin American
diplomat commented that Suriname's
coup was characterized by "Dutch
efficiency." But more than efficiency
will be needed to restore viable consti-
tutional democracy.
In particular, the precedent of using force
to oust a government must serve to tempt
others along the same path. In early May,
such a counter-coup was attempted, re-
portedly on behalf of the NPK. The leader,
an ex-officer in Suriname's military, was
killed infiltrating an international group of
mercenaries from French Guiana. In the
wake of this incidence, Parliament meekly
approved an Enabling Act yielding decree
powers to the cabinet. Stripped, at least
temporarily, of their constitutional re-
straints, "the boys" and/or their govern-
ment could become increasingly repres-
sive, a possibility that Amnesty International
is already investigating. However, if the new
spirit of renovation can be tapped and re-
tained, while the destructive power of the
military genie is rebarracked under civilian
control, Bruma, Ferrier, and Chin A Sen will
have each made a great contribution.

Edward Dew chairs the Politics Department at
Fairfield University. He recently published The
Difficult Flowering of Surinam: Ethnicity and
Politics in a Plural Society (The Hague:


Recent Books

An informative listing of books about the Caribbean,
Latin America, and their emigrant groups

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology

Levine. Basic Books, 1980. 240 p. $12.95. A
first-person sociology of the life of a Puerto
Rican migrant. By the editor of Caribbean

Barrig. Mosca Azul Editores (Lima, Peru).
1979. 210 p. $7.00.

DOMINGO. Fradique Lizardo Barinas,
Editora Taller (Santo Domingo), 1979.
103 p.

Lagarde. Editorial Letras (Havana, Cuba),
1979. 296 p. $4.95.

Editores (Mexico), 1979. 299 p. $6.60.

L6pez Morales. Playor (Spain), 1979. 200 p.

CUBA. Rogelio Martinez Fure. Editorial Arte
y Literature (Havana, Cuba), 1979. 283 p.

Jaime Castrej6n Diez. EDICOL (Mexico),
1979. 308 p. $8.90.

HUMANA. Jose Luis de Imaz.
Sudamericana (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
1979. 224 p. $7.30. A proposal for better
social integration in Argentina.

Carlos Denton, Ministerio de Cultura (San
Jose, Costa Rica), 1979. 98 p. $8.50.

OF 1978. Gordon K. Lewis. Institute of
Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto
Rico, 1979. $4.00.

Cortadellas. Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientificas (Madrid, Spain),
1979. 344 p. $38.00.

Perazzo, Nelida Kuc, Teresa H. Jove.
Humanitas (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979.
173 p. $8.00.

Argentina), 1979. 359 p. $30.00.

Arosemena. Panama, 1979. 245 p. $12.50.

Estrada. Editorial Universo (Lima, Peru),
1979. 256 p. $10.50.

MACAO A CUBA, 1847-1868. Denise Helly.
SMontreal University Press (Montreal,
Canada), 1979. 345 p. $20.00.

NA BAHIA. Thales de Azevedo. Atica (Sao
Paulo, Brasil), 1979. 179 p. $9.00.
Hector Diaz Polanco, et al. J. Pablos
(Mexico), 1979. 222 p. $7.30.

Pereda Torres. Imp. Sudamerica "Edimsa,"
1979. 360 p. $5.50.

MEXICAN MASKS. Donald Cordry. University of
Texas Press, 1980. 312 p. $39.95.

PSICOSOCIALES. Raul Bejar Navarro.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
1979. 195 p. $5.30.

Edgar Paredes. Ediciones Nueva Sociologia
(Mexico), 1979. 235 p. $4.00.


Tesch. Centro Latinoamericano de Trabajo
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 224 p. $2.30.

Schenkman, 1980. $22.50; $11.50 paper.
The author is a frequent contributor to
Caribbean Review.

AMARU. Atilio Sivirichi Tapia. Editorial
Universe (Lima, Peru), 1979. 218 p. $5.00.

TRADICIONAIS, Lia Freitas Garcia Fukui.
Atica (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979. 256 p.

Anthony E Aveni. University of Texas Press,
1980. 360 p. $25.00. About the role of
astronomy in the lives of the Maya and
other ancient civilizations.

ANTIGUO. Mariana Hidalgo. Editorial Diana
(Mexico), 1979. 117 p. $4.95.


Nicola Siri. Distar (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1979. 117 p. $6.90.

RAVINES. Federico Prieto Cells. Editorial
Andina (Lima, Peru), 1979. 216 p. $9.50.
Biography of a controversial Peruvian

G6mes. Comunicacao (Belo Horizonte,
Brazil), 1979. 262 p. $4.90. Interviews with
33 contemporary Brazilian authors.

ARGENTINIDAD. Aquiles D. Ygobone. Plus
Ultra (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 415
p. $20.20.

Cubana de Filosofia (Exilio). Ediciones
Universal (Miami), 1979. 100 p. $4.95.

SOCIEDAD. Roberto D. Agramonte. Centro


de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad de
Puerto Rico, 1979. 232 p. $9.95.

Oceguera. Costa-Amic (Mexico), 1979. 244
p. $6.60.

Leopoldo Zea. Editorial Diana (Mexico),
1979. 260 p. $5.95.

Description and Travel

Martin. Harper & Row, 1980. $5.95.


ESTRUCTURA. Ricardo San Esteban.
Quipo (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 208
p. $12.10.

Wengel. M. Nijhoff (The Hague,
Netherlands), 1979. 224 p. $19.95.

PERU, 1968-1978. Daniel Schydlowsky,
Juan Wright. Centro de Investigaci6n,
Universidad del Pacifico (Lima, Peru), 1979.
126 p. $7.00.

PASSADO. Mircea Buescu. Apec (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil) 1979. 136 p. $8.70.

Mendez, ed.; Ann M. Gain de Gonzalez,
trans. Central Bank of Chile, 1979. 386 p.

Serafim Cipriano. Rio Grafica Editora (Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979. 189 p. $12.00.
MEXICO. Wouter van Ginneken. Croom
Helm (London, Eng.), 1979. 256 p. $35.95.

HISTORY. Marco Palacios. Cambridge
University Press, 1980.

Jorge R. Serrano, Laurentina Luna.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
1979. 392 p. $6.50.
EDUCATIVA, 1955-1978. Martin Carnoy,
Jorge Wertheim. Nueva Imagen (Mexico),
1979. 240 p. $8.95.

NICARAGUA. Eduardo MontealIgre. Centro
de Estudios Monetarios Latino-americanos
(Mexico), 1979. $14.00.


Cabanellas. Heliasta (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 397 p. $26.00.

LATINA. Oscar Muiioz Goma, ed. 2d rev. ed.
El Cid (Buenos Aires, Argentina),1979. 535
p. $23.00.

Employment Programs for Latin America
and the Caribbean. Holt-Saunders
(Eastbourne, Eng.), 1979. 226 p. $32.50.

Le6n, Hector Le6n. Universidad del Pacifico
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 199 p. $7.00.

1980's. B. Lietaer. Saxon House,
(Farnborough, England), 1979. 304 p.

ARGENTINAS. Ricardo J. Gabrielloni, ed.
Fundaci6n Standard Electric (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 203 p. $28.00.

(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 198 p.

Wheelock Roman 3d rev. ed. Siglo XXI
(Mexico), 1979. 213 p. $10.00. The author
heads Nicaragua's land reform scheme.

Murga, et al. Centro de Historia y
Pensamiento Argentinos, Universidad
National (Tucumhn, Argentina), 1979. 320
p. $16.20.

AND VENEZUELA 1979. S. Longrigg,
managing ed. Graham & Trotman (London,
Eng.), 1979. 650 p. $111.00.

Zenilton Bezerra, ed. Banco de Dados (Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979. $25.00.

ECONOMICAS. Angel Bassols Batalla.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
1979. 625 p. $22.15.

DEVELOPMENT PLAN. Graham & Trotman
(London, Eng.), 1979. 2 vols. $72.15.

MINERIA EN BOLIVIA, 1826-1848. Rosario
Jimenez, Honorio Pinto. Biblioteca Andina
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 130 p. $4.50.

MEXICANO. Luis Pazos. Editorial Diana
(Mexico), 1979. 148 p. $5.95.

DOMINICANOS. Jose G6mez Cerda.
FLACPO Editorial (New York), 1979. 333 p.

Ramirez Heredia. Editorial Diana (Mexico)
1979. 149 p. $5.95.

1963-1976. Henrique Rattner, ed. Simbolo
(Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979. 263 p. $8.70.

Quijandria Salm6n, et al. (Centro de
Estudios para el Desarollo y la
Participaci6n, (Lima, Peru), 1979. 233 p.
$6.80. Papers presented at UNCTAD V.

Gonzalez. Centro De Investigacion,
Universidad del Pacifico (Lima, Peru), 1979.
190 p. $4.00.

SECTOR. George Irvin. Institute of Social
Studies (The Hague, Netherlands), 1979.
215 p. $5.80.

SINDICATOS. Luisa Montuschi. Ediciones
de la Universidad de Buenos Aires
(EUDEBA). 1979. 224 p. $4.10. Labor rela-
tions in Argentina between 1950 and 1965.

LATIN AMERICA. Bela Kadar. C. Hurst &
Co. (London, Eng.), 1979. 240 p. $27.65.

Roberto Cortes Conde. Sudambrica
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 296 p.

ANTOLOGIA. Placido Dias Suarez, ed.
Ediciones Retablo de Papel (Lima, Peru),
1979. 2 vols. $11.00.

IN LATIN AMERICA. Remy Montavon,
Miguel Wionczek, Francis Piquerez. Saxon
House (Farnborough, Eng.), 1979. 113 p.

PERUANA, 1950-1976. Mario Bazan
Gonzalez. Centro de Documentaci6n y
Estudios Sociales (Lima, Peru), 1979.

Emilio Klein, Victor E. Tokman, eds. El Cid
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 518 p.
$23.00. Papers presented at seminars held
in 1976 and 1977 in Caracas and Santiago
de Chile.

Secretariat, Organization of American
States, 1979. 79 p.

IN BRAZIL. A. Xavier, Kluwer (Deventer,


Netherlands), 1979. 120 p. $24.00.

History and Archaeology

EN EL PERU, 1976. Ramiro Matos
Mendieta, ed. Centro de Proyecci6n
Cristiana (Lima, Peru), 1979. 212 p. $8.00.
Papers delivered at a conference organized
by the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San
Marcos in 1976.

LA BATALLA DE LIMA. Guillermo Thorndike.
Editorial Universo (Lima, Peru), 1979. 224
p. $2.30.

CUBANA. Saverio Tuttino. Ediciones Era
(Mexico), 1979. 234 p. $5.50. Originally
published in Italian.

1810-1979. Hugo Leguizamon. Libros de
Hispano-America(Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 261 p. $12.90.

E. Funes. Emece Editores (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 334 p. $12.00. About the
discovery and conquest of Peru.

REVOLUTION. D.A. Brading, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Ortega Saavedra. Editorial Di6genes
(Mexico), 1979. 139 p. $5.95.

Luque. Plus Ultra (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1979. 266 p. $6.90.

URBANO EN BOLIVIA, 1756-1877. Alvaro
Goicochea C. Biblioteca Andina (Lima,
Peru), 1979. 99 p. $3.50.

Manuel Fugarrios. San Jose, Costa
Rica, 1979. 128 p. $6.95. About the capture
of the Chamber of Deputies of Nicaragua
by the Sandinistas in August of 1978.

DEL PACIFICO. Augustin del Castillo.
Marymar (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979.
112 p. $7.10. About Patagonia.

Martinez, ed. Plus Ultra (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 358 p. $12.90.

XXI. Fernando Levaros. Ediciones Rikchay
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 224 p. $3.50.

Coe, Richard A. Diehl. University of Texas
Press, 1980. 2 vols. $80.00.

PAUL KIRCHHOFE Instituto Nacional de

Arquelogia e Historia (Mexico), 1979. 224 p.

DEPENDIENTE. Victor Manuel Durand
Ponte. Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de
Mexico, 1979. 330 p. $11.25.

Lumbreras, et al. Mosca Azul (Lima, Peru),
1979. 263 p. $9.95.

Castor, ed. Editorial Nuestro Tiempo
(Mexico), 1979. $5.55.

1879. Jorge Basadres, et al. Industria
Grafica (Lima, Peru), 1979. Proceedings of
a conference organized by the Centro de
Investigaci6n y Capacitaci6n.

Colombres Marmol. Plus Ultra (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1979. 356 p. $20.20.

MEMORIAS. Jose Francisco Borgen. Dilesa
Editores (Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 213
p. $15.00. About Nicaraguan history.

ESPANOLA. Edmundo Guillen Guill&n.
Editorial Milla Batres (Lima, Peru), 1979.
142 p. $4.00.

VOCACION Y VIDA. Osvaldo Loudet. Emece
Editores (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979.
222 p. $7.70. Historical essays about

Language and Literature

AVELLANEDA. Florinda Alzaga. Ediciones
Universal (Miami), 1979. 125 p. $5.95.

URUGUAY. Julio C. Da Rosa, Juan Justino
Da Rosa. Ediciones de la Plaza
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 247 p. $5.20.

Cassidy, R.B., LePage, eds. Cambridge
University Press, 1980. 584 p. A fully revised
edition of a work first published in 1967.

Adolfo Consentia Umana. Editorial
Universidad de Costa Rica, 1979. 166 p.

FUNCAO HISTORIC. Ad6lia Bezerra de
Meneses Bolle. Vozes (Petr6polis, Brazil),
1979. 117 p. $4.80. About the Brazilian

AMAZONICA. Ciro Alegria. Ediciones
Varona (Lima, Peru). 1979. 176 p. $2.00.

Garcia Enciso. Emece (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 225 p. $7.70. Fictionalized
account of the fight against the Indians in

Y SI NO REGRESARA...? Edwin Castro.
Editorial Texto (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1979.
103 p. $8.50. Poetry by a Nicaraguan
revolutionary written while he was in prison.

Politics and Government

Luis Alberto Sanchez. Mosca Azul (Lima,
Peru), 1978-79. 2 vols. $18.00.

Pease Garcia. DESCO, Centro de Estudios
y Promociones del Desarrollo (Lima, Peru),
1979. 362 p. $6.50. About Peru.

CERO Y VAN DOS. Roger Mendieta Alfaro. Ed.
Tiposa (Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 167 p.
$10.00. About the take-over of the National
Palace in Managua (August 1978) by the

Santos. Campus (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil),
1979. 138 p. $9.00.

Rosas, Jose Alvarez Icaza, Fausto
Hernandez. Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Mexico, 1979. 221 R $2.65.

PRESIDENTE!!! Walter Detrinidad Martinez.
Ediciones 23 de Julio (Managua,
Nicaragua), 1979. 94 p. $10.00. About the
assassination of Anastasio Somoza in 1956.

PODER. Marta Harnecker. Cuba, 1979. 468
p. $7.95.

Vidal Sales. A.TE. (Spain), 1979. 277 p.

Griffiths, Peter Griffiths, eds. Writers and
Readers Publishing Cooperative (London,
Eng.), 1979. 271 p. $17.55; $10.50 paper.


Carmelo Mesa-Largo. Playor (Madrid,
Spain), 1979. 244 p. $6.95.

Suarez. Editorial Grijalbo (Mexico), 1979.
243 p. $9.25. Revelations by the former
Mexican President.

Bricefo. Imprenta Borrase (Managua,
Nicaragua), 1979. 100 p. $10.00. About the
elite troops of the Nicaraguan Guardia

Maria Arair Pinto Paiva. Tempo Brasileiro
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979. 219 p. $10.80.
About local Brazilian politics.

Alfredo M. Serres Guiraldes. Pleamar
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 387 p.

O GOLPE DE 64. Thereza Cesario Alvim, ed.
Civilizagao (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979.
219 p. $9.00.

Moreira Alves. Brasiliense (Sao Paulo,
Brazil), 1979. 268 p. $11.40.

AMERICA LATINA. Felix Laviha, Horacio
Baldomir. Editorial Sucesi6n Martin Bianchi
Altuna (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 165 p.

Gareaga. Editorial Diana (Mexico), 1979.
206 p. $3.95. About Mexico.

JUNTO A SANDINO. Gregorio U. Gilbert.
Universidad Aut6noma de Santo Domingo,
1979. 400 p. $20.00.

Johnson. University of Texas Press, 1980.
336 p. $19.95. More than a hundred years
of hemispheric relations in cartoons.

Balmeceda. Oikos (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 463 p. $22.60.

M. Izard. Tecnos (Madrid, Spain), 1979. 208
p. $10.00.

DINASTIA SOMOZA. Antonio Sanchez,
Mayo. Editorial Diana (Mexico), 1979. 166 p.

Possamay, Ettore Pieri. Editores Mexicanos
Unidos, 1979. 174 p. $10.00.

Francisco Rojas. Nemont (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 189 p. $10.20.

Juan Jose Guiraldes. Circulo de la Fuerza
Area (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 208
p. $14.50.

AMERICANO. Salvador Valencia Carmona.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico.
1979. 151 p.$5.30.

Editorial Los Amigos del Libro (La Paz,
Bolivia), 1979. 171 p. $7.00.

Velez Barcenas. Nicaragua, 1979. 546 p.
$14.95. About the political crisis in
Nicaragua and the assassination of

Trujillo, Litografia Offset Color (Trujillo,
Peru), 1979. 176 p. $2.50. About the
Peruvian uprising in the 1920's.

MENINOS DO BRASIL. Erich Erdstein.
N6rdica (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979. 196
p. $9.00.

Bureau (London, England), 1979. 254 p.

LOS SANDINISTAS. Gabriel Garcia Marquez,
ed. Editorial La Oveja Negra (Bogota,
Colombia), 1979. 288 p. $12.50.

The Center for Puerto Rican
Studies is offering a six-week social
science research institute from June
23 to August 1, 1980. Participants will
engage in intensive study of research
concepts and methods as they relate
to a critical scientific practice and the
study of the Puerto Rican experience.
Seminars will be offered on Critical
Perspectives on Social Science
Theory and Practice, Selected Re-
search Techniques, Migration,
Sociolinguistics, and Cultural
Analysis. Application deadline is

Detrinidad Martinez, ed. 2d ed. Ediciones
Monimbo (Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 208
p. $12.50.

Cesar Escobar Morales. Artes Graficas
(Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 160 p. $12.50.

SANDINO VIVE!!! Enrique Garcia U., Walter
Detrinidad M. Ediciones 23 de Julio
(Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 76 p. $8.50.

Roger Mendieta Alfaro. Editorial Uni6n de
Cardoza (Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 315
p. $15.00.

DE NICARAGUA. J.A. Robleto Siles.
EDUCA (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1979. 194
p. $10.00.


Rosovski. Archivo General de la Naci6n
(Mexico), 1979. 182 p. $6.35.

Ronald Hilton. Scarecrow Press, 1980. 679
p. $29.50. A bibliography of the 11,000 titles
in what is believed to be the largest private
general library on Latin America.

Laguerre. Centre de Recherches Caraibes
(Montreal, Canada), 1979. 50 p. $7.50.

1890-1795. Jean-Pierre Clement. Biblioteca
Nacional, Instituto Nacional de Cultura
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 231 p. $6.00.

Marian Goslinga is the International Affairs
Librarian at Florida International University.

March 1, 1980. The Institute is in-
tended for Doctoral students at the
dissertation stage but other interested
researchers are also encouraged to
apply. For admissions and financial
aid application and more information
regarding the Summer Institute, write
or call:

Centro de Estudios Puertorriquefios
c/o Jose R. Sanchez
445 West 59th Street, Room 1205
New York, New York 10019
(212) 489-5260


Centro de Estudios


Caribbean Library

The American Geographical Society Library

at The University of Wisconsin

By Marguerite C. Subrez-Murias

In the summer of 1978 the entire collection
of the 127-year-old American Geographical
Society Library was relocated at the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the
leadership of William C. Roselle.
The collection contains 600,000 items of
library material and historical treasures in-
sured for 15 million dollars, consisting of
184,000 volumes, 350,000 maps, 33,000
pamphlets, 5,500 atlases, 45,000 photo-
graphs, and 67 rare and special globes.
Among its priceless treasures are found the
map of the world drawn by Giovanni Leardo
some 40 years before the voyages of Col-
umbus, a 1478 edition of Ptolemy's Cos-
mographia on vellum, and Mercator's 1538
double cardioform map of the world. It also
includes sixteenth and seventeenth century
accounts of European exploration in the
New World, and books brought to light by
such well-known early printers as Christ-
opher Plantin.
The American Geographical Society was
founded in 1851 and became known as the
American Geographical and Statistical So-
ciety in 1871. It was modeled after the Royal
Geographical Society in London, and its
function was to aid merchants and explor-
ers in a period of national and international
growth. The Society has changed with the
times, turning from the interests of Arctic
and Antarctic explorations, the American
drive West and African ventures to closer
concerns of urbanization, population and
The now renamed American Geographi-
cal Society Collection at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee contains a research
unit with an extensive research catalogue
divided into five parts: dictionary similar
to the standard library catalogue topical,
regional, map, and author. The cataloging
is done analytically by area, topic, author,
publisher, and cartographer or engraver.
The entries in the card catalogue under
the regional topic of the Caribbean afford a
substantial source of preparatory research
for present-day scholarship. Within the ini-
tial topical region of the West Indies are
found references to prehistoric archaeol-
ogy, the prehistory of the West Indies and
early man in the West Indies. Entries on

history show the Caribbean as Columbus
saw it, land settlements, accounts of the
West Indies, and ultimately, the ties and
independence of the West Indies with re-
spect to the motherlands. On cultural an-
thropology there are entries on West Indian
family structure, West Indian culture, and
special and diverse articles such as the
West Indian hip-roofed cottage and studies
in voodoo and obeah.
Entries in linguistics reflect the diversity
and wealth of the Caribbean, a field still
open to greater research studies. Popula-
tion movements, population growth,
demographic problems of the Caribbean
area, race and stratification in the Carib-
bean, form part of the general sociological
and demographic research papers.
The entries on economics cover the
Caribbean economic development, West
Indian economics based on input-output
studies, soil and land problems, the eco-
nomics of agricultural use and develop-
ment, plantation economics, land tenure,
the sugar industry, and present day con-
cerns such as the food front, development
and welfare, petroleum, and tourism's po-
tential contribution to economic develop-
ment in the Caribbean.
Geology offers a wide range of topics,
including the geological history of the
Caribbean, geological structure of the
Antilles, plate tectonic evolution of the
Caribbean, and the transactions and re-
ports of the Caribbean geological confer-
ences. Papers on climatology include the
standard topic of hurricanes in the West
Indies, forecasting problems in the inter-
tropical convergence zone, reference bib-
liographies on climatology and physi-
cal/chemical oceanography, and
transactions of general conferences on
climatology. The American Geographical
Society Collection, under the general top-
ical region of the Caribbean area, has en-
tries also on tropical and geographical
medicine, on ecology, and on the flora and
fauna of the West Indies.
Maps are not usually catalogued in
American libraries and even the Library of
Congress does not have a completely
catalogued map collection, with only four to

five percent of maps being catalogued. The
AGS Library, however, has 350,000 maps
completely catalogued analytically, includ-
ing those in books and periodicals. Map
cataloging now includes extraterrestrial
cartography as well, such as planet
climatology. Cartography, in its visual data
exposition, can deal with religious geogra-
phy, cultural geography of customs and
folklore, as well as with the physical aspects
usually associated with maps.
The general maps of the West Indies in
the AGS Collection are entered historically
by dates, beginning with the tracks of Col-
umbus's flagships and continuing with the
Caribbean explorations and colonizations,
from 1492 to 1543. The sixteenth and sev-
enteenth century map entries in the Collec-
tion show publishers in Leyden, Antwerp,
and Amsterdam, whereas the eighteenth
century entries indicate mostly London and
a few with publishing houses in Nuremberg,
Paris, and Seville. In the nineteenth century,
the map entries reveal publishing houses in
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and
Washington, as well as Paris, Brussels,
Edinburgh, Berlin and Madrid.
There are curiosities, such as the map of
the West Indies from the edition of Decadas
de orbe nouo, of the Spanish humanist
Pedro Martir de Angleria (1459-1526).
Other maps are of purely historical interest,
as the one of the Caribbean after the treaties
of Utrecht in 1713, Paris in 1763, and Ver-
sailles in 1783. Modern maps range in
interest from a twentieth century interna-
tional expedition to the West Indies to the
quaint map showing the principal feeding
grounds, major nesting beaches and
former nesting beaches of the turtles of the
The Collection serves a world of interests
and beckons the scholar to further re-
search, perhaps to add to the great Collec-
tion the results of his own investigations
and research in the field of Caribbean

Marguerite C. Suirez-Murias teaches
Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-



to Volumes VII and VIII

By Yvon St. Albin

Articles and Reviews,
by Title
Manning. Volume 7, Number 2,
Page 4.
ANOTHER LIFE. John J. Figueroa.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 30.
NEIGHBORS. A.E. Thorndike.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 13.
lan I. Smart. Volume 8, Number
3, Page 34.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 13.
ABUNDANCE. Ram6n Mendoza.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 38.
2000. Aaron Segal. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 4.
Thieme. Volume 8, Number 4,
Page 36.
COLOR. St. George Tucker
Arnold, Jr. Volume 7, Number
3, Page 54.
Coard. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 24.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 4.
CRISIS. Alfred Padula. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 4.
Michael Erisman. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 8.
THEM. William T Vickers.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 50.
SHAME. Marcy Fink. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 34.
Baptist de Caluw. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 3.
Carlos Stoetzer. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 28.
Hudson. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 32.

Alma Harrington Young,
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 38.

Klaus de Albuquerque. Volume
8, Number 4, Page 22.
INDIES. Anthony P Maingot.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 48.
O.R. Dathorne. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 28.

Thieme. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 51.
Neill Macaulay. Volume 7,
Number 3, Page 30.

Julianne Burton. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 33.
Hoch-Smith and Ernesto
Pichardo. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 16.

Ruben Berrios Martinez.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 15.
THE INFORMER. Ren6 Marques.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 24.
Gordon K. Lewis. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 49.

Richard S. Hillman. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 28.

Salvador Calder6n Ramirez.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 4.
Komrad. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 54.
CHAMORRO. Grafton J.
Conliffe and Thomas W Walker.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 46.
Francine J. Daner. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 44.

Ramash Ramsaran. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 41.
Guinness. Volume 8, Number
3, Page 40.

Volume 7, Number 1, Page 32.
RIGHTS. Thomas W. Walker.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 24.

Carlos Alberto Montaner.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 11.
AMERICA. Mark D. Szuchman.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 42.
OCEAN. Virginia Sanchez
Korrol. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 22.
West. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 42.
RESPONSE. Bishwaishwar
Ramsaroop. Volume 8, Number
2, Page 28.
Le6n-Frangois Hoffman.
Volume 8, Number 1, Page 44.

Rosenberg. Volume 7, Number
3, Page 61.
T Antrim. Volume 8, Number 4,
Page 38.
Annemarie de Waal Malefijt.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 43.
Jim6nez de Wagenheim.
Volume 8, Number 1, Page 39.
Terry L. McCoy. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 10.
Garry Hoyt. Volume 8, Number
2, Page 9.
Kohr. Volume 7, Number 3,
Page 16.


Volume 8, Number 2, Page 32.

GUYANA. O.R. Dathorne.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 32.
Anthony Layng. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 36.
BERMUDA. Frank E. Manning.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 18.
Jaime Benitez. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 21.
P Maingot. Volume 7, Number
4, Page 22.
Ungo. Volume 8, Number 2,
Page 22.
IN GUYANA. Cheddi Jagan.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 37.
IN JAMAICA. Edward Seaga.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 27.
Basdeo Panday. Volume 7,
Number 4, Page 31.

LUCUMI. Roberto Nodal.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 20.
SHANGO. Brenda Flanagan.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 26.
GIANT Ram6n Mendoza.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 45.
Levine. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 30.
Farrokh Jhabvala. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 12.
SUGAR HIGH. Jorge I. Dominguez.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 52.
SUMMIT Paul St. Vincent. Volume
7, Number 3, Page 60.
CARIBBEAN. Herbert L. Hiller.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 12.
EL SUPER. Alonso Alegria. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 54.
SUSU. Daniel Levin. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 19.



Ameringer. Volume 8, Number
4, Page 4.
Garcia. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 32.
AMERICA. Jean-Francois Revel.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 13.
Alberto Montaner. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 4.
STORIES. Edilberto Coutinho.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 42.

AMERICA. Thomas W Walker.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 18.
THE US AND CUBA, 1880-1934.
Pedro Montiel. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 51.

Boersner. Volume 8, Number 4,
Page 8.
L6pez. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 16.

Sergio Ramirez. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 24.
WHAT'S A RASTA. Claudia Rogers.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 9.
Pau-Llosa. Volume 7, Number
4, Page 54.

Articles and Reviews,
by Author

Volume 8, Number 2, Page 54.
Thirty Years War Between
Figures and the Somozas.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 4.
ANTRIM, HARRY T Paradise Is In
the Mind. Volume 8, Number 4,
Page 38.
TUCKER. A Celebration of
Caribbean Color. Volume 7,
Number 3, Page 54.

BENITEZ, JAIME. A Response to
Berrios. Volume 8, Number 2,
Page 21.
Independence for Puerto Rico:
The Only Solution. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 15.
Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 8.
They Come. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 33.


SALVADOR. The Last Days of
Sandino. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 4.
America's Economic Family.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 24.
Literary Works of Pedro
Joaquin Chamorro. Volume 7,
Number 4, Page 46.
Brazilian Short Stories. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 42.

Revolution. Volume 7, Number
2, Page 44.
DATHORNE, O.R. The Future of
Tomorrow. Volume 7, Number
1, Page 28.
DATHORNE, O.R. Reflections on
Grandfather From Guyana.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 32.
Future of the Rastafarian
Movement. Volume 8, Number
4, Page 22.
BAPTIST Drama Writing in
Papiamentu. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 33.
High. Volume 7, Number 2,
Page 52.

EYRE, L. ALAN. Quasi-Urban
Melange Settlements. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 32.
Struggle for Third World
Leadership. Volume 8, Number
3, Page 8.

FIGUEROA, JOHN J. Another Life.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 30.
FINK, MARCY. A Dominican
Harvest of Shame. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 34.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 26.

GARCIA, JOSE R. Tomorrow's
Child. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 32.
for Manuel. Volume 8, Number
3, Page 40.

Tourism in the Caribbean.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 12.
Political Leaders. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 28.
Thrown a Stone Today Eshu
Kills a Bird of Yesterday. Volume
7, Number 4, Page 16.
The Originality of the Haitian
Novel. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 44.
HOYT GARRY Puerto Rico: A

Chronicle of American
Carelessness. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 9.
Paradise. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 32.

JAGAN, CHEDDI. The Role of the
Opposition in Guyana. Volume
7, Number 4, Page 37.
Over Cape Horn. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 12.
OLGA. Prelude to Lares.
Volume 8, Number 1, Page 39.

KOHR, LEOPOLD. La Puntilla
Reborn. Volume 7, Number 3,
Page 16.
Novela. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 54.

LA FLAMME, A.G. Black and White
on Green Turtle Cay. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 13.
Among the Caribs. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 36.
LEVIN, DANIEL. Susa. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 19.
LEVINE, BARRY B. Sources of
Ethnic Identity for Latin Florida.
Volume 8, Number 1, Page 30.
West Indies. Volume 7, Number
2, Page 49.
Marcantonio. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 16.

MACAULAY NEILL. Guardians of
the Dynasty. Volume 7, Number
3, Page 30.
Future of the University of the
West Indies. Volume 7, Number
3, Page 48.
of the Opposition in the
Caribbean. Volume 7, Number
4, Page 22.
WAAL. The Passing of Wajang.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 43.
MANNING, FRANK E. Anatomy of
a Riot. Volume 7, Number 2,
Page 4.
MANNING, FRANK E. Religion and
Politics in Bermuda. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 18.
MARQUES, RENE. The Informer.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 24.
MCCOY, TERRY A Primer for US
Policy on Caribbean
Emigration. Volume 8, Number
1, Page 10.
Carnival of Abundance. Volume
7, Number 2, Page 38.
at the Soap Giant. Volume 8,
Number 2, Page 45.

On the Antillian Identity. Volume
7, Number 3, Page 11.
Twenty Years After the Cuban
Revolution. Volume 8, Number
1, Page 4.
Cuba, 1880-1934. Volume 8,
Number 1, Page 51.
Drums of the Lucumi. Volume
7, Number 2, Page 20.

Pending Energy Crisis. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 4.
the Opposition in Trinidad and
Tobago. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 31.
Lam. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 54.
Thrown a Stone Today Eshu
Kills a Bird of Yesterday. Volume
7, Number 4, Page 16.

Sandinistas Want. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 24.
Factor of Tourism. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 41.
The Opposition in Guyana-A
Response. Volume 8, Number
2, Page 28.
Trouble With Latin America.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 13.
Rasta. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 9.
Panamanian Connection.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 61.

the Other Side of the Ocean.
Volume 8, Number 1, Page 22.
SEAGA, EDWARD. The Role of the
Opposition in Jamaica. Volume
7, Number 4, Page 27.
SEGAL, AARON. The Caribbean in
the Year 2000. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 4.
SEGAL, AARON. Cubans in Africa.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 4.
SMART IAN i. Big Rage and Big
Romance. Volume 8, Number
3, Page 34.
of Integration. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 28.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 60.
Balkinization of America.
Volume 7, Number 4, Page 42.

THIEME, JOHN. Catching Mullet
and Chasing Shadows. Volume
8, Number 4, Page 36.



THIEME, JOHN. Gnarled Sour
Grapes. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 51.
THIEME, JOHN. Naipauliana.
Volume 7, Number 1, Page 32.
THORNDIKE, A. E. Belize Among
Her Neighbors. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 13.

the Opposition in El Salvador.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 22.

Development Without Them.
Volume 8, Number 2, Page 50.

Literary Works of Pedro
Joaquin Chamorro. Volume 7,
Number 4, Page 46.
and Human Rights. Volume 7,
Number 3, Page 24.
and Central America. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 18.
Another. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 42.

Ethnic Politics in Belize.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 38.

Books Reviewed,
by Title of Book

ANOTHER LIFE. Derek Walcott.
Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux,
1973. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 30.
PATRIARCH. Gabriel Garcia
Marquez. Harper and Row,
1976. Volume 7, Number 2,
Page 38.

Hagelberg. Antilles Research
Program, Occasional Paper no.
3, 1974. Volume 7, Number 2,
Page 52.
Mittelholzer. Caribbean Writers
Series, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 36.
CUBENA. Cubena (Carlos

Guillermo Wilson). Editorial
Landivar (Guatemala), 1977.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 34.

Anthony L. Hall. Cambridge
University Press, 1978. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 50.

Oscar Lewis, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. University of
Illinois Press, 1977. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 44.
Oscar Lewis, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. University of
Illinois Press, 1977. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 44.
Sir Fred Phillips. Oceana
Publications, 1977. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 49.

Richard Millett. Orbis Books,
1977. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 30.

Figuera. Three Continents
Press, 1976. Volume 7, Number
3, Page 54.

Mario Vargas Llosa. Editorial
Seix Barral, S.A., 1977. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 45.

Cortazar. Translated by Gregory
Rabassa. Pantheon, 1978.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 40.
Edgar Mittelholzer. Heinemann,
London, 1974. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 36.

Oscar Lewis, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. University of
Illinois Press, 1978. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 44.

PANAMA CANAL, 1870-1914.
David McCullough. Simon and
Schuster, 1977. Volume 7,

Number 3, Page 61.
CUBENA. Cubena (Carlos
Guillermo Wilson). Los
Angeles, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 34.
Clarke. General Publishing
Company, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 38.

SEA GRAPES. Derek Walcott.
Farror, Strauss and Giroux,
1976. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 51.
Edgar Mittelholzer. Four Square
Books, 1963. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 36.

CULTURE. Ruben Alves. Harper
and Row, 1972. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 36.
CARIBBEAN. John M. Bryden.
Cambridge University Press,
1973. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 41.

DEVELOPMENT 1880-1934.
Jules Robert Benjamin.
University of Pittsburgh Press,
1977. Volume 8, Number 1,
Page 51.

H. Davis. Cambridge University
Press, 1977. Volume 8, Number
2, Page 50.
TO HIS WORK: VS. Naipaul.
Paul Theroux. Homess
Meier, 1972. Volume 7, Number
1, Page 32.

EDUCATION. Government
Printery, Trinidad and Tobago,
1977. Volume 7, Number 3,
Page 48.
Fouchet. Rizzoli International
Publications, 1978. Volume 7,
Number 4, Page 54.

Books Reviewed,
by Author of Book
ALVES, RUBEN. Tomorrow's Child.
Iriagination, Creativity and the
Rebirth of Culture. Harper and
Row, 1972. Volume 7, Number
1, Page 36.


The Institute of International Relations
University of the West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad, W.I.


International Relations

of the Caribbean

edited by Basil A. Ince
This timely volume treats topics of increasing importance
in the region. All sixteen articles have been written by
nationals of the region, thus presenting an unofficial but
authoritative view of the thoughts of Caribbean scholars
on international issues. Some of the issues treated are:
Nationalization of multinationals; the Economic
Development of the Region; Non-alignment;The Racial
Factor in Caribbean Foreign Policy; The Caribbean and
Latin America and the Caribbean and the Third World.
These topics fall into the four parts of the book, namely,
The Caribbean and the Third World; Political Processes
and Foreign Policy;Metropolitan Ties and Influences; and
Economic Development and Integration.
Contributors to this volume include Vaughan Lewis,
Loxley Edmonson, Maurice Odle, Clive Thomas,
Courtenay Blackman and Jean Crusol.
Order from: Institute of International Relations
University of the West Indies
St. Augustine
Trinidad, W.I.
Price (prepaid) US$17.00 plus US$2.50 for postage.

States and Cuba: Hegemony
and Dependent Development,
1880-1934. University of
Pittsburgh Press, 1977. Volume
8, Number 1, Page 51.
BRYDEN, JOHN M. Tourism and
Development, a Case Study of
the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Cambridge University Press,
1973. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 41.

Minister. General Publishing
Company, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 38.
CORTAZAR, JUUO. A Manual for
Manuel. Translated by Gregory
Rabassa. Pantheon, 1978.
Volume 8, Number 3, Page 40.
WILSON). Cuentos del Negro
Cubena. Editorial Landivar,
Guatemala, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 3, Page 34.
WILSON). Pensamientos del
Negro Cubena. Los Angeles,
1977. Volume 8, Number 3,
Page 34.

DAVIS, SHELTON H. Victims of the
Miracles: Development and the
Indians of Brazil. Cambridge

University Press, 1977. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 50.

Hurts. Three Continents Press,
1976. Volume 7, Number 3,
Page 54.
Lam. Rizzoli International
Publications, 1978. Volume 7,
Number 4, Page 54.

The Autumn of the Patriarch.
Harper and Row, 1976. Volume
7, Number 2, Page 38.
HAGELBERG, G.B. The Caribbean
Sugar Industries: Constraints
and Opportunities. Antilles
Research Program, Occasional
Paper no. 3,1974. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 52.
HALL, ANTHONY L. Drought and
Irrigation in North-East Brazil.
Cambridge University Press,
1978. Volume 8, Number 2,
Page 50.

LEWIS, OSCAR, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. Four Men:
Living the Revolution, An Oral
History of Contemporary Cuba.
University of Illinois Press, 1977.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 44.

LEWIS, OSCAR, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. Four Women:
Living the Revolution, An Oral
History of Contemporary Cuba.
University of Illinois Press, 1977.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 44.
LEWIS, OSCAR, Ruth Lewis and
Susan Rigdon. Neighbors:
Living the Revolution, An Oral
History of Contemporary Cuba.
University of Illinois Press, 1978.
Volume 7, Number 2, Page 44.

Between the Seas: The
Creation of the Panama Canal,
1870-1914. Simon and
Schuster, 1977. Volume 7,
Number 3, Page 61.
The Dynastry: A History of
US-created Guardia Nacional
de Nicaragua and the Somoza
Family. Orbis Books, 1977.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 30.
Corentyne Thunder. Caribbean
Writers Series, 1977. Volume 8,
Number 4, Page 36.
Morning at the Office.
Heinemann, London, 1974.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 36.
Shadows Move Among Them.

Four-Square Books, 1963.
Volume 8, Number 4, Page 36.

the Caribbean: A Study in
Constitutional Change. Oceana
Publications, 1977. Volume 7,
Number 2, Page 49.

White Paper on National
Institute of Higher Education.
Government Printery, 1977.
Volume 7, Number 3, Page 48.

Introduction to His Work.
Homes Meier, 1972. Volume 7,
Number 1, Page 32.

Julia y El Escribidor. Editorial
Seix Barral, S.A, 1977. Volume
8, Number 2, Page 45.

WALCOTT DEREK. Another Life.
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux,
1973. Volume 7, Number 1,
Page 30.
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux,
1976. Volume 7, Number 4,
Page 51.





We are pleased to announce the winner of the first annual Caribbean Review Award, an
annual award to honor an individual who has contributed to the advancement of Caribbean
intellectual life.
The recipient of the award is Gordon K. Lewis.
The breadth and seriousness of Gordon K. Lewis's scholarship articulate the worthiness of his
selection. He is the author of Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean (1963), The
Growth of the Modern West Indies (1968), The Virgin Islands: A Caribbean Lilliput (1972), Notes
on the Puerto Rican Revolution (1974), Slavery, Imperialism and Freedom Essays in
English Radical Thought (1978), Gather With the Saints at the River (1979), and Main
Currents in Caribbean Thought the Historical Evolution of Caribbean Society in its Ideological
Aspects (In Press).
The Award Committee consisted of Lambros Comitas (Chairman), Columbia University, New
York; Orlando Albornoz, Universidad Central, Venezuela; Frank Manning, University of Western
Ontario, Canada; Locksley Edmondson, University of the West Indies, Jamaica; Anthony P.
Maingot, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
Nominations for the second annual Caribbean Review Award to be presented at the Sixth
Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Studies Association in the Virgin Islands, Spring 1980- should
be sent to the Editor, Caribbean Review, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199.
The award recognizes individual effort irrespective of field, ideology, national origin, or place
of residence.

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