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Underground hurricane

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Underground hurricane peasant ideology and sociocultural transformations in two Dominican villages
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Vargas, Manuel, 1950-
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2 v. (xi, 573 leaves) : ill. ; 29 cm.

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Agricultural land ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Crops ( jstor )
Hurricanes ( jstor )
Peasant class ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Savannas ( jstor )
Sorghum ( jstor )
Villages ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Acculturation -- Dominican Republic ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF
Peasantry -- Dominican Republic ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Dominican Republic ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1992.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 547-572).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Manuel Vargas.

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UNDERGROUND HURRICANE: PEASANT IDEOLOGY AND SOCIOCULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN TWO DOMINICAN VILLAGES









By

MANUEL VARGAS


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1992





















Copyright 1992

By

Manuel Vargas
















To my parents, Rafael and Tina Vargas,
my children, Manuel E. and Tania A. Vargas Pereyra,
and my wife, Heike Amelung,
with gratitude and love














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The research on which this dissertation is based was funded by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. The Dominican Ministry of Agriculture provided me with partial financial support during the nearly seven years of training at the University of Florida. The Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida awarded me four teaching assistantships during the 1988-1992 period. I gratefully acknowledge their support.
My fieldwork among Sabaneros and Montafieros was an experience that helped me to become a better human being. I received support from dozens of them in a way I did not expect. In particular, Julio Acosta, Fernando F~Liz, Ladislao Leger, Pericles Mercedes, Manuel David Molina, Cosme P6rez, Rosaura Ramfrez, Ramona Rojas, and Ricardo Rojas provided me with warm friendship and priceless research assistance that made my stay in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah an enjoyable one. I thank all of them for their generosity and teaching and hope this dissertation is not detrimental to their lives.
Over the years I have accumulated a special debt of gratitude with
many friends. In the U.S., Cheryl Danley, Thea deWet, and Carole Noon have always been supportive and generous. In the Dominican Republic, Ins Brioso, Radham6 de Le6n, and Jacqueline P6rez have been the kind of friends one has to be proud of. Domingo Marte and Hip6lito Mejfa deserve credit for two of the major decisions I have made in my life. The former encouraged iv









me to pursue a new career at the University of Florida; the latter appointed me the head of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Deep South. At different moments of my research, Luis Medrano and Geraldo Roghmans generously shared with me their understanding of southern Dominican peasants. Ignacio Caraballo provided me with valuable historical information on the cultivation of peanuts in my area of study. I thank all of them with a deep sense of gratitude.

Neither my training as an anthropologist nor this dissertation would have been possible without the encouragement and intellectual support of my mentor, Professor Anthony Oliver-Smith. What I learned from him ranges from designing a research project to writing and thinking with clarity. From the early stages of my training to the last page of this dissertation he has put in long hours to support my quest for both the consistence of science and the human dimension of intellectual work. For me he is a role model of excellent scholarship. I thank him in particular for letting me follow unconventional paths in this dissertation, without reproach.
Dissertation committee members Drs. Gustavo A. Antonini, Loy Van Crowder, Paul L. Doughty, Art Hansen, and Anthony Oliver-Smith have contributed to my education in an exemplary way. All of them have been highly demanding professors as well as competent advisers. Each has exposed me to new ideas and refreshing ways to explore reality--Dr. Antonini to the significance of geography to anthropology, Dr. Van Crowder to the application of theory in the realm of action, Dr. Doughty to applied anthropology, the anthropology of human rights, peasant studies, research methods, and the ethical dimension of anthropological practice, Dr. Hansen to economic anthropology and the uniqueness of Africa in the world economy, and Dr.

v









Oliver-Smith to the complexity of the interplay of material and ideational constructs, class and ethnicity, and local and global issues. I gratefully thank them for their friendship.
Even though they were not on my dissertation committee, Drs. Ofelia Schutte, Marianne Schmink, and Herndn Vera have provided me with guidance at different moments of my quest--Dr. Schutte in my attempt to use phenomenology in this study, Dr. Schmink for writing my dissertation proposal, and Dr. Vera to enhance my understanding of ideology and hermeneutics. Drs. Robert Lawless and Kent Redford contributed to my understanding of ecological issues. Dr. Allan Burns exposed me to the fields of sociolinguistics and visual anthropology. Special thanks also go to Bill Black for his help in the drawing of most of the illustrations in this dissertation. Pam Smith helped me with her knowledge of acupuncture to keep my emotional balance while writing this study. I thank each of them for their priceless help.
The love and material support I have received from my family go beyond normal limits. My parents, both of them the children of peasants, always encouraged me to read, work hard, and be a decent person. Whatever good is in me is primarily due to their teaching in daily life. My sisters, my brother and their families have been an important source of affection and identity in my life. My son and my daughter have given me a good and beautiful reason to be thankful for being alive. Finally, my deep gratitude to my wife and friend, Heike. She not only had the courage to read the entire dissertation, but also the sensitivity to understand why I have told this story with a concern for affection and aesthetics. During the difficult moments of the writing process, she was present with love, generosity, and emotional vi









support. In the best sense of the word, she is an abitan a persistent dweller who deserves recognition for helping others (me included) to grow in wisdom and love.











TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOW LEDGMENTS .............................................. iv

A BSTRA CT ........................................................... x

CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................... 1

In Search of my Subject: Encountering Myself ...................... 1
The First Discovery and Its Ideological Ramifications .............. 33
Hurricane In(s as a Marker of a New Life ......................... 40
The Deep South, Ideological Distance,
and the Arrival of Sorghum ................................... 43
The Two Villages ............................................ 43
The Arrival of Sorghum ...................................... 46
2 IDEOLOGY, AND SURVIVAL:
BEYOND THE "CAMERA OBSCURA" ........................... 62

Power, Knowledge, Claim, Belief, Utopia,
and Ideology: The Role of Human Agency ...................... 63
The Classical Debate .......................................... 68
The Contemporary Debate .................................... 87
Peasants as Survivors: Dwelling and Abitan
as Ideological Concepts ...................................... 118
D w elling ................................................... 119
A bitan ..................................................... 123
Peasantries, Peasant Ideology, and the Larger Society ............ 130

3 IN SEARCH OF A METHOD ................................... 144

Phenomenology: the Understanding of
Everyday Life and Lived Experience ........................... 145
Fieldwork Experience and Research Strategy ..................... 160

4 TH E CIBAENOS .............................................. 175

The People: El Cibao, La Lfnea, La Sierra ......................... 176
Self-respect ................................................. 185
Fairness .................................................... 189
Com passion-faith ............................................ 192
Involvem ent ................................................ 195

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The Land: Northern Dominican Republic
in the National Context ...................................... 200
Time and Space in the Genesis of Cibaefios ...................... 221

5 THE SURENOS ............................................... 278

The People: South, Deep South, the Frontier ..................... 279
Endurance .................................................. 293
Pleasure .................................................... 296
Suffering ................................................... 301
Belonging .................................................. 305
The Land of the Deep South .................................... 308
Time and Space in the Genesis of Montafieros ................... 321

6 FACING A NEW LIFE TOGETHER .............................. 344

The Encounter: Structure, Power,
Knowledge, and Culture ..................................... 345
Production, Security, and the Begining of a New Life ............. 375

7 SORGHUM, MONEY, AND PEOPLE ............................ 396
Politics, Development, Utopias, and Ideologies
in a New Social Space ... .............................. 397
Becoming Wealthy, Remaining Safe:
Preserving and Abandoning ................................. 423
A New Articulation: State and Local
Institutions in a New Social Space ............................. 455
Looking for Tradition to Cope with Progress:
Ideology at W ork ............................................ 501

8 CONCLUSIONS .............................................. 529


APPENDICES
1 QUESTIONNAIRE 1 .......................................... 537
2 QUESTIONNAIRE 2 .......................................... 545

BIBLIOGRAPH Y ..................................................... 547

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................ 573












Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

UNDERGROUND HURRICANE: PEASANT IDEOLOGY AND
SOCIOCULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN TWO DOMINICAN VILLAGES

By

Manuel Vargas

December, 1992

Chairman: Anthony Oliver-Smith Major Department: Anthropology
This study examines peasant ideology in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, two adjacent Dominican villages whose dwellers have engaged differently with modernization, in spite of having comparable structural constraints. It has four main objectives: 1) to comprehend and interpret the processes responsible for the constitution in time and space of Montafteros and Sabaneros as peasants who use ideology idiosyncratically as a source of security in daily life, rather than as a veil of ignorance, 2) to depict the interrelation of power, structure, culture, utopia, and ideology between the villages and the larger society, 3) to interpret the processes of social differentiation accompanying the changes in production, distribution, and consumption patterns, and 4) to test the adequacy of phenomenology for documenting phenomena that involve recognition, reciprocity, and struggle.
Two significant patterns of behavior are documented through comparison of the processes of adopting hybrid sorghum, the new cash crop promoted by the state, and preserving the long-lived pattern of

x









production primarily devoted to self-consumption. It is depicted how peasants' long-term survival relates to short-time economic gains, and how ideology helps them to make rational decisions. In order to explain the differential engagement with modernization and tradition, three main processes have been compared. First, the similarities and differences in their ethos are contrasted. Second, their access to productive resources is examined. Third, the socioeconomic and political processes responsible for their constitution in time and space are reconstructed. Special attention has been given to ethnicity and peasants' perception of their relationship to "the other," in relation to the phenomena of territorialization, centralization, and regionalization in the republic.

The author argues that Montafieros' and Sabaneros' idiosyncratic conduct depicts their conscious use of ideology in the face of acute modernization and rapid erosion of traditional values. He also argues that ideology is conditioned by how intersubjective experiences are perceived, understood and interpreted by knowledgeable agents in particular spatiotemporal, culture-specific circumstances framed by a system of authority. Finally, it is argued that processes of political economy and social ontology need to be addressed for a holistic understanding of ideology.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The best thing of all would be that farmers should be slaves, not all of the same race and not spirited; for if
they have no spirit they will be very suited for their work, and there will be no danger of their making a
revolution.The next thing is that they should be peasants
or of foreign stock, and of like inferior nature. Some
of them should be slaves of individuals, and employed
on private estates of men of property; the remainder should be the property of the state and employed on
the common land. Aristotle (1943:397-98)

In Search of My Subject: Encountering Myself
On a windy, hot, dry, sunny Caribbean afternoon of 1989, nearly five hundred years since Christopher Columbus bestowed science, belief, power, courage, and personal knowledge on his discovery of Hispaniola, Miguel Ramirez, a Dominican peasant, places his tired left hand on his forehead, holds his hand-made cigar between his dry lips, takes a careful look at the strikingly blue sky, scrutinizes the slow-moving gigantic bulks of refulgent, multiform, white clouds, and claims, his voice indicating both disappointment and despair: "Damn it! There is not even a yellow mark of rain one can grasp" ("Carajo! No hay siquiera una marca amarilla de lluvia que uno pueda agarrar"). It is already late September, and the long-awaited drops of fresh, transparent rain has not sent any clear sign of their increasingly uncertain arrival to drench the hot, thirsty soil. With a bittersweet mixture of anguish, hope, and anxiety, Miguel has been waiting for that sign of rain for three painfully long, distressing weeks. The precious rainwater was desperately needed to plant hybrid sorghum, the new cash crop







2
introduced into the area on a date which Miguel, a man known for his good memory, remembers vividly: "It was Saturday, September 29, 1979," he says with both pride in his alert mind and concern for his decision to plant a crop so highly dependent on the inconstant rain.

To him and the people living in this flat, semi-arid coastal region of the southwestern Dominican frontier, or Deep South, the area where the adjacent villages of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located (see Figure 1), the presence of yellow clouds in the late afternoon means that "The North" ("El Norte"), the trade wind slipping moisture-laden clouds from the north, will likely bring some rain into a region where all agriculture is rainfed. Weary of mending the barbed wire palisade of his farm plot since dawn, his body profusely sweating under the effects of the blazing sun, Miguel goes on to explain to me why he thinks a mistake was made when he and most peasants from Blue Mountain decided ten years earlier to change from a multi-cropping system of production, primarily oriented toward selfconsumption, to a monoculture pattern of production for the market that has made their households highly dependent on cash for food acquisition. In his discourse, nothing is missing. He shows an extraordinary awareness of the economic, nutritional, ecological and moral consequences his decision to plant hybrid sorghum as a monoculture is having on himself, his entire family, and his village. He also expresses his determination not to continue growing sorghum in the future, as well as his desire to return to his traditional agricultural pattern "as soon as the Norte comes in."
Three weeks after our conversation took place, when the Norte had actually brought "good rain" ("lluvia buena," the one not damaging the crops) and the persistent drought was gone, when the good season had unmistakably colored the previously unclear line separating life from death







3
in Blue Mountain, I saw Miguel happily busy in that unique manner peasants have of linking joy with work, spraying his four-hectare plot against the already swarming insects. His plot, which just a few weeks earlier was a deserted site from which ghost-like winds raised waves of reddish dust, suddenly had become a green field packed with short, healthy-looking, new born plants of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). "You know," he says with great conviction, "we peasants have to take whatever comes first. The government provides us with credit to grow sorghum and nobody helps us grow cassava, beans, or sweet potatoes. We also have to flatter those who have the power. We have to dissimulate; that is what we have to do: we are peasants." I wrote in my notebook that day, "Miguel's behavior: precise discourse, ambiguous behavior."
In Green Savannah, just five miles from Miguel's village, Rafael P6rez, a 65-year-old peasant who at age fourteen began practicing slash-and-burn agriculture on the plot he himself had cleared using fire, his then-strong body, a sharp axe, and his restless machete, stands up on his conuco (Taino word for small farm plot). His feet are covered by three inches of red, dry soil. He takes his brown hat off his gray-haired head, concentrates on the roaring sound coming from the agitated nearby Caribbean Sea, and, with a big smile growing on his dark, friendly face, says to his industrious wife Tina: "We can now relax; that is the flood-tide telling us that the rain will come shortly" ("Ya podemos estar tranquilos; ese es el mar de leva dici6ndonos que la lluvia viene pronto"). Passed down through generations of settlers in an area where most present-day dwellers admit being afraid of the sea, the "mar de leva" (raising flood-tide) metaphor ("leva" in Spanish meaning to weigh anchor, "mar" meaning sea) is used to name the liminal stage between








interconnected social and natural phenomena, such as a "good rain" following a steady drought.






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Rafael's hope for the good rain, however, is not related to growing hybrid sorghum on his farm. In contrast to Miguel's decision to plant the new cash crop, Rafael's was to keep on working with his traditional multicropping system of production primarily committed to the production of subsistence goods, taking some products to the market and keeping others for self-consumption. He, a peasant with enough land to profitably grow sorghum and raise his nominal income, has persistently refused to do so for nearly ten years. In his view, "Sorghum brings hunger to people; you have the illusion of making some profit, but what actually happens is that you work just to pay your credit back to the bank. To me growing food for my family and myself is more important than having a few bucks in my pocket. If my family does not eat well, what worth is in having money from the bank, just to feel that you have some bucks in your pockets?"
This narrative1 is based on a comparative and historical study of
peasants' engagement with a state-induced process of social change leading to rapid agricultural modernization and acute social differentiation. The manifold ways dwellers of these two villages (sometimes deliberately, sometimes unintentionally) have become part of such processes, and perceive and interpret them (at times accurately, at others loosely), and cope intentionally with such phenomena (sometimes satisfactorily, sometimes I My usage of a narrative style of exposition is in accord with the phenomenological and historical stances I have adopted in this dissertation. In particular, my choice of a narrative style has been significantly inspired by the work on time, narrative, and history carried out by philosopher David Carr (1986). The epistemological, methodological, and ethical foundations of a history-oriented phenomenology are discussed in Chapter 3. The notion of comparative method I am using here is in accord with Ragin's (1989) attempt to carry out comparative studies paying special attention to histories and identities, as well as overcoming the separation between qualitative and quantitative strategies.







6
defectively), constitute the most immediate empirical evidence on which this dissertation draws. Because of the historical character of this narrative, the data dealing with the constitution of these peasants are equiprimordial with the ethnographic data. It is a cardinal concern of this study to address the highly theoretical issues that the notion of ideology entails. Such a theoretical quest goes hand in hand with our search for cogent answers to the rather practical questions posed by the differential instrumental action of peasants in these two sites, a representative sample of which are Miguel's and Rafael's different comportment toward sorghum cultivation. These two intertwined levels of inquiry are referred here to the current debate on the relationship between political economy and social ontology, culture and structure, the socalled infrastructure and superstructure, individual and society, as well as to other equally relevant theoretical issues. Those related issues are outlined below in this chapter. Although this study looks at sorghum cultivation as the leading event of the general process of modernization in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, it also seeks an interpretation of the preconditions and ramifications of such a process. The bottom line of this holistic and historical perspective is that peasants' ideological engagement with sorghum has taken place in a context broader than a simple attempt to maximize profit, that is illustrated by the praxes of these two peasants from the Deep South.

After witnessing Miguel's and Rafael's idiosyncratic conduct toward sorghum cultivation, a mixed feeling of confusion, ignorance, and curiosity grew up inside of me. There I was, just a few weeks into my fieldwork experience, feeling that I knew nothing about peasant rationality. I did not expect that to happen to me. After all, I was doing research in my own country, speaking in my own native language and, still more relevant, doing so after having spent more than ten years working directly with peasants as







7
an agronomist. Further, I had previously visited Blue Mountain and Green Savannah at least twenty times while working for the government as a developer. The image of the day I visited Blue Mountain by helicopter six years earlier returned to my mind like an embarrassing, disquieting old picture refusing to turn yellow, insisting on showing to me a reminiscence of my own creation. It was as if a chapter of my past experience as a promoter of change did not want to go away, alienated, forgotten, denied by its own actor.
That visit took place nearly three years after sorghum cultivation began. The other occupants of the helicopter were all high-ranking governmental officers who wanted to see for themselves how much good the new cash crop had actually done in the area. The vividness of that image was impossible to ignore, even nearly ten years later. The moment when we saw, below yet not too distant, the moving shadow of the helicopter flying close to the ground, like an independent observer who seeks true facts instead of mere appearances, was unforgettable. Down on the right, like waves of a brown reddish ocean of hope moving toward the multicolored cement houses of Blue Mountain, were the beautiful enclosed fields covered by brownish panicles of sorghum, ready to be harvested; those rounded grains were shortly to become raw material for the cattle and poultry industries, converted into a commodity from which someone, somehow, somewhere was going to make an economic profit larger than the one made by local peasants. On the left, parallel to the unpaved road that divides the town and links the region with the Haitian border scarcely fifty miles away, were hundreds of hungry cattle egrets (Bulbulcus ibis), searching for food like anyone else does during harvest time, indifferent to the noise made by the fully loaded trucks transporting the grain to the nation's capital for manufacturing. The white birds, divided in rather chaotic clusters, their







8
nearly transparent wings stretched out on the air like thin grasping arms, were following the roaring green John Deere mechanical harvester which, like a gigantic coleopterous running on the ground, was speedily cutting the dry panicles, shaking out from them the tiny sorghum grains, and, with the help of just two farm operators, putting the brown grains into sacks, like an assembly factory. Behind this rather fascinating display of technology were three small groups of women, men, and children, bent down like fragile banana trees hit by the high winds so common in this tropical dry forest, picking up the sacks containing sorghum grain being dropped on the ground by the combine. The scene on the ground was a display of industriousness, an affirmation of life in a geographic area whose constitution over time has been marked by so much fatality, war, and destruction.
While faced by the puzzle of my fieldwork, I recalled the comment made by all four occupants of the official helicopter while flying over the sorghum fields that day, feeling genuinely proud of what the government had done to help one of the poorest regions in the Dominican Republic: "Before sorghum," one of us said, receiving approval from the rest, "it was difficult for one to see a vehicle around here; now, it is very different: there is movement, progress. From up here you can see everything going on down there; it is a perfect view." Yet, how perfect was that view really? What was actually occurring in the lives of dwellers like Miguel and Rafael? Plato's (1971:747-749) well-known metaphor in which fettered men, dwelling in underground caves, unable to move their heads and legs, seeing nothing but shadows cast from the fire on the caves' walls end up perceiving the world as just that, a reality peopled by Forms, suddenly became a concrete reality to me. That metaphor, frequently applied to illustrate how knowledge of reality is mediated by our perception of appearances (the shadows or Forms) and how







9
education, by always being incomplete, simultaneously fetters and frees our knowledge of those shadows or Forms, raised the question in my mind: how good was our view of these two villages? How accurately did our perception the day we flew over correspond to the truth in the lives of those dwellers? Our focus upon the flow of loaded trucks, our interest on what was about to be gained by peasants monetarily, as well as our emphasis upon what was being cultivated, done, made, overshadowed what was being progressively eroded, lost, under the effects of modernization and progress.2
Back in those days, my main interest was in the success of sorghum cultivation as an income generator for the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. As a developer, I had not needed to confront the sort of existential doubt I was facing now as an anthropologist. What had changed since I began studying anthropology? How had knowledge altered my vision of the lives of these dwellers I formally saw primarily, if not exclusively, as land cultivators?
That questioning of past and present perspectives and interests helped me internalize the undeniable mutual relationship that exists between knowledge and human interest (Habermas 1971). By this I mean, drawing on Gadamer (1989), Husserl (1989), and Merleau-Ponty (1970), that our comprehension of the world we inhabit is mediated by an engaged


2 In the context of this narrative, modernization is defined as the rapid transformation of peasants' long-lived, labor-intensive system of production into a capital-intensive system of production highly dependent on industrialized inputs (e.g., hybrid seeds, tractors, mechanical harvesters, and chemical fertilizers). The notion of progress is seen as the official claim and local belief in the benefits of modernization for peasant villages and the larger society as well. My argument is that these two closely interwoven phenomena play a central socioeconomic and ideological role in cases such as the one documented here.







10
interrogation of our perceptual field. In other words, interest guides our knowledge and perception of reality, the narrowing and widening of our historical horizon, the understanding of the world beyond pre-thematic appearances. Inasmuch as reflection takes place, it bears an existential mirror helping us visualize the close interrelation of past, present, and future (Schutz 1982). Yet the tinfoil that makes a mirror different from a transparent glass, that which Gasch6 allegorically calls "the tain of the mirror" (1986:6, 238), is mediated by an encounter with others who help us see our own past. Such a reflective act also assisted me in confronting the old philosophical dictum, usually attributed to existentialism, which states that even though each individual might ultimately make his or her own free choices in life, we are ontologically defined with (and by) the mediation of the others. In the context of my fieldwork, peasants such as Miguel and Rafael were "my others." They were the ones holding up my existential mirror, perhaps symbolizing more a bridge leading to an encounter than a weapon to fear.
Neither my research strategy and well-structured hypotheses, nor my anthropological training and previous field experience in the U.S., prevented me from feeling lost in a reality which I, perhaps naively, always thought I belonged to entirely. Feeling inescapably vulnerable and anxious, being interpellated3 by reality in a way never experienced before, I realized that I was an outsider in my own culture. Helping me to counterbalance the deep sense of vulnerability, although not without apprehension, was my


31 am borrowing the term "interpellation" from Althusser. Succinctly, his argument is that interpellation or hailing occurs when the dominant ideology held by the state apparatus "transforms" concrete individual into historical subjects by giving them a role to play within a highly structured situation. (Althusser 1971:174). In Chapter 2 of this dissertation I develop my criticisms of Althusser's view on this issue.







11
conviction that telling the story of what had occurred in this scarcely known comer of a divided Caribbean island was a task worth carrying out. Determined as I was to comprehend and interpret the actions of peasants such as Miguel and Rafael, numerous questions, in addition to my ethical dilemma and ontological interrogation, kept pounding in my head. Why did Rafael not want to grow a crop which, granted good rain, would certainly give him in five months at least four times more cash than the total sum provided by the seven crops he was growing on his traditional conuco? Why did he not want to become an income maximizer in the same way that Miguel, who lived literally next door, had chosen to be? What, besides the reasons he just had told me, could explain Rafael's behavior rationally? How were these two individual responses related to processes taking place over time in the two villages as well as outside their confines?
The concept of ideology has been chosen to document such a complex situation because of the intimate interrelation of ideology, culture, structure, knowledge, and power in human history in general and modern times in particular. Inasmuch as the events upon which this narrative is based are part of processes related to the genesis, consolidation, and mutation of systems, institutions and structures (including the Dominican and Haitian states as well as local peasants organizations), this account is a historical one and it deals with both the institutional and structural spheres of such processes. It also analyzes the significant economic phenomena accompanying the articulation of the peasant economy with the economy at the regional, national, and international levels. Yet this story is primarily focused upon the past and everyday events epitomizing the lived experience of two communities of human beings, women and men, children and adults alike, most of whom make a living as agricultural producers, ranchers, and wage







12
laborers. Some of them are also hunters, fishermen, and gatherers, whereas just a few perform simultaneously all six economic activities. Here, farming and ranching summarized the multiplicity of productive activities carried out by these dwellers.
The lives of Montafieros (dwellers of Blue Mountain) and Sabaneros (dwellers of Green Savannah) have been dramatically changed under the direct and indirect impact of multifaceted processes involving natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes and droughts), induced social change (including relocation, state-sponsored development schemes, and the like), modernization (e.g., new houses, new roads, electricity and other basic services, in addition to agriculture modernization proper), politics (at local, regional, national, and international levels), and the constant exposure to new social relations and images (interregional, rural to urban, and international migration, working off-farm as wage earners,4 and the media) accompanying these and other relevant phenomena. Although isolation has never confined these two villages to their local and regional boundaries, the changes just outlined have broadened and structured in an unprecedented manner their multiple contacts with the larger society, including other countries. Framing the increasing diversification of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are two closely related phenomena, namely the secularization of power and politics, and international migration. Though the details of these two processes will be examined in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, taking


4 Though "proletarianization" is often used to characterize the wage-earning process in the Dominican Republic (see Cassdi 1982; Duarte 1980; Lozano 1985), I think the term is insufficient to cover the complexity of the labor market in the area of study. Locally, most permanent and temporary wage workers either own or possess some land; others are also engaged in independent fishing, hunting, and gathering in common lands.







13
at this juncture a bird's eye view at a couple of their many ramifications will indeed help us understand the larger context in which these two villages are embedded.
First is that the steady secularization of power and politics that has
taken place since 1961, the year marking the end of Rafael L. Trujillo's thirtyyear dictatorship (see CassA 1982; Crassweller 1966; Wiarda 1975), has had major repercussions in the circulation of power (Foucault 1980) throughout the thick and diverse web of social classes, ethnic groups, genders, generations, and regions in the Dominican Republic. Although forbearance is indeed a characteristic of Dominican peasants, to be sure showing a great degree of regional variation, it is far from reality to view them as country folks uninterested in politics. Instead of moving away from politics, Dominican peasants such as the Montafieros and the Sabaneros have become actively involved in local, regional, and national political processes through their enrollment in peasant organizations (see Chalas and Encarnaci6n 1981) and organized political parties as well. Two interconnected dynamics have arisen from this central phenomenon: on the one hand, "the role of mediator" (Firth 1964:63) between the individual and the social structure, which was previously held by males and females based upon their knowledge of traditional norms and values, has been seized by locals and nonlocals who have higher formal education and better access to outside social and monetary capital; on the other hand, the most active and knowledgeable local leaders are increasingly involved more in national politics than in local matters. For instance, two Montafteros who before 1966 were full-time peasants later were elected as legislators (diputados) serving in the country's capital. Of course, as we shall see later, having new mediators placed at the







14
national level is a major advantage peasants have for negotiating with the larger society.
The second structural change, namely international migration, has

been as serious as the previous one has been for traditional local institutions nationwide. Following Trujillo's assassination, the country as a whole, and peasant villages in particular have increasingly looked at international migration as the answer par excellence to their tribulations, fears, expectations, and hopes. Supported directly by the U.S. Government, the migratory trend took a hike after the 1965 civil war5 and has steadily increased ever since. According to Deere et al. (1990:75) as of 1987 the number of legal Dominican immigrants living in the U.S. was close to four-hundred thousand. The economic, cultural, political and ideological ramifications of international migration for the Dominican Republic has been most recently documented by Georges (1990), and Portes and Guarnizo (1990), among others. The general trend of international migration in the country at large, however, takes a unique turn in the case of Green Savannah and Blue Mountain. For instance, nearly 90% of immigrant Sabaneros are women who have made their journey to places as distant as Italy and Holland. By contrast, Montafteros, most of them women, have migrated primarily to neighboring Caribbean islands, Central and South American countries, and, to a lesser degree, New York.



5 On April 24, 1965, a bloody civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic. Although it was mostly concentrated on Santo Domingo, the nation's capital, its repercussions were felt across the entire nation. In addition to military personnel from several Latin American countries, 42,000 U.S. troops carried out the second U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic. The first was in 1916. Dominicans began migrating in large numbers to the U.S. in 1966, after the civil war was over.









Insofar as it deals with the meaning of the foregoing historical

phenomena, this study is an act of historicity based on a human experience involving individuals as well as the larger context in which individual existence is lived (e.g., family, village, class, region, nation, world at large). By historicity I mean the reflection on historical processes such as the ones discussed here, from which critical knowledge is gathered. Succinctly, the notion of ideology is used in this narrative as a guiding concept for the interpretation of human agency in a context of asymmetrical power relations (not restricted to political power), ambiguity (different from ambivalence, equivocation, and mystification), as well as felt uncertainty (usually engendered by culture-specific expectations and desires). It is assumed here that the amalgamation of power, ambiguity, and uncertainty forms a tangible situation that epitomizes the life of most peasants worldwide. For reasons that will become apparent as our discussion unfolds, the objective, subjective, and intersubjective spheres of this story are dealt with as equiprimordial dimensions of a changing whole (a gestalt), rather than as hierarchically structured layers of an objective, fixed, and absolute reality.
Since the contemporary roots of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are intimately united to Columbus's first steps toward the conquer of Hispaniola in 1492, a discussion (albeit brief) of some relevant episodes of that discovery is undertaken at different moments of this study. The irreversible changes brought to the so-called New World by that discovery, and their effects on specific populations who live at different places in our planet, comprise an objective historical fact as well as a symbolic (cultural) background in the changing configuration of the world in which peasants exist. Peasants, sometimes conflicting, other times harmonizing with one another and with the larger society (yet always engaged in intersubjective







16
experiences), inherit, dwell, discover, interpellate, and, frequently paying a high human and ecological price, contribute to shaping and irremediably transforming the very foundations of the so-called New World discovered by Columbus.
To the extent that one's existence is ontic and ontologically mediated by (and with) the presence and actions of the others, this is too a story about myself acting as an agronomist-developer as well as an anthropologist interested in ideology. Rather than a narcissistic portrait of the "anthropologist as hero," my merging into this narrative is an ethically inevitable one for two reasons. First is that, as mentioned earlier, I was directly involved in both the formulation and final implementation in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah of the state-sponsored project consisting of the cultivation of hybrid sorghum for animal feed.6 I did that as an agronomist and developer working for the Dominican Government during a fourteen-year period. Although, as outlined above, agricultural modernization is not the only process that has taken place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, such a shift in production, distribution and consumption patterns has had a significant impact on the dwellers of the two villages. Second is that my fieldwork experience among and with Montafleros and Sabaneros did not leave either my theoretical and epistemological perspectives, or my philosophical and ethical views, unchanged. On the contrary, the multiple acts of reflection accompanying the fear, vulnerability,


6 1 am deliberately using the term "state" in a rather loose way. Conceptually, I make a distinction between the government (e.g., the official administration, and the army) and the state as a series of class-based institutions (e.g., the educational system, and the church) that attempts to control civil society through means not restricted to repression. Unless otherwise specified, in this study both terms are used interchangeably.







17
anxiety, frustration, happiness, human warmth, and solidarity I experienced during my fieldwork had on me an impact no less strong than the one my ideas, values, and actions as an inducer of social change might have had upon the lives of Montafieros and Sabaneros.
I heard about Blue Mountain and Green Savannah for the first time in late September of 1966, when Hurricane In6s' killing winds completely obliterated the two peasant villages. The pictures I saw in the newspapers struck me with all the intensity the images of death can have on the imagination of a 16-year-old boy. Those two names became in my mind synonymous with death and poverty. Yet my real "discovery" of Montafieros and Sabaneros began in August of 1978 when, as a newly appointed and enthusiastic regional director for the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture (henceforth SEA), I was searching for new development projects to be implemented within my jurisdiction.
During my two-year experience as the southern head of SEA, I
witnessed dwellers of these two adjacent villages, peasants like Miguel and Rafael, doing things in rather contrasting manners, and responding differently to the aforementioned state-sponsored new agricultural project. Though it never occurred to me to ask why peasants from the two villages were behaving in such contrasting manners while facing comparable structural constraints (e.g., size and quality of land, and access to labor and credit), I was generally aware of such a unique phenomenon. I knew for certain that there was something beyond my understanding of the dwellers' ideologies when I started seeing peasants from Blue Mountain showing an unusually rapid acceptance of the official claim for modernizing their hitherto mostly subsistence production patterns and giving away a system of production they had preserved for nearly two centuries. Such an eagerness to







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change was not characteristic of the peasants I had met or known of before. However, just fifteen kilometers away there were other Dominican peasants doing everything possible to preserve their not yet modernized conucos. Such a commitment to preserve their habitual production and consumption patterns led most of them, at least for the first years, to resist the adoption of the new cash crop. Why were we seeing two different responses if, on the surface, the structural constraints they were facing appeared so alike?
As an anthropologist, I faced the paradox involved in "discovering"

the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during a fifteen-month fieldwork experience. Ten years earlier, while working as a developer, I was shaken by the puzzle of their praxes aimed at preserving their well-being under the influence of, on the one hand, the beliefs and tradition passed to them by their predecessors, and, on the other, the claim for modernization made by both inside and outside agents. If previously I was curious about Montafteros' and Sabaneros' distinctive praxes, presently I am astonished by the courage, wisdom, imagination, creativity, and trampas (traps) developed by them in coping with modernization and modernity.7
My interest in peasant ideology goes back to my childhood, when for several years I went on vacation to visit an old man who made a living working as a small peasant. I was his grandson, that is, one among the nearly


7 In the context of this dissertation, I define modernity as the presence in everyday life of the symbols, values, and myths inherent to the process of rationalization as well as transformation of space on which modernization is based. For instance, in 1979 the first telephone was installed in Blue Mountain. Likewise, in 1992 the village was provided with a FAX machine. These two electronic means of communication allow Montafteros and Sabaneros to be in contact with locals who have migrated overseas. The transformation of space and time that this conveys is far-reaching. On this, see Berman (1988), Habermas (1990), Harvey (1989), and Lefebvre (1991a).







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twenty grandchildren he had. I never understood my grandfather's reasons for either planting several crops on the same conuco or going daily on horseback for three hours to see how his four rather rickety pigs were doing. Later on, and despite my desire to study philosophy, I ended up as a trained agronomist working among peasants in places far away from my home town. Those Dominican peasants I met were using the resources available to them in a fashion very similar to the way I had seen my grandfather using his. My curiosity about that similarity grew greater each time I saw peasants acting as if they had a secret code of conduct, a set of rules to differentiate shadows from reality, appearances from essences, survival from annihilation.
In addition to the general goals already mentioned, this comparative

study has the following five purposes. First, it is aimed at comprehending and interpreting how ideology in these two villages is conditioned by the ontic and ontological spheres of peasants' existence.8 Here I argue that ideology is not determined by the conventionally called infrastructure, structure, or superstructure as such, but rather it is historically conditioned by the interplay of two mutually corresponding processes: first, the manifold experiences gathered through intentional intersubjective action as both care and concern; second, how those lived experiences are perceived, understood, and interpreted by their actors in particular spatio-temporal, culture-specific circumstances framed by a power structure or system of authority. This distinction I make between care and concern means, in broad terms,


8 Generally defined, ontic (or ontical) refers to the most immediate surroundings (or habitat) of concrete individuals; ontological (or ontologic) refers to the existential meaning as well as the feelings involved in our relation to others (intersubjectivity) beyond instrumentalist attitudes. Hence, rather than transcendental ontology a la Kant, here I am talking about social ontology, in Hegel's terms. More of this in Chapters 2 and 3.







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following Heidegger's (1962:57, 231, and passim) complex ontology, that our everyday interaction with the constituents of our world at a given time and space conveys an interest in the manipulation and instrumental usage of the things available to us as "doers," or concern. It also entails an interest in understanding what each one of us is ontologically, or care. I witnessed peasants in these two villages asking such ontological questions, not only in the face of death and felt vulnerability, but also while feeling pleasure, aesthetic joy, the pride of having a good harvest when almost everybody else had succumbed to a severe drought, as well as when projecting a high economic profit.
Second, an attempt is made here to document the manifold ways

peasants (as individuals as well as members of institutions) become involved with modernization and modernity, engage in manifold relations with emerging and declining structures and institutions of power and knowledge, and cope ideologically with induced social change, using simultaneously their cultural heritage (tradition) and the knowledge gained through new social (intersubjective) relations. Third, this study attempts to document (based on both firsthand ethnographic data and secondary sources) how local, regional, national, and international processes have conditioned over time the constitution of Montafieros and Sabaneros as peasants who use ideology as a positive source of ontic and ontological security. By constitution I mean the myriad historical processes, the objective, subjective and intersubjective experiences through which present-day dwellers of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah became the concrete human beings we now call peasants.
Fourth, this study is an account of some of the interrelated processes, generally characterized as a process of social differentiation, which have accompanied the change in production, distribution, and consumption







21
patterns in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Though limitation of space prevents me from doing a complete examination of women's access to means of production, consumption, and reproduction, as well as the widening generational gap, class structure, and access to consumer goods, in this narrative I discuss such issues in a general form. Finally, an attempt is made here to interpret how ideology functions in the multiple instrumental and communicative events of Montafieros' and Sabaneros' everyday life. The interpretation of speech events in daily discourse (e.g., metaphors, proverbs, and sayings) receives special attention in this study.
My overarching goal is to show ideology as a dynamic and integrative human praxis which, being intentionally enacted, leads peasants to accommodate to a multifaceted social reality, believing in certain claims, doubting and rejecting others, interpellating and contesting here, remaining silent and dissimulating there, yet always trying to survive and stay as peasants, and, if possible, make what their culture-specific projections tell them is a tangible profit (economic, social, and the like). This amounts to saying that rather than seeing ideology as operating in the realm of thought only, I see it as part of a praxis9 embedded in specific ethos, feelings, and emotions.
The aforementioned goals will be achieved through a
multidimensional search for Montafieros' and Sabaneros' flexible, mature,


9 Conceptually, I make a distinction between action and praxis. Whereas the former is usually associated with work (as labor), I see the latter as also including the reflection (not just the cognition) that gives meaning to our intentional engagement with the instrumental and communicative spheres of our engagement with the world. On this, I am drawing on the classical work of Hegel (1977), Marx (1964), Vico (1979), and the most recent contribution of Berstein (1971), and Freire (1982).







22
and authentic engagement (in Sartre's terms, discussed below) with social change as a risky venture. Of course, I am not in accord whatsoever with Theodore Schultz's (1964:144) supply-and-demand model in which traditional farmers (demanders) relate in a rather harmonious way to the private and public agencies (suppliers) who "discover" them. Nor am I saying that the official policy supporting modernization in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah was an evil manipulation to pump blood out of the peasants' bodies. For our purpose here, there is no need to portray the state as an evil seeking to steal the peasants' pure soul. This is not a narrative about good and bad "guys," but rather about two interlaced social institutions (peasantry and the state) whose constitution involves both structures and concrete human beings. To be sure, I have no doubt that the state has been, is, and will continue to be interested in peasants' surplus-product and surplus-labor in order to convert surplus-value into capital gain, to use the language of political economists. Nor do I argue that the technical, financial, and commercial facilities provided by the Dominican Government to Sabaneros and Montafleros was unrelated to the overall official goal to use sorghum as a source of capital accumulation in favor of a class alliance that, in 1978, was newly shaped in the Dominican Republic. However, I am also aware of the fact, and it is an important fact indeed, that Sabaneros and Montafieros became engaged in sorghum cultivation within a broader context not reducible to the production of a grain needed for animal feed. The context in which sorghum cultivation began in these two villages was legitimized by utopian and ideological phenomena not alien to either local peasants themselves or myself. This interplay of ideology and utopia, among other









phenomena, is what makes, in my view, this story worth telling.10

Ideology is characterized in this study as a culture-specific source of

ontic and ontological security (Giddens 1991, discussed below), which, on the one hand, involves claims and beliefs regarding the preservation and transformation of specific structures, institutions and symbols enabling access to material, social, and spiritual resources, and, on the other hand, expresses an intentional form of interpellation of reality as it is perceived, lived, constructed, and experienced by knowledgeable agents at a given point in time and space. I see ideology primarily as a centripetal phenomenon rather than as a disintegrative force. I agree with Paul Ricoeur's (1986, 1991) assertion that ideologies go hand in hand with utopias in the preservation and modification of a structured social reality, as well as in the configuration of meaning. Consequently, in this study ideology is equated with neither illusion nor false consciousness in a pejorative sense. Although later in this chapter I make critical comments on Silverman's tentative definition of peasants, for the time being I make explicit my agreement with her parsimonious characterization of peasants as "persons who are substantially engaged in domestically organized agricultural production within state societies" (1983: 27-28).




10 In 1978 a new democratic president, Antonio Guzmdn F., was elected. A former minister of agriculture during the government whose restoration was the unifying ideology of the 1965 civil war, he became known as "the farmer president" (el presidente agricultor). The slogan of "the shift" (el cambio) used during his presidential campaign functioned as a utopia that cut, at least for a while, across most political and ideological bents. A short-lived consensus was achieved. The secularization of power and politics referred to above took a hike during that period. On this, see Alemdn (1980), CassA (1986), lanni (1986, 1989), Oviedo and Espinal (1986).







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I have chosen a strategy of exposition that will provide us with the historical and conceptual foundations needed to interpret in a holistic form the phenomena taking place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Hence, rather than trying to "nail down" from the onset my ethnographic data dealing with sorghum cultivation as such (at the expense of theoretical, historical, and philosophical considerations), I am approaching theoretical elaboration, historical facts, ethnographic evidence, and philosophical reflection as closely interwoven spheres of our endeavor. I have done so for four main reasons. First, this is a complex case study which needs a relatively extensive number of theoretical definitions and constructs if holism is taken as a central concern. Second, Blue Mountain and Green Savannah have been, since their first steps in written history, part of a larger world that we need to explicitly look at in order to make this study worth pursuing. In concrete terms, instead of taking Montafteros' and Sabaneros' existence as a given, I am interested in understanding how they became constituted as in time and space. Third, the arrival of sorghum cultivation in my area of study has a history that we need to characterize in a careful way in order to avoid reductionism. Finally, I think that for this narrative a regressive-progressive method of exposition (to be discussed in Chapter 3 of this study) is more appropriate than separating theory from concrete data, or utilizing a clear-cut linear method of exposition. It is based on these premises that I have intentionally begun with some "facts," followed by reflective acts, and so forth. I have tried to the best of my abilities not to restrict my quest to what is observable in the two villages, even though the lives of Montafieros and Sabaneros constitute my point of departure and, so to speak, my dwelling location as well.







25
It is neither accident nor dilettantism that explicates my usage here of rather inconclusive notions such as becoming, human agency, ideology, appearance, intersubjectivity, dwelling, perception, experience, structure, and so forth. Instead, what this usage displays is a commitment to a multidimensional and nonreductionist (shall we say holistic?) view of the people whose lives this study refers to. What I mean by this is my commitment to see Montafieros and Sabaneros as people who, notwithstanding the instrumentation involved in husbandry, fishing, hunting, and gathering, are much more than doers, producers, gatherers, or builders of usable, consumable, material objects or products. In other words, hereby I attempt to address the total humanity (actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions) of the people who contributed to make my fieldwork a scientific venture as well as an enlightening human experience. I hold the conviction, significantly shaped by the fieldwork experience, that the otherwise pragmatic action of peasants is sustained by a philosophical interrogation of the objective, subjective, and intersubjective dimensions of their reality. Such a philosophical interrogation, I try to demonstrate here, is not a "subjective" epiphenomenon of a determining "objective" material base; instead, it is an essential ontological sphere in the constitution of a social reality where entities (material and ideational alike) have a manifold of assigned meanings that are contextual (in time and space) as well as changing.
Although in Chapter 3 of this narrative both my research strategy and my view on the specificities of social scientists' interaction with the conventionally called object of study are depicted, a pause is in order at this juncture for purposes of clarification. That all scientific endeavors involve a definition of that which one is going to study, as well as of the theoretical and methodological implications of such a venture, is commonplace and need







26
not be discussed here as a particular problematic. Instead, what calls primarily for our attention at present is that such a definition of categories and constructs becomes controversial, in part, because of it being greatly conditioned by a threefold premise: first, the scientist's commitment to the credo of a specific scientific community, e.g., the stance to validity criteria, verifiability, and testability (Kuhn's notion of paradigm, 1970); second, one's valuation and interpretation of one's own and other people's personal knowledge (Polanyi 1962); finally, and most important for the present study, is the scientist's stance with regard to the notions of intersubjectivity, existence, and experience on the one hand, and, on the other, the importance of the self (ego-subject) in the constitution of the life-world of everyday life, or the pre-thematic world or Lebenswelt (Husserl 1989:48-53, and passim) to which all scientific interpretation ultimately refers.
The way scientists make their object of study parallels how they
demarcate the boundaries and interconnection of the I, the Other, and the We (see Fabian 1983; Marcuse 1987; Mead 1977; Schutz 1982). In other words, epistemological choices are grounded on ethical premises to which the notion of reciprocity (or relationship between a researcher and the customarily called object of study) is crucial. A brief discussion of the intersubjectivity concept as it is employed by different scientists shall help us clarify this problematic. For instance, Popper (1968:44-48; 1989:106-112) characterizes the notion of intersubjectivity as synonymous with the inter-subjective testing of scientific theories among scientists themselves. This he deals with in his discussion of the specificities of objective knowledge, or knowledge of the third world (with its emphasis on "objective contents of thought"), in contrast to both the world of subjects or second world, and the world of physical objects or first world (Popper's terms).







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The interpersonal engagement between scientists and what is being studied (the human subject of social sciences) is missing in this definition of intersubjectivity, even though Popper himself (1989:36) acknowledges that human beings have a self whose existence is not disclosed to us through immediate experience but rather through learning. If I understood his proposition, what he is arguing for is that knowledge of the third world is superior to knowledge of both the world of subjects and the world of physical objects. This assertion has epistemological and methodological ramifications we cannot fully explore at present. Let us, for the moment, restrict our reflection to the concept of intersubjectivity as such. What Popper is arguing, drawing on Descartes's (1972) dualistic philosophy, is not only that in scientific work there is a unsurmountable distance between subject (researcher) and object (what is being studied) during the research process proper; instead, he is saying that such a distance is not shortened even after the research process is completed. To borrow Ricoeur's (1991:201) apt usage of the terms "distanciation" and "belonging" as concomitant moments of the process of understanding, I conclude that Popper's view on this issue is that the scientist's distanciation from her object of study is antithetical to them (scientist and object of study) belonging together to (sharing as common project) a world whose interpellation and interrogation are not exclusive prerogatives for scientists. Assuming this definition of intersubjectivity, I argue, undermines the possibility of solidarity and genuine communication between the researcher and her counterpart. For social scientists this has crucial ramifications, as discussed below in some detail.
In contradistinction to Popper's usage of the concept at hand, we see the notion of intersubjectivity being termed differently by phenomenologists. Husserl (1989:108-110, 163-164, and passim) is credited for having coined this







28
complex concept, which I discuss here in a highly schematic form. Neither the changes his position on this matter underwent nor the more complex ramifications of his transcendental claims are significant for this present examination (see Husserl 1970:89-151; 1975:29, 48, 53, and passim). Instead, our primary interest at present is that Husserl, in his last work (1989), saw what he termed "we-subjectivity" as a concrete possibility for genuine human communication to take place, particularly between scientists (users of philosophy as a rigorous science) and non-scientists. In his characterization of the process of "intersubjective constitution" (1989:168), he saw the disclosure of the totality of human beings intentionally searching for the meaning of the pre-thematic world, or Lebenswelt (roughly characterized as the crystallization of daily life and lived experience, or the common-sense world as it exists before our critical scrutiny of it).
Sharing these views with Dilthey (1991), Husserl called for a return to the "life-world" we take for granted, as a way to surmount the objectivity/subjectivity dichotomous scheme outlined by the many divisions of formal and systematizing sciences. His well-known claim to encountering "things-in-themselves" (not to be equated with physical objects as such, but with the meanings we assign to the concrete entities we relate to in everyday praxis), as part of a scientific endeavor different from mathematical scientific undertakings, illustrates his commitment to comprehend and interpret the ontic and ontological spheres coexisting in the everydayness of human existence. It is in this context that the intersubjectivity concept was used by Husserl in order to overcome the neo-Cartesian separation between subject and object during and after the research process, a separation that his own previous work (1970; 1975) had tacitly supported. His critical view on Galileo-









inspired mathematical sciences is best epitomized by his assertion that "merely fact-minded sciences make merely fact-minded people" (1989:6).

Merleau-Ponty, drawing on, yet moving beyond, Husserl's

transcendental phenomenological claim for overcoming the separation between subject and object, argues for a scientific interest in "the totality of human praxis" (1973:134-135). This, according to Merleau-Ponty, entails interacting with our subject of study bearing in mind a concern with meaning, experience, and existence rather than solely with epistemological considerations. His phenomenological characterization of scientific work is, in my view, more robust that Husserl's. My main reason for arguing this way is Merleau-Ponty's opposition to present in antagonistic terms the methods of social sciences with the ones of exact and natural sciences, as Husserl, in agreement with Dilthey, did so emphatically. In this sphere of scientific work, notwithstanding their differences in others, there is a wide and important agreement between the way Merleau-Ponty and Alfred Schutz (discussed later in this chapter) understood the application of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology to the study of specific problems of social, intersubjective, human reality.
My interpretation of peasant ideology is done in accord with this

ethical-philosophical position explicitly held by phenomenologists. In more concrete terms, my research strategy in this study has been significantly (though nor exclusively) inspired by Merleau-Ponty's and Paul Ricoeur's claim for the understanding and interpretation of human action as part of intersubjective, historical processes involving social imagination, utopia, ideology, institutions, beliefs, and claims, among other phenomena. In addition to my acceptance of phenomenology's core theoretical and epistemological constructs, this narrative is considerably in accord with Henri







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Lefebvre's view on the interpretation of everyday life as well as with his usage of a regressive-progressive method for the study of events similar to the ones this present study refers to. In Chapter 3 1 will undertake a more detailed characterization of phenomenology. I hasten to acknowledge that the scientific and philosophical agreements between phenomenologists and Henri Lefebvre do not correspond to their otherwise rather sharp political differences. Exploring such differences is not my primary concern in this study.
The phenomena we have discussed so far raise further questions of a

theoretical, methodological, historical, and philosophical nature that we need to address as part of the present quest. I attempt to undertake such a complex task in the remainder of this chapter as well as in the next seven chapters of this narrative, according to the following order.
In the remainder of this chapter I carry out a brief reconstruction of
three major historic events that have had great impact on the constitution of Montafteros and Sabaneros namely Columbus's discovery of the so-called New World, the 1966 Hurricane In~s, and the introduction of sorghum cultivation proper. Outlining the first event is important for this study not only because it signified the articulation of Hispaniola with Europe and Africa in socioeconomic and political terms, but also because of its ideological outgrowths. By the same token, Hurricane In6s is the most relevant socionatural event in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in this century. An indication of the relevance of this event is that after 1966 dwellers of the two villages were exposed to the state apparatus in a form they had not experienced hitherto (e.g., subsistent funds, and relocation). Finally, sorghum cultivation represents the most recent massive transformation of the social space inhabited by Montafieros and Sabaneros. With the new cash crop came









profound changes in the previous patterns of production, distribution, consumption, and reproduction. These broad brush strokes shall help us place the current events occurring in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah against the background of those three highly significant historic processes. The reconstruction is done by means of calling into the scenario the names, intentions, and actions of some key actors involved in those historic phenomena. A more careful examination of such processes is undertaken in Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7.
In Chapter 2 1 discuss how the specificities of this study relate to three themes that have raised a new interest in social sciences. First is the debate on the interrelation of human agency, culture, knowledge, power, and social structure. Second is the debate on ideology as a manifestation of resistance, approval, and accommodation aimed at gaining ontic and ontological security within a power structure in general and its concomitant claim for truth in particular. The third theme is the survival of peasants. My discussion of the latter topic will be narrowed by a look at the instrumental and existential meaning of two terms, namely dwelling and habitant as they relate to both Eric Wolf's most recent statement on the survival of peasantry in a changing world and Heidegger's views on human authentic being and intentionality. This chapter concludes with an overview on peasant studies.

Chapter 3 consists of two sections. The first section is a critical overview of phenomenology as a philosophical, epistemological, methodological, and ethical stance in social sciences. The second is a synopsis of my fieldwork experience as it relates to my choice of a research strategy and accompanying methodological instruments.

In Chapters 4 and 5 1 carry out a regressive-progressive characterization of the constitution of Sabaneros and Montafleros as in time and space.







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Whereas the former chapter traces the genesis of Cibaefios (people from El Cibao, the geographic area most Sabaneros came from) as dwellers of a social space represented by the conterminous geographic regions of El Cibao, La Linea, and La Sierra, the latter looks at the genealogy (or historical constitution) of Surefios (Southerners) as the dwellers of the Deep South, the area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located. By the same token, these two chapters describe the major structural, subjective, and intersubjective preconditions for the encounter of Montafieros and Sabaneros in their current southern location.

Chapter 6 is a brief reconstruction of some central events in the lives of Cibaeftos and Sureflos, particularly during the 1958-1978 period. It was during that period that Montafieros and Sabaneros witnessed the arrival of cotton and peanut cultivation to the Deep South, the fall of Trujillo's dictatorship in 1961, the 1965 civil war, Hurricane In6s and relocation, the implementation of a new development strategy in the nation at large (period 1966-1978), as well as the rebirth of a new utopia in 1978.
In Chapter 7 1 undertake an in-depth examination of sorghum

cultivation as it relates to other major socioeconomic, political and cultural processes taking place nationwide as well as locally. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data, I attempt to illustrate how, and with what consequences, peasants from the two villages accepted or rejected the new cash crop, as well as their conduct toward the preservation or abandonment of their long-lived system of production. That chapter concludes with a schematic description of how ideology is acted out in daily life by Montafleros and Sabaneros.
Finally, Chapter 8 summarizes the argument I am developing

throughout this narrative against the background provided by the findings







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discussed herein as well as the contributions of other social scientists on this subject matter. In this concluding chapter I also outline some of the myriad questions that I have been unable to answer in the previous chapters.
Even though I have written this dissertation as a totality, meaning that all chapters are closely interwoven by an interplay of theoretical argumentation and interpretation of historic and ethnographic evidence, the reader who is primarily interested in sorghum cultivation as such need to read only Chapters 1, 6, and 7.
The First Discovery and Its Ideological Ramifications
The discovery of Hispaniola in 1492 unveiled a new reality, changing the meaning of old symbols and entities, assigning new names to the objects hitherto defining the world of common sense. Brutal as it was, the unveiling of that new reality confronted more than contrasting impersonal structures; it also revealed the hopes and fears of the human beings participating in that dramatic, apocalyptic experience. The cultural meaning each one of the Taino and Spanish material and symbolic items had in its own cultural context was changed by the impact of the conquest. The taken-for-granted common sense judgement of each culture, the values, meanings, and constructs of everyday life, the suspended doubt of quotidian existence (Schutz 1982:229), were suddenly modified by the abrupt presence of "the other." The interconnection between signifiers and signified, usually conceived by structuralists as a process taking place in isolation, was, at that time mediated by a rapidly changing context, new perceptual configurations, and new meanings constructed by the display of power, magic, and new symbols. Signification was no longer a close circle, but rather an open experience in which the limits between outside and inside turned to be both ambiguous and violent. New







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claims, beliefs and doubts arose alongside that forceful intersubjective process we now call the conquest.

Encouraged by the success of his first trip, driven by his revived

conviction that Spain was the natural owner of the new territories and their inhabitants alike, Columbus sailed once again from Spain on September 25, 1493. On that second trip, now supported by the glory and fame of his discoveries, he carried with him not only a royal mandate to discover new lands. With him was also a new perception of reality as well as the determination to dominate the new continent in conformity with Spain's ruling norms and interests. Calling the discovered lands New World was a metaphorical form of expressing that a new reality had been invented. To be sure, that "social construction of reality" (Berger and Luckman 1989) was more than a symbolic act. In fact, it was also on that same trip that the Admiral brought to Hispaniola cattle, sugar cane, as well as the decision to extract gold even at the expense of the Tainos' well-being (Bosch 1988; Leyburn 1966; Moya Pons 1984). Those three new items (cattle, sugar cane, and gold), together with the ideas and values leading to their transformation into commodities, were there to irremediably change the world. As we will see in this and subsequent chapters, even today we see their influence in the lives of Montafteros and Sabaneros.
The concrete force and quasi-magical powers displayed by Columbus

and his soldiers during their first trip to Hispaniola did not pass unnoticed to the five Taino chiefs ruling the largest Caribbean island after Colba (Cuba's original name). The Tainos' perception of the world as well as their behavior had also changed as a result of the first encounter. The corps of Spanish sailors found by Columbus upon returning to northern Hispaniola on his second voyage, the ambiguous explanation given to him by Goacanagarf, the







35
chief of Marien (see Figure 2) regarding the destruction of the La Navidad fort and the killing of the Spaniards, and Columbus's response to those events, constituted what, in my view, was one of the first explicit Taino and Spanish ideological responses to the configuration of a new power structure in the western hemisphere. The picture of that event is worth recalling, albeit briefly, in order to illustrate how ideology was set to work in the context of that historic encounter between the two cultures represented by Columbus and chief Goacanagari.
The two big men (Columbus and the Taino chief) had met earlier in December of 1492, during the first Christmas feast held in the New World. Gold, beautiful parrots (a symbol of high status for Tainos, according to Wilson 1990), cotton, and food of all kinds were given away by Tainos to the Spaniards as a gesture of friendship, reverence, respect, curiosity, and social exchange. Taino rulers also received gifts from the Spaniards, as part of that mutual recognition between two structured civilizations. Many of Goacanagari's subjects, fascinated by the brass bells brought by the Spaniards, were "so eager for hawks' bells that they stood up, showing bits of gold and shouting 'Chugue! chugue! to imitate the sound of the little tinkly bells which they were mad to posses" (Morison 1970:303). The suspiciousness and the strange atmosphere framing that unprecedented encounter notwithstanding, it was rather clear from the Taino viewpoint that a powerful force, a great dignitary, had landed in their territory. From the Spaniards' perspective, on the other hand, the conviction of who the rulers were was out of question; by God's will, they might have thought, Spain was the indisputable possessor of the new invention.

Such a rather clear-cut picture was not the same one the two cultures looked at in 1493, the second time these two men met. On the one hand,

































Source: Adapted from Moya Pons (1984:608)


Figure 2. Chiefdoms of Hispaniola, 1492.







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Columbus, upset as he might had been by the killing of his sailors, did not deploy his military force to punish the Tainos; instead, acknowledging the political significance of Goacanagari to his long-term project of domination on an already fragmented island,11 afraid as he was of the bad weather prevailing in the area at that moment, Columbus negotiated with the chief. On the other hand, Goacanagari, perhaps afraid of Columbus's retaliation, did not come to meet him as he had done during the first visit by the conquistadores; he excused himself by claiming that he was wounded. What is more relevance for our interpretation of that ideological accommodation is revealed by Doctor Chanca, the physician accompanying Columbus on that trip, and who tried to cure Goacanagari. In effect, he left an important written testimony which illustrates how ideology might have worked under those circumstances. He wrote: 'When the wound [Goacanagarf's] was uncovered, we went up to examine it. It is certain that there was no more wound on that leg than on the other, although he cunningly pretended that it pained him much. Ignorant as we were of the facts, it was impossible to come to a definite conclusion" (cf. Columbus 1961:55-57; my stress). It is based on that act of mutual (forceful) accommodation, the interplay of claims and beliefs about truth, as well as by the ambiguity and uncertainty shown in this instance, that I label the negotiation taking place on that day as one of the first known ideologically-based acts of people from the New World.


11 Caonabo, chief of the Maguana, the chiefdom where gold was abundant (see Figure 2), took arms against the sailors left behind by Columbus at La Navidad fort. His declaration of war was in response to the bad treatment given to his subjects by the Spaniards who were after gold and women. In what marked the first political division in post-discovery Hispaniola, chief Goacanagari did not follow Caonabo's path of overt resistance; instead, he collaborated with Columbus against the former.







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As the foregoing event illustrates, objects, phenomena, processes, are seeing through the lenses of a cultural construction; they are part of a common sense act of perception. As important as it might be to understand how those objects, phenomena, and processes appear to the dwellers of the life-world of daily life, the biggest challenge facing social scientists engaged in interpreting social reality is to describe the constitution, the coming into being, the arising (Merleau-Ponty 1973) of such constituents of the world in which we live. Appearances and essences are mutually constituted through a manifold of intersubjective experiences. Even though they are taken for granted in the habitual behavior accompanying our common sense judgments, appearances are not pre-given: they are unveiled by perceptual configurations (Merleau-Ponty 1963). It is in relation with others that the process of constitution occurs. The appearances perceived in such a constitutive process, as Hegel (1990:479-480) aptly said, are essential to the very existence of our reality, of our actuality. Such a phenomenological interpretation of human reality (actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions), is applicable to the interpretation of historic events in the former Taino society as well as the ones taking place in present-day Blue Mountain and Green Savannah.
For those who view human action as primarily determined by its
material conditions, the fact that Tainos and Spaniards behaved differently when dealing with natural, metaphysical, and human forces is a rather unproblematic, and even trivial, observation. Carrying this argument to its farthest materialist extreme, what those two human groups acted out five centuries ago ought to be seen as the logical and unequivocal manifestation of each group's objective material reality, its degree of technological and socioeconomic development being the prime determining factors.









Taking reality as an objective given, highlighting its materiality,

stressing the physical-biological determinants of human nature, dissecting the contours and hypostases of the structures framing human action, seem the proper scientific positions in our technological times. Such a stand has been taken to explain not only the reason why natural and social phenomena looked differently to Spaniards and Tainos before and in the aftermath of the conquest. This ethical objectivist attitude, with its emphasis on correlating objective facts with theoretical maneuvers (Habermas 1971:307), has also been used for the examination of current events whose roots may be traced back to the day Columbus first landed in Hispaniola. Such an attitude toward the analysis of people's perception of reality has united social scientists who otherwise adopt divergent and even incommensurable research strategies, ranging from the most flexible types of structuralism and functionalism to the most dogmatic forms of materialism.
Their disagreements notwithstanding, those paradigms share three core epistemological and ethical premises: first of all is the rejection of all forms of idealism; second is their emphasis on objective factors rather than on subjective human agency; and third is the privileging of structures over intersubjectivity.
Perceptions still assist human beings in our efforts to make sense out of plain factuality. In the reality of Montafleros and Sabaneros over time, hurricanes have been more than recurrent natural phenomena obliterating human and natural creatures; they have also contributed to the birth of human experiences which go beyond the immediate exposure to a lifethreatening situation. Attributable not only to the factual geographic location of the Deep South, but also to its socioeconomic and cultural locations in the configuration of a social reality as well, September continues being a time of









major events and an important symbol for people living in the former chiefdom of Xaragua (see Figure 2), the geographic area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located. Echoing Columbus's vulnerability while facing hurricane-like high winds and strong sea currents in September of 1504, a time when his misfortune was rapidly rising and his admiral's star was dramatically fading out, Montafteros and Sabaneros have confronted throughout history outer natural and social forces which, like a fate, have menaced their existence in many Septembers. History, nature, power, approval, and resistance, however, have paved the way for those formally exogenous forces to become increasingly endogenous actors in the everyday life of these dwellers.
Hurricane In~s as a Marker of a New Life
At seven o'clock in the morning of September 29, 1966, Hurricane In6s' two-hundred kilometer-per-hour winds hit hard at the hearts of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. What started as a bright but breezeless Caribbean morning, suddenly became dark, windy, unknown. Even the nearby salt lagoon changed its temperament (temperamento), turning violent and brown instead of gentle and yellow as it usually looks. "She had never behaved like this" ("Ella nunca se habia comportado asi"), says Ernesto, a regular fisherman to whom the lagoon is a female symbol. The agitated Caribbean Sea, separated from the lagoon only by a narrow bar of white sand, also turned "fierce like a demon" ("bravo como un demonio"), roaring like a fierce creature, merging its terrifying twenty-foot-high waves into the already menacing lagoon. The normally bright, blue sky turned dark, unfriendly, frightening. Everything became as dark and sinister as if that exact moment was the unstoppable end of the world. The unpaved streets, normally covered with two inches of sandy dust, were quickly transformed into fast streams of







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flooding, dirty water, sweeping away whatever stood in their way. To make matters worse, a high-ranked municipal employee of Blue Mountain had taken some extra Dominican rum the night before, and he had the only keys to open the only cement building in town. By the time people broke the locked double doors, desperately forcing their way into the municipal building, the hurricane was already damaging all living creatures.
Hurricane In6s' high winds lasted twenty minutes only. What they left behind, however, is still vividly present in the personal and collective memory, the daily life, the expectations, the fears of Montafteros and Sabaneros. The seventy-three people killed on that day, twelve from Blue Mountain and sixty one from Green Savannah, both children and adults, were more than a long lane of corpses buried in the local cemetery; they too became the indelible symbol of an unforgettable personal and collective encounter with death, "la segura" ("the certain one"), as locals usually name "her." On that day of shared anguish, despair, and grief, more than one person was left headless by the flying sheets of tin roofs. Those cutting tin sheets, belonging to the houses of the few well-to-do local merchants, were not the only flying objects. The scene of a dead body penetrated by a sharp piece of lumber was not uncommon that day. At least twelve people, particularly children, died under the debris of the quickly falling houses built with wattle and mud, or swept away by the dirty flood waters. Not a single house in either town outlived the hurricane's destructive force, except for the municipal building in Blue Mountain, which was the only cement structure in the entire area. That edifice was the main shelter used by Montafieros at the time of the hurricane and during the following months, before tents were brought into town, and new houses built at a new inland location, as part of a







42
joint effort between the Organization of American States, (henceforth OAS) and the newly elected, post-civil war, Dominican Government.12
During and in the aftermath of Hurricane In~s, many people from both communities found shelter for themselves and their animals in the few caves scattered throughout a mostly flat territory. Although few tamed animals died, many of them escaped to the wilderness, to be later found only after many days and even weeks of exhausting search. For many Montafteros, those animals were the main buffer they had to cope with the tough times they faced after the hurricane. Most crops were totally obliterated, flattened on the fields, or singed by the high winds and the fast rain. Honey bees, at that time a relatively important commercial activity in Blue Mountain, were decimated by the high winds and the heavy rain alike. What later became a symbol of the marriage of life and death in Green Savannah was the image of Victor, a five-month-old boy who was found alive in the mud, sucking milk from his dead mother's breast, one of the many women who died on that unforgettable September 29 of 1966. Victor, who at the time of my fieldwork in Green Savannah (1990) was a part-time peasant, does not remember what he went through during the hurricane experience; Sabaneros, however, have made sure that the symbol he represents to them is not forgotten either by Victor or by themselves. Defined by the others as a collective symbol of endurance and survival, his otherwise missing recollection of his personal experience is now part of the daily life in Green Savannah.


12 On August of 1966, just a few weeks before Hurricane In6s, Joaquin Balaguer took office as president. He visited Blue Mountain and Green Savannah the day after Hurricane In~s obliterated the two villages. His visit played a major ideological function in the lives of Montafieros and Sabaneros. See Chapter 6 for an interpretation of this event.







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The Deeep South, Ideological Distance, and the Arrival of Sorghum The Two Villages
The distance between Green Savannah and Blue Mountain might be measured in kilometers or in less formal units, culture and ideology included. The two villages are just fifteen kilometers apart, now (1991) linked by a newly-paved road where, at night, local girls and boys take short walks (paseitos), imagining that perhaps in a few years they might as well travel on that same road as migrants to Santo Domingo, or better, abroad, to los paises or el extranjero.13 Although at present no one goes by foot from one village to the other on a regular basis, it takes about an hour to walk that distance. To Montafteros and Sabaneros alike, who are tireless walkers, walking fifteen kilometers on a paved road is nothing compared to the long hikes they are used to take into the hot, thorny, tropical dry forest. By car, it is just a matter of a few minutes to travel between the two sites. What is more important for our present story, is that Montafleros and Sabaneros share the same physical environment (including comparable soil quality, altitude, and vegetation), the same climatic conditions (tropical dry forest, with an average rainfall of eight-hundred millimeters per year, and average temperature of twenty-six Celsius degrees), as well as a comparable access to common resources available in the area. As previously mentioned, there is no irrigation in either village. This accessibility to common resources, however, is mediated by two inseparable phenomena in the area of study, namely politics and transportation. This is discussed in Chapter 6. 13 The "extranjero" and "los paises" terms, both meaning "abroad," are core symbols of the changing migration ideology. Extranjero was chiefly used before the 1980s, and it literally meant all other countries outside Hispaniola, as an undifferentiated vast land. Los paises, in contrast, is an expression of the last decade, and it refers primarily to the U.S., New York in particular.







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A typical nuclear family unit of two parents and an average of six
offspring was the pattern in both locations in 1978. A population density of eighteen people per square kilometer is about the same in the two villages, in contrast to a national mean of one hundred seventeen person per square kilometer, according to 1981 figures (see Direcci6n Nacional de Estadisticas 1987). Montafieros and Sabaneros also share the similarity of being both agricultores (farmers) and criadores (herdsmen or ranchers). Though fishing in the nearby salt lagoon and the Caribbean Sea is a very important economic activity in the area, few Montafleros and Sabaneros are regular fishermen.
As of 1990 the size of land holdings is also comparable, ranging from
less than one hectare to seventy hectares, excluding a couple of landlords that own more than the latter figure. Though there are five larger landowners (those who own more than seventy hectares) in Blue Mountain and three in Green Savannah, the local land tenure structure does not replicate the national pattern of having, on the one hand, land monopolization (latifundia) in few private hands, and many small farms (minifundios) on the other. Although aggregate census figures, corresponding to The Place, the province where the two villages are located, show that in the year 1981 49.5 % of the land was in the hands of only 1.3 percent of the landholders (Direcci6n Nacional de Parques 1986:20), at the local level the figures are less tragic. In fact, most peasants from both places own more than one farm (two on the average, and a few peasants have as many as five farm plots).. With the exception of one peasant from Blue Mountain who said otherwise, all Montafteros I interacted with admitted (through both questionnaires and informal conversations) that they do not have legal titles for the land they have usufruct and possessed for decades. I confirmed that information with official sources in Santo Domingo.







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The landless Montafieros I met are of two sorts: first, those who have moved into the area recently; second, those locals who have sold their land. When I asked those who have alienated the land their reasons for doing so, I did not find a correlation between land selling and their degree of economic poverty. What is most significant, those few land sellers (only six in 1990, to the best of my knowledge) tend not to be the poorest peasants, but rather people of two types: first, the ones who think that agriculture is worthless, as the case of a man who has a job with the government and who also is a professional hunter;14 second, those whose children have migrated to Santo Domingo. I knew of at least five non-local people who have received from local peasants, at no monetary cost, farm plots for growing their own food. Those plots given away, however, usually have stony soils, are located far away from the main roads, or have a thick vegetation to be felled, cleared, and burned before performing a task called habite which, as I shall demonstrate in Chapter 2, has a highly significant symbolic and ideological social function in the life of Montaneros and Sabaneros alike.
In the case of Sabaneros, I did not meet a single permanent resident who is totally landless. For instance, two Sabaneros with whom I developed dose ties sold their conucos to a local peasant. One of the two who sold their land migrated to Santo Domingo, but was unsuccessful as a migrant worker in a factory. A few months later, back in Green Savannah, he asked a cousin of his for a piece of land to cultivate. He received the thick-wooded plot at no cost, felled the trees, burned them to make charcoal, did the habite of the land (final stage in swidden cultivation, discussed below) of the land, and set his


14 This hunter inherited a ten-hectare farm from his father. The told me that he sold the land to a local peasant because "agriculture is slavery to me."







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conuco with four crops altogether. He became a possessor of land after less than a month of hard and solitary work in the forest. This situation of most Sabaneros having access to land is, however, largely due to the circumstance that Green Savannah is one of the agricultural settlements (colonias agricolas) set by the Dominican Government on the frontier area as early as 1931. I will return to this in Chapter 4. The Arrival of Sorghum
It was on a hot, calm Sunday morning of September 29, 1979, that the cultivation of hybrid sorghum started in Blue Mountain, exactly thirteen years after Hurricane In~s obliterated the two villages. Different from the morning marking Hurricane In~s' killing irruption into the now relocated village, the one indicating the cultivation of the new cash crop was not marked either by high winds or dead bodies. Instead of a roaring ocean, Montafteros on that otherwise uneventful day were exposed to the hitherto strange noise of a hoarse yellow Case caterpillar tractor which, like a conspicuous proof of human control over nature, was clearing the dry, thorny shrubs at Gabriel's farm plot. Equally new to Montafieros was seeing, just a few days later, the red International tractor ploughing the clayey soil of Gabriel's three-hectare farm that had been previously cleared by the yellow Case tractor.
To Gabriel and his neighbors, it was almost like a dream seeing such fancy machines working on the plots of poor peasants like themselves. "We never thought that the government was really willing to help us this way," he told me when we talked about his reaction to the technical and financial assistance from SEA and other public agencies. The only other occasions in which they had seen such a display of technology was in the late 1950s, when the then private cotton plantation known as Sociedad Consorcio Algodonero







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Dominicano (currently state-owned National Cotton Institute, henceforth INDA), and the semi-private Dominican Industrial Society (henceforth La Manicera), began operating in the area.15 Back then, however, the big tractors working for INDA were not helping peasants to modernize their farms plot; instead, they were destroying all conucos in order to pave the way to cotton, the plantation king. Gabriel's father lost at that time two conucos planted with manioc, sweet potatoes, bananas, papayas, plantains, pigeon peas (guandules), squash, maize, and many other crops always present in the conuco of "good" peasants, the ones who, according to the then prevalent values, took care in growing their own food. The cultivation of peanuts was carried out in those days using agricultural technology far more modest than that deployed on the cotton plantation. The realization that this time, at last, the public action was explicitly aimed at assisting local peasants, made Gabriel a happy and thankful man. The way he saw himself in relation to the larger society is clearly illustrated by his assertion that "I never thought that those important people from up there esa gente importante de alld arribal cared about little and poor people like us [gente chiquita y pobre como nosotros]."
That was the first time that Gabriel, a 50-year-old man, utilized such a modern technology on his plot. Previously, he just needed a steel axe, or a sharp machete to fell the rather thin thorny trees which, with the aid of fire, he will convert into ashes before planting cassava (manioc), corn (Zea mays), yam, red and black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), papaya (Carica papaya), and squash (Cucurbita 15 Commercial cotton cultivation, which was a crop cultivated by Tainos before conquest, began in the study area in 1957. Peanut cultivation also began in the area about the same time as cotton did. The background and consequences of that important turning point for the local economy are discussed in Chapters 5 and 6.









po, as he had learned to do from his parents. The slash-and-burn agricultural system practiced by most peasants in the region before the introduction of sorghum and peanut cultivation, was taught to him by his father, who rarely sold any of his products to the market. Slowly moving away from his father's traditional farming practices, however, Gabriel occasionally planted peanuts, which were bought locally by La Manicera. His wife, his three sons, and his two daughters also participated in managing the conuco and looking after the animals they raised on both private and the vast common lands still available in the area. As most peasants in this region did, Gabriel and his family members also worked for a few weeks every year as wage laborers at the nearby state-owned cotton plantation. They also owned ten cows, which were the main buffer for difficult times. Isabel, Gabriel's wife, says that those cows, together with the few pigs and chickens they had, "were our money-box."
It was in part because Jorge, the local agronomist working for the SEA, told him that growing sorghum was the best choice in an area where all agriculture is rain-fed, that Gabriel decided to sell five of his priceless ten cows in order to devote most of his land to the new commercial crop. After all, what worth was there in keeping a conuco where only food for the household could be planted? Money was needed to pay for the household's expenses, and selling a couple of cows now and then was not sufficient to buy new clothes, send the children to school, and so on. Cash, Gabriel realized not without alarm, was indeed needed for things his father seldom had to think about. He also saw many of his friends "looking for progress" ("buscando el progreso') with the drought-tolerant and fast-growing new cash crop. Although Gabriel knew nothing about sorghum cultivation and was concerned about his family's well being, he decided to change the production patterns learned







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from his predecessors. Becoming a sorghum grower was to him the best way to protect his family against uncertainty.

Maria, a 62-year-old widow from Blue Mountain, was a high-spirited woman who grew up working as a peasant on her father's land. She was also curious about that new "hierba mala" ("bad grass," the one which is hard to kill) which, according to what everyone said, did so well with very little rain). Sharing the expectations of most Montafteros, she thought that in just four months after planting the new crop a good amount of money would be in her hands. That projection of economic profit and security motivated her to seek more information about sorghum.

After her husband passed away three years earlier, Maria had been unable to harvest much from the conuco they used to till together. The increasingly scant rainfall, small yields, and the relatively high cost of hiring labor, made it difficult for her to keep on working as a peasant. Shortly after Maria's husband passed away, her only son had migrated to Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, and was working as a private guard in a factory; her two daughters had already formed their own families, marrying two nonlocal men who worked at the nearby state-owned cotton plantation. Once in a while she went to her plot, sometimes by herself, others accompanied by a female neighbor, in order to harvest some manioc roots (yuca), a few pounds of pigeon peas (guandules), a couple of baskets of sweet potato (batatas), and some papayas (lechozas). Part of that was sold locally "to make some bucks," as she says with a big smile on her friendly face, or simply given away to neighbors, as part of an unwritten norm of food-sharing that local peasants used to observe carefully "before we began to see too many money bills [papeletasi in our hands," Maria speaks with a concern for the erosion of traditional values since the market economy began overpowering the







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previous one. From that modest harvest at her conuco, she also sent part of the products to her two married daughters, following a regional tradition of sending food to one's closest descendants. Whenever possible, she even sent some guandules and batatas to her son in Santo Domingo, thinking that local products tasted better than the ones grown in other parts of the country. The rest of the harvest was used for self-consumption.

Maria was the first female sorghum grower in the region. Her plot was located near the salt lagoon where Blue Mountain was located the day Hurricane In6s swept away the entire village. She, the granddaughter of two peasant couples, never thought about growing a crop that needed so little physical work and from which so much money could me made in just four months. For local standards, Maria's ten-hectare conuco is a large one.
Maria was daydreaming about her plans for the money to be gained from the new harvest when she and her curious neighbors saw something being unearthed by the steel plough. She ran fast, hastening the tractor operator to stop the engine. She fell down on her knees and took into her hands a half-broken yet beautiful piece of Taino pottery, covered with red clay. "This is a stone from the lighting storms," she said. In effect, what the tractor had unearthed was one of the stone axes used by the Tainos as a working tool and ceremonial symbol as well. It is a pervasive belief in many parts of the Dominican Republic that the stone axes one finds buried in the soil actually fall from the sky as part of a lighting strike; those stone axes are called piedras de rayo (literally, stones from lighting strikes). Ironically, both steel and stone axes were, symbolically and factually, being replaced by the new steel plough that was helping Maria to plant sorghum, a grain that was brought to Hispaniola as part of the trade of African slaves used to replace the disappeared Taino population in early sixteenth century. On the day Maria








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found the stone axe, many other Taino artefacts were unearthed by the steel plough working in the area. In fact, the location where Blue Mountain is located used to be a Taino site belonging to Behecchio's chiefdom, or Xaragua. After making sure that the tractor had left her parcel ready to be planted with sorghum seeds in the following days, Maria took some of the ancient pieces of pottery to her house, perhaps ignoring that in doing so she was also symbolizing the ending of a nearly five-century-old historical circle. She was also setting the stage for another human experience to begin.

Gabriel's and Maria's search for progress was not an isolated
phenomenon in Blue Mountain. Together with them were the nearly 80% of the village's peasants who made the dramatic turn of becoming full-fledged commercial farmers. At least 50% of Montafteros gave up farming their conucos by the year 1980, immediately after the first sorghum harvest. Instead of growing their own foodstuffs on their farm plots, they decided to grow just one crop that was to be used for manufacturing animal food in the capital. Most "traditional" conucos located in flat areas or near the main road and unpaved paths, became parcelas (parcels)16 for sorghum cultivation; the other conucos some of which located in rather distant places where moisture is better kept in the soil by both the shade dwelling under the trees and the limestones so abundant in the area, were left totally uncultivated when their



16 Before sorghum cultivation, the term parcela was used in reference to the nearly rectangular, perfectly kept cotton fields at the nearby plantation. After sorghum, peasants gave the name parcelas to their former conucos. As part of the new ideology of progress and improvement, a parcela in Blue Mountain is a source of prestige in addition to its economic value. In Green Savannah, though people value their parcelas, conucos are seen as a symbol of persistence.







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owners decided to grow sorghum only. After the third sorghum harvest, that percentage arose to 80%.
Most Montafieros (roughly 70%) sold part of their livestock to nonlocal merchants in order to plant hybrid sorghum. Facing a conflict in land use, the desire for raising their income in a short period of time, and believing that with that amount of money they would be better off, most they changed cattle by sorghum. Low interest credit, free technical assistance, low tariffs for land preparation, as well as secure market and transportation facilities were provided by SEA and other public and parastatal agencies. High yields during the first harvest, accompanied by a significant rise of income levels (ranging from 200% to 500% rises of nominal income), served as a "demonstration effect" in a short period of time. Five years later, Blue Mountain as a whole was no longer a traditional peasant village growing most of its own foodstuffs. From being an unknown crop to Montafteros before that sunny Saturday morning of September 29 of 1979, by the year 1983 sorghum had become their most important cash crop as well as their main source of income. Just a few peasants from Blue Mountain (less than five percent at the time of my fieldwork in 1990) continued cultivating their own foodstuffs on a regular basis. The agricultural products which for at least two centuries were planted on the household's conucos are now bought in the market. A new social category of local and outside merchants has made its appearance in the village. A monocrop economy emerged. Modernization prevailed in Blue Mountain.

One might expect that with all these comparable objective factors
conditioning their existence, Montafteros and Sabaneros will follow the same pattern of conduct in the face of such an appealing claim for modernizing their conucos The striking fact, however, is that they have behaved







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differently. What I mean by this is that they have behaved in significantly different ways while facing comparable structural constraints and being offered the same claim to modernize their production patterns. The adoption of sorghum cultivation in Green Savannah took a complex path whose details are discussed in Chapter 7. Let us at present just outline what occurred here.
To begin with, most Sabaneros, in contradistinction with their

neighboring Montafieros, neither sold their livestock nor did they eliminate the traditional conucos in order to grow sorghum. During the same period of time in which nearly 80% Montafieros gave up totally their traditional production patterns, less than five percent of Sabaneros did so. For most Sabaneros who eventually adopted sorghum cultivation (and their number is significant, as discussed in Chapter 7), it took nearly twice as long as it took Montafteros to make the same decision. Most important, the majority of Sabaneros who became sorghum growers did not quit growing food. They did everything possible to take advantage of both systems of production, trying to protect as much as possible the farm that provided food for self-consumption. This time difference in the acceptance and rejection of a new cash crop is representative of much more than a chronological distance; it also shows the presence of a cultural and ideological distance between the two villages. Such a distance, however, is not static but rather it functions as a flow of intersubjective relations helping humans learn from one another. As we will see in subsequent chapters, this general principle is applicable to our story.
At the time I did fieldwork, more than 80% of peasants from Green Savannah (in contrast to the less than five percent in Blue Mountain) were either proudly claiming to be, or actually were "people who grow food" ("gente que siembra comida"). To most Sabaneros, being a food grower is a







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source of personal pride and cultural identity, a core element of their soul. In their view, people from the other village are not good peasants. As Julio, a Sabanero, told me: "We peasants have to grow our own food. Because if I live in the countryside [campo , and I don't grow manioc, then what am I doing in staying here? Growing food is a peasant's main hold in life, after his family. He might have a pig and a cow, but he ought to have his conuco to be able to harvest his manioc, his food." It is based on this cultural notion of what a genuine peasant ought to do that Julio and other Sabaneros blame the Montafteros' choice of not preserving their conucos as a buffer for tough times. 'They are not peasants; they do not grow food; they only grow sorghum and raise cows," Julio insists in a passionate tone, while looking for a sign of approval from other Sabaneros who are standing nearby.
Notwithstanding its significance as an introduction to this narrative, the foregoing rather dichotomous depiction of what I witnessed in these two villages does not show all the complexity of the events on which this story is based. I still need to qualify my description, analysis, and interpretation of the phenomena we have seen so far, because reality is neither clear-cut nor transparent. Ambiguity and human behavior are consubstantial, even within the most structured circumstances. Montafleros' and Sabaneros' praxis is not exception to this rule. Failing to document the zig-zag and imaginative behavior of peasants in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah would amount, to say the least, to mutilate the richness of life (Kosfk 1976) so well revealed by peasants like Maria, Miguel, Rafael, and Julio. Our task is to discover in the everyday world, in the Lebenswelt of these men and women, the flow of human agency, "not a world that is, as Sartre says, opaque and rigidified, but rather a world which is dense and which moves" (Merleau-Ponty 1979:144).







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The following three observations will illustrate the need to put into brackets what we have discussed up to this point.
First of all, it is important to note that, although the majority of peasants from each village did follow a quasi-homogeneous pattern of behavior, there were specific individuals from both places who did not follow the mainstream local path. By this I mean that there are a few Montafieros who, while making their parcelas for planting sorghum, did not eliminate their more traditional conucos. Likewise, there are some Sabaneros who, while growing sorghum, did abandon their conucos in a fashion similar, at least at first sight, to what most Montafieros have done. For a structural analysis of peasants' response to social change, this rather deviant behavior of a few peasants from each village might be considered as statistically insignificant. But our emphasis here is on the nuances and ambiguity of human agency rather than on the perfect parsimony of pure statistical measurements as the ultimate proof of truth. Within that conceptual framework, the individual is a crucial actor. The values and actions of the few also shape history's contours.
Many Montafieros, whom so far I have somewhat portrayed as
peasants who are just "looking for progress,"are actually engaged in 'looking for tradition,"so to speak. This is not the moment to move into the interpretation of such a rich manifestation of peasant ideology. Suffice is to say that a group of nearly forty Montafieros, some of whom are sorghum growers themselves, formed during the early 1980s a self-aid organization whose history, aims, and evolution I discuss in Chapter 7. What is worth indicating at present is that in 1983, when they began to realize that losing their traditional conucos was not such a good idea after all, they renamed that local organization as "New Progress" (Nuevo Progreso), known also by the







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nickname of "the little one" (la chiquita). By naming their institution that way, they were making explicit to both themselves and the others that something "different and better" needed to be done. The referential character of that specific naming becomes apparent when one sees that the second peasant organization in town, whose members are all sorghum growers or well-to-do ranchers, was officially named "The Experience" (La Experiencia), yet small peasants refer to it as la grande the big one.
For nearly ten years the members of New Progress have done

everything possible to work together using a long-lived traditional institution of labor-sharing which is locally known as convite. In addition to this local initiative, as discussed in details in Chapter 7, at the time of my fieldwork many women from Blue Mountain were pressing hard on their husbands to devote part of their parcels to the cultivation of crops other than sorghum. Rather than documenting a case of "the uncaptured peasantry" (Hyden 1984), our challenge here is to illustrate the lived experiences that led peasants to realize that they are indeed captured as a result of both their own actions and state policies. Further, attention should be paid to understand, once peasants reach the conclusion that they have been "captured," how much freedom they actually have, or how far they really want to go in order to loosen the ropes which, metaphorically speaking, are 'capturing' them. In particular, we need to follow closely the manifold strategies and tactics enacted by peasants in everyday life in their attempt to "work out" the presence of the state in their villages. By this I mean that, contrary to a pervasive belief among anthropologists (e.g., Wolf 1973), under specific circumstances peasants try to get close to the very same state structure responsible for their "capture."
Second is that, though the ontic dimension of Montafieros' and
Sabaneros' existence is crucial to our examination of ideology, the ontological







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sphere of their lives is equally relevant for this present study. Peasants are more than producers and consumers of agricultural and manufactured goods. In cultivating the land they also transform nature, society, and themselves. When purchasing manufactured goods and selling agricultural products like sorghum, peasants are also exposed to new institutions, structures, and intersubjective relations as well. These intersubjective relations are not only instrumental, but also communicative. Further, when peasants engage in such relations, they do so guided by their own norms and cultural representations, as well as under the influence of specific policies expressing the larger society's attitude toward peasants.
The relational character of such an exposure to familiar and

uncommon institutions and people, makes it possible for peasants to gain a better understanding of the actual workings of the larger society. Taking place under objective structural constraints and cultural constructions, that experience is also an intersubjective one which opens up a new world to peasants. Simply stated, a holistic study of peasant ideology ought to deal with both the instrumental and communicative aspects of peasant livelihood, with the 'flesh and soul' of their existence, as well as with the usually ambiguous relation between knowledgeable agents and social structures.
What we have before ourselves is not a dichotomy of tradition and modernization; instead, we are seeing a process of configuration of a new social reality, a complex interplay of interest, aspiration, beliefs, claims, knowledge, power, institutions, individuals, structures, and the like, in which traditional and modern ideas are being rapidly intertwined with one another. Ambiguity epitomizes this situation. We shall recall that Julio was telling us the reasons why he thought Montafieros were not "good" peasants. Let us recall the circumstance that he was not blaming his neighbors' decision








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to adopt sorghum cultivation as such; instead, he was pointing at the mistake involved in abandoning the conuco which is the location (as both physical and social space) that a "good" peasant (a moral construct) should protect, granted that he or she wants to stay a peasant and defend his or her family's well-being even in difficult times. Neither totally free from the so-called state apparatus (Althusser 1971:127-188), nor entirely fettered as in Plato's underground cave, we are witnessing Montafteros and Sabaneros dealing in authentic terms with that what Koselleck, terms "the horizon of expectation and the space of experience" (cf. Ricoeur:1991:218). The notion of experience is used by Koselleck, Ricoeur (and me) as synonymous with tradition, habitus, common sense judgment, and so forth. Space, on the other hand, is social space, the myriad new alternatives that modernization brings with it (e.g., migration, the media, and changes in patterns of consumption, in our present case). Horizon of expectation means the aspirations, interests, desires, fears, doubts, and the like we have seen Montaiieros and Sabaneros dealing with. All of this takes place within a horizon which is not only present, but rather present together with past and future. It is in contexts such as this one that peasant ideology is acted out.
The third area of the previous account to be put into brackets refers to my use of the term "peasant." Peasants, whether we define them as a social class, a culture, a way of life, an economic category, or a mode of production, are part of complex historical processes. An ahistorical essence we may call "the peasantry" is simply a contradiction in terms. This assertion may sound as mutually contradictory with my previous claim for our attention to the ontological sphere of peasants' existence. I shall meet this objection by saying that the essential features of that social being we call the peasantry (its reliance on self-exploitable family labor, its ownership or possession of means of








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production, its capability to keep on farming in the face of diminishing return per unit of capital invested, and the values sustaining such practical concerns), are conditioned by broader historical processes which make possible the constitution of a particular peasantry as part of a spatio-temporal experience. Whatever happens to the peasantry at a given point in time and space has origins and consequences which go beyond the confines of peasant villages themselves. Peasants are simultaneously defined by and definers of the larger society's genesis and mutation. This takes us to the last point of the previous account that needs to be put into brackets.

Neither Dominican peasants as a social category, nor the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in specific, have always been an identifiable social entity. Theirs is a tangible existence signaled by a genesis, a tortuous process of becoming, and, at times, a painful constitution. Such an existence is not reducible to its economic features, notwithstanding the central role economic transactions have in the constitution of peasantries. In the particular case of Montafteros and Sabaneros, their constitution as peasants is related to the practical and symbolic roles played by buccaneers, pirates, habitants herdsmen, maroons, fishermen, hunters, gatherers, miners, timber workers, and soldiers in the emergence over time of two interrelated social, political, economic, and cultural identities: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is because of this process of constitution that regional differences are crucial to our study. The self-identity, historical consciousness, adherence to both a physical and cultural space and a tradition, particularly on a frontier region such as the one on which Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located, are processes and phenomena to be taken into account when examining the ideologies of present-day Montafieros and Sabaneros.







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Doing otherwise amounts to take a narrow stance in the understanding of a challenging social phenomenon.
Although "social facts" and theoretical reflection may be discussed
separately for heuristic purposes, they are not mutually contradictory in the way suggested by Durkheim's contrast between "science concerned with realities" and science dealing with "ideological analysis" (1966:14). The dichotomy of science versus ideology is as problematic as the treatment of 'facts' and theory as incongruent realms. It is based on these premises that I am addressing Montafieros' and Sabaneros' differential ideological responses as a difficult and challenging phenomenon. The circumstance that they have behaved differently in the face of comparable structural constraints provides us with an excellent opportunity to theorize with a concern for both science and ideology. However, the historic and most recent facts exposed up to now in our narrative, instead of making our task easier, have made it more complex. It is for this reason that, before dealing with sorghum cultivation proper, we need to accomplish three intermediate goals: first, it is necessary to make explicit how this study relates to the ongoing debate on peasant ideology and correlative theoretical, epistemological, and philosophical issues; second, we need to place the material and ideational spheres of of Montafteros' and Sabaneros' existence into the multidimensional flow of historic events of which Columbus's discovery of Hispaniola and sorghum cultivation are but two core components; third, it is essential to characterize the socio-ontological dimension of Sabaneros' migration from El Cibao as well as their encounter with their existential "other" in the Deep South. Such is the task I will pursue below.
In this chapter I have presented my general and specific goals in this narrative as well as the salient features of my epistemological,








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methodological, theoretical, and ethical positions. We have seen in general terms Montafteros' and Sabaneros' idiosyncratic engagement with both sorghum cultivation and their long-lived system of production. By looking at the conduct and opinion of a couple of dwellers from each village, we have acquainted ourselves with the cultural and ethical dimensions of peasants' economic rationality. The interplay of utopia and ideology has been referred to as one of the key issues to look at in our interpretation and understanding of this complex case. We have also outlined some of the structural similarities and differences in the two adjacent villages so as to be able to carry out a comparative and historical study aimed at showing a changing situation rather than a static one. Finally, I have introduced some historic events which, in my view, are crucial in the constitution of Montafieros and Sabaneros.














CHAPTER 2
IDEOLOGY, AND SURVIVAL: BEYOND THE "CAMERA OBSCURA"

In everyday discourse, and in academic parlance to a lesser degree, the concept of ideology is generally used with three interconnected assumptions in mind. First, it is taken for granted that ideology is a distortion of reality as well as a handicap for accurate understanding and effective action. Second, it is assumed that ideology is controlled by the power structure in any given situation, leaving nothing but uncertainty to the powerless. Finally, ideology is usually associated with formal political institutions (parties in particular) as well as with overt class struggle aimed at a radical subversion of the "oppressive" structures. When such assumptions are taken to the study of peasants' survival strategies, it is likely that peasants would appear as historical subjects who lack the appropriate consciousness, cohesiveness, and strength necessary to overcome oppression. I disagree with such views on ideology in general and peasant ideology in particular.

In the following two chapters I intend to critically discuss the
aforementioned assumptions against their historical background, suggest an alternative way of looking at the interrelation of power, structure, human agency, and ideology, as well as show how (and why) I see phenomenology as a research strategy useful for the interpretation and understanding of ideology as a positive manifestation of human agency. This chapter consists of two sections. First, a critical overview of the concept of ideology is undertaken. Exegesis of some classical and contemporary texts is done for the purpose of illustration. Second, a discussion of peasants as survivors is carried out,








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drawing on the work of social scientists and philosophers (Heidegger in particular). These two tasks are undertaken with an explicit concern for both critical theory and philosophical reflection. The next chapter takes this general discussion into epistemological, methodological, and ethical grounds as they refer to the study of ideology in everyday life in general, and my own research strategy in particular.

Power, Knowledge, Claim, Belief, Utopia, and Ideology: the Role of Human Agency

We saw in the previous chapter how the display of structured power,
the usage of swords and crosses on which the violent and bloody encounter of Spaniards and Tainos rested, were accompanied by the interplay of claims and beliefs, symbols and meanings, ideological and cultural responses, as well as the resistance and accommodation acted out by the two cultures. The conquest was a holocaust which changed much more than the most immediate material resources in which the Taino culture was rooted; it also modified, rapidly and painfully, Tainos' perception of reality as well as their attitude toward "the other." Despite their resistance and accommodation, Tainos were forced to pay an irrecoverable human price for being "discovered": they were obliterated.

The experience of that encounter illustrates the interrelation of
perception, belief, claim, action, and power in the process of constructing social reality; it also assists us in understanding the constitution of ideologies in specific historical circumstances. Bartolom6 de las Casas, a former Spanish landlord who later became a priest, understood with his unique sensitivity the meaning of that process and its further implications; he wrote: "being thus broken with so many evils, afflicted with so many torments, and handled so ignominiously, they [Tainos] began at length to believe that the







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Spaniards were not sent from Heaven. And therefore some of them hid their Children [sic], others their Wives [sic] in obscure and secret places" (1656:7; my stress).
The way Las Casas describes that important episode of Western history shows, albeit in a fashion far more transparent than we might encounter in modern times, the presence at that time of five main constituent elements of ideological configurations: power, knowledge, claim, belief, and utopia. I shall comment below on the extent to which my characterization of ideology's makeup is in accord with Paul Ricoeur's elaboration on the same subject matter. For now, let us interpret the Las Casas description. First, we are told that there was a display of power which, up to a certain point, was not overtly resisted by the Tainos. Second, we see Tainos first believing (the claim) that the Spaniards had come from Heaven, and then (mediated by the evil experiences) realizing (knowing) that their beliefs (perception of, and trust in, appearances) were wrong. Third, we are told that some of the Tainos escaped to places they thought were safe. The utopian element in that dynamic was provided by the articulation of, on the one hand, the whole conquest itself, marked by Columbus's search for Marco Polo's land of plenty as well as the implicit belief in progress supporting his enterprise (Heilbroner 1980:37); and, on the other hand, the Tainos' original belief that the Spaniards had come from both Heaven and the locations where the former's predecessors dwelled.1

1 Tainos, who were excellent sailors, were engaged in trade and other social relations with the inhabitants of other Caribbean islands. Partially because of the Caribs' control over part of the routes to Central and South America, Tainos lost their direct interaction with their ancestors. Guanin (an alloy of gold and cooper) linked Tainos to both their instrumental relations with neighboring cultures and their spiritual communication with their ancestors. Garcia Goyco (1984), Morison (1970), and Vega (1979), report the association made by Tainos between the Spanish brass bells and guanin; it was such an









The background of the current discussion on ideology, although

ultimately containing the constituent elements we just referred to, may be schematized as a twofold quest: first, the search for drawing a clear and unmistakable line between illusive and true reality, or between scientific (objective) and false (subjective) interpretation of reality; second, the attempt to demarcate the precise nature of the relationship between consciousness and materiality. This double demarcation still separates what is characterized as a dichotomy of two epistemological currents among social scientists, namely the materialists and idealists. I think such a dichotomy is misleading and reductionist. Nevertheless, for heuristic purposes, let us assume that such a clear-cut boundary actually exists. Within this framework, the epistemological implications of such a dichotomy shall be synoptically depicted as follows.
First are the so-called materialists who claim to have the intellectual tools for gaining an objective, certain, scientific knowledge of reality; materialists claim too that consciousness or thought is determined primarily by the material base structuring people's instrumental engagement with the interconnected processes of production, consumption, and reproduction. Second are the so-called (by the former) idealists or rationalists who claim having less interest in the sureness of objective knowledge than a concern with understanding and interpreting the complex interplay between ideas and materiality; rather than a fixed materially determined reality, idealists seek comprehending a human horizon which is constituted through the


association that facilitated the Tainos' belief that Spaniards have come from the places (Heaven and South America) where their predecessors dwelled. Such a belief, I argue, was part of a 'lost paradise' feeling deeply held by Tainos.








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meaning assigned by human beings to our instrumental and communicative acts. Of course, my characterization of these two epistemological trends is just a loose sketch of a far more complex "battlefield" in social sciences, as the following discussion will demonstrate.
Figure 3 depicts some of the key names and concepts I consider
indispensable to look at in an attempt to relate the recurrent search for truth and certainty with the current debate on ideology. In addition to saying that it is not my intention to repeat the already told history of ideology, I hasten to state that my attempt is neither to establish a chronology of this debate nor construct a unified conceptual body to be utilized in this narrative.2 Nor do I imply that there is a causal connection between the theorists (many of whom never made explicit reference to ideology as such) and concepts shown in Figure 4. My rationale for sorting things out this way is my own instrumental and exploratory reading of the work done by each one of these scholars. Admittedly, my own understanding of the complex ramifications of these constructs is still in its early stages. Further, I have deliberately omitted the names of other key participants in this debate, such as Lenin, Maurice Bloch, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The image I have in mind is of an imaginary dialogue among these theorists, rather than coming to terms with such an intricate mass of highly controversial concepts. My goal in doing this overview is twofold: first, to continue forging the intellectual tools needed in order to disentangle the challenging web posed to us by the praxes of Montafteros and Sabaneros; second, depict ideology as both a positive

2 I have included in the bibliography a somewhat updated number of studies on the history of the ideology concept. To the reader who is unable to read everything, I highly recommend the following texts: Eagleton (1991); Geertz (1973); Gramsci (1971); Larrain (1979); Ricoeur (1986, 1991); and Thompson (1985a, 1990).



















































Experience, Culture, Knowledge, Power, Structure, Utopia, Ideology
� i i � i


Figure 3. Background of the Ideology Concept


Meaning, Being, Knowledge
Culture, Symbols, Self Language, Rationality Appearance, Perception Subjectivity, Objectivity Intersubjectivity, Others Intentionality, Existence Utopia, Essence, Desires


Work, Institutions, Power Alienation, Consciousness
Common sense, Science Unconscious, Repression Experience, History, Nature Freedom, Praxis, Hegemony







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symbolic constituent of everyday life and a source of existential security rather than as a veil of ignorance preventing people from seeing the real world, or as a repressive weapon in the hand of dominant classes. The Classical Debate
The confrontation between "true" and "false" knowers of reality began long before nineteenth century, the time that Antoine Destutt de Tracy (17541836) and his collaborators were blamed by Napoleon Bonaparte for being "id6ologues" (ideologists), or men of metaphysical ideas instead of men of practical knowledge whose wisdom could be used for "adapting the laws to a knowledge of the human heart and the lessons of history" (cf. Williams 1985: 57). Aristotle, whose position on ideology (most properly human agency) we shall discuss in a moment, and Plato, are the ones from whom our overview must begin. Plato (quoted above) depicted a situation in which an extreme abuse of power made claims, beliefs, and knowledge rather undeterminable to the men living in the underground cave with their heads and feet fettered. To the earlier reference made in this chapter regarding the interconnection between education and perception inferable from Plato's metaphor, we may add that, by using that allegory, he was also able to call our attention to the manner in which reality becomes a condensation of broader processes of signification mediated by a power structure or system of authority which conditions our perception of the horizon available to us. It is partially based on Plato's ideas that I argue that epistemological categories and constructs are conditioned by social, individual, and historical circumstances.
The reflection that Bacon, Hobbes, and Descartes were later on to

transform into a scientific quest of a true knowledge of reality, had already been depicted in the common sense philosophy of living epitomized by Cervantes's (1547-1616) well-known literary characters: Don Quixote and








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Sancho Panza. It is indeed that common sense judgment that Cervantes is trying to exculpate from arrogant accusations, when he portrays Sancho (a peasant) telling with fear and surprise to his well-read knight who perceived wind mills as demons: "But look, your Grace, those are not giants but windmills, and what appear to be arms are their wings... a fact which no one could fail to see unless he had other mills of the same sort in his head" (1949:63; my stress). Here one sees common sense knowledge (Sancho's) showing an accurate understanding of ft while scholastic knowledge (Don Quixote's) is just able to perceive appearances, illusions. The allusion to epistemological accuracy is obvious. I take Cervantes's work as one of the first positive depiction of ideology, and I share his appreciation for common sense knowledge, peasants' in particular.
This appreciation for common sense knowledge, albeit now from a formally scientific perspective, was the same that Vico (1666-1744) took as a core element of the epistemological grounds on which his New Science was to be constructed. Although he did not develop a theory of peasant ideology, it is nevertheless worth noticing that Vico (1990:61; 1979:52-53), while discussing the notion of common sense as well as people's knowledge of the institutions sustaining civil society or civil world, explicitly referred to the possibility that peasants, provided they had adequate knowledge, could obtain justice in their dealings with rather oppressive structures.
Rather than attempting a careful interpretation of Vico's entire
philosophy, at this juncture I would like to take advantage of two assertions made by him regarding the logical nature of people's common sense constructs. First is that "common sense is judgment without reflection, shared by an entire class, an entire people, and entire nation, or an entire human race" (1979:21). Second is his position that what humans (primitives







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included) have done over time was done "with intelligence; it was not fate, for they did it by choice" (p.383). In saying this Vico was not only showing respect for cultures different from his own; he was also building the foundations for what later on became a humanistic trend in social sciences, by which I mean social sciences that characterize people as human beings to be understood rather than as objective entity to be examined, measured, explained. The key notions to borrow from Vico are "intelligence," and "choice," which for the sake of harmony with current parlance I would like to see loosely as synonymous with the notions of intentionality and ideology, respectively. My current views on ideology have been significantly influenced by Vico's theoretical contributions on institutions and human agency. The significance of Vico's novel ideas for our task at hand will become more apparent when contrasted with the ones held by L~vy-Bruhl and Aristotle, to which we now turn.
When Lvy-Bruhl, his theoretical contributions to the study of human cognition notwithstanding, said that primitive people have a prelogical mind and a "philosophy" (the quotation marks are his) which is "childish and clumsy, no doubt, but yet perfectly consistent itself" (1985:19), to add later on that "their [primitive people's] mental activity is too little differentiated" (p.36), he was not making an epistemological error; instead, in addition to being ethnocentric, he was making an ethical mistake. What I mean by this is twofold: first, he was right in implying that each philosophy (meaning worldview in my present usage) is internally consistent, even if one does not share its premises; second, he was wrong in his elitist attitude toward people like the ones my study refers to.
The quotation by Aristotle placed at the beginning of this study takes us to the core of the current debate regarding the interrelation of power,








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structure, knowledge, and human agency. It also becomes helpful for our examination of ideology in general and peasant ideology in particular. True, Aristotle's concern was a philosophic one chiefly dealing with human beings' (most properly men's) best use of our faculties while pursuing happiness. Yet, the emphasis he put on institutions and structures, (e.g., the family and the village as foundations for the growth of the state), clearly shows his concern for the societal dimensions of human existence, agriculture in particular. We owe to Friedman (1987), Nisbet (1969; 1980), and Schumpeter (1986), among others, excellent interpretations of the historical linkage between, on the one hand, Aristotle's political concerns with the proper organization of the state and society at large, and, on the other, the modern notions of progress, social change, planning, action, and development. We need not busy ourselves with that broad topic at present. Instead, what needs our attention is Aristotle's explicit assertion with regard to, on the one hand, the farmers' inability to making a revolution provided "they have no spirit " and, on the other hand, his view that in order to preclude farmers' "spirited" behavior, a good "thing would be that they should be peasants or of foreign stock, and like inferior nature" (1943:397-398). Knowing Aristotle's insistence on the virtue of phronesis or practical wisdom, as well as the prominent role acknowledged to the state in his speculative political scheme, it is profitable to draw an analogy between the spirited farmers he was referring to and the modern peasants we currently see acting in an ideological fashion while coping with state-sponsored social change. This analogy will be used for heuristic purposes in the remaining of this chapter.
Although Aristotle's usage of the concept "revolution" had a

connotation different from the current characterization of it, they both address a problematic which I wish to phrase as follows: any form of








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sociopolitical system involving a power structure may, under particular circumstances, be explicitly counter-interpellated, contested, and partially undermined by one or several of its constituents. This assertion leads us to a relevant threefold elaboration. First is the existence of a functioning power structure or system of authority which is held together by, among other means, a certain claim to values considered to be true, e.g., the Aristotelian claim that slaves may gain their liberty "as the reward of their services" (ibid.). This implies that, even under conditions of slavery and total denial of basic human rights to specific subjects (Plato's men living in caves as well as slaves during Aristotle's times), a particular set of conducts and beliefs may pave the way to the recognition (by those who control the power structure) of one's entitlement to particular material and cultural resources. Second is that such a claim for the possession of truth is not necessarily believed by everyone who is under the influence of the power structure.
The important point to be made in our exegesis of this classical text on statecraft is that the disbelief attributed by Aristotle to those peasants actually takes place in modern times, and involves, in cognitive terms, a reflection, a questioning, a contestation of reality beyond its taken-for-granted facade, or, using the phenomenological jargon, a bracketing of the world, even in the midst of the Lebenswelt. The attitude of going beyond the claim made by holders of the system of authority is a critical act, an enactment of intelligence in Vico's terms, a discovering experience which is mediated by an encounter with other human beings who also live within the power structure either as rulers or as subordinate. Such an encounter, indeed, is often loaded with conflict, yet it is not reducible to contradiction; it has too the potential to become a learning experience from which solidarity may grow. Thus, it is an








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intersubjective phenomenon which opens up new alternative responses, ranging from overt defiance to passive resistance.

Finally, and more important, is the idea that, under the constraints outgrowing from any power structure, the knowledge and understanding gained by people regarding the actual workings of that very same structure may propel humans to act, to become knowledgeable agents, to move from what Heidegger categorizes as Dasein's move from a position of "throwness,"3 or inauthentic being-in the-world, to a situation of "taking over one's throwness" (1962:167, 383, and passim; 1988:350), or authentic understanding of the meaning of being-in-the-world. What is relevant for our purpose is not whether intentional human agency leads to resistance, revolution, approval, or accommodation. The significant point to be made is that humans are able to reflect upon unfavorable circumstances, understand how such circumstances came into being and are reproduced, become "spirited," with phronesis, in Aristotle's terms, act according to their perceptions and judgments of objective and subjective elements of their reality, fill with the personal knowledge gained through intersubjective experiences the interstices of the structures they belong to, and attempt (as an intentional act, a choice) to eventually obtain what, in their view, are the best possible results. Although probably he did not intend it that way, in making these remarks Aristotle provided us with important conceptual tools (phronesis in particular) to comprehend people's usage of ideology in positive


3 In Heidegger's ontology, Dasein means "man as the being which comprehends Being" (Spiegelberg 1984:741); throwness generally refers to the condition of being in a situation that we have not opted for freely. Likewise, whereas inauthentic being is restricted to knowing how to perform the instrumental tasks of daily life, authentic being consists in understanding the meaning of our doings.









terms. This will become clearer in the discussion of Montafiteros' and Sabaneros' authentic engagement with modernization and tradition. Let us turn to Bacon and Hobbes.

The ideas on common sense knowledge held by Bacon and Hobbes

grew at a historical moment in which positive ideas on science, state control over civil society and man's control over nature, as well as the notions of order and progress were laying the foundations on which the ideology of the public sphere (Habermas, discussed below) was eventually to be placed. We need not discuss such a vast field at present (see Cerney 1990; Nisbet 1980). The important point to be addressed is that the two philosophers rejected common sense knowledge not only because, in their view, it was based upon unscientific constructs, but also because it was misleading and ideological in the negative sense that Napoleon and others after him were going to use the term "ideology."
Interestingly, Bacon's and Hobbes's attacks were directed against the par excellent ideological weapon: language, or better put, discourse. Succinctly, Bacon's claim was that, in order for the human mind to advance in its knowledge of nature, four Idols (sic) must be, so to speak, removed. The Idols of the Tribe, Cave, Market Place, and Theater, according to him, were acting as a veil which either prevented people from seeing what was actually happening in the world, or gave them an erroneous view of it. It is not by accident that he characterized the Idols of the Market Place as the most troublesome "for it is by discourse that men associate; and words [at the market] are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar" (1946:177). This fear of discourse in the hand of common people becomes more apparent when one sees Hobbes labeling metaphors as one of the four abuses of speech made by men who "use words metaphorically - that is, in other senses than







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they are ordained for--and thereby deceive others" (1958:38; my stress). It is worth bearing in mind the contrast between their views and Vico's position of this issue. Destutt de Tracy, as we shall see in a moment, was part of the empiricist tradition represented by Bacon and Hobbes.
The recurrent theme we are seeing in this review is the

epistemological problematic of the knowing subject and her relation to the world; untangling such a puzzle was a major concern for de Tracy. The driving force in his empiricist position was to overcome the sort of rationalism manifested by Descartes's dictum "I think, therefore I am" (1972:101) followed by his more radical questioning of the relation between his body and his thoughts. Destutt de Tracy, to be sure, was not against the recognition of thought and ideas as important constituents of human life, but rather to the separation between ideas and the material world in the manner Descartes had done. Being concerned with positive science in a fashion similar to Bacon's and Hobbes's positions, the forefather of the concept of ideology made explicit that "ideology [science of ideas] is a part of Zoology, and it is especially in man that this part is important and deserves to be more deeply understood" (cf. Williams 1985:56). As noted by Carlnaes this naturalist characterization of ideology had "no regard for religion, normative considerations, or traditional metaphysics" (1981:25). Thus, Napoleon's accusation against de Tracy and his collaborators (calling them "ideologists") was based on his conviction that the theorists who were busy with such a science were of no help to solve France's grave political and economic tribulations.4 His statements marked the birth of a negative notion of ideology.

4 Napoleon's motivations for using ideologists as a nickname was based on political reasons rather than on scientific considerations as such. Antoine de







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It was precisely such a derogatory notion of ideology that Marx and Engels adopted in their attack on all forms of so-called idealism and mechanistic materialism, including the positive science of de Tracy. Their overarching goal in criticizing the notion of ideology was twofold: first, to state that all mental processes (ideology included) arise from human action, production in particular or, as they said "the language of real life" (1985:47); second, they were concerned with drawing the line separating true from false knowledge (or consciousness) of social reality, as is clearly discerned from their assertion that "in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura" (ibid.; stress in the original).
The belief in the existence of an inverted world in need to be turned back on its feet, propelled Marx and Engels to characterize ideology as, so to speak, a mirror which distorts the image of a well-defined, true, real world. As indicated above and suggested by the title of this chapter, I disagree with such a negative connotation of ideology. This however, does not rule out my appreciation for Marx's significant contributions on the issues of commodity fetichism and alienation, both of which are central for any serious interpretation of the interrelation of appearance, perception, consciousness, reality, subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity. Let us briefly look at these two relevant concepts.
The market, the place at which use-value and exchange-value meet, does not only make possible the circulation of commodities; it is also a site where social relations converge, alliances and contradictions pollinate, and


Tracy and his collaborators were indeed in the process of creating the constitutional foundations for the new state in France. On this, see Brian William Head. 1985. Ideology and Social Science. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Also useful are Larrain (1979), Ley (1985), and Seliger (1976).









the familiar contours of our everydayness suddenly appear different, inverted. Bacon referred to these changes in perception taking place at the market place (his Idols) long before Adam Smith (1983:131-132) elaborated on the difference between use-value and exchange-value. Likewise, Aristotle's claim that "it is demand which binds society together as a unit" (1943:163) is perhaps the oldest predecessor of what Marx was going to say about commodities several centuries after the collapse of the ideal polis.
From Marx's complex analysis, we may extract the ideas central to our present task: first, it is through exchange of their products that producers actually interact with each other; second, it is not as use-value but rather as exchange-value that commodities become so mysterious, so capable of inverting the real world of social relations between people as if it were a set of relations between things, or "social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses" (1977:1:72; my stress); third, beyond their rather simple, trivial appearance, commodities conceal a more complex world of social relations; fourth, the essence of that world of social relations, which on the surface appears as a relation between commodities, is indeed the labor devoted by the producers themselves to make possible that such commodities become exchangeable in the market; finally, such a perception of commodities' appearances, instead of their concealed world of human labor, is what Marx (ibid.) termed "the Fetishism [sic] of commodities."
Once again, one sees Marx saying that the camera obscura of ideological representations leads (or rather misleads) human beings to perceive at first only the inverted world of appearances. This first manifestation of ideological concealment brings into the scenario the alienation concept, whose succinct analysis shall help us deal with the relation between ideology and false







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consciousness (an association which, to the best of my knowledge, Marx himself never made explicit). This will finally take us to Hegel's notions of consciousness, self-consciousness, reason, and alienation.
Alienation, in Marxian terms, has in commodity fetishism its closest constituent because of the fourfold estrangement or separation (Ollman 1986) of the producers' humanity which is made possible by market transactions between things, instead of between people. Let us outline this fourfold separation or estrangement affecting producers. First, a separation from producers and what they produce occurs when commodities are exchanged. Second, producers experience an estrangement from their fellow human beings because market transactions are assumed to be taking place between things rather than between concrete people. Third, estrangement from nature occurs through production itself, though it is not inherently negative; rather, so Marx thought, its negative facet is shaped by the social relations framing human action. Finally, there is an estrangement from themselves, from their personal essence, from the source of their concrete labor, as well as from their historical possibilities (see Marx 1964; Marx and Engels 1985). In addition to the rather existential ramifications of this fourfold alienation, Marx devoted most of his life to demonstrate how economic exploitation (alienation) of the producers by the non-producers ends up as an economic profit made by the latter at the expense of the former's well-being. In short, he argued, concrete human labor is devoted to the production of surplus-products (the ones produced beyond the satisfaction of immediate needs for consumption needs); under capitalism, according to Marx, products (commodities) are exchanged in the market with the mediation of an equivalent form of value (money), from which surplus-value is extracted; this surplus-value is the source of capitalist economic profit (see Marx 1973, 1977).







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I agree with most of Marx's characterization of both alienation and

commodity fetishism, and see it as a powerful way to look at the objective and subjective dimensions of structuration (or regimentation of civil society by structures). However, I think that human beings attempt to overcome alienation using precisely the ideological constructs that Marx rejected. That this is actually the case is discernible from the excellent work of Nash (1979) among Bolivian tin miners, as well as from Taussig's (1986) in South America. Succinctly, Nash documented how Bolivian tin miners utilize rituals existing since pre-capitalist times in order to resist the process of alienation associated with an increasingly commoditized economy and its concomitant process of economic exploitation. Those miners related to both The Tio (an evil figure representing the mines' consumption of human labor) and the Christian saints as part of a totality rather than as separate parts of the Pachamama or "ancient space/time concept immanent in the earth (p.122). I see Nash convincingly arguing against Marx's position that alienation is a logical consequence of economic exploitation and harship. By documenting how people have been able to use their beliefs, symbols, and rituals as a way to counteract the "dominant ideology," she has enhanced our understanding of human agency.
Taussig's (1986) work on commodity fetishism also provides us with significant insights into the work of ideological response to alienation. Though drawing on Marxian ideas, he documents the notion of evil in a way that goes beyond Marx's negative view of ideology. Indeed, Taussig illustrates how the notion of evil in the are he studied is shaped by both the objective encroachment of capitalism and natives' perception of such process. Central to his argument is that the shift from the production of use-value to the production of exchange value creates a new set of interaction among people








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as well as a new ideology. Furthermore, he argues that changes in the mode of production are interpreted by people using their cosmological understanding and explanation of the world. It is in this context of objective and subjective process, Taussig argues, that people associate capitalism and material wealth with the devil. Central to such a contention is that people do not have another way to explain how some of them are getting reacher while most are getting poorer. My interpretation of Montafiero's and Sabaneros' usage of the notion of baci in the context of ontic and ontological insecurity, which I discuss in Chapter 7 of this dissertation, has been significantly influenced by Taussig's work. An aspect of his work I do not share, though, is his somewhat deterministic position on how changes in the so-called infrastructure create a different set of human relations and new ideological constructions as well. My argument, which I develop in Chapters 6 and 7, is that (under specific circumstances) it may be the reverse. By this I mean that specific sets of interaction among people, combined by concrete ideologies, by accelerate or slow down changes in the infrastructure.
In making the foregoing characterization of alienation and surplusvalue, Marx was arguing in particular against Hegel and Ricardo on the ground of political philosophy and political economy. To survey the whole field of that debate is not essential for us at present. Rather, let us turn to Hegel's so-called idealism, in particular to his notions of consciousness, selfconsciousness, and reason. I hasten to state that, for this schematic account of Hegel's notion of alienation, I am deliberately overlooking the well-known "tension" between his work on culture and history (Hegel 1956, 1977) and his








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mostly ontological formulations (Hegel 1990; see also Marcuse 1987). At present I am referring to his work on culture and history only.5

Heidegger contributed to clarify the concept of alienation, which is

significant for our next examination of ideology as a positive manifestation of human agency. Rather than an independent consciousness A la Descartes, Heidegger portrayed concrete men engaged in building, doing, farming, and so forth; alongside such practical enactments, he argued, human beings (as Dasein) have the possibility of achieving an authentic mode of being, granted they understood the meaning of being. Failing from gaining such authentic understanding Heidegger termed "falling Being-in the-world" (1962:222), which leads human beings (as Dasein) to fall into a mood of "temptation, tranquilizing, alienation and self-entangling" (p. 223; my stress). To the question of how to avoid this alienation, Heidegger's answer comes as no surprise: "through knowledge and will" (p.175). As we shall see in a moment, in adopting this solution to the problem of alienation, he was not only confronting Marx; he was also setting the scheme which later became so appealing to many phenomenologists and existentialists.6
The Hegelian argument that the realization of the Spirit (sic) is

history's starting point, followed by his assertion that the State (sic) was, so to speak, the location at which such a realization was supposed to take place, are


5 On this, see Sidney Hook. 1985. From Hegel to Marx. The University of Michigan Press; Alexander Koj~ve. 1969. Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Basic Books, New York. From the bibliography in this dissertation, see Heiss (1975); Hyppolite (1974); and Taylor (1980).
6 I acknowledge that the name of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) should be present in any serious discussion on will, power, knowledge and ideology. However, discussing his controversial philosophy would make this overview too ambitious. On this, see Schutte (1984).







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too well-known to be repeated here. However, from that general dictum we need to highlight his assertion that consciousness and will are two essential mediations for such a process to occur (1956:55). In the context of our quest, the notions of consciousness and will are dealt with in close relation with the concepts of desire, aspiration, and intentionality. It is at this juncture that we see Hegel's participation in shaping the crossroad to be faced later on by Heidegger and Marx: first, one sees Hegel describing the rather painful situation of a Spirit that is at war with itself in the process of "realization of its Ideal being" (ibid.); second, and more important, he tells us that instead of resolving this contradiction, the Spirit "hides that goal from its own vision [Marx's camera obscura, Heidegger's falling], and is proud and well satisfied [Heidegger's 'tranquilizing'] in his alienation from it" (ibid; my stress).
Taking this characterization of alienation from the level of the Spirit to the level of social reality, Hegel depicts the world and the self going through a similar dialectical process of development in which reason (and with it total freedom, truth, scientific consciousness) is the goal to be eventually achieved. Yet, different from Kant, the individual he is referring to is part of a community of human beings engaged in manifold intersubjective relations, facing their most immediate desires, seeking recognition from one another while struggling with the immediate sense of the material world (consciousness, thought, perception) in order to, through self-reflection, evolve to a higher and more meaningful level of perceiving and understanding (self-consciousness, reason, truth, science). To be sure, Hegel (1977:301) is dealing here with tangible entities in which the individual (self) is closely embedded, namely state power, culture, and work. This is clearly discerned from his statement that "even the departed spirit is present in his blood-relationship, in the self of the family, and the universal power of the







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government is the 3Ml the self of the nation"(p. 295; stress in the original). To this he later added that, in order to gain absolute freedom (leave alienation behind), the Spirit would need to go through a revolution (inner and outer alike), and abandon "this region of culture" (p. 296).
Thus, the individual one sees in Hegel's characterization of society is one whose aim is to move beyond his immediate instrumental existence and perceptions (consciousness), which are indeed conditioned by work, culture, and the power of the state. From this rather illusory immediate existence, through self-reflection, the individual may eventuality reach a level of selfconsciousness at which the incomplete perception of the world he previously had is overcome, and a true (more scientific) understanding of reality is gained. However, the experience of that attempt, the realization of how the immediate world (state, culture, work, nature, and so forth) hampers, so to speak, the possibility of gaining the level of self-consciousness is precisely what makes the individual feel alienation. Alienation occurs, Hegel continues, when we experience the difference between consciousness and self-consciousness (Meister 1991:351; see also Koj~ve 1969). The question, however, remains: How do we overcome alienation while carrying out the instrumental tasks of everyday existence? As discussed below, my argument is that it is though solidarity, social imagination, and phronesis that we human beings may overcome such a tremendous objective-subjective situation.
Interpreters of Hegel have highlighted the role he assigned to human will (see Marcuse 1941:185), reflection and knowledge (see Hyppolite 1969:84) in the struggle to overcome alienation and reach self-consciousness and reason. As we saw earlier, Heidegger also recognized in knowledge and will two crucial sources of non-alienation. Hyppolite (1969, 1984) has praised







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Hegel, in my view correctly, for pointing out the direct impact that state power, work, and culture make upon two closely interconnected processes in human existence, namely objectification (individuation) and alienation. In my view, Marx, and with him many of his followers, however explicit their indebtedness to Hegel might be, have not being particularly generous in acknowledging the latter's contribution to our understanding of the role played by intentionality, desire, and will, in relation to political economy and social ontology (I, the Other, We). I think that such an attitude is paired with a rejection of Hegel's emphasis on the notions of reciprocity and recognition, rather than just on struggle (Marx's central political concern). I acknowledge Hegel's influence in my interpretation of Montafieros' and Sabaneros' enactment of solidarity and subtle ideological resistance in the realm of "the underground hurricane" (discused below).
We may close this classical debate on alienation, fetishism, perception, reality, illusion, consciousness and the like by summarizing Marx's overt characterization of ideology as a mask preventing people from seeing what is really occurring beyond the world of appearances. To him the essence of human society is the concrete labor of producers. That essence he depicted as being inverted, concealed, by the market transactions through which usevalue interplay with exchange-value. Such economic transactions he held accountable for creating the illusion (commodity fetishism) that it is a relation between things (commodities) instead of a relation between people (intersubjectivity) that actually occurs at the market. When ideologists like Hobbes look at the power of the state, Marx and Engels argued, they only see "the symptoms, the expression of other [essential] relations upon which State power rests" (1985:106; stress in the original). So convinced were Marx and Engels of the role played by ideologists in the constitution of illusions in







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particular and social control in general, that they explicitly mentioned "the delusion of the ideologists and the division of labor" (p. 66) as key elements in the ruling class' hegemony over civil society. Their often-quoted argument that in class-based societies the ruling ideas are the ones held by the ruling class, summarizes their overall negative conception of ideology (see Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner 1980).
Convinced as he was that the producers' concrete labor was the
essential source of wealth upon which the entire social structure was based, Marx blamed ideology for not letting people see such a true phenomenon. His determination to overcome the actual foundations of a reality whose image was distorted by the camera obscura is clearly stated in his often-quoted thesis that "the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it" (1985:123; stress in the original). Such a call for action placed the working class in capitalist society as the historical subject who, partially because of its epistemological superiority, among other more "objective" endowments, will be able to move eventually beyond ideological representations, put to work the scientific instrument Marx saw himself forging, and change the world from being a place plagued with alienation to become a location for non-alienated human beings. This is not the place to discuss whether this utopia had then, or has now, a chance to become reality. Instead, let us bring peasants into the picture for a second in order to illustrate how the label "false consciousness" has been literally pasted over peasants' faces because of their (supposed) inability to perceive the real world, and become active agents in its revolutionary transformation. This digression is crucial for our later discussion on peasants as survivors.
In what has been recognized as one of Marx's best pieces of sociological work, he took good care in characterizing the composition of France's









agricultural structure. One needs to bear in mind that The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte was written as a piece of research devoted to the examination of a major political event in which small-holding peasants provided the social base upon which Louis Bonaparte's project was chiefly assembled. Marx characterized those French peasants using the following words:

A small holding, a peasant and his family; alongside
them another small holding, another peasant and
another family .... In this way, the great mass of the
French nation is formed by simple addition of
homologous magnitudes, much as potatoes [sic] in a
sack form a sack of potatoes. (Marx 1983:478-479)

What shall we make out of this? To begin with, Marx is suggesting that the interplay of physical isolation and mundane life makes impossible for this particular peasant type to become a cultural and political community resembling the ideal type of social actor he saw in the working class. This point is better illustrated if one sees Marx saying a few second after the previous statement that, in addition to the potatoes-like peasants, there were other peasants doing things in a different way. By this he meant peasants overtly acting against the dominant classes. Such as 'revolutionary' peasant type Marx characterized as the one that:

strikes out beyond the condition of his social
existence [Hegel's consciousness], wants to overthrow
the old order [...I contrary to those who, in stupefied
seclusion [alienation] want to see themselves and
their small holdings saved and favoured by the ghost
of the empire. It represents not the enlightenment, but the superstition [alienation] of the peasant; not his judgement [Hegel's self-consciousness, reason]
but his prejudice [ideology, illusion, false consciousness].
(Marx, ibid.)
One may conclude that Marx, contrary to Vico, attributed to the
mundane everyday life of these small-holding peasants the responsibility for








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their insufficient understanding of the complexity of social reality beyond the confines of peasant villages. His core argument is that, in contradistinction to these rather dull peasants, one can actually witness the working class and other allies who, because of both their epistemological superiority and objective position in the reproduction of the whole system, are able to understand the nature of their poverty, move beyond illusions and appearances, and take action for the replacement of the whole social structure. But, how much false consciousness is in daily life? Or, for that matter, what is false consciousness anyway? With regard to peasants, a central question to be asked is: How do peasants internalize (feel) the objective process of alienation taking place in their economic transactions? Further, what sort of intentional action are taken by peasants in order to reverse objective and subjective alienation? As we shall see in a moment, it is the stance toward "the conditions of social existence" that eventually draws the line between those scientists who either value or disdain the world of everyday life as a location from which genuine reflection, scientific formulations, and critical theory may be gathered.
The Contemporary Debate
It was chiefly from the context of the foregoing debate between so-called idealists and materialists that the notions of consciousness and unconscious, reification and class consciousness, phenomena, hegemony, essence, appearance, repression, and so forth became closely associated with a language whose usage was not restricted to political discourse. For the sake of brevity, and running the risk of oversimplifying the ramifications of this new polyvalent discourse, let us assume that, in relation to ideology and intentionality, five main lines of inquiry are closely linked to the problematic posed by the previous classical debate starting with Plato. Once again, I do not








88
mean to imply that there is an explicit or implicit agreement between the theorists I have placed in each cluster (see Figure 4). For instance, though I have put Heidegger and Gramsci in the same neighborhood, I am aware of the sharp differences between them. The same is true in the case of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Foucault and Habermas, L~vy-Bruhl and Schutz, Gadamer and Habermas, and so on.

This overview is carried out in three interconnected steps. First, in a
highly schematic way I will indicate the core issues addressed by each member of the different clusters depicted in Figure 4. Second, I will discuss in some detail the contributions on the field of ideology made by a couple of scholars from each group. Third, a summary of the whole overview will be presented before moving into the section on peasants as survivors. The work of John B. Thompson and Slavoj Zizek will be used to close this survey. The interpretive scheme
First, we see the cluster of theorists concerned with hermeneutics, or interpretation of social reality using the model of the text, as well as with experience. Even though not all of them fully subscribed Kant's well-known dictum that "a thing can never come before me except in appearance" (1965:286), I think it is fair to say that their concern for symbols, cognition, and meaning was significantly shaped by the Kantian philosophy of appearances. Further, their critical attitude toward Cartesianism ultimately places them in a neo-Kantian position. However, the emphasis that most of these scholars put on intersubjectivity and action situates them closer to Hegel's search for collective praxis than to Kant's quest for the transcendental ego. Their work represents one of strongest constitutive elements of the contemporary phenomenological movement to be characterized in Chapter 3 of this dissertation.








89
Succinctly, Cassirer's work on symbols and the phenomenology of
knowledge is one of the finest contributions to the interpretation of culture as a symbolically mediated phenomenon in which perception plays a central role. The special attention he gives to the spatial-temporal order ((1985:203) of social phenomena is, in my view, a major step forward in our understanding of the interplay of parts and wholes in human society. Husserl, as indicated earlier, is credited for his sophisticated elaboration on the notion of intersubjectivity. This concept is central to the comprehension of processes of solidarity, and ideological conducts in daily life. This will become more apparent in Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this dissertation..
The well-known work of Mannheim on sociology of knowledge, utopia and ideology represents a major turning point in the study of ontological and societal processes of change. Though limitations of time prevent me from doing a critical examination of his position of these
0
complex issues, I want to make two brief comments. First, I disagree with his argument that the particular conception of ideology "makes its analysis of ideas on a purely psychological [therefore subjective] level" (1936:57), whereas the total conception operates at an objective level "without any reference to motivation" (p.58) and primarily focused on the functional-structural constituents of a given social situation. In my view, that separation between the individual and the "structure" undermines his own argument in favor of the ontological (I, the Other, We) dimension of societal phenomena. Second, I think he made an important contribution in arguing that a utopian state of thought is incongruous with its immediate social surroundings. This enables us to understand the role of utopias in the actual occurrence of social change (radical revolutions included). The weak point of his otherwise accurate




Full Text

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UNDERGROUND HURRICANE: PEASANT IDEOLOGY AND SOCIOCULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN TWO DOMINICAN VILLAGES By MANUEL VARGAS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1992

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Copyright 1992 By Manuel Vargas

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To my parents, Rafael and Tina Vargas, my children, Manuel E. and Tania A. Vargas Pereyra, and my wife, Heike Amelung, with gratitude and love

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research on which this dissertation is based was funded by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. The Dominican Ministry of Agriculture provided me with partial financial support during the nearly seven years of training at the University of Florida. The Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida awarded me four teaching assistantships during the 1988-1992 period. I gratefully acknowledge their support. My fieldwork among Sabaneros and Montaneros was an experience that helped me to become a better human being. I received support from dozens of them in a way I did not expect. In particular, Julio Acosta, Fernando Feliz, Ladislao Leger, Pericles Mercedes, Manuel David Molina, Cosme Perez, Rosaura Ramirez, Ramona Rojas, and Ricardo Rojas provided me with warm friendship and priceless research assistance that made my stay in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah an enjoyable one. I thank all of them for their generosity and teaching and hope this dissertation is not detrimental to their lives. Over the years I have accumulated a special debt of gratitude with many friends. In the U.S., Cheryl Danley, Thea deWet, and Carole Noon have always been supportive and generous. In the Dominican Republic, Ines Brioso, Radhame de Leon, and Jacqueline Perez have been the kind of friends one has to be proud of. Domingo Marte and Hipolito Mejia deserve credit for two of the major decisions I have made in my life. The former encouraged IV

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me to pursue a new career at the University of Florida; the latter appointed me the head of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Deep South. At different moments of my research, Luis Medrano and Geraldo Roghmans generously shared with me their understanding of southern Dominican peasants. Ignacio Caraballo provided me with valuable historical information on the cultivation of peanuts in my area of study. I thank all of them with a deep sense of gratitude. Neither my training as an anthropologist nor this dissertation would have been possible without the encouragement and intellectual support of my mentor. Professor Anthony Oliver-Smith. What I learned from him ranges from designing a research project to writing and thinking with clarity. From the early stages of my training to the last page of this dissertation he has put in long hours to support my quest for both the consistence of science and the human dimension of intellectual work. For me he is a role model of excellent scholarship. I thank him in particular for letting me follow unconventional paths in this dissertation, without reproach. Dissertation committee members Drs. Gustavo A. Antonini, Loy Van Crowder, Paul L. Doughty, Art Flansen, and Anthony Oliver-Smith have contributed to my education in an exemplary way. All of them have been highly demanding professors as well as competent advisers. Each has exposed me to new ideas and refreshing ways to explore reality~Dr. Antonini to the significance of geography to anthropology. Dr. Van Crowder to the application of theory in the realm of action. Dr. Doughty to applied anthropology, the anthropology of human rights, peasant studies, research methods, and the ethical dimension of anthropological practice. Dr. Hansen to economic anthropology and the uniqueness of Africa in the world economy, and Dr. v

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Oliver-Smith to the complexity of the interplay of material and ideational constructs, class and ethnicity, and local and global issues. I gratefully thank them for their friendship. Even though they were not on my dissertation committee, Drs. Ofelia Schutte, Marianne Schmink, and Hernan Vera have provided me with guidance at different moments of my quest-Dr. Schutte in my attempt to use phenomenology in this study. Dr. Schmink for writing my dissertation proposal, and Dr. Vera to enhance my understanding of ideology and hermeneutics. Drs. Robert Lawless and Kent Redford contributed to my understanding of ecological issues. Dr. Allan Burns exposed me to the fields of sociolinguistics and visual anthropology. Special thanks also go to Bill Black for his help in the drawing of most of the illustrations in this dissertation. Pam Smith helped me with her knowledge of acupuncture to keep my emotional balance while writing this study. I thank each of them for their priceless help. The love and material support I have received from my family go beyond normal limits. My parents, both of them the children of peasants, always encouraged me to read, work hard, and be a decent person. Whatever good is in me is primarily due to their teaching in daily life. My sisters, my brother and their families have been an important source of affection and identity in my life. My son and my daughter have given me a good and beautiful reason to be thankful for being alive. Finally, my deep gratitude to my wife and friend, Heike. She not only had the courage to read the entire dissertation, but also the sensitivity to understand why I have told this story with a concern for affection and aesthetics. During the difficult moments of the writing process, she was present with love, generosity, and emotional vi

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support. In the best sense of the word, she is an abitan, a persistent dweller who deserves recognition for helping others (me included) to grow in wisdom and love. Vll

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABSTRACT CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION In Search of my Subject: Encountering Myself The First Discovery and Its Ideological Ramifications . Hurricane Ines as a Marker of a New Life The Deep South, Ideological Distance, and the Arrival of Sorghum The Two Villages The Arrival of Sorghum 2 IDEOLOGY, AND SURVIVAL: BEYOND THE "CAMERA OBSCURA" Power, Knowledge, Claim, Belief, Utopia, and Ideology: The Role of Human Agency The Classical Debate The Contemporary Debate Peasants as Survivors: Dwelling and Abitan as Ideological Concepts Dwelling Abitan Peasantries, Peasant Ideology, and the Larger Society 3 IN SEARCH OF A METHOD Phenomenology: the Understanding of Everyday Life and Lived Experience Fieldwork Experience and Research Strategy .......... 4 THE CIBAENOS The People: El Cibao, La Lrnea, La Sierra Self-respect Fairness Compassion-faith Involvement page . . iv . . . x . .1 . .1 33 .40 .43 43 .46 62 .63 .68 .87 118 119 123 .130 144 .145 .160 175 .176 185 189 .192 .195 vm

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The Land: Northern Dominican Republic in the National Context 200 Time and Space in the Genesis of Cibaenos 221 5 THE SURENOS 278 The People: South, Deep South, the Frontier 279 Endurance 293 Pleasure 296 Suffering * * ’ ‘ ’301 Belonging The Land of the Deep South 308 Time and Space in the Genesis of Montaneros 321 6 FACING A NEW LIFE TOGETHER 344 The Encounter: Structure, Power, Knowledge, and Culture 345 Production, Security, and the Begining of a New Life 375 7 SORGHUM, MONEY, AND PEOPLE 396 Politics, Development, Utopias, and Ideologies in a New Social Space 397 Becoming Wealthy, Remaining Safe: Preserving and Abandoning 423 A New Articulation: State and Local Institutions in a New Social Space 455 Looking for Tradition to Cope with Progress: Ideology at Work 8 CONCLUSIONS 529 APPENDICES 1 QUESTIONNAIRE 1 coy 2 QUESTIONNAIRE 2 ‘ 545 BIBLIOGRAPHY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH cr7 _ IX

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy UNDERGROUND HURRICANE: PEASANT IDEOLOGY AND SOCIOCULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN TWO DOMINICAN VILLAGES By Manuel Vargas December, 1992 Chairman: Anthony Oliver-Smith Major Department: Anthropology This study examines peasant ideology in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, two adjacent Dominican villages whose dwellers have engaged differently with modernization, in spite of having comparable structural constraints. It has four main objectives: 1) to comprehend and interpret the processes responsible for the constitution in time and space of Montaneros and Sabaneros as peasants who use ideology idiosyncratically as a source of security in daily life, rather than as a veil of ignorance, 2) to depict the interrelation of power, structure, culture, utopia, and ideology between the villages and the larger society, 3) to interpret the processes of social differentiation accompanying the changes in production, distribution, and consumption patterns, and 4) to test the adequacy of phenomenology for documenting phenomena that involve recognition, reciprocity, and struggle. Two significant patterns of behavior are documented through comparison of the processes of adopting hybrid sorghum, the new cash crop promoted by the state, and preserving the long-lived pattern of x

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production primarily devoted to self-consumption. It is depicted how peasants long-term survival relates to short-time economic gains, and how ideology helps them to make rational decisions. In order to explain the differential engagement with modernization and tradition, three main processes have been compared. First, the similarities and differences in their ethos are contrasted. Second, their access to productive resources is examined. Third, the socioeconomic and political processes responsible for their constitution in time and space are reconstructed. Special attention has been given to ethnicity and peasants' perception of their relationship to "the other," in relation to the phenomena of territorialization, centralization, and regionalization in the republic. The author argues that Montaneros' and Sabaneros' idiosyncratic conduct depicts their conscious use of ideology in the face of acute modernization and rapid erosion of traditional values. He also argues that ideology is conditioned by how intersubjective experiences are perceived, understood and interpreted by knowledgeable agents in particular spatiotemporal, culture-specific circumstances framed by a system of authority. Finally, it is argued that processes of political economy and social ontology need to be addressed for a holistic understanding of ideology. xi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The best thing of all would be that farmers should be slaves, not all of the same race and not spirited; for if they have no spirit they will be very suited for their work, and there will be no danger of their making a revolution.The next thing is that they should be peasants or of foreign stock, and of like inferior nature. Some of them should be slaves of individuals, and employed on private estates of men of property; the remainder should be the property of the state and employed on the common land. Aristotle (1943:397-98) In Search of My Subject: Encountering Myself On a windy, hot, dry, sunny Caribbean afternoon of 1989, nearly five hundred years since Christopher Columbus bestowed science, belief, power, courage, and personal knowledge on his discovery of Hispaniola, Miguel Ramirez, a Dominican peasant, places his tired left hand on his forehead, holds his hand-made cigar between his dry lips, takes a careful look at the strikingly blue sky, scrutinizes the slow-moving gigantic bulks of refulgent, multiform, white clouds, and claims, his voice indicating both disappointment and despair: "Damn it! There is not even a yellow mark of rain one can grasp" ("Car ajo! No hay siquiera una marca amarilla de lluvia q u e uno pueda agarrar "). It is already late September, and the long-awaited drops of fresh, transparent rain has not sent any clear sign of their increasingly uncertain arrival to drench the hot, thirsty soil. With a bittersweet mixture of anguish, hope, and anxiety, Miguel has been waiting for that sign of rain for three painfully long, distressing weeks. The precious rainwater was desperately needed to plant hybrid sorghum, the new cash crop 1

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2 introduced into the area on a date which Miguel, a man known for his good memory, remembers vividly: "It was Saturday, September 29, 1979," he says with both pride in his alert mind and concern for his decision to plant a crop so highly dependent on the inconstant rain. To him and the people living in this flat, semi-arid coastal region of the southwestern Dominican frontier, or Deep South, the area where the adjacent villages of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located (see Figure 1), the presence of yellow clouds in the late afternoon means that "The North" ("El Norte"), the trade wind slipping moisture-laden clouds from the north, will likely bring some rain into a region where all agriculture is rainfed. Weary of mending the barbed wire palisade of his farm plot since dawn, his body profusely sweating under the effects of the blazing sun, Miguel goes on to explain to me why he thinks a mistake was made when he and most peasants from Blue Mountain decided ten years earlier to change from a multi-cropping system of production, primarily oriented toward selfconsumption, to a monoculture pattern of production for the market that has made their households highly dependent on cash for food acquisition. In his discourse, nothing is missing. He shows an extraordinary awareness of the economic, nutritional, ecological and moral consequences his decision to plant hybrid sorghum as a monoculture is having on himself, his entire family, and his village. He also expresses his determination not to continue growing sorghum in the future, as well as his desire to return to his traditional agricultural pattern "as soon as the Norte comes in." Three weeks after our conversation took place, when the Norte had actually brought "good rain" ("ihmaj^ the one not damaging the crops) and the persistent drought was gone, when the good season had unmistakably colored the previously unclear line separating life from death

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3 in Blue Mountain, I saw Miguel happily busy in that unique manner peasants have of linking joy with work, spraying his four-hectare plot against the already swarming insects. His plot, which just a few weeks earlier was a deserted site from which ghost-like winds raised waves of reddish dust, suddenly had become a green field packed with short, healthy-looking, new born plants of sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor) . "You know," he says with great conviction, "we peasants have to take whatever comes first. The government provides us with credit to grow sorghum and nobody helps us grow cassava, beans, or sweet potatoes. We also have to flatter those who have the power. We have to dissimulate; that is what we have to do: we are peasants." I wrote in my notebook that day, "Miguel's behavior: precise discourse, ambiguous behavior." In Green Savannah, just five miles from Miguel's village, Rafael Perez, a 65-year-old peasant who at age fourteen began practicing slash-and-burn agriculture on the plot he himself had cleared using fire, his then-strong body, a sharp axe, and his restless machete, stands up on his conuco (Taino word for small farm plot). His feet are covered by three inches of red, dry soil. He takes his brown hat off his gray-haired head, concentrates on the roaring sound coming from the agitated nearby Caribbean Sea, and, with a big smile growing on his dark, friendly face, says to his industrious wife Tina: "We can now relax; that is the flood-tide telling us that the rain will come shortly" ( ^P° demos estar tranquilos; ese e s el m ar de leva diciendonos que la IhivH vi ene pronto "). Passed down through generations of settlers in an area where most present-day dwellers admit being afraid of the sea, the "mar de lev* " (raising flood-tide) metaphor ("leva" in Spanish meaning to weigh anchor, — ' meanm g sea) is used to name the liminal stage between

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4 interconnected social and natural phenomena, such as a "good rain" following a steady drought. 0 0 Figure 1. General Map of Hispaniola, With Main Locations.

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5 Rafael s hope for the good rain, however, is not related to growing hybrid sorghum on his farm. In contrast to Miguel's decision to plant the new cash crop, Rafael's was to keep on working with his traditional multicropping system of production primarily committed to the production of subsistence goods, taking some products to the market and keeping others for self-consumption. He, a peasant with enough land to profitably grow sorghum and raise his nominal income, has persistently refused to do so for nearly ten years. In his view, "Sorghum brings hunger to people; you have the illusion of making some profit, but what actually happens is that you work just to pay your credit back to the bank. To me growing food for my family and myself is more important than having a few bucks in my pocket. If my family does not eat well, what worth is in having money from the bank, just to feel that you have some bucks in your pockets?" This narrative 1 is based on a comparative and historical study of peasants' engagement with a state-induced process of social change leading to rapid agricultural modernization and acute social differentiation. The manifold ways dwellers of these two villages (sometimes deliberately, sometimes unintentionally) have become part of such processes, and perceive and interpret them (at times accurately, at others loosely), and cope intentionally with such phenomena (sometimes satisfactorily, sometimes 1 My usage of a narrative style of exposition is in accord with the phenomenological and historical stances I have adopted in this dissertation In particular, my choice of a narrative style has been significantly inspired bv ?"? hist ° r ™ d °u. byphilos^her Savfd X Carr (I 986 ). The epistemological, methodological, and ethical foundations of a compJrThvTmlhnHT men0l ° 8y i, are discussed in Chapter 3. The notion of comparative method I am using here is in accord with Ragin's (1989) attempt comparative studies paying special attention to histories and qu"'v? s^er rc0mmS ,he Separa “ 0n b6tWeen < ’ Ualitative a " d

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6 defectively), constitute the most immediate empirical evidence on which this dissertation draws. Because of the historical character of this narrative, the data dealing with the constitution of these peasants are equiprimordial with the ethnographic data. It is a cardinal concern of this study to address the highly theoretical issues that the notion of ideology entails. Such a theoretical quest goes hand in hand with our search for cogent answers to the rather practical questions posed by the differential instrumental action of peasants in these two sites, a representative sample of which are Miguel's and Rafael's different comportment toward sorghum cultivation. These two intertwined levels of inquiry are referred here to the current debate on the relationship between political economy and social ontology, culture and structure, the socalled infrastructure and superstructure, individual and society, as well as to other equally relevant theoretical issues. Those related issues are outlined below in this chapter. Although this study looks at sorghum cultivation as the leading event of the general process of modernization in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, it also seeks an interpretation of the preconditions and ramifications of such a process. The bottom line of this holistic and historical perspective is that peasants' ideological engagement with sorghum has taken place in a context broader than a simple attempt to maximize profit, that is illustrated by the praxes of these two peasants from the Deep South. After witnessing Miguel's and Rafael's idiosyncratic conduct toward sorghum cultivation, a mixed feeling of confusion, ignorance, and curiosity grew up inside of me. There I was, just a few weeks into my fieldwork experience, feeling that I knew nothing about peasant rationality. I did not expect that to happen to me. After all, I was doing research in my own country, speaking in my own native language and, still more relevant, doing so after having spent more than ten years working directly with peasants as

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7 an agronomist. Further, I had previously visited Blue Mountain and Green Savannah at least twenty times while working for the government as a developer. The image of the day I visited Blue Mountain by helicopter six years earlier returned to my mind like an embarrassing, disquieting old picture refusing to turn yellow, insisting on showing to me a reminiscence of my own creation. It was as if a chapter of my past experience as a promoter of change did not want to go away, alienated, forgotten, denied by its own actor. That visit took place nearly three years after sorghum cultivation began. The other occupants of the helicopter were all high-ranking governmental officers who wanted to see for themselves how much good the new cash crop had actually done in the area. The vividness of that image was impossible to ignore, even nearly ten years later. The moment when we saw, below yet not too distant, the moving shadow of the helicopter flying close to the ground, like an independent observer who seeks true facts instead of mere appearances, was unforgettable. Down on the right, like waves of a brown reddish ocean of hope moving toward the multicolored cement houses of Blue Mountain, were the beautiful enclosed fields covered by brownish panicles of sorghum, ready to be harvested; those rounded grains were shortly to become raw material for the cattle and poultry industries, converted into a commodity from which someone, somehow, somewhere was going to make an economic profit larger than the one made by local peasants. On the left, parallel to the unpaved road that divides the town and links the region with the Haitian border scarcely fifty miles away, were hundreds of hungry cattle egrets ( Bulbulcus ibis) , searching for food like anyone else does during harvest time, indifferent to the noise made by the fully loaded trucks transporting the grain to the nation's capital for manufacturing. The white birds, divided in rather chaotic clusters, their

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8 nearly transparent wings stretched out on the air like thin grasping arms, were following the roaring green John Deere mechanical harvester which, like a gigantic coleopterous running on the ground, was speedily cutting the dry panicles, shaking out from them the tiny sorghum grains, and, with the help of just two farm operators, putting the brown grains into sacks, like an assembly factory. Behind this rather fascinating display of technology were three small groups of women, men, and children, bent down like fragile banana trees hit by the high winds so common in this tropical dry forest, picking up the sacks containing sorghum grain being dropped on the ground by the combine. The scene on the ground was a display of industriousness, an affirmation of life in a geographic area whose constitution over time has been marked by so much fatality, war, and destruction. While faced by the puzzle of my fieldwork, I recalled the comment made by all four occupants of the official helicopter while flying over the sorghum fields that day, feeling genuinely proud of what the government had done to help one of the poorest regions in the Dominican Republic: Before sorghum," one of us said, receiving approval from the rest, "it was difficult for one to see a vehicle around here; now, it is very different: there is . movement, progress. From up here you can see everything going on down there; it is a perfect view." Yet, how perfect was that view really? What was actually occurring in the lives of dwellers like Miguel and Rafael? Plato's (1971:747-749) well-known metaphor in which fettered men, dwelling in underground caves, unable to move their heads and legs, seeing nothing but shadows cast from the fire on the caves' walls end up perceiving the world as just that, a reality peopled by Forms, suddenly became a concrete reality to me. That metaphor, frequently applied to illustrate how knowledge of reality is mediated by our perception of appearances (the shadows or Forms) and how

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9 education, by always being incomplete, simultaneously fetters and frees our knowledge of those shadows or Forms, raised the question in my mind: how good was our view of these two villages? How accurately did our perception the day we flew over correspond to the truth in the lives of those dwellers? Our focus upon the flow of loaded trucks, our interest on what was about to be gained by peasants monetarily, as well as our emphasis upon what was being cultivated, done, made, overshadowed what was being progressively eroded, lost, under the effects of modernization and progress. ^ Back in those days, my main interest was in the success of sorghum cultivation as an income generator for the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. As a developer, I had not needed to confront the sort of existential doubt I was facing now as an anthropologist. What had changed since I began studying anthropology? How had knowledge altered my vision of the lives of these dwellers I formally saw primarily, if not exclusively, as land cultivators? That questioning of past and present perspectives and interests helped me internalize the undeniable mutual relationship that exists between knowledge and human interest (Habermas 1971). By this I mean, drawing on Gadamer (1989), Husserl (1989), and Merleau-Ponty (1970), that our comprehension of the world we inhabit is mediated by an engaged 2 In the context of this narrative, modernization is defined as the raoid traCf ° rS ' mechanical harvesters, and The onrXcu P mlte7here. SOd0eCOn0miC ^ ideolo S i “ l in cases such as

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10 interrogation of our perceptual field. In other words, interest guides our knowledge and perception of reality, the narrowing and widening of our historical horizon, the understanding of the world beyond pre-thematic appearances. Inasmuch as reflection takes place, it bears an existential mirror helping us visualize the close interrelation of past, present, and future (Schutz 1982). Yet the tinfoil that makes a mirror different from a transparent glass, that which Gasche allegorically calls “the tain of the mirror" (1986:6, 238), is mediated by an encounter with others who help us see our own past. Such a reflective act also assisted me in confronting the old philosophical dictum, usually attributed to existentialism, which states that even though each individual might ultimately make his or her own free choices in life, we are ontologically defined with (and by) the mediation of the others. In the context of my fieldwork, peasants such as Miguel and Rafael were "my others." They were the ones holding up my existential mirror, perhaps symbolizing more a bridge leading to an encounter than a weapon to fear. Neither my research strategy and well-structured hypotheses, nor my anthropological training and previous field experience in the U.S., prevented me from feeling lost in a reality which I, perhaps naively, always thought I belonged to entirely. Feeling inescapably vulnerable and anxious, being interpellated 3 by reality in a way never experienced before, I realized that I was an outsider in my own culture. Helping me to counterbalance the deep sense of vulnerability, although not without apprehension, was my 3 I am borrowing the term "interpellation" from Althusser. Succinctly his idfoloeT held hv ;" te Tf lati0n ° r hailin § occurs the dominant

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1 1 conviction that telling the story of what had occurred in this scarcely known corner of a divided Caribbean island was a task worth carrying out. Determined as I was to comprehend and interpret the actions of peasants such as Miguel and Rafael, numerous questions, in addition to my ethical dilemma and ontological interrogation, kept pounding in my head. Why did Rafael not want to grow a crop which, granted good rain, would certainly give him in five months at least four times more cash than the total sum provided by the seven crops he was growing on his traditional conuco ? Why did he not want to become an income maximizer in the same way that Miguel, who lived literally next door, had chosen to be? What, besides the reasons he just had told me, could explain Rafael's behavior rationally? How were these two individual responses related to processes taking place over time in the two villages as well as outside their confines? The concept of ideology has been chosen to document such a complex situation because of the intimate interrelation of ideology, culture, structure, knowledge, and power in human history in general and modern times in particular. Inasmuch as the events upon which this narrative is based are part of processes related to the genesis, consolidation, and mutation of systems, institutions and structures (including the Dominican and Haitian states as well as local peasants organizations), this account is a historical one and it deals with both the institutional and structural spheres of such processes. It also analyzes the significant economic phenomena accompanying the articulation of the peasant economy with the economy at the regional, national, and international levels. Yet this story is primarily focused upon the past and everyday events epitomizing the lived experience of two communities of human beings, women and men, children and adults alike, most of whom make a living as agricultural producers, ranchers, and wage

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1 2 laborers. Some of them are also hunters, fishermen, and gatherers, whereas just a few perform simultaneously all six economic activities. Here, farming and ranching summarized the multiplicity of productive activities carried out by these dwellers. The lives of Montaneros (dwellers of Blue Mountain) and Sabaneros (dwellers of Green Savannah) have been dramatically changed under the direct and indirect impact of multifaceted processes involving natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes and droughts), induced social change (including relocation, state-sponsored development schemes, and the like), modernization (e.g., new houses, new roads, electricity and other basic services, in addition to agriculture modernization proper), politics (at local, regional, national, and international levels), and the constant exposure to new social relations and images (interregional, rural to urban, and international migration, working off-farm as wage earners, 4 and the media) accompanying these and other relevant phenomena. Although isolation has never confined these two villages to their local and regional boundaries, the changes just outlined have broadened and structured in an unprecedented manner their multiple contacts with the larger society, including other countries. Framing the increasing diversification of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are two closely related phenomena, namely the secularization of power and politics, and international migration. Though the details of these two processes will be examined in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, taking 4 Though "proletarianization" is often used to chararteri™ FtMnkVl? t I le Dominica £ Republic (see Cassa 1982 ; Duarte 1980 ; Lozano * 1985 ) t ink the term is insufficient to cover the complexity of the labor market in ' either 63 ° f StUdy ‘ L ° Cally ' most permanent and temporary wage workers either own or possess some land; others are also engaged 7 ^ inLpendent fishing, hunting, and gathering in common lands. ^dependent

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1 3 at this juncture a bird's eye view at a couple of their many ramifications will indeed help us understand the larger context in which these two villages are embedded. First is that the steady secularization of power and politics that has taken place since 1961, the year marking the end of Rafael L. Trujillo's thirtyyear dictatorship (see Cassa 1982; Crassweller 1966; Wiarda 1975), has had major repercussions in the circulation of power (Foucault 1980) throughout the thick and diverse web of social classes, ethnic groups, genders, generations, and regions in the Dominican Republic. Although forbearance is indeed a characteristic of Dominican peasants, to be sure showing a great degree of regional variation, it is far from reality to view them as country folks uninterested in politics. Instead of moving away from politics, Dominican peasants such as the Montaneros and the Sabaneros have become actively involved in local, regional, and national political processes through their enrollment in peasant organizations (see Chalas and Encarnacion 1981) and organized political parties as well. Two interconnected dynamics have arisen from this central phenomenon: on the one hand, "the role of mediator" (Firth 1964:63) between the individual and the social structure, which was previously held by males and females based upon their knowledge of traditional norms and values, has been seized by locals and nonlocals who have higher formal education and better access to outside social and monetary capital; on the other hand, the most active and knowledgeable local leaders are increasingly involved more in national politics than in local matters. For instance, two Montaneros who before 1966 were full-time peasants later were elected as legislators (diputados) serving in the country's capital. Of course, as we shall see later, having new mediators placed at the

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1 4 national level is a major advantage peasants have for negotiating with the larger society. The second structural change, namely international migration, has been as serious as the previous one has been for traditional local institutions nationwide. Following Trujillo's assassination, the country as a whole, and peasant villages in particular have increasingly looked at international migration as the answer par excellence to their tribulations, fears, expectations, and hopes. Supported directly by the U.S. Government, the migratory trend took a hike after the 1965 civil war 5 and has steadily increased ever since. According to Deere et al. (1990:75) as of 1987 the number of legal Dominican immigrants living in the U.S. was close to four-hundred thousand. The economic, cultural, political and ideological ramifications of international migration for the Dominican Republic has been most recently documented by Georges (1990), and Portes and Guarnizo (1990), among others. The general trend of international migration in the country at large, however, takes a unique turn in the case of Green Savannah and Blue Mountain. For instance, nearly 90% of immigrant Sabaneros are women who have made their journey to places as distant as Italy and Holland. By contrast, Montaneros, most of them women, have migrated primarily to neighboring Caribbean islands. Central and South American countries, and, to a lesser degree. New York. a?u A Pf U24 ' 1965 ' a bloody civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic. lthough it was mostly concentrated on Santo Domingo, the nation's capital its repercussions were felt across the entire nation. In addition to military personnel from several Latin American countries, 42,000 U.S. troops carried out the second U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic. The iS: W ? S ln J 91 ^ Dominicans began migrating in large numbers to the U.S. in 1966, after the civil war was over.

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1 5 Insofar as it deals with the meaning of the foregoing historical phenomena, this study is an act of historicity based on a human experience involving individuals as well as the larger context in which individual existence is lived (e.g., family, village, class, region, nation, world at large). By historicity I mean the reflection on historical processes such as the ones discussed here, from which critical knowledge is gathered. Succinctly, the notion of ideology is used in this narrative as a guiding concept for the interpretation of human agency in a context of asymmetrical power relations (not restricted to political power), ambiguity (different from ambivalence, equivocation, and mystification), as well as felt uncertainty (usually engendered by culture-specific expectations and desires). It is assumed here that the amalgamation of power, ambiguity, and uncertainty forms a tangible situation that epitomizes the life of most peasants worldwide. For reasons that will become apparent as our discussion unfolds, the objective, subjective, and intersubjective spheres of this story are dealt with as equiprimordial dimensions of a changing whole (a gestalt), rather than as hierarchically structured layers of an objective, fixed, and absolute reality. Since the contemporary roots of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are intimately united to Columbus , s first steps toward the conquer of Hispaniola in 1492, a discussion (albeit brief) of some relevant episodes of that discovery is undertaken at different moments of this study. The irreversible changes brought to the so-called New World by that discovery, and their effects on specific populations who live at different places in our planet, comprise an objective historical fact as well as a symbolic (cultural) background in the changing configuration of the world in which peasants exist. Peasants, sometimes conflicting, other times harmonizing with one another and with the larger society (yet always engaged in intersubjective

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1 6 experiences), inherit, dwell, discover, interpellate, and, frequently paying a high human and ecological price, contribute to shaping and irremediably transforming the very foundations of the so-called New World discovered by Columbus. To the extent that one's existence is ontic and ontologically mediated by (and with) the presence and actions of the others, this is too a story about myself acting as an agronomist-developer as well as an anthropologist interested in ideology. Rather than a narcissistic portrait of the "anthropologist as hero," my merging into this narrative is an ethically inevitable one for two reasons. First is that, as mentioned earlier, I was directly involved in both the formulation and final implementation in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah of the state-sponsored project consisting of the cultivation of hybrid sorghum for animal feed. 6 1 did that as an agronomist and developer working for the Dominican Government during a fourteen-year period. Although, as outlined above, agricultural modernization is not the only process that has taken place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, such a shift in production, distribution and consumption patterns has had a significant impact on the dwellers of the two villages. Second is that my fieldwork experience among and with Montaneros and Sabaneros did not leave either my theoretical and epistemological perspectives, or my philosophical and ethical views, unchanged. On the contrary, the multiple acts of reflection accompanying the fear, vulnerability, 6 1 am deliberately using the term "state" in a rather loose way. Conceptually 1 make a distinction between the government (e.g., the official administration, and the army) and the state as a series of class-based institutions (e.g., the educational system, and the church) that attempts to control civil society through means not restricted to repression. Unless otherwise specified, in this study both terms are used interchangeably.

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1 7 anxiety, frustration, happiness, human warmth, and solidarity I experienced during my fieldwork had on me an impact no less strong than the one my ideas, values, and actions as an inducer of social change might have had upon the lives of Montaneros and Sabaneros. I heard about Blue Mountain and Green Savannah for the first time in late September of 1966, when Hurricane Ines' killing winds completely obliterated the two peasant villages. The pictures I saw in the newspapers struck me with all the intensity the images of death can have on the imagination of a 16-year-old boy. Those two names became in my mind synonymous with death and poverty. Yet my real "discovery" of Montaneros and Sabaneros began in August of 1978 when, as a newly appointed and enthusiastic regional director for the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture (henceforth SEA), I was searching for new development projects to be implemented within my jurisdiction. During my two-year experience as the southern head of SEA, I witnessed dwellers of these two adjacent villages, peasants like Miguel and Rafael, doing things in rather contrasting manners, and responding differently to the aforementioned state-sponsored new agricultural project. Though it never occurred to me to ask why peasants from the two villages were behaving in such contrasting manners while facing comparable structural constraints (e.g., size and quality of land, and access to labor and credit), I was generally aware of such a unique phenomenon. I knew for certain that there was something beyond my understanding of the dwellers' ideologies when I started seeing peasants from Blue Mountain showing an unusually rapid acceptance of the official claim for modernizing their hitherto mostly subsistence production patterns and giving away a system of production they had preserved for nearly two centuries. Such an eagerness to

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1 8 change was not characteristic of the peasants I had met or known of before. However, just fifteen kilometers away there were other Dominican peasants doing everything possible to preserve their not yet modernized conucos . Such a commitment to preserve their habitual production and consumption patterns led most of them, at least for the first years, to resist the adoption of the new cash crop. Why were we seeing two different responses if, on the surface, the structural constraints they were facing appeared so alike? As an anthropologist, I faced the paradox involved in "discovering" the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during a fifteen-month fieldwork experience. Ten years earlier, while working as a developer, I was shaken by the puzzle of their praxes aimed at preserving their well-being under the influence of, on the one hand, the beliefs and tradition passed to them by their predecessors, and, on the other, the claim for modernization made by both inside and outside agents. If previously I was curious about Montaneros' and Sabaneros' distinctive praxes, presently I am astonished by the courage, wisdom, imagination, creativity, and trampas (traps) developed by them in coping with modernization and modernity. 7 My interest in peasant ideology goes back to my childhood, when for several years I went on vacation to visit an old man who made a living working as a small peasant. I was his grandson, that is, one among the nearly 7 In the context of this dissertation, I define modernity as the presence in everyday life of the symbols, values, and myths inherent to the process of rationalization as well as transformation of space on which modernization is based. For instance, in 1979 the first telephone was installed in Blue Mountain. Likewise, in 1992 the village was provided with a FAX machine these two electronic means of communication allow Montaneros and Sabaneros to be in contact with locals who have migrated overseas. The transformation of space and time that this conveys is far-reaching On this see Berman (1988), Habermas (1990), Harvey (1989), and Lefebvre (1991a). '

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1 9 twenty grandchildren he had. I never understood my grandfather's reasons for either planting several crops on the same conuco or going daily on horseback for three hours to see how his four rather rickety pigs were doing. Later on, and despite my desire to study philosophy, I ended up as a trained agronomist working among peasants in places far away from my home town. Those Dominican peasants I met were using the resources available to them in a fashion very similar to the way I had seen my grandfather using his. My curiosity about that similarity grew greater each time I saw peasants acting as if they had a secret code of conduct, a set of rules to differentiate shadows from reality, appearances from essences, survival from annihilation. In addition to the general goals already mentioned, this comparative study has the following five purposes. First, it is aimed at comprehending and interpreting how ideology in these two villages is conditioned by the ontic and ontological spheres of peasants' existence. 8 Here I argue that ideology is not determined by the conventionally called infrastructure, structure, or superstructure as such, but rather it is historically conditioned by the interplay of two mutually corresponding processes: first, the manifold experiences gathered through intentional intersubjective action as both care and concern: second, how those lived experiences are perceived, understood, and interpreted by their actors in particular spatio-temporal, culture-specific circumstances framed by a power structure or system of authority. This distinction I make between care and concern means, in broad terms, 8 Generally defined, ontic (or ontical) refers to the most immediate surroundings (or habitat) of concrete individuals; ontological (or ontologic) refers to the existential meaning as well as the feelings involved in our relation to others (intersubjectivity) beyond instrumentalist attitudes. Hence rather than transcendental ontology h la Kant, here I am talking about social' ontology, in Hegel's terms. More of this in Chapters 2 and 3.

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20 following Heidegger's (1962:57, 231, and passim) complex ontology, that our everyday interaction with the constituents of our world at a given time and space conveys an interest in the manipulation and instrumental usage of the things available to us as "doers," or concern. It also entails an interest in understanding what each one of us is ontologically, or care. I witnessed peasants in these two villages asking such ontological questions, not only in the face of death and felt vulnerability, but also while feeling pleasure, aesthetic joy, the pride of having a good harvest when almost everybody else had succumbed to a severe drought, as well as when projecting a high economic profit. Second, an attempt is made here to document the manifold ways peasants (as individuals as well as members of institutions) become involved with modernization and modernity, engage in manifold relations with emerging and declining structures and institutions of power and knowledge, and cope ideologically with induced social change, using simultaneously their cultural heritage (tradition) and the knowledge gained through new social (intersubjective) relations. Third, this study attempts to document (based on both firsthand ethnographic data and secondary sources) how local, regional, national, and international processes have conditioned over time the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros as peasants who use ideology as a positive source of ontic and ontological security. By constitution I mean the myriad historical processes, the objective, subjective and intersubjective experiences through which present-day dwellers of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah became the concrete human beings we now call peasants. Fourth, this study is an account of some of the interrelated processes, generally characterized as a process of social differentiation, which have accompanied the change in production, distribution, and consumption

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2 1 patterns in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Though limitation of space prevents me from doing a complete examination of women's access to means of production, consumption, and reproduction, as well as the widening generational gap, class structure, and access to consumer goods, in this narrative I discuss such issues in a general form. Finally, an attempt is made here to interpret how ideology functions in the multiple instrumental and communicative events of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' everyday life. The interpretation of speech events in daily discourse (e.g., metaphors, proverbs, and sayings) receives special attention in this study. My overarching goal is to show ideology as a dynamic and integrative human praxis which, being intentionally enacted, leads peasants to accommodate to a multifaceted social reality, believing in certain claims, doubting and rejecting others, interpellating and contesting here, remaining silent and dissimulating there, yet always trying to survive and stay as peasants, and, if possible, make what their culture-specific projections tell them is a tangible profit (economic, social, and the like). This amounts to saying that rather than seeing ideology as operating in the realm of thought only, I see it as part of a praxis 9 embedded in specific ethos, feelings, and emotions. The aforementioned goals will be achieved through a multidimensional search for Montaneros' and Sabaneros' flexible, mature, 9 Conceptually, I make a distinction between action and praxis. Whereas the former is usually associated with work (as labor), I see the latter as also including the reflection (not just the cognition) that gives meaning to our intentional engagement with the instrumental and communicative spheres of our engagement with the world. On this, I am drawing on the classical work of Hegel (1977), Marx (1964), Vico (1979), and the most recent contribution of Berstein (1971), and Freire (1982).

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22 and authentic engagement (in Sartre's terms, discussed below) with social change as a risky venture. Of course, I am not in accord whatsoever with Theodore Schultz's (1964:144) supply-and-demand model in which traditional farmers (demanders) relate in a rather harmonious way to the private and public agencies (suppliers) who "discover" them. Nor am I saying that the official policy supporting modernization in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah was an evil manipulation to pump blood out of the peasants' bodies. For our purpose here, there is no need to portray the state as an evil seeking to steal the peasants' pure soul. This is not a narrative about good and bad "guys," but rather about two interlaced social institutions (peasantry and the state) whose constitution involves both structures and concrete human beings. To be sure, I have no doubt that the state has been, is, and will continue to be interested in peasants' surplus-product and surplus-labor in order to convert surplus-value into capital gain, to use the language of political economists. Nor do I argue that the technical, financial, and commercial facilities provided by the Dominican Government to Sabaneros and Montaneros was unrelated to the overall official goal to use sorghum as a source of capital accumulation in favor of a class alliance that, in 1978, was newly shaped in the Dominican Republic. However, I am also aware of the fact, and it is an important fact indeed, that Sabaneros and Montaneros became engaged in sorghum cultivation within a broader context not reducible to the production of a grain needed for animal feed. The context in which sorghum cultivation began in these two villages was legitimized by utopian and ideological phenomena not alien to either local peasants themselves or myself. This interplay of ideology and utopia, among other

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23 phenomena, is what makes, in my view, this story worth telling. 10 Ideology is characterized in this study as a culture-specific source of ontic and ontological security (Giddens 1991, discussed below), which, on the one hand, involves claims and beliefs regarding the preservation and transformation of specific structures, institutions and symbols enabling access to material, social, and spiritual resources, and, on the other hand, expresses an intentional form of interpellation of reality as it is perceived, lived, constructed, and experienced by knowledgeable agents at a given point in time and space. I see ideology primarily as a centripetal phenomenon rather than as a disintegrative force. I agree with Paul Ricoeur's (1986, 1991) assertion that ideologies go hand in hand with utopias in the preservation and modification of a structured social reality, as well as in the configuration of meaning. Consequently, in this study ideology is equated with neither illusion nor false consciousness in a pejorative sense. Although later in this chapter I make critical comments on Silverman's tentative definition of peasants, for the time being I make explicit my agreement with her parsimonious characterization of peasants as "persons who are substantially engaged in domestically organized agricultural production within state societies" (1983: 27-28). 10 In 1978 a new democratic president, Antonio Guzman F., was elected. A former minister of agriculture during the government whose restoration was the unifying ideology of the 1965 civil war, he became known as "the farmer president" (el presidente agricultor). The slogan of "the shift" (el cambio) used during his presidential campaign functioned as a utopia that cut, at least for a while, across most political and ideological bents. A short-lived consensus was achieved. The secularization of power and politics referred to above took a hike during that period. On this, see Aleman (1980), Cassa (1986), Ianni (1986, 1989), Oviedo and Espinal (1986).

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24 I have chosen a strategy of exposition that will provide us with the historical and conceptual foundations needed to interpret in a holistic form the phenomena taking place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Hence, rather than trying to "nail down" from the onset my ethnographic data dealing with sorghum cultivation as such (at the expense of theoretical, historical, and philosophical considerations), I am approaching theoretical elaboration, historical facts, ethnographic evidence, and philosophical reflection as closely interwoven spheres of our endeavor. I have done so for four main reasons. First, this is a complex case study which needs a relatively extensive number of theoretical definitions and constructs if holism is taken as a central concern. Second, Blue Mountain and Green Savannah have been, since their first steps in written history, part of a larger world that we need to explicitly look at in order to make this study worth pursuing. In concrete terms, instead of taking Montaneros' and Sabaneros' existence as a given, I am interested in understanding how they became constituted as in time and space. Third, the arrival of sorghum cultivation in my area of study has a history that we need to characterize in a careful way in order to avoid reductionism. Finally, I think that for this narrative a regressive-progressive method of exposition (to be discussed in Chapter 3 of this study) is more appropriate than separating theory from concrete data, or utilizing a clear-cut linear method of exposition. It is based on these premises that I have intentionally begun with some "facts," followed by reflective acts, and so forth. I have tried to the best of my abilities not to restrict my quest to what is observable in the two villages, even though the lives of Montaneros and Sabaneros constitute my point of departure and, so to speak, my dwelling location as well.

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25 It is neither accident nor dilettantism that explicates my usage here of rather inconclusive notions such as becoming, human agency, ideology, appearance, intersubjectivity, dwelling, perception, experience, structure, and so forth. Instead, what this usage displays is a commitment to a multidimensional and nonreductionist (shall we say holistic?) view of the people whose lives this study refers to. What I mean by this is my commitment to see Montaneros and Sabaneros as people who, notwithstanding the instrumentation involved in husbandry, fishing, hunting, and gathering, are much more than doers, producers, gatherers, or builders of usable, consumable, material objects or products. In other words, hereby I attempt to address the total humanity (actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions) of the people who contributed to make my fieldwork a scientific venture as well as an enlightening human experience. I hold the conviction, significantly shaped by the fieldwork experience, that the otherwise pragmatic action of peasants is sustained by a philosophical interrogation of the objective, subjective, and intersubjective dimensions of their reality. Such a philosophical interrogation, I try to demonstrate here, is not a "subjective" epiphenomenon of a determining "objective" material base; instead, it is an essential ontological sphere in the constitution of a social reality where entities (material and ideational alike) have a manifold of assigned meanings that are contextual (in time and space) as well as changing. Although in Chapter 3 of this narrative both my research strategy and my view on the specificities of social scientists' interaction with the conventionally called object of study are depicted, a pause is in order at this juncture for purposes of clarification. That all scientific endeavors involve a definition of that which one is going to study, as well as of the theoretical and methodological implications of such a venture, is commonplace and need

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26 not be discussed here as a particular problematic. Instead, what calls primarily for our attention at present is that such a definition of categories and constructs becomes controversial, in part, because of it being greatly conditioned by a threefold premise: first, the scientist's commitment to the credo of a specific scientific community, e.g., the stance to validity criteria, verifiability, and testability (Kuhn's notion of paradigm, 1970); second, one's valuation and interpretation of one's own and other people's personal knowledge (Polanyi 1962); finally, and most important for the present study, is the scientist's stance with regard to the notions of intersubjectivity, existence, and experience on the one hand, and, on the other, the importance of the self (ego-subject) in the constitution of the life-world of everyday life, or the pre-thematic world or Lebenswelt (Husserl 1989:48-53, and passim) to which all scientific interpretation ultimately refers. The way scientists make their object of study parallels how they demarcate the boundaries and interconnection of the I, the Other, and the We (see Fabian 1983; Marcuse 1987; Mead 1977; Schutz 1982). In other words, epistemological choices are grounded on ethical premises to which the notion of reciprocity (or relationship between a researcher and the customarily called object of study) is crucial. A brief discussion of the intersubjectivity concept as it is employed by different scientists shall help us clarify this problematic. For instance. Popper (1968:44-48; 1989:106-112) characterizes the notion of intersubjectivity as synonymous with the inter-subjective testing of scientific theories among scientists themselves. This he deals with in his discussion of the specificities of objective knowledge, or knowledge of the third world (with its emphasis on "objective contents of thought"), in contrast to both the world of subjects or second world, and the world of physical objects or first world (Popper's terms).

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27 The interpersonal engagement between scientists and what is being studied (the human subject of social sciences) is missing in this definition of intersubjectivity, even though Popper himself (1989:36) acknowledges that human beings have a self whose existence is not disclosed to us through immediate experience but rather through learning. If I understood his proposition, what he is arguing for is that knowledge of the third world is superior to knowledge of both the world of subjects and the world of physical objects. This assertion has epistemological and methodological ramifications we cannot fully explore at present. Let us, for the moment, restrict our reflection to the concept of intersubjectivity as such. What Popper is arguing, drawing on Descartes's (1972) dualistic philosophy, is not only that in scientific work there is a unsurmountable distance between subject (researcher) and object (what is being studied) during the research process proper; instead, he is saying that such a distance is not shortened even after the research process is completed. To borrow Ricoeur's (1991:201) apt usage of the terms distanciation" and "belonging" as concomitant moments of the process of understanding, I conclude that Popper's view on this issue is that the scientist's distanciation from her object of study is antithetical to them (scientist and object of study) belonging together to (sharing as common project) a world whose interpellation and interrogation are not exclusive prerogatives for scientists. Assuming this definition of intersubjectivity, I argue, undermines the possibility of solidarity and genuine communication between the researcher and her counterpart. For social scientists this has crucial ramifications, as discussed below in some detail. In contradistinction to Popper's usage of the concept at hand, we see the notion of intersubjectivity being termed differently by phenomenologists. Husserl (1989:108-110, 163-164, and passim) is credited for having coined this

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28 complex concept, which I discuss here in a highly schematic form. Neither the changes his position on this matter underwent nor the more complex ramifications of his transcendental claims are significant for this present examination (see Husserl 1970:89-151; 1975:29, 48, 53, and passim). Instead, our primary interest at present is that Husserl, in his last work (1989), saw what he termed "we-subjectivity" as a concrete possibility for genuine human communication to take place, particularly between scientists (users of philosophy as a rigorous science) and non-scientists. In his characterization of the process of "intersubjective constitution" (1989:168), he saw the disclosure of the totality of human beings intentionally searching for the meaning of the pre-thematic world, or Lebenswelt (roughly characterized as the crystallization of daily life and lived experience, or the common-sense world as it exists before our critical scrutiny of it). Sharing these views with Dilthey (1991), Husserl called for a return to the "life-world" we take for granted, as a way to surmount the objectivity/subjectivity dichotomous scheme outlined by the many divisions of formal and systematizing sciences. His well-known claim to encountering things-in-themselves (not to be equated with physical objects as such, but with the meanings we assign to the concrete entities we relate to in everyday praxis), as part of a scientific endeavor different from mathematical scientific undertakings, illustrates his commitment to comprehend and interpret the ontic and ontological spheres coexisting in the everydayness of human existence. It is in this context that the intersubjectivity concept was used by Husserl in order to overcome the neo-Cartesian separation between subject and object during and after the research process, a separation that his own previous work (1970; 1975) had tacitly supported. His critical view on Galileo-

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29 inspired mathematical sciences is best epitomized by his assertion that "merely fact-minded sciences make merely fact-minded people" (1989:6). Merleau-Ponty, drawing on, yet moving beyond, Husserl's transcendental phenomenological claim for overcoming the separation between subject and object, argues for a scientific interest in "the totality of human praxis" (1973:134-135). This, according to Merleau-Ponty, entails interacting with our subject of study bearing in mind a concern with meaning, experience, and existence rather than solely with epistemological considerations. His phenomenological characterization of scientific work is, in my view, more robust that Husserl's. My main reason for arguing this way is Merleau-Ponty's opposition to present in antagonistic terms the methods of social sciences with the ones of exact and natural sciences, as Husserl, in agreement with Dilthey, did so emphatically. In this sphere of scientific work, notwithstanding their differences in others, there is a wide and important agreement between the way Merleau-Ponty and Alfred Schutz (discussed later in this chapter) understood the application of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology to the study of specific problems of social, intersubjective, human reality. My interpretation of peasant ideology is done in accord with this ethical-philosophical position explicitly held by phenomenologists. In more concrete terms, my research strategy in this study has been significantly (though nor exclusively) inspired by Merleau-Ponty's and Paul Ricoeur's claim for the understanding and interpretation of human action as part of intersubjective, historical processes involving social imagination, utopia, ideology, institutions, beliefs, and claims, among other phenomena. In addition to my acceptance of phenomenology's core theoretical and epistemological constructs, this narrative is considerably in accord with Henri

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30 Lefebvre's view on the interpretation of everyday life as well as with his usage of a regressive-progressive method for the study of events similar to the ones this present study refers to. In Chapter 3 I will undertake a more detailed characterization of phenomenology. I hasten to acknowledge that the scientific and philosophical agreements between phenomenologists and Henri Lefebvre do not correspond to their otherwise rather sharp political differences. Exploring such differences is not my primary concern in this study. The phenomena we have discussed so far raise further questions of a theoretical, methodological, historical, and philosophical nature that we need to address as part of the present quest. I attempt to undertake such a complex task in the remainder of this chapter as well as in the next seven chapters of this narrative, according to the following order. In the remainder of this chapter I carry out a brief reconstruction of three major historic events that have had great impact on the constitution of Montafteros and Sabaneros namely Columbus's discovery of the so-called New World, the 1966 Hurricane Ines, and the introduction of sorghum cultivation proper. Outlining the first event is important for this study not only because it signified the articulation of Hispaniola with Europe and Africa in socioeconomic and political terms, but also because of its ideological outgrowths. By the same token. Hurricane Ines is the most relevant socionatural event in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in this century. An indication of the relevance of this event is that after 1966 dwellers of the two villages were exposed to the state apparatus in a form they had not experienced hitherto (e.g., subsistent funds, and relocation). Finally, sorghum cultivation represents the most recent massive transformation of the social space inhabited by Montaneros and Sabaneros. With the new cash crop came

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3 1 profound changes in the previous patterns of production, distribution, consumption, and reproduction. These broad brush strokes shall help us place the current events occurring in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah against the background of those three highly significant historic processes. The reconstruction is done by means of calling into the scenario the names, intentions, and actions of some key actors involved in those historic phenomena. A more careful examination of such processes is undertaken in Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7. In Chapter 2 I discuss how the specificities of this study relate to three themes that have raised a new interest in social sciences. First is the debate on the interrelation of human agency, culture, knowledge, power, and social structure. Second is the debate on ideology as a manifestation of resistance, approval, and accommodation aimed at gaining ontic and ontological security within a power structure in general and its concomitant claim for truth in particular. The third theme is the survival of peasants. My discussion of the latter topic will be narrowed by a look at the instrumental and existential meaning of two terms, namely dwelling and habitant as they relate to both Eric Wolf s most recent statement on the survival of peasantry in a changing world and Heidegger's views on human authentic being and intentionality. This chapter concludes with an overview on peasant studies. Chapter 3 consists of two sections. The first section is a critical overview of phenomenology as a philosophical, epistemological, methodological, and ethical stance in social sciences. The second is a synopsis of my fieldwork experience as it relates to my choice of a research strategy and accompanying methodological instruments. In Chapters 4 and 5 I carry out a regressive-progressive characterization of the constitution of Sabaneros and Montaneros as in time and space.

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32 Whereas the former chapter traces the genesis of Cibaenos (people from El Cibao, the geographic area most Sabaneros came from) as dwellers of a social space represented by the conterminous geographic regions of El Cibao, La Linea, and La Sierra, the latter looks at the genealogy (or historical constitution) of Surenos (Southerners) as the dwellers of the Deep South, the area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located. By the same token, these two chapters describe the major structural, subjective, and intersubjective preconditions for the encounter of Montaneros and Sabaneros in their current southern location. Chapter 6 is a brief reconstruction of some central events in the lives of Cibaenos and Surenos, particularly during the 1958-1978 period. It was during that period that Montaneros and Sabaneros witnessed the arrival of cotton and peanut cultivation to the Deep South, the fall of Trujillo's dictatorship in 1961, the 1965 civil war. Hurricane Ines and relocation, the implementation of a new development strategy in the nation at large (period 1966-1978), as well as the rebirth of a new utopia in 1978. In Chapter 7 I undertake an in-depth examination of sorghum cultivation as it relates to other major socioeconomic, political and cultural processes taking place nationwide as well as locally. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data, I attempt to illustrate how, and with what consequences, peasants from the two villages accepted or rejected the new cash crop, as well as their conduct toward the preservation or abandonment of their long-lived system of production. That chapter concludes with a schematic description of how ideology is acted out in daily life by Montaneros and Sabaneros. Finally, Chapter 8 summarizes the argument I am developing throughout this narrative against the background provided by the findings

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33 discussed herein as well as the contributions of other social scientists on this subject matter. In this concluding chapter I also outline some of the myriad questions that I have been unable to answer in the previous chapters. Even though I have written this dissertation as a totality, meaning that all chapters are closely interwoven by an interplay of theoretical argumentation and interpretation of historic and ethnographic evidence, the reader who is primarily interested in sorghum cultivation as such need to read only Chapters 1, 6, and 7. The First Discovery and Its Ideological Ramifications The discovery of Hispaniola in 1492 unveiled a new reality, changing the meaning of old symbols and entities, assigning new names to the objects hitherto defining the world of common sense. Brutal as it was, the unveiling of that new reality confronted more than contrasting impersonal structures; it also revealed the hopes and fears of the human beings participating in that dramatic, apocalyptic experience. The cultural meaning each one of the Taino and Spanish material and symbolic items had in its own cultural context was changed by the impact of the conquest. The taken-for-granted common sense judgement of each culture, the values, meanings, and constructs of everyday life, the suspended doubt of quotidian existence (Schutz 1982:229), were suddenly modified by the abrupt presence of "the other." The interconnection between signifiers and signified, usually conceived by structuralists as a process taking place in isolation, was, at that time mediated by a rapidly changing context, new perceptual configurations, and new meanings constructed by the display of power, magic, and new symbols. Signification was no longer a close circle, but rather an open experience in which the limits between outside and inside turned to be both ambiguous and violent. New

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34 claims, beliefs and doubts arose alongside that forceful intersubjective process we now call the conquest. Encouraged by the success of his first trip, driven by his revived conviction that Spain was the natural owner of the new territories and their inhabitants alike, Columbus sailed once again from Spain on September 25, 1493. On that second trip, now supported by the glory and fame of his discoveries, he carried with him not only a royal mandate to discover new lands. With him was also a new perception of reality as well as the determination to dominate the new continent in conformity with Spain's ruling norms and interests. Calling the discovered lands New World was a metaphorical form of expressing that a new reality had been invented. To be sure, that “social construction of reality" (Berger and Luckman 1989) was more than a symbolic act. In fact, it was also on that same trip that the Admiral brought to Hispaniola cattle, sugar cane, as well as the decision to extract gold even at the expense of the Tamos' well-being (Bosch 1988; Leyburn 1966; Moya Pons 1984). Those three new items (cattle, sugar cane, and gold), together with the ideas and values leading to their transformation into commodities, were there to irremediably change the world. As we will see in this and subsequent chapters, even today we see their influence in the lives of Montaneros and Sabaneros. The concrete force and quasi-magical powers displayed by Columbus and his soldiers during their first trip to Hispaniola did not pass unnoticed to the five Taino chiefs ruling the largest Caribbean island after Colba (Cuba's original name). The Tainos' perception of the world as well as their behavior had also changed as a result of the first encounter. The corps of Spanish sailors found by Columbus upon returning to northern Hispaniola on his second voyage, the ambiguous explanation given to him by Goacanagarf, the

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35 chief of Marien (see Figure 2) regarding the destruction of the La Navidad fort and the killing of the Spaniards, and Columbus's response to those events, constituted what, in my view, was one of the first explicit Taino and Spanish ideological responses to the configuration of a new power structure in the western hemisphere. The picture of that event is worth recalling, albeit briefly, in order to illustrate how ideology was set to work in the context of that historic encounter between the two cultures represented by Columbus and chief Goacanagari. The two big men (Columbus and the Taino chief) had met earlier in December of 1492, during the first Christmas feast held in the New World. Gold, beautiful parrots (a symbol of high status for Tainos, according to Wilson 1990), cotton, and food of all kinds were given away by Tainos to the Spaniards as a gesture of friendship, reverence, respect, curiosity, and social exchange. Taino rulers also received gifts from the Spaniards, as part of that mutual recognition between two structured civilizations. Many of Goacanagari's subjects, fascinated by the brass bells brought by the Spaniards, were "so eager for hawks' bells that they stood up, showing bits of gold and shouting 'Chuque! chuque ! to imitate the sound of the little tinkly bells which they were mad to posses" (Morison 1970:303). The suspiciousness and the strange atmosphere framing that unprecedented encounter notwithstanding, it was rather clear from the Taino viewpoint that a powerful force, a great dignitary, had landed in their territory. From the Spaniards perspective, on the other hand, the conviction of who the rulers were was out of question; by God's will, they might have thought, Spain was the indisputable possessor of the new invention. Such a rather clear-cut picture was not the same one the two cultures looked at in 1493, the second time these two men met. On the one hand.

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36 Figure 2. Chiefdoms of Hispaniola, 1492.

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37 Columbus, upset as he might had been by the killing of his sailors, did not deploy his military force to punish the Tainos; instead, acknowledging the political significance of Goacanagari to his long-term project of domination on an already fragmented island, 11 afraid as he was of the bad weather prevailing in the area at that moment, Columbus negotiated with the chief. On the other hand, Goacanagari, perhaps afraid of Columbus's retaliation, did not come to meet him as he had done during the first visit by the conquistadores; he excused himself by claiming that he was wounded. What is more relevance for our interpretation of that ideological accommodation is revealed by Doctor Chanca, the physician accompanying Columbus on that trip, and who tried to cure Goacanagari. In effect, he left an important written testimony which illustrates how ideology might have worked under those circumstances. He wrote: "When the wound [Goacanagari's] was uncovered, we went up to examine it. It is certain that there was no more wound on that leg than on the other, although he cunningly pretended that it pained him much Ignorant as we w ere of the facts, it was impossible to come to a definite conclusion" (cf. Columbus 1961:55-57; my stress). It is based on that act of mutual (forceful) accommodation, the interplay of claims and beliefs about truth, as well as by the ambiguity and uncertainty shown in this instance, that I label the negotiation taking place on that day as one of the first known ideologically-based acts of people from the New World. ! 1 Caonabo, chief of the Maguana, the chiefdom where gold was abundant (see Figure 2), took arms against the sailors left behind by Columbus at La Navidad fort. His declaration of war was in response to the bad treatment given to his subjects by the Spaniards who were after gold and women. In what marked the first political division in post-discovery Hispaniola, chief Goacanagari did not follow Caonabo's path of overt resistance; instead, he collaborated with Columbus against the former.

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3 8 As the foregoing event illustrates, objects, phenomena, processes, are seeing through the lenses of a cultural construction; they are part of a common sense act of perception. As important as it might be to understand how those objects, phenomena, and processes appear to the dwellers of the life-world of daily life, the biggest challenge facing social scientists engaged in interpreting social reality is to describe the constitution, the coming into being, the arising (Merleau-Ponty 1973) of such constituents of the world in which we live. Appearances and essences are mutually constituted through a manifold of intersubjective experiences. Even though they are taken for granted in the habitual behavior accompanying our common sense judgments, appearances are not pre-given: they are unveiled by perceptual configurations (Merleau-Ponty 1963). It is in relation with others that the process of constitution occurs. The appearances perceived in such a constitutive process, as Hegel (1990:479-480) aptly said, are essential to the very existence of our reality, of our actuality. Such a phenomenological interpretation of human reality (actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions), is applicable to the interpretation of historic events in the former Taino society as well as the ones taking place in present-day Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. For those who view human action as primarily determined by its material conditions, the fact that Tainos and Spaniards behaved differently when dealing with natural, metaphysical, and human forces is a rather unproblematic, and even trivial, observation. Carrying this argument to its farthest materialist extreme, what those two human groups acted out five centuries ago ought to be seen as the logical and unequivocal manifestation of each group's objective material reality, its degree of technological and socioeconomic development being the prime determining factors.

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39 Taking reality as an objective given, highlighting its materiality, stressing the physical-biological determinants of human nature, dissecting the contours and hypostases of the structures framing human action, seem the proper scientific positions in our technological times. Such a stand has been taken to explain not only the reason why natural and social phenomena looked differently to Spaniards and Tainos before and in the aftermath of the conquest. This ethical objectivist attitude, with its emphasis on correlating objective facts with theoretical maneuvers (Habermas 1971:307), has also been used for the examination of current events whose roots may be traced back to the day Columbus first landed in Hispaniola. Such an attitude toward the analysis of people's perception of reality has united social scientists who otherwise adopt divergent and even incommensurable research strategies, ranging from the most flexible types of structuralism and functionalism to the most dogmatic forms of materialism. Their disagreements notwithstanding, those paradigms share three core epistemological and ethical premises: first of all is the rejection of all forms of idealism; second is their emphasis on objective factors rather than on subjective human agency; and third is the privileging of structures over intersubjectivity. Perceptions still assist human beings in our efforts to make sense out of plain factuality. In the reality of Montaneros and Sabaneros over time, hurricanes have been more than recurrent natural phenomena obliterating human and natural creatures; they have also contributed to the birth of human experiences which go beyond the immediate exposure to a lifethreatening situation. Attributable not only to the factual geographic location of the Deep South, but also to its socioeconomic and cultural locations in the configuration of a social reality as well, September continues being a time of

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40 major events and an important symbol for people living in the former chiefdom of Xaragua (see Figure 2), the geographic area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located. Echoing Columbus's vulnerability while facing hurricane-like high winds and strong sea currents in September of 1504, a time when his misfortune was rapidly rising and his admiral's star was dramatically fading out, Montaneros and Sabaneros have confronted throughout history outer natural and social forces which, like a fate, have menaced their existence in many Septembers. History, nature, power, approval, and resistance, however, have paved the way for those formally exogenous forces to become increasingly endogenous actors in the everyday life of these dwellers. Hurricane Ines as a Marker of a New Life At seven o'clock in the morning of September 29, 1966, Hurricane Ines' two-hundred kilometer-per-hour winds hit hard at the hearts of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. What started as a bright but breezeless Caribbean morning, suddenly became dark, windy, unknown. Even the nearby salt lagoon changed its temperament (temperamento), turning violent and brown instead of gentle and yellow as it usually looks. "She had never behaved like this" (" Ella nunca se habia comportado asr o. says Ernesto, a regular fisherman to whom the lagoon is a female symbol. The agitated Caribbean Sea, separated from the lagoon only by a narrow bar of white sand, also turned "fierce like a demon" (" bravo como un demonio "! roaring like a fierce creature, merging its terrifying twenty-foot-high waves into the already menacing lagoon. The normally bright, blue sky turned dark, unfriendly, frightening. Everything became as dark and sinister as if that exact moment was the unstoppable end of the world. The unpaved streets, normally covered with two inches of sandy dust, were quickly transformed into fast streams of

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4 1 flooding, dirty water, sweeping away whatever stood in their way. To make matters worse, a high-ranked municipal employee of Blue Mountain had taken some extra Dominican rum the night before, and he had the only keys to open the only cement building in town. By the time people broke the locked double doors, desperately forcing their way into the municipal building, the hurricane was already damaging all living creatures. Hurricane Ines' high winds lasted twenty minutes only. What they left behind, however, is still vividly present in the personal and collective memory, the daily life, the expectations, the fears of Montaneros and Sabaneros. The seventy-three people killed on that day, twelve from Blue Mountain and sixty one from Green Savannah, both children and adults, were more than a long lane of corpses buried in the local cemetery; they too became the indelible symbol of an unforgettable personal and collective encounter with death, "la_segura" ("the certain one"), as locals usually name her. ' On that day of shared anguish, despair, and grief, more than one person was left headless by the flying sheets of tin roofs. Those cutting tin sheets, belonging to the houses of the few well-to-do local merchants, were not the only flying objects. The scene of a dead body penetrated by a sharp piece of lumber was not uncommon that day. At least twelve people, particularly children, died under the debris of the quickly falling houses built with wattle and mud, or swept away by the dirty flood waters. Not a single house in either town outlived the hurricane's destructive force, except for the municipal building in Blue Mountain, which was the only cement structure in the entire area. That edifice was the main shelter used by Montaneros at the time of the hurricane and during the following months, before tents were brought into town, and new houses built at a new inland location, as part of a

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42 joint effort between the Organization of American States, (henceforth OAS) and the newly elected, post-civil war, Dominican Government. 12 During and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ines, many people from both communities found shelter for themselves and their animals in the few caves scattered throughout a mostly flat territory. Although few tamed animals died, many of them escaped to the wilderness, to be later found only after many days and even weeks of exhausting search. For many Montaneros, those animals were the main buffer they had to cope with the tough times they faced after the hurricane. Most crops were totally obliterated, flattened on the fields, or singed by the high winds and the fast rain. Honey bees, at that time a relatively important commercial activity in Blue Mountain, were decimated by the high winds and the heavy rain alike. What later became a symbol of the marriage of life and death in Green Savannah was the image of Victor, a five-month-old boy who was found alive in the mud, sucking milk from his dead mother's breast, one of the many women who died on that unforgettable September 29 of 1966. Victor, who at the time of my fieldwork in Green Savannah (1990) was a part-time peasant, does not remember what he went through during the hurricane experience; Sabaneros, however, have made sure that the symbol he represents to them is not forgotten either by Victor or by themselves. Defined by the others as a collective symbol of endurance and survival, his otherwise missing recollection of his personal experience is now part of the daily life in Green Savannah. On August of 1966, just a few weeks before Hurricane Ines, Joaquin Balaguer took office as president. He visited Blue Mountain and Green Savannah the day after Hurricane Ines obliterated the two villages. His played a major ideological function in the lives of Montaneros and Sabaneros. See Chapter 6 for an interpretation of this event. visit

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43 The Deeep South, Ideological Distance, and the Arrival of Sorghum The Two Villages The distance between Green Savannah and Blue Mountain might be measured in kilometers or in less formal units, culture and ideology included. The two villages are just fifteen kilometers apart, now (1991) linked by a newly-paved road where, at night, local girls and boys take short walks ( paseitos) , imagining that perhaps in a few years they might as well travel on that same road as migrants to Santo Domingo, or better, abroad, to los paises or el extranjero . 13 Although at present no one goes by foot from one village to the other on a regular basis, it takes about an hour to walk that distance. To Montaneros and Sabaneros alike, who are tireless walkers, walking fifteen kilometers on a paved road is nothing compared to the long hikes they are used to take into the hot, thorny, tropical dry forest. By car, it is just a matter of a few minutes to travel between the two sites. What is more important for our present story, is that Montaneros and Sabaneros share the same physical environment (including comparable soil quality, altitude, and vegetation), the same climatic conditions (tropical dry forest, with an average rainfall of eight-hundred millimeters per year, and average temperature of twenty-six Celsius degrees), as well as a comparable access to common resources available in the area. As previously mentioned, there is no irrigation in either village. This accessibility to common resources, however, is mediated by two inseparable phenomena in the area of study, namely politics and transportation. This is discussed in Chapter 6. 13 The extranjero " and "lo g paises " terms, both meaning "abroad," are core S^ b0 i 0 VQ h 0 e n Chan f m8 , migration ideol °gyExtranjero was chiefly used before the 1980s, and it literally meant all other countries outside Hispaniola, 1 * J H p Un H 1 f fere J tlated vast . land Los paises, in contrast, is an expression of the last decade, and it refers primarily to the U.S., New York in particular.

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44 A typical nuclear family unit of two parents and an average of six offspring was the pattern in both locations in 1978. A population density of eighteen people per square kilometer is about the same in the two villages, in contrast to a national mean of one hundred seventeen person per square kilometer, according to 1981 figures (see Direccion Nacional de Estadisticas 1987). Montaneros and Sabaneros also share the similarity of being both a gricultores (farmers) and criadores (herdsmen or ranchers). Though fishing in the nearby salt lagoon and the Caribbean Sea is a very important economic activity in the area, few Montaneros and Sabaneros are regular fishermen. As of 1990 the size of land holdings is also comparable, ranging from less than one hectare to seventy hectares, excluding a couple of landlords that own more than the latter figure. Though there are five larger landowners (those who own more than seventy hectares) in Blue Mountain and three in Green Savannah, the local land tenure structure does not replicate the national pattern of having, on the one hand, land monopolization (latifundia) in few private hands, and many small farms (minifundios) on the other. Although aggregate census figures, corresponding to The Place, the province where the two villages are located, show that in the year 1981 49.5 % of the land was in the hands of only 1.3 percent of the landholders (Direccion Nacional de Parques 1986:20), at the local level the figures are less tragic. In fact, most peasants from both places own more than one farm (two on the average, and a few peasants have as many as five farm plots). With the exception of one peasant from Blue Mountain who said otherwise, all Montaneros I interacted with admitted (through both questionnaires and informal conversations) that they do not have legal titles for the land they have usufruct and possessed for decades. I confirmed that information with official sources in Santo Domingo.

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45 The landless Montaneros I met are of two sorts: first, those who have moved into the area recently; second, those locals who have sold their land. When I asked those who have alienated the land their reasons for doing so, I did not find a correlation between land selling and their degree of economic poverty. What is most significant, those few land sellers (only six in 1990, to the best of my knowledge) tend not to be the poorest peasants, but rather people of two types: first, the ones who think that agriculture is worthless, as the case of a man who has a job with the government and who also is a professional hunter; 14 second, those whose children have migrated to Santo Domingo. I knew of at least five non-local people who have received from local peasants, at no monetary cost, farm plots for growing their own food. Those plots given away, however, usually have stony soils, are located far away from the main roads, or have a thick vegetation to be felled, cleared, and burned before performing a task called habite which, as I shall demonstrate in Chapter 2, has a highly significant symbolic and ideological social function in the life of Montafteros and Sabaneros alike. In the case of Sabaneros, I did not meet a single permanent resident who is totally landless. For instance, two Sabaneros with whom I developed close ties sold their conucos to a local peasant. One of the two who sold their land migrated to Santo Domingo, but was unsuccessful as a migrant worker in a factory. A few months later, back in Green Savannah, he asked a cousin of his for a piece of land to cultivate. He received the thick-wooded plot at no cost, felled the trees, burned them to make charcoal, did the habite of the land (final stage in swidden cultivation, discussed below) of the land, and set his ! 4 Th l® *™ n ; er inherited a ten-hectare farm from his father. The told me that tie sold the land to a local peasant because "agriculture is slavery to me."

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46 conuco with four crops altogether. He became a possessor of land after less than a month of hard and solitary work in the forest. This situation of most Sabaneros having access to land is, however, largely due to the circumstance that Green Savannah is one of the agricultural settlements (colonias a gricolas) set by the Dominican Government on the frontier area as early as 1931. I will return to this in Chapter 4. The Arrival of Sorghum It was on a hot, calm Sunday morning of September 29, 1979, that the cultivation of hybrid sorghum started in Blue Mountain, exactly thirteen years after Hurricane Ines obliterated the two villages. Different from the morning marking Hurricane Ines' killing irruption into the now relocated village, the one indicating the cultivation of the new cash crop was not marked either by high winds or dead bodies. Instead of a roaring ocean, Montaneros on that otherwise uneventful day were exposed to the hitherto strange noise of a hoarse yellow Case caterpillar tractor which, like a conspicuous proof of human control over nature, was clearing the dry, thorny shrubs at Gabriel's farm plot. Equally new to Montaneros was seeing, just a few days later, the red International tractor ploughing the clayey soil of Gabriel's three-hectare farm that had been previously cleared by the yellow Case tractor. To Gabriel and his neighbors, it was almost like a dream seeing such fancy machines working on the plots of poor peasants like themselves. "We never thought that the government was really willing to help us this way," he told me when we talked about his reaction to the technical and financial assistance from SEA and other public agencies. The only other occasions in which they had seen such a display of technology was in the late 1950s, when the then private cotton plantation known as Sociedad Consorcio Algodonero

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47 Dominicano (currently state-owned National Cotton Institute, henceforth INDA), and the semi-private Dominican Industrial Society (henceforth La Manicera), began operating in the area. 15 Back then, however, the big tractors working for INDA were not helping peasants to modernize their farms plot; instead, they were destroying all conucos in order to pave the way to cotton, the plantation king. Gabriel's father lost at that time two conucos planted with manioc, sweet potatoes, bananas, papayas, plantains, pigeon peas ( guandules) , squash, maize, and many other crops always present in the conuco of "good" peasants, the ones who, according to the then prevalent values, took care in growing their own food. The cultivation of peanuts was carried out in those days using agricultural technology far more modest than that deployed on the cotton plantation. The realization that this time, at last, the public action was explicitly aimed at assisting local peasants, made Gabriel a happy and thankful man. The way he saw himself in relation to the larger society is clearly illustrated by his assertion that "I never thought that those important people from up there [ esa gente importante de alia arribal cared about little and poor people like us [ gente chiquita v pobre como nosotros l." That was the first time that Gabriel, a 50-year-old man, utilized such a modern technology on his plot. Previously, he just needed a steel axe, or a sharp machete to fell the rather thin thorny trees which, with the aid of fire. he will convert into ashes before planting cassava (manioc), corn (Zea mays) , yam, red and black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), pigeon pea (Caianus cajanV sweet potato (I gomoea batatas) , papaya ( Carica papaya) , and squash (Cucurbita 15 Commercial cotton cultivation, which was a crop cultivated by Tainos in thG Study area in 1957 ‘ Peanut cultivation also began in the area about the same time as cotton did. The background and * consequences of that important turning point for the local economy are discussed in Chapters 5 and 6. y

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48 pepo) , as he had learned to do from his parents. The slash-and-burn agricultural system practiced by most peasants in the region before the introduction of sorghum and peanut cultivation, was taught to him by his father, who rarely sold any of his products to the market. Slowly moving away from his father's traditional farming practices, however, Gabriel occasionally planted peanuts, which were bought locally by La Manicera. His wife, his three sons, and his two daughters also participated in managing the conuco and looking after the animals they raised on both private and the vast common lands still available in the area. As most peasants in this region did, Gabriel and his family members also worked for a few weeks every year as wage laborers at the nearby state-owned cotton plantation. They also owned ten cows, which were the main buffer for difficult times. Isabel, Gabriel's wife, says that those cows, together with the few pigs and chickens they had, "were our money-box." It was in part because Jorge, the local agronomist working for the SEA, told him that growing sorghum was the best choice in an area where all agriculture is rain-fed, that Gabriel decided to sell five of his priceless ten cows in order to devote most of his land to the new commercial crop. After all, what worth was there in keeping a conuco where only food for the household could be planted? Money was needed to pay for the household's expenses, and selling a couple of cows now and then was not sufficient to buy new clothes, send the children to school, and so on. Cash, Gabriel realized not without alarm, was indeed needed for things his father seldom had to think about. He also saw many of his friends "looking for progress" (" buscando el progreso "Â’) with the drought-tolerant and fast-growing new cash crop. Although Gabriel knew nothing about sorghum cultivation and was concerned about his family s well being, he decided to change the production patterns learned

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49 from his predecessors. Becoming a sorghum grower was to him the best way to protect his family against uncertainty. Maria, a 62-year-old widow from Blue Mountain, was a high-spirited woman who grew up working as a peasant on her father's land. She was also curious about that new "hierba mala " ("bad grass," the one which is hard to kill) which, according to what everyone said, did so well with very little rain). Sharing the expectations of most Montaneros, she thought that in just four months after planting the new crop a good amount of money would be in her hands. That projection of economic profit and security motivated her to seek more information about sorghum. After her husband passed away three years earlier, Maria had been unable to harvest much from the conuco they used to till together. The increasingly scant rainfall, small yields, and the relatively high cost of hiring labor, made it difficult for her to keep on working as a peasant. Shortly after Maria's husband passed away, her only son had migrated to Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, and was working as a private guard in a factory; her two daughters had already formed their own families, marrying two nonlocal men who worked at the nearby state-owned cotton plantation. Once in a while she went to her plot, sometimes by herself, others accompanied by a female neighbor, in order to harvest some manioc roots (vuca) . a few pounds of pigeon peas (guandules), a couple of baskets of sweet potato (batatas) , and some papayas (lechozas). Part of that was sold locally "to make some bucks," as she says with a big smile on her friendly face, or simply given away to neighbors, as part of an unwritten norm of food-sharing that local peasants used to observe carefully "before we began to see too many money bills [ gapeletas] in our hands," Maria speaks with a concern for the erosion of traditional values since the market economy began overpowering the

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50 previous one. From that modest harvest at her conuco, she also sent part of the products to her two married daughters, following a regional tradition of sending food to one's closest descendants. Whenever possible, she even sent some guandules and batatas to her son in Santo Domingo, thinking that local products tasted better than the ones grown in other parts of the country. The rest of the harvest was used for self-consumption. Maria was the first female sorghum grower in the region. Her plot was located near the salt lagoon where Blue Mountain was located the day Hurricane Ines swept away the entire village. She, the granddaughter of two peasant couples, never thought about growing a crop that needed so little physical work and from which so much money could me made in just four months. For local standards, Maria's ten-hectare conuco is a large one. Maria was daydreaming about her plans for the money to be gained from the new harvest when she and her curious neighbors saw something being unearthed by the steel plough. She ran fast, hastening the tractor operator to stop the engine. She fell down on her knees and took into her hands a half-broken yet beautiful piece of Taino pottery, covered with red clay. “This is a stone from the lighting storms," she said. In effect, what the tractor had unearthed was one of the stone axes used by the Tainos as a working tool and ceremonial symbol as well. It is a pervasive belief in many parts of the Dominican Republic that the stone axes one finds buried in the soil actually fall from the sky as part of a lighting strike; those stone axes are called piedras de rayo (literally, stones from lighting strikes). Ironically, both steel and stone axes were, symbolically and factually, being replaced by the new steel plough that was helping Maria to plant sorghum, a grain that was brought to Hispaniola as part of the trade of African slaves used to replace the disappeared Taino population in early sixteenth century. On the day Maria

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5 1 found the stone axe, many other Taino artefacts were unearthed by the steel plough working in the area. In fact, the location where Blue Mountain is located used to be a Taino site belonging to Behecchio's chiefdom, or Xaragua. After making sure that the tractor had left her parcel ready to be planted with sorghum seeds in the following days, Maria took some of the ancient pieces of pottery to her house, perhaps ignoring that in doing so she was also symbolizing the ending of a nearly five-century-old historical circle. She was also setting the stage for another human experience to begin. Gabriel's and Maria's search for progress was not an isolated phenomenon in Blue Mountain. Together with them were the nearly 80% of the village's peasants who made the dramatic turn of becoming full-fledged commercial farmers. At least 50% of Montaneros gave up farming their conucos by the year 1980, immediately after the first sorghum harvest. Instead of growing their own foodstuffs on their farm plots, they decided to grow just one crop that was to be used for manufacturing animal food in the capital. Most traditional conucos located in flat areas or near the main road and unpaved paths, became parcelas (parcels) 16 for sorghum cultivation; the other c onucos , some of which located in rather distant places where moisture is better kept in the soil by both the shade dwelling under the trees and the limestones so abundant in the area, were left totally uncultivated when their 16 Before sorghum cultivation, the term parcela was used in reference to the nearly rectangular, perfectly kept cotton fields at the nearby plantation. After sorghum, peasants gave the name parcelas to their former conucos . As part of the new ideology of progress and improvement, a parcela in Blue Mountain is a source of prestige in addition to its economic value. In Green Savannah though people value their parcelas, conucos are seen as a symbol of persistence. J

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52 owners decided to grow sorghum only. After the third sorghum harvest, that percentage arose to 80%. Most Montaneros (roughly 70%) sold part of their livestock to nonlocal merchants in order to plant hybrid sorghum. Facing a conflict in land use, the desire for raising their income in a short period of time, and believing that with that amount of money they would be better off, most they changed cattle by sorghum. Low interest credit, free technical assistance, low tariffs for land preparation, as well as secure market and transportation facilities were provided by SEA and other public and parastatal agencies. High yields during the first harvest, accompanied by a significant rise of income levels (ranging from 200% to 500% rises of nominal income), served as a "demonstration effect" in a short period of time. Five years later. Blue Mountain as a whole was no longer a traditional peasant village growing most of its own foodstuffs. From being an unknown crop to Montaneros before that sunny Saturday morning of September 29 of 1979, by the year 1983 sorghum had become their most important cash crop as well as their main source of income. Just a few peasants from Blue Mountain (less than five percent at the time of my fieldwork in 1990) continued cultivating their own foodstuffs on a regular basis. The agricultural products which for at least two centuries were planted on the household's conucos are now bought in the market. A new social category of local and outside merchants has made its appearance in the village. A monocrop economy emerged. Modernization prevailed in Blue Mountain. One might expect that with all these comparable objective factors conditioning their existence, Montaneros and Sabaneros will follow the same pattern of conduct in the face of such an appealing claim for modernizing their conucos The striking fact, however, is that they have behaved

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53 differently. What I mean by this is that they have behaved in significantly different ways while facing comparable structural constraints and being offered the same claim to modernize their production patterns. The adoption of sorghum cultivation in Green Savannah took a complex path whose details are discussed in Chapter 7. Let us at present just outline what occurred here. To begin with, most Sabaneros, in contradistinction with their neighboring Montaneros, neither sold their livestock nor did they eliminate the traditional conucos in order to grow sorghum. During the same period of time in which nearly 80% Montaneros gave up totally their traditional production patterns, less than five percent of Sabaneros did so. For most Sabaneros who eventually adopted sorghum cultivation (and their number is significant, as discussed in Chapter 7), it took nearly twice as long as it took Montaneros to make the same decision. Most important, the majority of Sabaneros who became sorghum growers did not quit growing food. They did everything possible to take advantage of both systems of production, trying to protect as much as possible the farm that provided food for self-consumption. This time difference in the acceptance and rejection of a new cash crop is representative of much more than a chronological distance; it also shows the presence of a cultural and ideological distance between the two villages. Such a distance, however, is not static but rather it functions as a flow of intersubjective relations helping humans learn from one another. As we will see in subsequent chapters, this general principle is applicable to our story. At the time I did fieldwork, more than 80% of peasants from Green Savannah (in contrast to the less than five percent in Blue Mountain) were either proudly claiming to be, or actually were “people who grow food" ^ g ente q u e siembra comida "). To most Sabaneros, being a food grower is a

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54 source of personal pride and cultural identity, a core element of their soul. In their view, people from the other village are not good peasants. As Julio, a Sabanero, told me: "We peasants have to grow our own food. Because if I live in the countryside [campo], and I don't grow manioc, then what am I doing in staying here? Growing food is a peasant's main hold in life, after his family. He might have a pig and a cow, but he ought to have his conuco to be able to harvest his manioc, his food." It is based on this cultural notion of what a genuine peasant ought to do that Julio and other Sabaneros blame the Montaneros' choice of not preserving their conucos as a buffer for tough times. "They are not peasants; they do not grow food; they only grow sorghum and raise cows," Julio insists in a passionate tone, while looking for a sign of approval from other Sabaneros who are standing nearby. Notwithstanding its significance as an introduction to this narrative, the foregoing rather dichotomous depiction of what I witnessed in these two villages does not show all the complexity of the events on which this story is based. I still need to qualify my description, analysis, and interpretation of the phenomena we have seen so far, because reality is neither clear-cut nor transparent. Ambiguity and human behavior are consubstantial, even within the most structured circumstances. Montaneros' and Sabaneros' praxis is not exception to this rule. Failing to document the zig-zag and imaginative behavior of peasants in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah would amount, to say the least, to mutilate the richness of life (Kosik 1976) so well revealed by peasants like Maria, Miguel, Rafael, and Julio. Our task is to discover in the everyday world, in the Lebenswelt of these men and women, the flow of human agency, "not a world that is, as Sartre says, opaque and rigidified, but rather a world which is dense and which moves" (Merleau-Ponty 1979:144).

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55 The following three observations will illustrate the need to put into brackets what we have discussed up to this point. First of all, it is important to note that, although the majority of peasants from each village did follow a quasi-homogeneous pattern of behavior, there were specific individuals from both places who did not follow the mainstream local path. By this I mean that there are a few Montaneros who, while making their parcelas for planting sorghum, did not eliminate their more traditional conucos . Likewise, there are some Sabaneros who, while growing sorghum, did abandon their conucos in a fashion similar, at least at first sight, to what most Montaneros have done. For a structural analysis of peasants' response to social change, this rather deviant behavior of a few peasants from each village might be considered as statistically insignificant. But our emphasis here is on the nuances and ambiguity of human agency rather than on the perfect parsimony of pure statistical measurements as the ultimate proof of truth. Within that conceptual framework, the individual is a crucial actor. The values and actions of the few also shape history's contours. Many Montaneros, whom so far I have somewhat portrayed as peasants who are just "looking for progress,"are actually engaged in "looking for tradition,"so to speak. This is not the moment to move into the interpretation of such a rich manifestation of peasant ideology. Suffice is to say that a group of nearly forty Montaneros, some of whom are sorghum growers themselves, formed during the early 1980s a self-aid organization whose history, aims, and evolution I discuss in Chapter 7. What is worth indicating at present is that in 1983, when they began to realize that losing their traditional conucos was not such a good idea after all, they renamed that local organization as "New Progress" ( Nuevo Progreso) , known also by the

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56 nickname of "the little one" (la chiquita) . By naming their institution that way, they were making explicit to both themselves and the others that something "different and better" needed to be done. The referential character of that specific naming becomes apparent when one sees that the second peasant organization in town, whose members are all sorghum growers or well-to-do ranchers, was officially named "The Experience" (La Experiencia) , yet small peasants refer to it as la grande, the big one. For nearly ten years the members of New Progress have done everything possible to work together using a long-lived traditional institution of labor-sharing which is locally known as convite . In addition to this local initiative, as discussed in details in Chapter 7, at the time of my fieldwork many women from Blue Mountain were pressing hard on their husbands to devote part of their parcels to the cultivation of crops other than sorghum. Rather than documenting a case of "the uncaptured peasantry" (Hyden 1984), our challenge here is to illustrate the lived experiences that led peasants to realize that they are indeed captured as a result of both their own actions and state policies. Further, attention should be paid to understand, once peasants reach the conclusion that they have been "captured," how much freedom they actually have, or how far they really want to go in order to loosen the ropes which, metaphorically speaking, are 'capturing' them. In particular, we need to follow closely the manifold strategies and tactics enacted by peasants in everyday life in their attempt to "work out" the presence of the state in their villages. By this I mean that, contrary to a pervasive belief among anthropologists (e.g.. Wolf 1973), under specific circumstances peasants try to get close to the very same state structure responsible for their "capture." Second is that, though the ontic dimension of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' existence is crucial to our examination of ideology, the ontological

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57 sphere of their lives is equally relevant for this present study. Peasants are more than producers and consumers of agricultural and manufactured goods. In cultivating the land they also transform nature, society, and themselves. When purchasing manufactured goods and selling agricultural products like sorghum, peasants are also exposed to new institutions, structures, and intersubjective relations as well. These intersubjective relations are not only instrumental, but also communicative. Further, when peasants engage in such relations, they do so guided by their own norms and cultural representations, as well as under the influence of specific policies expressing the larger society's attitude toward peasants. The relational character of such an exposure to familiar and uncommon institutions and people, makes it possible for peasants to gain a better understanding of the actual workings of the larger society. Taking place under objective structural constraints and cultural constructions, that experience is also an intersubjective one which opens up a new world to peasants. Simply stated, a holistic study of peasant ideology ought to deal with both the instrumental and communicative aspects of peasant livelihood, with the 'flesh and soul' of their existence, as well as with the usually ambiguous relation between knowledgeable agents and social structures. What we have before ourselves is not a dichotomy of tradition and modernization; instead, we are seeing a process of configuration of a new social reality, a complex interplay of interest, aspiration, beliefs, claims, knowledge, power, institutions, individuals, structures, and the like, in which traditional and modern ideas are being rapidly intertwined with one another. Ambiguity epitomizes this situation. We shall recall that Julio was telling us the reasons why he thought Montaneros were not "good" peasants. Let us recall the circumstance that he was not blaming his neighbors' decision

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5 8 to adopt sorghum cultivation as such; instead, he was pointing at the mistake involved in abandoning the conuco. which is the location (as both physical and social space) that a "good" peasant (a moral construct) should protect, granted that he or she wants to stay a peasant and defend his or her family's well-being even in difficult times. Neither totally free from the so-called state apparatus (Althusser 1971:127-188), nor entirely fettered as in Plato's underground cave, we are witnessing Montaneros and Sabaneros dealing in authentic terms with that what Koselleck, terms "the horizon of expectation and the space of experience" (cf. Ricoeur:1991:218). The notion of experience is used by Koselleck, Ricoeur (and me) as synonymous with tradition, habitus, common sense judgment, and so forth. Space, on the other hand, is social space, the myriad new alternatives that modernization brings with it (e.g., migration, the media, and changes in patterns of consumption, in our present case). Horizon of expectation means the aspirations, interests, desires, fears, doubts, and the like we have seen Montaneros and Sabaneros dealing with. All of this takes place within a horizon which is not only present, but rather present together with past and future. It is in contexts such as this one that peasant ideology is acted out. The third area of the previous account to be put into brackets refers to my use of the term "peasant." Peasants, whether we define them as a social class, a culture, a way of life, an economic category, or a mode of production, are part of complex historical processes. An ahistorical essence we may call the peasantry is simply a contradiction in terms. This assertion may sound as mutually contradictory with my previous claim for our attention to the ontological sphere of peasants' existence. I shall meet this objection by saying that the essential features of that social being we call the peasantry (its reliance on self-exploitable family labor, its ownership or possession of means of

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59 production, its capability to keep on farming in the face of diminishing return per unit of capital invested, and the values sustaining such practical concerns), are conditioned by broader historical processes which make possible the constitution of a particular peasantry as part of a spatio-temporal experience. Whatever happens to the peasantry at a given point in time and space has origins and consequences which go beyond the confines of peasant villages themselves. Peasants are simultaneously defined by and definers of the larger society's genesis and mutation. This takes us to the last point of the previous account that needs to be put into brackets. Neither Dominican peasants as a social category, nor the peasants of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in specific, have always been an identifiable social entity. Theirs is a tangible existence signaled by a genesis, a tortuous process of becoming, and, at times, a painful constitution. Such an existence is not reducible to its economic features, notwithstanding the central role economic transactions have in the constitution of peasantries. In the particular case of Montafteros and Sabaneros, their constitution as peasants is related to the practical and symbolic roles played by buccaneers, pirates, habitants, herdsmen, maroons, fishermen, hunters, gatherers, miners, timber workers, and soldiers in the emergence over time of two interrelated social, political, economic, and cultural identities: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is because of this process of constitution that regional differences are crucial to our study. The self-identity, historical consciousness, adherence to both a physical and cultural space and a tradition, particularly on a frontier region such as the one on which Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located, are processes and phenomena to be taken into account when examining the ideologies of present-day Montaneros and Sabaneros.

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60 Doing otherwise amounts to take a narrow stance in the understanding of a challenging social phenomenon. Although "social facts" and theoretical reflection may be discussed separately for heuristic purposes, they are not mutually contradictory in the way suggested by Durkheim's contrast between "science concerned with realities" and science dealing with "ideological analysis" (1966:14). The dichotomy of science versus ideology is as problematic as the treatment of 'facts' and theory as incongruent realms. It is based on these premises that I am addressing Montaneros' and Sabaneros' differential ideological responses as a difficult and challenging phenomenon. The circumstance that they have behaved differently in the face of comparable structural constraints provides us with an excellent opportunity to theorize with a concern for both science and ideology. However, the historic and most recent facts exposed up to now in our narrative, instead of making our task easier, have made it more complex. It is for this reason that, before dealing with sorghum cultivation proper, we need to accomplish three intermediate goals: first, it is necessary to make explicit how this study relates to the ongoing debate on peasant ideology and correlative theoretical, epistemological, and philosophical issues; second, we need to place the material and ideational spheres of of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' existence into the multidimensional flow of historic events of which Columbus's discovery of Hispaniola and sorghum cultivation are but two core components; third, it is essential to characterize the socio-ontological dimension of Sabaneros' migration from El Cibao as well as their encounter with their existential "other" in the Deep South. Such is the task I will pursue below. In this chapter I have presented my general and specific goals in this narrative as well as the salient features of my epistemological.

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6 1 methodological, theoretical, and ethical positions. We have seen in general terms Montaneros' and Sabaneros' idiosyncratic engagement with both sorghum cultivation and their long-lived system of production. By looking at the conduct and opinion of a couple of dwellers from each village, we have acquainted ourselves with the cultural and ethical dimensions of peasants' economic rationality. The interplay of utopia and ideology has been referred to as one of the key issues to look at in our interpretation and understanding of this complex case. We have also outlined some of the structural similarities and differences in the two adjacent villages so as to be able to carry out a comparative and historical study aimed at showing a changing situation rather than a static one. Finally, I have introduced some historic events which, in my view, are crucial in the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros.

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CHAPTER 2 IDEOLOGY, AND SURVIVAL: BEYOND THE "CAMERA OBSCURA" In everyday discourse, and in academic parlance to a lesser degree, the concept of ideology is generally used with three interconnected assumptions in mind. First, it is taken for granted that ideology is a distortion of reality as well as a handicap for accurate understanding and effective action. Second, it is assumed that ideology is controlled by the power structure in any given situation, leaving nothing but uncertainty to the powerless. Finally, ideology is usually associated with formal political institutions (parties in particular) as well as with overt class struggle aimed at a radical subversion of the "oppressive" structures. When such assumptions are taken to the study of peasants survival strategies, it is likely that peasants would appear as historical subjects who lack the appropriate consciousness, cohesiveness, and strength necessary to overcome oppression. I disagree with such views on ideology in general and peasant ideology in particular. In the following two chapters I intend to critically discuss the aforementioned assumptions against their historical background, suggest an alternative way of looking at the interrelation of power, structure, human agency, and ideology, as well as show how (and why) I see phenomenology as a research strategy useful for the interpretation and understanding of ideology as a positive manifestation of human agency. This chapter consists of two sections. First, a critical overview of the concept of ideology is undertaken. Exegesis of some classical and contemporary texts is done for the purpose of illustration. Second, a discussion of peasants as survivors is carried out. 6 2

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63 drawing on the work of social scientists and philosophers (Heidegger in particular). These two tasks are undertaken with an explicit concern for both critical theory and philosophical reflection. The next chapter takes this general discussion into epistemological, methodological, and ethical grounds as they refer to the study of ideology in everyday life in general, and my own research strategy in particular. Power, Knowledge. Claim. Belief. Utopia, and Ideology: the Role of Human Agency We saw in the previous chapter how the display of structured power, the usage of swords and crosses on which the violent and bloody encounter of Spaniards and Tainos rested, were accompanied by the interplay of claims and beliefs, symbols and meanings, ideological and cultural responses, as well as the resistance and accommodation acted out by the two cultures. The conquest was a holocaust which changed much more than the most immediate material resources in which the Taino culture was rooted; it also modified, rapidly and painfully, Tainos' perception of reality as well as their attitude toward "the other." Despite their resistance and accommodation, Tainos were forced to pay an irrecoverable human price for being "discovered": they were obliterated. The experience of that encounter illustrates the interrelation of perception, belief, claim, action, and power in the process of constructing social reality; it also assists us in understanding the constitution of ideologies in specific historical circumstances. Bartolome de las Casas, a former Spanish landlord who later became a priest, understood with his unique sensitivity the meaning of that process and its further implications; he wrote: "being thus broken with so many evils, afflicted with so many torments, and handled so ignominiously, they [Tainos] began at length to believe that the

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64 Spaniards were not sent from Heaven . And therefore some of them hid their Children [sic], others their Wives [sic] in obscure and secret places" (1656:7; my stress). The way Las Casas describes that important episode of Western history shows, albeit in a fashion far more transparent than we might encounter in modern times, the presence at that time of five main constituent elements of ideological configurations: power, knowledge, claim, belief, and utopia. I shall comment below on the extent to which my characterization of ideology's makeup is in accord with Paul Ricoeur's elaboration on the same subject matter. For now, let us interpret the Las Casas description. First, we are told that there was a display of power which, up to a certain point, was not overtly resisted by the Tainos. Second, we see Tainos first believing (the claim) that the Spaniards had come from Heaven, and then (mediated by the evil experiences) realizing (knowing) that their beliefs (perception of, and trust in, appearances) were wrong. Third, we are told that some of the Tainos escaped to places they thought were safe. The utopian element in that dynamic was provided by the articulation of, on the one hand, the whole conquest itself, marked by Columbus's search for Marco Polo's land of plenty as well as the implicit belief in progress supporting his enterprise (Heilbroner 1980:37); and, on the other hand, the Tainos' original belief that the Spaniards had come from both Heaven and the locations where the former's predecessors dwelled. 1 Tamos, who were excellent sailors, were engaged in trade and other social relations with the inhabitants of other Caribbean islands. Partially because of the Canbs' control over part of the routes to Central and South America Tainos lost their direct interaction with their ancestors. Guanin (an allov of . a. coo P er ) linked Tainos to both their instrumental relations with neighboring cultures and their spiritual communication with their ancestors. Garcia Goyco (1984), Morison (1970), and Vega (1979), report the association made by Tainos between the Spanish brass bells and guanin: it was such an

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65 The background of the current discussion on ideology, although ultimately containing the constituent elements we just referred to, may be schematized as a twofold quest: first, the search for drawing a clear and unmistakable line between illusive and true reality, or between scientific (objective) and false (subjective) interpretation of reality; second, the attempt to demarcate the precise nature of the relationship between consciousness and materiality. This double demarcation still separates what is characterized as a dichotomy of two epistemological currents among social scientists, namely the materialists and idealists. I think such a dichotomy is misleading and reductionist. Nevertheless, for heuristic purposes, let us assume that such a clear-cut boundary actually exists. Within this framework, the epistemological implications of such a dichotomy shall be synoptically depicted as follows. First are the so-called materialists who claim to have the intellectual tools for gaining an objective, certain, scientific knowledge of reality; materialists claim too that consciousness or thought is determined primarily by the material base structuring people's instrumental engagement with the interconnected processes of production, consumption, and reproduction. Second are the so-called (by the former) idealists or rationalists who claim having less interest in the sureness of objective knowledge than a concern with understanding and interpreting the complex interplay between ideas and materiality; rather than a fixed materially determined reality, idealists seek comprehending a human horizon which is constituted through the association that facilitated the Tainos' belief that Spaniards have come from the places (Heaven and South America) where their predecessors dwelled. Such a belief, I argue, was part of a 'lost paradise' feeling deeply held bv Tainos. J }

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66 meaning assigned by human beings to our instrumental and communicative acts. Of course, my characterization of these two epistemological trends is just a loose sketch of a far more complex "battlefield" in social sciences, as the following discussion will demonstrate. Figure 3 depicts some of the key names and concepts I consider indispensable to look at in an attempt to relate the recurrent search for truth and certainty with the current debate on ideology. In addition to saying that it is not my intention to repeat the already told history of ideology, I hasten to state that my attempt is neither to establish a chronology of this debate nor construct a unified conceptual body to be utilized in this narrative. 2 Nor do I imply that there is a causal connection between the theorists (many of whom never made explicit reference to ideology as such) and concepts shown in Figure 4. My rationale for sorting things out this way is my own instrumental and exploratory reading of the work done by each one of these scholars. Admittedly, my own understanding of the complex ramifications of these constructs is still in its early stages. Further, I have deliberately omitted the names of other key participants in this debate, such as Lenin, Maurice Bloch, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The image I have in mind is of an imaginary dialogue among these theorists, rather than coming to terms with such an intricate mass of highly controversial concepts. My goal in doing this overview is twofold: first, to continue forging the intellectual tools needed in order to disentangle the challenging web posed to us by the praxes of Montaneros and Sabaneros; second, depict ideology as both a positive 2 I have included in the bibliography a somewhat updated number of studies on the history of the ideology concept. To the reader who is unable to read everything, I highly recommend the following texts: Eagleton (1991); Geertz Gramsci (1971); Larrain (1979); Ricoeur (1986, 1991); and Thompson (1985a, 1990). r

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Plato Aristotle Descartes Kant Dilthey Husserl Cassirer Levi-Brhul Mannheim Weber Schutz Mead Gadamer Ricoeur Geertz Lee Bourdieu Giddens Bacon Hobbes de Tracy 67 Vico Hegel Kierkegaard Marx Heidegger K / 1 f Lukacs £ Freud Reich Gramsci Marcuse Paci Gurwitsch Sartre Merleau-Ponty I Althusser Levi-Strauss P6cheux Godelier Meillassoux French anthropologists Therbon Meszaros Thao Kosik Almasi Frankfurt School Lefebvre Williams E.P. Thompson 1 John B. Thompson f Slavoj Zizek Lacan Foucault Habermas Meaning, Being, Knowledge Culture, Symbols, Self Language, Rationality Appearance, Perception Subjectivity, Objectivity Intersubjectivity, Others Intentionality, Existence Utopia, Essence, Desires ^^^^^®^^3®^^^^B88888B88888888588BB88888888 1 Work, Institutions, Power Alienation, Consciousness Common sense. Science Unconscious, Repression Experience, History, Nature Freedom, Praxis, Hegemony Experience, Culture, Knowledge, Power, Structure, Utopia, Ideology || mmm msmmmsmrn Figure 3. Background of the Ideology Concept

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68 symbolic constituent of everyday life and a source of existential security rather than as a veil of ignorance preventing people from seeing the real world, or as a repressive weapon in the hand of dominant classes. The Classical Debate The confrontation between "true" and "false" knowers of reality began long before nineteenth century, the time that Antoine Destutt de Tracy (17541836) and his collaborators were blamed by Napoleon Bonaparte for being "ideologues" (ideologists), or men of metaphysical ideas instead of men of practical knowledge whose wisdom could be used for "adapting the laws to a knowledge of the human heart and the lessons of history" (cf. Williams 1985: 57). Aristotle, whose position on ideology (most properly human agency) we shall discuss in a moment, and Plato, are the ones from whom our overview must begin. Plato (quoted above) depicted a situation in which an extreme abuse of power made claims, beliefs, and knowledge rather undeterminable to the men living in the underground cave with their heads and feet fettered. To the earlier reference made in this chapter regarding the interconnection between education and perception inferable from Plato's metaphor, we may add that, by using that allegory, he was also able to call our attention to the manner in which reality becomes a condensation of broader processes of signification mediated by a power structure or system of authority which conditions our perception of the horizon available to us. It is partially based on Plato s ideas that I argue that epistemological categories and constructs are conditioned by social, individual, and historical circumstances. The reflection that Bacon, Hobbes, and Descartes were later on to transform into a scientific quest of a true knowledge of reality, had already been depicted in the common sense philosophy of living epitomized by Cervantes's (1547-1616) well-known literary characters: Don Quixote and

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69 Sancho Panza. It is indeed that common sense judgment that Cervantes is trying to exculpate from arrogant accusations, when he portrays Sancho (a peasant) telling with fear and surprise to his well-read knight who perceived wind mills as demons: "But look, your Grace, those are not giants but windmills, and what appear to be arms are their wings. . . a fact which no one could fail to see unless he had other mills of the same sort in his head" (1949:63; my stress). Here one sees common sense knowledge (Sancho's) showing an accurate understanding of facts, while scholastic knowledge (Don Quixote's) is just able to perceive appearances, illusions. The allusion to epistemological accuracy is obvious. I take Cervantes's work as one of the first positive depiction of ideology, and I share his appreciation for common sense knowledge, peasants' in particular. This appreciation for common sense knowledge, albeit now from a formally scientific perspective, was the same that Vico (1666-1744) took as a core element of the epistemological grounds on which his New Science was to be constructed. Although he did not develop a theory of peasant ideology, it is nevertheless worth noticing that Vico (1990:61; 1979:52-53), while discussing the notion of common sense as well as people's knowledge of the institutions sustaining civil society or civil world, explicitly referred to the possibility that peasants, provided they had adequate knowledge, could obtain justice in their dealings with rather oppressive structures. Rather than attempting a careful interpretation of Vico's entire philosophy, at this juncture I would like to take advantage of two assertions made by him regarding the logical nature of people's common sense constructs. First is that "common sense is judgment without reflection, shared by an entire class, an entire people, and entire nation, or an entire human race" (1979:21). Second is his position that what humans (primitives

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70 included) have done over time was done "with intelligence; it was not fate, for they did it by choice" (p.383). In saying this Vico was not only showing respect for cultures different from his own; he was also building the foundations for what later on became a humanistic trend in social sciences, by which I mean social sciences that characterize people as human beings to be understood rather than as objective entity to be examined, measured, explained. The key notions to borrow from Vico are "intelligence," and "choice," which for the sake of harmony with current parlance I would like to see loosely as synonymous with the notions of intentionality and ideology, respectively. My current views on ideology have been significantly influenced by Vico's theoretical contributions on institutions and human agency. The significance of Vico's novel ideas for our task at hand will become more apparent when contrasted with the ones held by L£vy-Bruhl and Aristotle, to which we now turn. When Levy-Bruhl, his theoretical contributions to the study of human cognition notwithstanding, said that primitive people have a prelogical mind and a "philosophy" (the quotation marks are his) which is "childish and clumsy, no doubt, but yet perfectly consistent itself" (1985:19), to add later on that "their [primitive people's] mental activity is too little differentiated" (p.36), he was not making an epistemological error; instead, in addition to being ethnocentric, he was making an ethical mistake. What I mean by this is twofold: first, he was right in implying that each philosophy (meaning worldview in my present usage) is internally consistent, even if one does not share its premises; second, he was wrong in his elitist attitude toward people like the ones my study refers to. The quotation by Aristotle placed at the beginning of this study takes us to the core of the current debate regarding the interrelation of power.

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7 1 structure, knowledge, and human agency. It also becomes helpful for our examination of ideology in general and peasant ideology in particular. True, Aristotle's concern was a philosophic one chiefly dealing with human beings' (most properly men's) best use of our faculties while pursuing happiness. Yet, the emphasis he put on institutions and structures, (e.g., the family and the village as foundations for the growth of the state), clearly shows his concern for the societal dimensions of human existence, agriculture in particular. We owe to Friedman (1987), Nisbet (1969; 1980), and Schumpeter (1986), among others, excellent interpretations of the historical linkage between, on the one hand, Aristotle's political concerns with the proper organization of the state and society at large, and, on the other, the modern notions of progress, social change, planning, action, and development. We need not busy ourselves with that broad topic at present. Instead, what needs our attention is Aristotle's explicit assertion with regard to, on the one hand, the farmers' inability to making a revolution provided "they have no spirit " and, on the other hand, his view that in order to preclude farmers' "spirited" behavior, a good "thing would be that they should be peasants or of foreign stock, and like inferior nature" (1943:397-398). Knowing Aristotle's insistence on the virtue of ghronesis or practical wisdom, as well as the prominent role acknowledged to the state in his speculative political scheme, it is profitable to draw an analogy between the spirited farmers he was referring to and the modern peasants we currently see acting in an ideological fashion while coping with state-sponsored social change. This analogy will be used for heuristic purposes in the remaining of this chapter. Although Aristotle's usage of the concept "revolution" had a connotation different from the current characterization of it, they both address a problematic which I wish to phrase as follows: any form of

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72 sociopolitical system involving a power structure may, under particular circumstances, be explicitly counter-interpellated, contested, and partially undermined by one or several of its constituents. This assertion leads us to a relevant threefold elaboration. First is the existence of a functioning power structure or system of authority which is held together by, among other means, a certain claim to values considered to be true, e.g., the Aristotelian claim that slaves may gain their liberty "as the reward of their services" (ibid.). This implies that, even under conditions of slavery and total denial of basic human rights to specific subjects (Plato's men living in caves as well as slaves during Aristotle's times), a particular set of conducts and beliefs may pave the way to the recognition (by those who control the power structure) of one's entitlement to particular material and cultural resources. Second is that such a claim for the possession of truth is not necessarily believed by everyone who is under the influence of the power structure. The important point to be made in our exegesis of this classical text on statecraft is that the disbelief attributed by Aristotle to those peasants actually takes place in modern times, and involves, in cognitive terms, a reflection, a questioning, a contestation of reality beyond its taken-for-granted facade, or, using the phenomenological jargon, a bracketing of the world, even in the midst of the Lebenswelt. The attitude of going beyond the claim made by holders of the system of authority is a critical act, an enactment of intelligence in Vico's terms, a discovering experience which is mediated by an encounter with other human beings who also live within the power structure either as rulers or as subordinate. Such an encounter, indeed, is often loaded with conflict, yet it is not reducible to contradiction; it has too the potential to become a learning experience from which solidarity may grow. Thus, it is an

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73 intersubjective phenomenon which opens up new alternative responses, ranging from overt defiance to passive resistance. Finally, and more important, is the idea that, under the constraints outgrowing from any power structure, the knowledge and understanding gained by people regarding the actual workings of that very same structure may propel humans to act, to become knowledgeable agents, to move from what Heidegger categorizes as Dasein's move from a position of "throwness," 3 or inauthentic being-in theworld, to a situation of “taking over one's throwness" (1962:167, 383, and passim; 1988:350), or authentic understanding of the meaning of being-in-the-world. What is relevant for our purpose is not whether intentional human agency leads to resistance, revolution, approval, or accommodation. The significant point to be made is that humans are able to reflect upon unfavorable circumstances, understand how such circumstances came into being and are reproduced, become "spirited," with phronesis. in Aristotle's terms, act according to their perceptions and judgments of objective and subjective elements of their reality, fill with the personal knowledge gained through intersubjective experiences the interstices of the structures they belong to, and attempt (as an intentional act, a choice) to eventually obtain what, in their view, are the best possible results. Although probably he did not intend it that way, in making these remarks Aristotle provided us with important conceptual tools (phronesis in particular) to comprehend people's usage of ideology in positive In Heidegger s ontology, Dasein means "man as the being which comprehends Being" (Spiegelberg 1984:741); throwness generally refers to the condition of being in a situation that we have not opted for freely. Likewise whereas inauthentic being is restricted to knowing how to perform the instrumental tasks of daily life, authentic being consists in understanding the meaning of our doings. 5

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74 terms. This will become clearer in the discussion of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' authentic engagement with modernization and tradition. Let us turn to Bacon and Hobbes. The ideas on common sense knowledge held by Bacon and Hobbes grew at a historical moment in which positive ideas on science, state control over civil society and man's control over nature, as well as the notions of order and progress were laying the foundations on which the ideology of the public sphere (Habermas, discussed below) was eventually to be placed. We need not discuss such a vast field at present (see Cerney 1990; Nisbet 1980). The important point to be addressed is that the two philosophers rejected common sense knowledge not only because, in their view, it was based upon unscientific constructs, but also because it was misleading and ideological in the negative sense that Napoleon and others after him were going to use the term "ideology." Interestingly, Bacon's and Hobbes's attacks were directed against the par excellent ideological weapon: language, or better put, discourse. Succinctly, Bacon's claim was that, in order for the human mind to advance in its knowledge of nature, four Idols (sic) must be, so to speak, removed. The Idols of the Tribe, Cave, Market Place, and Theater, according to him, were acting as a veil which either prevented people from seeing what was actually happening in the world, or gave them an erroneous view of it. It is not by accident that he characterized the Idols of the Market Place as the most troublesome "for it is by discourse that men associate; and words [at the market] are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar" (1946:177). This fear of discourse in the hand of common people becomes more apparent when one sees Hobbes labeling metaphors as one of the four abuses of speech made by men who "use words metaphorically that is, in other senses than

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75 they are ordained for— and thereby deceive others " (1958:38; my stress). It is worth bearing in mind the contrast between their views and Vico's position of this issue. Destutt de Tracy, as we shall see in a moment, was part of the empiricist tradition represented by Bacon and Hobbes. The recurrent theme we are seeing in this review is the epistemological problematic of the knowing subject and her relation to the world; untangling such a puzzle was a major concern for de Tracy. The driving force in his empiricist position was to overcome the sort of rationalism manifested by Descartes's dictum "I think, therefore I am" (1972:101) followed by his more radical questioning of the relation between his body and his thoughts. Destutt de Tracy, to be sure, was not against the recognition of thought and ideas as important constituents of human life, but rather to the separation between ideas and the material world in the manner Descartes had done. Being concerned with positive science in a fashion similar to Bacon's and Hobbes's positions, the forefather of the concept of ideology made explicit that "ideology [science of ideas] is a part of Zoology, and it is especially in man that this part is important and deserves to be more deeply understood" (cf. Williams 1985:56). As noted by Carlnaes this naturalist characterization of ideology had "no regard for religion, normative considerations, or traditional metaphysics" (1981:25). Thus, Napoleon's accusation against de Tracy and his collaborators (calling them "ideologists") was based on his conviction that the theorists who were busy with such a science were of no help to solve France's grave political and economic tribulations. 4 His statements marked the birth of a negative notion of ideology. 4 ^. a P°* eon s motivations for using ideologists as a nickname was based on political reasons rather than on scientific considerations as such. Antoine de

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76 It was precisely such a derogatory notion of ideology that Marx and Engels adopted in their attack on all forms of so-called idealism and mechanistic materialism, including the positive science of de Tracy. Their overarching goal in criticizing the notion of ideology was twofold: first, to state that all mental processes (ideology included) arise from human action, production in particular or, as they said "the language of real life" (1985:47); second, they were concerned with drawing the line separating true from false knowledge (or consciousness) of social reality, as is clearly discerned from their assertion that "in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura " (ibid.; stress in the original). The belief in the existence of an inverted world in need to be turned back on its feet, propelled Marx and Engels to characterize ideology as, so to speak, a mirror which distorts the image of a well-defined, true, real world. As indicated above and suggested by the title of this chapter, I disagree with such a negative connotation of ideology. This however, does not rule out my appreciation for Marx's significant contributions on the issues of commodity fetichism and alienation, both of which are central for any serious interpretation of the interrelation of appearance, perception, consciousness, reality, subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity. Let us briefly look at these two relevant concepts. The market, the place at which use-value and exchange-value meet, does not only make possible the circulation of commodities; it is also a site where social relations converge, alliances and contradictions pollinate, and Tracy and his collaborators were indeed in the process of creating the constitutional foundations for the new state in France. On this, see Brian William Head. 1985. Ideology and Social Science. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Also useful are Larrain (1979), Ley (1985), and Seliger (1976).

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77 the familiar contours of our everydayness suddenly appear different, inverted. Bacon referred to these changes in perception taking place at the market place (his Idols) long before Adam Smith (1983:131-132) elaborated on the difference between use-value and exchange-value. Likewise, Aristotle's claim that "it is demand which binds society together as a unit" (1943:163) is perhaps the oldest predecessor of what Marx was going to say about commodities several centuries after the collapse of the ideal polis. From Marx's complex analysis, we may extract the ideas central to our present task: first, it is through exchange of their products that producers actually interact with each other; second, it is not as use-value but rather as exchange-value that commodities become so mysterious, so capable of inverting the real world of social relations between people as if it were a set of relations between things, or "social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses" (1977:1:72; my stress); third, beyond their rather simple, trivial appearance, commodities conceal a more complex world of social relations; fourth, the essence of that world of social relations, which on the surface appears as a relation between commodities, is indeed the labor devoted by the producers themselves to make possible that such commodities become exchangeable in the market; finally, such a perception of commodities' appearances, instead of their concealed world of human labor, is what Marx (ibid.) termed "the Fetishism [sic] of commodities." Once again, one sees Marx saying that the camera obscura of ideological representations leads (or rather misleads) human beings to perceive at first only the inverted world of appearances. This first manifestation of ideological concealment brings into the scenario the alienation concept, whose succinct analysis shall help us deal with the relation between ideology and false

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78 consciousness (an association which, to the best of my knowledge, Marx himself never made explicit). This will finally take us to Hegel's notions of consciousness, self-consciousness, reason, and alienation. Alienation, in Marxian terms, has in commodity fetishism its closest constituent because of the fourfold estrangement or separation (Oilman 1986) of the producers' humanity which is made possible by market transactions between things, instead of between people. Let us outline this fourfold separation or estrangement affecting producers. First, a separation from producers and what they produce occurs when commodities are exchanged. Second, producers experience an estrangement from their fellow human beings because market transactions are assumed to be taking place between things rather than between concrete people. Third, estrangement from nature occurs through production itself, though it is not inherently negative; rather, so Marx thought, its negative facet is shaped by the social relations framing human action. Finally, there is an estrangement from themselves, from their personal essence, from the source of their concrete labor, as well as from their historical possibilities (see Marx 1964; Marx and Engels 1985). In addition to the rather existential ramifications of this fourfold alienation, Marx devoted most of his life to demonstrate how economic exploitation (alienation) of the producers by the non-producers ends up as an economic profit made by the latter at the expense of the former's well-being. In short, he argued, concrete human labor is devoted to the production of surplus-products (the ones produced beyond the satisfaction of immediate needs for consumption needs), under capitalism, according to Marx, products (commodities) are exchanged in the market with the mediation of an equivalent form of value (money), from which surplus-value is extracted; this surplus-value is the source of capitalist economic profit (see Marx 1973, 1977).

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79 I agree with most of Marx's characterization of both alienation and commodity fetishism, and see it as a powerful way to look at the objective and subjective dimensions of structuration (or regimentation of civil society by structures). However, I think that human beings attempt to overcome alienation using precisely the ideological constructs that Marx rejected. That this is actually the case is discernible from the excellent work of Nash (1979 ) among Bolivian tin miners, as well as from Taussig's (1986) in South America. Succinctly, Nash documented how Bolivian tin miners utilize rituals existing since pre-capitalist times in order to resist the process of alienation associated with an increasingly commoditized economy and its concomitant process of economic exploitation. Those miners related to both The Tio (an evil figure representing the mines' consumption of human labor) and the Christian saints as part of a totality rather than as separate parts °f ^e Pachamama or "ancient space/ time concept immanent in the earth (p.122). I see Nash convincingly arguing against Marx's position that alienation is a logical consequence of economic exploitation and harship. By documenting how people have been able to use their beliefs, symbols, and rituals as a way to counteract the "dominant ideology," she has enhanced our understanding of human agency. Taussig's (1986) work on commodity fetishism also provides us with significant insights into the work of ideological response to alienation. Though drawing on Marxian ideas, he documents the notion of evil in a way that goes beyond Marx's negative view of ideology. Indeed, Taussig illustrates how the notion of evil in the are he studied is shaped by both the objective encroachment of capitalism and natives' perception of such process. Central to his argument is that the shift from the production of use-value to the production of exchange value creates a new set of interaction among people

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80 as well as a new ideology. Furthermore, he argues that changes in the mode of production are interpreted by people using their cosmological understanding and explanation of the world. It is in this context of objective and subjective process, Taussig argues, that people associate capitalism and material wealth with the devil. Central to such a contention is that people do not have another way to explain how some of them are getting reacher while most are getting poorer. My interpretation of Montanero's and Sabaneros' usage of the notion of baca in the context of ontic and ontological insecurity, which I discuss in Chapter 7 of this dissertation, has been significantly influenced by Taussig's work. An aspect of his work I do not share, though, is his somewhat deterministic position on how changes in the so-called infrastructure create a different set of human relations and new ideological constructions as well. My argument, which I develop in Chapters 6 and 7, is that (under specific circumstances) it may be the reverse. By this I mean that specific sets of interaction among people, combined by concrete ideologies, by accelerate or slow down changes in the infrastructure. In making the foregoing characterization of alienation and surplusvalue, Marx was arguing in particular against Hegel and Ricardo on the ground of political philosophy and political economy. To survey the whole field of that debate is not essential for us at present. Rather, let us turn to Hegel s so-called idealism, in particular to his notions of consciousness, selfconsciousness, and reason. I hasten to state that, for this schematic account of Hegel s notion of alienation, I am deliberately overlooking the well-known "tension" between his work on culture and history (Hegel 1956, 1977) and his

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8 1 mostly ontological formulations (Hegel 1990; see also Marcuse 1987). At present I am referring to his work on culture and history only. 5 Heidegger contributed to clarify the concept of alienation, which is significant for our next examination of ideology as a positive manifestation of human agency. Rather than an independent consciousness h la Descartes, Heidegger portrayed concrete men engaged in building, doing, farming, and so forth; alongside such practical enactments, he argued, human beings (as Dasein) have the possibility of achieving an authentic mode of being, granted they understood the meaning of being. Failing from gaining such authentic understanding Heidegger termed "falling Being-in the-world" (1962:222), which leads human beings (as Dasein) to fall into a mood of "temptation, tranquilizing, alienation and self-entangling" (p. 223; my stress). To the question of how to avoid this alienation, Heidegger's answer comes as no surprise: "through knowledge and will" (p.l 75). As we shall see in a moment, in adopting this solution to the problem of alienation, he was not only confronting Marx; he was also setting the scheme which later became so appealing to many phenomenologists and existentialists. 6 The Hegelian argument that the realization of the Spirit (sic) is history's starting point, followed by his assertion that the State (sic) was, so to speak, the location at which such a realization was supposed to take place, are IP 1 } this ' see Sidney Hook. 1985. From Hegel to Marx. The University of Michigan Press; Alexander Kojeve. 1969. Introduction to the Reading of t-j^ n^c F? oks ' York From the bibliography in this dissertation, see Heiss (1975); Hyppolite (1974); and Taylor (1980). 6 I acknowledge that the name of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) should be present in any serious discussion on will, power, knowledge and ideologv However, discussing his controversial philosophy would make this overview too ambitious. On this, see Schutte (1984).

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82 too well-known to be repeated here. However, from that general dictum we need to highlight his assertion that consciousness and will are two essential mediations for such a process to occur (1956:55). In the context of our quest, the notions of consciousness and will are dealt with in close relation with the concepts of desire, aspiration, and intentionality. It is at this juncture that we see Hegel's participation in shaping the crossroad to be faced later on by Heidegger and Marx: first, one sees Hegel describing the rather painful situation of a Spirit that is at war with itself in the process of "realization of its Ideal being" (ibid.); second, and more important, he tells us that instead of resolving this contradiction, the Spirit "hides that goal from its own vision [Marx's camera obscura, Heidegger's falling], and is proud and well satisfied [Heidegger's 'tranquilizing'] in his alienation from it" (ibid; my stress). Taking this characterization of alienation from the level of the Spirit to the level of social reality, Hegel depicts the world and the self going through a similar dialectical process of development in which reason (and with it total freedom, truth, scientific consciousness) is the goal to be eventually achieved. Yet, different from Kant, the individual he is referring to is part of a community of human beings engaged in manifold intersubjective relations, facing their most immediate desires, seeking recognition from one another while struggling with the immediate sense of the material world (consciousness, thought, perception) in order to, through self-reflection, evolve to a higher and more meaningful level of perceiving and understanding (self-consciousness, reason, truth, science). To be sure, Hegel (1977:301) is dealing here with tangible entities in which the individual (self) is closely embedded, namely state power, culture, and work. This is clearly discerned from his statement that "even the departed spirit is present in his blood-relationship, in the self of the family, and the universal power of the

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83 government is the will, the self of the nation"(p. 295; stress in the original). To this he later added that, in order to gain absolute freedom (leave alienation behind), the Spirit would need to go through a revolution (inner and outer alike), and abandon "this region of culture" (p. 296). Thus, the individual one sees in Hegel's characterization of society is one whose aim is to move beyond his immediate instrumental existence and perceptions (consciousness), which are indeed conditioned by work, culture, and the power of the state. From this rather illusory immediate existence, through self-reflection, the individual may eventuality reach a level of selfconsciousness at which the incomplete perception of the world he previously had is overcome, and a true (more scientific) understanding of reality is gained. However, the experience of that attempt, the realization of how the immediate world (state, culture, work, nature, and so forth) hampers, so to speak, the possibility of gaining the level of self-consciousness is precisely what makes the individual feel alienation. Alienation occurs, Hegel continues, when we experience the difference between consciousness and self-consciousness (Meister 1991:351; see also Koj£ve 1969). The question, however, remains: How do we overcome alienation while carrying out the instrumental tasks of everyday existence? As discussed below, my argument is that it is though solidarity, social imagination, and phronesis that we human beings may overcome such a tremendous objective-subjective situation. Interpreters of Hegel have highlighted the role he assigned to human will (see Marcuse 1941:185), reflection and knowledge (see Hyppolite 1969:84) in the struggle to overcome alienation and reach self-consciousness and reason. As we saw earlier, Heidegger also recognized in knowledge and will two crucial sources of non-alienation. Hyppolite (1969, 1984) has praised

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84 Hegel, in my view correctly, for pointing out the direct impact that state power, work, and culture make upon two closely interconnected processes in human existence, namely objectification (individuation) and alienation. In my view, Marx, and with him many of his followers, however explicit their indebtedness to Hegel might be, have not being particularly generous in acknowledging the latter's contribution to our understanding of the role played by intentionality, desire, and will, in relation to political economy and social ontology (I, the Other, We). I think that such an attitude is paired with a rejection of Hegel's emphasis on the notions of reciprocity and recognition, rather than just on struggle (Marx's central political concern). I acknowledge Hegel's influence in my interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' enactment of solidarity and subtle ideological resistance in the realm of "the underground hurricane" (discused below). We may close this classical debate on alienation, fetishism, perception, reality, illusion, consciousness and the like by summarizing Marx's overt characterization of ideology as a mask preventing people from seeing what is really occurring beyond the world of appearances. To him the essence of human society is the concrete labor of producers. That essence he depicted as being inverted, concealed, by the market transactions through which usevalue interplay with exchange-value. Such economic transactions he held accountable for creating the illusion (commodity fetishism) that it is a relation between things (commodities) instead of a relation between people (intersubjectivity) that actually occurs at the market. When ideologists like Hobbes look at the power of the state, Marx and Engels argued, they only see the symptoms, the expression of other [essential] relations upon which State power rests (1985:106; stress in the original). So convinced were Marx and Engels of the role played by ideologists in the constitution of illusions in

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85 particular and social control in general, that they explicitly mentioned "the delusion of the ideologists and the division of labor" (p. 66) as key elements in the ruling class' hegemony over civil society. Their often-quoted argument that in class-based societies the ruling ideas are the ones held by the ruling class, summarizes their overall negative conception of ideology (see Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner 1980). Convinced as he was that the producers' concrete labor was the essential source of wealth upon which the entire social structure was based, Marx blamed ideology for not letting people see such a true phenomenon. His determination to overcome the actual foundations of a reality whose image was distorted by the camera obscura. is clearly stated in his often-quoted thesis that "the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it" (1985:123; stress in the original). Such a call for action placed the working class in capitalist society as the historical subject who, partially because of its epistemological superiority, among other more "objective" endowments, will be able to move eventually beyond ideological representations, put to work the scientific instrument Marx saw himself forging, and change the world from being a place plagued with alienation to become a location for non-alienated human beings. This is not the place to discuss whether this utopia had then, or has now, a chance to become reality. Instead, let us bring peasants into the picture for a second in order to illustrate how the label "false consciousness" has been literally pasted over peasants' faces because of their (supposed) inability to perceive the real world, and become active agents in its revolutionary transformation. This digression is crucial for our later discussion on peasants as survivors. In what has been recognized as one of Marx's best pieces of sociological work, he took good care in characterizing the composition of France's

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86 agricultural structure. One needs to bear in mind that The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte was written as a piece of research devoted to the examination of a major political event in which small-holding peasants provided the social base upon which Louis Bonaparte's project was chiefly assembled. Marx characterized those French peasants using the following words : A small holding, a peasant and his family; alongside them another small holding, another peasant and another family .... In this way, the great mass of the French nation is formed by simple addition of homologous magnitudes, much as potatoes [sic] in a sack form a sack of potatoes. (Marx 1983:478-479) What shall we make out of this? To begin with, Marx is suggesting that the interplay of physical isolation and mundane life makes impossible for this particular peasant type to become a cultural and political community resembling the ideal type of social actor he saw in the working class. This point is better illustrated if one sees Marx saying a few second after the previous statement that, in addition to the potatoes-like peasants, there were other peasants doing things in a different way. By this he meant peasants overtly acting against the dominant classes. Such as 'revolutionary' peasant type Marx characterized as the one that: strikes out beyond the condition of his social existence [Hegel's consciousness], wants to overthrow the old order [...] contrary to those who, in stupefied seclusion [alienation] want to see themselves and their small holdings saved and favoured by the ghost of the empire. It represents not the enlightenment, but the superstition [alienation] of the peasant; not his judgement [Hegel's self-consciousness, reason] but his prejudice [ideology, illusion, false consciousness]. (Marx, ibid.) One may conclude that Marx, contrary to Vico, attributed to the mundane everyday life of these small-holding peasants the responsibility for

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87 their insufficient understanding of the complexity of social reality beyond the confines of peasant villages. His core argument is that, in contradistinction to these rather dull peasants, one can actually witness the working class and other allies who, because of both their epistemological superiority and objective position in the reproduction of the whole system, are able to understand the nature of their poverty, move beyond illusions and appearances, and take action for the replacement of the whole social structure. But, how much false consciousness is in daily life? Or, for that matter, what is false consciousness anyway? With regard to peasants, a central question to be asked is: How do peasants internalize (feel) the objective process of alienation taking place in their economic transactions? Further, what sort of intentional action are taken by peasants in order to reverse objective and subjective alienation? As we shall see in a moment, it is the stance toward "the conditions of social existence" that eventually draws the line between those scientists who either value or disdain the world of everyday life as a location from which genuine reflection, scientific formulations, and critical theory may be gathered. The Contemporary Debate It was chiefly from the context of the foregoing debate between so-called idealists and materialists that the notions of consciousness and unconscious, reification and class consciousness, phenomena, hegemony, essence, appearance, repression, and so forth became closely associated with a language whose usage was not restricted to political discourse. For the sake of brevity, and running the risk of oversimplifying the ramifications of this new polyvalent discourse, let us assume that, in relation to ideology and intentionality, five main lines of inquiry are closely linked to the problematic posed by the previous classical debate starting with Plato. Once again, I do not

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88 mean to imply that there is an explicit or implicit agreement between the theorists I have placed in each cluster (see Figure 4). For instance, though I have put Heidegger and Gramsci in the same neighborhood, I am aware of the sharp differences between them. The same is true in the case of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Foucault and Habermas, Levy-Bruhl and Schutz, Gadamer and Habermas, and so on. This overview is carried out in three interconnected steps. First, in a highly schematic way I will indicate the core issues addressed by each member of the different clusters depicted in Figure 4. Second, I will discuss in some detail the contributions on the field of ideology made by a couple of scholars from each group. Third, a summary of the whole overview will be presented before moving into the section on peasants as survivors. The work of John B. Thompson and Slavoj Zizek will be used to close this survey. The interpretive scheme First, we see the cluster of theorists concerned with hermeneutics, or interpretation of social reality using the model of the text, as well as with experience. Even though not all of them fully subscribed Kant's well-known dictum that a thing can never come before me except in appearance" (1965:286), I think it is fair to say that their concern for symbols, cognition, and meaning was significantly shaped by the Kantian philosophy of appearances. Further, their critical attitude toward Cartesianism ultimately places them in a neo-Kantian position. However, the emphasis that most of these scholars put on mtersubjectivity and action situates them closer to Hegel's search for collective praxis than to Kant's quest for the transcendental ego. Their work represents one of strongest constitutive elements of the contemporary phenomenological movement to be characterized in Chapter 3 of this dissertation.

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89 Succinctly, Cassirer's work on symbols and the phenomenology of knowledge is one of the finest contributions to the interpretation of culture as a symbolically mediated phenomenon in which perception plays a central role. The special attention he gives to the spatial-temporal order ((1985:203) of social phenomena is, in my view, a major step forward in our understanding of the interplay of parts and wholes in human society. Husserl, as indicated earlier, is credited for his sophisticated elaboration on the notion of intersubjectivity. This concept is central to the comprehension of processes of solidarity, and ideological conducts in daily life. This will become more apparent in Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this dissertation.. The well-known work of Mannheim on sociology of knowledge, utopia and ideology represents a major turning point in the study of ontological and societal processes of change. Though limitations of time prevent me from doing a critical examination of his position of these complex issues, I want to make two brief comments. First, I disagree with his argument that the particular conception of ideology "makes its analysis of ideas on a purely psychological [therefore subjective] level" (1936:57), whereas the total conception operates at an objective level "without any reference to motivation" (p.58) and primarily focused on the functional-structural constituents of a given social situation. In my view, that separation between the individual and the "structure" undermines his own argument in favor of the ontological (I, the Other, We) dimension of societal phenomena. Second, I think he made an important contribution in arguing that a utopian state of thought is incongruous with its immediate social surroundings. This enables us to understand the role of utopias in the actual occurrence of social change (radical revolutions included). The weak point of his otherwise accurate

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90 formulation is that it does not take us deep enough into the realm of action, without which ideologies are just processes of cognition. It is precisely in relation to the limitations of Mannheim's work that the contributions made by Weber and Mead become so important in the formulation of a positive notion of ideology. In addition to his interpretative stance in the study of social processes such as the ones taking place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, I value three core aspects of Weber's work. First, is his analysis of rationality and structuration in modern capitalism. His examination of issues of power, structures, knowledge, and human agency in relation to what he metaphorically refers to as the "iron cage" (cf. Sayer 1991:2,144) of capitalism is crucial for our present endeavor. Second, I value Weber's still relevant discussion on how the Protestant ethic held by pioneer entrepreneurs provided them with the moral and spiritual motivation necessary to work beyond normal limits and promote capitalism. His oftenquoted notion of the Protestant "calling" (1976:79-92) as the divine assignment of a life-task has been significantly important for my interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' ethos. Finally, Weber's insights into ethnicity are of central relevance for our comprehension of the enactment of ideology beyond class issues. This will be discussed in Chapter 4 of this study. With regard to Mead's work, for our task at hand there are two central points worth stressing. First of all, his emphasis on institutions as social habits (1977:34) helps to overcome solipsism and take human agency into the realm of social ontology. Second, Mead's insights into the role played by significant symbols in community-forming process (p.36) are of cardinal importance in the examination of ideology for two main reasons. First is that significant symbols (e.g., emblems, language) may function as ideal signifier

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9 1 (i.e., the ideal society) in the constitution of specific identities and ideologies, as discussed in Chapters 4 and 5 of this narrative in relation to Montaneros and Sabaneros. The second point is Mead's acute assertion that the notion of self is inseparable from social experience and its temporal dimension. Though, in my view, he does not pay enough attention to the power structure in which such processes occur, his reference to conflict and integration makes possible to use his sociopsychological scheme for the study of ideologies and utopias in the way attempted in this dissertation. To complete our synopsis of this group of theorists, let us turn to Dilthey. For the sake of clarity, Schutz's work will be deal with in the next chapter. Dilthey has been credited, in my view correctly, for seeking a synthesis of objective and subjective processes in human existence. Rather than attempting a full examination of his complex philosophy of lived experience, let us focus on the concept of life-nexus he advanced. This is a central concept I will use for my interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' ideology. He characterized the notion of life-nexus, roughly meaning "life in connection with," as the prime source of historical (rather than transcendental) consciousness. Two main lived experiences or life-concepts (sic) stand as constitutive of the life-nexus: first is selfsameness or "the experience of a constancy despite all changes" (1991:21); second, "the experience of acting and suffering (ibid.). This emphasis Dilthey places on constancy, acting, and suffering as constitutive processes of human experience in an uncertain world, is not coincident with either the rather inescapable individual anxiety (or despair) of Kierkegaard (see Heiss 1975:212-213; Taylor 1980) or the selfish, nihilistic, individual warrior of Sartre for whom "man is a useless passion" (1966:784). In contrast to an individualistic and pessimistic attitude toward the drama and richness of life, one sees a humanist Dilthey, heavily influenced

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92 by Hegel, arguing that "we sympathetically experience the interplay of social conditions with the power of our total being" (1991:88). The significance of Dilthey's life-nexus for our interpretation of ideology is twofold. First, his emphasis on subjectivity helps us to understand the significance that the experiences of acting and suffering have to the correlative experience of remaining, staying in a location. In my view, this is one of the essential characteristics of peasants as survivors who utilize ideology as a source of ontic and ontological security. Second, this concept is crucial because it makes possible for us to deal with historical consciousness in relation to self-consciousness (Hegel), historicity (define above), and selfidentity. This amounts to saying that instead of looking at ideology (peasants' in particular) as a phenomenon that already is operating, we can actually reconstruct it as a process of becoming. It is with this concern for genealogy that in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of this narrative I will look and Montaneros' and Sabaneros' multiple life-nexus in time and space. As depicted in Figure 4, the work of the scholars associated with the hermeneutic tradition has been significantly important in the exploration of human agency carried out by six other scholars that, for heuristic purposes only, I have placed in two groups. The first includes Gadamer's (1989) examination on tradition, prejudice, truth, and method, and Geertz's (1973) pioneer positive characterization of ideology as a cultural and symbolic system. Also belonging to this cluster is Ricoeur's (1986, 1991) recent contribution on ideology, utopia, system of authority, and social imagination. His work echoes the themes of intentionality and intersubjectivity raised by, among others, Hegel, Husserl, and Schutz. Likewise, Dorothy Lee's oftenneglected work made an important contribution regarding the interrelation of self, value, freedom, and structure. I think her characterization of "value as

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93 residing in a situation, as inherited in reality" (1986:3) as well as her position on perception in the natural attitude are not in contradiction with existentialists' and phenomenologists' reflection on the same issues. My interpretation of the role of tradition and the self in the enactment of ideology in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah is heavily influenced by Gadamer's and Lee's work. Pierre Bourdieu's (1989, 1990) work on the notion of habitus and doxa (roughly defined as the belief guiding our praxis in daily life, before the social and natural world become and "object of study"), as well as his pioneer study of sense of honor among Algerian peasants (1979), represents one of the most refreshing contributions to the examination of practice in a context of domination (or power structure). Two brief comments are pertinent, though. First, I agree with his Gramscian-like notion that our actions are mediated by a process of internalization of the objective structures within which we live (1989:81). This is what makes hegemony (or domination by means other than direct repression) possible. However, I disagree with his Foucault-like conclusion that the objective meaning of such actions transcends "subjective intentions and conscious projects whether individual or collective" (ibid.). Whereas the former acknowledges the role of ideology in the achievement of ontic and ontological security, the latter overlooks the importance of subjectivity (and solidarity) in the enactment of specific utopias. In my view, this conflict of interpretation of human agency leaves us with a new version of the Marxian notion of the dominant ideology. 7 For a critical assessment of Bourdieu's work on sense of honor, see Coombe osemary J 1990. "Barren Ground: Re-conceiving Honour and Shame in the' Canada^ Ethn ° 8raphy " Anthropologica XXXII:2. Ontario,

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94 Though Giddens has been chiefly concerned with structuration, which makes possible a dialogue between him and Weber, his recent work (1991) on identity and modernity recreates some of the ontological concerns more explicitly raised by Dilthey, Husserl, and Heidegger. Giddens, though critical of Heidegger, has made what, in my view, is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the notion of ontological security (and ideology by extension) in modern times. This is not the place to assess all the implications of his work. However, in order to enhance our understanding of the role of ideology in the pursuit of ontic and ontological security, let us briefly look at his recreation of the classical notion of ontological security. Indeed, after identifying existence and being, finitude and human life, the experience of others, and continuity and self-identity as the ontological and epistemological axes of the global notion of ontological security, Giddens quotes Kierkegaard's acute characterization of anxiety as "the struggle of being against non-being" (1991:41). Within this framework, so my argument goes, the challenge faced by social scientists while studying ideological phenomena is broader and far more complex than just identifying structural constraints and possibilities. What is at stake is the understanding of the self in relation to institutions we have internalized as part of our belonging to the world we inhabit. My interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' usage of their ideological constructs to overcome anxiety is in accord with the Giddens insights into social ontology. Let us now outline Geertz's and Ricoeur's novel insights into ideology and utopia. When anthropologist Clifford Geertz stated in 1964 that ideology is an integrative cultural system rather than a set of beliefs distorting reality, he was making a far-reaching theoretical contribution. To be sure, he was not the first anthropologist dealing with this controversial concept. Indeed, four

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95 decades before him, Kroeber characterized ideology as "a system of beliefs and sentiments and values, which if accepted is all-important for its influence on conduct" ([1923]1963:101; stress in the original). Yet, what makes Geertz's treatment of ideology so unique is, in my view, his departure from a pure terrain of class conflict, political consciousness, revolt, and the like, to a horizon of meaningful symbolic integration without ignoring the system of authority conditioning human behavior. The stress he puts on semiotics and language takes his theoretical scheme to the core of the symbolic interaction sustaining the quotidian performance of meaningful, intentional action. We saw earlier in this chapter the Baconian and Hobbesian reservations about people's usage of metaphors in particular, and discourse in general. Geertz, without explicitly saying so, criticizes such views when he places speech events as public performances which play a role in social integration yet are subject to manipulation. Another significant contribution made by him is his denial of a separation between science and ideology. His argument (and mine) is that social sciences should understand the nature, origin and function of ideologies in order to "force them to come to terms with (but not necessarily to surrender to) reality" (1973:232). The significance of this statement is twofold: first, it helps us overcome the separation between illusion and reality inherited from the Marxian pejorative notion of ideology; second, since both reality and ideology are constructed through a web of symbolic interactions (intersubjectivity) no one can claim having a total control over them. On this, I think, Geertz's views are close to Gramsci's characterization of counter-hegemony (discussed below). The recent proposition made by Marcus and Fisher (1986) regarding the combination of political economy and interpretive anthropology for the study of peasant

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96 societies is grounded in Geertz's interpretation of ideology as a cultural system. These positions I subscribe to without reservation. Ricoeur's core argument is that ideology functions as an interplay of claims and beliefs. Further, he depicts ideology's integrative function as being closely interwoven with utopia's inducement of change, or, as he says, "utopia introduces imaginative variations on the topics of society, power, government, family, religion"(1986:16). In agreement with those who see ideology as a source of social integration and identity, Ricoeur takes his argument to the examination of social phenomena such as resistance and domination. In interpreting Ricoeur, I see him arguing that claims about the legitimacy of the system of authority on which power is based are made by whoever has access to sources of power (not restricted to political power). Such claims, he continues, are totally or partially believed by others upon whom the system of authority is operating. It is from acknowledging this tension between claims and beliefs, ideology and utopia, integration and domination that he characterizes dissimulation and imagination as two central elements in our analysis of specific ideologies. It is also in the context created by the ambiguous interplay of claims and beliefs that Ricoeur refers to language as a central locus of ideological and utopian actions. Succinctly put, his argument is that the insights we have gained with regard to the imaginative use of semantic innovations in language (e.g., metaphors, and, by extension, proverbs and other discursive phenomena), might be as well useful in our understanding of ideology's actual workings (1991:168-188). Based on hermeneutic premises, his assertion entails looking at life as a text, and viewing discourse as a sustainer of human action within a power structure or system of authority where ambiguity is present. Moving beyond a subjectivist view of human action, in which the

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97 individual praxis is neither related to a more general context nor referred to a historical background, Ricoeur places intersubjectivity and historical experience as, so the speak, the fountains from which the interconnected processes of imagination and ideology flow away into practical realms. Referring his proposition to the work on tradition and intersubjectivity done by Gadamer (1989) and Schutz (1982), Ricoeur sees both ideology and utopia as imaginative praxis. My analysis of speech events in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah is heavily influenced by Ricoeur's view on the imaginative character of language as the enactment of ideological constructs. The same applies to my interpretation of the role of ideology and utopia in Montaneros' and Sabaneros' authentic engagement with tradition and modernization. 8 Humanistic Marxism The second trend in the chart is more difficult, if not impossible, to imagine as having a friendly dialogue among its constituents. Two important historic events, namely Stalinism and Nazism make a harmonious conversation particularly unlikely between, say, Reich and Heidegger. We need not repeat that well-known story here. What needs to be indicated instead is that these theorists, significantly influenced by Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Freud, overtly rejected a mechanistic interpretation of human existence. For instance, Sartre's existentialism and search for a method that went beyond a dichotomous separation of objecti ve/subjective, internal /external phenomena clearly shows his interest in both the ontic and ontological dimensions of human existence and social change. Though 8 Mine is a loose interpretation of Ricoeur's complex formulations For a more accurate treatment, see Thompson 1985b. An excellent compilation of S h c urif^8r°und of hermeneutics is found in Gayle L. Orminston and Alan D. ™ " 1990 The Hermeneutic Tradition. From Ast to Ricoeur. New York: State University of New York Press.

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98 limitations of time prevent me from discussing Sartre's changing position on these and other matters, at present I wish to stress two aspects of his work which are directly related to ideology as such. First is his excellent characterization of authenticity as an existential stance in which one accepts with "true and lucid consciousness" ([1948]1965:90) the challenges inherent to a particular situation. Within this conceptual framework, an objective position, say, being a Montanero peasant, becomes a situation when that same peasant uses his phronesis (in Aristotle's terms) to act courageously (not free from ambiguities) in the face of a difficult choice, say remaining traditional or becoming modernized. By stressing the significance of choice and intelligence, I think, Sartre was in agreement with Vico. Second, Sartre's characterization of "situation" as a reciprocal relation (a totality) encompassing being and knowing is useful for interpreting human action beyond the realm of production(1991:302-303). My present interpretation of ideology draws on these two contributions made by Sartre. Associated with this second cluster is also a particularly important twofold contribution for our present study, namely Gramsci's and Reich's insightful work on ideology, done in partial reference to Italian peasants under Mussolini's era as well as German middle class under Hitler's control. The aspect of Reich's views on ideology that I have integrated into my own is his emphasis on the interplay of the so-called "subjective" and "material" spheres of ideology. Indeed, drawing on Marx's original formulations, Reich argues, in my view convincingly, that ideology is neither abstract thought nor dependent on the material (economic) base. In contrast, he states, a society's ideological makeup encompasses psychological and economic structures that influence each other in a dialectical way (1970:16-18). Further, the Reich position is that rather than seeing socioeconomic inequality being

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99 transformed into (radical) political consciousness, what we often witness is a gap between economy and ideology (p.22) that leads people to act in apparently irrational ways (e.g., accommodation instead of overt resistance). Though I take with some reservations the connection he makes between sexual repression in the family and political passivity (or support of authoritarianism), I think Reich was right in pointing at subjectivity (internalization of objective processes, in my own terms) as a crucial aspect in the genealogy and reproduction of specific ideologies. The work of Marcuse (1966), Gurwitsch (1974), and Paci (1972) is important because of their attempt to address the drama of the self in a power structure and, by implication, the need for new scientific strategies whose central concern is the meaning of human existence. Marcuse, Reich, and Merleau-Ponty bring gestalt psychology, mass-psychology, and Freud's psychoanalysis into the study of ideology. That interest for the psychological dimension of ideology is crucial for our comprehension of how people's perception of ourselves and "the other" influences the practical choices we made. This will become more apparent in Chapters 6 and 7 of this dissertation. For the sake of brevity, let us now focus on Gramsci's and Merleau-Ponty's insightful views on ideology. Two aspects of Gramsci's work are our primary concern at present. First is his position that the ruling class' control over society is not primarily based on domination and physical violence, but rather on the subordinate classes' psychological internalization of the values and beliefs on which civil society (not only the state) is grounded. Such values, in his view, are disseminated through the media, education, and so on. This he called hegemony, or ideological hegemony, or consensus. However significant this view might be in itself, Gramsci went further in his refreshing treatment of human

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100 consciousness. Indeed, for him, (and for me) non-repressive hegemony is neither immutable nor exempt from contestation. This takes us to the second core aspect of his contribution, namely the role of culture, subjectivity, and consciousness in the amalgamation of counter-hegemony and resistance. Human beings, Gramsci argues, are able not only to change the course signaled by hegemony, but also to change personally as part of a general praxis, as "active and conscious" (1971:352) entities whose social roles are not restricted to class membership. Ideology, within this framework, becomes a source of existential security, to use a term he himself never used. Though with different names, we see him addressing the themes of solidarity and intersubjectivity I have referred to earlier in this narrative. We also see Gramsci making explicit reference to the notion of common sense knowledge in a fashion similar to Vico's usage of the term. Departing from the orthodox Marxian view that ethnicity and culture are not crucial for the working class' historical mission of liberating itself and society at large, Gramsci shows appreciation for cultural diversity and folklore as crucial political phenomena. As part of his philosophy of praxis and the search for a better way to put Marx's ideas to work in the everyday life of people, Gramsci claims that " 'politically' the materialist conception is close to the people, to 'common sense'. It is closely linked to many beliefs and prejudices, to almost all popular superstitions" (1971:396). Religious beliefs, in particular, are treated by him with acute sensibility. I find find myself in agreement with Gramsci's appreciation for the significance of regional differences, culture-specific values, religion, and so in the formation of political alliances. His notion of popular culture encompasses most of these unorthodox reflections.

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101 Finally, let us take a bird's eye look into Gramsci's view on peasant ideology proper. Davidson (1984), Feierman (1990), and Scott (1985), among others, have satisfactorily discussed how the views on peasants held by Gramsci experienced major changes over time. This is not my primary concern at this juncture. Instead, what interests me at present is that such changes took place as a result of his insights into the significance of Italian peasants' ideology for their support of Fascism, as well as the impact of modernization on the reproduction of the peasant mode of production. Indeed, rather than seeing the anticipated demise of peasantry under the impact of modernization, Gramsci saw a consolidation of land ownership (Davidson 1984). Alongside the recognition of new trends in the socioeconomic structure of rural Italy, Gramsci was perhaps one of the few Marxist theorists in explicitly acknowledging the role played by intellectuals in the social relations subordinate social groups and classes have with the larger society. What he said regarding peasant intellectuals, however, is one of the weakest points of his otherwise refreshing insights. All social groups, Gramsci argued, have their own "organic" intellectuals. Succinctly, in Gramsci's terms, organic intellectuals are defined by their role in the manifold social relations his or her social group is part of; thus, intellectuals of this source provide economic, political and social cohesiveness to social groups (1985:5). This general possibility, he argues, does not become reality in the case of peasants. Traditional peasant intellectuals, Gramsci continues, are neither assimilated nor they become "organic"; instead, they become loyal to other social classes. Why was Gramsci arguing this way? The answer is not difficult to find: he, as Marx himself, was also looking for "essential" (p.6) social groups. Feierman (1990), and Scott (1985) have adequately indicated the limitations of these

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102 views on organic intellectuals with regard to peasants' resistance. I share their criticism of this facet of Gramsci's thought. I shall return to Gramsci in the next chapter. From Merleau-Ponty's dense phenomenology, there are three qualifications of crucial relevance for this study. First is that in order to gain access to the density of human existence, language, metaphors, and silence should be regarded as concomitant forms of interpellation of reality. Second is his assertion that it is neither to the appearances of phenomena nor to the things themselves as mutually exclusive realms that our interrogation should be oriented, but rather to both at once. When an either/or stance is assumed with respect to essence and existence, he continues, "philosophy is flattened . . . they are two positivisms" (1987:127). Applying this general principle to the study of ideology, Merleau-Ponty claims that, instead of equating the economic base with objectivity and ideological configurations with subjectivity, they should be placed in the context of "the total historical existence and the human objects which express it [the reciprocity between economy and ideology]" (1973a:131). If one bears in mind that he was talking about meaningful objects, then his claim for holism is better understood. My characterization of ideology is in accord with Merleau-Ponty's position. Finally, I see Merleau-Ponty making a crucial contribution to the examination of ideology in the way he looks at ambiguity. Rather than equating ambiguity with the negative connotations usually given to ambivalence, equivocation, mystification, or confusion, he argues that ambiguity "consists in simply admitting that the same being who is good and generous can also be annoying and imperfect. Ambiguity is ambivalence that o ne dares to look at face to face " (cf. Spurling 1977:137; her stress). Spurling infers from this statement, in my view correctly, that "ambiguity is not a

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103 manifestation of rigidity but rather of flexibility of maturity" (ibid.). My argument in this study is that it is precisely flexibility and maturity, rather than child-like behavior & la Levy-Bruhl that we see both Montaneros and Sabaneros acting out while facing a difficult choice. They are taking chances based on aspiration, claims, expectations, beliefs, previous experiences, selfconfidence, self-doubt, an so forth. Of course, they cannot foresee whether all the consequences of their actions are going to be favorable to their individual and collective interests. Yet they are not blind. On their faces we are seeing neither an ideological mask throughout which they perceive reality "upsidedown as in a camera obscura " (Marx and Engels), nor a "veil of ignorance" (Rawls 1971:136-142) preventing them from seeing what is just and convenient. Nor are we seeing peasants knowing or controlling all the ramifications of their intentional acts. Facing such a challenging crossroad, trying to gain as much as possible and loose as little as possible, calls for a great deal of social imagination. This I shall demonstrate in Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this dissertation. The structuralist perspective The scholars depicted in the third cluster of Figure 4 are conventionally called structuralists, roughly defined as theorists whose primary concern is with the examination of the role of structures in the reproduction and transformation of self-regulating systems. Generally speaking, this school of thought raised under the influence of Lukacs (to be discussed in the next section of this chapter). Anthropology has been heavily influenced by structuralism, particularly through the work of Godelier, Levi-Strauss, Meillassoux, and neo-Marxist French anthropologists. 9 Specific reference to 9 In addition to the work of Godelier, Levi-Strauss, and Meillassoux, other representative examples of the anthropological work done by French

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104 ideology is found in P£cheux's (1982) work on language, semantics, and ideology, Therbon's (1988) work on ideology, power, and knowledge, and the Meszaros (1990) highly controversial work on the power of ideology. Because of the prevalent position of Althusser among structuralists, at present I will focus on his work only. In the next section of this chapter I will comment on the Levi-Strauss view on human agency and experience. It is in his attempt to develop a "scientific" approach to the study of human society that Althusser bitterly argues against what he calls "naive anthropology," by which he means a humanistic anthropology primarily concerned with subjective instead of structural (e.g., economic) processes. Indeed, as part of his "defense" of scientific Marxism, in opposition to the humanistic concern of the young Marx, the French theorist makes explicit his understanding that in the relations of production in which men are engaged, it is the structure, rather than human agents, that should be seen as the determining component. It is worth quoting at length Althusser's position on this issue. The true 'subjects' (in the sense of constitutive subjects of the process) are therefore not these occupants or functionaries, are not, despite all appearances, the 'obviousness' of the 'given' of naive anthropology 'concrete individuals', 'real men' but the definition and distri bution of these places and functions. Thp t rue 'subjects' a re th ese definers and distributors: the relations of production (and political and ideological social relations) (Althusser 1987:180; stress in the original) The Althusser stress on structure is part of his overarching concern with the reproduction of the entire capitalist apparatus of production, to (IdT^S^niJTS h A Q i S : William van Binsbergen and Peter Geschiere (ed.). 1985. Old Modes of Production and Capitalist Encroachment Anthropological Explorations in Africa. London: KPI. Also important is Davul Seddon (ed.) 1980. Relations of Production. Marxist Approaches to Economic Anthropology. London: Frank Cass. F

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105 whose understanding, in his view, the "scientific" Marx devoted his best years. This part of the argument is not significant for our present task; instead, we need to turn to ideology proper. It is in this new light that one sees Althusser arguing against a pejorative conception of ideology. Ideology, he argues, must be regarded in relation to two interconnected instances: first, the Ideological State Apparatuses or ISAs (religion, education, the family, the legal system, political parties, trade-unions, mass communication, and cultural ISA) which, working as a social cement, holds together the whole structure (1971: 127-188). The second instance to which ideology should be related, he argues, is the subject, or better said, the imaginary form in which subjects themselves relate to their material conditions of existence. It is second point that we need to dwell for a moment. The Althusser formula: ideology= illusion/allusion, attempts to demonstrate that human beings need ideology in order to become constituted as subjects. It is in this context that Althusser recurs to the interplay of interpellation and constitution as the source of ideological apparatuses, or structures. Succinctly, what he means is that the ideological apparatuses assign roles to individuals and transforms them into subjects with a social identity. This he terms "interpellating or hailing" (1971: 174). Individuals, he continues, by being within ideology's confines, do not realize that they have actually been interpellated by the ISAs. Based on these premises, Althusser concludes that the ISAs become the Subject (sic) which interpellates the concrete "subjects" without the latter knowing what is actually happening. The conclusion of this argument is predictable: ideology is equated with misunderstanding and ignorance of a "real" situation (p.183). It is clear that Althusser sees structures as existing apart from human agency. The key assumption here, which I strongly reject, is that human intentionality is

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106 tangential for the construction of social reality. To be sure, I agree with the notion that we (human beings) play social roles as members of structures and institutions. In that sense, we are interpellated. Missing here, however, is the counterpart of interpellation, namely contestation or counter-interpellation. By this I mean the way “subjects" contest, using words and actions, the "Subject," state apparatuses, or structures. Although it would be misleading to say that Althusser's views on human intentionality are shared by all sort of structuralists, I think it is fair to assert that most theorists who subscribe to this school of thought share the view that structures are prior to human experience and culture in the genesis, reproduction, and demise of specific societies. This is a critical observation passionately articulated by E. P. Thompson's sharp criticism of both Althusser himself and the different branches of political economy (Marx's included). Indeed, Thompson's (1978:164-165) claim is that in both structuralism and political economy four crucial terms are missing, namely normative value, human experience, consciousness, and culture. To be sure, notable exceptions to this rule exist, as clearly manifested in Godelier's early and healthy distinction between "men's intentional activity" and "unintentional properties inherent in social relations" (1 972: viii), followed by his equally significant qualification that "the unintentional cannot be reduced to the involuntary consequences of human action. . . it is in act of history itself, born of the actions of men but including everything that lies beyond their intention and endeavors" (1988:174). On this, I agree with Godelier. The so-called neo-Marxists Moving into the fourth group of theorists, we meet a sophisticated Marxist approach on the interrelation of power, knowledge, and ideology. The vast and diverse subject matters they dealt with, cover a terrain as

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107 diverse as the critical work on human experience, culture, affection, and feeling done by E. P. Thompson (1966, 1978), followed by Almasi's (1989) innovative insights into the philosophy of appearances, consciousness and ideology; Kosik's (1979) unique, and, in my view, excellent examination of the dialectic of the concrete, and perception; Lefebvre's (1971, 1976, 1991a, 1991b) novel contribution to the study of space, ideology, everyday life, and the survival of capitalism through the interplay of culture and consumption; the Frankfurt School's pioneer examination of the interrelation of science, technology, ideology, politics, instrumental reason, and critical theory (see Horkheimer 1974; Horkheimer and Adorno 1987);™ Thao's (1986) particularly refreshing yet controversial views on the incompatibility between phenomenology and Marxism; and the Williams (1985) well-written and acute explorations on the structure of feelings, culture, language, and aesthetics. For the purpose of this overview, I will restrict myself to outlining the work of Lefebvre and Almasi, which I consider representative of this cluster of theorists. I will refer to the Frankfurt School on the section of peasants. As regards Lefebvre, there are two aspects of his work which are central for our task at hand. First is his explicit recognition of the significance of interpreting events of daily life for our understanding of global and local processes, particularly those involving people's internalization of institutions Th?Sc the Scboo! see Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt (ends.) 1978. lQQ 6 E T SS t ntia x F / ankfu ? ^ ch ° oL New York: Urizen Books; Andrew Feenberg. 1986. Lukacs, Marx and the Sources of Critical Theory. New York: Oxford University Press. Also useful on this issue is David Ingram 1990. Critical Theory and Philosophy. New York: Paragon House.

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108 and structures. 11 Indeed, one sees him claiming that, by merging themselves into the everyday life of ordinary people, philosophers (and philosophy) would gain a better understanding of "the art of living" ([1947]1991b:199). Though one may argue that anthropologists have been doing exactly this for decades, I value that Lefebvre is looking at that engagement with daily life not as a fact-gathering act, but rather as an opportunity for reflection. The second aspect of Lefebvre's work I consider crucial is his concern for the interplay of social space and ideology. Roughly, a social space embodies both a physical setting, say a peasant village, and the intersubjective, social, moral, psychological, and aesthetic dimensions that its dwellers give to it through their praxis (action, thought, and feeling). Drawing on Heidegger's notion of dwelling (roughly defined as the preservation of a location where harmony with the sky, earth, divinities, and other humans is brought forth), Lefebvre addresses the importance of language, knowledge, and social space for ideological constructs to become, so to speak, condensed. His argument (and mine) is that ideology cannot be separated from knowledge without losing its close ties with culture and values. It is worth his exact and eloquent interrogation: 'What is an ideology without a space to which it refers, a space which it describes, whose vocabulary and links it makes use of, and whose code it embodies?"(1991a:44). This notion of social space, as we shall clearly see in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, is central to my understanding and interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' affiliation to the cultural symbols defining their regional ethos as well as their ideological responses. This concept is particularly important for l\ . T h° u g h J? me and space limitations prevent from discussing the work of Ais^feldoStudy 11 1988 ° n GVeryday life ' 1 acknowledge his contribution to

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109 our understanding of the process of territorialization in the Dominican Republic, both in relation to Haiti and to inner regionalization. As I shall demonstrate in Chapters 4 and 5, El Cibao and El Sur became two unique social spaces as part of complex historical processes involving issues of ethnicity, politics, and social ontology. With regard to Almasi, I think the novelty of his contribution in approaching ideology as a positive phenomena is twofold. First is the connection he explicitly makes between ideology and ontology. What I mean by this is that rather than saying that ideology is the antithesis of illusion, Almasi (1989:199-201) argues that the two phenomena are mutually correspondent because they inherently belong to the realm of social praxis rather than to knowledge as such. Hence, he continues, instead of separating (objective) reality from idea, what we should do is see them as part of the complex web of social ontology (in my terms, I, the Other, We; Almasi includes structures). In my view, this is a major breakthrough in the study of the interplay of ideology and structure. The second contribution made by Almasi is that he sees ideology as facilitating the relationship between concrete individuals and their constituencies (e.g., groups, class) in everyday life (p.204). Though he does not use the term solidarity to characterize this process of integration, I think such notion is implicit in Almasi's positive view on ideology. Even though I do not share his defense of the party in promoting identity and integration, I agree with his insightful treatment of ideology. J he Hegelian, Marxian, and Freudian legarips In placing Freud as related to the fifth and final clusters of theorists on the concept of ideology, my primary interest is to stress the emphasis he put on two issues. First is the ephemeral nature of consciousness versus the more

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110 perdurable feature of the unconscious. Second is his (1962:4) implicit critique of Marx's view that ideas are determined by the material base. In the context of the theory of ideology, Freud's insights deserve to be labelled as a "paradigm shift," in the sense Kuhn (quoted above) has coined the term. By this I mean that psychoanalysis was not only challenging the Marxian dictum that ideas were determined by the material base; it was also saying that, at least at the individual level, there was a cure for alienation. I share with Freud his opposition to a deterministic view of society. With regard to the possibility of overcoming alienation at the individual level, I feel incompetent to argue for or against it. The Freudian psychoanalytical search for the concealed, repressed and unconscious energy whose ascension to the conscious level will contribute to liberate the individual from his or her alienation (to become conscious), has been brought into the field of ideology through different scientific currents, two of which are: first, Reich (discussed above; see Cohen 1982); second, the work of Lacan, Foucault, Habermas, and more recently, Slavoj Zizek. Due to my still loose understanding of Lacan's complex work, his contributions are not dealt with in this overview. Habermas, who originally had close ties with the Frankfurt School, moved beyond a pejorative notion of ideology and false consciousness. In his view, "false consciousness [ideology] has a protective function" (1966: 315). From this perspective, psychoanalysis' micro scheme for facilitating individuals to become aware of his or her repressed emotions is applicable to the larger social context. Essential in Habermas's original position are the closely interwoven processes of communicative competence and communicative action, ideology as a systematic distortion of communication, legitimation, and the constitution of the public sphere. It is the notion of

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1 1 1 public sphere that I consider crucial to my study. Succinctly, Habermas argues, in my view correctly, that civil society and the state are two mutually dependent spheres of processes of social structuration. Within this conceptual framework, the state, or public authority, is closely dependent on two closely related phenomena to regulate society at large: first, the circulation of commodities; second, the circulation of news related to trade. Historically, control over both commodities and the news, he continues, has ended up creating a "depersonalized state" (1991:124) which is somewhat separated from civil society. The public sphere is constituted when the state's interests become public interest. Habermas's notion of public sphere, so my argument goes, is crucial for any sound interpretation of the interplay between national priorities and local expectations made possible by the notion of progress. It is also central for our understanding of the interconnection of ideologies and utopias. What I mean by this is that the spread of capitalism in villages like Blue Mountain and Green Savannah is not an "outside" phenomena without local consent. Instead, partially because of identification with national emblems, and in part because of class issues, locals may accept the arrival of capitalism to their villages as a good event, even when its immediate or long-term ramifications are detrimental for the majority of dwellers. I would add to Habermas's formulation on this issue that there is also a process of social ontology to look at in the constitution of the public sphere. What this encompasses is to pay attention to processes of recognition, reciprocity, and struggle (in Hegel's terms), as well as to people's perception of their relationship to the larger society along those lines. This will become clearer as this narrative unfolds. Turning to Foucault, we see him dealing in a different historical context with the notions of partial accessibility to, and manipulation of.

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112 power that Aristotle (discussed above) suggested. Foucault, albeit with a critical attitude toward perception, consciousness, transcendental subjectivity, and ideology, was arguing for the distribution of power across systems, structures, and societies. Indeed, one sees him defending the feasibility of genealogy, or the articulation of local memories (he also uses the term subjugated, local popular, and regional knowledges) with scholastic knowledge, as an alternative response to centralized power. The historicity of such a genealogical knowledge is based, according to him, in the circumstance that the state is unable to totally control all sources of power and knowledge gathered by a society throughout the manifold events shaping its constitution as a historical entity in time and space. The starting point of this societal constitution or genealogy, he argues, is not the economic base, or state power as such, but rather a fragmented and polyvalent set of interactions at the local and regional levels. The key concept to bear in mind here is fragmentation of power, which led Foucault (1980:119) to believe that there is a productive aspect of power. For the purpose of this study, two closely related ramifications of Foucault's notion of fragmented power are worth noting: first, his denial of the adequacy of ideology, second, his questioning of the role of the subject in the social construction of reality. Ideology, he argues, is a concept which has been characterized in a negative fashion, which means placing it against truth. It follows that ideology is portrayed as emerging from, being determined by, the so-called infrastructure. Clearly, he was arguing against Marx's pejorative notion of ideology. It is the rejection of the subject as key actor in the constitution of reality that, in my view, makes Foucault's otherwise insightful criticism of a mechanistic theory of structuration so problematic and, perhaps against his

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113 own will, so close to structuralism. Indeed, in rejecting both the centralization of power and the notion of an infrastructurally determined ideology, he left a social reality totally fragmented, and, still worse in my view, a process lacking both intersubjectivity and intentional solidarity. However, a crucial clarification should be made at this juncture in order not to trivialise his challenging views on knowledge and power. When I say that Foucault rejected the subject it does not follow that he ignores the individual. Yet the individual one sees depicted by him is one without subjectivity, as can be discerned from his assertion that "the individual is an effect of power, and at the same time, or precisely to the extent to which it is that effect, it is the element of its articulation" ( 1980 : 98 ). The question remains open: how do all these individual, regional, popular manifestations of fragmented power relate to "the other" power, or the larger social context in which they operate? How does solidarity occur without the intentional engagement of knowledgeable subjects belonging to institutions, bonded to collective symbols, values, and feelings? Further, how do historical subjects become constituted in time and space without their intentional (subjective) acts playing a central role in overcoming fragmentation? I think Foucault did not satisfactorily answer such crucial questions for two main reasons: first, he originally equated state apparatuses with repression; second, he did not have a theory of intersubjectivity from which he could properly deal with human solidarity beyond short-lived encounters between holders of a fragmented power. I will return to Foucault in subsequent chapters of this study. For the time being, let me state that his insights into the regimentation of social life and the human body have been important for my examination of both Montaneros' and Sabaneros'

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1 14 constitution as historical subjects, as well as for my interpretation of their ethos. John B. Thompson (1985a, 1985b, 1990), and Slavoj Zizek (1991) are, to the best of my knowledge, the theorists on the theory of ideology who have more recently attempted a constructive dialogue with the participation of the different theoretical currents we have schematically discussed. By expanding his earlier work on the theory of ideology, Thompson (1990) attempts to articulate a theory of ideology giving special attention to mass communication in modern culture. In this, he follows the Frankfurt School's early contribution to the study of mass communication, television in particular. His key concept is "mediazation of modern culture," by which he means the way images brought to our daily life by the media are crucial constituents of our ideological constructs. This special attention to the power of the media in everydayness I found particularly useful in my interpretation of ideological responses in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. My main disappointment with Thompson's work is the absence of the notion of solidarity in his conceptual framework.^ We shall have the opportunity to see at different points in this study how solidarity (not restricted to class solidarity) is consubstantial with the actual enactment of ideological response in the everyday life of Montaneros and Sabaneros. The Zizek work, on the other hand, attempts to integrate Hegel, and Lacan into a highly innovative framework for the examination of ideology. I find particularly interesting Zizek's application of Lacan's notion of surplusenjoyment to the interpretation of Hegel's view on desire and contradiction, u l thank Hernan Vera for suggesting to me Thompson's work as well as the absence of the solidarity concept in the latter's otherwise excellent treatment of ideology.

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115 via Marx's theory of commodity fetishism and Freud's theory of sublimation of desires. I also find novel and interesting his position that "in recognizing himself in the interpellation, the subject evades the dimension of the Thing" (1991:181). If my understanding of his argument is correct, then this last point is useful to demonstrate the occurrence of what I have previously termed as the subject's counter-interpellation of structures. My main reservation regarding Zizek's refreshing views is the possibility that an overemphasis on interest and desire might lead him to overlook processes of solidarity in quotidian life. This reservation, however, is probably due to my lack of understanding of his imaginative approach. By making this regressive-progressive overview, we have acquainted ourselves with some of the core components in the background of the ideology concept. This venture has provided us with a broader perspective of how the concept s history has been greatly shaped by political and utopian considerations. Thanks in part to Geertz's novel elaboration on ideology as a cultural and symbolic system, a concept which was originally loaded with a pejorative connotation and used chiefly in relation to class conflict has become metamorphosed, so to speak, to be valued as essential for our understanding of social integration and self-identity. Alongside this metamorphosis of ideology, a change of the social agents (or subjects) it used to interpellate has also occurred. By this I mean that, instead of being applied primarily to the examination of social classes engaged in overt and radical antagonisms, (e.g., capital versus labor), ideology is now portrayed as a symbolic ally of human agency in the myriad details, nuances, and ambiguities of everyday life. Most people doing research on ideology actually relate these micro phenomena to the larger context in which they occur. The emphasis, however, is placed on human beings acting in a

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1 16 meaningful form, rather than structures imprisoning passive, dominated classes. This change in locus, though, does not make the interpretation and understanding of ideology easier or simpler than before. In my view, the new problematic we are facing while dealing with ideological configurations and performances is greatly due to the role played by perception and appearances in the social construction of quotidian life. Indeed, perception and appearances contribute to make of our quotidian life a world of "multiple realities," to borrow Alfred Schutz's (1982:207-259) apt expression. The aforementioned difficulties in Foucault's argument notwithstanding, I accept the great amount of truth encompassed in his depiction of modern society as a fragmented reality with regard to powerholding and processes of constitution, or genealogies. Yet, there is equal truth in the fact, and I think one can safely call it a fact, that in order for human beings to experience (subjectively) ontic and ontological security, everyday life cannot be permanently seized by strangeness, alienation, or fragmentation. This is the reason why the notions of culture, tradition, intersubjectivity, communication, and solidarity are so important in the configuration of ideologies and utopias at a given point in time and space. Although using a different terminology, this is an argument that Alfred Schutz has made, in my view, clearer and more eloquently than most theorists before or after him. In the life-world of multiple realities, Schutz argues, "I assume everything which has meaning for me also has meaning for the Other or Others with whom I share this, my life-world, as an associate, contemporary, predecessor or successor" (1982:135). Linking this assertion to our previous identification of how crucial the notions of claims and beliefs are to ideological configurations, we can better appreciate how correct Gramsci was in arguing that hegemony, rather than repression, was the phenomenon

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117 to look at in our examination of ideology. Lukacs (1971) called it reification. Consensus or consent is grounded on acts of belief as well as utopias. Even though drawing a neat line between beliefs and doubts in the terrain of praxis is indeed a difficult thing to do, I think Schutz (1982:229) is particularly insightful in his argument that in everyday life it is doubt, rather than belief, what we suspend. I wonder how doubt can be suspended while one is feeling the lack of ontological security present when reality is perceived as fragmented, as Foucault tells us it actually occurs. In saying that ideology is a source of social integration and self-identity, we have removed from its face the negative label of "false consciousness." This gesture assists us in seeing the mutual correspondence between appearances and essences in a way similar to Hegel's claim that appearance and essence are equiprimordial in the constitution of actuality. This leaves us with a more diverse reality to look into, many nuances to pay attention to, myriad ambiguities to reflect upon, as well as manifold instances of illusions, perceptions, dissimulations, claims and beliefs to take into account in any serious attempt to comprehend human agency in a world which, indeed, is neither transparent nor distant. The proximity and opacity of social reality make human existence a rather unique experience of, speaking metaphorically, searching for what is both obvious and familiar. In the context of this study on peasant ideology, I see phenomenology as a scientific attempt to comprehend and interpret how the obviousness and familiarness of appearances in everyday life contribute to the effectiveness of ideological responses. If, as I have argued throughout this overview, ideology is not a camera obscura" but rather a source of integration and resistance, a manifestation of intentional human agency oriented to attaining and maintaining ontic and ontological security in an uncertain world, then we

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1 18 need to determine the reasons why Montaneros and Sabaneros acted differently while dealing with comparable familiar resources. In my earlier characterization of ideology I argued that one of ideology's constitutive elements is the way people perceive, understand, and interpret lived, intersubjective experiences. In the next chapter I will explicate how phenomenology shall assist me in interpreting the complex set of ideological phenomena in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Let us now deal with the notion of peasants as survivors. Peasants as Survivors: Dwelling and Abitan as Ideological Concepts In taking the foregoing discussion into the realm of peasant ideology proper, we encounter a territory far more complex than the one in which the global concept of ideology is embedded. The field of peasant studies exhibits a complexity that is far beyond my competence to survey in its totality. Here my goal is more modest. In this section I intend to characterize peasants as human beings that survive by staying as authentic dwellers of a social space, or a location, in Heidegger's terms. My central argument is that the peasants' location is constituted as part of the preservation of what they themselves, as members of a culture, as intentional agents with a lived experience, value as essential. I further argue that ideology assists them in preserving that location in the context of a changing situation that includes peasants themselves and the larger society (e.g., the state, world economy). In my view, such a situation embodies processes of struggle, recognition, and reciprocity that peasants face authentically. The following four chapters provide the historical and ethnographic evidence I have to demonstrate my argument. We shall proceed in three steps. First is a brief discussion of the terms dwelling and abitan (or habitant) as they relate to intentionality and ideology.

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119 Second, a synopsis of peasant studies is carried out. Finally, we will relate this narrative to previous studies on Dominican peasants. Dwelling The concept of dwelling, discussed here in a sketchy form, is used by Heidegger in two main senses: first, in the technical or narrow sense of dwelling as building, i.e. making usable material things, and cultivating the land; second is the existential (or genuine) sense of dwelling as building a harmonious relationship to what he calls the fourfold of mortal human beings, namely the totality formed by the interrelation of earth, sky, divinities, and other fellow mortal human beings (1977:327). Though he deals with both senses of dwelling in reference to everyday life or being-in-theworld (1962:88-89, 344, and passim), to the former sense he attributes a limited contribution to the preservation of the essence of dwelling, or having a peaceful (harmonious) belonging to, or a shared existence with, Dasein's fourfold, to the latter, on the other hand, he attributes the previously mentioned genuine aim. It is in this vein that Heidegger argues that being a human being consists in dwelling, and indeed, dwelling in the sense of the stay. ... the basic character of dwelling is to spare, to preserve" (1977:327-328). At present we shall limit ourselves to relate this "dwelling in the sense of the stay to his cardinal claim that to spare, to preserve, is an essential gesture in the constitution, or coming into being, of a "location" (the place to dwell genuinely). Such a location becomes constituted alongside the intentional transformation (not a Heideggerian term) of the physical space into existential (dwelling) space as the site for an authentic existence, as opposed to inauthentic existence. We will recall my earlier interpretation that, for Heidegger, understanding the meaning of our doings is the key to access to an authentic mode of being, to a genuine dwelling in the world.

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120 These rather esoteric remarks are important for our interpretation of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' authentic (and ambiguous) engagement with modernization and tradition. This becomes more apparent through Heidegger's (1977:338) example of the peasant building a house (a hof) in the German Black Forest. Succinctly, in this example he portrays an eighteenthcentury peasant from a geographic area which epitomizes the peasant tradition in Germany, namely the southern Black Forest. The image shown by Heidegger is of a peasant who is building a house with the goal of dwelling in it as a total human being rather than just protecting himself and his family against the hard climatic conditions, and the isolation prevalent in the area two centuries ago. To be sure, the peasant is building a shelter with practical goals in mind (dwelling as building), yet he transforms the physical space available to him into a location by means of installing in the house the different constituents of his existence, namely an altar for his divinities, a place for his children, and so forth. The conclusion Heidegger reaches after such a graphic characterization of a quotidian performance is that that peasant was doing more than building a dwelling in the narrow sense; instead, he claims, the peasant was creating a location for "letting dwell," bringing forth, making appear, his fourfold, or his universe (i.e. earth, sky, divinities, and other mortal humans). It is that existential location that lets the peasant stay, dwell, going beyond his finite existence, his performance of the instrumental tasks of farming, building, and, ultimately, to face his certain death, his finitude. I share this holistic interpretation of peasants' existence, and shall use Heidegger's insights for my interpretation of Sabaneros' and Montaneros' authentic engagement with modernization and tradition.

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121 In relating Heidegger's characterizing of authentic dwelling to our previous definition of ideology as a source of ontic and ontological security, there are four core points to be stressed. First, we are seeing the process of authentic understanding as conterminous with the process of doing, which means that for him (and for me) thought and action are equiprimordial spheres of human existence. Second, we are reminded that going beyond (through reflection) a mere positive familiarity with the factuality of being-intheworld, or carrying on our instrumental tasks as a habitus (Bourdieu 1989; Mead 1977), leads us to an authentic understanding or authentic mode of being. Third, because of the reflection accompanying the process of dwelling as a permanent stay, our otherwise mundane actions in daily life may become (under specific circumstances) authentic praxis that helps us counterinterpellate alienating structures. Fourth, the physical space where peasants gather a lived experience (working, loving, suffering, enjoying, and, eventually, dying), is also a location to dwell with those entities which, in a culture-specific context, constitute the cosmogony and cosmology to the dwellers themselves. The intersubjective dimension of this process of dwelling places peasants in the complex realm of social relations, the lifenexus (Dilthey) in which ideologies and utopias are ultimately embedded. Before turning to the concept of abitan, let us briefly relate Heidegger's views on dwelling to his characterization of intentionality. This digression is important for the purpose of clarification. Heidegger claims (and I agree) that, as long as it is inscribed on an act of cultural interpretation, human existence is not reducible to the characteristics we humans share as a biological species, or our factuality: it also includes selfreflection, and choices which are culture-laden, or our facticitv (see Dreyfus 1991:24-25). On the other hand, one sees him somewhat down-playing the

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122 role of intentionality 13 in the understanding and actual performance of the life-preserving tasks of quotidian existence. An indication of this is his assertion that "intentionality is not an extant subject and object but a structure. . . the intentional structure of comportments [his definition of a non-subjectivizating intentionality] is not something which is immanent to the so-called subject" (1988:65; my stress). Although in the same text Heidegger argues that intentionality is both objective and subjective, his subtle rejection of an intentional subject is, in my view, problematic for the understanding of praxis. On this account only, Heidegger's voice sounds consonant, perhaps too much so, with Levi-Strauss's critique of phenomenology and existentialism due to the former's valuation of experience as a constitutive element of reality and the latter's stance with regard to "the illusion of subjectivity" (1983:61-62). The importance of Heidegger's subtle rejection of intentionality for our present study lies on two related points. First is the crucial role played by the interrelation of structure (roughly defined as social institutions framing human thoughts, emotions, and actions), intentionality or the ability to act in a meaningful manner, culture (roughly defined as the learned system of meaningful beliefs, symbols, and practices shared by a group or society at a given spatiotemporal situation), ideology, and resistance. Second is the interplay of political economy (roughly equated with the close interconnection of politics and economics) and the self, or society and the Heidegger's discussion of intentionality is in relation to other key concepts such as comportment, constitution, temporality, and production. However it is primarily in relation to the dichotomy subject /object made by Descartes that the core of his references to intentionality should be understood. See pages 60 4' 119, and passim in his Being and Time, and pages 55, 58-59, 67, 155, and passim in The Basic Problems.

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123 individual. 14 As I shall demonstrate in subsequent chapters, the fourfold of peasants (as dwellers) is directed impacted by the interplay of processes associated with political economy and social ontology. In order to understand how ideology is put to work by peasants, so my argument goes, we need to explicitly value the role of intentionality and experience in the social construction of reality. Abitan For the task at hand, let us assume that this French-creole term arose in a historical context in which human existence was, to use, Hobbes's mordant discourse, "poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (1958:107). The time is early seventeenth century; the country is Haiti.That was a time when land cultivation was threatened by the permanent outburst of war among nations, violent confrontations between rather autonomous populations and a fragmented national power structure seeking control over areas like the Deep South. As a result of historic events to be discussed in Chapters 4 and 5 of this study, most of southwestern Hispaniola was inhabited at that time by the members of three cultures: buccaneers (literally meaning people who roast meat), 15 pirates or filibusters, and land cultivators. Pirates or filibusters, and 14 For more accurate definitions of structure, see Cerney (1990), Giddens (1986 Ji 9 oq^ and 8chmidt (1983). Merleau-Ponty (1970), Ricoeur (1991), and Sartre (1982) provide good insights into intentionality and interest. Archer (1989) Geertz (1973), Harris (1980), Lawless (1979), Quinn and Holland (1987) Worsley (1984), and Wuthnow (1989) are helpful for a critical view of culture no c 1Ca ! ect XSST 566 Marx (1977 ' 1981) ' Meister < 1991 )' and Staniland (1985). See Lee (1986), Giddens (1991), Carrithers, Collins, Lukes (1991), and Taylor (1980) for excellent views on the self. 15 The French-creole b oucan , the Haitian boukan, and the Spanish barbacoa refer all to a barbecue place. The French boucanier is synonymous with the English buccaneer. In the toponym of the study area, the word bucan is pervasive. In fact. Blue Mountain's first name, which I am not using here, is a Haitian name. Many other Haitian words are used to name places as well as social activities. See Ruiz and Sanchez (1985). I addition to southwestern

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124 buccaneers (according to Leyburn 1966), were actively involved in pillaging ships. Buccaneers (often being erroneously portrayed as thieves, according to Bosch 1990:15, 25) faced the outside world acting as traders of commodities (particularly meat, cow hives, and lard) which were realized at an unusually fast pace. The members of the third culture, the one that concerns us at present, were called abitans or habitants, a creole French word which, in addition to meaning farmers, peasants, aboriginal inhabitants, and land cultivators, also encompasses, when seen at close range, notions of existence, being, dwelling, persisting, and surviving in reference to the existential others (the city, larger society, and so forth). The significance of the Haitian term abitan consists in that it connotes a reference to the existential Other, to the social relations framing the combined processes of self-identity and social identity for Haitian land cultivators. Jacques Roumain, one of Haiti's first ethnologists and theorists of peasant ideology, captures the importance of that existential relationship in his now famous Masters of the Dew, (first printed in French in 1944). In that novel, which is perhaps the best Caribbean or Latin American novel portraying the life of peasants, he uses the French habitantts instead of pavsans . By using that word, he was making a statement whose full interpretation is beyond the limits of this present study. Suffice is to say, that Roumain was pointing at the habitants' attitude of staying in a location. ^ Let us place abitans in their existential context. Hispaniola, French buccaneers also settled in the Atlantic coast of the islandthe latter group, however, came from Tortuga Island. Masters of the Dew recreates the ontic and ontological insecurity faced bv Haitian peasants when a severe long-lived drought strikes the village of Founds Rouge making agriculture impossible. Several habitants, seeing death approaching their location, decide to migrate. One reads a self-reflecting peasant asking himself: " Can a man desert the soil? Can he turn his back on^

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125 Although in the seventeenth century dangerous animals were (and still are) absent in Hispaniola, there was a thick-wooden, inhospitable, dark and mysterious forest to be conquered with the aid of rustic tools, tireless human labor, and, most important, engulfing fire. The enigma and ambiguity accompanying the adventure of conquering the forest is, perhaps, best exemplified by the image of an abitan who, on the one hand, is burning the natural vegetation, opening a space, demarcating time, building a dwelling site where sunlight becomes a source of energy for growing food and making his life more certain. On the other hand, that same dweller is using a shadowy cave as a shelter to protect himself against both the powerful hurricanes common in that area and the non-cultivator groups. Under those circumstances, one can safely speculate, a great deal of negotiation, accommodation, resistance, and confrontation (all of them supported by personal knowledge and social imagination) was necessary as part of the arts of survival. Even though danger was shared on a daily base by pirates, buccaneers and ab itans , the notion of permanence had different practical as well as ideational implications for each one. Pirates went into the Caribbean Sea, an open space they took as a given, armored with swords and skills, fears and beliefs, in order to, so to speak, "hit and run;" death and victory were equally fast for them. The sea currents in the Deep South, fast and dangerous as they are, left very little time for contemplation. Pirates knew that; they were living Ilf he , dl y° rce ft wi *° ut losin g the very reason for his existenrp, the use of his hands, the taste of life?" (p.l 07). A few pages later, one also reads passionately to his departing peers and his wife: "This for f t d y ? U day after day for years Now y° u leave it with a few laments for the sake of appearances ...Band of hypocrites! As for us, we're staving Aren t we, old woman?" (p. 113; both stresses are mine).

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126 in a constant symbolic twilight, walking on a thin, sharp existential blade. Buccaneers, rifle in hand, followed by trained hunting dogs, went also into the dark forest yet their goal was not to open a space and continue using it; their mission, instead, was to kill, using their personal knowledge for "slaughtering what they needed for survival" (Wallerstein 1980:159) as fast as possible, as many as possible, the wild goats, hogs and cows they were later to trade as cow hides or roast meat. The fire used by buccaneers in their boucans. was a short-lived fire; it did not open by itself a physical space in the dark forest. In order to do so, the presence of land cultivators was necessary. As we shall see in the next two chapters, these three cultures had a direct (though differential) impact on the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros as peasants. Abitans, in contrast with the former two groups, moved into the untamed forest to "plan and wait," to dwell; theirs was a gesture of permanence, a commitment to stay in one place, to built a location, to grow emotional roots and harbor feelings while performing a teleological act with rather mundane goals. Fire, in their hand, was like a gigantic, restless, sharp machete which concurrently felled trees and planted seeds. Neither a Noble Savage, "solitary, indolent, and perpetually accompanied by danger" (Rousseau 1950:207), nor a subject on the verge of being "erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea" (Foucault 1971:386), those pioneer land cultivators were at once perishable individuals and members of a communitas (Turner 1987). Culture and ideology were then, as they are today, the essence of such an enduring resistance. To conclude this characterization of abitan or habitant as dwelling, in Heidegger s terms, it is worth noticing that the Spanish word habitar (to inhabit) plays a crucial ideological role in Blue Mountain and Green

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127 Savannah. Indeed, like the original abitans did in southwestern Hispaniola, present-day Montaneros and Sabaneros, as well as peasants in other Dominican regions (particularly alongside the Haitian border), still burn the forest as one of the many tasks land cultivation entails. Murray (1977), and Werge (1975) report that burning is one of seven steps used in swidden cultivation in two different Dominican areas they studied. Burning is done both on new and already tilled land, and it is not restricted to traditional slash-and burn cultivation carried out on either natural or successive forests. For instance, in the Deep South a visitor might see peasants burning some new-growth shrubs on the same plot where sorghum has been just planted using tractors, mechanical harvesters, fertilizers, and hybrid seeds. A crucial step in this process involves dragging the unburned fallen trees, shrubs or farm residues generally, forming large piles, and setting them on fire. That step is called, habitar or hacer un habite (to inhabit the land; see Deive 1986:87); it means, both symbolically and practically, to leave the new crop dwelling in the soil. 17 Analysis of discourse as well as the interpretation of instrumental performances in these two villages, show that habitar has played, and still does so, a relevant social role as a rite of passage (Gennep 1962) to adulthood. A man who does not know how to inhabit the land is viewed by other men, as well as by women, as a man who has not been able to conquer la montana (local term for dense vegetation before slash-and-burn agriculture is carried ii Werge reports otherwise. He says that the word used by peasants is avistar (which liberally means "to descry at a distance, to see far off'). Perhaps hi^s not aware of the fact that in the Dominican Republic many people (not only peasants) tend to put the letter "s" in the wrong place while talking to ”2 rS ' They do so in order to show language competence or hablar fino . In general, most Dominicans drop both letters "s" and "r". In the Cibao Valley the letter r becomes "i," i.e., goigue, instead of porque (because).

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128 out on the land). According to the local ethos of resistance and endurance to hardships, to inhabit the land is a proof of personal courage as well as an indication of mental and bodily skills. Both the steel axe and the machete used in the overall process of land preparation for swidden cultivation, of which habitar is the very last one before planting proper, have manifold meanings not limited to land cultivation. For instance, in the context of that rite of passage, both tools have also a sexual connotation; off-farm they are discursively referred to as a prolongation of the male human body, arms and the penis in particular. A sharp machete, in that context, is usually compared to a potent penis. For example, un hombre boto como un machete ("a blunt man like a machete") is one who is either unable to please sexually, or impregnate, his mujer (woman). Similar expressions are used to indicate whether a man's mind is sharp or slow. It is important to note that, in a fashion similar to Geertz's (1973:412-455) ethnographic documentation of the personal and social symbolic meaning of cockfights in Bali, in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah a gallo boto (a blunt cock) is referred to as one who does not know how to fight against, or simply runs away from, its opponent in a cockfight. Even though habitar is currently (1990) competing with new symbols of virility created by modernization, e.g., access to cash, possession of motorcycles and pistols, it still plays a major social function as a male symbol referred to women, other men, and society at large as well. Similar processes are occurring with machetes and steel axes as symbols of dwelling, inhabiting nature. The widening generational gap that has accompanied modernization, m particular, is expressed through metaphors in which working tools are signifiers of industriousness and self-reliance. An illustration of these closely interrelated phenomena is what happens when peasants walk into the forest

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129 to clearing a new land, in order to carry out swidden cultivation which, as mentioned before, has habitar as the step anteceding planting proper. It was only in that context that I listened to peasants talking about the fright (el susto) felt by the forest when she (ella) sees a hard-working man with an ax in his hand, ready to cut down the trees. "She [the forest] is losing her susto little by little," said a local peasant, "because the young fellows [ la iuventudl do not want to take an ax any more and make a habite. " We may conclude from this evidence that, though in a historical context different from the one in seventeenth southwestern Hispaniola, the habitar concept has a meaning that embodies more than land cultivation as such. The myriad forms in which this term and its changing symbolic meaning have been kept, modified, and revitalized over time is a topic worth examining in a separate study beyond the scope of this dissertation. The notions of dwelling and abitan are essential to our understanding of peasants' engagement with the transformation of their social space under the impact of modernization. If we see the land as the concrete foundation for peasants to bring forth a location, a place where the preservation of peasants' total being takes place, then the challenge we face while documenting the existence of peasants is far more complex than understanding the structure conventionally called peasantry. Let me explain what I mean by this. Whether the peasantry (as a class, mode of production, culture, economic category, and so on) is being objectively captured, exploited, raped, kept alive or reconstituted by capitalist forces, the truth of the matter is that it is pe asants , concrete human beings like Maria, Miguel, Rafael, Julio and their relatives and friends, who su bjectively feel, live, experience, and perceive ontic and ontological insecurity; they are also the ones who need to bestow i ntersubjectively culture, intentionality, and ideology to survive, to

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130 stay in their location, however their specific cultural constructs enable them to perceive it. To borrow Williams's sophisticated concept of "structures of feeling/'what I am trying to say is that when social scientists witness peasantry (as a class, mode of production, structure, and so on) as being engaged in contradictions and negotiations with other structures challenging their survival, special attention should be paid to "meanings and values as they are actively lived and felt " (1985:132; my stress); these meanings and values are, in my view, as essential as the farm plot is for peasants' existential security. Let us now outline some of the key issues in the area of peasant studies. Peasantries. Peasant Ideology, and the Larger Society The "end of the peasantry" trend in social and political sciences has posed a difficult question to those who, like myself, argue that peasants survive based on their usage of ideology. The question asked is whether the survival of peasants is primarily the result of a structural need or structural adjustments being made by 'the system' in order to reproduce itself. In order to better our understanding of what is at stake here, let us synoptically present what, in my view, are three representative expressions of this argument, namely Marx, Lukacs, and the Frankfurt School. Even though I disagree with the aforementioned Marx's views on peasants' insufficient consciousness, I acknowledge the significance of his theory of rent for our understanding of peasants' survival mechanisms. The rent in kind, as we shall see in a moment, is particularly important for the survival of peasants. I also think that it is in the interpretation of the objective and subjective dimensions of phenomena like rent that the possibility of combining critical political economy and phenomenology becomes more apparent.

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131 Succinctly, Marx points out the close interconnection among three types of rent; first, labor rent, which occurs when the peasant is forced to divide the time devoted to land cultivation and animal husbandry into two parts, namely, "labour time for himself" and "enforced labour-time" (1977:111:790-91). The first sort of labor is devoted to the cultivation of land in hands of peasants as possessors rather than as owners, whereas the second type is applied to cultivate the landlord's demesne property. According to Marx, the crucial political-ideological feature of this rent is that it operates not under economic pressure as such but rather under the pressure created by other factors "whatever the form assumed may be." The relevant economic issue here is that "rent and surplus-value are identical." Here, I argue, we see the socio-ontological dimension of rent. By this I mean that this economic transaction between landlord and serf is not only based on struggle but also on recognition and reciprocity (see Hegel 1977; Hilton 1990; Willis 1992). The second type of rent in Marx's model is rent in kind, which shares with labor rent the condition of being equal to surplus-value. However, he argues, these two forms of rent defer from each other because in the former peasants transfer to the landlord not surplus-labor "in its natural form, but rather in the products' natural form in which it [surplus-labor] is realized" (ibid.). Two characteristics of this form of rent are worth noticing: first, is that it presupposes the combination of rural home industry with agriculture;" second, that at the historical time that rent in kind operates, the peasant has "more room to gain time for surplus-labor whose product shall belong to himself." The relevance of such a relative independence from the landlord's direct control is that peasants living in such circumstances have the possibility of going to the market and participating directly in the circulation of commodities. A further implication of this move is that rent as such

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132 circulates, which gives merchants a better opportunity for capital accumulation. As we shall see in Chapters 4 and 5, this form of rent has been crucial in the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros as peasants. Further, it is precisely because of their reliance on family (and communal) labor that peasants are able to cope with capitalism. Finally, the third form of rent in Marx's scheme is money-rent, which operates when the peasant -still in control of the usufruct of both land and instruments of production necessary to produce his or her own means of subsistence"turns over instead of the product, its price to the landlord (who may be either the state or a private individual)." Furthermore, Marx argues, in order for the money-rent to materialize its must be accompanied by "a considerable development of commerce, of urban industry, of commodity production in general, and thereby of money circulation" (p.797). This major transformation is concomitant with the expansion of the world-economy, which has the relevant consequence that rent and surplus-value are no longer equal. Profit, rather than rent, is what the landlord appropriates through this new mechanism. In Marx's quasi-evolutionist scheme, this was the prelude of the actual predominance of capitalism over the petty mode of production. As we shall see in a moment, this assertion is challenged by many analysts of peasants' ideology. In a different historical context, yet influenced by both Hegel and Marx, Lukacs attempted to make a nomothetic statement regarding the objective and subjective social factors (as a totality) which make possible the condensation of true class consciousness for a certain social class but not for others. His explicit acknowledgement of the objective and subjective spheres of society as a totality places him in a situation different from any sort of

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133 orthodox path. 1 ** Drawing on Marx's assertion that peasants' physical isolation from society prevents them from gathering a critical view of what is really happening in the world, Lukacs claimed that the class consciousness of social strata such as peasantry "is unable to achieve complete clarity and to influence the course of history consciously" (1985:55), to which he added that peasants' class consciousness "is always borrowed from elsewhere" (p.61; my stress). Such a view, which I disagree with, has been recently held by Hobsbawm, who claims that "the class consciousness of peasants is normally quite ineffective, except when organized and led by non-peasants with nonpeasant ideas" (1984:17; my stress). Their main reason for holding such views is that peasants' immediate consciousness, their rather mundane everydayness and common sense wisdom, make it impossible for them to see the entirety of their existence, meaning the totality of society. Here we see the recurrent theme of labelling common sense as 'backward', insufficient, and so on. This position, if I understood their argument, is also shared by several French anthropologists doing structural analysis of peasantry (see van Binsbergen and Geschiere 1985; Meillassoux 1981; Seddon 1980). The core idea in this argument is that cheap labor is needed in order to reproduce the whole social structure at low cost. Peasants, it is argued, are "reconstituted" rather than totally destroyed by the system because they are able to reproduce their own labor force by means of growing their own food with the support of the 18 I hasten to say that Lukacs cannot be easily labelled as a reductionist, as mav be seen is his assertion that "epistemological problems, if they are not treated^ as an aspect of ontological ones, distort things and make similarities where there are similarities, and dissimilarity where there is similarity" (cf. Theo mkus 1975:76). On this, see Martin Jay. 1984. Marxism and Totality. Berkeley Los Angeles: University of California Press. y '

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134 domestic unity. Further, so the argument continues, part of the cheap food produced with cheap labor enters to the market channels at relatively low prices. Taken to its extreme, the conclusion of this argument is that peasants are "preserved," so to speak, by the system as part of a utilitarian mechanism designed to keep alive the reserve army of labor until it is needed. Assuming that 'the system' actually needs the peasants' cheap labor, my question is whether that tells the whole story about peasant resistance, survival, and persistence as dwellers of a location. Max Horkheimer tells us, with the pessimistic tone so distinctive of some members of the Frankfurt School, that in Europe, "even the small farmer (the only farmer in the proper sense of the world) no less than the artisan is learning from personal experience that he has been born out of time" (1974:20-21). To be sure, he said this in a compassionate tone, saddened by his belief that the affluent society of conspicuous consumption was, literally, engulfing peasants economically as well as ideologically. Indeed, Horkheimer and Adorno shared the opinion that, partially because of the ruling class' control over both the state and civil society, there was no escape from alienation and the negative consequences of technology. In their view, the freedom available in modern society was an illusion, just "a freedom to choose what is always the same" (1987:166-167). We see, once again, the dominant ideology thesis reverberating from different streams. Though I share the concern these critical theorists had regarding the detrimental impact that capital-intensive technology may have on the peasants' location, I think they overlooked the role of human agency in coping with social change and uncertainty. Amin and Vergopoulos (1975), Archeti (1983), Bennholdt-Thomsen (190), de Janvry (1985), Ennew, Hirst, and Tribe (1977), Heynig (1982), Hilton

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135 (1990), Moore (1967), and Wolf (1983), among others, have already discussed with clarity and accuracy most of the ramifications that both the 'classical' and more contemporary debate on rent have had into academic and political discourse alike. Those ramifications touch grounds as diverse as the debate on the transition to capitalism in different continents, the revolutionary potential of peasantry, and the never-ending polemic on the obliteration of peasantry by capitalism, which has in Kautsky and Lenin two of its leading figures. We need not embark into those well-known issues at present. Instead, let us turn our attention to some empirical studies and further theoretical argumentation on peasants' survival mechanisms. The work on peasantry carried out by anthropologist Eric Wolf takes us to the core of my characterization of peasants as survivors. Though I disagree with his early assertion that peasants are unfamiliar with the functioning of the state and perceive it as a "an evil" (1973:294), I share the connection he makes between peasant ideology and what he terms "the nature of the human experience" (1966:109) of peasants. Although limitations of space prevents me from presenting my reasons to believe that there is room for a constructive dialogue on intentionality between Wolf and Heidegger, I would like to outline the former's rather recent depiction of peasant as survivors. My present position on this issue has been significantly influenced by Wolf. For the task at hand, there are three points of Wolf's assertion worth stressing. First is his notion that there exists a "persistence or sacrifice of peasant livelihood" (1983:57) taking place in a context of uneven exchange between peasants and the larger social order, which is heavily influenced by state regulations. Second is his position that, in spite of the fact (he calls it an irony) that peasants' labor may become undermined by the modern technology associated with "factory farming," "peasantry may still survive in

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136 the interstices of the world system, as it survived for a while in the interstices of the nation-state." His argumentation becomes almost prophetic when he adds that "in fact, in the face of the radioactive clouds, some of these [peasants] -as in the high Andes -may be the only survivors " (ibid; my stress). Third, Wolf says (and I agree) that anthropologists should not restrict ourselves to carrying out peasant studies following one of the three major trends in the discipline (each emphasizing cultural, ecological, or economic processes separately). He concludes that particular attention should be paid to the discursive and mental dimensions of peasants' life as something more than epiphenomenal manifestation of "materially grounded processes" (1983: 351). One legitimate goal of future studies of peasantry, he says, is linking the productive practices peasants carry out (transforming nature and themselves) with the mental processes interconnected with the former. These words are relevant to our purpose, not only because of what they intend as a discourse; they are significant too because of who the speaker is as well as because of the timing of his statement. Finally, it is significant that Wolf indicated that anthropologists documenting the lived experience of peasants should inquiry into "the relation of society and ideology" (1983:351). In my view, these remarks support the characterization of peasant ideology as a source of ontic and ontological security in the face of processes of rapid modernization such as the one we are seeing in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. If we accept that capitalism is more than capital accumulation, extraction of surplusvalue, higher organic composition of capital, and real subsumption of labor by capital (Marx), then attention should be paid to peasants as dwellers and abhans. It is only by taking that stance, so my argument goes, that we are able to document the way peasants, in their uneven interaction with the larger

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] 37 society, carry out the human experience that Kierkegaard calls "the struggle of being against non-being" (cf. Giddens 1991:48). Let us now outline some other crucial issues on peasants' survival mechanisms. Though Chayanov's (1985) work on peasantry is commonplace, a synoptic discussion is profitable for our present task. Three elements of his argument are of primary relevance: first, his assertion that the basic goal of the peasant household is the satisfaction of its consumption needs, instead of economic profit and capital accumulation; second, his view that peasants operate the economy of their farms with a degree of freedom made possible by the size and composition of its labor pool (how many people are able to work and which level of collective productivity is reachable), as well as the availability of productive land (both in quantitative and qualitative terms). It was based on this argument that Chayanov insisted in the existence of an equilibrium within the family economy chiefly determined by the proportional access to labor and land. Finally, he states that a crucial characteristic of the peasant family farm is its capability for self-exploiting or over-using its members' labor force under unfavorable circumstances. His model is based on the premise that land is abundant. The main limitation of this model is the little attention it pays to the connection between households and the larger society. His criticism of Chayanov's model notwithstanding, Shanin's (1971) claim for a redefinition of peasantry is closely related to the former's model. Succinctly, Shanin's argument is centered on the notion of the family farm, defined as a unit of ownership, production, consumption and social life where the individual, the family and the farm, appear as an indivisible whole" (p. 241). Access to land is also viewed by him (as Chayanov did) as a crucial feature of peasantry, but (contrary to Chayanov), Shanin emphasizes

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138 the relationship between the peasant unit and the larger society according to specific historical circumstances, which led him make the important qualification that "peasantry exists only as a process" (p. 16). Further, in his view peasants' relative economic autonomy is due to their relationship to land, which allows them "to maintain their existence by increasing their efforts, lowering their own consumption and partially withdrawing from any market relations they may have" (p. 240; stress added). This emphasis on peasants as a process makes Shanin's view particularly useful for the understanding of how peasants are constituted in time and space, as part of a lived experience that is not restricted to either the confines of peasant villages nor to production as such. This glance into the background of the debate on peasants' survival in the face of capitalism shows, once again, the recurrent theme of the relationship among structure, human agency, and culture. It also indicates the analysts attempt to clarify the interrelation of appearances and essences, parts and wholes, and individual and society, and so on. Both Roseberry (1989) and Silverman (1983) have adequately traced anthropologists' involvement in this search for the peasantry. I consider it unnecessary to repeat the myriad implications of Banfield's (1958: 83) notion of peasants' "amoral familism" and his argument that peasants lack the ability to create and maintain organizations (p.87). The same applies to Raymond Firth's early characterization of peasantry as primarily a socioeconomic category, Kroeber's assertion that peasants are members of "part-societies with part-cultures," (1963:92), and Redfield's views of peasantry as a "folk culture" or "folk society (1968:xi, 39, and passim) in need of affirmation by its urban counterpart. I agree with Silverman's (ibid.) position that these insufficient

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139 characterizations of peasantry by some pioneer anthropologists was part of a quest for accuracy in the definition of the notion of culture. Perhaps one of the most controversial arguments made by the forefathers on peasant studies in the field of anthropology is Foster's notion of the "Image of Limited Good" (1967:122-152). For him, peasants' perception of the socio-natural environment is mediate by their view of the world as a system of limited resources. The so-called "Image of Limited Good" inherent to peasants' cognitive scheme enables them to accept the physical environment as one that cannot be improved in quantitative terms. It is for this reason, according to Foster, that peasants look at material wealth as something limited in absolute terms, with no relation to labor. Consequently, the argument continues, in peasant communities the goal is to work hard in order to satisfy basic needs rather than create or accumulate material wealth and profit. Instead of profit maximization, it is the search for security that Foster sees peasants looking for. Further, he claims that wealth accumulation is avoided by peasants because they perceive it as dangerous for the community as a whole. Foster's views have been criticized by analysts of all sorts. This is not the place to examine such a complex and long-lived debate. However, three closely interwoven spheres of this debate are relevant for this study: first, the role played by peasants values and beliefs in their acceptance or rejection of the claims for modernization (the so-called peasant rationality); second, the processes of internal differentiation that take place within peasant households and villages as a consequence of modernization; third, and more important, how peasants perceive, feel, and internalize (subjectivize) the erosion of ontic and ontological security concomitant with the changes in their patterns of production, distribution, consumption, and reproduction. As

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140 mentioned earlier, these are some of the processes I attempt to document in this study as they occurred in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Social scientists have documented these and other processes occurring in peasant villages worldwide. Significant steps forward have been taken in clarifying how these phenomena take specific forms according to cultural differences, as well as geographic (space) and historical (time) specificities. A representative sample of these new achievements in the examination of peasant livelihood is found, among others, in Bernstein's (1988) work on class relations and division of labor, Cancian's (1972) excellent analysis of Mayan peasants' felt uncertainty, Deere's (1987) comprehensive discussion of the most recent ideas on peasant studies concerned with political economy, de Janvry's (1985) careful examination of the articulation of peasant economy and the world-economy, DeWalt's (1983) notable analysis of food ideology in Mexico, Friedmann's (1980) important discussion of the interplay between the national economy and the family farm, the Harriss (1982) insightful examination of the interplay of ideology and structures in the context of agricultural modernization in Tamil Nadu, Hewitt's (1976) well-known examination of some of the consequences of agricultural modernization in Mexico, Llambf's (1988) insightful views on Venezuelan peasants, Lockwood's (1989) significant discussion of intra-household gender relations, Nair's (1979) novel argument about peasant rationality in India, Ortiz's (1973) pioneer study of felt uncertainty among Colombian peasants, and, finally, Schmink's (1984) assessment of some of the methodological concerns to bear in mind while doing research on households economic strategies. My study among Sabaneros and Montaneros is closely related to the work on similar processes done, among others, by Beinart and Bundy (1985) m South Africa, Bennett (1969) in the U.S., van Binsbergen (1981) in Zambia,

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141 Cole and Wolf (1974) in an Alpine valley, Feierman (1990) in Tanzania, Golde (1975) in Germany, Gudeman (1981, 1986) in Panama and elsewhere, Nash (1979) in Bolivia, Sabean (1984) in Germany, Scott (1985) in Malaysia, and Warman (1980) in Morelos, Mexico. My search for the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros as historical subjects, is in accord with Sidney Mintz's (1984) assertion that Caribbean peasantries are the historical outcome of myriad acts of resistance performed by peasants. It is worth noticing that Mintz's characterization of Caribbean peasantries as "reconstituted" is not akin to the structuralists' usage of the same terminology. As discussed earlier in this section, the notion of intentionality is neglected by the French structuralists who view the survival of peasantry as part of a structural adjustment. Mintz, by contrast, emphasizes the role of human agency in the constitution of peasantries. In addition to Mintz's work, the contribution of Trouillot (1988) has enhanced my understanding of Caribbean peasants' constitution in the context of the world economy. My examination of peasant ideology has also benefited from Austin's (1984) novel documentation of class ideology in Kingston, Jamaica. Even though until very recently most of the Dominican population was formed by rural dwellers, most present-day Dominican scholars pay little attention to the study of peasants. This is in sharp contrast with the documentation of peasants' conduct carried out by Dominican scholars in the early 1900s (see Jimenez 1975; Perez 1972). Indeed, most discussion on Dominican peasants is done using aggregate data and secondary sources focused on land tenure structure (Dore y Cabral 1979; Rodriguez 1987), proletarianization (Duarte 1980; Inoa 1991; Lozano 1985), state policies (Fernandez 1983), trends of capitalist development in particular crops (Crouch 1979), and the impact of the first U.S. military occupation of the Dominican

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142 Republic ( Marinez 1984). Exceptions to this pattern are the work of peasants' personality done by Adames (1975), Landolfi's (1981) provocative claim for the need to pay attention to interregional cultural differences, particularly to regional ethos, and Avila's (1989) ethnography among charcoal makers. To the best of my knowledge, most ethnographic studies dealing with peasants as actors of historical processes have been carried out by outsiders. Baud (1986a, 1986b, 1987, 1989) has provided important insights into the constitution over time and survival of Dominican peasants; Finlay's (1989) works in southern Dominican Republic is a pioneer examination of women's participation in a new type of development scheme consisting in the cultivation of vegetables for exportation; Georges's (1990) notable study is particularly accurate in the examination of the close interconnection between international migration and local economy; Gutierrez-San Martin (1988) has documented processes of peasants' coping mechanism in a context of agrarian reform; Meyer (1989) carried out an micro-economic analysis the economic gains of peasants involved in government-sponsored agrarian projects; Murray (1970) was one of the first anthropologists documenting the life of Dominican peasants; San Miguel's (1987) dissertation on the role of merchants in the changes taking place among northern Dominican peasants is, together with Antonini's (1968) study, an excellent documentation of regional processes involving the peasant economy; Sharpe's (1977) study on peasant politics is, in my view, to the present the best study of a Dominican peasant village; Walker's (1972) ethnography is a valuable source of information regarding local and national power structure; finally, Werge's (1975) documentation of slash-and-burn agriculture is, together with Murray s, one of the most detailed accounts of peasant subsistence in the Dominican Republic.

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143 In this chapter I have carried out a critical examination of the concept of ideology as it relates to power, structure, knowledge, human agency, and utopia. We have seen how the negative notion of ideology grew out of a search for effective action and "true" consciousness. Likewise, we traced the development of a positive notion of ideology in the work of scholars belonging to different and even incommensurable theoretical and philosophical traditions, ranging from hermeneutics to historical materialism and psychoanalysis. The work of Geertz, Gramsci, Lefebvre, Merleau-Ponty, and Ricoeur have been stressed as major turning points at different moments of this long-lived, still open, debate. Finally, we have laid the theoretical foundations for an interpretation of peasants as survivors. As we did with the concept of ideology, the notion of survival has been related to a long-lived intellectual quest in social sciences and philosophy. This general theme has been discussed in relation to Heidegger's notion of dwelling, the Haitian term abitan. as well as the contribution on peasant studies made by social scientists. The notion of authenticity advanced by Heidegger has been discussed as crucial for our next interpretation of how Montaneros and Sabaneros cope with alienation. Finally, we have outlined how this narrative relates to similar studies on peasantry carried out in the Dominican Republic and other places.

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CHAPTER 3 IN SEARCH OF A METHOD The challenge one faces while addressing the interrelation of ideology as an integrative phenomenon, the power structure, and the socio-natural processes framing the existence of people like Montaneros and Sabaneros is threefold. First is how to reconcile the objective process of structuration with the subjective experience of ontic and ontological security in relation to "the other." Second is how to document the interplay of natural phenomena (e.g., hurricanes, drought) with people's perception of and response to them. Third is the choice of a research strategy consistent enough as to overcome reductionism or, better put, gain a holistic understanding of processes encompassing ideational and material phenomena alike. There are no easy answer to such questions, and I acknowledge my incompetence to even suggest one to other social scientists. As indicated earlier in this study, I think the challenge is more than an epistemological one. Ultimately, I argue, it is an ethical situation that forces us to decide how to use our own knowledge and power in relation to our two "others": first, the academic community; second, the people we study. In this chapter I discuss my reasons for choosing a historically oriented phenomenology to document the lives of Montaneros and Sabaneros. I also describe my fieldwork experience. The chapter consists of two sections. In the first section, I outline phenomenology's core theoretical, epistemological, ethical, and methodological premises. This section concludes with my own methodological propositions regarding the use of phenomenology in cases 144

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145 like the one documented in this dissertation. Section two outlines the methodological tools used to gather quantitative and qualitative data during my fieldwork. Here I also outline my method of exposition. Phe nomenology: the Understanding of Everyday Life and Lived Experience As indicated earlier, the myriad experiences I shared with Montaneros and Sabaneros literally forced me to pay attention to phenomenology in a way I did not anticipate at all. That first awareness became a more conscious search as part of the reflection and research following my fieldwork. Let me briefly state my reasons for being receptive to the epistemological, methodological, and ethical foundations of phenomenology as I understand them at present. My account is focused on two interrelated spheres: first, how phenomenologists understand the distinctiveness of knowing and acting in everyday life; second, the intellectual tools provided by phenomenology for pursuing scientific endeavors in daily life. For the sake of brevity, in this schematic presentation I am intentionally overlooking most of the many areas of disagreement among phenomenologists. 1 As regards knowledge in everyday life, I value the explicit relevance accredited to perception, appearances, and essences by phenomenologists since Kant s well-known dictum that "a thing can never come before me except in appearance" (1965:286). Contemporary phenomenology makes the important qualification that phenomena (appearances) and noumena (thethings-themselves) become part of the human world through the engagement and commitment encompassed by intentional, intersubjective action. Further, this committed interplay of action and knowledge is described 1 Information on the similarities and differences in the phenomenological movement may be found in Cumming (1991), and Spiegelberg (1984). 8

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146 by phenomenologists as part of myriad configurations which are always culture-specific, as well as historical, spatial, and highly dependent on symbols, interpretation, and meaning. The acts of perception involved in praxis and knowledge are intersubjective ones taking place in a larger context. When perception is characterized on phenomenological grounds, one is actually talking of analogical apperception or appresentational references, two equivalent terms that mean perception of specific phenomena and entities as part of sociocultural constructs, and in reference to the whole context in which they are constituted . 2 This qualification, I think, helps us to overcome two major impasses in the study of ideology, namely the dichotomy of false consciousness versus true consciousness inherited from Lukacs, and the notion of double-consciousness or contradictory consciousness inherited from Gramsci. We have already discussed what Lukacs meant by false and true consciousness. Let me briefly explain how I see phenomenology helping us overcome Gramsci's notion. According to Gramsci, human praxis encompasses two theoretical consciousnesses: first, the one engaged in the performance of the practical tasks oriented toward the transformation of reality in cooperation with other contemporary human beings, or implicit consciousness; second, the 2 This epistemological construct is similar to the one advanced by structuralist 5 with regard to the binary interplay of "signified" and "signifier" in the formation of meaning. Though I think the emphasis put by g phenomenology on the context of that signification makes the concept of analogica perception more adequate than the ones suggested by structuralists for the sake of brevity in this study I use "signified" and "signifier" to designate the process of constitution indicated by phenomenology. On this rh a rlp US R U n' Fer , dl ™ nd de ‘ 1%6 ‘ Course in General Linguistics. Edited by ' £ h „ d f , B , al i y w d A « er ! Scheha y e ' in collaboration with Albert Riedlinger Translated by Wade Baskin. New York: McCraw-Hill. 8

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147 consciousness which we inherit from our predecessors, which he termed "superficially explicit and verbal" (cf. Femia 1987:43). His conclusion was that such a contradictory consciousness "produces a condition of moral and political passivity" (ibid.). The impasse created by seeing tradition and the past as lagging behind current affairs, is resolved, 3 I argue, by using two phenomenological formulations; first, the notion that the stock of knowledge in which our present life is embedded is a manifestation of the total horizon constituted by the interrelation of predecessors (cultural memory, tradition), contemporaries (intersubjectivity) and successors (projection); second, that our everyday life is indeed, paraphrasing Schutz, a changing crystallization of multiple realities. Social scientists have documented that double-consciousness, even though it is subject to manipulation by holders of the system of authority, does not necessarily lead to passivity. Stolcke's (1984) excellent study of Brazilian women's double-consciousness, and Scott's (1990) insightful treatment of hidden and public transcripts in Malaysia are two examples of how people are able to construct symbols and behave at more than one level of consciousness without their resistance resulting ineffective. Further, as well demonstrated by the Willis (1977) innovative study of ideology among working class youths in England, having a clear class consciousness does not suffice to udermine the power structure. A similar conclusion has been reached by Sharpe (1977) in his pioneer study of peasant consciousness in the Dominican Republic. The Hawkins (1984) examination of inverse images in * P osl . tloi y although in a different context, resembles the well-known Hypothesis of Cultural Lag" advanced in 1932 by William F. Ogburn See i a HO q/i rS T°h nS/ Wa /c Shlls ' Kas P ar D Naegele, Jesse R. Pitts § 1273 1 96 1 ‘ Theones of Societ yVolume II. New York: The Free Press, pp 1270-

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148 Guatemala also provides new and refreshing evidence on this issue. It is here where I see the importance of Scott's (1985, 1990) work on peasants' everyday forms of struggle as well as what he terms the arts of resistance. Ricoeur's views on dissimulation and Merleau-Ponty's examination of ambiguity (both discussed above) provide valuable insights into this theme. The present study has benefited from these contributions. Still in the field of knowledge, phenomenology has provided means for overcoming not only the dichotomy of subject versus object (an achievement rightly credited to Kant), but also the solipsism implied by the separation of knowledge from existence often made by some theorists who relay on Cartesian epistemological premises. Phenomenologists understand human existence as a permanent engagement with a world that is never outside of our life-world. This being-within-the-world position, however, does not deny the existence of a world independent of our knowledge of it. Further, the human world is not conceived as a split reality of objectivity and subjectivity. Within this framework, subjectivity is consubstantial with the apprehension of the world by our consciousness, with the internalization of lived experiences. However, rather than a solitary consciousness, phenomenology deals with concrete human beings engaged in intersubjective relations in pursuit of rather mundane goals which have meaning for them. Though the intentional actions of everyday life are performed in order to achieve rather instrumental goals, they are sustained by feelings, emotions, values, and so on, shared by members of a culture. This conception of intersubjective relations entails that separating the self from the others is possible as a heuristic device, yet it is inadequate for understanding the facticity and factuality of our existence (Heidegger). The

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149 others and I are concomitantly constituted through intersubjective, meaningful social relations, and so is the human world we belong to. With regard to human agency, I think phenomenology has advanced an interpretation of intentionality in a context which is broad enough to help us overcome reductionism. We saw earlier in this chapter how different currents of thought have contributed to the clarification of the intentionality concept. Since Vico and Hegel, we have been repeatedly told that human beings are not just doers concerned with the production of material goods, but also actors who care about existence as Being. Recall the distinction made by Heidegger’s between concern and care in relation to the ontic and ontological dimensions of human existence. The bottom line is that, notwithstanding the instrumental nature of our daily performances, there is in quotidian life an existential reflection too. Paraphrasing Gramsci's assertion that every man is an intellectual, one may argue that every man and every woman is a philosopher of his or her own Lebenswelt . This appreciation for the actors' interpretation of their own praxis as the starting point from which further critical reflection is undertaken is, in my view, one of the strongest elements of phenomenology's epistemological and ethical premises. Phenomenology's insistence on intentionality also contributes to our understanding of the role played by common sense knowledge, 4 language, work, culture, and the body in the constitution of historical subjects. By this I mean that knowing, speaking and working are intentional acts referred to a world constituted with the mediation of culture-laden symbols. MerleauPonty (1970, 1973a, 1987a) was a systematic defender of the idea that one's ll hls of c °mmon sense knowledge is not shared by Heidegger On this, see his B eing and Time . Richarson (1991) is also helpful on thisfs^ue.

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150 access to the world is gained through one's body. From this perspective, the human body is seen as more than a source of labor; it is also the location of our sexuality, gestures, language, emotions, and so on. One of the merits I see in Merleau-Ponty's work is the special role he attributed to the human body and emotions in the genealogy of perceptual fields. His characterization of nature as including human, physical, and biological configurations is equally relevant to my study of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' classification of natural symbols. The attention paid by phenomenology to the interplay of the human body with nature, I think, is crucial for understanding and interpreting ideology's function in everyday life. Foucault, who was not a phenomenologist, set forward an elegant theory of discipline and punishment in which the human body is the key object of social control, the symbol par excellence of surveillance. In the constitution of Montaneros and Sabaneros as historical subjects, as we shall see in Chapters 4 and 5, the discipline of the body involved in public work (similar to corvee labor), mining, inhabiting nature, and so on, has shaped over time their awareness of their bodies as cultural and ideological symbols. Even though in the phenomenological tradition the notion of intersubjectivity receives more attention than processes of social structuration, one sees Merleau-Ponty (1970:443) and Ricoeur (1991) acknowledging the relevant role of institutions and structures in the coming into existence of the everyday world as well as in our internalization of specific social roles assigned to us by our fellow humans. The attention phenomenologists pay to structuration, however, does not lead them to portray institutions as impersonal entities. Further, though aware of social conflicts, for the most part the emphasis is not placed on confrontations as

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151 such, but rather in the human experience of both contestation and dialogue. I am aware of the limitations this ambiguity on issues of power may pose to phenomenologists interested in societal processes such as state formation, political and economic domination, and so forth. The same critical observations apply to phenomenology's effectiveness in the study of extreme cases of confrontation beyond everyday forms of resistance, such as war, mass mobilization leading to over revolt, and so on. This remains an open question. In summary, the reality phenomenology refers to is the condensation of appearances and essences which are discovered by historical subjects engaged in the intentional performance of the instrumental and communicative tasks of everyday life, as part of an intersubjective experience encompassing both concern and care. Such a human world is constituted alongside our perception (analogical apperception) and appropriation (action and praxis not restricted to production) of both things and phenomena whose essence is simultaneously concealed and revealed by our culture-specific beliefs, values, and norms. We gain access to this human world through our body as a physical and symbolic entity. Within this framework, nature is characterized as physical, biological, and human. Phenomenologists acknowledge the existence of a world independent of our knowledge of it. The crucial point to be understood, however, is how we become conscious of the world through cognition and practical engagement. In both knowing and acting, we have the possibility of relating appearances to essences, and parts to the whole. We do so within institutions and structures which are simultaneously constraining and enabling. However, familiarity and proximity with phenomena do not assure our understanding of essences. Indeed, by taking for granted our everydayness, we usually are unable to go

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152 beyond appearances. This, as we will see in subsequent chapters, has significant ideological implications. Turning now to the question of how to apply the general phenomenological principles dealing with knowledge and action in daily life to specific research of social reality, one is faced with epistemological, methodological, and ethical issues whose full examination is beyond the scope of this synoptical presentation. As mentioned earlier, phenomenology in its different versions has influenced several well-defined research strategies in social sciences, including ethnomethodology, gestalt psychology, interpretive anthropology, structuralism, and historical materialism, among others. For instance, Boudon (1989) has indicated how the study of ideology has in phenomenology a close ally. A short survey of ethnographic work shows the use of phenomenology by anthropologists. Indeed, anthropologist Manda Cesara (1982) has written a self-reflective account of her fieldwork experience using existentialist and phenomenological constructs; phenomenology is also present in Fabian's (1983) interesting explorations on time and the other in anthropological discourse; in the imaginative work of Dumont (1991) the influence of Merleau-Ponty's notion of ambiguity is apparent; finally, Rigby's (1985) insightful study of pastoralists in Tanzania is explicitly loaded with phenomenological premises.^ LL°! h f b ( est of knowledge, Rigby's excellent ethnography is one of the few ttempts to combine historical materialism with phenomenology in the wav suggested my Marcuse (1969b), Pad (1972), and other Marxist scholars. Y ^lkewise, Bologh (1979) argues that Marx's method (as used in Capital and S mndnsse) is essentially phenomenological. From my own re^dtn^f Marx Iconclude that a synthesis of the two paradigms is feasible and powerful However, at present I lack the competence to pursue such difficult task I acknowledge my intellectual debt to Marx in terms of his critical views on alienation and political economy. views ° n

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153 Before moving into methodological matters, let me schematically present what I consider to be some of the most relevant epistemological concerns raised by phenomenologists. Consubstantial with the previous outline of the interconnected processes of knowing and acting in everyday life, phenomenology acknowledges the relevance of documenting what people do in instrumental terms as well as the reflection accompanying action. Within this conceptual framework, it is the lived experience of concrete human beings that makes possible further theoretical formulations. Phenomenology is interested in interpreting the totality of experiences lived in a meaningful way by knowledgeable agents. Consequently, attention is paid to the constitution (or genealogy, in Foucault's terms) of subjects and phenomena, as well as the construction of the social reality (particularly to the genesis, consolidation and decline of structures and institutions) in which both of them exist. With this concern in mind, special effort is made in order to avoid separating objectivity from subjectivity, I from the Others, present from past and future, consciousness from materiality, and so on. In order to better understand the complex implications of this acceptance of everyday life as a valid source of philosophic and scientific knowledge, a couple of qualifications are pertinent before proceeding. For such purposes, I turn briefly to Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. It was while elaborating on the relevance of the distinction between care and concern for achieving an authentic understanding of the meaning of Being, or authenticity (discussed above), that Heidegger ( 1962 ) raised objections to pure epistemological concerns. What he meant by this is that analysts (scientists in particular) tend to split everyday life into processes of consciousness (knowledge) and the practical engagement people have with the material world (or action), or, as he phrased it "those things environmentally ready-

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154 to-hand with which it [Dasein] is proximally concerned " (1962:155; stress in the original). A similar, though somewhat less strident objection to epistemological concerns that split the totality of the human world, is made by MerleauPonty. In order to see his protest in context, it is worth noticing that he was making a self-criticism to his earlier (1970) over-emphasis on reflection. Now, in his last written work, he is saying that "the return to the immediate data, the deepening of experience on the spot, are certainly the hallmark of philosophy by opposition to naive consciousness" (1987:124). Putting Heidegger's and Merleau-Ponty's argumentation into anthropological parlance, they are talking about holism in the same manner we saw Wolf doing earlier in the previous chapter. Recall that Wolf was arguing for the need to pay attention to "what the people themselves think and say" (1983.351) instead of just examining "more materially grounded processes" (ibid.). On this, I argue. Wolf and phenomenologists are in accord. This is the same argument I have tried to develop. Having clarified these core epistemological matters, we may turn our attention to phenomenology's methodological propositions proper. I will first present what phenomenologists have said on methodology, and then will outline my own methodological propositions. Alfred Schutz is credited, in my view correctly, for advancing a coherent set of methodological principles to be applied by phenomenologists to the study of the social world with a concern for verstehen. or understanding. With the exception of his characterization of phenomenologists as disinterested observers (which I do not agree with), I have integrated most of those principles in my previous synopsis. However, those general principles (see Schutz 1984) were not translated into a

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155 manageable method to actually conduct specific research such as this one. Although different attempts have been made at identifying the essentials of a phenomenological method, to the best of my knowledge the clearest and most consistent ones are: first, Henri Lefebvre's quasi-phenomenological regressive-progressive method applied to the study of socio-historical phenomena involving local, regional, and national processes; second, Ricoeur's regressive method used for interpreting the notions of ideology and utopia from the perspective of a genetic phenomenology; finally, Herbert Spiegelberg's tentative step-by-step proposal of a phenomenological method which embodies the propositions made by several phenomenologists. Lefebvre, whose contributions on everyday life and production of space we have discussed above, advanced a method of research heavily influenced by phenomenology and Marxism. We need not devote ourselves to assessing which one of the two influences is heavier or better. The important point at present is that his methodological proposition is consonant with phenomenology. The theoretical premises on which Lefebvre (cf. Sartre 1968:31-32) supported his method are as follows. He made a distinction between the more tangible or "horizontal" data of any given human group one is studying, namely "demographic aspects, family structure, habitat, religion, etc.," and the less immediate data, namely "the coexistence of formations of various ages and dates,"or "vertical" data. He suggested a theoretically grounded three-step method in order to study the interplay of the vertical 'and "horizontal" spheres of social phenomena: (1) detailed description of reality, (2) analysis of reality indicating the date of specific events (also termed analytico-regressive), and (3) "attempt to rediscover the present, but elucidated, understood, explained" (also called historical-genetic).

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156 The method Ricoeur (1985:311) terms regressive is aimed at interpreting the constitution of phenomena of social imagination, such as ideology and utopia. As we have seen earlier, his position is that ideology and utopia are akin in the constitution of social reality. Recall that he, drawing on Schutz, argues that the identity we gather in life (ideology and utopia included) embodies the influences of predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. Understanding identity's essence, Ricoeur continues, is conterminous to the understanding of meaning over time (past, present, and future). Such a task requires an approach that he, drawing on Husserl's Ca rtesian Meditations, terms genetic phenomenology. Though Ricoeur does not outline the steps or phases of the regressive method corresponding to genetic phenomenology, he says that it has assisted him to describe the constitution of imagination over time "without being outside the interconnections between ideology and utopia" (ibid.), to which he adds that this kind of phenomenology "attempts to dig under the surface of the apparent meaning to the more fundamental meanings" (ibid.). By fundamental meanings, I interpret, he means those without which the process of identity does not occur. Finally, Spiegelberg's (1984:682) scheme embodies the following seven steps: (1) investigating particular phenomena, (2) investigating general essences, (3) apprehending essential relationships, (4) watching modes of appearances, (5) exploring the constitution of phenomena in consciousness, (6) suspending belief in existence, and (7) interpreting concealed meanings. The unifying principle of these seven steps is Husserl's proposition that, in order to understand the essence of phenomena in everyday life, it is necessary to bracket (interrogate, question) the world we take for granted in the natural

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157 attitude. In my view, the process of bracketing reality is inherent to all scientific endeavor. This is the foundation of scientific skepticism. It is still an open question the extent to which following these steps, reductions, regressions, and so on as, so to speak, a cook book, actually helps us gain a better and deeper understanding of the essence of phenomena or appearances. Experienced phenomenologists such as Psathas (1989), and Spiegelberg (1984) himself, have indicated that the issue is not when and where each one of these steps is applied, but rather to bear in mind the attitude toward the phenomena under scrutiny suggested by the tentative phenomenological method. Moving into such a highly controversial problematic is not my primary interest at present. I think that the actual application of these steps is a matter of individual style in which imagination plays a major role. All of them may be highly useful or totally useless depending, to a great extent, on the in situ interaction between researchers and the people we "study." To me the real challenge for phenomenologists is, borrowing Dorothy Lee's apt statement, how to participate "in the experience of the other, in the self of the other" (1986:8). No method can teach us how to do that, though I believe that such an experience is facilitated by interpretive research strategies (phenomenology's included). Drawing on the above methodological and epistemological premises, I would like to suggest four areas of concern to keep in mind while using phenomenology in a context similar to the one I conducted this study. First, it is of prime importance to identify the specificities of, and establish as accurately as possible the interconnections among, the following processes: firstly, the genealogy of the historical subjects who manipulate, perceive, understand, and interpret the world they are engaged with; secondly, the constitution over time of the phenomena (appearances).

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158 noumena (things, objects, and their meaning), and symbols that those concrete human beings manipulate, perceive, understand, and interpret as part of intentional acts of instrumental and communicative nature and sustained by cultural values, norms, and beliefs; thirdly, the processes leading to the social construction of the changing structures, institutions, objects, and symbols to which historical subjects are related directly or indirectly (e.g., physical and social space, family, religion, community, state, society at large). Recording and understanding the local system of classification of natural, social, and spiritual entities (cosmology and cosmogony), should be accompanied by documenting the values and norms guiding people's actions. Second, these concrete individuals, institutions, phenomena, objects, and symbols should be placed in relation to three closely interwoven processes, firstly, how in everyday life the individuals themselves perceive and express their ontic and ontological security in relation to the conventionally called objective and subjective constituents of their social reality; secondly, what sorts of lived experiences (events in particular) have led individuals (as members of a cultural community) to perceive their existence as either favorably or unfavorably related to the interconnected processes of state formation, territorialization, and the claim for progress and national identity; three, how individuals see themselves and their actual lives in relation to the ideal signifiers of a "good person," a "good life," and a good community," and the feelings, beliefs, and emotions related to such ideal types. I think it is primarily at this level where ideologies and utopias dwell. Special attention should be paid to gender, generational, class, and ethnic differences as well as the identity to a particular territory (geographic area), as perceived by the individuals themselves. Crucial in this endeavor is to document the role played by the official discourse of nationalism in the

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159 formation of particular identities vis-^-vis "the other." Once again, this is the core of social ontology. Third, while gathering evidence on and interpreting the above processes and phenomena, researchers should be careful in performing as part of their standard procedure the following tasks: firstly, relate particular phenomena to the whole experience they belong to; secondly, "to dig under the surface of the apparent meaning to the more fundamental meaning" (Ricoeur's proposition), which can be done by paying close attention to the interplay of discourse and praxis in daily life; thirdly, describe as carefully as possible (Lefebvre's proposition, and Geertz's call for "thick" descriptions) all the relevant historic and current events documented through participation, oral history, and the recording of historic documents (not restricted to written ones), fourthly, through a double act of "progressive approximation" (Merleau-Ponty's proposal) and "regressive approximation" (meaning a reconstruction of the process of constitution in time and space) submit to an in-depth interrogation (bracketing, epoche. doubt) both local people perceptions of appearances (first-order conceptualizations) and the scientist's pre-conceptions (second-order conceptualization): understanding and interpretation is the outcome of the above. Finally, it is important to bear in mind that both researchers and the people we study are part of a situation we are perceiving through different lenses. I think the failure or success of any scientific quest in the social world is highly dependent on three axes: one, our valuation of language and the human body in everyday life; second, paying equal attention to all experiences the people we study have had without pre-determining which one is more relevant, and bearing in mind that not all spheres of human existence are the same; and finally, a genuine intersubjective, reciprocal communication

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160 between the researcher and the persons with whom he or she studies. The strength of phenomenology, I think, is that one cannot use its constructs adequately while remaining in an authoritarian and self-sufficient position, unable to feel, at least at certain stages of the fieldwork, what Merleau-Ponty so eloquently describes as "a weakness which exposes me to the gaze of others as a man among men" (1970:xii). This is to say that using phenomenology is axiomatic with self-reflection, with interrogating ourselves and the foundations of our discipline, while interrogating and understanding other people's lived experience. Within this framework, empirical evidence, numbers, statistical analysis, and measurement are part of a process of interpretation based on a human experience between researcher and the concrete individuals with whom he or she studies. Fieldwork Experience and Research Strategy My fieldwork in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah lasted fifteen months altogether. It was carried out in two field trips: the preliminary field trip, which covered the period JanuaryApril 1988, and the second, which lasted from September of 1989 to August of 1990. As mentioned earlier in this study, before becoming an anthropologist I was relatively well acquainted with some of the processes occurring in the two villages, more so in Blue Mountain than in Green Savannah. During the preliminary fieldwork in 1988 I spent most of my time in the first village, where I developed close ties with several Montaneros, some of whom I knew before my fieldwork. By contrast, during the first research trip, I was not able to make a single Sabanero friend. This difference in rapport was due, on the one hand, to my decision to establish my residence in the first village exclusively, and, on the other hand, to the preliminary nature of the first research trip.

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161 During the first trip, I devoted a significant amount of time explaining to Montaneros my reasons for being there as an anthropologist rather than as a jefe (a boss). At first, many of them did not believe my story. It was hard for them to accept that a person who used to have power, drive official cars with air conditioning, carry a pistol, and so on, was now interested in being there with just a tape recorder, a notebook, and many questions to ask. In a country with such a long tradition of political maneuvers as the Dominican Republic, my presence in Blue Mountain as an anthropologist raised understandable suspicions. I was perceived as a CIA agent, a communist, a priest, an Americano , a scientist, and so on, depending on local stereotypes, my own behavior, and myriad factors I had little, if any, control upon. In 1988, 1 shared a house with a Catholic priest whom I knew from before. With his help, I was able to travel almost daily through the area of study, meet and interview people from rather inaccessible nearby villages, travel several times to Haiti, and receive priceless support for the administration of questionnaires. He introduced me to Montaneros actively involved in community work, particularly in relation to education and health care. My friendship with this segment of the local population was perceived in a suspicious manner by those who labeled my friend as a left wing priest. Fortunately, family ties are locally stronger than political ones, and, with the help of my two best local friends, I was able to reach out to "the other side" of Blue Mountain, meaning the people who at that time were power holders. Overall, during my first trip I was able to interact with representative members of all social groups in the village. In 1988, 1 administered two different questionnaires in Blue Mountain (one hundred twenty to men, eighty to women). I did so with the help of three local school teachers and five high school students, whom I trained in

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162 interviewing techniques for five weeks previous to the actual survey. Those questionnaires (see Appendices 1 and 2) provided me with relevant historical and current information, including changes in production, distribution, and consumption patterns. In the same period, I interviewed with my tape recorder twelve Montanero males aged sixty years or older, two Sabanero men, one who migrated from La Linea, and one born locally. I also interviewed three agronomists who were directly involved in the introduction of sorghum, peanut, and cotton cultivation to the area. Local and national archives were consulted in order to gather information on population, state policies, economic activities, significant historic events such as the 1966 Hurricane Ines, and so on. I developed the habit of recording in my notebook daily events, particularly discursive ones. I accompanied at least ten peasants to their farm plots and ranches individually, which gave me a general idea of local system of classification of the fauna, flora, rain, soils, and so on. Respondents to the questionnaires were selected according to seven criteria: gender, age, place of origin, place of residence, social status, farm size, and time living in the Deep South. The place of residence was more significant in Blue Mountain than in Green Savannah. By this I mean that whereas in the former this variable is direclty related to social status, in the latter one finds wealthy people living in neighborhoods where poor peasants also reside. This difference is partially due to Green Savannah being an official agricultural settlement. Special attention was given to farm size because of its relation to both social status and allocation of land for subistence or market activities. Since my first research trip coincided with the harvest of sorghum (January-March), I paid special attention to recording the difficulties

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163 Montanero peasants were having with the public and private agencies involved in the production and commercialization of the grain. I kept good records of the complaints people had on issues ranging from credit facilities to the quality of the sacks used for packing sorghum. Knowing that I was going to return during the planting season of 1989 (September-November), I recorded the names and the complaints of seven Montaneros who assured me they will not grow sorghum again because of the many difficulties they had to face. During my second and longer field trip, I compared their previous discourse with their actual action, trying to determine consistencies and inconsistencies. A friend of mine kept records of what those seven peasants did since my departure in April of 1988. This longitudinal information helped me to follow through this important aspect of peasant conduct in Blue Mountain. As much as I could, I participated in local activities such as playing basketball with high school students, drinking beer and dancing Dominican merengue (national music) at the bars, going to the cockfights that take place on weekend, and giving a couple of talks to school teachers. Though I did not plan it that way, my interest in photography turned out to be of great help in the presentation of myself and in developing a good rapport with Montaneros as well. During the preliminary field trip I took several hundred pictures using color slides. Some of those pictures I sent back upon returning to Gainesville, which was received as a sign that I had not forgotten the friends I made. During my second trip, I showed some of those pictures to an audience of nearly six-hundred Montaneros who participated in the celebration of the fiestas patronales (annual festivities). Some of the elderly men I photographed and interviewed passed away after my preliminary field

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164 trip, and that made both the pictures I have taken and my taped interviews cultural items well regarded by their relatives and friends. In order to make more accurate my interpretation of the phenomena occurring in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, I decided to pay close attention to processes taking place in a tiny village located between the two sites. This third village, which I fictitiously name The Valley, is located three kilometers away from Blue Mountain, and many of its dwellers are full time fishermen who fish at the nearby lagoon. Houses in The Valley are built on both sides of the main road linking the other two villages. During my two research trips I was able to develop close personal ties with two Valleros, one of whom is a peasant, whereas the other works as a guard at the nearby national park. Many Montaneros have their farms in The Valley, which is located close to the site where Blue Mountain was located at the time Hurricane Ines forced its relocation three miles inland. The information gathered during my first trip provided me with a general view of some of the processes which had taken place in the area in the recent past. Further examination of both ethnographic evidence and historical documents helped me in becoming better acquainted with the history of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. During the nearly sixteen months separating my two trips, I spent a significant amount of time thinking about my first fieldwork experience, and reading work done on issues related to ideology, perception, discourse analysis, symbolism, and the like. My final research design was significantly facilitated by the first research trip as well as by the theoretical and ethnographic studies I had to read as part of my preparation for the qualifying examination I took a few weeks before the second field trip.

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165 When I returned to Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in September of 1989, 1 had the intention of testing the four hypotheses listed below. Though my final interpretation of the phenomena taking place in the two villages is not done as a plain hypothesis-testing exercise, I consider it an act of intellectual integrity to show them exactly as they were formulated in my final research proposal. As my narrative unfolds, I shall mention the serious limitations, flaws, and false assumptions present in my original approach to the understanding and examination of the complex processes we are dealing with here. Hypothesis 1. Different ideological and cultural collective representations of both the physical environment and the larger social order have primarily determined the kind and degree of response to the introduction of hybrid sorghum farming in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Hypothesis 2 . Ideological and cultural collective representations in these two villages are elements of a broader cosmological construction which is shaped by peasants' differential exposure to commodity production, wagelabor, the state, and natural hazards. Hypothesis 3 . In addition to traditional adaptations of resistance and accommodations, peasants have coped with these changes through collective representations to explain the shifts in their mode of production and to express the uneven exchange within the villages and between the villages and the larger social order. These representations are derived from the interaction with both the natural environment and social relations, become part of the culture, and play an ideologically-based social function. For example, in order to express the sharpening and subtle conflicts they are

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166 involved in, peasants use the metaphor saying that life in the two villages is an "underground hurricane" or " un ciclon que camina por debajo ." Hypothesis 4. The changing relations of production accompanying the new articulation of the local economy with external agents have changed and differentiated the mechanisms of surplus extraction in the villages, as well as local distribution of subsistence goods and commodities, division of labor at the household level, and women's access to mechanisms of production, consumption, and reproduction in the two villages. These hypotheses were elaborated on positivist grounds, as may be seen in my usage of the notion of determination. I took too much for granted in formulating these hypotheses, focusing more on measurement than on understanding and interpretation. To be sure, I was also open during my second trip to the suggestion made by Marcus and Fisher (1986) regarding the combination of political economy and interpretive anthropology for examining processes taking place in peasant villages. I do not mean to imply either that their proposal is wrong or that my hypotheses were totally out of focus. Instead, my present position is that what made my original research design insufficient was, on the one hand, that it lacked a theoretical framework which was broad enough to interpret my ethnographic evidence in a non-reductionist way; on the other hand, it placed little or no emphasis on subjectivity, intersubjective relations, the self, ontology, constitution, meaning, and the existential dimension in the life of Montaneros and Sabaneros. In retrospect, I think that my original objectivist attitude toward my subject of study was grounded in my intellectual arrogance. What I mean by this is that I was convinced that, in order to know objectively what was 'really occurring' in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, it was sufficient to have a good method, logically structured hypotheses, and a rather consistent

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167 assemblage of theoretical constructs and definitions. In a way, my attitude, though now more sophisticated, was comparable to the one I had when visiting the two villages by plane nearly six years earlier. I felt 'safe', guarded, protected by my own knowledge. Thus, when just few days upon returning to the field in September of 1989 I witnessed Miguel expecting the rain to plant sorghum and Rafael for growing food, I realized that repeating what I did during my first research trip was not going to take me far enough into the lived experiences of the people I was interacting with. In addition to those initial experiences, I was particularly moved by the mixture of anxiety and hope with which peasants were waiting for the rain as well as by the manner my Montanero friends reported to me the death of two of the elderly men I had interviewed during my first trip. That encounter with people's feelings and emotions made me aware of the limitations in my research design. Partially due to these unexpected existential ingredients, partially to the fact that I was determined to get close to people in their everyday life, I decided not to apply any questionnaires or conduct structured interviews during the first nine months of my fieldwork. Instead, I bought a macuto (basket made of woven palm leaves), put my camera, my notebook and a couple of pens in it, and immersed myself into the everydayness of people I previously treated primarily as land cultivators or informants. I knew that by doing so I was running the risk of having a complete failure as a fact-gatherer, yet I felt that, from an ethical viewpoint, I had no other decent choice to make. What I mean by this is that had I ignored the existential dimension of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' daily lives, I would have acted in an instrumentalist way, showing more interest in gathering data from than in sharing a human experience with locals.

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168 During my second field trip, I became a permanent participant in the activities carried out twice a week by members of the local peasant association named Nuevo Progreso or "la chiquita" (the little one). As frequently as possible, I went out with my friends to their farms, machete in hand, in order to fell the trees, make an habite (defined above), plant yucca, harvest beans, weed out the conucos planted with ten or more crops, and the like. During the harvest season, I worked as a wage earner, a plastic sack tied to my belt and bent over in the fields for long hours, on the nearby cotton plantation, sometimes together with more than a hundred cotton pickers. On the same plantation, I also worked for money, my sharp knife in hand, in picking up the sorghum panicles left over in the fields by the mechanical harvester. With my Montaneros friends I also took long, exhausting hikes in the dry forest, as well as alongside the nearby Caribbean Sea. On several occasions, I went by foot to visit other villages, particularly a fishing site located nearly twenty miles away from Blue Mountain. In that village, I went out into the sea in order to I gvar nasas (lifting fish-traps) against the steady winds, had breakfast of boiled lobsters with a glass of Dominican rum, played dominoes, and talked about the drama and joy of life with people who nearly everyday face the strong, dangerous currents of the Caribbean Sea. I spent from September to December of 1989 living permanently in Blue Mountain, and visiting once in a while Green Savannah. In the first village, I lived by myself in a house lent to me by one of my closest Montanero friends, who did not accept a single penny as a payment. In both places I did all the cooking and house-keeping. I moved to Green Savannah in January of 1990, and stayed there until the end of April. There, I shared the house with a school teacher (who also refused to accept any form of payment from me), and developed close ties with the members of two families of

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169 Sabaneros who migrated from La Linea in the early 1950s. As reported earlier, I had to overcome many obstacles before being accepted by Sabaneros as a buena gente (a good person). For a month, I met a subtle yet firm suspicion which forced me to limit myself to playing dominoes, cooking my food and sharing it with my closest neighbors, washing my clothes in the backyard of my house, and taking pictures until Sabaneros realized that what I had in my macuto was not a pistol but rather a notebook. Because of the proximity of the two villages, having my permanent residence in Green Savannah was not an obstacle to visiting Blue Mountain. In fact, sometimes I spent the morning and early afternoon working with my Montanero friends, and went to the second village in the evening. Overall, during my second field trip I literally lived in the two villages at once. That proved to be the best possible combination. Though most Montaneros and Sabaneros knew what I was doing and became accustomed to my many questions, I decided not to carry my notebook on me all the time. Instead, during the period September 1989-July 1990, 1 participated in the myriad events of everyday life, recording in the evening the details of what I witnessed each day. Sometimes people asked me to write down what they told me, and only in those cases I rushed to record immediately what I had witnessed. My daily notes were very detailed and not exclusively descriptive. I developed the habit of asking myself questions I thought a reader of my dissertation would ask. When time permitted me to do so, I told my closest local friends how I was interpreting the events of everyday life in reference to past events and current projections and expectations I had previously interpreted based on my own observations and their accounts. Often, they disagreed with my interpretation, and I always

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170 recorded their arguments. In a way, I was unknowingly "bracketing" common sense judgments as part of my research habit. Even though the research grant I won was generous enough for me to buy a used motorcycle, I decided to rely completely on the precarious transportation service available in the area. That helped me in getting closer to Montaneros and Sabaneros, who often have to wait for three or more hours in order to take an old vehicle that may fall apart at any moment down the road. As most people in the area do, I also became a permanent hitchhiker of public and private vehicles, ranging from agricultural tractors to the huge trucks working on the pavement of the main road at that time (1990). As far as sharing the hardships of daily life, one of the most difficult decisions I made was not to purchase water. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, there was no running water in either village, and one way of getting it was by paying the equivalent of one U.S. dollar for fifty-five gallons of relatively clean water sold daily by a non-local merchant. Though sometimes I did not have water to take a shower, the fact that I did not buy water was a good way of making friends and putting myself at the level of most locals who cannot afford purchasing it. I only bought water five times during my fieldwork, and in all occasions I shared at least half of it with my next door neighbor, who is a single mother with two children. I still remember vividly my anxiety while awaiting for the rain to come late in the evening, my fifty-gallon metal container placed on a strategic and exact point aside my little cement house, ready to gather the jets of usually dirty water running down from the roof. It was not without testing my endurance that locals accepted my presence in their daily activities. In both villages I was tested not only on my resistance to the lack of water, month-long blackouts, steady dust, and blazing sun. Montaneros and Sabaneros alike also tested my loyalty, physical

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171 endurance, and alcohol tolerance. For instance, a Sabanero who knew how precious his knowledge was for my study kept postponing for nearly a month having a long conversation with me. One Sunday, when I had almost given up trying, he invited me to talk over a couple of beers at a local bar. Contrary to my suggestion to sit down inside the bar, he insisted that we should drink outside, facing the street. After drinking nearly eighteen large bottles of beer, and having lost my sense of reality, he was the one asking me questions. Another test I had to pass was showing my capability to walk for a whole day in the dry forest without drinking water at all, or drinking only the dirty water accumulated in the pozas (small natural water pools) scattered throughout the area, the same places from where wandering animals drink. 6 Usually those water holes contain young tadpoles as well as livestock excreta. In July of 1990, a month before my fieldwork ended, I administered in Green Savannah a modified version of the two questionnaires I had previously administered in Blue Mountain. In addition to this, I administered a new questionnaire (see Appendix 2) aimed at gathering information related to people's perception of themselves, others, and society at large m reference to the "ideal types" prescribed by their culture-laden values, norms, and beliefs. The questionnaire was the same for women and men of the two villages. Questionnaires were pretested on all occasions. In both places, I received the assistance of locals who did not accept any payment from me. It was only in Green Savannah that I paid a local women who helped me in administering the last questionnaire to local women. During f Bein g able to cope with the lack of water is part of the local ethos One often hears Montaneros and Sabaneros (particularly the latter) saying proudly that ^ f ° r ^ d3y GXpreSSi0n " Yo ™ tengo whikT ' inM th ™ forest* -taphoricall^ans Ratine

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172 the same period, I interviewed other Montaneros and Sabaneros. A female friend of mine from Blue Mountain assisted me in interviewing five women from Blue Mountain and four from Green Savannah. Altogether, I was able to tape forty interviews in the two villages. Since national elections were held in the Dominican Republic during my fieldwork (May 16, 1990), I had the opportunity to carefully document the manifold ways Montaneros and Sabaneros alike deal with national, regional, and local politics. Fortunately, I had access to all the details of the elections because of my friendship with the officers at the local Junta Central Electoral (election council) in Blue Mountain. Though I could had cast my vote locally, I decided not to vote in order to avoid questions regarding my political beliefs. That "neutral" attitude facilitated my freedom of movement across the usually aggressive political groups in the Dominican Republic. In both towns most people knew of my close friendship with one of the candidates for the vice-presidency at the national level, as well as with a local candidate for deputy ( diputado) for a different party. 7 Only twice I was openly asked for my political preferences. In addition to these and other relevant activities carried out in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, I visited The Valley at least one a week. As mentioned earlier, I developed close ties with two Valleros (people from The Valley) with one of whom I went several times to work on his farm. After I left the area, I spent nearly a week in the town of Santiago Rodriguez, located m La Linea, the geographic area where most Sabaneros came from (see Figure peri STnStoS “for tL“on°of cuCaont ° f SM8hUm

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173 1). I had previously visited that region at least on seven occasions, while working for the Dominican National Park Service and the Ministry of Agriculture. During my four-day visit in August of 1990, 1 limited myself to gather general information on historic and current events. Fortunately, in Santiago Rodriguez I met a local young man who had just finished writing a book on the history of the area. He helped me to put in context some of the ethnographic evidence I gathered in my interaction with Sabaneros. Beside my direct contacts with people from La Linea, my knowledge of that region was greatly facilitated by the work done by Gustavo Antonini (1968), Eugenia Georges (1990), and Gerald Murray (1968, 1970). Antonini's work has been an excellent source of historical data, Georges's dissertation has helped me understand better important processes described to me by Sabaneros who came from the area she studied, and Murray's ethnographies have also helped me to verify some of my findings; at least five families now living in Green Savannah are originally from the area he studied nearly twenty years ago. I was able to collect all information on La Linea's physical environment needed for this study. The same applies to the Deep South. Because I have the intention to eventually return to Blue Mountain and Green Savannah in order to document how modernization has affected the quality of life in the two villages, during my first field trip I asked a professional nutritionist from Belgium to share with me her data on the nutritional status in the area of study. She did anthropometric measurement of the infant population under five years. The data she gathered represent the baseline for further analysis of the nutritional impact of sorghum cultivation. In this dissertation I do not discuss such findings. In summary, I think my interpretation of the processes taking place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah is based on reliable sources of

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174 information. My narrative provides sufficient evidence as to satisfy the canons of testability and verifiability of all scientific work. Once again, my aim is not to provide either a parsimonious or a definitive interpretation of the phenomena discussed in this study. Instead, what is discussed in this study remains as a temporary interpretation. With regard to my style of exposition (narrative and regressiveprogressive), in the following two chapters I will proceed as follows: First, I characterize Montaneros and Sabaneros as dwellers of a social space, which means looking at their identity, ethos, and relation to "the other." Second, I describe the salient physical and socio-demographic features of El Cibao and El Sur, in relation to the country at large. Finally, I describe and interpret the myriad processes conditioning the genealogy (or constitution) of Montaneros and Sabaneros in time and space. A similar style of exposition is used in Chapters 6 and 7. In this chapter I have discussed the theoretical, epistemological, methodological, and ethical implications of my usage of phenomenology for the study of peasant ideology in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. I have also explained the manner in which the data used in this study were gathered. Finally, I described how I related to Montaneros and Sabaneros during my fieldwork.

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CHAPTER 4 THE CIBAENOS Northern Sabaneros' ideological response to the official claim for modernization is embedded, among other existential elements, in a deeprooted, nonmonolithic cultural heritage known as cibaena culture or the culture of Cibaenos. Cibaenos are the dwellers of the Cibao, the geographic area which embodies most of northern Dominican Republic. A key component of a larger cultural dynamics simultaneously conditioning sociocultural integration and socioeconomic differentiation, the cibaena culture directly permeates El Cibao, La Linea (from where most northern Sabaneros migrated to the south), and La Sierra (a conterminous highland closely related to the two previous regions). Under the influence of interconnected historical processes, these three otherwise different geographic regions have become the constituents of a distinctive social space whose uniqueness is acknowledged by insiders and outsiders alike. Notorious among these historical processes are Spain's domination over Hispaniola, the objective, subjective and intersubjective phenomena inherent to the formation of the republic as a nation-state as well as a symbolically-bonded community, the genesis and nonrhythmic development of capitalism in the whole island and elsewhere in the Caribbean Archipelago, as well as the direct and indirect consequences of the two U.S. military occupations of the Dominican Republic, among others. This chapter consists of three interconnected sections. The first is a description and interpretation of Cibaenos' ethos and their cultural and 175

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176 ethnic identity in relation to their existential "other." The second section looks at some the geographic, ecological, and socio-demographic features of the northern region against the national background. Finally, section three is a reconstruction of the constitution of Cibaenos in time and space as it relates to the processes of regionalization and national integration taking place in the republic at large. This sketch shall assist us in the following manner: first, to place the cibaena culture in a time-space context; second, to situate Cibaenos' migration to the south against a clearer socioeconomic background; third, to understand and interpret the interconnected objective, subjective, and intersubjective processes accompanying the first meeting of Cibaenos and Surenos in the Deep South in the mid-1950s; finally, this diachronic survey shall help us in setting the stage for a comparative interpretation of Sabaneros' and Montaneros' idiosyncratic praxes while facing sorghum cultivation in particular, and loss, gain, and change in general, during the period 1958-1990. The People: El Cibao, La Linea, La Sierra Cibaenos dwell in a land of plenty, a national emblem of prosperity and development. That, at least, is the perception they have of their place of origin. They are proud of being related to this symbol of bonanza. The nonCibaenos' challenge to such a claim notwithstanding, it is fair to say that admiration for El Cibao's material wealth is pervasive in the republic at large. Cibaenos are proud of their peasant heritage as well. It is indeed a belief shared by most Dominicans that it was here, in this valley explored and declared Spain's property by Columbus during his second voyage, that the hard work of mostly small land cultivators began forging the Dominican peasantry nearly three centuries ago. In the folk model of natural abundance and fertility, El Cibao is an indubitable signifier. The same holds true for

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177 outsiders of all sorts. For instance, while surveying more than a century ago the then mostly uncultivated Dominican countryside. Hazard (1872), an American geographer and developer, was struck by the unusual agricultural development of this area. He enthusiastically referred to Santiago, the regional capital, as "a prominent town" (1872:320). A highly active economic center then as now, El Cibao has been the epicenter of major economic, political, and religious events throughout Dominican history. To name but a few, it is worth noticing that the spread of Catholicism in the Caribbean took a firm hold in El Cibao as early as 1494, when northern Tainos witnessed new religious symbols, political claims, and economic duties being imposed upon them by the Spaniards (see Pane 1988). It was also here that the first road in Hispaniola was built in early sixteenth century, linking the northern valley to the Atlantic seaport of Puerto Plata (see Lamb 1956). Similarly, this was the land on which the first Dominican railroad was built by British entrepreneurs in late nineteenth century, joining Santiago and Samana, at that time two major northern commercial poles (see Van Royen 1935). Likewise, the region housed for the first time the still growing, highly profitable tobacco industry that began operating nearly two centuries ago. It is worth highlighting that, in addition to making a significant contribution to the regional economy, the northern tobacco growers sustaining this prosperous industry were also key actors in the Guerra de Restauracion or War of Restoration (1861-1865), the war fought against Spain in order to restore national independence (see Moya Pons 1981). Regional pride has in this war of independence one of its major footings. The construction of irrigation canals in El Cibao's western section during the early years of the twentieth century served as an indelible marker of the region's quasi-predestined progress. Magnificent churches, impressive steel bridges.

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178 quasi-holy agricultural schools, colossal hydroelectric dams, sophisticated rum distilleries, speedy rice mills, a large baseball stadium, even an underground tunnel crossing through a lower section of the nearby Septentrional Cordillera, all have been built here as unmistakable signs of growth and modernization. So important has the Cibao been in the republic's history, that its images of unlimited prosperity and undisturbed growth compete even with the powerful symbol of modernity currently represented by Santo Domingo, the national capital. To the often-heard saying that "it's in the capital that cheques are made," Cibaenos respond that " en el Cibao es que esta Dios " ("it's in El Cibao that God is"). When religious metaphors such as this one are insufficient signifiers in their relationships to "the other," Cibaenos recur to a less arguable discourse: "It's in El Cibao that food is produced." The circumstance that the vast majority of the fifty-one Dominican presidents and national rulers have been Cibaenos reinforces this rather undisputable appearance of abundance and power. A source of regional pride, this identification with a noble heritage takes also the form of a sense of honor when it comes to matters of justice and dignity, personal or otherwise. This is evident in the way Cibaenos talk about their participation in the assassination of the two most controversial national dictators: Ulises Heureaux (Lilis), shot in 1899 by a Cibaeno, and Rafael L. Trujillo (1930-1961), in whose spectacular and history-making killing several Cibaenos participated. The ultimate emblem of such a strong regional pride is its central city, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santiago of the Gentlemen, originally built in 1504. An explicit racial (and racist) overtone usually accompanies the claim made by Cibaenos regarding El Cibao's appearance of unlimited progress. Indeed, although a wide range of racial categories is found across the republic.

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179 most Cibaenos are ardent defenders of their distance from the cultural symbols of blackness and backwardness: skin color, hair pattern, food habits, religious beliefs, work ethic, knowledge, honor, and so on. “To think white," Antonini (1968:151) indicates, in my view correctly, has been a distinctive identity marker for northern dwellers since the early stages of Dominican history. While travelling across the area Hazard reported that “the people with whom we had stopped were more than usually intelligent. Both the man and the woman were mulattoes or natives, though they claimed to be white " (1872:341; my stress). When added to the claim for and belief in the genetic closeness to European descent and the separateness from African roots made in daily life by most Cibaenos, this emotion-laden emphasis on the racial “otherness" may be characterized, in Weberian terms, as a marker of common ethnicity. Accurate as this formulation may be for the construction of ideal types, I take with some reservation its usage as an analytical tool for interpreting the ambiguities involved in the manifold intersubjective processes of everyday life in the Dominican Republic. Let me briefly discuss Weber's important views on this issue before dealing in more detail with ethnicity in historical and ethnographic terms. The Weber definition of common ethnicity, I hasten to say, is not restricted to skin color. His characterization of ethnic groups as "human groups that entertain a subjective belief in their common descent; this belief is important for the continuation of nonkinship communal relationships (cf. Parsons et al. 1961:1:305-309) certainly goes beyond the construction of ideal types. It also pays attention to "some historical accident" (p.305), “the perceptive differences in the conduct of everyday life" (p. 307) as well as issues of language, ethos, honor, dignity, the sense of being chosen to fulfill a mission, and so on. His acute observations on this subject matter are, in my

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180 view, still valid. A fruitful application of Weber's insightful scheme to our interpretation of Sabaneros' genealogy may be achieved, I think, by relating it to Lefebvre's notion of a fabricated social space and Dilthey's concept of lifenexus (discussed above). In the third section of this chapter I will attempt such a conceptual juxtaposition. Let us now continue our characterization of the cibaena culture. The "black Other" in the Dominican Republic is a multifaceted construction not limited to skin color or nationality as such. Language, territoriality, class, values, feelings and culture-laden ideal signifiers also mediate Dominicans' perception of ourselves and the others. It is an existential phenomenon embedded in myriad historical processes whose roots go back to the pre-Columbian diversity of the Caribbean. Crucial in this social construction of the Dominican ethnic map is the long-lasting repercussions of the elimination of Hispaniola's indigenous Taino population. One such ramification, namely the import of African slaves and its role in the constitution of the Republic of Haiti, is a central constitutive factor of Cibaenos' racial consciousness. A full examination of such a vast theme is beyond the limits of this study. What requires our attention instead is the interplay of blackness and otherness in El Cibao against the background of a social space constructed by objective, subjective, and intersubjective processes. One of these processes, namely immigration, has made possible the signification between "native" blacks and "other blacks." Let me qualify this assertion in the following way. Black Dominicans are primarily of four sorts: first, the Cocolos or descendents of the English-speaking Caribbean workers who migrated to work first in the railroad (in the late 1800 s) and later ( 1920 s and 1930 s) in the fast-growing sugar cane industry concentrated in the country's southeast;

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181 second, the descendents of free black Americans brought from Philadelphia to Samana Bay, Puerto Plata and Santiago during the second Haitian occupation (1822-1844); third, Haitians and their Dominican-born descendents, whose legal status is both a matter of permanent controversy and an excuse for the violation of their human rights, particularly on the sugar cane plantations where their labor is vital (see Baez Evertsz 1986a); fourth, Dominicans of dark complexion whose roots are more directly related to the long-lived hybridization of Tainos, African slaves, Europeans, and other populations (see Del Castillo 1979; Hoetink 1985:37-74; Nunez 1990). Most likely, members of the latter group will claim a racial distance from the previous ones. Although blackness may be attributed to all four groups, so my argument goes, the strongest "anti-black" feeling held by those Dominicans who "think white" is focused primarily upon Haitians and their descendents. The following ethnographic example will shed some light upon Cibaenos' attitude toward "the black Other." A 42-year-old northern Sabanero at the time of my fieldwork, Luis worked for the government at Green Savannah and peripheral villages. His job was important for all Sabaneros as well as a source of prestige for himself: he was involved in the distribution of water, a scarce resource there. We will recall that as of 1990 there was no running water in my area of study. Luis did everything possible to let people know that he was a Cibaeno. One day I heard him making some unpleasant remarks about " esos negros " ("those blacks"). I was surprised to see that happening, particularly because Luis' complexion is rather dark. My surprise grew greater when I saw him being particularly friendly with me, a black person, as well as with other local dwellers who, in my view, were also of black complexion. Trying to solve the puzzle, I asked Luis whether he perceived himself as a white person. "I am of French

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182 descendent," he said raising his voice. "Look at my hair/' he continued, "see? It is pelo bueno [straight hear]." His hair, indeed, was dark and straight instead of curly. Further, his surname sounds like French. "What about me?," I asked him with great curiosity and uneasiness. "You aren't black; you are indio [Indian]," said Luis, surprised by my question, and adding the apparently ultimate marker of racial classification. "Look at your hair; it isn't pelo malo (bad, curly hair)," he concluded. To make a long story short, we ended up realizing that in our cedulas (identification cards) both of us had the word indio written on the space indicating our racial category. Thus, in that context, Luis, a Cibaeno who claimed being of French descent, and I, a person who has learned to "think black" through my experience in the U.S., were neither blacks nor whites. What, then, is the meaning of LuisÂ’ "anti-black" remark? What does it tell us about the cibaena culture in particular? The negroes Luis was referring to were only the Haitians who live in Green Savannah, to be sure not all of them. In fact, he had close ties with some Haitian dwellers with whom he played dominoes, drank alcohol, and hung out on a regular basis. Those friends of his were better off, closer to his social status, than the ones he was somehow anathematizing. Why, then, Haitians? Why "esos negros"? Why indio in our official identification? Further, why so much emphasis on hair patterns? An accurate interpretation of the above questions will be possible, I think, only after a yet to be done deep study on racial consciousness and ideology in the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, I would like to speculate that, in addition to the presence of Haiti in Dominican history, the absence of the Taino population has played a significant role in the genesis and development of both cultural identity and ethnicity in the republic at large and El Cibao in particular. We will recall my early description of Montaneros'

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183 and Sabaneros' belief in the presence of indios who live underwater in the nearby caves. I still remember the emphasis respondents put on the indios' "long, beautiful hair" and their "clean, beautiful faces." An interesting account of the pervasiveness of a similar belief in the highland of La Sierra and La Linea is provided by Juan B. Perez (1972:169-72). Perez, an assiduous researcher of the area during the 1920s and 1930s, met several Cibaenos, serranos (people from La Sierra) and linieros (people from La Linea) who assured him that they had heard invisible indios laughing in the wilderness of the then barely explored Cordillera Central. The myth was narrated to him by dwellers of light complexion, certainly Dominican peasants of European descent who at that time peopled part of the cordillera. Perceptive as he was, Perez also documented the presence of what he termed "absorbent imperialist temperament" (p.172) among his informants. He made such a rather extreme characterization after a Cibaeno with "big blue eyes" told him that perhaps the violent elimination of the Tainos was God's deed so that there were "space for us" (ibid.). A retention of a Calvinist belief in "the chosen people"? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. The event, I think, is relevant for the task at hand. Incidentally, Perez himself was a Cibaeno of European descent, that is, related by blood to immigrants from the Canary Islands. What the above phenomena mirrors, so my argument goes, is an aborted, ambiguous utopia functioning as a racially-based ideology in El Cibao and perhaps elsewhere in the country. It is the presence of the past in daily life. Yet it is a past working also as future. Formed by the interplay of the lost paradise represented by the disappeared Taino civilization on the one hand and, on the other hand, the ideal signifier of the European notion of progress (spiritual and material alike), this ideology of racism becomes a source of self-

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184 identity, a sustainer of ontic and ontological security when Dominicans encounter "the other." The cibaena culture involves more than an alert attitude toward the societal phenomena we have just described. It also embodies linguistic and ethnic specificities which are closely interwoven with the category of the person, the self, and concomitant ideal signifiers such as a good community and a good society. These norms, so my argument goes, are embedded in a regional ethos that has sociolinguistic, cosmological, and existential dimensions. In El Cibao and elsewhere, ethnicity and language interplay in a context of mutual signification. To a great extent, ethnicity is produced alongside the "racialization of language and the verbalization of race" (Balibar 1992:104). Yet, paraphrasing the convincing argument advanced by Quinn and Holland, verbalizations belong to the realm of action as well as to world of the self; they also involve an intentional act aimed at constructing "a shared model of the good person for whom one wishes to be taken" (1987:7). Further, as Gumperz adequately points out, both speech communities and discourse strategies are based on the premise that "speaking is interacting" (1987:29). In speaking and doing, the "I" and "the Other" are mutually signified. The statement made by Mauss in 1938 summarizes the point I am trying to make at present. "There has never being a human being," he said, "who has not been aware, not only of his body, but also at the same time of his individuality, both spiritual and physical" (cf. Carrithers et al. 1991:3). In order to place in a broader existential context the way Sabaneros engaged with sorghum cultivation and faced the preservation or abandonment of their long-lived system of production during the 1958-1990 period, my next task is to describe and interpret four interconnected spheres (or existential forms) of the regional ethos of honor. I will pursue this goal

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185 using my direct observation and the contribution of other Dominican scholars who have interacted with Cibaenos. While doing this characterization, it is important to bear in mind that we are dealing here with ideal types primarily referred to the ethos of those Cibaenos born before the 1960s, when the Dominican Republic experienced profound socioeconomic, political, and cultural transformations. I acknowledge that in real life these ideal types are modified by myriad phenomena involving gender, generation, and class identities, among other phenomena. Those existential forms are: self-respect, fairness, faith-compassion, and involvement. Self-respect For most Cibaenos belonging to the generation I am referring to at present, one's command of respect from "the other" is closely interwoven with one's self-respect. This awareness of the role of others' recognition in one's authentic existence takes myriad forms we are unable to fully explore here. For the task at hand, let us first look at two crucial ramifications of this notion of respect (one ontic, the other ontological), and then relate both of them to the concept of ideology as such. The first refers to food security; the second relates to a person's respect for his or her word. Being able to gain security by cultivating part of the food one consumes is a crucial ontic dimension of Cibaenos' self-respect. Throughout my nearly two decades of direct contact with peasants from El Cibao, I have seen them (men and women alike) simultaneously modernizing a portion of their farms and struggling to preserve the conuco where food for self-consumption is grown. In some cases, as we will see occurring in Green Savannah (Chapter 7), such a concern for food security leads Cibaeno peasants to radically reject modernization. It is not uncommon to see them acting out a peer pressure upon those who neglect providing their families with the foodstuffs they eat

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186 on a regular basis (e.g., yucca, sweet potato, beans of all sorts, and plantain). Notwithstanding the 'materialist' elements of this attitude toward food security, in my view such an instrumental concern is accompanied by an existential care (in Heidegger's terms, discussed above) about the meaning of farming in one's self-identity as well as in the others' recognition of one's value as a human being. Let me illustrate my argument by looking at what I was told by one Sabanero regarding sorghum cultivation. We will recall the claim made by Julio and other Sabaneros in the introduction to this narrative regarding their belief that a "good" peasant ought to grow food bearing in mind the well-being of his or her family. Rather than a claim for autarky, they were arguing for the adoption of a "to defend ourselves" (Isbell 1978) sort of attitude while facing the ambiguities inherent in the market as well as the risk intrinsic to farming. Likewise, they indicated that one's presence in the countryside or campo (as a social space) makes sense as long as one is able not only to produce for the market but also to have what Julio called "one's hold in life." The meaning of this cultural norm in the present context is that a Cibaeno peasant of this particular generation would likely feel ashamed if he or she is unable to have in the conuco some food to eat. Hence, failing to be a "good" peasant in the conuco is synonymous of having no respect for yourself. Placing this ideal notion of self-respect on more "realist" grounds, I think it is fair to say that the cibaena culture is deeply grounded in this shared value of protecting the family's well-being while taking advantage of the market whenever possible, and being creative in dealing with nature and the larger society as well. Combining the two is not an easy task to achieve by peasants. It requires knowledge, phronesis, persistency and, above all, imagination and flexibility.

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187 Let us now turn to the second dimension of self-respect, namely one's respect for one's word. Jimenez (1975:45), an exceptional witness of peasants' lived experience and gathered wisdom, argues that, in order to understand the Cibaeno ethos, one needs to pay attention to the notion of " juramento " (literally meaning promise or oath). In his view, what a Cibaeno peasant condemns more severely is not whether one says a lie or not, but rather that one recurs to " iurar en vano " (to make an oath in vain) in order to justify his or her fabrication. Keeping in mind that Jimenez constructed this "ideal type" based upon first-hand information he personally collected in the early twentieth century, I think his interpretation is accurate. From my personal experience with northern peasants, I would say that the expression " hablar por hablar " is another core discursive marker in their behavior. When used by Cibaenos, this phrase, which I freely translate as "to talk in vain" (literally, "talking for the sake of talking"), may be interpreted in two forms: first, it means that a serious person should remain silent unless he or she has something significant to say; second, it prescribes that one must honor his or her word. The insights into this matter provided by Roque Adames (1975:8) based on his work among peasants from La Sierra, tend to confirm the existence of this persona among Cibaenos. I find both appealing and well-grounded his argument that the peasant of this area is " el hombre de los largos silencios " ("the man of long silences"). This respect for one's words, however, should not be interpreted as a dislike of verbal communication. Rather, it is a sense of honor that is at work here. Being talkative is not an uncommon trait among Cibaenos. The aforementioned features of the cibaena culture play a crucial role in the way northern dwellers' behavior is perceived by outsiders. "When a

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188 Cibaeno peasant tells you to wait for him at his conuco at a specific time/' says Jorge, the agronomist directly involved in the promotion of sorghum in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, "you can count on his presence, even if it is early in the morning." Jorge contrasts this behavior with that of Surenos (Southerners). In his view, southern peasants hardly ever are punctual. This assertion, however, does not imply that Surenos are lazy people. "They just value the time differently from," he concludes. We shall see in Chapters 6 and 7 how this valuation of time plays a crucial ideological function for Sabaneros. Notwithstanding the apparent rigidity in Cibaenos' outlook depicted by the above account, I hasten to say that flexibility is also a characteristic of most northern Sabaneros. This is clearly discernible from the " hombre de loma v de llano " ("a man from both the slope and the plain") metaphor one often hears in Green Savannah. When northern Sabaneros use this metaphor, they mean a "rounded" person who is able to perform equally well at different and somewhat contrasting levels of her social roles, say farming and fishing. Likewise, this metaphor means that a person should be flexible and creative while facing the ambiguities of life. A key discursive and ideological marker for Sabaneros, this metaphor reflects their culturally rich, ingenious common-sense philosophy of living. I realized the meaning and significance of this almost by accident. It happened in Green Savannah, the day my neighbors saw me, sweating and with dirty hands, mending the fence of my house. They, who had not seen me before doing a "real work," came immediately to help me out with the task. On that day I was defined by "my other as a 'hombre de loma y de llano," a whole, flexible person. From then on, Sabaneros were friendlier with me. I also felt they respected me more thereafter. The hombre de llano y de loma " metaphor illustrates how useful

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189 the Mauss statement is for our interpretation of Sabaneros' self-identity. In the section below I will elaborate on some historical events relevant to Cibaenos' awareness of their bodies as constitutive elements of both the public sphere and their ontic and ontological security. Fairness Actions that are legal and those that are fair belong to different dimensions of Cibaenos' worldview. Generally speaking, most Cibaeno peasants I interacted with both in the Deep South and El Cibao had an overt disbelief in the former and deep-rooted appreciation for the latter. Perhaps because of their previous experience with structured forms of political and economic power, which will be outlined in the third section of this chapter, Sabaneros from El Cibao seem to be skeptical (rather than afraid) of the legal system. They make a distinction between "the government" (" el gobierno ") which in concrete terms means the public agencies dealing with services and politics (e.g., road construction, production, and elections), and the judicial system (" la justicia ") or the public agencies involved in law enforcement. Whereas in general they try to manipulate the former from within, getting closer to rather than avoiding it, they make everything possible to move away from the latter. In contradistinction to this attitude toward la justicia. northern Sabaneros express in daily life their trust in the fairness of those with whom they are able to interact face to face, including some government officers. According to my interpretation, what this conduct expresses is Cibaenos' total confidence in their ability to know a person's inner self by paying close attention to his or her behavior in specific circumstance, e.g., working, dealing with women and children, using money, and even apparently trivial things such as walking. For instance, one often hears Cibaenos saying that

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190 they can tell a person's seriousness by just looking at the way he carries himself while drinking a cup of coffee, using certain farm tools (e.g., machete, and axe), and the like. Once a person is "tested" in daily life, Cibaenos expect him to be fair. In that context, fairness means primarily to respect other people's honor. It is precisely because of such a unique regard for fairness that its violation by either insiders or outsiders usually provokes extreme outrage in northern Dominicans. Let me illustrate my position by looking at an incident involving agronomist Jorge and Octavio, a northern Sabanero. In 1977, the Dominican swine industry was hit by one of its severest enemies: swine fever, locally known as " fiebre porcina africana ." The drastic elimination of all hogs (wild and tamed alike) was carried out by public employees, including military personnel. Peasants, for whom hogs function as a money box for tough times, did everything possible to protect this crucial buffer. Some of them took their puercos (pigs) to remote places in the nearby common lands. Caves were favorite places for such a desperate effort. Even latrines were used by peasants to protect their priceless commodity. Realizing that it was pointless to keep running around "like a pig," Octavio decided to kill the last hog he had. "I said to myself," he told me with anger in his voice, "that it was better to eat my animal myself rather than let someone else consume what I had worked so hard for." While water was boiling at his rustic fogon (rustic stove placed on the ground), 1 an official patrol led by Jorge came, killing the hog of my friend. At Octavio's house, the pork meat was not eaten. In his view, his honor was violated by Jorge. He felt, 1 Dominican peasants kill tamed hogs following three steps: first, hitting them on the head with a heavy wooden stick or a metal bar; second, stabbing them with sharp knife pointing at the hog's heart; third, shaving the body using hot water and a knife as a razor. The fogon is built placing three stones on the bare ground. Wood is the only fuel.

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191 then as now, raped. More than ten years since that event took place, Octavio's opinion is that "Jorge is not a serious man. He did not take into account that there was a man living in this house. He abused his power." To make sure that he will never again cross a word with Jorge, Octavio concluded his passionate complain saying his juramento : " Usted puede jurar que ese hombre v vo no seremos nunca amigos " ("You can be sure that that man and I will never be friends"). In the "public transcript" (Scott 1990) of daily life at Green Savannah, this sense of honor is expressed in more ambiguous terms. This behavior is in accord with Medina's assessment of serranos' character. He said that though dwellers of Santiago Rodriguez and Moncion are hospitable and amiable, they may turn "irascible and obstinate" (1922:238-39) when their sense of honor is challenged. This appreciation for fairness and the extreme reaction that its infraction causes among northern Sabaneros, place them in a particularly difficult situation when it comes to deal with the state. What I mean by this is that though ultimately the "state apparatus" (Althusser) works through concrete human beings, under specific circumstances some of its structures may have a life of their own. Hence, even if one "knows" the people representing the state, say an agronomist, it does not follows that just because of that one is able to "work out" a particular unfair situation that goes beyond the intention of the state representative. Taking this argument to the domain of ideology proper, while the ethos of fairness gives Sabaneros a sense of ontological security while dealing with "the other," it may as well activate a feeling of vulnerability. As we will see in subsequent chapters of this narrative (particularly in Chapter 7), Sabaneros attempt to gain control of such an ambiguous situation by converting their engagement with impersonal structures into what they term "an exchange between humans."

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192 Compassion-faith This double existential form is primarily related to faith in the divinities and compassion with other human beings. As the previous ones, this dimension of Cibaenos' ethos depicts the ambiguities of human existence. To begin with, for most Cibaenos (in contrast to most Surenos I know of), being a "pure" Catholic is something one ought to be proud of. At times, it is also a matter of personal honor. Not being baptized, for instance, is for them a stigma. A more relaxed attitude is adopted regarding " casarse por la iglesia " ("getting married by the church"). All in all, in the public sphere of their life. Catholic beliefs and practices are accepted as the "good" ones. Nevertheless, in the privacy of their homes, while facing a serious difficulty to solve which " todos los poderes " ("all powers") are useful, one may find a convinced Catholic northern Sabanero putting a cross-cut lemon near his bed or a plant of aloe behind her door. He or she may do that upon returning from church on Sunday afternoon. When remorsefulness arises for such a violation of religious norms, the expression "God shall forgive me" helps to reach inner peace. The highly syncretic religious outlook of Cibaenos is a mirror image of the republic's cultural diversity. Here, Taino beliefs are found mixed with European and African ones, whereas Roman Catholic and Calvinist values are acted out in nonconflicting manner, closely interwoven with voodoo, santeria 2 and endless folk interpretations of all these traditions. At Green Savannah, for instance, it is likely that a Cibaeno will vehemently 2 Santeria is a syncretic religious outlook encompassing African, European, and indigenous Caribbean deities. Though somewhat similar to Haitian voodoo, it takes distinctive manifestations in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Some people call it " mesa blanca " ("white table") and " bruieria " (witchcraft). Santeria rituals resemble some of those performed by people of the Yoruba (Nago) cultures in Africa.

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193 negate that he went to consult with a " bruja " (witch) at San Juan de La Maguana, a southern site well-known for its long-lived tradition of witchcraft. He may admit that he "did a favor" of making such a trip to help out a friend of his who needed some companion to see a " curandera " (a softer expression for witch). To my surprise, I found that for northern Sabaneros, particularly those who migrated from the vicinity of Cordillera Central, biblical prophesies are essential in their daily-life behavior as Catholics. Three closely interrelated elements of this phenomenon are worth noticing: first, the notion that a good Catholic must respect and not being afraid of "God's ire" (" la ira de Dios "): second, the belief that a good person should be generous with other people, particularly with those who suffer from hunger or are sick or too old to take good care of themselves; third, the anticipation of natural disasters as a manifestation of God's punishment of human sins. The following story will shed some light on this topic. "Well, like war, conflicts between countries," is the response given by Leonor, a Sabanera who migrated from Santiago Rodriguez in the mid-1950s, when asked about her biggest fear. "One should not be afraid of God's ire," she continued with both resignation and pride clearly discernible from her body language, "because He has nourished us and He also will take our lives away from us; let us accept His will." Rather than evolving into a fatalist worldview, however, this certainty regarding God's power over one's life leads Leonor to assume an attitude of personal dignity, solidarity with "the other, and hard work as a woman who has done "all sorts of work with my hands. For her, a good person is known by her attitude toward those in need of help, material or otherwise. In her view, the neighboring Montaneros lack compassion for hungry people. She even thinks that God should make some

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194 form of " ejemplo " (exemplary punishment) to those who are not compassionate with others. In order to illustrate her ethical argument, she told me one day the following event that occurred once in her native village, near Santiago Rodriguez. "When I was young," Leonor, now 58, said with a look of ingenuity on her rounded, light face, "there was this old, poor man who came to a house in my village at a time when people were about to have lunch. The dwellers of the house, having no intention to share their food with the stranger, did not eat until he, saying nothing, asking nothing, left for an unknown destination. Glad that the unfamiliar man had left, they began eating their abundant food. To their astonishment, as they ate, their plates became full of new food instead of empty. Their original surprise turned into fear and guilt when they realized that the old man they had rejected was God's messenger. Afraid of God's ire, they ran out trying to find the old man and give him food. It was too late. He had disappeared." It is greatly based on this sort of religious-laden worldview that most Cibaenos, both in the north and the south, do everything possible to share with you the meal they are about to eat. Personally, I have seen this behavior even among poor Cibaeno peasants. In ideological terms, this existential form provides northern Sabaneros with a notably strong foundation for their enactment of solidarity beyond pure instrumental considerations such as labor pooling (locally known as juntas) for farming and other productive activities. For instance, during the 1990 presidential elections several Sabaneros were faced with the dilemma of expressing their disagreement with the government on the one hand, and on the other not challenging the power holders who decided who was going to receive one of the thirty-nine new houses to be given away by the government, at no cost to the beneficiaries. Of course, "the government"

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195 decided not to assign the houses until the elections were over, so that locals were forced to vote for the ruling party. When Sabaneros saw that such a manipulation of power was a concrete possibility, they acted out their solidarity in two forms. First, they asked their friends and relatives (with not regard for political bents) to avoid organizing political rallies in town so that locals did not have to take sides. Second, when those expecting to receive a house needed to hide their anti-goverment feeling and show support for the official candidates, most locals did not blame them. They just said: "That is OK; we know they have to survive." Involvement The final existential form of the Cibaeno ethos I witnessed in Green Savannah refers to a twofold cultural construction. First is that one's actions have a direct impact upon one's entire location (in Heideggerian terms, discussed above), to the point of creating social and natural calamities. Second is that one should be able to reach out others at the level of feelings. For the lack of a better word, I chose the notion of "involvement" to indicate that rather that seeing themselves separated from their surroundings, most Cibaenos a met in the Deep South seem to acknowledge (and value) their lifenexus (Dilthey) with the others. In my view, this is an indication of a folk model of social ontology. As regards natural disasters, one often hears Cibaenos talking in an elaborate form about the interrelation of human evil, scarcity of natural resources, and natural disasters. In their view, human deeds impact the future of the universe rather than just the lives of individuals. When northern peasants refer to the prophesies we discussed above, one is witnessing their deepest conviction regarding the ontological notion that Heidegger calls Dasein's "fourfold" or a harmonious relationship with the

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196 earth, the sky, other mortals, and the divinities at a particular location (discussed above). The Heideggerian argument that building (as dwelling), entails bringing forth harmony at one's location, is echoed by what some Cibaenos say regarding one's impact upon other forms of life, human and otherwise. For instance, Julio, the same Sabanero from La Linea who we saw earlier defining what a "good" peasant's duties are, told me once, when a severe drought was menacing crops, animals, and humans at Green Savannah, that "since man's evil has grown bigger, the water has disappeared from the earth." He, a man locally known and respected for his work ethic, personal seriousness, and ability to cope with adversity, showed no doubt on his face while telling me that "the prophesies are becoming reality; we are killing our land." Such expressions are not uncommon in Green Savannah. My ethnographic documentation of the concern for others shared by most Sabaneros is in accord with "the sense of the other" that Adames (1975:5) found among Cibaenos in their original geographic setting. I gathered this evidence using a questionnaire dealing with existential issues (see Appendix 2) as well as recording events in daily life. For instance, when responding to the question "what is for you a good person?" the expression "llevarse bien co n los demas " (getting along well with others) or an alternative phrase with a similar meaning was chosen by nearly 90% of the fifty-six respondents. Taking into account that the questionnaire was administered by four different persons, one of whom is an outsider, the high frequency of this answer is significant not only in statistical terms; it also shows an important dimension of Cibaenos' inner self. Solidarity in daily life is but one of the many manifestations of this ontological marker for northern Sabaneros.

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197 From an instrumentalist, skeptical perspective, this recognition of and appreciation for the others manifested by Cibaenos ought to be seen as an effort from their part to accumulate and reproduce social capital, the network on which all instrumental attitudes are ultimately built. The presence of a utilitarian comportment among Cibaenos notwithstanding, its humanitarian dimension is, in my view, both deeper and stronger than a believer in maximization may be willing to accept. There are two expressions one often hears at Green Savannah which tend to support my previous interpretation: first, " ser buena gente " (being a good person); second, " demostrar carino " (to show affection). Both of these expressions are crucial elements of an ideal type. In the speech events of daily life, the metaphors of ser buena gente and demostrar carino define each person's commitment to her communitas (Turner). In the village's speech community, a particular behavior, a way of life, is prescribed by these metaphors (see Lakoff and Johnson 1980). They are also used to assess how long someone is likely to stay in one's heart after his or her temporary or permanent departure from a village or neighborhood. I learned this through lived experiences such as the following one. Even though it took a great deal of time and exploration for Sabaneros to trust me, there was finally a moment at which I felt accepted by the majority of local dwellers I interacted with. Personally, I trusted most Sabaneros from the onset. To be sure, that acceptance was neither homogeneous nor free from a culture-laden intersubjective experience, a perception of each other s (theirs and mine) humanity. I still remember what Angelina, a dignified 81-year-old cibaena woman at the time of my fieldwork, told me on one of the many occasions we sat together to sip the thick, extra sweet black coffee she made nearly ten times a day. "In life, what counts is not

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198 what you give to others/' she said as if she knew well all of life's mysteries, "but rather the affection f el carinol . one puts into giving it." Perhaps fearing that I did not understand at first the meaning of her words, she, putting her right arm on my shoulder, said sententiously: "Believe me, in life there are different types of affection; the important ones come straight from the heart." I understood better the meaning of her words that Sunday afternoon, while I was leaving Green Savannah for good upon completion of my fieldwork, feeling a knot of pain and affection in my throat, thinking that, perhaps, that was the last time we were seeing each other. For her, I was a buena gente . For me, she was someone who knew well how to demostrar carino . Our personal bond was based on that reciprocal trust. As we saw in the case of the previous existential form, this one also contributes to the enactment of solidarity in Green Savannah, even among people with different cultural background, say Cibaenos and Surenos. For instance, several Sabaneros who knew I was planning to write "a book" (this narrative) about their lives told me that my story was going to depict the interaction of people from El Cibao and the Deep South. One northern Sabanero told me that my account will be a true one "because here we, Cibaenos and Surenos, encountered each other and have enhanced this place, keeping our village united." In Green Savannah I heard no one using the expression forastero (stranger), which, as we will see in the next chapter, is an important discursive marker in Blue Mountain. Assuming that this characterization of the cibaena culture and its concomitant ethos is accurate, taking as correct the assertion that industriousness, generosity and honor define northern peasants, linieros included, one may fairly ask how to reconcile this present-day image with the one depicted by Hazard more than a century ago after riding on horseback

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199 from Santiago de los Caballeros to Monte Cristi. "We found the people along this section generally quite poor/' says Hazard, "indifferent, and without much aim or hope for anything, except just [to] live" (1872:338). Disappointed by such a lack of motivation, seeing "nowhere the orange tree cultivated, nor any of the finer bananas" (ibid.), the traveler, a believer in progress and modernization himself, asked the rural dwellers he met the reason why their conucos were not planted with crops that, in his view, were so easy to grow. Their answer was rather pathetic: What is the use? Who wants them? There is no market for them, and we don't want them. We have all we need without trouble. (Hazard 1972:338) A somewhat similar depiction of La Linea's backwardness and lawlessness during the mid-nineteenth century is found in Antonini's (1968) study of the area. "By 1857," he tells us, "both Haitian and Dominican governments recognized that the Despoblado [the area between Santiago and Monte Cristi] was the habitat of the bandit" (p.84). Assessing the anarchy prevalent in the Despoblado up to 1916, the year of the first American military occupation of the republic, Antonini argues that "the Northwest figured critically as the breeder of the insurgent and his prime revolutionary habitat" (p.87). It is an immense task to reconstruct the details of how these two rather contrasting images of peasants from La Lfnea were shaped across time and space. Although this vast task begs to be undertaken, it is fair to say that the foundations for such a research are provided by the work of Abad (1888), Antonini (1968), Augelli (1962), Baud (1986a, 1987, 1989), Bosch (1986, 1988a, 1990), Brea (1983), Cassa (1987), Dominguez (1977), Hoetink (1985), Moya Pons (1974, 1984), Nunez (1990), Oviedo (1985), San Miguel (1987), and Wiarda

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200 (1975), and others whose work has facilitated my present interpretation of those complex events. The foregoing discussion will become more useful when linked to the processes that directly conditioned northern Sabaneros' migration to the south. A glance at some of the salient events of the time-space sphere of their constitution will help us to achieve that goal and will place us in a better position to interpret their ideologically based engagement with sorghum cultivation. The following two sections are devoted to this twofold goal. This section has discussed some of the events, major structural and cultural elements, and core existential components framing the diaspora that migrant Cibaenos term as moving "from tierra caliente to tierra oreiana " (meaning migrating from the north to the south, discussed below). The Land: Northern Dominican Republic in the National Context Vast, fertile, diverse, the Cibao Valley is limited on its far east by the rolling land adjacent to the karstic, wet, calm Samana Bay. Its western edge ends in a wide, flat land that includes sandy and swampy soils alike. Most of this sector, covered by a notably gray vegetation, runs into the vibrantly blue Atlantic Ocean. This chromatic contrast in the valley's natural space is an allegory of the equally significant discrepancies in its social space, as we shall see below. The 600,000-hectare-large valley is bordered on the north by the strikingly green Septentrional Cordillera, some of whose core mountains are as high as 1,400 meters. On the south, it is flanked by the massive Cordillera Central, site of the 3,175-meter-high Duarte Peak or Pico Duarte, the highest physical location in the entire Caribbean Archipelago. It is from the underground of this southern mountain range that emerge the numerous rivers irrigating most of the republic's richest agricultural soils, in the northern and southern valleys and piedmonts alike. Those rivers, none of

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201 which is fully navigable at present, are also used for the generation of hydroelectric power. The Cibao' s mean altitude is 80 meters above sea level (De la Fuente 1976: 52). Climatic and hydrologic factors alike contribute to demarcate two clearly distinctive natural zones within the Cibao Valley: first, the predominantly arid Santiago Valley on the west, with mostly calcareous soils, and average annual precipitation as low as 600 millimeters; second, the humid La Vega Real Valley on the east, with mean annual rainfall as high as 2,225 millimeters, and predominantly alkaline, rich, organic topsoils formed by alluvial deposits. Average annual temperature within the valley ranges from 25.6° C at eastern San Francisco de Macoris to 28.3° C at western Monte Cristi (De la Fuente 1979:159). With the 296-kilometer-long Yaque del Norte River crossing its western and central terrains, and the 209-kilometers Yuna River the eastern (in addition to their numerous tributary rivers and streams), the Cibao enjoys the highest and more reliable availability of irrigating water in the republic. Using the concept of Life Zone 3 in its 1967 nationwide survey, the OAS identified three main Life Zones within the confines of the Cibao Valley, namely (from west to east). Subtropical Dry Forest, Subtropical Moist Forest, and Subtropical Wet Forest (see Figure 4). 3 First coined by Leslie R. Floldridge, a Life Zone is a taxonomic concept used in the classification of the superior units of vegetation according to rainfall and bio-temperature patterns.

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ATLANTIC OCEAN 202 Figure 4. Holdridge Life Zones in the Dominican Republic.

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203 Seasonal changes in the Cibao are greatly determined by rainfall. A bimodal pattern of dry and rainy season is pervasive in the area. Notably determined by orographic factors regulating the circulation of winds moving inland from the ocean, this bimodal pattern of rainfall shows a significant degree of intra-regional variation. For instance, at Santiago, where the mean annual rainfall is 980.5 mm, the rainiest period is April-July with a mean of 200 mm, whereas the driest is from July to August with a mean of 50 mm. By contrast, at Monte Cristi rainfall is more abundant from late October to December and nearly absent from June to October. At this far western location, the average annual rainfall is 677.5 mm. When combined with the high levels of evapotranspiration prevalent in such a hot area, this scan rainfall usually contributes to create a water deficit that, at times, hampers land cultivation (see Antonini 1968:18; Salcedo et al. 1983). At present, irrigation is available in most of the valley through all-cement irrigation canals constructed primarily by the government. During the coolest months (December-January), the combination of cloudy skies and lower temperatures may affect the growth rate of some agricultural products due to low levels of photosynthesis, particularly at La Vega Real Valley. Because of such a variation in its natural endowment and climatic features (locally referred to as microclimas or microclimates), El Cibao is suitable for the cultivation of agricultural products as diverse from one another as rice, tobacco, banana, plantains, manioc, cacao, legumes and vegetables of different sorts, sugar cane, and son on, as well as for stock raising and aquaculture or fish farming. A prosperous salt industry based on the evaporation of water from the Atlantic Ocean has operated at different moments at the Monte Cristi and adjacent areas.

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204 The all-around appearance of abundance and unlimited natural resources prevailing in most of the valley's natural zones turns less flamboyant as one enters La Linea. Strictly defined, this second region includes the northern sector of the Cibao Valley and some of the northern and eastern piedmonts of the Cordillera Central, containing five percent of the national territory (Antonini 1968:2). However, for some planning agencies, in addition to the previous terrains La Linea embodies some of the highlands of Cordillera Central as well as the lowlands which, running parallel to the Altibonito River, define the border with Haiti from the northwestern coastal town of Pepillo Salcedo to the southwestern town of Banica. On this account, the region encompasses seventeen percent of the republic's 48,442 km2 territory (OAS 1977:2). Rather than showing inconsistency, these two contrasting demarcations of such an important geographic region indicates that, factually, El Cibao, La Linea y La Sierra are inextricably interwoven physically as well as in socioeconomic and cultural terms. Currently crossed both by all-cement irrigation canals and a network of modern, well-kept highways linked to many fairly good, paved secondary roads. La Linea's longest and lowest sector lies from west of Santiago (183 meters above the sea level), the largest Dominican city after Santo Domingo, to the town of Monte Cristi (7 meters above sea level), a site so named by Columbus before his triumphant return to Spain in January of 1493. With its characteristic s ol caribe , 4 scant rain, high temperatures and thorny vegetation, 4 In sociolinguistic terms, the word caribe connotes a reference to the brave, anthropophagous, rebellious Caribs, the Native Americans who, contrary to OS L TainOS ' ov . ertl y conf ronted the Spaniards since the latter's arrival in the Caribbean Archipelago. In everyday discourse in the republic, caribe is synonymous with hot (both in terms of temperature and taste). Occasionally,

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205 most of La Lmea's lower sector is antithetical to the idyllic image of an alwaysgreen Caribbean paradise promoted by the tourist industry. Indeed, dryness is a distinctive feature of this geographic area (see Antonini 1968; OAS, 1967, 1977). Two Life Zones prevail here, namely Subtropical Dry Forest and Subtropical Moist Forest. In addition to the irrigated (lowland) and parkland (highland) zones, Antonini (ibid.) identifies three vegetation zones within La Lmea's boundaries, namely savana or grassland zone, brena or thorn-cactus thicket zone, and monteria or forest zone (p. 35). Here, we need not embark on a meticulous description of the flora prevalent in each vegetation zone. Suffice it to say that, in spite of the scant rainfall prevalent in the area and the severe depletion of its natural vegetation, hardwood trees (mahogany and oak included) are not uncommon in the monteria zone. The vast brena zone, by contrast, is mostly covered by a wide variety of shrubs and cactus. Finally, the savana's typical vegetation ranges from improved and rustic pastures to fruit and hardwood trees. In the history of the region, as we shall see in a moment, this diverse vegetation has supported a variety of economic activities including subsistence charcoal making, the exportation of highly demanded woods such as caoba (Swietenia mahogani) and campeche (Haemat otoxylon campechianum) . and palm-weaving associated with the tobacco and manioc industries, among others. The recent implementation of developmental projects (e.g., agrarian reform, tobacco for exportation, and fishing schemes), the unceasing construction of physical infrastructure (e.g., irrigation canals, and new roads), as well as peasant subsistence and commercial agriculture, are but a few of the the term is also used in reference to either personal temperament or sexual behavior.

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206 numerous activities promoting important changes in the spatial distribution and actual utilization of natural resources in La Linea. The planned construction of dams in several watersheds, in addition to the ones already in operation, will certainly accelerate the pace of change in the area's natural endowments (see Secretaria de Estado de Agricultura 1988). Indeed, concatenated by such an array of natural and human-made resources, the physical space formed by the lower and upper lands of El Cibao's western section and La Linea houses some of the largest and most ambitious private and public agricultural schemes implemented in the Dominican Republic as of 1990. Some of these new industries are even more modern than the ingenios (sugar cane mills), which were the core of the republic's economy up to the late 1980s. Within its confines one sees private cotton plantations, the immense government-operated Manzanillo and Bajo Yaque agricultural schemes, sophisticated tobacco farms, rice mills, and even a newly implemented agrarian reform project at the former Ingenio Esperanza (one of the government-owned sugar cane mills), to mention just a few. Alongside these extractive industries operate, to be sure not without conflicting policies and goals, three of the largest national parks under government control: the lowland Parque Nacional Monte Cristi (53,000 hectares), and the highland Armando Bermudez (76,000 has) and Jose del Carmen Ramirez (76,000 has). These natural reserves, as we will see in a moment, present important constraints to peasant agriculture. Although a few northern Sabaneros (roughly five percent) are originally from the lower terrains of El Cibao, most of them (approximately 80%) migrated to their current southern location from different villages scattered throughout the higher and intermediate areas of La Linea and La Sierra belonging to the Santiago Rodriguez and Santiago provinces. Some of

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207 these villages are located deep into the partially pine-covered Cordillera Central, whereas others are placed on the northwestern and southern lower peripheries of the high mountain range. Survey data show that nearly 90% of non-southern Sabaneros are originally from the vicinity of the towns of Moncion (366 meters of altitude), Santiago Rodriguez (129 meters of altitude), and San Jose de Las Matas (523 meters above the sea level). In addition to physical proximity, the three municipios. 5 of which each of these towns is the corresponding political and administrative seat, are closely interrelated by a myriad of socioeconomic and cultural ties to be discussed later in this chapter. Even though dryness often haunts the upper part of the region, here rainfall is relatively abundant. A glance at the data provided by the Oficina Nacional de Meteorologia (personal communication) helps us to assess the precipitation patterns. For instance, during the period 1931-1980 the mean annual rainfall at Moncion was 1263.2 millimeters, whereas at Santiago Rodriguez that figure during the same period was of 1310.9 mm. During the period 1938-1980, at San Jose de las Matas the mean annual rainfall was 1250.7 mm. When compared against a mean of 674.3 mm at Monte Cristi during the 1933-1980 period, and 970.4 mm at Santiago from 1931 to 1980, these figures show that the amount of rainfall is not the main natural constraint in the highlands of La Linea. Adding to this picture is the Yaque del Norte River and its tributary network, plus the several rivers and streams that transverse the area. This apparent bonanza of water is actually limited on the one hand by the combination of orographic and morphologic factors (e.g., steep slopes and ^ the political-administrative division of the republic, the region is the largest unit, followed by provincia (province), municipio (similar to U S county), seccion. and paraie .

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208 calcareous soils) and on the other by the bimodal rainfall pattern (dry/rainy season) typical of most Dominican areas. Favorable conditions for soil erosion are created by the hard rain falling during a rather short period of time (March-May and October-November at Santiago Rodriguez) on a mostly hilly geographic area characterized by gradients of 40-100% and calcareous soils. This depletion of the topsoil is exacerbated by the steady elimination of the vegetation and constant land tilling done by subsistence and commercial land cultivators. The topsoils in most of the area lack the physical and chemical characteristics to sustain permanent agriculture, particularly when the ploughing of the land is a necessary step for obtaining high and sustained yields. Better topsoils can be found in the smaller, fertile valleys located at different points within the boundaries of Cordillera Central. Temperatures at some higher locations of the Cordillera Central may drop to freezing levels during the winter months. Nevertheless, a firm mean annual temperature of 24.8° C prevails in the lower places (see Antonini ibid.; OAS 1967, 1977; Salcedo, Czerwenka, Bolay 1983). As a result of these natural factors, a diverse mosaic of Life Zones is present in this area, including Subtropical Lower Montane Wet Forest, Subtropical Wet Forest, and Subtropical Lower Mountain Moist Forest, in addition to the Subtropical Moist Forest which in 1967 covered 47.4% of the Dominican territory, according to OAS (ibid.). A similar situation exists in La Sierra, the area conterminous to La Linea's upper lands. In the former, though. Subtropical Moist Forest is nearly absent. Soils characteristics, however, are comparable. As reported by Georges , land in La Sierra is characterized "by stony soils of low fertility" (1990:14). Depletion of natural resources, particularly of topsoils eroded by hard rain and farming practices alike, is pervasive (Sharpe 1977:7).

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209 When it rains in La Sierra, the usually narrow, clear rivers and streams may turn into fast, dirty water currents in a matter of hours. Those rios crecidos (swollen rivers) literally sweep away the upper soil strata. During my first trip to La Sierra, I think in late 1971, 6 I had to lie down, flat and fearful, on a mule in order to ford some of the swollen rivers that, like an oozing mass on the surface and a rapid torrent underneath, were plagued by uprooted shrubs, broken tree limbs, fertile topsoil, and all sorts of vegetable debris. Serranos (dwellers of La Sierra), showing little or no fear and assisted by their strong mules, dear crossing such menacing floods even in the darkest and rainiest nights. It is only for heuristic purposes that these three interlaced regions (El Cibao, La Linea, and La Sierra) may be separated from the northern, narrow coastal plain rolling from Monte Cristi to Puerto Plata. Indeed, this area of sandy and swampy soils is important to look at not only because of the fact that La Isabela, the first permanent Spanish settlement in the New World, was built here in 1493 after Columbus found La Navidad fort totally obliterated. For our task at hand, Puerto Plata is a necessary historical signifier due to the crucial economic, political, and cultural role it played as a seaport through which voluminous export activities took place, linking directly northern Dominican Republic to the world economy for nearly two centuries before national unification was enforced in the 1940s (see Baez Evertsz 1986b; Boin and Serulle 1980; Cross Beras 1984; Dominguez 1977; Rodriguez Jimenez and Velez Canelo 1980). This Atlantic seaport is also highly important as a symbol of national identity and political independence, particularly in 6 My first visit to La Sierra was as a research assistant to Dominican sociologist Vilma Weiss, who carried out research on international migration from this geographic area to the U.S.

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210 connection to the Guerra de Restauracion, when the republic was annexed to Spain by national caudillos (political and military leaders). Gregorio Luperon, a mulatto who became one of the prominent leaders of that war, was a Puertoplateno. General Santiago Rodriguez, the liniero leader after whom the northern municipio was named, provided impetus to the revolutionary spirit at that time. In the collective memory of Cibaenos, the two leaders' personal bravery still represents a source of regional pride. Currently a rapidly growing tourist area, Puerto Plata's surroundings include two Life Zones, namely Subtropical Moist Forest and Subtropical Wet Forest. All in all, tourism is at present the largest industry in this province. Other important industries include a government-owned sugar cane mill, a private-owned rum distillery (Brugal Company), a zona franca (free-trade zone, assembly line factory), stock raising and its concomitant dairy industry. To a lesser degree, fishing and amber mining are also important industries in the Puerto Plata area. The city, which has an international airport, is linked to Santiago through a modern all-cement highway that crosses the Cordillera Septentrional. It is in connection to this road that a short underground tunnel was built by the government in 1972. Regional variation is a distinctive feature of the Dominican natural landscape. Nevertheless, the striking interplay of contrasting orographic features we have just outlined is not restricted to the area under examination. Indeed, the continuum of rather parallel highlands concatenated with lowlands, and steep mountains raising up just a few miles away from the coast within a limited region, is a pattern clearly visible all over the country. For instance, a glance at the scarcely 280-kilometer-long frontier region rolling from the northern Atlantic Ocean to the southern Caribbean Sea shows the presence of four massive mountain ranges, namely Cordillera Septentrional,

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211 Cordillera Central, Sierra de Neiba, and Sierra de Baoruco. Adjoin to these highlands are, from north to south, the narrow coastal area near Monte Cristi, followed by El Cibao, the fertile San Juan Valley, the long, desert-like Enriquillo Basin extended from Port-au-Prince in Haiti to the Dominican city of Barahona, and finally the dry, narrow coastal plain where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located (see Figure 5). The image depicted by these lineaments resembles a huge, rugged green carpet with parallel sinkholes filled with soils of different colors and textures. To be sure, it is an old carpet carelessly kept by its many users. Figure 5. Profile of Main Topographic Features, Dominican Republic Looking eastward from El Cibao, the pattern of landscape is comparable to the previous one. Except for the plains of the southeast beginning at Santo Domingo and ending at Cabo Engano in the far east, the wide lowlands in which sugar cane cultivation and extensive grazing prevail, orographic factors are responsible for such a unique rugged pattern. In the past, as well as today, this ruggedness has presented a major obstacle to both inter-regional communication and socioeconomic and political integration. It is worth noticing that nearly 60% of the Dominican territory is technically defined as mountainous (Clausner 1973:8). Compared with the nearly 70% of highlands

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212 in Puerto Rico, 40% in Cuba (de la Fuente 1976:37), and almost 80% in Haiti, it becomes apparent that most of the so-called Greater Antilles (Jamaica being the fourth member) are indeed highlands interlaced with concatenating valleys. The prevalent perception of northern Dominican Republic as a_peasant region simultaneously conceals and reveals peasants' role in the making of this social space. Undoubtedly, peasants have being, still are, and probably will continue being the essence of this geographic area. Nevertheless, social change, to be sure working not always for the better, is a fast-spreading phenomenon here and elsewhere in the republic. Peasants are directed influenced by this social change. Reflecting the profound socioeconomic processes taking place in the last decades in the socio-natural and cultural continuum formed by Santiago Rodriguez, Moncion and San Jose de La Matas, a recent study carried out in an adjacent zone (SEA 1988) shows that whereas 51.3% of the land is devoted to improved pasture, only 10.9% is used in agriculture. Of the remaining area, 4.5 percent is covered by natural grass, nearly 19% by parkland, and the rest is employed in non-agricultural activities. In order to comprehend how these data on the physical characteristics and the social world relate to the lives of migrant Cibaenos, linieros, and serranos (altogether referred to as northern Sabaneros in this study), we need to look at the changing social space of which the cibaena culture is a key element. Before undertaking such a task in the following section, it is advisable to discuss, albeit briefly, the demographic data and land tenure structure in northern Dominican Republic against the background of national trends at these two interconnected levels of analysis.

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213 Table 1 Population and Population Density. National, North, and South, 1606 1981 Year National North South a Total % Total % p/km 2 1606 5,960 b 1,080 c 18 3,625 61 1639 30,058 10,000 33 13,925 46 — 1769 70,625 28,726 41 25,653 36 — 1783 119,600 58,400 49 50,700 42 — 1819 71,223 30,838 43 40,384 57 — 1908 638,000 323,000 51 192,500 30 1.27 1920 894,665 356,069 56 295,978 33 17.9 1935 1,479,417 777,849 53 507,365 34 29.5 1950 2,135,872 1,100,577 52 799,297 37 44.1 1960 3,047,070 1,483,280 49 1,265,150 41 62.9 1970 4,009,458 1,798,644 45 1,823,623 45 82.8 1981 5,647,977 2,242,665 39 3,405,312 56 116.6 a. Santo Domingo is included as part of the South. b. Plus 9,648 slaves c. Heads of households, excluding religious personnel. Sources: Moya Pons (1974:17) San Miguel (1987:84) Demographic data prior to 1606 show that Hispaniola became a scarcely populated island after the rapid elimination of the Taino population caused by conquest. Important as it is, we need not examine that process at present (see Moya Pons 1974). Instead, let us highlight some of the changes experienced by the Dominican population during the period 1606-1 981. 7 As 7 I am deliberately using the term "Dominican" in a loose way. It is well known that since 1697, when the Treaty of Ryswyck was enforced, western and eastern Hispaniola have been two distinct poles. Such a political division was ratified in 1777, following the Treaty of Aranjuez signed by France and Spain. However, the republic's unstable existence as an independent nationstate began in 1844, anteceded and followed by foreign invasions and annexations. It was only after 1939 that the current frontier line was clearly demarcated. As recent as 1935, it was assumed that the republic was as big as 50,070 km2. Its present area is 48,442.23 km2.

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214 may be seen in Table 1, since 1739 population growth has occurred at an annual rate close to 2.4 percent. Such a rather steady growth has been made possible by both natural increase and immigration. As indicated by Moya Pons (ibid.), emigration has also contributed to these demographic changes, particularly during the period 1500-1935. Emigration seems to be a good explanation to the abrupt decline of population that took place between 1783 and 1819. That was indeed a particularly difficult time for Dominicans, in both economic and political terms. To mention but a few setbacks, it was during the period under consideration that eastern Hispaniola was invaded by British, Haitian, and French troops. The generalized chaos created by such military actions brought misery to the island. Central to the tribulations defining this period was Spain's neglect of its colony after the decline of gold mining in the sixteenth century. The 1809-1822 period, known in Dominican historiography as Espana Boba ("dunce Spain"), is a symbol of the painful, turbulent constitution of the nation-state. For those who could afford it, emigration to other Caribbean islands and mainland Central and South America was the only auspicious survival strategy. It is worth noticing the changing distribution of population in the southern and northern regions. Of particular interest is to see that in 1819 a high 57% of the total population resided in the south, where the capital and other major economic centers were located. This distribution sharply changes in 1908, when more than half of the republic's population resided in the north. This pattern remained prevalent until 1970, when there was an even distribution between the two regions, 40% each. The remaining 20% was

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215 mostly concentrated on the east. It is only in 1981 when the southern population is larger than the northern. This variation, however, tells us just part of the story. Indeed, in the context of Latin America, rural-urban migration comes as no surprise. It is a well-documented phenomenon that urban centers, particularly national or regional capitals, are the recipients of a permanent flow of former rural dwellers (see Duarte 1980). In the Dominican case, for instance, nearly 70% of the total population was rural in 1960. In 1981, by contrast, only 48% resided in the countryside (Oficina Nacional de Estadistica 1987, henceforth ONE). It is estimated that in 1990 the rural population represented only 41% of the total population (Instituto de Estudios de Poblacion y Desarrollo 1983; henceforth IEPD). Table 2 shows some relevant demographic changes from 1920 to 1981. Table 2 Urban and Rural Population and Population Growth in the Dominican Republic, 1920 1981 Year Total Urban Rural Rate of Growth Total Urban Rural 1920 894,556 148,894 745,771 3.58 4.15 3.46 1935 1,479,417 266,565 1,212,852 2.44 4.33 1.95 1950 2,135,872 508,408 1,627,464 3.62 6.13 2.70 1960 3,047,070 922,090 2,124,980 2.96 5.97 1.37 1970 4,009,458 1,593,299 2,416,159 2.92 5.26 1.37 1981 5,647,977 2,935,860 2,712,117 2.87 — “ Source: Tatis and Santana (1983:48) The significance of these figures for the task at hand becomes more apparent when one notes that population density in the republic has increased steadily. For instance, whereas in 1950 the national mean was 44

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216 persons/km2, in 1981 that figure was of nearly 117 persons/km2. Revealing as they are in themselves, these aggregate data become more useful when broken down by geographic regions. Thus, whereas in 1981 this indicator for the Cibao Valley as a whole was exactly equal to the national one, in its eastern sector the same indicator was of 139 persons/km2. This is in sharp contrast with the 66 persons /km2 in La Linea. At Santo Domingo the figure is astronomical: 1,050 persons/km2. However, in the southern region to where northern Sabaneros migrated in the mid-1950s the current population density is only of 18 persons /km2 (ONE ibid.). We begin to understand the meaning of these data when noting that, in the decade 1950-60, almost 60% of Dominican migrants were from the north, whereas only 13% were Southerners. Further, during the same period nearly 9,000 persons emigrated from Santiago Rodriguez, whereas no significant migration occurred from the province housing Blue Mountain and Green Savannah (see Duarte 1980:195-202). This migration pattern has remained somewhat similar during recent decades. The northern Sabaneros whose lives this study deals with are part of the high number of migrants who then as now are expelled from El Cibao in part by the “pushed" in part by the process of land concentration to be discussed in a moment. What, then, were the so-called "pull" factors present in the south when the northern Sabaneros' diaspora began nearly four decades ago? Free, abundant land in the south is part of the answer to this question. However accurate this answer may be, a twofold question remains: first. How did Cibaenos know of the availability of tierra orejana in the south?; second. How did they use their culture cibaena to cope with the risks involved in migrating to an unknown land? A clue to this puzzle is provided by an expression one often hears Sabaneros using: " Nosotros salimos de una

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217 tierra caliente a una tierra orejana, " which I freely translate as "we left from a hot land to a land without owner." 8 This reference to a land that is both "hot" and "free" refers to a cultural construction to be interpreted in Chapter 6. For the time being, suffice it to s&y that such a metaphor expresses Sabaneros' and Montaneros' perception of the social space to which they belong. Key elements of this social fabric are state regulation and land ownership, among others. Migrants are concrete individuals whose intentionality and expectations are crucial to their departure from their ontic and ontological roots. Yet, migration is ultimately a societal phenomenon that is better understood when its personal-familial and structural dimensions are examined together as part of a multifaceted and contradictory totality. Structural factors such as landlessness and poverty become relevant to and known by people as part of an existential experience. Such a lived experience is internalized, subjectivized through myriad psychological processes heavily charged with emotions and sentiments. Drawing once again on Williams's (1985) apt expression, the "structure of feelings" deserves our attention when interpreting social phenomena such as "structural" migration. We shall move in a moment to assess the former's role in the human experience of Sabaneros' migration. Meanwhile, let us complete this characterization of northern Dominican Republic by briefly looking at land tenure. In most of the republic, minifundio (smaller farm plot) epitomizes the existence of most rural dwellers. For the most part, it means smallness and 8 Literally, " orejana " means a cattle that has not been ear-marked. Locally, it also refers to common and non-cultivated natural resources, grassland in particular. It is on the tierra orejana that cattle is kept by most Montaneros. Sabaneros, however, use other ranching methods to be described in Chapter 6.

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218 subsistence. It also augurs poverty. Except for those small land cultivators who are able to apply capital-intensive 'technological packages' to the cultivation of highly profitable crops 9 the lives of most minifundistas or smaller peasants are defined by uncertainty and material deprivation. Latifundio (larger farm unit) is the counterpart of minifundio. They both define a social space of uneven access to material, social, and spiritual resources. Census data show that in 1950 the size of 76% of the farm units was five hectares or smaller. They represented only 14% of the total arable land. By contrast, the nearly two percent of land owners or possessors whose farms were 50 hectares or larger did control 53% of the total arable land. In spite of the land distribution that took place after the assassination of Trujillo in 1961, census data indicate that in 1971 the picture depicted in 1950 had not changed significantly. Indeed, this time the size of 77% of the farm units was five hectares or smaller, representing only 13% of the total area. Still worse, in 1971 nearly two percent of land holders controlled 57% of the cultivable land. In 1981, an alarming 82% of minifundistas were cultivating farms of five hectares or smaller. The land held by those minifundistas was 12% of the total cultivable land. Showing that land tenure structure worsened during that period, data of the same year show a small two percent of land holders in charge of 55% of the republic's arable land (see Cassa 1982; IEPD 1982). The already dramatic situation depicted by the aforementioned asymmetric access to land turns still worse for those rural dwellers who have 9 I acknowledge that land holding size alone is insufficient to characterize land cultivators. This is particularly true in the Dominican Republic, where new cash crops such as flowers and exotic vegetables are cultivated in small parcels for exportation rather than for the internal market. They are not the primary focus of this study.

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219 no access to land. According to Rodriguez (1987:27), in 1981 there were 170,495 rural dwellers aged 10 years or order who did not own or possess land at all. Of that total, 12,713 were women. Altogether, they represented 445,241 persons. Nearly 56% or 248,255 landless laborers were from El Cibao. Though data from the south are not broken down as to clearly discern what was happening in the vicinity of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, the same source indicates that in seven southwestern provinces landless rural dwellers represented nearly 16% of the total, or 70,814. Of those, 2,129 were women aged 10 years or older. The presence of latifundio in the country at large takes a unique form in the highlands of both La Sierra and La Linea. As mentioned earlier, the existence of two large national parks in Cordillera Central limits peasants' access to arable land. Of equal or more significance for migrant Sabaneros is the latifundio forestal (private-owned large forest), the former site of a prosperous lumber industry that lasted until the early 1970s, when all saw mills were closed down by government decree. Currently, part of the latifundio forestal is used for stock rising. The ramifications of this form of land ownership in La Sierra has been well documented by Georges (1990: 61, and passim) and Sharpe (1977). For La Linea, Antonini (1968) has carefully examined the history of this complex process. We need not to repeat that story here, except for those processes and events directly related to this narrative. Before leaving our examination of these relevant data, it is worth stressing that, in spite of La Linea's appearance as a peasant region where progress prevails, the OAS (1977:117) reported that in 1971 nearly 61% of the region's cultivable land was covered by pastos (pasture), whereas almost 13% was devoted to montes and bosques (roughly forest). Of the rest, 5.3 percent

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220 was en descanso (fallow), whereas only 6.3 percent of the land was covered by perennial crops. What emerges from these figures is a peasantry that has access to only 15% of the land to grow food on a regular basis. A more recent survey conducted in the Santiago Rodriguez municipio (SEA 1988:134) shows that nearly 59% of the land was totally or partially covered by pasture and forest. According to the same source, only 14% of the land was fully utilizes for growing food. During my short visit to La Linea in August of 1990, 1 saw that a capitalintensive cash crop, namely tabaco rubio (hybrid tobacco used for manufacturing high quality cigarette), was taking a strong hold in the farming systems of liniero peasants. 10 I do not wish to imply that this is an indication of "the end of the peasantry" whatsoever. In fact, a visitor to the central marketplace at Santiago Rodriguez on any Saturday morning finds an incredible array of dozens of products still grown by peasants from El Cibao, La Linea and La Sierra. Very few of those products, though, are hauled to the market using the traditional mules. Distinctive among the products sold in weekly " dia de plaza " (market day) is the round, large cassava bread locally baked mixing yucca with toasted peanut. This long-lived Taino food is a source of self-identity and cultural pride for Cibaenos in general and linieros in particular. 10 Two recent regional trends in land usage are: first, the purchase of urban and farm land by some linieros who migrated to the U.S.; second, the rural to urban migration within the region, which is being induced by the remittances sent by some migrants, locally known as "DominicanYork", to their siblings. This 'betterment migration' is creating absentee land owners. A very wealthy and politically powerful family is buying some of this non-cultivated land in La Linea.

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221 Time and Space in the Genesis of Cibaenos From its inception, Spain's domination over Hispaniola embodied a new regimentation of the social space constructed by Tainos through their manipulation of nature, development of intersubjective relations, and communication with the divinities through cemies 1 1 as well. Expert navigators and agriculturalists alike, Tainos knew uncertainty face to face. Hurricanes and Caribs were but a few of the challenges to Tainos' existence prior to conquest. The changing interplay of ideologies and utopias, claims and beliefs, structures and powers, knowledge and action, thoughts and feelings, has made possible the transformation of the pre-Columbian social space into the one depicted in the first section of this chapter. Natural resources, labor, capital, technology as well as cultural values and norms, have been put to work on Hispaniola and elsewhere in the Caribbean since 1492 as part of a process that, either by default or design (or both), has ended up being one of uneven development. Within the framework of the world economy, by uneven development I mean two things: first, an asymmetrical distribution of wealth (material and otherwise) which is based, in addition to military and political power, on a differential access to means of production (e.g., natural resources, capital and technology), consumption (e.g., money and foodstuffs) and reproduction (e.g., food, shelter, love, and sex); second, a sharp contrast in the benefits (economic and otherwise) received by the different constituencies (e.g., continents, countries, regions, classes, genders, and so on) of economic 11 Cemies were totemic items specific to each Taino chiefdom. They were kept by chiefs and shamans at sacred places where rituals were performed, usually involving the inhalation of hallucinogens.

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222 processes (e.g., production and circulation of commodities) that, by definition, are both global and collaborative. 12 In the process of domination that began in 1492, Hispaniola's unique role was that, at first, the island was simultaneously (albeit only symbolically at times) a socioeconomic, political and religious frontier to be expanded, and an administrative center to be fortified, in order to support Spain's absolute control over the New World. The mercantilist policy regulating the mostly extractive economic activities on Hispaniola prohibited trade with any other European nation. For a while, the combination of frontier expansion and centralization made of the island a crucial location in the conquest of the Americas. As we shall see in a moment, that preeminence was short-lived. To a certain degree, the history of El Cibao is traceable to the zig-zag character of the myriad processes of frontier expansion and centralization (political and otherwise) that have occurred in Latin American in general, the Caribbean in particular, and Hispaniola in specific during the last five centuries. To carry out such an immense task is beyond my competence. However, for the task at hand it should suffice saying that it was greatly based on the gold gathered in El Cibao by Columbus during his second voyage that the Admiral was convinced he had reached Cipango, the land of plenty Marco Polo had reported earlier (see Morison 1970:430-444). Based on that perception, he laid out a plan to control El Cibao and, from there, the entire island. That was the first time El Cibao ended up being, speaking metaphorically, a center within another center as well as a frontier within another frontier. 12 The literature on uneven development, dependency theory, and son on, is vast and diverse. For an overview, see Amin (1980), Blomstron and Hettne (1984), Cardoso and Faletto (1979). A controversial stance on this issue is taken by Harrison (1985).

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223 Seeing the precious metal in rivers and streams, discovering that the aboriginals saw no economic value in it, Columbus projected an endless process of gold mining using free Taino labor. The capital and political protection given to him by Spain to carry out such a promising enterprise, had in El Cibao' s gold mines one of its key motivations. The Santo Tomas fort, built in 1494 at the Cordillera Central, near Santiago and La Vega, was but an early attempt to expand the new frontier (see Wilson 1990:75-82). By the year 1510, after Frey Nicolas de Ovando used fire and sword to subjugate the Taino population, El Cibao was already a structured social space aimed at exporting material wealth (gold in particular, brazilwood to a lesser degree) to Spain. The natural and human resources of Isabela, Puerto Plata, La Vega, Santiago, Esperanza and Monte Cristi provided the foundations to that early form of uneven development (see Lamb 1956). By the mid-1500s, however, the total elimination of the aboriginal population and the decline of gold mining, followed by the import of African slaves and the implementation of new forms of land cultivation and stock raising, had transformed the region into a contested territory where Spain's presence was weak. Livestock primarily, 13 and precious woods and other commodities to a lesser degree, became highly regarded by other European nations challenging Spain's mercantilist policy on Hispaniola. I will discuss in a moment some of the crucial ramifications of this relevant political transformation. 13 Even though livestock was brought by Columbus on his second voyage to Hispaniola, it was Nicolas de Ovando who is actually responsible for the expansion of the important commodity in El Cibao and concomitant areas. Horses, hogs and other tame animals also spread naturally across the island. Thousands, if not millions of them, roamed freely in the wilderness by late 1500s.

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224 Despite Spain and Portugal being the direct discoverers and conquistadores of new lands and peoples in Africa and America, the possession of El Cibao and its inhabitants by the Spaniards was legalized by neither the King and Queen of Castilla and Leon nor Portugal's rulers. Instead, it was Alejandro VI, the Roman Catholic pope, who on May 3, 1493 drew an imaginary lane dividing the New World between the two Iberian powers. On that day, El Cibao legally became a possession of Spain (see Ruiz Tejada 1952). Gold mining and land cultivation were forced upon Tainos as part of that political-religious bula (decree). A tribute in the form of gold, yucca or cotton represented a direct control of local resources by outsiders. Shortly after that turning point, in 1496 to be exact, the revolt led by Francisco Roldan against Columbus created the political conditions for the establishment of the encomiendas and repartimientos. the interlaced institutions created to control both land and Indian labor. These two forms of social regimentation and oppression coexisted with others designed to guarantee the long-term usufruct of Hispaniola's resources by the Spaniards. The ejido system of land tenure, heavily dependent on common lands, began taking shape at this time. Though de jure Tainos were just free servants receiving some form of payment, de facto they were slaves working on encomiendas and repartimientos devoted to both land cultivation and gold mining. Lamb (1956) adequately takes this argument to its existential level. Working under this system "the aboriginal was a child, " she says, "and the Spanish was his master" (p.165). With conquest, Tainos were transformed into second class citizens in their own land. Just a handful of Tainos escaped the new discipline imposed upon them by the European settlers, for whom manual labor was not a source of pride and self-identity as it was in the case of Calvinists. Those who fled the

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225 mines and the farm plots controlled by the Spaniards became the first subsistence land cultivators in El Cibao (Antonini 1968:57-58). Later on, joined by maroons, these dwellers began a rich process of cultural hybridization which had positive and long-lasting consequences for the survival of land cultivators. An ethos of resistance and endurance grew out of that experience. Time and space limitations prevent me from taking any farther the examination of these significant historical processes. 14 Instead, we shall take a quick look at what occurred in El Cibao in early seventeenth century. The early appearance of El Cibao as an area of quasi-infinite sources of gold faded away rather rapidly. Meanwhile, other gold mines had been discovered at other locations, particularly on the southern Caribbean coast near Santo Domingo. The center of the gold industry was moved to that area, accompanied by the establishment of a new economic activity: sugar cane cultivation and manufacturing. Once the short-lived "gold rush" passed, Hispaniola lost part of its economic attractiveness for Spaniards. Searching for more profitable sources of precious metals, they began migrating to Central and South America by the mid-1520s. That was a long-lived trend, one that left Hispaniola with a population lower than 18,000 souls by the late 1500s (Moya Pons 1974:21). These demographic data include the African slaves who, at that time, were working at the sugar cane mills and in other less profitable industries as well. Yet sugar, as documented by Mintz (1985), was a commodity of limited demand at that time. Cow hides and tobacco, however, were wanted nearly by everyone. Among those interested in the new commodities were French, British, and Dutch merchants and officers who. 14 On this, in addition to the work of Ruiz Tejada (1952), see Clausner (1973).

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226 challenging Spain, had already filled the social space left nearly empty by the latter in northern and southwestern Hispaniola. Lacking control from Spain, and having so much wild cattle to sell to avid merchants, northern settlers busied themselves with smuggling. In a relatively short period of time, the Atlantic coast from Monte Cristi to Puerto Plata was transformed into a duty free market. Settlers of the whole northern region took economic advantage of a new market where the rate of profit was higher than in the Spain-controlled network centralized at Santo Domingo. Tobacco growers were core actors of that illegal enterprise. Heavy as it was, however, that trade was carried out using no currency. In that context, a general equivalent of value was missing. Pure barter (trueque or cambalache) regulated the articulation of the regional economy with the world-economy. Those economic transactions with people whose presence in the New World was explicitly prohibited by Rome, was an early form of the conflicting loyalty we have discussed earlier in the case of present-day Dominicans. Back in late sixteenth century, those pioneer settlers faced the dilemma of being loyal to Spain and Catholic on the one hand, and land cultivators and traders who, in order to survive, needed to trade with nonCatholic who were also enemies of Spain on the other. Having to choose between survival and religious faith, they chose both. In that context, ambiguity was part of daily life. Syncretism was a distinctive feature of that multi-cultural society of traders, land cultivators and herdsmen. The importance of production and trade notwithstanding, the history of El Cibao is only partially understood if one just looks at economic processes. As mentioned earlier, the spread of religious beliefs throughout this area has played a major constitutive role in the genesis and development of the republic at large. The same holds true for the rest of the

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227 Caribbean, where political domination and the delivery of religious ideas go hand in hand. Having received from Rome a decree to convert to Catholicism the inhabitants of the new lands, Spain accepted with pride her religious and political role even after the Taino population was decimated in less than four decades after conquest. Yet, due to Spain's lack of economic interest in Hispaniola, by the year 1600 the towns of Puerto Plata, Monte Cristi, Santiago de los Caballeros, San Juan de La Maguana and Neiba (now Dominican cities), and La Yaguana, and Bayaja (currently part of Haiti), were places where Catholicism was somehow interwoven with, if not challenged by, the incipient Protestant norms and values. African religious beliefs were also part of that syncretic map. Calvinist ideas were brought into the area by nonSpanish Europeans who, together with Spaniards and maroons, were actively engaged in smuggling. Such an eventuality was unacceptable to the Spanish Crown. A man, Antonio Osorio, was chosen to correct that wrongdoing. He did it with fire and sword, perhaps inspired in the model set by NicoHs de Ovando nearly a century earlier. As we will see in this and subsequent chapters, the consequences of his actions are still felt in presentday El Cibao, La Linea, and La Sierra as well as in the Deep South. On February 20, 1605, after months of frustrated negotiations with the northern settlers, Ovando left Santo Domingo, the economic and political center of a territory whose economic, political and religious frontiers were increasingly shaped by the influence of Calvinist ideas. He, the Governor General of the island, crossed some of the same territories on which Tainos and conquistadores had died few decades earlier. Perhaps he did not notice the beauty of El Cibao that Columbus praised so enthusiastically in 1493 when his soldiers, wearing beautiful uniforms and powerful weapons, marched, their drums and horns producing sounds unknown to the Tainos, from

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228 Isabela to La Vega Real. That imposing march, aimed at letting Tainos know that their lands, souls and bodies were no longer theirs but Spain's, served as a prototype to Osorio, who took with him military personnel, strong horses and trained dogs. To make a long story short, Osorio ordered and personally conducted the total destruction of Puerto Plata, La Yaguana, Bayaja, San Juan de la Maguana and Monte Cristi, setting most of them on fire, and forcing the entire population to move eastward. The inhabitants of the southern town of Neiba were ordered to concentrate near Azua, then an area where sugar cane and timber, in addition to cow hides, were important commodities. A part of the tamed cattle was taken by their owners with them; the rest was simply left behind in the wilderness. Crops were destroyed. Those settlers who resisted involuntary migration were taken prisoners. Few were killed. Protestant bibles, the symbol of evil, were confiscated and burned. Nearly 65% of Hispaniola ended up being a depopulated land. It was an immense despoblado (deserted area), a vast land with few people and many animals. The relocation of forced migrants changed the entire political and economic map of the island. New towns were built on the east. Their new names combined the names of destroyed ones. Trade was, one again, centralized in southeastern seaports. Figure 6 shows the impact of Las Despoblaciones on Hispaniola's political divisions. Las Desvastaciones, as this dramatic event is known in Dominican historiography, transformed most of El Cibao into a no-man's land. 15 From 15 To the best of my knowledge, the best interpretation of this event is Perez's (1980). See also Rodriguez Demorizi (1945:11:109-188).

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229 R VO A 8 n c i § * 8 tL TJ < £ Figure 6. Las Desvastaciones, 1605-1606 .

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230 being the center of a region, Santiago de los Caballeros became a frontier location, a vulnerable town peopled by land cultivators and merchants cut off from their previous market channels. San Jose de Las Matas, east of Santiago, also symbolized a frontier point after relocation. The island's uneven development was reinforced with that drastic measure. The notions of Banda del Norte (northern side) and Banda del Sur (southern side), originally used to identify two distant geographic regions, became part of a process of signification in which a physical space (mountain ranges in particular) became internalized as a social space charged with symbols of self-identity. The names Desierto de Santiago or Despoblado given to the northern side of the republic expressed a deep sense of loss. Upon completion of the depopulation, Spain did not change her mercantilist policy. Frontier expansion stopped. Population declined. Poverty prevailed. This time, different from the centralization implemented by Ovando in the early sixteenth century, economic prosperity was not the outcome of so much human pain and material loss. Most analysts of Dominican history agree that the seventeenth century and part of the eighteenth was a time of generalized socioeconomic misery and political chaos. No wonder why the label El Siglo de la Miseria (the Century of Misery) has been put on that epoch. The situado. a form of subsidy sent by Spain from Mexico to her unattended Caribbean possession, was but a symbol of inner general deprivation and outer dependency. The ship transporting hard currency, as reported by Bosch (1988:109-123), did not have a regular schedule to arrive. The public employees of the Spanish Crown whose salary was shipped from Mexico that way, were unable to plan their budget. They had to go into permanent debt. Working for the Crown, instead of being a source of pride, ended up being a stigma. Cultural identity was seriously hurt.

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231 Existential vulnerability must had been a shared feeling at that time. Ontic and ontological security were deeply eroded. When pirates ransacked the island on several occasions, more than material wealth was lost. Likewise, those who migrated to South America, Cuba and Puerto Rico during that period left a human space that was difficult, if not impossible, to fill by those who remained. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and epidemic diseases completed that image of shared tribulation. All of that took place despite the organization of land ownership introduced by the Ley de Amparo Real of 1578 and the Real Cedula of 1591 (see Clausner 1973:56-57). Though possession of land received legal attention, in that context, with such a low population density, with pirates waiting to attack a rather defenseless territory, land could hardly be transformed into an attractive commodity. I would like to briefly recall my earlier argument that Dilthey's notion of lived experience or life-nexus is a valid conceptual tool for understanding the constitution of historical subjects such as Sabaneros and Montaneros. I quoted his claim that selfsameness or "the experience of constancy despite all changes," and "the experience of acting and suffering" are two of such lived experiences. Further, drawing on Heidegger's notion of dwelling and my interpretation of the meaning of the French-creole term abitan or habitant. I advanced the idea that peasants are dwellers who stay in a location in order to bring forth certainty and self-identity. My argument was summarized by saying that ontic and ontological security, as well as ideology and utopia, simultaneously arise from and support those two lived experiences. For the task at hand, it is profitable to join that argument with the historical and ethnographic evidence discussed in this chapter up to now. We saw a moment ago what land cultivators from El Cibao told Hazard in late 1800s. To his inquiry regarding their lack of interest in production

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232 beyond mere self-consumption, they replied with the caustic expression: "We have all we need without trouble." To anyone familiar with peasant rationality, these answers should sound both familiar and appropriate. Baud has convincingly argued that prior to 1930 Dominican peasants' resistance was manifested in their decision of "pulling away from the market, diminishing cash production" (1988:121) among other sorts of comportment. The accuracy of these interpretations notwithstanding, they sharply contrast, at least on the surface, with the behavior of Cibaenos during the Century of Misery when they defended their social space against the corsairs, pirates and buccaneers who had taken a hold in some of the depopulated areas of Hispaniola. Let us take a quick look at what occurred at that time. Following the Desvastaciones. Tortuga Island, located at the Atlantic Ocean near Hispaniola, was a solitary witness of a no-man's land. French and British corsairs, 16 pirates and buccaneers occupied in the 1640s the former Spanish territory. It was from there that they launched their operations throughout the Caribbean. Northern Hispaniola was one of their favorite targets, particularly because of its low population density and high concentration of wild cattle on the Desierto de Santiago. Before 1697, when the Treaty of Ryswyck demarcated the border separating the new French territory (Saint-Domingue) from Spanish Santo Domingo, Cibaenos confronted the incursions of British pirates and French buccaneers. More than once, Santiago (a commercial town) and Puerto Plata (scarcely populated after the despoblaciones) were ransacked by the former. Buccaneers' invasions 16 Even though the terms corsair and pirate are used as synonymous, Bosch (1990:9-10) argues that the former's operations were backed by specific governments, whereas the latter acted on his own, even attacking ships from his own country. Earlier in this study I characterized buccaneers as cow hunters and traders of roasted meat and cow hides.

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233 searching for wild cattle were frequent and, perhaps, more difficult to repel due to their quasi-guerrilla nature. Further, buccaneers were more hunters than soldiers, which meant that their primary goals was to capture cows rather than fighting Cibaenos. Dwellers of El Cibao during those uncertain years defended their social space using three closely related actions: first, some of them joined the cincuentenas or "groups of 50 men on horseback, armed with lances" (Bosch 1990:27) whose job, partially paid by the Spanish Crown, was to kill wild cattle to curtail buccaneers' access to their raw materials; second, they acted on their own fighting against both corsairs and buccaneers, sometimes with rustic weapons; finally, and more important for our present task, those campesinos (small land cultivators) did what, in that context, was the ultimate indication of their determination to stay, to dwell at a location: they tilled the land. It is this interrelation of personal pride, material interest, nationalism, and ascription to a social space against all odds that, in my view, represents the background against which the cibaena culture is better understood. The objective and subjective factors of this social construction, I argue, became mutually signified through the mediation of an intersubjective twofold experience: the encounter with "the other" and the decision to die together defending the sources of their ontic and ontological security. To a great extent, the other was met by Cibaenos face to face in a context of war. What they fought over, however, was not just a land on which food was grown and livestock raised; that could had been found elsewhere in a country where land was abundant and quasi-free. In acting this way, Cibaenos defended the very source of their social and cultural identity. They constituted a communitas (Turner 1987). On this, I agree with Nunez's (1990:27) view that a

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234 sound interpretation of Dominican history must include the subjective experience of war. The Dominican frontier. La Linea in particular, was factually and symbolically built with the streams of blood running across the Despoblado and adjacent areas for centuries. Many of those defending that social space were simultaneously soldiers and land cultivators. In the soul of present-day Cibaenos, those two heritages are interlaced. For instance, when Sabaneros want to praise a woman who is capable of managing tough situations, particularly those involving some kind of personal risk, the preferred expression used by them is: "That is a war-like woman" (esa es una mujer de guerra) . I never heard a man being called that way. This metaphor plays a significant role in women's enactment of a gender ideology in daily life. To qualify the foregoing formulation, I turn briefly to two assertions made recently by Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein regarding the constitution of cultural identity as part of processes of state formation in which race and class play a central role. "The capacity to confront death collectively," says Balibar, "presupposes the constitution of a specific ideological form" (see Balibar and Wallerstein 1991:94). In the same volume, Wallerstein argues that our examination of the articulation of the household with the capitalist world-economy should pay special attention to issues of "territoriality, wage labor and ethnic and gender stratification" (p.110). Further, while characterizing the household as a unit of malleable boundaries, Wallerstein indicates that such boundaries depict "a short-term firmness embedded in both economic self-interest and the social psychology of its members" (p.109). We have already discussed some of the ethnic, territorial and psychological aspects of Cibaenos' self-identity. Interpreting their motivations for defending a social space in the seventeenth century, at a

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235 time when misery was so pervasive and the country was going through such a distressful experience, I argue, entails looking at the psychological and material spheres of their existence. Those spheres are embedded in the genesis, development and decay of specific ideologies and utopias that have functioned in the Dominican Republic. In addition to the ones already discussed, I consider it pertinent to include the notions of progress, order, nationalism, individuation, and the protection of the family. Even though an exhaustive survey of such a vast field is not our task at present, the following reconstruction should help our quest. The time separating the end of las cincuentenas (roughly 1700) from the 1870s, when Hazard wrote his report, embodies more than nearly two centuries. It also includes a space of experience (defined above). In other words, that period was marked by a historical-existential time rather than by chronological time as such. Those land cultivators who were uninterested in getting into "trouble" by growing more than they needed to satisfy basic needs, came to that conclusion as part of an experience lived by them personally and their ancestors as well. Theirs was action supported by a collective memory. Such a comportment reflected an attitude toward their contemporary dwellers and the institutions framing their existence, the family and the state included. Exhibited in that stance was also a view of "the other": Haitians, Spaniards, French, Dutch, British and Americans. The discontent they expressed to Hazard was part of a public transcript belonging to a discourse strategy. It also denoted human suffering. When the town of Monte Cristi, destroyed by Ovando in 1605, was rebuilt in 1751, El Cibao entered a new era of economic development whose consequences for the country at large became apparent in 1916, the year U.S. troops landed here and in Puerto Plata. Now, rather than a no-man's land.

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236 the Despoblado was an active economic pole. Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi, whose new populations had a high number of immigrants brought by the Spanish government from the Canary Islands (Hoetink 1985:48), contributed to the region's long-term socio-cultural integration and economic differentiation. Merchants, national and foreigners alike, acted as key agents in this new process of economic revitalization. Since depopulation, Spain's mercantilist policy had experienced significant changes, and northern Santo Domingo became linked to more diverse international market channels, both in Europe and the Americas. Tobacco, extensive grazing and timbering were but a few enterprises flourishing in the formerly bankrupted region. Santiago and San Jose de Las Matas were also part of that network. Close to home, just across the newly-activated border, a prosperous plantation economy based on slave labor created a demand for Dominican agricultural and animal products. New sources of capital accumulation were waiting to be activated, so to speak, just across the river. Indeed, the 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez had defined the frontier, la linea. separating two sharply different social formations: Saint-Domingue, on the West, where sugar cane and coffee sustained the wealthiest plantation-based colony in New World; on the East, Santo Domingo, a backward Spanish colony where cattle was raised and tobacco grown in a rather rustic fashion. Herdsmen and land cultivators from all parts of the country were actively engaged with the Haitian market. Long distances were covered on horseback by both the hateros ' (rancher) servants and land tillers in order to reach the profitable Haitian market. Comparative advantages, a shorter distance in particular, favored Cibaenos in their successful businesses with the French colony. Consequently, most of the 'original' accumulation of material wealth

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237 concentrated in El Cibao. Other geographic regions lagged behind the northern development. The pattern of uneven development continued. The organization of agriculture and stock raising in El Cibao during this period was structured according to three main systems of production: first, the hato or cattle ranch; second, rancho or place for pig raising; third, the estancia or cash crop farm (Antonini 1968:161-167). The rancho was the dwelling of el montero, the unique persona in Dominican history. An important part of his ethos was a mirror image of the French buccaneer: selfsufficient, brave, knower of the solitude in the forest, austere, loyal, introverted and, above all, vigilant. 17 Production for self-consumption and commercial agriculture were closely interconnected. Yucca was a major staple. Cassava bread was elaborated using family labor, particularly female labor. Some trapiches (rustic sugar cane mills using animal traction) also operated here. It was, indeed, a prosperous region, a true peasant region. But those were unstable times. Life was fragile. The social contract was based on a particularly weak state in eastern Hispaniola and an autocratic-like system in French-ruled Saint-Domingue. Slavery, particularly in the latter, prevented the forge of any solid political consensus. Within this context, progress was not only uneven. It was also short-lived. All this structure of production and circulation of commodities, this social space constructed upon the assumption that slavery and accumulation were endless, were suddenly disrupted, their foundations shacked, by the slave revolution that took place in French Saint-Domingue at the end of the eighteenth century. The 1791 slave rebellion broke out at the plantations, the real core of Cibaenos' 17 The montero ethos is stronger among Montaneros than among Sabaneros. An excellent interpretation of this social type is Pedro Bono's El Montero.

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238 prosperity at that time. What followed was a nightmare for most Dominicans. The island of Hispaniola was transformed into a battlefield occupied by British, French, Spanish, Dominican and Haitian troops. During the same period of time, in 1795 to be exact, Spain ceded eastern Hispaniola to France through the Treaty of Basilea. After suffering a series of military interventions by Haiti in 1801, by France from 1802 to 1808, and by England in 1809, the republic entered in 1809 another era of poverty, neglect, and chaos: the Espana Boba (1809-1821). Economic stagnation marked, once again, the slow pace of daily life. Regional differences between south and north sharpened during this period. La Linea, close to the border with Haiti, suffered the consequences of a permanent hostility significantly embedded in racial and class contradictions as well as changing perceptions of who "the enemy" was. Land cultivators and herdsmen, engulfed by terror and chaos, pulled away from mainstream society, moving toward the nearby mountains and forest where the montero. alert, free, brave, dwelled. With them, they took a symbol of their willingness to protect themselves and resist: trained hunting dogs. Most of those settlers were white. Their fathers, if not they themselves, came originally from the Canary Islands. It is likely that a few of them were former French landlords who had escaped the massacre in Haiti. 18 Thus, their reclusion in the Cordillera Central was not only a withdrawal from "trouble." Is was also a separation from "the black other," los negros . Later on, from 1822 to 1865, drawn by the waves of war against Haiti (1822, 1844, 1845, 1855) and Spain 18 I base this speculation on the existence of several French surnames among "white" people from Santiago Rodriguez and Moncion. Some Sabaneros of white completion have French apellidos (surnames). On this, see Concepcion (1960).

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239 (1861-65), those rural dwellers and their off-springs became soldiers who fought against both Haitians and Spaniards alike. To be sure, they were soldiers who identified themselves, now stronger than ever, with the European, white tradition. Both nationalism and the "thinking white" consciousness provided them with the ideology needed to have "the capacity to confront death collectively" (Balibar). What occurred in northern Dominican Republic between 1822, the year marking the beginning of the second Haitian occupation, and 1916, when the first U.S. intervention began, is a long and complex story; repeating it is beyond our primary interest at present. Instead, let us highlight some of the relevant events of that period that are more directly related to both the cibaena culture and the lived experience of dwellers of this socio-geographic region. Santo Domingo was a newly-born nation-state when Jean Paul Boyer, the Haitian ruler, crossed on horseback southern valleys and plains in order to materialize Toussain L'Overture's utopia of the "one, undivible island." Encountering no military resistance to his invasion, he found a nation-state in which the French ideal of "liberty, equality, and fraternity" was not part of its social-identity. Despite the sacrifice made by Dominicans in 1821 to become free from Spain's weak control, Dominican society was far from being unified around a common project. Although the absence of a plantation economy made slavery here more relaxed than in Haiti, Dominican slaves were caught in a world of poverty. To be sure, there was food available to them. Yet food alone does not fulfill human desires. For slaves, poverty also meant lack of a project, moral stagnation. To a great extent, the majority of the country shared this alienation after decades of continuous war, destruction, and poor administration.

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240 All in all, the hateros (owners of large cattle ranches) of the southern and eastern plains were the wealthiest social class in 1822. They were politically powerful too. Close to their socioeconomic status were the runners of another major economic activity: felling trees for export (corte de madera) . At the northern geographic region, by contrast, hateros' power was felt with less potency. As reported by San Miguel (1987:33-34), the hatos of northern Santo Domingo faded away as a result of the Haitian Revolution. The presence of some estancias and hatos notwithstanding, for the most part farm plots were rather small in this area. Together, tobacco growers, monteros and owners of estancias usufructed most of the land under cultivation in El Cibao and La Linea. Peasants in this region were partially constituted because of the relaxed discipline at the estancias. Slaves working on the estancias were able to maintain their own conucos either within or in the periphery of the rather vast farms. The map of land use in El Cibao also included the long-lived common lands (terrenos comuneros) . 19 as well as land owned by the state and the Catholic Church. San Miguel (ibid.) indicates that another form of land tenure was the sitios, "which were the large estates dedicated to cattle and hog's raising" (p.45). The common lands predominated in the country at large; most of them were uncultivated (see Rodriguez Demorizi 1964). The abolition of slavery in 1822, followed by the Rural Code of 1826, were two major measures taken by Boyer in his attempt to reshape the social 19 In brief, terrenos comuneros were common lands of large size held by owners (individuals and families alike) who had shares in the vast extensions. The possession of pesos entitled one to usufruct whatever amount of land one was able to cultivate. Of course, labor was a major constraint to the actual tilling of the land. See Alburquerque, Aldbiades. 1961. Tftulo de los terrenos comuneros de la Republica Dominicana. Ciudad Trujillo: Impresora Dominicana. For a more recent interpretation, see Fernandez Rodriguez (1980).

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241 structure in the entire island. Those agrarian laws echoed the Physiocrats' conviction that agriculture was the only source of wealth. Under the new legal regulations, everyone was legally entitled to possess or own land (see Machin 1973). Though the fragmentation of hatos and large farm units was a formal goal of Boyer's developmental plan, in practice little of that was actually implemented. Immediate political alliances made between Haitian rulers and Dominican hateros, accompanied by Boyer's long-term economic interests, contributed to the relaxation of the rather radically-conceived principles of land distribution included in the Rural Code. Land belonging to the Catholic Church, however, was actually impacted by the new laws; it was distributed among newly-constituted peasants, became state property, or was transformed, by default, in common lands (see Moya Pons 1984:22-227). In El Cibao, where the Catholic Church was significantly influential, Boyer's attack to the latter's property was perceived by locals as a confirmation of his evil nature. The same feelings were activated by his decision to import black Americans from Philadelphia. With this, the Cibaenos' anti-Haitian sentiments (and racism by inference) were reinforced in the area at large, particularly among "pure" white-Europeans. Boyer's initiatives were accompanied by the organization of the island in five administrative centers or departamentos . The former nation-state of Santo Domingo was divided into Departamento del Cibao and Departamento del Ozama (named after the river near the capital of Santo Domingo). One of the results of this political division was the reaffirmation of a South versus North dichotomy in Dominican collective memory. Further, since the application of the Rural Code was stronger in the Departamento del Ozama (particularly in the southeastern coastal plains), the actual presence of the state in El Cibao was weaker than in the rest of the country. I do not wish to

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242 imply that Cibaenos were not impacted by state regulations. What I mean instead is that the influence did not come primarily in the form of land distribution. Rather, the regimentation of life was felt in El Cibao through the form the state attempted to regulate a social space to which religion was crucial. Boyer's prohibition of some "popular" forms of religious ceremonies (held under the umbrella of a syncretic Catholicism) was deeply felt by Cibaenos as an attack to their inner self. While resisting being "captured" as peasants by the official taxes imposed upon them, while doing everything possible to defend their family farm, Cibaenos also protected their ontic and ontological security by preserving one of the foundations of their self-identity as individuals: racially and religiously-based ethnicity. The paradox (if not the irony) of Cibaenos' attitude toward "the black other" during that period is that it was actually the Haitian government that eliminated slavery in the Dominican Republic. One may expect that anyone responsible for providing land and freedom to a people who lack both is going to be admired by the beneficiaries of such measures. This may well be the case provided that such a person is neither different from nor opposed to the ideal signifiers sustaining specific ideologies and utopias. Boyer and what he represented were perceived by Cibaenos as the antithesis of their ideal signifiers. By this I mean that the Haitian ruler, beside being an invader, was perceived as a black enemy of the Catholic Church, a threat to personal freedom, and much more. When conditions were ripe, the same Cibaenos who did very little to stop the Haitian troops in 1822, became active soldiers against the government that collapsed on February 27, 1844. There is in Boyer's fall a crucial philosophical dimension that needs our attention. He was indeed a man who believed in agricultural development and hard work. However, his experience with slavery in Haiti,

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243 a country where the development of plantations was antithetical to the freedom of most black people, led him to overemphasize the antagonistic nature of the relationship between master and slave. He overlooked two other spheres of lordship and bondage: recognition and reciprocity. It is precisely this threefold relationship (recognition, reciprocity, and struggle) between oppressor and oppressed that Hegel (1977:104-119) was trying to clarify in his phenomenological interpretation of self-consciousness. Dominican slaves, partially because of the backward nature of the country's economic foundations, partially because of the ideational processes shaping its constitution, had with their masters a relationship in which struggle was overpowered by accommodation, the search for recognition and reciprocity in everyday life. Though there was a color line, miscegenation was not uncommon in Santo Domingo. In this context, different from Haiti, "the other" was reachable through subtle forms of face to face interactions. In the constitution of the Dominican peasantry in general and the northern peasantry in particular, the 1822-1844 period was a crucial one (see Machin 1973). For one, the state's presence in the life of peasants began its structuration. It was not only that land was given away to the latter but also that taxes, albeit relaxed, were actually collected by the government. Merchants served as a liaison between the two institutions. Perhaps that was the first time the two structures, peasantry and the state, formally met on Dominican territory. That encounter, so my argument goes, also entails a meeting of concrete individuals. What emerged from that intersubjective experience is a research project waiting to be undertaken. Also belonging to that period is the acceleration (if not the beginning in some regions) of the timber industry. The felling of trees, particularly precious woods such as mahogany and guayacan (Guaiacum officinale) reinforced the linkage of the

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244 Dominican economy with Europe (particularly England) and America. Finally, and more important for our task, it was during the Haitian occupation that the export of tobacco from El Cibao to Germany, Holland, France and the U.S. took a firm hold at Puerto Plata (Baez Evertsz 1986:132). To a lesser degree, Monte Cristi also participated in that heavy trade. Looking at the larger picture, one sees during that period the configuration of two major patterns of production: first, the extractive timber industry working mostly as an enclave supported by the labor of peasants and proletarian-like rural dwellers; second, the tobacco industry, in which the relation peasant-merchant was an essential step before exportation was realized. The economy of peasants from northern Dominican Republic was reinforced by this second pattern of development. Since the production of tobacco was based on family labor, that ideal signifier of the cibaena culture was consolidated through the process of producing for the international market. The subjective conditions for that economic process to become so important were already functioning at the household level as part of a longlived heritage of kin solidarity. A work ethic of personal seriousness and family values provided the foundations for the interplay of utopia and progress to materialize. Here, as elsewhere, cultural values and economic interests were mutually signified. The context of that signification was provided by external-internal, material-ideational factors alike. From 1844 to 1916, twenty-three successful revolutions took place in the Dominican Republic (Antonini 1968:87). This is not the place to open the files of those events. For the task at hand, the important fact to highlight is that such revolts were led by regional leaders (caudillos) whose leadership depended heavily on two interrelated phenomena: first, their economic and symbolic influence on the peasantry in particular and rural dwellers in

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245 general; second, their overt position regarding "the other": Americans, Europeans, Haitians and other Dominicans as well. Literally, during the period under consideration the country was torn apart as a result of what those leaders stood for. Three ramifications of the caudillismo are worth considering at present. First is the de facto fragmentation of the country into regional constituencies uncontrolled by a central state. Interpreting the psychological and political repercussions of this fragmentation, Hoetink (1995:78) talks about the existence of conflicting loyalties between "the little nation" (the region) and the nation at large. I share his assessment that loyalty to the former was usually privileged over loyalty to the latter. Such a regional mentality was facilitated by the natural characteristics of the country's physical setting we outlined earlier in this chapter. Added to this was the lack of good systems of communications. A traveler of the country, A. Hyatt Verrill, reported in 1914 that horses and donkeys were the main means of transportation (c.f. Van Royen 1973:295). The second process steaming from the phenomenon of caudillismo was the militarization of the Dominican society as a whole. The internalization of this new process by concrete human beings, added to the prevailing loyalty to regional symbols, had far-reaching psychological implications that were ultimately expressed in daily life. Two of those consequences, as Hoetink (1985:142) well indicates, were: first, the difficulty people had in separating the institution of the army (el eiercito) from civil society ( el pueblo) ; second, the soldier became inseparable from the citizen. The "one man, one soldier" mentality that permeated Dominican history throughout, was reinforced during this period. It is in this context that the " arma de fuego " (firearm) and the " arma blanca " (a sharp machete or knife). became nearly a continuation of the human body, a third arm, if not a phallic

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246 symbol, for many Dominicans. A man without some sort of weapon on him felt vulnerable, naked, afraid. When all weapons were confiscated by the U.S. troops, a core part of the Dominican ego was hurt. Finally, these two consequences of caudillismo impacted the core of El Cibao: the peasant economy and the ethos on which it was built. It was the internalization by Cibaenos of these three closely interwoven processes that was manifested in the expression "what is the use?" when they met with Hazard at the Desierto de Santiago. Antonini argues in a convincing manner that, during this period, "cultivated fields were abandoned as farmers were enrolled in one army or the other either voluntarily or by impressment " (1968:89; my stress) In order to understand how northern peasants felt, one just has to visualize a small hut in the Cordillera Central occupied by a woman and her six children, at night, alone, not knowing where the " hombre de la casa " (the household's man) is, not knowing which army is going to take her crops or her life or her honor at any time. This picture is not too far from what actually happened in daily life during that epoch. Nor is far from reality the image of a peasant who, trying to take his or her crops to the market on horseback or muleback, leaves home early in the morning, and is stopped by soldiers who take away both his animals and his products. All of this occurred to Cibaenos. Yet, human tribulations and economic progress usually go hand in hand. This is one of the phenomena best documented by social scientists worldwide. To paraphrase Marris's (1986:19) insights into the sociopsychological dimensions of personal and collective loss associated with social change, there is an interconnection among change, loss and growth. Following my own argument, utopias, ideologies, and power are three concatenated phenomena difficult to separate from one another in quotidian

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247 life. To a great degree, the growth of capitalism, notwithstanding its high human cost, is unthinkable without some form of hegemony. Neither the Dominican Republic nor the Linea Noroeste are exceptions to this general principle of social change. Indeed, at the same time that Cibaenos were suffering from (and coping with) war and destruction, the social space in which they dwelled was drastically transformed by the impact of capitalism, development, progress. Analysts of the Dominican Republic tend to agree upon the fact that it was during the late 1800s, primarily under the impact of foreign capital, that the development of the forces of production and its concomitant social relations of production, distribution, consumption and reproduction took the form corresponding to the ideal type known in the Marxist tradition as the capitalist mode of production. When comparing the capitalist path in the Dominican Republic with similar processes taking place much earlier in Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, Bosch (1987) has used Mandel's (1987) term of "late capitalism" to characterize what happened in the former. Important as this is for theoretical and practical reasons, we need not examine it at present. 20 A synopsis of that general process shall serve our purpose at this juncture. Despite Spain's explicit lack of interest in the economic development of the Dominican Republic, Pedro Santana, a caudillo, hatero and president of the republic, negotiated the annexation to Spain of the fragile nation-state. That new phase in the country's political dependence began in 1861. At the time the big man made that decision, most of the imports to the Dominican 20 On this, in addition to Bosch's work, see Baud (1987), Boin and Serulle (1980, 1981), Brea (1983), Cassa (1985), Cross Bera (1984), Crouch (1979), Duarte (1980), Gomez 1979, and Rodriguez J. and Velez C. (1980).

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248 Republic came from the Caribbean islands of Saint Thomas and Curasao. The two small seaports were key agents in the circulation of commodities from and Europe. Though German and Dutch merchants controlled part of the Dominican branch of that trade through their investments at Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi, Spanish merchantmen were in charge of most of the wholesale operations in the republic (see Rodriguez Demorizi 1955:110). Resistance to the annexation was strong in this northern region. Peasants from El Cibao, even those of Spanish descent, joined the struggle for independence. Once again, they had to deal with their conflicting loyalty. Two related processes contributed to support their position: first, the notion of Dominicanidad (Dominicanhood) had taken the form of an increasingly strong nationalism; second, their interests as growers of tobacco, coffee and cocoa conflicted with the annexation to Spain. Compared to the economic development of countries like Germany, Holland, and France, Spain at that time was a rather backward nation whose colonies in the Caribbean (e.g., Cuba and Puerto Rico) were fighting for their own independence. Dominicans knew well of those nearby political struggles. Those land cultivators who a few decades earlier followed the montero's path into the Cordillera Central, seeking shelter and security in the face of war and increasing economic stagnation, now dwelled in some of the places where resistance to Spain was strong. One of those sites, Sabaneta de los Novillos (literally Savannah of the Young Bulls), grew out of the wars with Haiti. As a result of both its geographic position and symbolism, the scarcely populated village was also known as Spanish Savannah or Sabaneta Espanola (Concepcion 1960:13). The town, whose population was part mulatto and part white, ended up being a key epicenter in the struggle against the Spaniards (Antonini 1968:93). Latter on, when the war was over and the heroes buried.

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249 this place dwelled in by peasants, monteros and herdsmen received a new emblem: Santiago Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a local man of Spanish descent himself, was one of Restoration's most notorious leaders. He died in combat fighting against part of his own cultural identity. Sabaneros' identity with the Dominicanidad was reinforced with his heroic actions as a nationalist. Ironically, in one of the battles fought against the European power died a man, Pierre Thomas, who took sides with Dominicans even though he was Haitian. At Sabaneta, state control was weak. Haiti, just next door, was an ambiguous neighbor. On the one hand, there was the memory of its invasion, "the black other;"on the other, was a territory where some of the freedom fighters found support for their revolutionary projects. Gregorio Luperon, who together with Santiago Rodriguez was one the symbols of independence, organized the insurrection from Sabaneta. He, as mentioned earlier, was a mulatto (Concepcion 1960:52-56). Sabaneta de los Novillos or Santiago Rodriguez is the area "sending" migrant peasants to Green Savannah in 1958. At the time of the Restoration, the town of 6,000 inhabitants was joined to San Jose de Las Matas and Santiago through two main economic activities: palm weaving and stock raising. Palm weavers, both men and women, provided the baskets (cerones) used in the tobacco industry. Echoing the characterization of the dwellers of this area made in 1922 by Medina (quoted above), historian Agustfn Concepcion (1960:52) reports that, before the war against Spain started more than a century ago, "Life was of a patriarchal form. The only sort of politics going on was one of order, morality and work. Everyone felt happy and was dedicated to work.

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250 Notwithstanding that his is likely an idealization of peasant life, Concepcion's remarks are important as a way of contrasting this image of happiness and security with the one depicted by Hazard's assessment of peasant life at a conterminous area after the 1865 war. Also worth noticing is the significance of stock raising at Sabaneta during that time. If, as Antonini reports, by late 1800s and early 1900s there was a significant shift from grazing to farming in the predominant farming system among Sabaneros, then it follows that demand of foodstuffs actually increased at some point. Peasants do not increase production in a context of economic depression. The case is usually the opposite: peasants may even reduce production of exchange-value when they perceive the terms of exchange as detrimental to their long-term security. This is the essence of Hyden's (1984) notion of "economy of affection" among Tanzanian land cultivators. Scott's (1976) concept of "the moral economy of the peasantry" also refers to this characteristic of peasant ideology. Earlier, I discussed the documentation of similar trends among Cibaeno peasants in the Deep South. To simplify a complex historical period of Dominican history, let us say that for the purposes of this narrative the three major events of the foregoing phenomena are: first, the 1916 U.S. military occupation; second, the fragmentation of the common lands formalized in 1911 and actually implemented . from 1920 on; third, the official decision to colonize the frontier using immigrants from Europe, the Canary Islands in particular (see Marinez 1984; Olivares 1985). Taking a look at the changes in the social space during this period, one sees four crucial developments taking place. First is the rapid growth of the sugar cane industry, primarily in the southeastern plains near Santo Domingo and San Pedro de Macons. Second is the expansion of the labor and

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251 land markets resulting in part from the construction of ingenios (mostly on the southeast) and railroads (on the northeast). Both processes had a direct impact on peasants' access to land. The third major development during this period is the shift from an external trade primarily oriented toward Europe to an export sector increasingly focused on the American market. Finally, a sharper process of regional economic specialization occurred in the republic during this period. Four main regional patterns are visible: first, the predominance of a modern sugar cane industry, joined by extensive stock raising using improved pasture on the southeastern coastal plains; second, the extractive timber industry ( cortes de madera) , extensive grazing using traditional pastures, a couple of sugar cane factories, and a subsistence peasant economy on the southwestern region as a whole; third, adjacent to the previous, there was a scarcely populated region, including the coastal area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located, where subsistence farming was closely interconnected with the felling of trees (for the American and British markets primarily), hunting, gathering, and extensive grazing at the common lands, and salt mining at Isla Beata; finally, the primarily agricultural El Cibao, firmly linked to La Linea and La Sierra by myriad economic, socio-political, cultural, and intersubjective processes such as the ones discussed up to now. Of course, as we have seen in this overview, differences within the Cibao region were sharp even before 1916. Specific to the highlands of La Sierra and La Linea, for instance, was the lumber industry that contributed to the growth of the latifundio forestal described above. This phenomenon, as we shall see in a moment, was crucial in the life of migrant Sabaneros. Rustic gold panning at the nearby streams was significant for some family living in the Cordillera Central. Due to limitations of space, I have not discussed here the significant increase in the cultivation of coffee and cacao

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252 that took place in northern Dominican republic during this period (see Baud 1986a, 1987; Crouch 1979). Though some Cibaeno peasants participated in a short-lived resistance to the occupation, for the most part overt popular mobilization occurred in the eastern provinces where peasants had been violently separated from their lands to favor sugar cane and extensive grazing (see Marin ez 1984; Moya Pons 1984:473-494). In La Linea, partially because of the accommodation stance taken by caudillo Desiderio Arias, peasant military resistance was sporadic. Paradoxically, possession of firearms was pervasive throughout La Linea. Former soldiers and active rebels, linieros did not confront the sophisticated American army. Their resistance to being "captured," though, was about to take a sharp turn. It became, metaphorically speaking, an underground hurricane. With the military occupation, the ongoing process of land monopolization in the hands of powerful corporations, families and individuals significantly increased in most of the country. To the best of my knowledge, that was not the case in most of the northern region. The fragmentation of the common lands, however, was accelerated here and elsewhere in the country. To be sure, the legal foundations for the occurrence of these two processes were provided by the 1911 Lev de Division de Terrenos Comuneros . Peasants from La Linea, who hitherto had paid little attention to the legal registration of their lands, were reminded in 1917 by the military government that land was already a commodity in which the state was explicitly interested. The 1920 Ley de Registro de Titulos was a stronger indication of the government's intention to control and privatize a social space that Sabaneros had previously perceived as both common and free.

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253 Indeed, before this new regimentation of land ownership began, peasants' access to their holdings in this geographic region was based upon hard work (individual and collective alike) and community-forming emotional ties. Both the juntas, a form of communal work based on laborsharing, and the common lands symbolized the existence among dwellers of a feeling that I term "belonging through sharing." Squatters became dwellers as a result of belonging and reciprocating. The long-lived tradition of burying in the backyard a dry piece of the baby's navel-cord (locally known as enterrar el ombligo) was a ritual aimed at possessing the land, a gesture indicating the intention to staying at a location. In addition to the dwellers' instrumental interest represented by the conuco and tamed animals forming a system of production based on multicropping, their ultimate expression of belonging was a symbolic one: the three rustic crosses, usually surrounded by small stones and some flowers, that even today one finds at many peasant houses throughout northern Dominican Republic, particularly in the highlands of La Lfnea. When the little peasant girl hauled water from the nearby stream to make sure that those wild flowers will grow beautiful, the aesthetics and feelings of linieros were manifested. It was an expression of their inner self. The enforcement of the agrarian laws caused a major transformation of the traditional way peasants related to the larger society as well as to one another. It was here, linked to the land market, that bureaucracy took a hold in the life of peasants. As one migrant Sabanero told me, "we did not know what to do with so many legal forms." For the most part, before the official bureaucracy arrived, written documents were not part of daily life. Most transactions were seen through the lenses of a oral tradition grounded in a sense of honor and mutual trust. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the respect for one's word was central to the sense of honor shared by Cibaenos at

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254 the time of our story. Even the way a person walked and held herself was taken as a more accurate portrait of her seriousness than a signed piece of paper. Love letters, when needed, were written by someone, usually a school teacher, who knew both how to write and keep secrets. Major disputes were mediated by a prestigious figure that Jimenez terms "the rural advisor; the countryside philosopher" (1927:230-233). Nowadays, one often hears Cibaenos making a nostalgic reference to "the time when a man's word was more valuable than a money bill." Most of the peasants who migrated to the South in 1958 were born the sons and daughters of dwellers from La Linea who witnessed the regimentation of life inherent to the U.S. intervention and the far-reaching processes emanating from it. Ethnographic data show that at least in twenty cases, their parents were strong enough to make that journey with them to the hot tierra oreiana . Angelina, my 82-year-old Sabanera friend, was one of such parents. So was Pancho, her husband, who passed away in 1982. In addition to broken dreams, new utopias, personal knowledge and material deprivation, they took with them to the south the cibaena culture. They were dwellers in search of a new location. The presence of soldiers and developers in the daily life of human beings who had had the experiences outlined above, was a process that went beyond the imposition of military personnel and bureaucrats upon a social space previously controlled by caudillos and their rural and urban followers. That was also a process of structuration or "the structuring of social relations across time and space, in virtue of the duality of structure" (Giddens 1986:376). Yet, since structures are both "the medium and the outcome of the conduct [they] recursively organize" (ibid.:374; my stress), understanding the way structuration impacts the total humanity of people entails more than looking

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255 at economic processes. Crucial to that endeavor is comprehending the role of human agency as it relates to structures, power and knowledge. It is within this theoretical framework that the process of internalization becomes a core theme to look at in this final segment of our reconstruction of Cibaenos' lived experience. In his reconstruction of La Linea's history, Antonini argues that three key "cultural factors" during the 1916-1967 period were: first, the U.S. intervention (1916-1924); second; Trujillo's dictatorship (1930-1961); third, the irrigation projects implemented under the influence of the two previous phenomena. Generally speaking, I agree with such periodization. Let us outline how the processes taking place in Santiago Rodriguez at that time were related to the life of migrant Sabaneros. Acknowledging that parts and wholes, villages and regions, are closely interwoven, I shall carry out my synopsis of those complex processes by looking simultaneously at three interconnected phenomena. First of all, I will describe some concrete actions taken at the regional and national levels by the state. Second, I will interpret how those measures impacted upon (and were perceived by) dwellers of the Santiago Rodriguez. Finally, a description and interpretation of the experience lived by a migrant family from this area. What occurred to the members of this particular household is representative, in my view, of the way structural processes impacted upon (and were internalized by) concrete Sabaneros. For the sake of clarity, here more emphasis is placed on identifying in general terms the interplay of concrete official initiatives with human agency than in tracing the actual chronology of events or examining their numerous ramifications. Regulating the entire agricultural sector was a priority for most rulers during the 1916-1961 period. The picture of the Dominican countryside in

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256 1920 is worth recalling for heuristic purposes. This account does not apply to the modernized sugar cane regions. Nearly 84% of the population resided in the rural area (see Table 2). A great proportion of the land was in the form of terrenos comuneros. Squatters were present throughout the nation, in usufruct of land according to their traditional values of commonality. Few peasants had legal titles for the land they had cultivated for decades. Most land was uncultivated. The system of communication was poor, making the circulation of consumer goods and people slow and inefficient, from the state's perspective. Some highly productive coastal regions were only reachable by boat or through narrow animal paths. Inter-regional trade was either precarious or totally lacking. For the most part, ploughing was alien to peasants, whose slash-and-burn agricultural practices made the use of chemical fertilizers both ecologically unnecessary and economically inadequate. Further, there was no extension service to promote the use of modern agricultural practices. Irrigation, when used, was done using rustic canals. Formal education was unknown to most rural dwellers. Agricultural credit was not part of peasants' life. Neither was electricity or running water. Housing was a particularly serious problem. Health services reached only a few of rural dwellers. It was a rather "uncaptured" peasantry residing in a yet to be expanded socioecomomic, natural and political frontier. Transforming such a social space into one consonant with development and capital accumulation required consolidating the state apparatus, completing the territorialization of the country (both externally in relation to Haiti and internally in terms of creating administrative centers), legitimizing the presence of the state in private life, creating the symbols that would function as ideology and utopia, defining new identities in relation to "the other" (Americans, Europeans and Haitians in particular), and gaining

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257 access to the capital and technology needed for such a revolutionary project. Of course, this list may be significantly expanded. The important fact to bear in mind, though, is that in the Dominican Republic all these processes, at least formally, began to take place at once under the leadership of a man who had internalized three claims shaping the nation's historical consciousness across time and space: economic progress, nationalism, and militarization. We will see in a moment some of the manifestations of this unique blend of events. Notwithstanding the immensity and rather impersonal nature of all large-scale modernization, in the Dominican Republic such a process was heavily dependent upon the control of individuals, their minds and bodies alike. We will recall that political unrest, led by regional caudillos, was a distinctive feature of a society whose citizens, as Hoetink said, had internalized the mood of general militarization. Due to their previous experience as soldiers, land cultivators, and inhabitants of an uncertain social space, the majority of those 745,771 rural dwellers needed to be disciplined alongside the development of capitalism. In order words, the processes of state formation, capital accumulation, transformation of the peasantry, and constitution of the public sphere (Habermas), are in this case systemically linked with the legitimation of state regulation of private life (see Brea 1983). To use Foucault's (1979;1980) celebrated phrase, "discipline and punish" (sic) came together with the notion of progress. In the Dominican Republic, this dual process occurred in the manner of three phenomena essential to the regimentation of life: first of all, the application of census or surveillance; secondly, the imposition of public work; thirdly, the criminalization of vagrancy in rural areas. Inextricably concatenated with these forms of regimentation were the processes of individuation and indoctrination, which

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258 nearly from the onset took three paths: first, making mandatory la cedula (identification card); second, enforcing formal education; third promoting Catholicism. What follows is a brief description of how these official initiatives and coeval phenomena impacted peasants. On December 24, 1920, Christmas was celebrated in a rather unusual manner in most Dominican households. It was then, on such a special occasion, that the first systematic census or Primer Censo Nacional was conducted. A process that nowadays passes rather unnoticed in the republic, the census at that time made nearly everyone aware that one's privacy was no longer a matter of personal choice. The census disclosed one's material wealth, poverty, or both. It also revealed to surveillant and surveilled alike that the power of the state had become part of daily life. At that time, particularly for peasants, five Dominican pesos was enough money to purchase clothes for an entire year, and one-hundred pesos was a fortune. 21 No wonder why the Executive Order 505 signed by Thomas Snowden, the U.S. Admiral, created so much fear, anger, frustration. The decree, posted throughout the nation by Dominican and American civil and military personnel, stated that a fine (multa) ranging from 5 to 100 pesos will be paid by those providing wrong information, refusing surveillance, or both. It was also stated that disobedience of the official order could involve jail terms ranging from six days to six months, in addition to the multa. A maximum of one-thousand pesos was the multa to be paid by surveillants who altered the census forms. That first census included nearly all aspects of one's life, 21 Elderly Sabaneros told me that in 1934 they bought a set of shirt, shoes and pants for five pesos or less. They called such a fixed set of garments una remua . San Miguel (1987:277) reports that "in 1918 two pesos could buy a calf or a small pig."

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259 including race. It was applied to people aged eighteen or older (Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo 1975:ix). An indication of the hegemonic character of the census is the ambiguous language used by Snowden. "Anyone aged eighteen or older," he said, "has the obligation [el deber l to answer correctly [and] with the greatest bona-fide [mayor buena fel , all questions asked" (ibid.). That claim for personal honesty in answering questions about personal and family matters, combined with the threat of either imprisonment or a fine, created a dilemma to many Dominicans. Whereas words such as "punishment" and "crime"represented power and oppression, the term buena fe was an invitation to personal doubt. We will recall my earlier reference to Schutz's claim that in daily life it is doubt, rather than belief, that is suspended. When Dominican peasants in particular faced such a doubt, an interrogation of their common sense, a questioning of their taken-for-granted daily life took place with consequences we can just begin to explore here. This existential crux was reinforced by the participation in the census of two social figures that were close to the rural dwellers' Lebenswelt : the Alcalde Pedaneo (roughly local police officer) and school teachers. In most rural areas, the Alcalde Pedaneo was a local person. In that cultural context, it is likely that lying to two persons so closely related to you was, from the surveilledÂ’s perspective, an act of personal indecency. By the same token, unveiling one's secrets to the state ruled by " los Americanos. " filling "all those legal forms," was perceived as a dangerous thing to do. This conflict between revealing and concealing was an ideological one. Further, it was interlaced to a growing new idea in the country at large: the idea of progress. Los Americanos, the same individuals enforcing the census, were also the ones building new roads, bridges, schools, and so on. These emblems of

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260 progress were well received by peasants. When having to make a choice between telling the truth or lying, peasants did both depending on specific circumstance. More important, they tried to find a third alternative: "working out" a solution with the official employees, using what Sabaneros call "an exchange between humans." Overall, peasants did everything possible to hide some information, particularly the ones regarding land and animals. That will become apparent in a minute. Between the first census of 1920 and May 13, 1935, the date the second census was taken, myriad structural and institutional changes took place in the country at large and La Linea in particular. To name but a few, it was during that period that construction of the modern roads and steel bridges ordered by President Horacio Vasquez (1924-1930) was completed, linking Santo Domingo with La Linea, the East and part of the South. Centralization in Santo Domingo was reinforced by the improvement of infrastructures. New roads into the countryside boosted the general process of frontier expansion. The agricultural extension service began in 1927 (Olivares 1985:78), continuing the work initiated few years earlier by the Instructores de Agricultura . Small-scale irrigation projects were implemented in El Cibao and La Linea. The Tuntas Comunales Protectoras de la Agricultura (henceforth Juntas Comunales) were created by law in 1934, structuring the relationship between peasants and the state around the notion of mutual aid at the village level. The Eiercito National (National Guard) was designed and trained by the U.S troops. In La Linea itself, says Antonini, "by 1924, the political base had been laid for regional socioeconomic development"(p.l06). A similar situation existed in most of the nation. However, different from the fragmented leadership so typical of the country, this new objective

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261 advancement was associated with a symbol of order, progress, and fear that remained effective until 1961: Rafael Trujillo and his Dominican Party. Trujillo, whose first administration was inaugurated in 1930, became such a powerful emblem based on more than the military and economic support he received from the U.S. He was a dictator who knew well how to manipulate symbols and use power. He also knew how to control people by means of terror and cooptation alike. 22 Prior to 1935, Trujillo passed three public tests that contributed to galvanize his image as a big man, both nationally and in La Linea. First was the way he and his government, to be sure with American aid, managed the total destruction of the national capital by Hurricane San Zenon in 1930. By the end of 1935, a rather modern city emerged out of the debris left behind by the powerful hurricane. Together with the birth of this new city emerged, stronger that ever, Trujillo's leadership. Oviedo argues convincingly that such a test helped Trujillo to become "a master of order" (1985:138). I would say that he also became a "master of progress." The second test was passed by the dictator in La Lfnea. Indeed, the 1932 assassination of Desiderio Arias, the popular caudillo so important in the constitution of a regional ethos of resistance to the central state, was perhaps the ultimate proof linieros needed to realize that the dictator was on top of everything going on in public and private life. Few weeks later, when the pompous name of Ciudad Trujillo was given to former Santo Domingo, the entire nation felt the consolidation of Trujillo's power. Finally, and more important, during this period Trujillo sent out a clear message to Cibaenos regarding his intention to become the leader of 22 On this, see Crassweller (1966), and Oviedo (1985).

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262 agricultural development using El Cibao as a pivotal social space. According to Inoa, in 1931 the newly elected president "moved the seat of [the] Executive Order to the city of Santiago" (1991:27), and remained in El Cibao for three months, visiting peasants at their houses. In 1933, riding on horseback, Trujillo visited Sabaneta. Members of the Partido Dominicano distributed the Cartilla Cfvica, a 50-pages book which prescribed the path to follow in everyday life in order to become equal to the ideal signifiers the president had constructed for his nation. It is worth mentioning that none of the book's illustrations shows a person of black complexion except for the one that depicts a drunk man about to be arrested by a police officer. Incidentally, one of the drawings shows a well-dressed peasant ploughing his conuco. Next to it one reads: "Work everyday, so that you lack nothing. Feed yourself well and your family. Protect your honor as well as the honor of your relatives, because honor is more valuable than life" (Trujillo 1951:28). It is in this context that the presence of the Dominican Party in the census of 1935 becomes a crucial event. During the 1930-1961 period, the party was everywhere in the country. Being a member of the political institution was a precondition for getting a public job. A secret police service worked hand in hand with the party. The two institutions decided who was for or against the government. Together with the Juntas Comunales and the alcaldes pedaneos, the party and the secret police organized frequent rallies throughout the Dominican countryside. At those "agrarian" rallies, farming tools and planting seeds were given away to peasants on Trujillo's behalf. Thus, when the Partido Dominicano was chosen by the dictator to conduct the second census, peasants faced a dilemma different from the one they had faced in 1920. This time, the rulers were not the American troops but rather

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263 local people, even peasants that became active members of the state apparatus. That peasants were defending themselves by withholding information on their income and possessions is not what the Direccion General de Estadistica (henceforth DGS) believed in 1950. That year, a nationwide campaign was launched using posters, bill boards, radio stations, television channels, schools, churches, the party, and so on, to promote the idea that "census is progress." At that time, the public agency used this slogan to encourage everyone's bona-fide behavior in answering census questions. As a public justification of such a massive use of resources, DGS says that: "It was necessary to eradicate from peasants' consciousness the absurd idea suggesting that [the census' goal] was to know the economic status of each member of the community in order to create new taxes later on" (1958:viii). If one takes into consideration that this statement was made after three decades of an intense presence of the state in daily life, then it becomes apparent that powerful structures are actually "worked out" by knowledgeable peasants. They do so, in my view, using a long-lived phronesis whose ontological foundations we still do not understand, even if you are familiar with specific peasantries. In addition to surveillance, public services, and explicitly political actions, the Trujillo regime used public work to gain access to the peasantry. This last measure was resisted by peasants in a particularly strong manner. This is not the place to repeat the whole story. 23 Suffice it to say that la prestataria, as the Ley de Caminos was usually called, was aimed primarily at halting road construction in the countryside first and later near urban centers. 23 On this, see Cassa (1982), Inoa (1991), and San Miguel (1987).

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264 In its early stages the prestataria was controlled by local and municipal authorities; it began functioning during the U.S. occupation. The Ley de Caminos was conceived as a system of corvee labor, and it imposed a new tax on peasants. Originally, avoidance of working as a prestatario could be obtained by fifty cents a day. The government modified the tariff several times. According to what Sabaneros and Montaneros told me, during the Trujillo dictatorship each person was forced to work two weeks annually on road construction. Failure to comply usually was punished with two weeks of unpaid work, two weeks in jail, or both. They told me of several peasants they knew who died or went mad after working as prestatarios for weeks, getting little food and sleeping few hours a day. It was mandatory for peasants to carry on them a written proof of their yearly work as prestatarios. Failure to show such a proof usually was punished with more work. As may be seen in Table 3, peasants' labor had a direct impact on lowering the cost of road construction during the 1922-1945 period. Inherited by Trujillo from the U.S. Military Government was also the Executive Order 404 that ordered each male rural dweller aged eighteen or older to cultivate at least ten tareas (roughly half a hectare) of private land. By making rural vagrancy illegal, the government achieved two goals: first, agricultural production was increased; second, migration was restricted. In remote areas, this law was enforced even upon younger males. Trujillo's favorite claim was that his best friend was a hard-working man. The discipline of bodies and minds was also achieved by means of a mandatory draft or servici o militar obligatorio . In addition to the military training as such, the draft was aimed at internalizing the claim that "each man is a soldier of the nation." By the time the dictatorship was consolidated, peasants

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265 knew that before going to their conucos early in the morning they had to put in their pockets three documents known as " los tres golpes " (the three hits): one for the party, one for the draft, and the cedula . This forceful individuation reinforced the individual's identification with the military discipline (Hoetink's claim, discussed above). I met more than five Sabaneros who told me that they were sent to jail after they failed to show los tres golpes to a soldier, while working at their farm plots. Table 3 Cost of Road Construction Per Kilometer Year Cost ($) 1922 $18,278.29 1928 $12,617.36 1936 $2,948.92 1937 $2,626.59 1945 $1,351.23 Source: Adapted from Inoa (1991:38) In his effort to develop and control the countryside, Trujillo saw La Linea as a priority. His motivations were based upon more than economic rationality. There, in the still undefined frontier, in that contested social space, was the unwelcome "other": Haiti and its heritage. Haitian squatters were scattered throughout the region doing was they have done for centuries: farming and stock raising. Some of them worked as wage-laborers or servants. Conflicts across the border were frequent. Smuggling was heavy at the border. Despite the U.S. occupation, the illegal trade did not fade away. It was just relocated at the more isolated areas. Haitians became "the other" as a social construction in which ideal signifiers played a key role. This time, in addition

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266 to racial issues, religious ones created a tense, at times violent, atmosphere in La Line a. The Mision Fronteriza that began in 1936 under the leadership of the Jesuits Order indirectly contributed to the growth of an anti-Haitian feeling. Although the spread of Catholicism among Haitians is nowadays accepted by most Dominicans, in late 1930s the former's religious beliefs and ceremonies were perceived as evil by the latter, particularly in El Cibao. Voodoo, it was believed, was too far remote from the Spanish-Catholic heritage; it was too close to Africa to be Dominican, even though the majority of the Dominican population is of African descent and many Dominicans practice some form of santeria . Trujillo was determined to "Dominicanize" La Linea. Immigrants from Europe and Japan were brought into the area as colonos (Augelli 1962). Organized by the official party, political rallies were regularly held near the border. Peasants participated in those rallies. The affirmation of nationalism took the form of an agrarian mobilization. The aim was to revitalize La Linea as a "real" Dominican social space. That meant a space free from HaitianAfrican influence. It also meant a developed agricultural area. To justify the expulsion of Haitians from Dominican land, a manipulation of symbols and sentiments was needed. It was unnecessary to justify development. Trujillo believed he was a chosen man whose mission was to develop the nation in the name of civilization and progress. Symbols, in his hand, were also tools for developing the republic according to "the calling" (Weber) that the U.S. intervention, carried out by believers in the Protestant Ethic, had imprinted on Dominican soil. The ideal signifier of an industrious. Catholic (and Calvinist-like), non-African peasantry was one of such symbols. Trujillo, whose promiscuous personal life was anything but Calvinist, used it in a

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267 barbaric manner. An annoying picture of what began happening to Haitians on October 2, 1937 is depicted by Crassweller's account of the tragic killing of Haitians ordered by Trujillo. Although the slaying extended as far to the east as Samana Bay, most of the atrocities were committed in the border areas and in the western Cibao. In Santiago alone the Army rounded up between one and two thousand Haitians, herded them into a courtyard formed by government buildings and systematically decapitated them with machetes, this weapon being used whenever possible in preference to firearms in order to simulate a spontaneous attack by an enraged Dominican peasantry . In Monte Cristi another large group of Haitians was marched at gunpoint to the end of the harbor pier, with arms bound, and simply pushed into deep water to drown [and] bodies were piled into obscure little valleys. Bodies lay in village streets and on country roads and in gentle green fields. Trails of bloody lay on dusty country lanes up and down the border. Blood dripped from trucks that carried corpses to secluded ravines for disposal. (Crassweller 1966:154-155; my stress) Perhaps the nearby Masacre River had already washed away the Haitian blood by the time the Plan de Dominicanizacion de la Frontera was launched in September of 1942. The imprints of that massacre on La Linea's collective memory, however, were not removed by the water flowing westward the day irrigation canals were inaugurated by the dictator. Thereafter, the frontier was one of Trujillo's priorities. The inauguration of the agricultural college San Ignacio de Loyola at Dajabon in 1946 , fully controlled by the Jesuit Order, marked the beginning of a new era of agricultural extension in the hitherto poor region (see Saez 1988:1:95). In particular, the promotion of peanut cultivation in the area was supported by this new institution. It is worth noticing that it was in 1937, the year of the massacre, that government control over the circulation of the national currency began firmly. During the 1937-1947 period, U.S. bills were the only printed money circulating in the nation. When the circulation of American

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268 money bills was prohibited in 1947, the Dominican currency became a new symbol of national identity. Printed on most bills were the portraits of the country's forefathers and, of course, Trujillo's portrait as well. Trujillo, whose government had just cancelled the debt that prompted the U.S. intervention, associated himself with the nation's founding fathers. After the killing of nearly 20,000 Haitians by Trujillo's supporters, Cibaenos included, the transformation of the arid Linea into a pole of economic growth also marked the increasing socioeconomic differentiation among linieros. The area that in 1605 was depopulated by Osorio was now repopulated with Japanese and European colonists; the same land conquered by buccaneers, ransacked by pirates and defended by las cincuentenas. was now crossed by irrigation canals and new roads; the very same soil where the Dominicanidad was carved out by horses and men alike in 1844 and 1865 became partially rented out to the Grenada Company (a subsidiary of United Fruit Company) to grow bananas; agricultural technology came together with American capital to develop the same region crossed by new roads built by unpaid prestatarios; northwestern Cibao, nearly five-hundred years after Columbus saw it for the first time, was modernized under the leadership of a man who saw himself close to Spain, distant from "the black other,"as well as the chosen leader of a fragmented nation. Despite this economic development in the lower part of La Linea, a different process was taking place in the Cordillera Central. The vast majority of peasants who migrated from La Linea to Green Savannah were part of a less visible path of uneven development within the region. Antonini (p.128) identifies two settlement trends by the year 1958 in the area. The first corresponds to the lower zone where irrigation was well developed. This pole was oriented toward the satisfaction of a demand for food originated at the

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269 regional urban centers, Santiago included. The Grenada Company exported most of its products to America. Some peasants worked at the plantation as wage-laborers. The second trend moved toward the drier locations, the area housing the Dominicans of Spanish decent since late 1800s. At that time, when the Haitian Revolution shut down a heavy flow of cows and tobacco, the montero was the prototype of a survivor. Sabaneros inherited part of the montero's ethos. Their sense of honor was deeply grounded in such a rich cultural heritage. Most of those settlers were subsistence peasants. Their family farms were held together by long-lived values of hard work, Catholicism, and mutual aid. "This latter settlement pattern," says Antonini, "was decidedly rural oriented" (ibid.). Farming and grazing were the two primary economic activities for settlers of this poorer area. Agriculture products were of a wide variety, ranging from rice and beans at Pino Tumbao 24 to yucca and tobacco at Palmarejo. After 1954, peanut cultivation became an important crop in the area, increasing peasants' access to manufactured goods, new technology and new institutions. This new cashcrop was not grown at Pino Tumbao, partially because of the hard rains and high humidity typical of the highlands. In some villages where temperatures are lower, coffee is an important cash-crop. Cassava bread provided, then as now, a great portion of the household's income. Fresh yucca roots were sold at local and regional markets. Tobacco and its concomitant palm-weaving industry represented the par excellence source of cash for most villages in the 24 Pino Tumbao is a fictitious name used by Murray (1970) to identify the village where he conducted research. Some Sabaneros are from this village and its vecinity.

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270 area. A timber industry, owned by a powerful family from Santiago, was functioning in 1958 in La Sierra. Some Sabaneros used to work at this industry. As mentioned earlier, all saw mills were closed down by the government in 1971. As of 1990, one equally powerful family from Valverde Mao owned thousands of hectares of latifundio forestal . This is the family whose possessions in the area contributed the most to peasants' impoverishment. Likewise, this is the family that took possession of the land belonging to Don Adriano, the peasant whose lived experience we will describe in a moment. Georges (1990) reports how the monopolization of land by a powerful family in La Sierra contributed to push away some local dwellers. Murray confirms this process when he says that "the vast unpopulated mountain reaches which welcomed the earlier migrants have now been filled up or put out of bounds by government decree" (1970:39). As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the creation of two national parks in the area contributed to accelerate this trend. It was with the combination of land monopolization and the creation of the natural that peasants from the area were, to use Georges's metaphor, "caught in a vise" (ibid.:62). At least half of the Cibaenos now living in Green Savannah were directly or indirectly part of that experience. Indeed, all in all, the combination of land monopolization in private hands and the presence of the two state natural reserves are identified by northern Sabaneros as the ultimate reason for their migration to the South. In Sabaneros' reconstruction of their lived experience, merchants receive less attention than latifundistas . This, I think, is an indication of the difficulty Sabaneros have in explicitly calling one of themselves a "bad person." Longlived kinship ties, at least in the public transcript, seems to overpower shortterm economic gains. In my view, such a culture-specific norm also functions

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271 as ideology. By this I mean that Sabaneros, even when they realize that one of their close relatives is taking advantage (" sacando ventaja ,/ ) of kinship ties, try not to break those ties unless absolutely necessary. Indeed, some of the merchants doing business throughout Santiago Rodriguez are relatives of the impoverished peasants who blame their economic tribulations on the state and large landlords. By merchants I mean both middlemen and owners of colmados (roughly food stores). The occurrence of this phenomenon in La Sierra is well documented by Sharpe (1977:69, 70-72). A pause is pertinent at this juncture in order to indicate one of the many flaws of my hypotheses. Indeed, when I designed my research, I took as a given that the natural setting in the north was totally different from the one in the Deep South. Likewise, I implied that such a sharp difference in the physical environment was partially responsible for the idiosyncratic ideological engagement with sorghum cultivation. Well, I was partially wrong. Indeed, both in La Linea and my area of study the predominant life zone is Subtropical Dry Forest. A major difference between the two regions, though, is that the south is flatter and is often hit by hurricanes. The important point is that when northern Sabaneros talk about their place of origin they refer to is as "a backward and hot zone" (" una zona atrazada v caliente"). Hence, in spite of all the economic progress and natural abundance of northern Dominican Republic, these particular dwellers perceive it in less glamorous terms. I discovered this by paying close attention to the speech events in daily life. This experience made me value the role of perception in the construction of reality. Thus, from this account emerges a clear picture of uneven regional development that echoes the pattern at the national level. From being an ejido in 1866, Santiago Rodriguez became a province in 1951. Two years after

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272 receiving its new identity, the town became a major administrative seat to which Sabaneros were related in their daily life. The Banco Agricola, whose operation started in 1952, played a central role in reaching out a peasantry already articulated with the regional and national markets. The new buildings constructed thereafter housed the institutions already present in Sabaneros' existence: the Catholic Church, Partido Dominicano, education, public justice. Permanent electricity was installed in the town about that time. The town became an emblem of progress as well as a signifier of pride that is still alive. Certainly, as of 1990 Santiago Rodriguez was one of the cleanest towns in the entire country. Three points are worth highlighting before we take a quick look at the experience of a migrant family. First is that when the 1920 census was taken at Santiago Rodriguez, it was reported that out of 14,424 inhabitants, only 1,779 or 12% were blacks while 3,336 or 23% were white. The remaining 64% was formed by mestizos, a racial category that embodies a wide range of people that are not perceived as blacks. That percentage of white people was extremely high for La Linea. This seems to confirm my earlier argument that a significant number of linieros of Spanish decent isolated themselves into the mountains, reducing exogamy. Second, the same census reports that Sabaneta was the only comun of Monte Cristi with no person of the protestant faith. This awareness that "the other" has shown regarding Sabaneros' skin color and religious faith is crucial in the consolidation of their ethnic identity. Thus, I argue, ethnicity here has resulted from a process of intersubjective signification based on myriad acts of perception. Those perceptual acts were mediated by ideal signifiers working as both ideology and utopia. Finally, when the province was inaugurated, the first judge (iuez de primera instancia) appointed by the government was a rather young lawyer

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273 who few years later played a major role in reshaping the lives of Sabaneros and Montaneros alike. This man, Joaquin Balaguer, was the Dominican president when Hurricane Ines obliterated Green Savannah and Blue Mountain in 1966. As of 1992, he has been the nation's president for eighteen years altogether. In Green Savannah, Eugenio, aged 67, has the reputation of being a handy man. You see him fixing a plow, building a new door for the latrine he has just built in the backyard of his clean house, always doing something with his hands. Yet Eugenio, a man that has a way with words, does not know how to write or read. Alert, hard worker, punctual, careful yet not unfriendly with women, he has managed to survive despite all the tribulations, his three sisters and six brothers have experienced since they were born "in those montes of Santiago Rodriguez." He was four when Desiderio Arias, the caudillo from La Linea, was killed in 1932. "He was a big guerrilla [ guerrillerol ." he says, repeating what his father and others have told him. The image of the guerrillero, in his mind, is the marker of a turning point in his father's life. Eugenio's father, Don Adriano, told him that when Desiderio was killed at El Sillon, near Santiago Rodriguez, Trujillo told peasants to occupy the highlands where the caudillo had fought his last battle. "Trujillo wanted us to cultivate the land," says Eugenio, "so that no guerrilla could hide in the forest." His father, a young man whose surname was French, had just lost a large parcel he had at Navarrete, a village located between Santiago and Monte Cristi. Don Adriano had inherited the land from his father, who was not married to his mujer . He was an hijo ilegitimo. an illegitimate, "natural" child. At that time the law did not state that illegitimate children could inherit their parents' property. Thus, one day, all of the sudden, a powerful

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274 man who was involved in the construction of irrigating canals and had a close amistad (friendship) with Trujillo, took the land away from Don Adriano. Moving to the highlands, as Trujillo had suggested, was the best alternative for "a man of honor, a hard-working peasant, a man who took care of his family," says proudly Eugenio, the oldest son of that campesino trabajador. Repeating what his ancestors had done for decades, if not for centuries, Don Adriano took his two sons, his mules and horses, a few Dominican pesos he had saved, and walked into the forest to become a peasant, a dweller determine to stay in a location. With him, then as now an energetic and friendly woman, was Idalina, his young and industrious wife, the daughter of a campesina couple herself. She, now 82, was a beautiful mulatto woman who "was not afraid of hard work." They worked hard indeed. In a few months, they fell the thick brena (thorn-cactus vegetation), planted bitter cassava ( yuca amarga) to make cassava bread, some tobacco, and many other crops needed for the household. From the cassava bread, which they took to the market, Adriano and Idalina saved a few pesos, bought some cows and sheeps (he thought that goats were too restless), and established themselves in the area they were forced to move a few years earlier. New children were born. The family grew bigger. Now there were more mouths to feed. There were also more hands to pull together. They survived as only good dwellers do: bringing forth a location. It was there, while becoming dwellers, that they buried the ombligos of the new born, eight altogether. In those days, happiness was short-lived. Life was uncertain. The severe drought of 1944 hit hard the area where the family, now eight children and their parents, shared labor and affection. To make things worse, by that time the Cordillera Central had become part of the public sphere.

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275 Deforestation of the beautiful mountain range was a growing concern in a country where felling the trees was a rather easy way to accumulate capital, provided you had money to invest and social capital to manipulate. Trujillo, whose relatives and friends (if not himself) were part of the timber industry, was nevertheless interested in keeping a good image, nationally as well as abroad. Depopulation of the area started in the early 1950s. The family, once again, packed their possessions and dreams, and headed up once again to the monte, like monteros did before then. A man who liked silence and peace, Don Adriano was also a person who believed in his few good friends. So did Idalina. It was based on that confianza (trust) that both of them took very seriously the news brought to the highlands by a friend of theirs regarding the existence of tierra orejana in the south. In effect, it was Jose, the first Sabanero who in 1953 made the long journey to the southern Dominican Republic, who decided to return to Santiago Rodriguez and tell his friends that there was free land near Barahona, the southern town built in 1503 near the Caribbean Sea. It was here, in the highlands of Cordillera Central, a Sunday of 1954 to be exact, that a peasant family with eight children decided to unearth their roots from a land they had dwelled with hard work, deep feelings and big hopes. They headed south to become, four years later, colonists of one of the settlements implemented by Trujillo to prevent "the Black other" from entering the Dominican social space. When Don Adriano and his family they left their location, three crosses remained grounded in the hot, stony soil. A person who admires people who are " de la loma v del llano " (from the slopes and the plains), Eugenio himself practices this credo. He inherited that from his parents. He still remembers what happened to his father a few years before he passed away at Green Savannah in 1983. Don Adriano, who as

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276 most Sabaneros was a follower of President Balaguer, managed to obtain an interview (una cita) with his leader at the national palace in Santo Domingo. His goal was a simple one. Don Adriano wanted to ask the president to help him recuperate the land he had lost in the early 1930s. He was convinced that, once informed. President Balaguer will do everything possible to solve the case. Unfortunately, two days before the arranged interview, something big happened in the capital, "un lio grande " (probably a national strike), says Eugenio. Frustrated by the cancellation of his cita with the president, Don Adriano considered it inappropriate to ask for a second interview. “So he died," murmurs, saddened by the recollection of events, the oldest son of a man who came from tierra caliente to tierra orejana . In this chapter I have reconstructed some crucial phenomena framing the genealogy of those Sabaneros who migrated from northern Dominican Republic to Green'Savannah, beginning in early 1950s. The cibaena culture has been placed in a context broader enough as to comprehend its different constitutive elements. An overview of some key historical processes taken place on Hispaniola in the aftermath of Columbus's encounter with Tainos has contributed to describe and interpret some major developments occurring in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. A description of the natural setting, followed by a sketch of its transformation into a social space, has placed the lived experience of Sabaneros against a background where objective, subjective and intersubjective phenomena area closely interwoven. The concept of "the other" has been utilized as a conceptual tool for understanding the constitution of an ethnic identity in time and space. Instances of knowledge, power, structures and human agency have been examined in relation to changing utopias and ideologies. Finally, by looking

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277 at the experience of a migrant family, we have acquainted ourselves with the structural and emotional dimensions of the diaspora lived by Sabaneros.

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CHAPTER 5 THE SURENOS The constitution of a fragmented social space in the Dominican Republic has been conditioned by the unique form in which the coeval processes of centralization and frontier expansion have occurred in the nation. The notion of regional ethos is essential to the genesis and development of this multiple spatio-temporal reality. Equally central to this socio-cultural fragmentation is the interplay of uneven development and ideal signifiers epitomizing both the growth of capitalism and the rise of Dominicanidad . Together with the structuration represented by the division of labor, transformation of nature, and allocation of financial resources in specific regions, capitalism in the republic means a symbolic construction of a changing communitas inseparable from the praxis (actions, feelings and thoughts) of its agents. All of this amounts to saying that it is praxis, rather than production, consumption and reproduction per se. that is responsible for Montaneros' distinctive comportment toward sorghum cultivation. My aim in this chapter is threefold. First is to lay the historical foundations needed to understand and interpret the way Montaneros' praxis in time and space has conditioned their ideologically-based engagement with the new cash crop. Second is to comprehend some of the utopian and ideological preconditions (prior to 1960) of the official promotion of sorghum cultivation. Third, I attempt to describe and interpret the socioeconomic, political and natural specificities of the area of study in reference to the regional context. This characterization will assist us in comparing Sabaneros' 278

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279 and Montaneros' conduct after 1978. Although in this chapter I make reference to processes taking place at the national and international levels, priority is given to regional and local phenomena. Chapters 1 and 4 have provided most of the information regarding national processes during the 1492-1960 period. My discussion here is organized in three sections. Section one begins with a brief introduction of Blue Mountain, Green Savannah, and Surenos or Southerners, continues with a progressive encounter with the region, and ends with a characterization of Montaneros' ethos as it relates to ideology. Section two outlines the major natural, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the region. Finally, section three is a brief reconstruction of the major regional events responsible for the constitution of South and Deep South over time. The People: South, Deep South, the Frontier The municipio of which Blue Mountain is the administrative seat belongs to a province most Dominicans have never visited. Throughout this narrative, that provincy is called by the fictitious name of The Place. This area is not only underdeveloped and scarcely populated. It is also a world apart. In 1990, while traveling in a public bus, a shy 12-year-old girl sitting next to me started vomiting blood, her dark eyes wide open, her pale face profusely sweating. Few days earlier, while standing in a line to buy food at a government-owned store, she was hit on her back by a soldier who thought there was too much chaos in the place. According to some passengers of the bus, the girl was just playing with a friend. Though a subtle protest took place, nobody dared to confront the soldier. He was a guardia de la frontera. a frontier guard. Likewise, a couple of weeks later, at a neighboring town a high-ranking officer burned alive two donkeys loaded with four sacks containing charcoal. Because making charcoal was prohibited by official

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280 decree, the owners of the animals were legally criminals rather than victims. Despite the overt protest of neighbors, the officer gave no explanation for his action. Just a month after that, the same officer began clearing a thick forest to make his own farm, felling far more trees than the ones charcoal markers could had burned in years. The key word linking these events is power. There, in that frontier context, power means being close to the government. Ignoring such a concrete fact would mean undermining one's survival. This is particularly true if you are a peasant. At the time of my fieldwork, the municipio was inhabited by nearly 6,200 people. Almost half of them resided in Blue Mountain. Green Savannah had about six-hundred inhabitants. At The Valley, located between the two towns, residents were about two-hundred. The remaining inhabitants lived in secciones and parajes, most of which are close to Green Savannah. As of 1990, nearly 95% of the houses at Blue Mountain were totally built with cement. Though power failures are common, most houses have access to electricity. As in most municipios in the country, the government provides free education up to high school, health care, technical assistance to peasants, water, and so on. The quality of public services is defective. With the exception of some outsiders who work for the government at Blue Mountain, nearly all heads of households (males and females alike) are directly involved in farming and stock raising, either on their own farms or as wage laborers. The nearby state-owned cotton plantation is the larger employer. This agency also runs a sisal and an aloe plantations. As of 1990, no major private industry operated in the municipio. Sixty-five kilometers west of Blue Mountain, a bauxite mine has been functioning since late 1940s. Though nearly one-hundred Montaneros worked at the mine up to late

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281 1950s, at the time of my fieldwork the linkage with the mine was missing. In the last section of this chapter I will discuss the economic and ideological ramifications of the experience locals had as mine workers. In 1989 the European Economic Community began building a zona franca (a free trade, assemble line factory) near the bauxite mine. It is likely that women from Blue Mountain will join that new industry once it begins operating. Most Montaneros are Surenos, Southerners. Though Surenos share a cultural heritage less homogeneous than the cibaena culture, Montaneros are defined by themselves and others in reference to the notions of El Sur (the South) and La Frontera (the frontier). In the country at large, being Sureno and fronterizo together means being from a distant, backward region. The sense of remoteness, if not of backwardness itself, is deeply felt and expressed in daily life by most Surenos I have met. Thus, Sureno and fronterizo signify a factual and symbolic distance from the rest of the country, particularly the center: the capital. The way Montaneros perceive their entitlement to the benefits of national and regional development has being shaped by the above process of signification. One often hears locals referring to state expenditure in the area as "un favor del gobierno" (a favor from the government). Such a belief has been reinforced by outsiders' comportment, the state included. For instance, when President Balaguer was campaigning in El Sur for his reelection in 1990, he said that the region had to do as Lazarus did: to get up and walk. Interpreted by Montaneros, the presidential message meant a recognition that the region was prostrated, like Lazarus was. Further, I argue, the biblical parable was used by the president as a claim for his rule of saviour. I still remember the political slogan painted on a public building in Blue Mountain. The red letters painted over the yellow wall said that the president "has

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282 given, still gives, and will give" (" dio, da v dara "). The roots of this linkage between local expectations and official initiatives are long-lived. In the last section of this chapter I will summarize the most relevant events related to this phenomenon. It is the enactment of an ethos by Montaneros that, in my view, one sees when sorghum cultivation was accepted in Blue Mountain the way we have described earlier in this study. In that context, sorghum was not perceived just as a new cash crop; it was also seen as "a favor from the government" by concrete people who hitherto had seen the state doing little for Surenos. As we shall see in some details in the next two chapters, rather than naivete that attitude toward the government shows what Koselleck calls "the horizon of expectation and the space of experience" (cf. Ricoeur 1991:218). My argument is that the decision to grow sorghum was part of a projection whose subjective preconditions were significantly influenced by Montaneros' internalization of concrete claims made over time by, among other institutions, the state. Let us now place the municipio in its regional context. Driving from the Dominican capital to the southwestern frontier, one passes San Cristobal, Trujillo's native town. The feeling one has is of being in El Cibao. It is green here. A few miles down the road, a huge sugar cane mill indicates that one is in a place where modernization has left its imprints. Not far away from here one notices dark topsoils, irrigation, vast sugar cane fields, tractors, trucks loaded with all sorts of vegetables, and a group of women harvesting tomatoes and all sorts of vegetables. All of this tells the visitor that she is near an important commercial center. Bam, a town known for its wide and clean streets, onion production and expert land cultivators. Colonists from the Canary Islands, together with the descendents of maroons, have transformed this area into a prosperous agricultural community. It is after

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283 leaving this fertile area that one enters the "real" southern Dominican Republic. One sees fewer people, fewer cars, almost no animals. The landscape is surreal. It is dry. Even rivers are dry here. Only rounded stones of all sizes rest on the rivers' beds. Their once fast currents are now stopped somewhere deep into the nearby Cordillera Central, filling a dam that generates hydroelectric power. Most of the electricity goes to Santo Domingo, the center. It is an unmistakable mark of socio-political asymmetry. Suddenly, after passing a steel bridge crossing over a dry river, the gray landscape turns brownish, dusty, silent. A hot breeze hits your face. It is as if big fans were blowing the air toward you from a huge, invisible stove. Yet, it is exactly at this point, just when one begins wondering whether only silence and cactus inhabit this hilly zone, that the southern Dominican Republic shows its real face. It is a face of contrasting features. Responsible for this is the ambiguous Caribbean Sea, near the town of Azua. Indeed, the hitherto inhospitable horizon becomes a bright, blue, wide mass of water that welcomes you to El Sur. However, few beaches are safe to swim in here, partially because of sharks and sea urchins, in part due to the extremely strong sea currents. In this otherwise calm, friendly coastline, the Mar Caribe is particularly wild, unpredictable. The sea's contrasting features are a mirror image of the feeling one has when interacting with most Surenos: generous and distant at once, a mixture of kindness and disinterest. It takes time to conquer their hearts. You have to pass many tests before being accepted as an insider in the South. Likewise, it takes just one mistake on your part to lose that status. Surenos have learned to be that way. It is the source of their strength as survivors. Perhaps it is also the cause of their weakness as negotiators.

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284 It was there, in the port of Azua, that Columbus signed in 1498 a peace agreement with Francisco Roldan, the mutineer (Lopez Reyes 1983:32). That forceful compromise marked also the beginning of repartimientos and encomiendas . As discussed earlier, two major outcomes of this agreement were the death of Tainos and the importation of African slaves. When the town was built in 1504 under the leadership of Don Diego de Velasquez, a new chapter of Hispaniola's history began. As early as the 1530s Azua was the center of sugar cane cultivation in the island. Together with the capital accumulated from the ingenios grew one of the socio-political movements responsible for more than one aspect of Surenos' outlook: the maroon communities. Later on the cortes de madera operating in this area became one of the most profitable businesses in the entire island. When an earthquake obliterated the town in 1751, the most important southern administrative center after the capital was also gone. That marked the partial isolation of El Sur from its signifier. In 1844, when caudillo Pedro Santana defeated the Haitian troops near Azua, national identity was reinforced. Few days later, however, Haitians burned the site and part of its inhabitants. Most of those who died were elderly Azuanos . The symbolism of the two events is a crucial one: locals helped to free the larger society at the same time they lost their most immediate structure of feelings. In 1849, not long after Azuanos had partially rebuilt their location, it was burned again by the Haitian troops after their defeat by Dominicans (Moya Pons 1984:305-306). Santana, a hatero from the east, was adopted as a hero in the south. When his greed and pro-Spanish sentiment led him to ask for the annexation of the republic to Spain, he became a traitor. With his fall as a leader, Surenos lost part of their regional

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285 pride. It is not our task to trace all the ramifications of these important events. 1 A detour shall help us in rejoining our journey to Blue Mountain. Two years after independence from Haiti was gained, Azua was scarcely populated. Fear of war had led people migrate to safer areas, including the nearby mountains. Having lost a high proportion of its elderly population when the town was burned, weakly linked to the national center of power and development, the dwellers of the formerly strong administrative center were loyal to local symbols rather than national ones. Economic stagnation was accompanied by a life style that, from the view point of the local Catholic priest, was promiscuous. This is the mood captured in 1846 by lieutenant David Dixon Porter, a U.S. agent sent by the Department of State to assess the political situation in the Dominican Republic. The following is an excerpt of his report. Most inhabitants [of Azua] are mulattoes, or dark brown, and there is here a different moral condition, compared with the other towns I have visited. Virtue in Azua is below normal and having followed the bad example that Haitians gave them, it is natural that they have adopted much of the former's vices. (Porter 1978:84; my translation) Currently an important agricultural region that produces cantaloupes for the American market and tomatoes for the national market, Azua is no longer the administrative center it used to be. Responsible for its loss of political power is the formation of new southern provinces during the present century, followed by the development of other regional productive centers, particularly the fertile San Juan de La Maguana Valley, nowadays one 1 From the 1849 war emerged a military hero that is important in the constitution of Montaneros. His name was Antonio Duverge. It is from the town of Duverge, located near the frontier, that many pioneer settlers moved to Blue Mountain in early 1900s. The hero is a source of regional pride for them. I will return to this in the last section of this chapter.

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286 of the republic's leading agricultural centers. Despite this lack of formal power, Azua has played a crucial function in shaping Surenos' perception of their relationship with the larger society. Perhaps grounded in their oral tradition, Surenos see in Azua an emblem of their relation to the rest of the country. The town demarcates a social space heavily loaded with emotions. For instance, when passengers of a bus riding from Blue Mountain to the capital pass Azua, a common expression one hears is "va salimos a lo claro. " A literal translation of this statement is "we just came into the clear." In discursive terms, however, the metaphor is signified by the complementary notion of " lo oscuro " (literally, the dark; more accurately, the obscure, the remote). Thus, when Montaneros say " de lo oscuro para lo claro " (from the obscure to the clear) what they mean is moving from their remoteness to the center, the place "where cheques are made." The accuracy of the above metaphor notwithstanding, the picture one sees while driving from Azua to the province of Barahona can hardly be called oscura . Instead, one meets the serpentine Yaque del Sur River that, like a skilled artist, paints here and there a tall, green coconut tree mixed with light yellow, ripe bananas. Each of the river's 183 kilometers brings life to the nearly half a million tareas 2 of thirsty soil belonging to the wide, fertile Enriquillo Basin. Sunshine is everywhere in this landscape. The shadows fall down from the huge masses of clouds hanging up in the strikingly blue skies or the tall mango trees so common in this area. Plantain, the cash crop grown by most peasants in this lowland, is sold alongside the paved road. Refreshing coconuts are also sold at the peasant huts. Rice, tomatoes and all sorts of roots 2 Tarea is the unit of land most commonly used in the Dominican Republic. A hectare contains sixteen tareas. In this study I use both units of measurement.

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287 are part of a diverse farming system that includes nearly twelve crops. Rustic stock raising is common. The old-lived, rustic fishing industry at the nearby Cabral Lagoon depicts the diversity, lo claro, of this rich terrain. Social conflict, is pervasive in this beautiful natural setting. It is from this web of tense social relations that lo oscuro emerges in myriad ways. For instance, a state-owned sugar cane plantation, Ingenio Barahona, controls access to the Yaque del Sur River. During the rainy season, the plantation lets the water flow freely into peasants' conucos . Excessive flooding often causes serious damage at specific lower points. By contrast, strict control over the irrigation canals is exercised during the dry reason. Sometimes peasant lose valuable crops because of the lack of water. When faced with this menace to their survival, peasants steal the water using their imagination the best way they can. A guerrilla-like operation led by quasi-invisible leaders takes place as part of an act of survival. Peasants use three weapons in their resistance: first, the mobile flume, usually a plastic pipe, that is easy to move around by a single individual; second, hiding their formal leaders, which means saying that everyone is involved as a way of making it harder for the power holders to single anyone out; third, tough talk, a favorite weapon used by Surenos in daily life . 3 Under normal circumstances, peasants' tactics are effective. The 3 Visitors to this part of El Sur are usually struck by what they perceive as an inherent violent temperament in this area. I do not share such a view. To be sure, dwellers of this area know how to hablar duro (tough talk). Yet, this does not always mean an aggressive attitude. For instance, I have heard several Cibaenos saying that in El Cibao people would actually fight if they were told some of the expressions Surenos use either as a joke or as "tough talk" in daily life. My personal experience is that women from El Sur tend to use verbal toughness more often than men do. In my view, this is a defense mechanism. In the U.S. I have seen a comparable phenomenon among some African-Americans.

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288 mood, however, is of permanent alertness. Doing otherwise will likely bring annihilation. When frustration for this constant stress reaches unbearable levels, Surenos use one their more significant metaphors: " Oiala que venga un ciclon batatero. " Literally, what this Spanish expression means is "I wish a sweet potato uprooting hurricane would come." Discursively, though, it denotes a demand for justice, if not hope for a more radical political change. 4 The presence of the sugar cane plantation since the 1920s, in addition to other industries functioning at Barahona, have made Haitians a core part of the cultural map in the region. Haitian workers are essential in lowering the wages paid at the sugar cane factory, coffee farms in the highlands, and more recently in the fast-growing construction business. Although some Haitians are brought each year to work as sugar cane cutters, a high permanent Haitian population has grown in connection to the sugar cane industry. Many of them are Dominican citizens. Some are the children of racially mixed couples. A considerably high number of Haitian children have been born to migrant workers from Haiti. In contrast to what occurred in the north in 1937, no Haitian was killed in the surroundings of the southern sugar mill. In other parts of the region, however, the massacre was carried out by Surenos, the army in particular. The explanation to this sharp difference is that at that time the factory was owned by an American firm whose power Trujillo perhaps did not want to challenge (Lopez Reyes 1983:149). Also related to the huge plantation is the community formed by Lebanese merchants who 4 The image of unearthing is crucial in this metaphor. Since both the roots and vines of sweet potato are linked to the soil is a particularly strong way, a fast hurricane is the only natural force that can uproot them at once and fast. It is worth noticing that in Haiti, the expression " operasion dechoukaj " (operation uproot) was chosen as the favorite slogan during the campaign to oust president Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. On this, see Amy Wilentz. 1989. The Rainy Season. Haiti Since Duvalier. New York: Touchstone.

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289 migrated to the republic during the sugar boom of the 1920s. 5 Some Spanish, Chinese and Arab merchants from countries other than Lebanon, in addition to a smaller group of Cocolos, complete this diverse ethnic mosaic. The geographic region I will henceforth call El Sur is formed by four provinces, namely Barahona, Baoruco, Independencia, and Pedernales. The last two provinces have their administrative seat located just a couple of miles away from Haitian territory. Here, I call these two provinces the Deep South, by which I mean a geographic sector significantly different from the larger region. As indicated earlier. Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are part of the Deep South. Echoing the situation described in Chapter 4 in the case of northern Monte Cristi, smuggling across the southern border has been heavy during recent years, except for some occasions in with the Dominican government has formally prohibited the illegal trade. A legal trade runs parallel to the illegal one. Most Haitian merchants involved in the legal trade are women. Under normal circumstances, trade is heavier from the Dominican to the Haitian side. During my fieldwork I saw that the two commodities Dominicans purchased the most in Haiti are clothes and rum, more the former than the latter. 6 At Pedernales, some form of flexibility by 5 Lebanese merchants are called turcos (Turkish) by Dominicans. Members of this ethnic group practice a selective exogamy. Class interest, however, is carefully protected. One Lebanese merchant has been doing business in Blue Mountain since 1955. He provided me with key information regarding Montaneros' personal honesty in paying back the money they own him. 6 As of 1990, Haiti was the importer of used clothes from the U.S. Such garments are called Kennedy" in Haiti, echoing the Alliance for Progress' aid to the nation. The name Dominicans give to that valuable commodity is "ab ajate, " get down. This is so because used clothes are sold spreading them on the ground. Haitians purchase all kinds of manufactured products in the Dominican Republic, including sugar. When the border is open, merchants from Haiti go to Santo Domingo using trucks and buses. To the best of my knowledge, they do not have to pay a special sale tax in the Dominican Republic. The same applies to Dominicans who purchase in Haiti.

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290 the army makes relatively easy to cross the border without passports. Some women from Blue Mountain travel to Haiti on a regular base to purchase used clothes that are sold locally. Despite the physical proximity of these four provinces, intra-regional socioeconomic, political and cultural differences are sharp. Provincialism, in the most literally sense of the term, is particularly strong here. Though it is at Barahona where most private and public agencies are located, most Surenos I met did not perceive the town as a regional emblem. Local loyalties are stronger than loyalties with either the province of the region, or the nation for that matter. The municipio, rather than the region, is what counts for most Surenos. I know of no person who claims a regional leadership among dwellers of these provinces. This includes the Catholic archbishop, a Cibaeno who has been working in the area since the mid 1970s. With regard the Catholic Church, up to the 1970s its religious and social messages were delivered primarily by priests from Belgium, Holland, and Spain. This is in sharp contrast with the situation at El Cibao, where Dominican priests, many of them Cibaenos, outnumber priests from any other nationality/ The presence of national priests is a rather recent trend in the region. The world of santerfa takes a unique turn in El Sur. Partially because of the proximity with Haiti, partially because of the relative weak presence of the Catholic Church, religious syncretism here is stronger than in most Most peasant organizations in the area were created in the context of the work carried out by European priests during the 1963-1985 period. A radio station owned by the religious order they belonged to has been a major source of information for peasants. A radio program spoken in Haitian creole has been broadcasted from this radio station. Recently, the Dominican government prohibited the program arguing that it was interfering with Haiti's internal affairs.

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291 Dominican regions. In other words, the use of santeria is more apparent in the daily life of most Surenos than it is among, say, Cibaenos. This, however, is not a recent phenomenon. A long history of weak linkage with the larger society is perhaps the bottom line of this cultural process. In my view, it is not coincidence that the most important Dominican messianic movement of this century occurred in a southern province, namely San Juan de la Maguana. The credo of Olivorio Mateo, the leader of that important movement, was felt in Blue Mountain early in this century. 8 At least two male Montaneros participated in that peasant-based process. In my opinion, cultural integration in El Sur as a whole is more dispersed than in El Cibao. For that reason, I hesitate talking about a comprehensive " cultura surena ." Even though the life of most Surenos is directly or indirectly epitomized by material poverty and a feeling of remoteness, if not of alienation, one finds that their impact on the constitution of an ethos is mediated by a manifold of local phenomena more diverse than in the case of northern Dominican Republic. I have reached this conclusion after nearly two decades of personal experience with Surenos. Though the task is not easier when it comes to Montaneros, I think that it is possible to construct an ideal type resembling the local ethos at Blue Mountain. A word of caution is necessary at this juncture. The existence of a wide generation gap in this village is something that Montaneros themselves openly admit. Elders not only complain about the new generation's lack of 8 Olivorio Mateo, killed by Dominican soldiers in 1922, was a rural wage laborer who became the leader of the livorista movement. Peasants were his main followers. This messianic movement was active until early 1960s, when its new leaders were also assassinated by the government. On this, see Lundius and Lundahl 1989.

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292 motivation for hard work, respect for traditional norms, personal integrity, and even musical taste. They also express their concern about the extent to which such a gap may risk their long-term survival. Young people seem to pay little attention to this criticism of their behavior. Previous to sorghum cultivation, young males (and females) used to work on the family's farm. Nowadays, in part because their labor has been replaced by tractors and mechanical harvesters, many of them work at the developmental schemes (e.g., sisal, aloe) operating in the area. These two processes have contributed to their independence from their parents. Perhaps in an effort to defend their social status and psychological balance, members of the older generation recur to a saying their own parents probably had to use several decades ago: "If you want young people to know nothing, let the elders die" (" si quieres que los iovenes no sepan, deia morir a los viejos "). The ideal type discussed below is primarily, though not exclusively, based on my interpretation of what I saw people aged forty or older acting out in both everyday life and exceptional circumstances such as a tragic accident or a homicide. Following my argument that action is a form of social performance addressed to "the other," I will carry this quest out aiming at disclosing the subtle existential and philosophical dimensions of internal relations (Oilman 1986:26-40) in Blue Mountain. By this I mean that the praxis of the older generation (including the acceptance of sorghum cultivation in 1979 and thereafter) takes place in a social space they share with all segments of the village through myriad intersubjective relations. Though I paid close attention to women's behavior, I feel more confident doing this exercise bearing in mind primarily men's conduct. The accuracy of the model is directly proportional to age.

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293 Since my ultimate goal is to relate this local ethos to our next interpretation of Montaneros' ideological engagement with sorghum, while describing the core manifestations of the local ethos I will point at their significance in the configuration of local ideology. An ethos of personal courage is pervasive among most Montaneros. Awareness of one's and others' body and feelings is central to this ethos. Based upon my observations, I argue that this interplay of the self and "the other" takes four main existential forms in the case of the specific segment of Blue Mountain's inhabitants I am referring to at present. The four existential forms are: endurance, pleasure, suffering, and belonging. Rather than mutually exclusive, these forms signify one another. Endurance First of all, most Montaneros value a person who is able to cope adequately with thirst, hard physical work, loneliness in the forest , 9 fear and natural death. The idea, however, is neither that one should enjoy suffering or being indifferent to feelings. Instead, the principle is that one ought to find strength within oneself. I have discussed earlier the way locals walk in the forest for an entire day drinking little or no water at all. By the same token, a man who is unable to be in la montana for days, all by himself, is not well regarded here. Still worse, getting lost in la montana is taken as an indication of a weak mind, a person who is unable to control his body and mind. If a man gets lost in the dry forest, he will do everything possible to deny it. 9 This applies only to the time when one is working in the forest, locally known as " la montana. " the mountain. Rather than referring to a high altitude, la montana indicates a thick vegetation where the sunshine is blocked by the canopy. Though a few rolling areas exist here, for the most part Blue Mountain is flat. The village is built three meters above sea level. One often hears peasants talking about " la montana oscura v fresca " as if they were referring to a woman they like feel attracted to.

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294 Otherwise, he will have to carry for a while the stigma that " se le confundio la mente " ("his mind got confused"). One question I asked to nearly twenty males was whether they had ever felt afraid of anything. With no exception, a long pause followed my question. Only one man told me, after reflecting for a while, that once he was afraid of " esas cosas malas " ("those evil things") while riding his motorcycle late in the evening. By evil things he meant the demon, which is a favorite topic of conversation in Blue Mountain. This particular person is well known in the village for his ability to work in the forest for weeks, alone. It is worth noticing that I asked this question to men aged sixty or older, which means that all of them had spent a great deal of time working alone in the forest. 10 Montaneros view natural death as something so certain that being afraid of it is an indication of personal weakness, a nonsense. Montaneros' attitude toward hard work leads them to undertake tasks that demand an extraordinary physical and spiritual strength. Such a work ethics, I argue, makes them simultaneously strong and weak in ideological terms. The following event will shade some light onto this issue. Born in 1905, Juan was still in good shape at the time of my fieldwork. Easy smile, friendly eyes, good dancer of palos. the typical music he grew up with, and always in love with life and women, he had made more than twenty conucos as of 1990. "I made my first tumba [swidden cultivation] with a machete and an axe," he said as if he was actually seeing himself going 10 Exception to his rule is Montaneros' attitude toward the sea. Though the coast is nearby, only one out of 33 respondents said they had taken a boat ever. Their perception of the nearby lagoon, however, is sharply different. Their explanation is that the ocean is " evil, " unpredictable. Since the Spanish word for sea is mar, and most Dominicans change the "r" by "1" , mar becomes mal Some Montaneros told me that " mal viene de maldad ." This manipulation of language functions as a justification of their fear.

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295 through that rite of passage. "I made it myself. I got no help from my father." This awareness of his own ability and courage was with him the day he decided to work as wage laborer at the salt mine functioning at Isla Beata. What follows is what he told me about that unique personal experience. When I arrived at Beata, I had many wounds on my left hand. I got them after working on my tumba. I had my hand bandaged, so that no one could see what had happened to me. The boss did not like that because he knew that working with salt with a hand in such a bad shape will make anyone quit working after the first day on the job. I told him that my right hand was OK. He gave me the job. I worked hard, feeling just a little pain in my hand. At the end of the day the boss asked me for my hand. I told him that everything was fine. In reaction to that, se said to me: man, your are extraordinary! He gave me a permanent job when he saw that I was an exceptional man that was capable to adjust myself to the work discipline. The significance of this story is twofold. First, his personal pride led Juan to work beyond normal limits, even running the risk of hurting himself. His perception of himself as an extraordinary worker, when joined with the boss' view that Juan was a barbarous, created a personal bond that could be manipulated by the power holder. He told me that after working on the mine for three months, even though he was making good money, he wanted to return to Blue Mountain and work on his conuco. Despite the "calling of the land," he remained working as a salt gatherer because Juan did not want to disappoint the boss. In a way, his strength ended up being his weakness. His ethos made himself more vulnerable in a relation to "the other." Second, because Juan is a man admired by the younger generations, his ethos is a potential role model. In addition to other personal attributes, Juan's prestige is increased by his ability to heal people giving them massages and using herbs (locally known as ensalmar) . Further, he is one of the few

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296 Montaneros who has travelled extensively by boat to different parts of the country. During the late 1920s, when there was no road in this geographic region, Juan worked in a boat that linked the southern coast with other coastal areas. Upon returning from those fascinating trips, he brought news about development (desarrollo) in the capital, the eastern plains, and so on. In an area where most people are afraid of the sea, the fact that he was an expert sailor made of him a brave pioneer. For local kids, the same ones who later on became sorghum growers, Juan was a hero. In a way, he was a cultural broker. Thus, part of what he said was likely to influence the village's changing ideal signifiers. An indication of his prestige is that several peasants asked him in 1979 whether they should plant sorghum. The fact that he, a peasant well known for his good conucos, decided to grow the new cash crop, was seen by others as a good thing to emulate. Of course, I do not mean to imply that Juan's admirers made their decision based solely upon what he did or said. His attitude toward sorghum cultivation, however, functioned as an endorsement of the new path of modernization. Pleasure As regards the pleasure form, its core constitutive element is the twofold projection of unrestricted personal freedom and unlimited good. Contrary to Foster's (1967:122-152) findings in Tzintzuntzan, mine seem to indicate that Montaneros of this specific generation have gone throughout life with the assumption that, perhaps with the exception of one's capacity to deal with suffering (discussed below), there was plenty of nearly everything. It is because of that lived experience that elders have such a hard time accepting

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297 the scarcity of modern times. 11 According to my interpretation, the pleasure form is expressed in two main ways: bodily pleasure and hope as aesthetics. Even though a religious authority in the region told me on one occasion that a central difference between Surenos and Cibaenos is that the former are more inclined to sexual promiscuity, my fieldwork experience does not confirm his theory. To be sure, sex is an important part in Montaneros' life. But so is it for Sabaneros. Rather than an extraordinary concern for sexual pleasure, what I found unique among Montaneros is their appreciation for abundant food in general and red meat in particular. In daily life and on special occasions, frequent reference is made to those old days when food, red meat in particular, was abundant and nearly free. I was particularly struck by the emphasis Montaneros aged fifty or older placed upon eating "food with blood." This means that back in the times of plenty they cooked fresh red meat together with roots (yucca and sweet potatoes in particular) and fresh corn. The theory supporting this food habit is that blood contains potency (fuerza) that is good for the body in general and the mind in particular. For instance, an 86-year-old Montanero who is well known for his good memory told me that that attribute was the consequence of having eaten "a lot of yucca, corn, and meat containing blood." One may take this appreciation for animal blood as an indication of a "primitive" cultural trait among Montaneros. My interpretation, though, is that this behavior is strongly linked to the experience of the montero. the hog and goat hunter whose persona is still crucial in this area. Let me elaborate my argument. 11 The constraints they had to face prior to the current generalized scarcity is called "pasar trabajo" (meaning to face hard work). This is contrasted with modern constraints or ' pasar necesidad " (meaning to face necessity).

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298 Killing a hog was up to late 1960s (roughly after Hurricane Ines) one of the many rites of passage local men when through before gaining full social recognition. The same applies to making a new farm plot, a habite . The two rites signified each other when the young man was about to harvest his first bunch of plantain. On that special occasion, he killed a hog (tamed or wild), boiled many plantains, and shared the food with his closer friends and relatives. That was done on the conuco rather than at the house. The way Montaneros described to me that scene is of a group of men sitting on the ground, eating plenty of food they have 'made' with their own bodies "with our own hands." Most people I heard talking about this part of their past also said that, after eating so much food at the conuco. they were "full, naked, and happy" (" hartos, encueros v contentos") . Of course, they were not actually naked, at least not physically. What the metaphor means is that the social space, the human bond created through the rite, was felt as freedom from outside social control. Thus, physical pleasure in this context was inextricably interwoven with a sense of independence. It was the inner self expressed through a rather mundane act. 12 It is precisely this sense of freedom from outside social control that becomes a dilemma when Montaneros face state intervention in their lives together with the claim for modernization. Here we see the interrelation of ethos, ideology, and utopia. The aesthetic dimension of the pleasure principle relates primarily to personal appearance and the joy involved in hoping for a good harvest. Indeed, one relevant element of Montaneros' presentation of themselves in 12 Antonini (1973:106) refers to the existence of a "deeply independent" type of rural dweller in the Dominican countryside in nineteenth century. My findings in Blue Mountain seem to support his argument.

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299 daily life is clothing. There, where water is a scarce resource, energy uncertain, and clothes relatively expensive, I seldom saw anyone dressing poorly after working on the farm. In general, males and females alike did everything possible to wear clean and nice garments even during week days. This conduct is not restricted to Sunday afternoon, which in the Dominican countryside is the time when people tend to dress up. For instance, a visitor may see on Monday morning a school teacher or a secretary wearing expensive clothes to go to work in a building where there is no electricity. One may also see on the same afternoon a peasant wearing clothes carefully ironed, just to go out to play dominoes with his friends. Who irons the clothes is another issue altogether. The Lebanese merchant who has been doing business with locals since 1955 told me that in the entire region Sabaneros are the ones who dress nicer and better. Back in the 1960s, one of the first things a young man did after being paid the money he had earned picking cotton at the nearby plantation, was to purchase as many as six shirts and three pants. Sometimes that person changed clothes three times in one day. Of course, this overemphasis on clothing undermined his capacity to take care of other aspects of his life, health for example. Because TV was lacking in Blue Mountain during the 1950s and 1960s, it is not arguable that local young men were impacted by commercial advertising. Interpreted from an existential perspective, this behavior shows a deep part of Montaneros' self-identity. Let me illustrate with the following example the second aesthetic dimension of the pleasure form. Using taped interviews and recording daily events, I documented Montaneros' joy in watching crops and animals grow. The notion of hoping for a good harvest is the ultimate indication of a peasant's material interest. It

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300 also shows a deeper part of her inner self. Expressions like "I sat down to see my ten hogs eat the corn" or "I was happy seeing my field grow," are written many times in my notebooks. They form a core element of the speech community in Blue Mountain. Omar, one of my closest Montanero friends often invited me to go out to his field in the late afternoon just to watch the healthy sorghum plants and their brownish panicles getting close to maturity, just about to become a monetary profit. "Isn't it pretty?" was Omar's favorite expression when we arrived at his parcel. On those occasions, I always took pictures of his field, he standing in the middle of it, proud of what he had done "with my own hands." More than once our "field trip" ended with us talking about life over a glass of Dominican rum. It felt good sharing my friend's happiness for his good harvest. But that was just part of the story. I think I understood better the inner self of Montaneros just few weeks before my fieldwork ended. One day, the yellow clouds carrying the blessed rain covered the village' skies, and a magnificent aguacero mojao 13 announced the end of a severe drought. On that day, I felt happy for my friends, many of whom had lost several cows during a drought that lasted for nearly six months. I still remember seeing children playing with the streams of dirty water freely running across our town, the big smile on everyone's face, the collective relaxation felt after the aguacero. Now it was time to grow food, to take care of the animals, I said to myself. It was with genuine joy that I told my friend Leandro that that was the time for him to plant yucca, corn, 13 Classification of rain is one of the most sophisticated aspects of Montaneros' local knowledge. Aguacero mojao is the fast rain that "really soaks the soil", versus the " mollinita ". a very light rain that does not make planting possible. In between these two extremes, one finds at least ten other types of rain, such as chubasco, llovizna, aguacerito, aguaiito, nube, lloviznita, and so on.

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301 squash, and so on. He, who is not a sorghum grower, had told me many times that he was just waiting for the rain in order to till the land and make his conuco look good. Leandro even told me that he was thinking about getting married again if harvest was good. It was in that context of projecting a new life that his reaction to my instrumental concern for growing food struck me so deeply. He, a wise man aged 68, looked at me with a big smile on his face, took my right hand, and said: " La aspiracion, mi amigo, aveces la aspiracion es tambien una belleza" ("aspiration, my friend, sometimes aspiration is also a beauty"). 14 What he meant was that it is not sufficient to project a good harvest of a high economic profit. The capacity to both enjoy the hope and ennoble oneself, in his view, is what makes husbandry a beautiful experience. Suffering The third existential form, suffering, is perhaps the most difficult for me to interpret. On this, as in any other area dealing with emotions, it is easy to project one's own feelings onto other people. Admittedly, perhaps because of my personal experience with poverty, I tend to overreact to human suffering. Having said that, I think that an idiosyncratic aspect of Montaneros' ethos is the way they deal with loss and pain. Here, a deep sense of honor interplays with stoicism in creating what, on the surface, looks like indifference or lack of sensitivity. This is one of the aspects of Montaneros' behavior that strikes Sabaneros the most. For instance, a Sabanero told me that when he or anyone from his town finds a wild pregnant hog, they do not kill it. "But people from Blue Mountain do not have feelings rsentimientosl ." 14 In the Dominican Republic, the words aspiracion (aspiration) means an expectation that entails personal pride, a noble hope. It is sharply different from ambicion (ambition), which connotes greed, desire for power (economic or otherwise). This friend of mine used the two words the way I have explained.

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302 he said with emotion in his voice, "they see the poor animal and kill it whether it is pregnant or not." Though I do not have enough evidence to refute this statement, I think that, even if it is true, it does not tell the whole story about Montaneros' sensitivity. Let me illustrate my argument by looking at Montaneros' reaction to material loss and violent death. Throughout the severe drought that hit Blue Mountain during my fieldwork, many animals (cows in particular) and crops perished. So difficult was the situation, that some people who had endured the 4-year-long drought of the 1940s, locally known as " La Imperiosa (The Imperious), 15 gave serious thought to the possibility of migrating this time. In the 1989-90 period, the dry forest literally became an animal cemetery. A typical image in those days was a cow slowly falling down to its knees, its eyes half open, its tongue half out, begging for a drop of water. When that happened near town, people tried all means possible to lift the animal up. In more than one occasion I saw as many as ten people making a tremendous physical effort to put the cow back on its feet. Sometimes the animal just died in the place it had fallen down. Meanwhile, a merchant from the nearest city was driving around with his blue pickup truck, offering people a particularly low price for their moribund animals. It came as no surprise to me that Montaneros decided to use the nickname "the ambulance" for the merchant's truck. What surprised me, however, is that the vast majority of the people (including relatively poor peasants who owned just five or six cows), did not sell their dying cows to the merchant. They simply let the animals die. In their view, selling the 15 That drought occurred during the 1944-1947 period. We will recall my reference in Chapter 4 to the severe drought that hit Santiago Rodriguez in 1944. This is but one of the comparable experiences Montaneros and Sabaneros have had.

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303 cow meant admitting one's personal failure; it was like saying that one had fallen, like the cow. The local ethos could not admit that without being hurt. Though privately my friends shared with me their care for their survival as ranchers or peasants because of the drought, in the public transcript I seldom heard people expressing sadness or extreme concern for their material loss. There are two expressions Montaneros used the most under those difficult circumstances. The first expressed the belief that "tomorrow's hope is bigger than today's hope" (" la esperanza de manana es mas grande que la de hoy "). The second, equally significant in ideological terms, was that "a big problem means a little heart" (" un problema grande significa un corazon chiquito "). What the latter means is that one sees problems in life according to, so to speak, the size of one's heart. In other words, a person's heart has a certain limit to deal with suffering. Let us now see what happens with personal loss. Perhaps because everyday life is so hard in Blue Mountain, perhaps because kinship ties are strong, or both, overt physical violence among adults is not particularly common there. A somewhat smooth pace of life surpasses the tribulations created by social and natural constraints. To be sure, tough talk is everywhere, particularly when the driver of the truck distributing water plays favorite with his friends. This tense calm is broken once in a while, sometimes with fatal consequences. So was the case of December 24, 1989, the day a 23-year-old Montanero male was killed with a sharp knife by a member of a different family group. 16 The village was torn apart by the tragedy. Everyone took sides. Sorrow and fear together created a thick atmosphere to live with. Pain was the dominant mood that Christmas. 16 In this study I do not attempt to interpret the meaning of this quasi-ritualist fight that has been taking place during the last decade between two family groups.

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304 It was in the midst of that tense moment, just before the coffin was about to be taken to the cemetery, that I heard the comment made by an old woman: "Not a single tear on her face; she is a strong woman." The remark, which was echoed by similar ones, was made in reference to the mother of the deceased, a local migrant woman who came to town just to take her son to the Caribbean island where she worked as a factory worker. She was been praised because of her strength, her courage. A few weeks later I asked my best Montanero friend, who has blood ties with the person killed, the meaning of the quasi-stoic attitude displayed by that woman. His answer was a rather philosophical one: " Aquel que tiene las lagrimas lejos que comience a llorar temprano " ("the person whose tears are at a great distance must begin to cry early"). What he meant was that crying in that context would had indicated personal weakness before "the others." This attitude of pride and honor I term "ideology of the extremes." By this I mean that most Montaneros, when it comes to personal matters, tend to see life as an either/or situation . 17 Under normal circumstances, a person who feels his or her honor has been hurt will likely cut off drastically all contact with the other person. In some cases, this applies even to family members. At the same time that this conduct provides them with selfidentity and personal psychological balance, when taken to the public sphere 17 This does not rule out Montaneros' flexibility in dealing with social conflicts. I hasten to say that they are particularly successful at using local social capital, including old-lived forms of cooperation such as convite or labor pooling. This skill is clearly discernible from the metaphor " hombre de silla y de aparejo" one often hears in Blue Mountain. Literally, hombre means man, silla means a leather saddle, and aparejo means a rustic tackle used as a saddle. In the context of the speech event, the metaphor means a man who is able to perform well at different levels, say hunting and ploughing. We will recall the similar metaphor used by Sabaneros: "hombre del llano v de la loma ."

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305 it makes Montaneros vulnerable in a frontier context where ambiguities are so important for everyday survival. For instance, the soldier who hit the girl might be the same person who decides whether you cross the border or not when you need to make some money by selling used clothes. In Blue Mountain there are people whose prestige is greatly based on their ability to solve contradictions among family members. However, dealing with societal conflicts involving the power structure usually requires skills different from the ones needed in dealing with family affairs. Of course, Montaneros, who are fast learners, have began to realize the sharp differences between these two dimensions of their existence. This will become clearer in Chapter 7. Belonging The final existential form of the ethos of courage in Blue Mountain, namely belonging, refers to Montaneros' perception of two interconnected situations: first, who is an insider or outsider in the village as well as in their hearts; second, how they relate to the larger society, the government in particular. I will first characterize this double relation and then will interpret it. Because Blue Mountain is currently articulated with 'the center' by a wide variety of means ranging from agricultural credit to politics, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Montaneros to discriminate between inside and outside social agents. For instance, the agronomist who promoted sorghum cultivation, himself a man from the capital, married a local woman who is the daughter of a respected Montanero. This being the case, the line separating the "we" and the "they" is clearly defined in people's minds. This social construction takes place in the context created by the akin notions of Sureno and fronterizo we saw earlier in this chapter. The local term for an insider is uno de nosotros" (one of us). Outsiders, by contrast, are called

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306 " forasteros " (literally, strangers). I met people who had been living in Blue Mountain since 1960 who told me they were still called forasteros . I also met a Peace Corp volunteer who left town frustrated after a year trying to get close to people. In his view, Montaneros were distant, if not indifferent. In contrast to these two cases, I met others who, after a few years of residence in town, were called "one of us" by locals. With regard to Montaneros' perception of the government's presence in their lives, I found that they face a particularly tense situation. To be sure, this is neutralized by a defined position regarding the support villagers need in order to survive. In reference to the first, one sees a rather destructive attitude toward some public buildings, to the point of breaking or stealing valuable items from those places. However, at the same time that one witnesses people doing that, one hears nearly everyone praising the construction of new roads, houses, and so on. I often had the feeling that in their attitude toward the government Montaneros were torn apart by two equally powerful forces: one telling them to resist at the personal level their highly regarded freedom (i.e., "full, naked, happy"), the other asking for an acceptance of state regulation as something beneficial to their community. This will become clearer in Chapter 7, during my description of peasants' ambivalent stance before the official Agricultural Bank and other public agencies. What I term Montaneros' "defined position" regarding the kind of support they need refers to their frequent usage of the expression "a strong arm who can help us." I heard this phrase nearly each time peasants faced a major problem dealing with credit, land preparation, and so on. Reminiscence of Trujillo's dictatorship? Memory of the violent past? Perhaps both. Perhaps none. The expression, however, is a crucial one because a

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307 "strong arm" can be both constructive and destructive, promoter of redistribution and monopolizer of essential resources. I think I can demonstrate that it is partially because of this attitude toward outside power that most Montaneros have a hard time when it comes to deciding whether development is good for them or not. In Chapter 7 I will discuss two events that seem to support my argument. If one accepts the notion that the constitution of ethos, ideologies and utopias is mediated by ideal signifiers, then one can argue that Montaneros' acceptance and rejection of "others," the government included, is partially based on their definitions of who is a good person and what is a good government. These definitions, however, are social constructions significantly influenced by a lived experience in terms of space and time. A social space is constituted by a feeling of belonging to a community, which entails a double process of inclusion and exclusion. This double process encompasses an interrelation of I, the other, we. 18 When combined with the ethos we have just characterized, Montaneros' unique experience as a relocated village and the fast modernization accelerated by sorghum cultivation has made it difficult for them to decide wisely who to include in or exclude from their village and their hearts. In my view, the rigidity encompassed by the ideology of extremes tends to overshadow Montaneros' phronesis as negotiators in an ambiguous societal context. The last section of this chapter attempts to provide some of the information we need to understand how and why this has happened in Blue Mountain. Hoetink (1985:80) argues that the tension between inclusivismo and exclusivismo was an important issue in the Dominican Republic during the late 1800s. In my view, the tension still exists albeit at a smaller scale.

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308 In this section I have outlined some of the constitutive elements of Montaneros' ethos. My characterization of this existential construction has been referred primarily to the older generations. By looking at the existential forms of endurance, pleasure, suffering and belonging, I have decoded the "ethos of courage" as an ideal type. I have indicated in general terms how the ethos interplays with the ideology of the extremes. The notions of Sureno and fronterizo have been used in order to interpret the way Montaneros perceive themselves and others and are perceived by others as well. The next section is a brief description of the physical setting and some demographic characteristics of our area of study. The Land of the Deep South The Deep South is a solitary land. It is also a land of extremes, both in its physical setting and its social space. An average population density of 30 persons per square kilometer becomes even lower (less than 10 persons /km2) west of Blue Mountain. Travelling on the same part of that geographic region you may encounter, on your left, the restless Caribbean Sea showing all the imaginable tones of blue in interaction with the intense green cover of Sierra de Baoruco, on your right. Rolling secondary roads, some of which are paved, take one across mountains whose highest point at Sierra de Neiba is 1,500 meters above the sea level. At Sierra Baoruco, parallel to the former, the highest altitude is 1,400 meters above the sea level. High altitude, combined with an average annual rainfall of 1375 mm at the former mountain range and 1605 mm at the latter, creates favorable natural conditions for the grow of coffee, red beans, yucca, corn, and pastures, among other crops. The average annual temperature here is 24° C. Some patches of pine (Pinus occidentalis) tells the visitor that she is in a Subtropical Moist Forest (Hartshorn et al. 1981; OAS 1967).

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309 It is in the wide space separating the two sierras that the visitor sees the dry, hot, flat Enriquillo Basin depicting one of the most striking images of the Dominican landscape. The annual average temperature at this point is 28.1° C. (Lora S. et al. 1983). A geological formation of the Quaternary (De la Fuente 1976:28), the desert-like alluvial zone, covered primarily by xerophytes, still shows the relatively recent presence of the sea within its confines. The unique experience one may have while travelling across the basin is seen in Wythe Cooke's description of the trip he made in early 1900s. A visitor to the Enriquillo Basin has the feeling, said Cooke, of "walking dry-shod on the bottom of the sea across shell-strewn sands and of wandering among forests of coral that appear so fresh that the water might have been withdrawn only yesterday" (cf. Crist 1952:113-114). The ultimate proof of the uniqueness of the region is the Enriquillo Lake, "150 feet below the sea level [and whose salt content] is now 2.35 times as great as that of the sea" (Crist.113). In the middle of this beautiful lake is Cabrito Island, a small key where huge iguanas (Ciclura cornuta and Ciclura ricordi) live surrounded by crocodiles (Crocodvlus acutus) and flamingos (Phoenicop terus rubber) . Since 1974, the lake is a national park (Valdez S. and Mateo F. 1989:28). On the basin's eastern edge, just bordering the nearly 200,000 tareas of sugar cane belonging to Ingenio Barahona, is the Cabral or Rincon Lagoon. The lagoon, connected with the Yaque del Sur River, supports a long-lived, rustic fishing industry operated by part-time peasants. Two species of fish predominate at the lagoon: Tilapia mossambira. imported from Haiti in 1953, and Tilapia rendalis. introduced from Mexico in 1974 (Hartshorn 1981:66). Next to this site is the colossal salt mountain of Cristobal, where a prosperous industry has functioned at different moments since early 1930s when Trujillo monopolized the Dominican salt industry. Other

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310 extractive industries, most of them state-operated, also function on this part of the Enriquillo Basin. Here, on this otherwise arid zone, irrigation makes possible the growth of all kinds of fruit trees, particularly mangoes and coconut. It is next to this sector that peasants use guerrilla-like tactics to gain access to the water they need to irrigate their farm plots. The city of Barahona, located 26 meter above the sea level, is joined to the frontier town of Pedernales (11 meters above the sea level) by a newly paved road. At some points of this 135-kilometer-long trip the sea is so close to the abruptly rising mountains that one feels the salt breeze and may even see the fish swimming by. There, the frequent landslides caused by the pouring rain may block the road for hours, making impossible the circulation of vehicles. Seven small fishing villages take advantage of this natural resource. It is also in this area where part-time peasants dig for several hours daily to unearth the recently-discovered, valuable larimar, a turquoise stone, now exported to Europe and America. Land prices at certain parts of the coast have recently raised as a result of a government decree (1991) that made this an official tourist area. During my field trip I saw a couple of signs, written in English, announcing the sale of some plots located close to the beach. Since late 1970s some wealthy Dominicans began purchasing land on this coastal zone. Though the dangerous sea current make swimming rather unsafe in most beaches of this area, the scenery is one of the most beautiful in the republic. There are four Life Zones in the South (see Figure 4, Chapter 4). First is the Subtropical Dry Forest, which represents nearly 55% of the territory. Second is the Subtropical Lower Montane Wet Forest, enclosing about 17% of the area. The third Life Zone, Subtropical Moist Forest, covers roughly 18% of the land. Finally, the Subtropical Thorn Woodland encloses about 10% of this

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311 geographic region. Nearly 90% of the Deep South is Subtropical Dry Forest (Hartshorn et al. 1981). In the part of the Deep South where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located, the predominance of the Subtropical Dry Forest and Subtropical Thorn Woodland Life Zones, 19 combined with the mostly calcareous soils, make of agriculture a difficult endeavor. Both evaporation and evapotranspiration are high in the area. As mentioned earlier, irrigation is totally lacking. For the most part, soils are alkaline, thin and stony. Even though at the two villages settlers have planted a wide variety of fruit trees ranging from coconut to mangoes, this narrow coastal zone is mostly covered by a thick, thorny vegetation. A particularly diverse flora grow in this dry zone. Relevant for our task is the presence of “baitoa" (Phyllostvlon brasiliense), "bayahonda" ( Prosopis iuliflora) , "eambron" (Vachellia farnesiana) , “guano" (Coccothrinax argentea) . ''guayacan" (Guaiacum sanctum) , "almacigo" (Bursera Simaruba L.), and mahogany or caoba . As we will see in the next section of this chapter, the four last species, guano, guayacan, almacigo, and caoba have been major commodities articulating the region to the world market since late seventeenth century. The felling of these varieties of trees, stock raising, and hunting wild hogs and goats were the three main economic activities carried out by settlers who later on became peasants. It is here were the historical roots of Blue Mountain area grounded. As may be seen in Figure 7, there are two rainy seasons in the surroundings of Blue Mountain and Green Savanna. The first usually begins 19 In a typical Subtropical Dry Forest, the annual average rainfall is 750 mm, while the temperatures range from 18 to 24° C. At Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, the temperature mean is 26.2° C. It is not unusual to see that figure rise to nearly 28° C.

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ALTITUDE 3M 808.8 MM RAINFALL (mm) 312 ^6 N U o H CL,Ov <0 H T3 ^ 8 a) H (tJ Figure 7. Altitude, Average Annual Rainfall, Average Temperature. Study Area, 1964-1980.

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313 in late April and may last until early June. Most Montaneros and Sabaneros are particularly careful when it comes to trust the certainty of rainfall during this period. One of the most striking features of this primavera (Spring) is that rains come fast and go equally fast. One may see during this period two or three aguaceros mojados (fast rain) one after the other, followed by a few mollinitas (light rain), and then no rain at all until August. The second rainy season is more reliable. It usually starts in early August, reaches its peak in September, and lasts until late October. This is the season when most people plant sorghum and other crops. Despite the accuracy of the above data as a description of a normal situation, either severe droughts or killing hurricanes may hit the area at any time. The peak of the hurricane season is in the September-October period. In fact, the three most devastating hurricanes hitting Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during this century have occurred in during this period. The first of those hurricanes, which cause severe damages, occurred in 1908. Locals refers to it as "el ciclon del ocho " ("the hurricane from the eight"). Second is the hurricane of 1916, whose consequences were less severe (Brookings Institution 1942:116). The third major hurricane, Ines, occurred on September 29, 1966. It is worth noticing that the southern Dominican coast has been hit by the majority of the forty hurricanes crossing the republic during the 18871966. Of that total, seventeen (42.5%) have occurred in September (De la Fuente G. 1976:A30-A31). Tropical storms are also a common phenomenon in the area. Beside the severe drought I witnessed during my fieldwork, the area has been seriously impacted by this natural phenomenon during the years 1943-47, 1957, 1962, and 1965 (SEA 1967:11-5). With regard to the evaporation and evapotranspiration occurring in this part of the Deep South, there is one phenomena calling for our attention:

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314 the wind. Indeed, because of the proximity of the sea, a steady wind blows across the area day and night. During the October-December period, wind velocity is about eight kilometers per hour. During the February-March period that speed is nearly thirteen kph. The wind, blowing toward the southeast, has a monthly average of 40 kph. In addition to affect the moisture available in the soil, the constant impact of fast wind over the bare land increases soil erosion. Though I have not quantified this phenomenon, I have all the indications that soil erosion is high in the area because of the steady wind. The elimination of the forest for planting sorghum, cotton, sisal, and aloe has left the calcareous soils unprotected. It is commonplace that when this happens it a flat area, wind erosion accelerates. Further, the pervasiveness of overgrazing in Blue Mountain becomes an extra factor increasing wind erosion. Literally, when the wind blows a dust storm takes place on the bare soil. As a housekeeper in Blue Mountain, I had to remove everyday a thin layer of reddish dust accumulated on the floor of my tiny house. Let us continue our characterization of this unique physical setting by bringing into the picture two sets of relevant natural elements: first, the nearby lagoons and swamps; second, the karstic bed rock and cenotes associated with it. What follows is a brief description of these phenomena. One story you often hear in the Dominican Republic, probably a joke made up by someone who wanted to hurt the Cibaenos' ego, says that when a peasant from El Cibao travelled to the capital for the first time he did not know what the sea was like. When he saw such an incredible mass of blue water, his exclamation was: "Cuanto terreno peidio! " ("what a waste of land! ). The idea supporting this story is that Cibaenos think primarily as land cultivators. Migrant Sabaneros, those who came from tierra caliente to

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315 tierra orejana. must had had a similar reaction when they saw for the first time the big, impressive lagoon at The Valley, between Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Of the seven lagoons in the area, this is the one closer to every day events in both villages. Its water is nearly twice as salty as the water of the nearby sea. It covers an area of nearly 24 km2, and it has the unusual characteristic of changing its color at least four times a day, depending on physical processes whose examination is beyond the scope of this study. In the morning, the lagoon is gray, turns yellow around noon, becomes nearly green in the early afternoon, and it turns brownish near sunset. In the local cosmology, this unique natural phenomenon plays a central role. 20 Some Valleros (people from The Valley) fish regularly at the lagoon using nets (chinchorros) they themselves weave using thin plastic ropes purchased at the nearest city. Though some fishermen have outboard motors to propel their small boats (volas) . the majority of them depend on rustic sails (velas) they make by sewing plastic sacks by hand. The main fish species in the lagoon are "tilapia," "lisa" ( Mugil curema) . and "sabalo" (Megalops atlanticus). Since all lagoons are within the confines of the national park created in 1983, there are some regulations for fishing. This creates some tension between fishermen and the park guards. Most fish is sold locally. Fishing here is a family business, and women participate in cleaning the fish. I know of no women who go out fishing, either alone or with their partners. In addition to fish, pink flamingos are abundant on the far east of the lagoon. 20 Time and space limitations prevent me from interpreting this in any details. Suffice it to say that the lagoon is used by Montaneros to forecast weather. It is also a symbol of self-identity, particularly for those who experienced Hurricane Ines' obliteration of the village. For men and women alike, the lagoon also has a romantic meaning. It was there that many of them began sharing their love for each other.

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316 During the dry season it is possible to walk across certain sections of the lagoon. Both Montaneros and Valleros know well what parts are safe or dangerous. Indeed, during the Trujillo era most of them had to cross the lagoon by foot while working as unpaid coast guards. With the exception of two youngsters who drowned in 1987, no other person had die at the impressive lagoon as of 1990. As we will see in the next section of this chapter, the big lagoon played for at least a century a major role in the transportation of logs of precious wood from the dry forest to the sea. Next to the larger lagoon, close to the sea, there is a vast swampy area where mangrove, notably Rhizophora mangle (mangle roio) , grows profusely. During the 1920-1960 period, Montaneros sold logs of mangrove trees to merchants from the capital. This species of mangrove is utilized to dye hides and other materials. I met at least twelve Montaneros whose first experience with the market economy was through the selling of mangrove trees. Doing so was a major test to their ethos of personal endurance. "That was a lonely job to do, deep in the forest," I was told by a local man who used to spend whole weeks in the forest without seeing his family, "with mosquitoes biting your face and arms, your body submerged in the water, and no time to eat your food." The swampy area is part of an ecosystem inhabited by thousands of crabs or cangrejos ( Cardisoma guanhumi) . Despite state regulations, people from places as distant as Azua and Barahona come to the area during the May-June period to gather crabs and sell them outside the area. Sometimes they even use steel picks and metal shovels to dig the valuable species. During the "harvest" of crab. Blue Mountain becomes a place where one smells nothing but the free meat being boiled in big metal containers. So abundant is the tasty crab during this season that one can take an empty sack

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317 and fill it in less than two hours, depending on your personal ability and knowledge. Women and men alike, children and adults alike, participate in this extraordinary display of short-lived abundance. Neighbors share the food, their bodies expressing joy, as if they were back in those old days when there was plenty of everything, when one was "full, naked, happy." In that context, the "harvesting" and sharing of crabs is like a rite or, to use Connerton's (1991) terminology, a "commemorative ceremony." 21 The karstic characteristic of part of the Deep South makes possible the formation of caves and sinkholes of relative large size. The cenotes function as reservoirs for water. In some of them one can even try to do some swimming. The water is fresh and fairly clean. When Montaneros were also monteros, 22 they used to go into la montana and stay there, hunting wild animals, hogs (Sus scropha) in particular. Monteros usually stayed in the caves for a whole week, using the salt accumulated at the nearby lagoons to preserve the meat. The water accumulated in the sinkholes was crucial for them to drink, refresh their bodies, cook, and so forth. Caves provided shelter to the monteros, as they still do to people who walk alongside the sandy beach doing the modern version of gathering described below. 21 I agree with Connerton's argument (1991:61) that the enactment of ceremonies aimed at commemorating events that are part of a collective memory (i.e., the memory of abundance and freedom in Blue Mountain), is in fact "a ritual of re-enactment" which ultimately refers to "prototypic persons and events. Montaneros, in my view, have in this crab harvest an opportunity to recall their collective memory in reference to the ideal signifiers they have about a good society, good person, good life, and so on. 22 Of all the Montanero males I interviewed, only three said that they had not been monteros. Nowadays there are few full-time monteros at Blue Mountain, partially because of the sharp reduction of wild game, partially because people are getting older and have other sources of income. To the best of my knowledge, as of 1990 there were less than five full-time monteros in the village.

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318 Despite Montaneros' careful, if not fearful, attitude toward the sea, many of them are engaged in one of the most unusual forms of "work" at Blue Mountain. The phenomenon I term "indirect production" consists in going early in the morning to the coastline, either by foot or on horseback, to gather whatever the sea currents bring inland. Indeed, the sea transports to the area the most incredible "waste," ranging from a cooler containing an old shoe to a half-empty bottle of perfume or a glass bottle with a note, usually written in English, asking for an exchange of addresses. 23 Sometimes, and this is really what motivates many to go there, the sea brings a load of drugs (usually cocaine) that some drug dealer had to get rid of somewhere, perhaps hundreds of miles away from the Dominican Republic. As many as fifteen kilometers of coastline were (1990) covered by plastic containers of all sizes, old refrigerator cases, empty gas bottles (a very expensive item in the Dominican Republic), valuable pieces of lumber, and so forth. There are some Montaneros for whom that "waste" is their main source of income. Some of them even take special orders, such as a plastic container of a particular size, a piece of lumber of certain length, or a cooler. One of the most valuable items brought by the sea currents are round floats made with heavy metal. Locals cut off a small segment the item, using the other part as a cooking pot. Accidents occur once in a while, when a gatherer opens a plastic tube containing some strong chemical substance. One of the natural resources of the Deep South that has created more difficulties between locals and the government is the capture of the big sea 23 Most of those notes and written by tourists or sailors. At least four times people asked me to translate the messages for them and answer them through the mail. Two of the letters were answered back, one from England and the other for the U.S. In both cases some form of gift came with the letters, including U.S. money and British mail stamps.

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319 tortoise (Eretmochelvs imbricata) locally known as carev . The eggs, shell and meat of the endangered species are highly regarded for more than one reason. For instance, it is believed by most Montaneros I met that tortoise eggs increase one's sexual potency. Though a subtle food taboo makes tortoise meat less desirable for some Montaneros, the permanent demand for it from outside contributes to the killing of the carey. In the past, merchants from the capital came to Blue Mountain just to purchase tortoise shells, which were in high demand by tourists. Elders told me that before Hurricane Ines hundreds of sea tortoises deposited their eggs on the beach every two weeks during summer time. Despite the negative impact that Hurricane Ines had on the flora and fauna of the Deep South, a wide variety of bird species still live in or migrate to the area. Notorious among the bird species is the paloma coronita ( Columba leucocephala) , which is a pigeon that hunters perceive as the ultimate symbol of abundance. Professional hunters from other parts of the nation come here every summer to hunt this particular species. In addition to birds, the forest is the natural niche for honey bees. Before the hurricane and the spraying of pesticides over the cotton fields done by small airplanes, honey bees were abundant. When comparing my own observations with the bees population Montaneros and outsiders alike said existed before 1966, 1 estimate that there has been a reduction greater than 90%. I assume that the use of chemicals associated with sorghum cultivation is also having a direct impact on this natural resources. For the most part, Montaneros do not talk about the consequences of sorghum on local natural resources.

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320 Although the list of natural resources in Deep South could be significantly expanded, 24 what we have just listed provides us with the information we need for the present task. One aspect of this account that calls for our attention is that this wide variety of resources exists in a physical setting that up to 1957 was perceived by Montaneros as either common lands to which everyone had free access or private property based on a local moral code, rather than on a legal system of ownership. In 1957, when the then private cotton plantation began its operation, this social space was drastically modified. Three other concomitant events are responsible for the production of a new social space in this area of the Deep South prior to 1966: first, the encounter of Montaneros and Sabaneros on this tierra oreiana; second, the formation by the government of the new settlement (colonia agricola) in 1958; third, the introduction in the same year of peanut cultivation. We will recall that Don Adriano, the proud man from the " tierra caliente. " left behind his location in the Cordillera Central when Trujillo in 1956 ordered the depopulation of that area. A similar process took place here in the south, when the cotton plantation began destroying peasants' conucos in order to plant king cotton. What occurred during the 1958-1978 period is partially described in Chapter 6. In summary, in this section we have characterized the natural setting of the area of study. Our next endeavor is to trace the historical processes that brought Montaneros into this area, this frontier region where abundance and constraints, power and ambiguity exist in permanent interaction. The notion, internalized by Montaneros, that moving from the South to the "center" 24 On this see Direccion Nacional de Parques 1986; Instituto de Recursos Hidraulicos 1988a, 1988b; Secretaria de Estado de Agricultura 1980a.

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321 entails a change from “the obscure or dark" to “the bright" needs to be put in context. What follows is a synopsis of some of the processes framing Montaneros' lived experience in time and space. Time and Space in the Genesis of Montaneros Before conquest, the Deep South was part of Xaragua, the prosperous chiefdom led by chief Behecchio (see Figure 2). Though gold was not abundant in the area, agriculture was well developed. Irrigation was used primarily to grow yucca or manioc. Cotton was also cultivated on relatively large farms. Even though Columbus and chief Behecchio never met, the revolt led by Francisco Roldan and the subsequent establishment of encomiendas and repartimientos functioned as a linkage between Columbus's project of domination and Xaragua. Two other events marked the beginning of a new social space in the area at that time. First is that Isla Beata was so named by Columbus in 1494 because it looked like a woman wearing a religious habit. The Admiral also used the small island as a shelter on two occasions, first in 1498 when strong sea currents prevented him from sailing eastward, second during his last voyage to America, when he was not allowed to land in Hispaniola, the territory he had discovered and named few years earlier (Morison 1970:560). The second major event during that same period occurred when Nicolas de Ovando burned alive eighty Xaraguan chiefs and hanged Anacaona, the dignified female ruler of Xaragua (Lamb 1956; Las Casas 1656:15-16). The good soils of southern Dominican Republic and Tamos' labor were used by Spaniards to develop sugar cane cultivation near Azua in early 1500s. The importation of African slaves to work of those plantations was just the beginning of profound structural and cultural changes in El Sur. It is not only that human beings from three sharply different cultures (Taino, African and

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322 European) met on that territory. More significant is that that encounter was from the onset signaled by violence and resistance, including war and marronage. In fact, it was in the Deep South that the two first massive guerrilla-like movements took place. The first, led by the Spanish-educated Enriquillo or Guarocuya was a bloody confrontation that lasted from 1519 to 1533. The second, enacted by ladino slaves since 1503 (Deive 1985:5), took a more radical turn in 1522 when African slaves fled the sugar cane plantations. The latter lasted until late 1700s, albeit with significant changes that included accommodation. 25 When Taino and African rebels met at Sierra de Baoruco and Enriquillo Lake, the South became a symbol of resistance whose repercussions on present-day Montaneros we shall see as our narrative unfolds. The drastic changes brought about by the depopulation of part of Hispaniola in 1605-1606 (see Chapter 4), had a direct impact on the South. The town of Neiba, located in between Enriquillo Lake and the southern piedmonts of Sierra de Baoruco, was part of the massive smuggling that epitomized most of the scarcely populated island during that period. It is in the context of that illegal trade that the area where Blue Mountain and Green Savannah are located became directly related to countries other than Spain, France in particular. The combination of wild cattle roaming freely on the 25 Enriquillo was a Taino survivor of the killings ordered by Ovando in Xaragua. Though educated by Spanish priests, he left for the Sierra de Baoruco and became a guerrilla after his wife was abused by a Spanish ruler. He led that war from Isla Cabrito, at Enriquillo Lake. As reported by Deive (1989:4041), later on Enriquillo cooperated with the Spaniards in persecuting the African maroons. Present-day Surenos have in Tamos' and maroons' resistance an important source of regional pride. In 1884 the Dominican government gave the name Enriquillo to an important southern town whose original Haitian name was seen as an insult to the Dominicanidad.

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323 coastal area and the salt formed at the lagoons near present-day Blue Mountain made of this otherwise marginal area the core of an active illegal trade joining the coastal plains with the highlands. A corridor formed by runaway slaves, French and English merchants, and most likely some Spaniards from Neiba, made possible the circulation of goods between El Sur and the capitalist market. Exchange within the region was carried out through the rather unique interaction of people whose ambiguous bond was cemented by their attitude toward the national center. The interpretation of that phenomena offered by Deive is worth quoting at length. The [maroons] belonging to the maniel [Spanish word for a maroon community] of Neiba made businesses particularly with the adventurers that operated alongside the coast of Petit Trou [a village close to Blue Mountain] and together they participated in the hunting of wild animals r monterial and other illegal activities. (Deive 1989:267; my translation) It is in here that one begins to see the formation of a regional ethos in the Deep South that differs significantly from the one constituted in El Cibao. Deive characterizes the maroons' ethos as an "aggressive [ethos] that made of them dreadful, but it is also true that the ethos was the result of their condition as individuals who were persecuted by and marginated from the colonial society" (ibid.: p.259; my translation) It is not our task to assess how absolute that alienation from "the center" really was. What requires our attention instead is that Deive's interpretation of maroons' ethos seems to agree with both the present stereotypes regarding Southerners' aggressiveness and the remoteness from mainstream development that, in my view, has been internalized by Surenos and fronterizos . I hasten to say that here we are talking about ideal types. Crucial to our interpretation of the role played by ethnicity in the constitution of self-identity in El Cibao and El Sur is that, in contrast to what

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324 occurred in northern Dominican Republic, the great majority of people trading with French and British merchants in the Deep South were blacks. Though in El Cibao, near Puerto Plata, there was a maroon settlement, most of the area was peopled by Spaniards. It is likely that maroon communities had also few mulattoes as active members, the outcome of the intercourse between Tainos and Africans. The picture one sees in El Sur is of a vast territory precariously linked to the "center" through Azua and peopled mostly by runaway slaves. Since maroons were hiding up in the thick forest, their production did not become part of a social space controlled by Spain, even after depopulation. It was only after more than a century of struggle and negotiation, if not of recognition and reciprocity, that those former slaves became part of a fragile national project (see Deive 1985). In our area of study, "the black Other" was responsible for the partial repopulation of the territory left behind by involuntary migrants in early seventeenth century. When Neiba was depopulated by Osorio in 1606, Azua was made the center of a frontier region whose expansion was not the work of land cultivators. More important, when frontier expansion began to take place it did so in the form of sugar cane and the felling of the trees. At first, none of these two economic activities touched the area of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. The unique situation there is that runaway slaves continued, if not accelerated, their illegal trade with an "other" that later on became the rulers of Saint-Domingue: pirates or filibusters, buccaneers or hunters and traders of beef and cow hides, and habitants or land cultivators. It is in this context that Isla Beata and the small town of Petit Tru become so crucial to understand what happened in the Deep South before 1801, the year of the first Haitian invasion to Spanish Santo Domingo. What follows is a brief reconstruction of that crucial historical period.

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325 We saw in Chapter 4 the way French, British, and Dutch based on Isla Tortuga transformed the Atlantic coast of Hispaniola into a zone where an illegal market flourished. On the Caribbean coast, it was Isla Beata the place chosen by French pirates to launch their attacks against Spanish ships. A major turning point in that process occurred in the year 1626 when a handful of French sailors were expelled by Spanish troops from the tiny Caribbean is.land currently called Saint Kitts (Bosh 1988a; Leyburn 1966; Wallerstein 1980). Those French sailors settled down in Spanish-ruled southwestern Hispaniola, relatively near the present location of Blue Mountain and Green Savannah (see Figure 2). As indicated in Chapter 2, after that settlement what is now Haiti and our area of study became part of a social space dwelled by the distinctive cultures of pirates, buccaneers and habitants. The three cultures are blended in the ethos we find today at Blue Mountain and concomitant areas. In more concrete terms, abitants, the pioneer dwellers who performed the difficult, uncertain, risky task of conquering the forest and discovering caves, were the ancestors of Montaneros. Those maroons whose manieles were not destroyed by Osorio became en £ a g e d in myriad relations with the French settlers. If, as Deive argues, runaway slaves were alienated by the colonial society, one can infer that they did not fight against those who were using the formally Spanish territory for the purposes described above. Different from El Cibao, where las cincuentenas resisted the incursion of pirates and buccaneers, dwellers of the Caribbean coast negotiated with and even profited from the presence of "the other." The defense of that territory, particularly Isla Beata, was carried out by Spanish troops. Sanchez Val verde, a person who did everything possible to show the Spanish government that Hispaniola had valuable resources to be exploited.

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326 described in the following way what happened to some of the French men who took Beata as their headquarters. This solitary island, where Spaniards had some cattle and gathered eggs of tortoises and other marine birds [ aves marinas in the original], was once a theater of punishment against pirates. On December 10, 1630, Governor Chavez Osorio sent two armored ships; ten of the [French] prisoners were hanged, [and] their bodies were left suspended so that others could see. (Sanchez Valverde. [1785]1947:19-20; my translation) Petit Trou, 26 was the most important seaport for the economic operations carried out by maroons, people from Neiba, and French men and women. What occurred during the 1626-1800 period at this important site is a long history whose details we need not repeat here. From Deive's (1985: 83-97) account of that relevant historical period one learns that those maroons were skilled land cultivators, had firearms, used irrigation, hunted wild hogs, and traded with French merchants. Deive also tells us that the main economic activity at Petit Trou, was the illegal exportation of precious woods, followed by the killing of cows and sea tortoises. All of that, says the same author, was organized by a man from Neiba who had "relaxed customs and [was] devoted to protect malefactors, commit robbery and homicides, and trade with British, French and Dutch ships" (p. 87). He also reports that sometimes maroons and Europeans had serious conflicts because the latter wanted to abuse the former's women. When that occurred, maroons confronted the intruders, usually killing them. Finally, Deive tells us that thieves, slaves, and all sorts of people from different parts of the island, including northern Monte Cristi, moved to the area of Petit Trou to take advantage of the illegal trade. Figure 8 26 Petit Trou, meaning "little hole," is the original name of a seaport conterminous to my area of study.

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327 "8 DC 0 •q < 0) & Figure 8. The Deep South In Its Larger Context, Seventeenth Century.

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328 depicts the way Hispaniola's social space was controlled by Spain and France during most of the period under consideration. What we have just described was the Deep South that the former Haitian slaves found in 1801, when the first black republic of the Western Hemisphere invaded its backward neighboring nation. Here, different from El Cibao, there was neither a peasantry being constituted by selling tobacco nor a city like Santiago where the spirits of las cincuentenas had provided the roots for nationalism. It was a land where loyalty to the center was weak, if not absent. The spirit of marronage, the ethos of monteros, the greed of the merchant, and the lawlessness of pirates were deeply grounded in this social space. Yet, that social space was about to become a contested one. The government, weak and lacking knowledge of what happened in the daily life of those dwellers, sent its troops to demarcate a frontier whose population had a conflicting loyalty similar to the one Cibaenos had in 1606: on the one hand, trade with the European merchants provided then with goods; on the other, there was a claim for their ascription to national values. Notwithstanding this analogy, the fear of blackness, if it existed at all, did not have in our area of study the same connotation we saw it had in northern Dominican Republic. When the government declared Petit Trou a military canton in 1801, the troops it sent had to deal with more than the Haitian troops. The frontier spirit was also a threat to national integration. To be sure, that frontier ethos grew out of Spain's lack of interest in Hispaniola. During all those years of tribulation, the physical space now belonging to Blue Mountain and Green Savannah was a battlefield where the figure of the montero became the symbol to be emulated if one was determined to survive. The montero's endurance was not just physical; it was also ethical. One's personal safety was a combination of constant alertness, ability to

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329 discriminate fast who was the person approaching you at night in the forest or near the beach, and knowledge of nature and oneself. In his rather solitary life, the montero had the permanent companionship of his trained dogs and, closer to his body, the sharp knife he utilized to kill the wild hogs or puercos cimarrones . Killing one of such animal with an arma blanca, instead of using a firearm, tested the montero' s attitude toward death. Indeed, the hogs' elongated teeth (called navajas by Montaneros) could easily kill both the montero and his hunting dogs. If, as we saw in Chapter 4, the message that Boyer brought to Santo Domingo during the 1822-1844 period met the Cibaenos' ascription to the Spanish heritage, in the Deep South it met a less hostile situation. A scarcely populated region whose main dweller, the montero. was distant from the relaxed slavery of the cattle ranches (hatos), became "a frontier within another frontier" to be expanded by Haitians rather than by Dominicans. By this I mean that the former Haitian slaves moved eastward to the Dominican border to expand what, from Port-au-Prince, was perceived as the new frontier to be colonized. It was in that period, with so few Dominicans living in the area, that the presence of "the black other," took there a turn so different from the rest of the island. As time went by, the majority of the population in this area was either black or mulatto. Miscegenation was a pervasive phenomenon. Further, after independence from Haiti the south continued being a contested territory whose final "Dominicanization" was achieved, at least formally, when Trujillo came to power. It is well known that for nearly a century after independence when people from the Deep South said "the capital," they meant Port-au-Prince rather than Santo Domingo. During that period of time, Haitian currency was normally used on the southern frontier region.

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330 In addition to the cultural heritage emanating from the coast, Montaneros' ethos was influenced by a sharply different tradition whose presence is still visible in the daily life at Blue Mountain: the ranchers of the small town of Duverge. Although that town, close to Enriquillo Lake, was so named in 1891 (Tolentino Rojas 1939:381) to honor Antonio Duverge, the military hero of the 1844 anti-Haitian war, its first settlers moved into the area as early as 1772. Those settlers were "Spanish hateros with some relatives and African slaves" (Ramirez M. and Perez S. 1990:42). Most of those Duvergenses (people from Duverge) were originally from the Canary Islands. They were both expert ranchers and excellent agriculturalists. When their descendents migrated to Blue Mountain around 1920, they brought a peasant culture marked by what Duvergenses themselves call " fundar " or to built foundations, to dwell. Further, most of the new settlers from Duverge had developed an appreciation for formal education. Such an interest for reading and writing is important in the formation of Montaneros' ethos. For instance, in Blue Mountain it is a source of prestige to have an elegant handwriting (" tener buena letra "). 27 Despite the constitution of the Dominican state and its formal control over the republic, Isla Beata remained a solitary island in the southern coast. Its natural resources, however, did not pass unnoticed to a handful of American adventurers who, in 1865, took control over both Isla Beata and the adjacent Alto Velo (Feliz 1985; Moya Pons 1984). A turning point in Beata's 27 People from Duverge developed that appreciation for education partially under the influence of several school teachers from Puerto Plata and Azua, two places where the positivist credo was brought by Eugenio Marla de Hostos, an educator born in Puerto Rico. It was a man from Duverge who in the early 1970s established the first high-school in Blue Mountain, at first without receiving any monetary payment. On this, see Rodriguez Demorizi (1939); Ramirez M. and Perez Samboy (1990).

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331 linkage to the world market occurred in 1867, when the private-operated salt mine began functioning. It was in the same period that the extraction of guano (natural fertilizer) started at Alto Velo, operated by the British firm Hartmont & Co., the same one that provided the loan to the Dominican government (Feliz 1985). The regional exclusivism and lack of national integration depicted in Chapter 4, began to be faced by the government according to a list of priorities in which the Deep South occupied one of the lowest ladders. There was not a regional pole of development powerful enough as to create the kind of leadership necessary in any process of capitalist expansion. Azua, whose prosperous sugar cane industry was obliterated by a hurricane on September 6, 1883 (Landolfi 1981:268), was unable to play that role. Neither the construction of Ingenio Barahona in 1917 nor the establishment of extractive industries during the 1930-1960 period has significantly modified that situation. All in all, most industries in the region are enclaves oriented toward the international market. Cheap labor, provided by Haitians and impoverished Dominicans, has been a crucial element of this form of capitalism. Also important for the presence of enclaves is the lack of a regional industrial class interested in developing the forces of production. Most wealthy families have accumulated their capital by participating in the commercialization of coffee beans. As of 1990, no coffee was processed regionally. A pause is pertinent at this juncture for purposes of clarification. When I designed my research strategy, one of my core assumptions was that capitalism had began earlier in northern Dominican Republic than in my area of study. It was based on that premise that I hypothesized that Montaneros' and Sabaneros' differential ideological response to sorghum cultivation was determined in part by their lived experience with the market.

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332 To say the least, that was a wrong assumption, one I discovered only after listening closely to everyday discourse in the two villages. Indeed, though El Cibao as a whole experienced a generalized presence of capitalism earlier than El Sur, the specific villages where Sabaneros came from were weakly connected to that regional trend, as we saw in Chapter 4. In El Sur, by contrast, though the region had a weaker linkage with capitalism than El Cibao, specific dwellers of one concrete village (Blue Mountain) began selling their labor force as early as the late 1910s. Further, their participation with the felling of trees for exportation put them in direct contact with the market economy before they, as peasants, began doing what Montaneros call " sembrando por interes " (planting for profit). Finally, during the mid 1940s nearly one-hundred adult males from Blue Mountain worked for months and even years as wage laborers at Alcoa Explorations, the bauxite mine still operating in the area. Those were the same persons who in 1979 decided to grow sorghum. They engaged with capitalism nearly twenty years before most migrant Cibaenos did. 28 By the end of the nineteenth century, life in the Deep South was epitomized by two phenomena: distance from the "center" and the massive destruction of its natural vegetation caused by the cortes de madera (felling of trees). Perhaps the best illustration of the lack of national integration during that period and the impact it had on the Deep South was the mandatory use of passport to travel from and to the south. Only in 1895, says Landolfi 28 At least twenty peasants from Blue Mountain sold crops to Alcoa Explorations. Not a single Cibaeno had such a diverse experience with the labor market before migrating. The Cibaenos that migrated before 1958 had had little experience with peanut cultivation, which was the cash crop whose cultivation exposed them to new experiences with the market. More of this in Chapter 6.

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333 (1981:269), 4,522 passports were issued at Azua. He also reports that the traveller needed to obtain a visa at several points during his trip. The social distance separating the Deep South from the capital began to be narrowed by the building in 1910 of several military outposts near the frontier, ordered by President Mon Caceres. During the same period, the bloody military confrontations between the two political movements known as " los bolos " (the ones with no tail) and " los rabuses " (the ones with long tail), made of that geographic area a battlefield. 29 For instance, in 1911 dwellers of the tiny The Valley witnessed (and participated in) a violent confrontation that left, according to Montaneros, more than two-hundred dead bodies laying on the ground, some of them headless. It is said that a nearby salt spring turned red from the blood emanating from those soldiers killed. For more than a century, the exportation of precious wood, particularly mahogany and guayacan, linked both the South and the Deep South with the international capitalist market (see Boin and Serulle 1980, 1981). It comes as no surprise that the combination of such an intense trade and a weak national articulation ended up in the monopolization of land by the traders. Indeed, as of 1908, a single landlord from Barahona held in the Deep South "more than a half million acres of land, the larger part of which is as yet undeveloped" (Libro Azul 1920:110). Another firm, the Barahona Wood Products Company, "managed by a former employee of the [American] 29 These two political groups were part of the fragmentation of the republic we have discussed earlier. Whereas " bolos " or "jimenistas" were followers of President Juan Isidro Jimenes (a wealthy Cibaeno based in Monte Cristi), "rabuses" were partisans of vice-President Horacio Vasquez. "Bolos" had a strong hold in the Deep South.

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334 Military Government, turns out caster wheels for furniture from lighum vitae [guayacan]" (Knight 1928:152). That huge latifundio was formed partially because of the isolation of the Deep South. Of course, political ties with national power holders also contributed to the process of land concentration. Indeed, a close relative of this latifundista was Minister of Agriculture during the 1914-1916 period (Olivares 1985:118). After the land market was accelerated and structured by the U.S. first military intervention, that same landlord passed his usufruct rights to a wealthy man from the capital whose family was instrumental in designing the new agrarian laws. When the main road linking the area to Barahona and the frontier was built in 1937, 30 the value of the hitherto "undeveloped" forest increased significantly. Though most of the soils in that latifundio were unsuitable for agriculture using the technology available at that time in the country, grass was abundant and, more important, there was a thick forest with plenty of almacigo trees, which is a soft wood used mainly for the fabrication of packing boxes. Local people began cultivating part of the latifundio as early as 1936, which often created legal conflict between them and the landlord. Once in a while the landlord took advantage of his power and sent some peasants to jail with the intention of preventing further squatting in his land. To regain their freedom, squatters had to pay a ten 30 This road, now completely paved, was at that time a rustic path built using peasant labor under the prestataria system of corvee labor. With the high temperatures and rocky soils typical of this area, working more than twelve hours under the blazing sun was sufficient to make peasants realize the power of the state over their bodies. Even when peasants were building the road using picks and shovels, they had to carry in their pockets the new identification cards. To express how they internalized that discipline and punishment, Montaneros told me that "we could not even go to the bathroom without the three hits f tres golpe s or three legal documents imposed by Trujillo ]."

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335 dollar fine. With that kind of money one could buy at least two cows and four hogs, according to locals. To the best of my knowledge no other case of litigation over land was created in this specific area by the U.S. military intervention. The commons land remained available to local dwellers. That was due in part to the fact that until recently most of those soils were characterized by soil experts as not suitable for agriculture. As elsewhere in the country, Trujillo's presence made of the Deep South a mixture of economic development, regimentation of social life, and nationalism. Following the process of colonization initiated in the area by the previous government, Trujillo ordered the settlement of key points throughout the region. Most of those settlements combined the use of military personnel and peasants brought from other regions and countries. For instance, in 1950 a group of Japanese land cultivators were settled near the frontier (Feliz 1985:45). When the killing of Haitians was ordered in 1937, many Haitians residing near Blue Mountain were killed by guardias using machetes and knives. Witnesses of that tragedy told me that one Haitian was burned alive in his hut. Still vivid in the village's collective memory is the image of a Dominican soldier who, after killing several Haitians with his sharp bayonet, used the same knife to peel and eat a pineapple. While eating the juicy fruit, the sergeant said with an evil smile on his fat face that "now it tastes better, with the blood of those negros ." I was told that some local males participated in the killings. Since Trujillo brought with him order and development together, one day of 1956 he stopped near the site where Green Savannah was finally built in 1960. He, a ruler who wanted to see the Dominican countryside inhabited by peasants who were both hard workers and different from "the black other," was disappointed by the lack of agricultural progress in the area. When he

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336 saw a group of bystanders surprised by the presence of El Tefe (The Boss) in their poor land, he got out off his black car, called them and said in an authoritarian form: "Should I come to the conclusion that there is no a single serious peasant living in this area? I have been driving throughout this region and have not seen yet a good conuco . The only thing I see here are those Haitian houses made of tejemani 31 [a mixture of wattle and mud and]. I do not want to see those houses next time I come here." Montaneros, who at that time lived near the lagoon, off the main road, did not know what was going on at the then tiny village of Green Savannah. Later they learned that Trujillo had asked who was the owner of the huge latifundio. Peasants, whose axes were ready to make tumbas, told Trujillo that the only problem they had to become the serious peasants he wanted them to be was "a powerful man from the capital" who did not want them to work on the land. They also told Trujillo that the landlord did not have any legal title for the latifundio. Peasants knew that by saying that the dictator would likely react the way he actually did. "What powerful man?" said Trujillo, " I am the only powerful man in the entire country. From now on, that land is yours. If anyone asks you who gave you permission to work there, just say that it is Trujillo. I am going to built a settlement here. Fell the trees! I want to hear from the national palace the sound of your axes and machetes felling the forest!" 31 Those houses are still part of the landscape in some areas of the South, particularly near the Barahona sugar cane plantation. That architecture style is originally Haitian. In El Cibao, most of them were burned at the same time that Haitians were killed. Trujillo, and other Dominicans as well, saw the tinyhouse as a backward item. In addition to ordering the destruction of the houses, Trujillo issued laws aimed at replacing by Spanish names all the aitian names on Dominican territory. In my area of study more than twenty of such names are still used, both officially and unofficially.

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337 And that, indeed, they did. Trujillo honored his word too. A few days later came the tractors, new axes and machetes, seeds, and other farm supplies. Land began to be cleared. Peasants from the area, including Montaneros who had access to plenty of land, came by the dozens to work on the land given away by Trujillo. When the landlord took a couple of them to jail, perhaps ignoring that peasants knew how to deal with power, they told the judge: "Are you against Trujillo's will? Are you against poor peasants who just want to work for the nation's progress?" Of course, they were freed immediately after such a sophisticated proof of practical wisdom. Both factually and symbolically, 1957 was a year of profound changes in the Deep South. Just when peasants from the two villages were about to start harvesting their valuable crops, some of which were planted on the same land Trujillo had ordered them to work a year earlier, they saw what Montaneros describe as "big, yellow tractors, roaming like big bulls, walking like tanks, that came to clear the best land to plant cotton. In a few months, what used to be a conuco planted with ten or more crops for the household's subsistence became bare soil ready to be occupied by the new plantation economy; fruit trees were unearthed; the natural vegetation was totally erased; the reddish soil was suddenly naked, unprotected from the steady wind; the trunks and limbs of fallen trees were set on fire. Years of peasant labor were gone for good. Peasants moved westward, to the stony soils with pockets of arable land. When the huge tractors left 20,000 tareas of green land without a single tree, with nothing but reddish, thin soil, the coastal plains appeared like "a leather ocean." 32 32 I borrowed this metaphor from Pablo Neruda's poem "I'm Explaining a Few Things." The verses say: "From there you could look out over Castille's dry face: a leather ocean."

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338 Thereafter, the slow pace of life suddenly turned fast, agitated, tense, ambiguous and fearful. The Lebenswelt was no longer certain. Doubt was activated by the double message Trujillo had sent to Montaneros and Sabaneros. On the one hand, he told them that his best friend was a hardworking man; on the other, he was ordering the destruction of their conucos. It was there, I think, at a time when life became overtly ambiguous, when they felt vulnerable to the extreme, that Montaneros constructed the ideological metaphor of "the strong arm that can help us." What I mean by this is that the cotton plantation destroyed valuable crops and important symbols for Montaneros' self-identity and existential security; at the same time that it brought what, from the local view point, was seen as a new form of economic progress to the area, jobs in particular. A pause at this juncture will help me illustrate what I mean by this. In 1988 I asked nearly two-hundred Montaneros (males and females) whether they thought the cotton plantation had been beneficial for the village. To my surprise, 76% of them answered yes. Most of those respondents had either lost their land because of the plantation or had seen their honey bees and domestic animals killed by the chemical products dumped over the village by the plantation's airplanes that spray the cotton fields. My interpretation is that they thought that way because of two reasons. The first reason is that the plantation created new jobs for men and women alike, children and adult alike. At the peak moment of activity, nearly 3,000 persons worked on the plantation, harvesting, applying fertilizers, and so on. For many, that was the first time they had access to enough money to buy home appliances, nice clothes, and the like. Further, by working at the plantation the young generation found a way out of their parents' control. Some parents

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339 were also happy seeing their kids providing some money to the household's budget. My second and most important argument is that the plantation came, so to speak, wrapped in the utopia of progress, the symbol of power represented by Trujillo, and the ideology of the public sphere. Even today one hears Montaneros saying that " our plantation has contributed to the national progress." 33 Thus, when 76% of the people answered "yes" to my question, what we are seeing, so my argument goes, is not an ideology preventing them from seeing what has "really" happened to them. On the contrary, they used the metaphor of the "strong arm that can help us" in order to justify their ambiguous engagement with a structure that was simultaneously constraining them from farming on their conucos and enabling their access to money and the prestige it provided in a poor region. A part of Montanero's self-identity was at their conuco and the forest, seeking the preservation of traditional values; the other part, perhaps uncertain at first, was favoring the modernization of their village. There, in that context, ideology and utopia helped Montaneros to overcome the fragmentation of their life. For them, it was not a matter of knowing; it was a matter of existing. This is precisely the argument Zizek has advanced so convincingly when he says that ideology, instead of working as a mask, functions as "a fantasy [utopia] structuring our social reality itself" (1991:33). This is also in accord with Ricoeur's theory of ideology, utopia and social imagination. I share the views of these two scholars on this central issue. 33 The law 4951 of August 27, 1957 declared "of national interest the cultivation of cotton." See Gaceta Oficial 4951 of September 11, 1957.

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340 Taking this case a step further, here we also see the presence of what Scott (1990), drawing on Erving Goffman's original formulation on human behavior in daily life, correctly calls two discursive transcripts: the public and the hidden. By this I mean that at the same time that Montaneros where saying publicly to me that they were pleased with the plantation, at least at one level of their praxis in daily life they were also expressing their hidden resistance to the same symbol of power. Montaneros' subtle resistance to the separation from their land took, then as now, imaginative forms deeply grounded in their collective memory. The following example from the field shall throw some light on this issue. When the plantation began its operation, it also had a machine (locally known as desmostadora) for taking off the seeds and any unwanted materials from the harvested cotton. When some difficulty arose in the fields, workers expressed their anger by placing stones into the sacks they used for picking the cotton. Their intention, I was told by both Montaneros themselves and an agronomist who used to work at the plantation, was to destroy the machine. It was nearly by accident that I discovered that such a resistance is still enacted by Montaneros children. One day, while I was working for money at the plantation together with nearly one-hundred children and a few male and female adults, the youngsters were angry at an overseer (capataz) who was abusing his power. I, who of course was treated very nicely by the capataz. was picking the cotton in an orderly way, clean, totally free from leaves or any kind of waste. When my co-workers saw me doing that, three kids told me with great discreetness and seriousness: "Don't be foolish! You don't have to pick the cotton that clean. Put some stones in the sack. Put everything in it. You have to learn how to marronear [literally, to do what maroons do]." Though the machine I referred to was destroyed by Hurricane Ines in 1966,

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341 the ideology it activated was reproduced through a collective memory. 34 In Chapter 7 we shall see how peasants still use similar ideological maroon-like forms of resistance. The new plantation was owned by a close friend of Trujillo from El Salvador, Central America. 35 He was also the owner of a sisal plantation located near Azua. Altogether, the cotton plantation engulfed 38,000 tareas . Some agronomists from Peru and El Salvador were brought in to handle some of the most sophisticated tasks on the plantation. Those foreign experts trained some local males on pests control, plant pathology, and the like. With the plantation also came numerous intersubjective processes whose full interpretation is beyond the scope of this study. However, there is one of those processes I consider relevant to look at. It has to do with both peasant resistance and the way they were perceived by "the other." I interviewed two Dominican agronomists who worked at the cotton plantation during the 1957-1960 period. One of them is of Italian descent. The other is Cibaeno. When I asked them for their perception of Montaneros, the first agronomist told me that the peasant from that area is "gloomy, rude, non-hospitable, and does not like to cooperate. He is selfish. He is not an industrious peasant. That has to do with the inter-racial breed [mestizaje l. 34 Though in a different historical and social context and at a smaller scale, Montaneros' attacks on the desmostadora resembles British workers' attacks on weaving machines during early nineteenth century, known as the Luddite movement. For an analysis of that major event in England, see Marx (1977:1:429). 35 The presidential decree 2574 of March 25, 1957 appointed the owner of the plantation as Advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry. See Gaceta Oficial 8107 of April 3, 1957. Currently, the Consorcio Nacional de Algodon runs the official enterprise.

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342 Both buccaneers and pirates left their heritage in that area. Haitian soldiers also went to that area searching for cattle." The second agronomist also mentioned the issue of race in a way similar to the former. He also said that "I saw them, and they were atheists, husbanders of wild cattle, fishermen, gatherers. They were lazy. When they realized that they had collected ninety or one-hundred kilos [of cotton], they stopped working. For them, that was enough. That is the least industrious Dominican region I have ever seen." I think this is self-explanatory. Thus, when Don Adriano and other Cibaenos migrated from the tierra caliente to the tierra oreiana. they came to a region whose land frontier was in a process of fast expansion. They had seen the consequences of change and development for themselves and others. Coming from a region where peanut cultivation was becoming the main cash crop, they brought with them "a horizon of expectation and a space of experience" to be used in an attempt to gain ontic and ontological security. They were at once peasants in search of land to cultivate and dwellers in search of a location to bring forth their fourfold (in Heidegger's terms, discussed above). They also brought with them the notion of "the other," the ideal signifiers of their own ethnicity. Their idiosyncrasies, language included, were present the day they saw for the first time a dry, vast, thick forest ready to the transformed into a new social space. Montaneros, most of whom had not travelled to El Cibao at the time of my fieldwork, also had had a lived experience that was impacted by the processes described above. Their encounter with Cibaenos had also an existential dimension. In the social identity of Montaneros members of a community, the presence of "the white other," the Cibaenos, came together with a major symbolic and factual change in their village's political status. In

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343 fact, it was in 1957 that Trujillo created a new province near the frontier. With that administrative change. Blue Mountain became a municipio . Prior to that, it was a seccion of Petit Trou and both of them depended on one of the four provinces in the region. Montaneros still refer to that major change as "the freedom from our oppressors." What they mean by this is that people from the other municipio were taking advantage of the power they had over Blue Mountain. Thus, local pride was revitalized the day they saw people from a distant region coming to their social space. On that day, individuals and structures, utopias and ideologies, curiosity and apprehension met as part of a human experience from which a new social space emerged. To provide a synopsis of what occurred thereafter is one of the goals of the next chapter. In this chapter I have described and interpreted some of the natural, socioeconomic, political, and cultural processes responsible for the constitution of Montaneros in time and space. This has been done following five steps. I first placed the Deep South in its regional context. Second, I outlined the four existential forms in which the local ethos of personal courage is embedded as well as some of their ideological ramifications. Third, I described the salient features of the physical setting. Fourth, I described and interpreted some of the manifold historical processes that are related to the genesis of Montaneros as dwellers of a social space. Finally, I concluded by recreating the mood of the first encounter between Cibaenos and Surenos.

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CHAPTER 6 FACING A NEW LIFE TOGETHER The arrival of sorghum cultivation in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah was made possible by a manifold of objective, subjective, and intersubjective processes involving local, regional, national, and international agents. The national state and the local peasantry, the two key institutions in our narrative, encountered each other in 1979 in a context of changing utopias and ideologies that initiated a short-lived consensus in the Dominican Republic. The most immediate preconditions of such phenomena were shaped by political, socioeconomic, and cultural changes taking place in the Dominican Republic and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean during the period 1950-1979. This chapter describes and interprets Montaneros' and Sabaneros' participation in some of the relevant events of that period that are most directly related to this study. My central goal here is twofold. First is to comprehend the human experience of the encounter between these two cultures, with emphasis on processes of recognition and reciprocity. Second is to show some of the similarities and differences in the two groups' engagement with similar socio-natural phenomena during the period under consideration. This reconstruction will assist us in setting the stage for an in-depth examination of peasants' engagement with sorghum, which is the aim of the next chapter. This chapter is organized in two interconnected thematic sections. Section one is a description of some significant structural and intersubjective aspects of the experience lived by Sabaneros and Montaneros during the 19581966 period; it also shows the context in which sorghum was adopted as a 344

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345 main cash crop in the republic following the 1965 civil war. Section two is a characterization of the system of production and concomitant beliefs in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah prior to and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ines. This section also describes how the relocation of Blue Mountain after Hurricane Ines contributed to redefine social differentiation in the village. The Encounter: Structure, Power, Knowledge, and Culture Although the diaspora of Don Adriano and the first families that migrated to Green Savannah from Santiago Rodriguez was the outcome of structural processes directly involving the state, in the Sabaneros' initial engagement with the Deep South direct contact with the government was minimal. Indeed, the two first Cibaenos who in 1953 saw the dry forest in the Deep South were wage laborers working on the construction of the new road linking my area of study with the nearest provincial capital. It was after listening to and examining the news brought to their villages in Cordillera Central by those two pioneer migrants that seven families decided to make the long, challenging journey. Not knowing exactly what the new life was going to be like, they took the precaution of leaving some of their offsprings looking after the family's belongings. Using their common sense knowledge, most of those pioneers waited for as many as two years before making the final decision to stay at Green Savannah. They felt dwellers of a location (in Heidegger's terms, discussed above) only after bringing forth the fourfold (Heidegger) they had in El Cibao: the house with the conuco, "trato entre gente " (exchange between humans), knowledge of the physical setting, and three crosses that most, if not all, of them placed near their houses or painted, in dark blue, behind the main entrance to their houses.

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346 However loose their ties with the state may have been at first, Sabaneros' internalization of power was both strong and deep throughout that lived experience. Trujillo was so visible, so central in the daily life of Sabaneros, that ignoring the symbol of power he and his modern national capital represented was nearly impossible. That this was the case for Don Adriano and his fellow peasants is clearly discernible from their perception of the social space they belonged to, then as now. What I mean by this is that even though the villages they migrated from are at an average altitude of 300 meters above the sea level, whereas Santo Domino, the capital, is only 14 meters above the sea level, Sabaneros perceive the latter as being (in ideological terms) at a higher altitude than the former. Indeed, while describing their journey to El Sur they told me that " nosotros salimos de la loma para alia arriba " (literally, we left from the slopes to up there). A further demonstration of the pervasiveness of this ideological perception of social space is that whereas Montaneros also perceive the capital as a higher location, when they travel to The Place! (located at eleven meters above the sea level, higher than Blue Mountain) they say "vamos para alia abaio " (literally, we are going down there). Our understanding of the interrelation of power, structure, knowledge and culture that took place when Sabaneros and Montaneros encountered each other might be facilitated by looking at three central aspects of that lived experience: first, the dynamics of land ownership at The Place and Santiago Rodriguez during the 1960-1966 period; second, the most relevant survival strategies adopted by Montaneros and Sabaneros regarding control over l As indicated in Chapter 5, The Place refers to the the actual province to which Blue Mountain and Green Savannah belong.

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347 natural resources and social capital; third, their perception of and engagement with state intervention in the aftermath of Hurricane Ines. As may be seen in Table 4, by the year 1960 there were four-hundred and sixty-seven colonists within the confines of The Place. This means that each colonist was in usufruct of an average of two-hundred and five tareas . In contrast to this situation, the one-hundred sixty-five colonists in Santiago Rodriguez possessed an average of just forty-seven tareas . This sharp difference is more significant if one notices that at the national level, during the 1920-1961 period, each colonist was in usufruct of nearly one-hundred and ninety-five tareas . (Duarte 1980:159). Hence, colonists in the Deep South had more land than those from other regions. When it comes to private proprietors, one sees that each peasant in The Place province owned an average of ninety tareas, whereas in Santiago Rodriguez that figure was just sixty-six tareas . What emerges from these data is that both Montaneros and Sabaneros had access to more land than a typical peasant from the villages "sending" poor peasants to the Deep South. It is worth noticing that in both provinces the renting of land was not statistically significant. I said in Chapter 1 that although aggregate regional data for 1981 show the existence of landlessness in The Place, those Montaneros without land are of two sorts: first, people who have moved recently into the area; second, locals who have sold their land. Likewise, I said that most peasants from Blue Mountain had more than one farm plot. This, of course, does not include the common lands that all husbanders have access to for stock raising, hunting, and gathering. For most Montaneros and Sabaneros, the main structural constraint is water rather than land. We will see in a moment the dynamics of this phenomena.

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348 Table 4 Types of Land Possessions (in Tareas). The Place and Santiago Rodriguez, 1960 Colonias Private Rented Granted Gratuitous Total Proprietors Beneficiaries Area Area Units Area Units Area Units Area Units Area Units The Place 95,760 467 39,984 442 8,260 142 19,510 164 174,065 Santiago Rodriguez 7,800 165 492,627 7,497 360 NA 20,630 414 42,668 1,572 573,983 Sources: Adapted from Cassa (1982:171-173) The situation for Sabaneros is comparable to the one in Blue Mountain, even though there are some specificities we need to clarify before proceeding. The first colonists received from the government one-hundred tareas of land that was still covered by either its natural vegetation or by secondary succession following the slash-and-burn agriculture practiced by local settlers. Later on (post-Trujillo era) that amount of land was reduced to fifty tareas . After 1963, colonists received just twenty-five tareas of cleared, ready to plant land. However, when I compared the information I found in the files of the settlement with the data I gathered from my direct interaction with Sabaneros, I discovered that those Sabaneros who came to Green Savannah before 1963 have an average of three fields and nearly threehundred tareas, which roughly corresponds to the situation at Blue Mountain. Let us see how that happened. A closer look at the specificities of land ownership at Blue Mountain and Green Savannah will help us understand the dynamics that took place when Sabaneros moved into the area. It is important to bear in mind our

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349 earlier reference to the fact that there, in the Deep South, the common lands were not significantly impacted by the agrarian laws of 1920. Indeed, after Trujillo authorized squatters and peasants to work on the huge latifundio owned by "the powerful man" they mentioned to El Jefe, dwellers of the area were given free access 2 to more land than they could cultivate individually. Even after the cotton plantation took over some of the best land previously cultivated by peasants, there were five vast, mostly uncultivated zones that local people and outsiders alike could exploit facing nearly no constraint from the power structure. Once again, one sees Trujillo acting, so to speak, as a double edged sword. Let us characterize those five physical zones. Figure 9 is a sketch of that area in 1960. The first zone, north of Green Savannah, embodied nearly fourhundred thousands tareas . It is there, just at the entrance to that vast zone, that the settlement was established. Also included in that immense zone are eight smaller villages in which some Cibaenos reside together with Southerner colonists. Only one of such villages in depicted in Figure 9; the others, located west of Green Savannah, are not my primary goal at present. As of 1960, less than ten thousand tareas were cultivated by the new colonists, and roughly two thousands corresponded to conucos scattered throughout the area. Some of the those conucos were owned by peasants from Blue Mountain and conterminous areas. In general, most of the former latifundio was utilized for extensive grazing, hunting, and gathering, and as a source of 2 By free access I mean that the landlord, afraid of Trujillo, could not use against squatters all the political and economic power he had. Except for a few incidents with that person, peasants' cultivation of that land was restricted by two factors: first, labor; second, fear of further retaliation. That fear was justified. As we will see in Chapter 7, relatives of that landlord are still doing everything possible to throw peasants out of the lands.

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350 Figure 9. Zones of Expansion. Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, 1960.

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351 fuel and building materials as well. As mentioned earlier, almacigo, the soft wood utilized for manufacturing packing boxes, still grows profusely there. That is a rolling land that contains rather large pockets of fertile, thin, reddish soils. All in all, soils are rocky, calcareous. Sabaneros call the first type of soil " tierra de maza " (meaning earth with no stone). The second kind they call " tierra de hueso " (literally, earth with bone; discursively, soil with stones). 3 The sectors where coral limestones prevail and trees are relatively scarce are locally called mucaras or bucaras . We shall see in a moment some of the practical consequences of this folk system of classification. The second zone starts just across the main road south of Green Savannah and ends at The Valley, just three kilometers before Blue Mountain. It is there where most of the swampy soils are located. Three important resources of this zone are: first, a spring of fresh, half-salt water that is used for both recreational purposes and for giving water to the cattle; second, a portion of the huge lagoon, near the place where Blue Mountain was located when Hurricane Ines destroyed it; finally, three springs located inside the caves and sinkholes near the lagoon. It was from those three manantiales or pozas (springs) that Montaneros hauled all the water they utilized before relocation in 1967. That zone is flatter and narrower than the one near Green Savannah. Because of the proximity of the lagoon and springs, the water table is relatively high (about seven feet in the lower sector), which is a major advantage for land cultivators, particularly sorghum growers. Locally, this is called " tierra fresca " (literally, fresh earth). Currently, 3 These two terms indicate the importance of ranching for Sabaneros. The implicit reference to beef also suggests the trace of the montero's concern for red meat in the collective memory of Sabaneros.

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352 most of this sector is used for stock raising. 4 One also sees there a few conucos planted with as many as ten crops as well as some parcels utilized for sorghum cultivation. All in all, that is the area where more fruit trees grow, mangoes and coconut in particular. The third zone starts west of The Valley and includes part of the cotton plantation on both sides of the main road. Currently, Blue Mountain is located just at the western edge of this terrain of reddish soil. South of the plantation is the remaining portion of the vast lagoon, joined by the area where nearly all the forest grows over a solid, reef-like soil that extents as far as the coastline. It is in that area of coral limestone or mucara that Montaneros raise, then as now, their cattle using a system they term criar en e l , sitio (consisting in letting the cattle roam freely in the common lands). Small pockets of reddish, alluvial soil give the impression that a giant creature left its footprint over fresh cement some hundred years ago. By 1960, it was also there that most wild game roamed throughout a thick forest where bayahonda is abundant. The seeds and leaves of that shrub are highly nutritious for cattle. Most migratory birds have their preferred niche in that area. The fourth zone available to peasants in 1960 is a flat, wide area of rather fertile soils covered by a thick forest where bavahonda used to be abundant. It was to that area that most Montaneros moved in 1957 when the state took over their land to establish the cotton plantation. Superficial stones cover part of the soils in that sector. All in all, this is the largest portion of 1 \ made refer ence to the fact that some Montaneros have parcels at The Va ley. A particularly important characteristic of this village is that fishing is better regarded than either farming or ranching. Limitations of space and time prevent me from interpreting this phenomenon in this study.

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353 arable land after the cotton plantation. It is there where most well-to-do Montaneros grow sorghum. Located also in that area are the governmentowned sisal and aloe plantations. As of I960, though, most of it was uncultivated. Currently, there are two small peasant villages in that section. They both are part of the municipio (roughly equivalent to a U.S. county) headed by Blue Mountain. To the best of my knowledge, nearly all residents of the two villages have kinship ties with Montaneros. The water table there is about twenty feet high. Evenings are notably fresh and the wind is steady in that zone. Finally, nearly one kilometer away from each side of the main road, five kilometers west of the present location of Blue Mountain, start two rolling sectors whose physical characteristics are similar to the ones we saw earlier at Green Savannah. Average altitude there is 10 meters above sea level, the highest in this sector of the Deep South. That was the area from which precious woods, mahogany and guavacan in particular, were extracted for nearly two centuries. Most of that lumber was exported to England and the United States. The powerful" landlord we referred to was involved in that highly profitable business. When the cortes de madera were operating, some of the logs were transported by trucks and carts to a small seaport located twelve kilometers east of Green Savannah. The rest of the lumber was hauled by mules and horses to the western edge of the huge lagoon. From there, using medium-sized boats locally known as bongos, the heavy logs were transported across the salt lagoon. Finally, using mules, the valuable commodity was hauled to the nearby beach and from there it was taken to the ships waiting off shore. It is worth noticing that the term sangria (bleeding) was chosen to name the narrow paths used to hauling the logs out of the thick forest.

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354 Except for the small farm plots cultivated by peasants using slash-andburn methods, most of the natural forest we have just described was nearly undisturbed before the cotton plantation was set. When the cleared plots were temporally abandoned for regeneration, they were called botaos . Because of the low population density and abundant land, the fallow period was twelve years on the average. In fact, as of 1990 several of those botaos had not been cultivated since late 1950s. At that time rains were abundant, to the point of making possible the cultivation of rice without irrigation. We will recall my early reference to the term la montana (the mountain), which Montaneros still use to describe the natural forest in the area. According to all Montaneros and Sabaneros I interacted with, la montana use to cover the entire area from Blue Mountain to Green Savannah. I was told that before deforestation a person could easily walk under the trees canopy feeling little of the sunshine, accompanied by the breeze and the silence of the solitary forest. Thus, that was what the Deep South looked like when Sabaneros saw it for the first time. After making such a long trip,5 after leaving behind an important part of their existence, they felt tired, confused, lonely like only the Deep South can make you feel in the late afternoons, close to sunset. Yet, life brings along joy interlaced with pain, loss interwoven with gain, constraints accompanied with opportunities. It was that dialectics of feelings that Don Adriano and other Sabaneros experienced when they saw that most 5 Currently, it takes about ten hours to drive from Green Savannah to Santiago Rodriguez. In 1990, when I travelled from Santo Domingo to La Lfnea, I took a bus that had air conditioning, stereo music, and even a VCR to show movies to the passengers. I paid the equivalent of seven dollars, round trip. In 1960, that was a journey of at least two days. The first migrants from Santiago Rodriguez made that trip using trucks owned by merchants from El Cibao. Later on, the government provided them with transportation.

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355 Montaneros did not care about cultivating the tierra de maza . "We thought it was like a miracle/' told me Marino with his characteristic good sense of humor, "when we realized that Montaneros preferred to cultivate the soils that contained stones." Antonia, his wife, joins our conversation and says: "When we came and saw the tierra orejana. and people for whom the tierra de maza had no value, we were happy, thankful, ready to begin working even harder." Indeed, at that time most Montaneros did not pay much attention to tilling the land that contained no stones. From their experience as yucca growers, they learned that manioc roots grow better in stony soils because the stones help to preserve moisture in a calcareous soil. Further, since they were children that was what they saw their parents doing. That valuation of tierra de hueso over tierra de maza was an adequate attitude in a physical space without the presence of "the other." Yet, the social space that Montaneros had hitherto utilized primarily for themselves and a few forasteros was suddenly transformed by the praxis of Sabaneros. Both groups were peasants now dealing with the same physical setting, yet they did so according to different perceptions of the world in with their ethos was a crucial existential mediation. With that intersubjective process, with the encounter of two cultures, nature changed its meaning, its economic and social value, its role in supporting the reproduction of human existence, its function in bringing life forth. Notwithstanding the obvious technical dimension of this unique phenomenon, I think it would be misleading to see these two different perceptions of the same natural resource primarily as a matter of technical choices determined by the concrete farming systems Montaneros and Sabaneros had dealt with before they met. Of course, we cannot ignore the

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356 "material" dimension of the situation we are interpreting here without being naive, to say the least. However, in my view there was more than a rational classification of soil present in those two forms of common sense knowledge. My argument, which I attempt to demonstrate below, is that instead of belonging just to a realm of nature as a means of production, that material object, land, because of an intersubjective mediation, became part of an existential project aimed at achieving ontic and ontological security, a praxis that involved not only concern but also care, an engagement with the world that went far beyond instinctual (biological) survival. We will recall my earlier recognition of the importance of Heidegger's distinction between care and concern for any serious interpretation of ideology. On this, I refer the reader to Chapters 1 and 2 of this dissertation. Let us now see my reasons for making this argument, the clarification of which at this juncture is crucial for our next interpretation of the experience with sorghum cultivation at Green Savannah and Blue Mountain. Sabaneros' perception of tierra de maza as the best soil was partially shaped by their previous engagement with the cultivation of peanuts, manioc and, to a lesser degree, tobacco. Certainly, in the physical setting where they came from, it made perfect sense to use stoneless soils to grow those crops. That valuation of a specific kind of soil was reinforced by other Sabaneros who migrated to the Deep South bringing the good news that peanut cultivation was the best economic choice at that moment. Their estimation of the market demand was absolutely correct. Indeed, the firm promoting peanut cultivation was doing everything possible to increase production of the new cash crop, partially because Trujillo was a co-owner of the profitable

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357 industry. 6 In other words, Trujillo's economic interest created the conditions for a private company to take advantage of his absolute power over Dominicans in order to increase its economic profit. It is not coincidence that peanut cultivation firmly began in the Deep South in 1958/ just a few months after the cotton plantation moved into the "undeveloped" region. Up to here, the preference for tierra de maza may be clearly understood without paying any special attention to my ontological reflection on this mundane event. But there is more to be learned from this otherwise unproblematic case. In both their new and previous social spaces, Sabaneros' praxis was multidimensional. As peasants who came from a region where the cultivation of peanuts, yucca and tobacco had exposed them to both the market economy and relatively modern agriculture practices, they had an idiosyncratic stock of knowledge (Schutz 1982) that led them to take advantage of new opportunities and overcome some structural constraints. Yet, as dwellers of a social space with the characteristics we discussed in Chapter 4, they also had an ethos of hard work, honor, and ascription to specific cultural values in which the protection of the family was central. They enacted that ethos as more than land cultivators or ranchers. Further, as 6 The Sociedad Industrial Dominicana ("La Manicera") was founded in 1937 (Bonetti 1987k By 1947, it was one of the most prosperous industries in the country (Cassa 1982:309). One of the measures taken by Trujillo to protect La Manicera was to prohibit the commercialization of lard. In the same vein, in order to induce the demand for shoes, Trujillo made it illegal for adults to walk shoeless in public. Similar to the peanut industry, he was co-owner of the major national shoe factory. 7 An early attempt to promote peanut cultivation was made during the 194952 period. However, it was with the presence of Sabaneros that the new cash crop really took a hold in the area of study. I interviewed the two technicians who promoted the new crop among Montaneros and Sabaneros.

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358 we saw earlier, their self-identity as Cibaenos was deeply grounded in their perception (and the others' perception as well) of their cultural heritage as superior to any other culture in the country because of its proximity to the Spanish heritage. Indeed, according to the racial categories in the Dominican Republic, those Sabaneros were either white or mulatto. 8 Hence, they corresponded to the ideal signifiers that Trujillo had institutionalized as the "good" ones. Most Montaneros, in contrast, were of dark complexion, did not have the reputation of being peasants, were perceived as practitioners of witchcraft, separated from the Catholic tradition, and even lazy. It was the combination of these social constructions that gave Sabaneros a sense of a mission to carry out. Their intentional praxis was decided by themselves as well as by "the other." Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain an exact transcript of the speech given by the Ministry of Agriculture at Green Savannah in 1960, the year the new houses were given to the colonists. However, Sabaneros who were present at that memorable occasion told me that they were encouraged to work together as peasants, help each other, work hard, keep their farms beautiful, pay their taxes, take their products to the market, use modern techniques, be good Catholics, and act as frontier guards to prevent the incursion of Haitians, among many other claims. 9 8 At Green Savannah, the members of one family from El Cibao were the only "black" Cibaenos, which means that they had both dark skin and curly hair. However, partially because they spoke with Cibaeno accent, partially because of their work ethic, they were seen as genuine Cibaenos. I never heard anyone calling them negro, prieto, or moreno . That family came from the city of Moca, located in the core of El Cibao. 9 It is worth noticing that just after the inauguration of the settlement, some Hungarian immigrants were brought to the area from a colonia agrfcola functioning at Cristobal, near Duverge. See Augelli (1962) for a general

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359 That official message, addressed to a particular historical subject (Sabaneros), sounded alien to many Montaneros who at that time were mostly engaged in ranching en el sitio, hunting and gathering, working as wage laborers at the cotton plantation and the cortes de madera. and doing little subsistence farming. Neither their agricultural practices nor their outlook corresponded to the ideal peasant type prescribed by the state. We will recall that only a few Montaneros were selling some crops (e.g., plantain, and manioc) to the nearby bauxite mine. At that time, the main products sold by most of the peasants of Blue Mountain were honey, cattle, and meat from the wild or tamed hogs. A few merchants from two conterminous towns came once in a while to purchase those goods. Some local women sporadically took pork and maize to the town of Petit Trou. It is such a weak linkage with the market that Montaneros refer to when they say that before sorghum they were growing food " sin interes, " not thinking in selling it. It is in this context of official claims (e.g., being a good peasant, and paying taxes) and local beliefs and praxis that the following description of Sabaneros' praxis becomes crucial for my argument regarding the ontological dimension of their conduct. Even though the government provided the new colonists with a "subsistence fund" of fifteen pesos (roughly fifteen U.S. dollars in 1960) per month until their first harvest, Sabaneros faced an internal dilemma that gave them a feeling on insecurity, if not of restlessness. On the one hand, they had the desire (aspiration) to acquire more tierra de maza than the one provided by the government. On the other hand, they felt vulnerable because discussion on the import of European migrants to "Dominicanize" the frontier region.

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360 they did not have property rights over their parcels at the settlement. 10 As Sabaneros often say, that was the first time they felt " dependientes del gobierno " (dependent on the government). Sabaneros' self-identity was shaken by the realization that they were facing structural constraints that were nearly impossible to overcome unless their ethos and practical knowledge were set to work. And that they did with a great deal of social imagination, pride and greed. Let us listen to what one Sabanero did to fulfill his multiple expectations. "When we came here," says Octavio, "Montaneros did not cultivate the land; they were just taking care of their animals. They lived together with their hogs. Thus, at first what we did was to get close to some of them, work for them, weeding out their conucos. selling our labor for pork. We worked for one day, and they usually gave us a hog. In that way we brought meat to our homes, and saved part of the money the government was giving us. When the cotton plantation came, we went there to work too." Octavio goes on telling me the numerous experiences he and other Sabaneros had with their neighbors, including "eating yucca, plantain, corn, and meat cooked with all its blood and having, for the first time in their lives, the experience of eating food cooked with coconut milk. Some of them even became parttime gatherers, particularly of the salt accumulated at the lagoon. One skill Sabaneros did not learn from Montaneros, though, was hunting the wild hogs with a knife, which is indeed a particularly dangerous endeavor. According to the official regulations, colonists had to wait for ten years before becoming legal owners of their parcels. In order to promote migration to the frontier, says Augelli (1962:20), that waiting period was reduced to eight years only on the settlement located in that geographic area.

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361 Montaneros' ability as monteros was embedded in a historical continuum not present in El Cibao. For Octavio, working for Montaneros and the cotton plantation involved more than selling his labor. It also included going through an experience of feeling vulnerable, particularly because he saw himself as a Cibaeno, a man coming from the national emblem of progress. Hence, going out and begging for work, as well as working together with Haitians and Surenos was quite a unique experience for a white Cibaeno that came from “the land were food is grown." Indeed, at that time a large number of Haitians, the Cibaenos' "black Other," were regular workers at the cotton plantation. Literally, while Octavio was a wage laborer he was working together, side by side, with his antithesis, speaking in existential terms. Yet, while exposed to "the gaze of others as a man" (Merleau-Ponty), while acknowledging to "the other" that he was in need of cooperation, if not of reciprocity and recognition, Octavio also tested the strength of his ethos, the deepest foundations of his inner self. Further, that intersubjective process was part of his attempt to make "an exchange between humans" that will end up being part of his social capital. Although proud of being white, Cibaeno, expert farmer, he went out to work for people who were distant from those identity markers. Montaneros, whom as we saw earlier have a deep-rooted ethos of personal courage as well as a rather rigid notion of who belongs to their hearts, were both generous and distant with the man who was showing both his ability to work hard and his weakness as a migrant. That experience was a turning point in Octavio's existence. "It was from that and other similar experiences," he says, "that I learned two important lessons: first, you should work hard to get what you need, but don't make yourself a slave of money; second, don't abuse anyone, not even a child:

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362 we are vulnerable, life is fragile." The man who told me this is a 62-year-old Sabanero who had five parcels in 1990, two of them with tierra de maza. a peasant who gets up every day at five o'clock in the morning, including Sundays, to take care of both his cows and what he calls "my family's security." His conuco is planted with food that he sells only when he is sure that his family has enough to eat. Throughout my fieldwork, even when the drought was at its worse, I saw Octavio bringing at least twice a week to his house a sack containing yucca, papaya, and euandules . Nearly each time he and his wife gave me a root of yucca or a piece of papaya, they told me, proud of themselves: "Here, neighbor, this is from our conuco ." Montaneros also gathered new knowledge from their encounter with Sabaneros. As producers, they learned to make good cheese,n grow peanuts, apply pesticides, and so on. Their ethos of personal courage was also impacted by the encounter with Sabaneros. This is not the place to examine in any detail all the instances of that intersubjective experience. Suffice it to say that most school teachers at Green Savannah were, then as now, Montaneros who seem to enjoy the experience of presenting themselves as people who appreciate formal education. We will recall my earlier reference to the importance of formal education for Montaneros in general. The way I saw them teaching Sabaneros how to read and write suggests a paternalist gesture from their part. Such gesture also indicates Montaneros' need for recognition from their other. We should bear in mind, though, that Blue Mountain is the seat of the municipio whereas Green Savannah is a seccion . Cheese making is but one of Sabaneros' areas of expertise. They make it using rustic tools and family labor, and sell the product at the local colmados (small-scale grocery store). I met only one Montanero who was a professional cheese maker. He learned that from a woman from Green Savannah. As of 1990, two Sabaneros made cheese on a regular basis.

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363 What occurred in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during the 1958-1966 period is a long story we need not repeat here in its totality. However, there are three major changes that we need to take a quick look at in order to give continuity to this narrative: first, the local impact of the profound sociopolitical changes following Trujillo's assassination in 1961; second, the civil war and the U.S. military intervention in 1965; third. Hurricane Ines in 1966. Those three events are directly responsible for many of the processes taking place in the two villages from 1978 on. The direct presence of Trujillo's dominant figure in the daily life of Montaneros and Sabaneros during the 1930-1961 period was suddenly gone, at least formally, the day the dictator was killed. A massive process of land occupation by poor peasants took place in most Dominican regions where the dictator and his relatives had monopolized land. Montaneros and Sabaneros took advantage of that opportunity to expand their holdings at the large latifundio where the settlement was established. Peasants from conterminous villages also stepped in, bringing more diversity into the colonia. expanding the agricultural frontier of a hitherto scarcely populated village. State control over everyday life lost much of its strength, new political parties were formed, democracy and freedom became the new utopias. Peasants were transformed into the favorite target of the political discourse. Overcoming the severe poverty of the Dominican countryside became a national slogan. Peace Corps volunteers, the Alliance for Progress, international aid, the state and developers of all denominations took the notions of community development and progress to peasant villages as remote as Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. The legalization of peasant organizations was one of the major outcomes of that turning point in Dominican history.

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364 It was in the context of that national mobilization that the social space controlled by traditional leaders began to be eroded at Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. The secularization of power took hold in a matter of months. Crucial in that drastic change was the radio receivers either given away or sold at low prices by some political parties, particularly the PRD (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano). The leader of that party, Juan Bosch, was able to send his message out to peasants. A high number of Montaneros took sides with him. Most Sabaneros, by contrast, did not favor the new process of change. They were more inclined to wait and see. As an important Sabanero leader told me: "We knew that the Americans were the ones controlling the country. We were just little peasants thinking that our opinion was being taken into account." Such a careful attitude did not prevent Sabaneros from being exposed to the new political ideas. As Wiarda says regarding that en masse politicization, "the peasants had never been wooed with so much ardor before, and the campaign took on some of the characteristics of a gay, tumultuous festival" (1975:1:615). That is an accurate picture of what occurred in the Deep South. With Juan Bosch's accession to power in 1963, populism became the main form of political work in the country. Hundreds of Montaneros participated in political rallies during those years. From that experience emerged new local leaders, now elected by their partisans rather than by Trujillo. It is worth noticing that it was during that period that the names of two persons directly related to this narrative were brought to Blue Mountain and Green Savannah by the radio wavelengths. The first, Joaquin Balaguer, whom we saw in Chapter 4 acting as judge in Santiago Rodriguez, became the most important post-Trujillo conservative leader. He won the national elections in 1966, just a few weeks before Hurricane Ines obliterated the two

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365 villages. The second man, Antonio Guzman, acted as Minister of Agriculture during the seven months of Bosch's administration. He became president of the republic in 1978, when sorghum cultivation began its fast move toward the Deep South. After Bosch was ousted by the army in 1963, the message that he and other political leaders had sent out became part of the daily life in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Justice, equality, agrarian reform, agricultural credit, resistance and freedom were no longer distant notions. A new local social space was defined by those otherwise abstract concepts. Peasants from the two villages realized that there was a larger world they belonged to, and they selected their new leaders to serve as mediators between the village and the larger society. Most of the Montaneros that fulfilled that mission were those who had better formal education or had either migrated to work as wage laborers in Santo Domingo or worked at the bauxite mine. All members of the three groups had accumulated a stock of knowledge that ended up being a crucial resource for themselves and their villages. They were enlightened by both the contact with the outside world and the local knowledge. The challenge now was to bring the two worlds together. To use Foster s (1967:293-299) terminology, those Montaneros became innovators.! 2 Yet innovation there had less of a technological connotation than a sociopolitical one. What Montaneros wanted was someone who would put them in touch with "the strong arm that can help us." When that actually occurred, we will see in Chapter 7, the consequences were far-reaching. 12 We will recall Gramsci's claim that one of the difficulties peasants have in creating their organic intellectuals" is that once they accumulate knowledge on the actual workings of the larger society, they migrate. As of 1990, that had not been the case at Blue Mountain. We shall return to this in Chapter 7.

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366 When the civil war broke on April 24, 1965, the Dominican peasantry was still engulfed by material poverty. 13 Despite all the international aid, political changes, and more democracy, peasants like Sabaneros and Montaneros were just barely touched by the money invested during four years of social and political change. Locally, 1965 was felt as a bad year due to the severe drought that hit the Deep South from January to July. At that time, in addition to their praxis as husbanders, Montaneros were taking advantage of some of the benefits of being the inhabitants of a municipio. The town's streets, hitherto just rustic paths, began to be redesigned, giving Montaneros the feeling that life, at last, was getting better. Even a generator was brought to town by the new sindico (mayor) to provide electricity to some public places. With the new municipio came the new cemetery and its well designed iron doors, an emblem that reinforced Montaneros' sense of community. A rather small yet influential local bureaucracy grew from the new articulation with the central government. Those with better education and stronger ties with local and outside power holders became public employees at the cotton plantation, now owned by the state. A few Sabaneros also became part of that new trend. It was there, at a moment when Blue Mountain was making its first steps toward progress, that the notion of the public sphere (" el interes p ublico ") began to make sense to Montaneros. Curiously, though, most of them did not make any significant effort to produce more for the market. Only a few busied themselves in planting pasture for stock raising. Not a 13 To the best of my knowledge, the best study of the Dominican peasantry during that time is the one carried out by Arroyo (1967). That study was carried out using a "marginalista" approach, which I disagree with. From this perspective, peasants' poverty is seen as created by their lack of articulation with the market economy, the government in particular.

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367 single Montanero took advantage of their new status to legalize their property rights over the lands they had cultivated for decades. According to nearly ten locals I asked for their opinion on that issue, the only rational explanation for that conduct is that the wages people earned at the cotton plantation gave them the impression that they had what was needed to survive and live well. Indeed, 76% of the men and 60% of the women who answered my questionnaires said that they had worked at the cotton plantation. While all of that was happening at Blue Mountain, Sabaneros were utilizing peanut cultivation as their main source of accumulation. They were also purchasing cattle, expanding their parcels, and improving their houses. Profiting from their proximity to the former latifundio, they made as many conucos as they could handle, planting yucca, sweet potato, pigeon peas ( guandules) , and many other crops. Although the physico-chemical characteristics of the soils in the Deep South make impossible the cultivation of the bitter yucca from which cassava bread is made, they saw in their conucos, particularly in the roots of sweet yucca, the emblem of their survival as peasants. The local branch of the Dominican Industrial Society ("La Manicera") had its physical facilities at Green Savannah; that made it easier for Sabaneros to obtain the services they needed from the industry, including technical assistance. Peanut cultivation created jobs for local women and children. That explains why 87% of the women that responded to my questionnaires said that they had never worked at the cotton plantation. Despite the jobs created by cotton and peanuts in the two villages, they were far from being prosperous communities. For instance, doing archive research I found that tetanus, gastroenteritis and bronchitis were harming the infant population. Neither Blue Mountain nor Green Savannah had potable water. Sabaneros received water from a water tanker owned and operated by

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368 the government. Montaneros, whose houses were located off the hitherto unpaved road, saw little of the outside world in their daily life. Once in a while, one of their cows was hit by one of the trucks transporting charcoal from the local dry forest to Santo Domingo. 14 With such a slow pace of activity, an incident like that remained a topic of conversation for days. The impression that the dry forest gave to outsiders travelling across the area around that time is depicted in the description provided by John Bartlow Martin, a former American ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He, who made a short visit to the Deep South in 1962, described in the following terms the zone just after Blue Mountain. The land grew stony again, houses and people disappeared, cactus rose. Soon we entered one of the strangest pieces of terrain I have ever seen. The earth was jagged rock, not soil; nothing grew here but cactus and thorny trees, so closely intertwined they cut your clothes and skin in ribbons. It was dry-no water here anywhere. It was hot-burning hot. Nothing stirred. (John Bartlow Martin 1966:105) The civil war and the second U.S. intervention brought to the Dominican Republic changes so profound that hardly any corner of the nation remained untouched by them, either directly or indirectly, after the final bullet was fired in the capital. With the war it became clearer that poverty in the Caribbean as a whole could activate more than minor land occupations by peasants like Montaneros and Sabaneros. The Cuban experience was too close to home to be ignored. 15 The republic became a 14 Charcoal making was an important economic activity in the area up to 1986, when the government prohibited the feeling of the trees. Sixty-two percent of respondents from Blue Mountain said that they had participated in that activity. In Green Savannah only 30% gave a positive answer to that question. As of 1985, a total of 20,192 sacks of charcoal were made in that area every months (Direction Nacional de Parques 1986:23). 15 In 1963 a guerrilla movement broke at several strategic location in the highlands of the Dominican Republic, including Cordillera Central and Sierra

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369 priority in the agenda of the American Government. It is there, in the aftermath of the civil war and the Cuban revolution, that the decision to promote sorghum cultivation in the Dominican countryside was made. Although the new cash crop did not arrive in the Deep South until 1979, it is important to examine the criteria used by the experts that suggested the new cash crop as a core element of a strategy aimed at promoting national development (e.g., sustainable agriculture, import substitution, industrialization), prevent political uprising, and support the investment of foreign capital. In 1965 sorghum was not a major crop in the Dominican countryside . Though some sorghum varieties were imported as early as 1952 for scientific purposes (Comalat 1984) and some innovators grew the grain in a limited scale, the lack of a concrete policy prevented the formation of a liaison between research stations and peasants' parcels. The potential for major political unrest after the civil war put pressure on policy makers to utilize the drought-tolerant grain as a partial solution to the pervasive poverty in the country at large. It is partially because of the latter that E. D. White and four other consultants recommended the cultivation of sorghum on 25% of the arable land, particularly in the southwestern geographic region where peanuts was a major cash crop and poverty severe. Together with those political considerations was the need to reduce the demand for corn, which was becoming a crucial raw material for the manufacture of animal feed. In fact, the foreign experts thought that sorghum "could be utilized to feed chickens [ayes in the original], hogs and cattle [ "ganado de carne v lechero " in de Baoruco Some southern guerrilla were killed that year just an hour away from Blue Mountain and Green Savannah.

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370 the original]. The sorghum cultivated could be totally or partially exported" (White et al. 1966:37). The rather monotonous daily life at Blue Mountain and Green Savannah began a radical change on September 29, 1966, the day Hurricane Ines left the two villages with people to be buried, houses to be rebuilt, parcels to be planted, utopias to be made, nightmares to be overcome. On that day, Montaneros and Sabaneros faced a major threat to the very foundations of their existence. Probably never before had they felt so powerless, so naked before nature's power. For better or for worse, after the tragedy the two villages became a priority in the public sphere of a nation that had just seen war and devastation as well as in the agenda of the elected president, Joaquin Balaguer, who was determined to show his commitment to lead the country the way he had planned during his exile. 16 Three days after the hurricane obliterated the two villages, the presidential helicopter descended over an empty plot north of Green Savannah. Sabaneros, who just a few months earlier had voted for the Cibaeno president, felt thankful for, if not proud of, his recognition of their tragedy. He stayed at the village for a few hours, witnessing people's grief, asking questions, shaking his head once in a while, silent most of the time. It was after seeing so much pain, so the story goes, that the president began crying, publicly. For Sabaneros that was the ultimate proof that Joaquin Balaguer was their president, friend, protector, if not their father. When they told me what happened that day, the tone of their voices indicated which of the president's gesture they valued the most: "He came here, he cried with 16 Due to time and space constraints I am unable to look at the ramifications of President Balaguer's strategy of development during the 1966-1978 period On this, see Aleman (1988), and Cassa (1986).

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371 us/' they said. In my view, that reaction is in accord with the local ethos I characterized in Chapter 4. Whereas Sabaneros reacted to the president's visit the way I described above, most Montaneros seem to have reacted differently. Rather than their president, they saw in Joaquin Balaguer "the strong arm" that could help them to cope with their tribulations. The paradox was that the strong arm gave Montaneros both what most of them wanted and what many repudiated. Let me explain what I mean by this. To begin with. Blue Mountain was relocated nearly four kilometers away from its original location. That decision was made by Dominican officers together with members of the OAS that were assisting the government in designing the post-war strategy of economic growth and social control in the country at large. To the best of my knowledge, just a few locals were asked for their opinion regarding the relocation. According to what most Montaneros told me, they did not want to be relocated because there was no water available in the new inland location. We will recall that there were three springs near Blue Mountain's original location. I was told by some Montaneros that when they expressed their desire to remain in that location because of the availability of water, one of the experts told them: "Now it is the government who decides where you are going to drink water from." Thus, whereas Montaneros appreciated the construction of new houses by the government (at no cost for local dwellers), they also felt vulnerable for the lack of water. After my close examination of what I witnessed during my fieldwork, my interpretation is that the water was also a symbol that gave meaning to their existence. Losing it was a major menace to Montaneros' emotional balance, even if consciously they did not see it that way. We need to pay attention to the psychological implications of being removed from a

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372 place literally engulfed by water (the salt lagoon and the three springs) to a site with no water at all. 17 The dilemma faced by Montaneros is clearly discernible from the way they answered two question related to their perception of life after relocation. When asked whether life improved after the resettlement, 55% answered in favorable terms, 18% said it remained the same, and 24% thought it had worsened. However, when the same respondents assessed the best part of resettlement, only 18% said it was a feeling of security, whereas 30% felt it was the new houses. It is worth noticing that 15% of the people said that nothing of what they found at the new location was a good news for them. When interpreting this attitude, we should bear in mind that the first post-Columbian huts of Blue Mountain were built in that place nearly onehundred and fifty years before Hurricane Ines. Although the hurricane killed more Sabaneros than Montaneros, Green Savannah, a rather young village, was rebuilt nearly on the same terrain it was prior to the tragedy. That decision was made based on the fact that the village was located nearly ten kilometers away from both the lagoon and the sea. It is probably the combination of this less abrupt change in the symbols of their social identity and their perception of Balaguer's gesture that explains the way they answered my questions dealing with personal security and the good news after the hurricane. To the question about the quality of life after disaster, 84% of respondents said that it was better, 12% thought it was the same, and 4% said it was worse. More important, 65% of the respondents said that a feeling of security was the best piece of news after hurricane, and 23% thought it was the new houses. No Sabanero told me that 17 In my interpretation of this event I have benefited from Elizabeth Colson's work on relocation as well as by the work of Bode (1990) and Oliver-Smith (1986) on natural disasters in Peru.

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373 they saw nothing good after their village was rebuilt. It is worth noticing that the new houses in both villages were built with cement, while most of the ones destroyed by the hurricane were built with wood. Some of the houses in Blue Mountain were made with wattle and mud (teiemani) . the "Haitian" heritage Trujillo wanted to erase from Dominican soil. The sense of security felt by Sabaneros after disaster, so my argument goes, was also nourished by their previous experience with migration, the presence of the state in the agricultural settlement they belonged to, and more important, their confidence in their survival skills not only as peasants but also as members of a utopian community whose symbols they did not perceive as obliterated by the terrible hurricane. When Sabaneros and I talked informally about their experience with the material and personal losses associated with Hurricane Ines, I sensed less despair (alienation) than what I felt from Montaneros. Let me dwell for a second in this major experience lived by Montaneros and Sabaneros. We will recall my earlier criticism to Hegel's view that alienation is a feeling mediated by the experience of realizing how the immediate world (e.g., state, culture, work, nature) inhibits, so to speak, the possibility of gaining a superior level of self-consciousness. By the same token, I argued against GramsciÂ’s view that the consciousness that we inherit from our predecessor may produce "a condition of moral and political passivity." I think that Sabaneros' assertive engagement with (rather than reaction to) disaster and loss shows that, at least in this case, both structures and the consciousness of the past actually prevented alienation and passivity from taking a significant hold in the communitas (Turner) of Green Savannah. My interpretation is that Sabaneros' fe]t security was mediated by their ideological usage of symbols of self-identity, religious beliefs included, as a

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374 way to transcend the immediate objective constraints and gain ontic and ontological security. Their affirmative praxis was made possible by a manipulation of community-forming, utopian symbols according to their multidimensional ethos as Cibaenos, peasants, people of honor, men and women with a mission to carry out. In that context, structures (the state included) were more enabling than constraining. Likewise, neither utopia nor ideology functioned as a veil of ignorance or a source of reification. On the contrary, both of them helped Sabaneros to give meaning to their praxis in such a critical situation. Simplifying a particularly complex situation, my interpretation of that experience is that, in that context, alienation was overpowered by self-identity and solidarity. I still remember what my friend Octavio told me happened to him the day of the hurricane. After the high winds and the unusually dark morning were gone, people began looking for their loved ones. Each person thought that he or she was the only survivor. When Sabaneros, raising from the debris, met other survivors in the empty streets, the only thing they said to each other was "well, now I am not alone." Octavio, who did not know that his jaw had been broken by the impact of a flying object, kept "dando aliento " (literally, giving courageousness) to Sabaneros. A few hours later, an ambulance came from the nearest city to take people to the hospital, including him. Next to Octavio, resting on the seat, a woman was close to death. A sharp object had split her abdomen, and part of her intestines were coming out of her body. Suddenly, the ambulance's steering column broke, and the vehicle made a fast turn to the right, toward the precipice. A big rock stopped it. Nobody died, except the wounded woman. Twenty years after that intense experience, Octavio still thinks that he is alive because of two reasons:

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375 first, the woman's soul stopped the ambulance before falling into the sea; second, "God wanted to see me alive." The above ontological dimension of Sabaneros' and Montaneros' conduct was inextricable interwoven with their action as peasants, gatherers, hunters, wage laborers, and so forth. The idiosyncratic sense of communitas that these two groups of human beings had when they saw their lives menaced by a natural disaster was made possible by their perception and manipulation of specific symbols that gave meaning to their existence. 18 We need not examine the significance of each of those symbols in order to comprehend how Montaneros and Sabaneros utilized them to turn their shaken existence "right side up again" (Marx). It seems advisable to postpone that discussion until the next chapter. Our present task is to acquaint ourselves with the material foundations that made possible the display of ideational constructs by these two communities, as part of their engagement (instrumental and communicative) with the social space they belonged to. The next section will provide us with the information we need to achieve such as goal. Producti on, Security, and the Beginning of a New Life Putting aside for a moment the differences between Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, let us look at the larger picture of their action as husbanders, hunters, gatherers, wage laborers, and domestic workers. As may be seen in Figure 10, when Hurricane Ines destroyed the two villages 18 Whyte argues that the actions and judgements present in our management of specific situations is mediated by "significant symbols" (1991:23-238). In his view, those symbols are "words, actions of others, or physical objects." Though I agree that those are indeed significant symbols, I think that Whyte's does not make explicit the role of both feelings and religious beliefs in the social construction of reality. On the role of symbols, culture and meaning in the construction of communities, see Cohen (1985).

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HOUSEHOLD 376 4-J 4 Figure 10. A Comprehensive System of Production. Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, 1966.

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377 Sabaneros and Montaneros were involved with the market through various products they either cultivated on their conucos or acquired from the common lands. Both women and men, children and adults participated in those activities according to a division of labor in the villages as a whole and in the households in particular. Before hurricane, extractive activities were more significant in Blue Mountain than in Green Savannah. In the former, wild game provided an important portion of the household's consumption needs. The common lands were also utilized as a source of fuel for cooking and washing clothes.* 9 Though Sabaneros did little hunting and gathering, they made charcoal and even went to the lagoon to gather salt. Since it took them several years to begin enjoying the tasty crabs so abundant in the Deep South, at that time most Cibaenos did not participate significantly in the "harvest" of that free resource that took place between May and June, exactly when the thunderstorms started. In the fourth zone of expansion (see Figure 9) a relatively vast area was covered by oregano that people harvested for selfconsumption only. It is said that the goats that roamed in that area ate a great amount of the aromatic plant, which made their meat unusually tasty. Wild honey bees were abundant in the wildness. Both monteros and sabaneros^ 19 Nearly all Montaneras I interviewed told me that before 1966 they did laundry using hot and cold water. Literally, they boiled the clothes using a large metal container, usually the empty cans utilized by "La Manicera " Some women also told me that at that time they washed their clothes using the green leaves of guayacan. It is my understanding that those leaves contain some chemical substances similar to the ones used for the manufacturing of soap. ° 20 When Montaneros use the term sabanero they mean a man who "sabanea" or goes into the forest to look after his cattle that is " en el sitio. " roaming freely in the "t ierra orejana ." This term is not synonymous with Sabanero, a dwellers of Green Savannah.

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378 had in that free honey their favorite source of energy while in the forest. They knew exactly the location of caves and trees where the honey-combs could be found. Some Sabaneros made cheese using the milk from their own cattle or purchasing it from Montaneros. There was a slaughter-house in each village where beef and pork were sold daily, except on Sundays and Good Fridays. Selling meat at the slaughter-house was a source of prestige, an indication that one's herd was large. All in all ranching was the main source of capital accumulation in Blue Mountain. In both villages most merchants were outsiders, and their operations were restricted to retail sale. Households from both villages raised chicken in their backyards. For the most part, that was a job done by women and children. Once in a while some extra eggs were sold to the owner of the food stores (colmados or pulperias) . It is worth noticing that up to 1966 the government was not directly involved in the commercialization of local products. As mentioned earlier, the Lebanese merchant sold most of the clothes bought locally by Montaneros. He did not sell at Green Savannah. With the exception of peanuts, agricultural products from the conucos were sold locally by the bulk rather than by weight. Some Montaneras went on horseback to sell maize and pork at the nearby town of Petit Trou. A few Montaneros went on muleback to sell some products at The Place, the provincial capital located near the border with Haiti. Merchants from nearby towns bought maize, red beans, and plantain directly from peasants. Sharing food with neighbors and close relatives was normal in both villages. It was not unusual for a peasant to go into his or her neighbor's conuco. take a couple of yucca roots, and tell later to the owner of the plot what he or she

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379 had done. Though stealing crops was not common, I was told that a few incidents of that nature occurred once in a while. In 1966 women in both villages were engaged in most economic activities, with the exception of hunting, gathering marine species, and rearing the cattle in the forest. A few women, then as now, participated in making charcoal. As mentioned earlier, more Montaneras worked as wage laborers at the cotton plantation whereas most Sabaneras worked on the many tasks involved in the harvesting and final cleaning of peanuts. Children from Blue Mountain often accompanied their parents to work on the plantation, or worked for wages themselves. According to what some Montaneros told me, some parents took advantage of their children's work in a unfair way. According to their account, those parents took away from their children the money earned by the latter on the fields. I did not hear that such a thing occurred to women from either village. However, my information on the issue of domestic oppression before 1979 is notably loose. By this I mean that I only have fragmented information on this subject matter. In the next chapter I will present the data I have regarding gender issues in association with sorghum cultivation. Still on the issue of labor, in 1966 both Montaneros and Sabaneros had idiosyncratic forms of labor pooling. Although the activity of sharing labor among neighbors is termed c onvite by Montaneros and junta by Sabaneros, the ways they practiced it share the main features. Essentially, when one has a mayor task to perform at the parcel or conuco neighbors are invited to come on a particular day, at a particular time, with specific tools to work together with you. Depending on both the nature of the task and your own economic possibilities, you provide them with food, coffee, and " buen trato " (good treatment). A principle of reciprocity is what keeps alive this form of

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380 cooperation, which means that one is morally committed to help his or her neighbors out whenever they need your time and labor for similar tasks. 21 This is a long-lived tradition throughout the Dominican countryside, with some regional specificities. In the next chapter I will show how Montaneros utilize the convite as an ideological weapon. All those productive activities were carried out according to a sophisticated knowledge and interpretation of natural phenomena. A vital component of husbandry, particularly among Montaneros, was the protection of crops and animals against evil eye, spells, and similar / / bruierias / / Though a thorough description of those cosmological and sorcerous practices is beyond the scope of this study, it is worthwhile to take a glance at this central dimension of peasant life in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. One central aspect of the local cosmology in both Green Savannah and Blue Mountain is the belief in an underground world of natural forces, heat and water in particular. That subterranean world is believed to be in permanent interaction with the world of the skies, inhabited by forces represented by winds, rains and the moon. This division based on space and temperature is closely interwoven with two interconnected cosmological constructions, first, the notion that it is the interplay of motion and passivity that makes natural phenomena possible; second, the idea that there is a "relay" arrangement among the natural seasons in the area. The following examples will make this scheme clearer. While documenting the usage of juntas by some peasants from El Cibao, Crouch and his research team (1979:33) found that peasants exercised a strict discipline and control over their peers. I found a totally different situation in Blue Mountain. More of this in Chapter 7.

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381 One often hears peasants talking about "the wind that is hauling the water from underground." What this metaphor indicates is that the underground water is taken out to the clouds by the wind, like an inverted siphon. This metaphor is usually accompanied by the one saying that "the fresh air is removing the heat from underground," meaning that the soils are being cooled off by the direct action of the wind rather than by the rain. While these gigantic operations are associated with movement, the actual occurrence of rain is perceived as the outcome of passivity. For instance, a common expression in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah is that "the rain only falls when the wind stops." The curious element of this belief is that in actuality the two phenomena (rain and wind) normally happen together in this area. By this I mean that one sees tornado-like high winds and hard rain actually happening together across the two villages, particularly in April-May and August-September. The local construction I term "relay" arrangement among natural seasons consists in what peasants call " la entrega " (literally, to give away). Speaking metaphorically, the entrega resembles a relay race in which "la p rimavera " (Spring) and " el verano " (Summer) belong to the same team. The way this is expressed in daily life is by saying that "now the Summer is giving way [the natural elements] to the Spring" (" ahora el verano le esta entregando aj a primavera "). If my interpretation of this metaphor is accurate, then what it depicts is, so to speak, a season delivering the clouds, wind, heat, and rain to the next. Hence, the image one sees here is of a rather harmonious relationship between two seasons that control the natural elements responsible for a good planting season. In fact, it is common to hear peasants of the older generation referring to the fast wind as " el elemento " (the element).

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382 The new moon (" luna nueva ") plays a central role in Montaneros' and Sabaneros' agricultural practices. Depending on how the new moon interplays with other natural phenomena, say wind and heat, it becomes a signifier of either weakness or strength. For instance, Joaquin, one of the few Cibaenos with permanent residence in Blue Mountain, told me that if one works the land when there is luna nueva the following phenomena may occur. First, "the yucca you planted when there is new moon will dismay [se desmaya] before harvest." Second, "the soil that you plow in new moon does not have strength." Third, "the sorghum planted during the new moon is easily attacked by insects, and it dries out earlier that usual." When that happens to sorghum, yields are lower. Finally, on the good side, Joaquin told me that "when beans are planted during new moon, the good thing is that their leaves fall faster," what makes harvest (done by hand) easier. However, beans from the new moon tend to spoil easily, therefore increasing loss. Of course, my outline does not show all the complexity of these astrological phenomena. Since successful husbandry in the Deep South is so dependent on rainfall, both Montaneros and Sabaneros spend a significant amount of time projecting the amount of rain they will have available each year. The method they utilize to predict rainfall is called cabanuela . Though this folk astronomical model takes different forms, a constant element is the use of salt as the main ingredient. The belief is that since both rain and salt are made out of water, the latter indicates when the former is likely to occur. One version of the cabanuela, described to me by a Sabanero whose social prestige is heavily dependent on his knowledge of healing herbs, is the following. First, on the eve of the first day of January one places twenty-four grains of salt on a piece of wood, making sure that the dew ("el_sereno") does

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383 not touch the salt. Each pair of grains represents the interplay of rain and clouds. Thus, the total array depicts the twelve months of the year. Second, during the first twelve days one pays close attention to whether the salt melts out or remains solid, as well as whether the skies are clouded or not. If one sees cloudy skies on one day, them the corresponding month will likely bring rain forth. Likewise, if, say, the fourth pair of grains melts out and touches the following pair, then there will likely be rain together with steady wind. In contrast, if the melting is not significant, then one will only see rain without wind. The grains that remain totally dry indicate that the corresponding month is going to be totally rainless. In addition to the cabanuela. Montaneros and Sabaneros forecast annual rainfall using a thin book called Almanaque de Bristol or the Bristol Almanac. That tiny book, which circulates across the republic, contains prophesies, short stories and, more important, weather forecast. Of course, the usage of almanac and the cabanuela is accompanied by the careful attention peasants pay to myriad "senales de lluvia" (signs of rain), ranging from the ants that surface en masse during specific days to the way hogs dig the dry soil with their mouths. Finally, Montaneros and Sabaneros (the former more overtly than the latter) protected (then as now) their crops, cattle, wild game, and even rain against local thieves and " gente de mala fe " (persons of cunning). For instance, it is common to hear people talking about gente de mala fe who have the power to steal the flowers from some crops (" robar la flor "). What they mean by that is that a person can actually do harm to the florescence of, say, beans or corn. When that happens, harvest is null. Likewise, the rain may be tied" ("amarrar la lluvia") by people who want to hurt the local

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384 economy. The way this is done is by hanging up a rock tied to a stone, 22 in a very sunny, isolated area. Outsiders are more likely to be accused of this terrible action than locals. One of the symbolic retaliations a peasant may do to punish those who actually steal his crop, say yucca, is to put the most tender leaves of that plant into the nearest water spring. When that is done, so the belief goes, the thiefs will certainly have dysentery until the water takes the last leaf away from the drown plant. As a characterization of a comprehensive system of production for the two villages. Figure 10 does not represent the several forms that this general model took depending on specific circumstances we need not discuss at present. Nevertheless, it is relevant at this juncture to look at two important differences between Sabaneros and Montaneros as husbanders. By doing this, we will be better prepared to deal with their differential engagement with modernization proper. The first difference has to do with stock raising. The second refers to the way these two groups of peasants dealt with production in the aftermath of Hurricane Ines. It is likely that while driving across this sector of the Deep South, one will find a skinny, tired-looking cow, roaming freely on the main road that goes to Haiti. If you see that, you can bet that the cow belongs to a Montanero. A Sabanero's cow will seldom do that. The answer to that difference is the existence of two contrasting systems of stock raising utilized by Montaneros and Sabaneros. Indeed, whereas most ranchers from Blue Mountain have 22 According to the version I heard, for this spell to be effective the rope used 1 ° *?, the / a ' n ™ st be made out of jean. The fact that jean is locally called ,v~L. ins . tead of f uerte azul " (strong blue), as jean was called at that time in the Dominican countryside, suggests that this belief is part of the cultural "Weii'Mbluel 1111 Haitians ' Hence ' the local Me corresponds to the French

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385 their cattle roaming free in the common lands or " en el sitio/ ' most, if not all, ranchers from Green Savannah have theirs in fenced enclosures or potreros . Whereas those who practice the former method see their cows once in a while, the ones with enclosures keep closer watch over their valuable commodity. This rather dichotomous picture does not rule out that Montaneros may also have pastures, particularly Panicun maximun (" hierba d e , guinea "), in fenced enclosures. Indeed, according to my own account at least half of them actually do have hierba de guinea . However, most of them utilize it during the dry season only. Sabaneros, by contrast, utilize only their system of enclosures. I do not attempt to turn my narrative into a discussion of this important difference between Sabaneros and Montaneros. What I want to do instead is indicate that in 1956, when the first Sabaneros arrived in the Deep South, they had access to plenty of free land in order to copy the ranching techniques of Montaneros. However, rather than doing that, as soon as they bought their first cows they made their enclosures right away, using tree limbs to built their fences ( empalizadas) . making sure that their animals were in a place they controlled. We may try to explain that behavior by saying that Trujillo's discipline imposed that careful, vigilant attitude upon Sabaneros. Another explanation is that Sabaneros' determination to grow food was in conflict with having their cows roaming freely, eating the crops they themselves had just planted on their conucos. The puzzle is that even those Montaneros who grew food in 1958 and raised cattle actually let their cows destroy some of the conucos near the village, sometimes even their own. My interpretation is that what we are seeing in this conduct is an indication of Sabaneros' and Montaneros' different valuation of the resources available to them. We will recall how the

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386 tierra de maza and tierra de hueso were perceived differently by them during the same period. Taking my argument a step further, this conduct may be indicating a different perception of one's entitlement to common resources, epitomized by one's long-term access to tierra orejana . In my view, these two different method of stock raising also show that Montaneros and Sabaneros have an idiosyncratic valuation of time and labor. What I mean by this is that in daily life I witnessed the latter showing a greater concern than the former about the time they spent working. Perhaps because of their ethos of personal courage, Montaneros seem to be willing to spend long hours performing a task that Sabaneros will likely complete in a shorter time. For instance, during the severe drought that hit the area while I was doing my fieldwork, I saw that most Cibaenos (including those who live in Blue Mountain) began working earlier in the day than most Surenos, finished the harder tasks first, and went back home to either rest for the rest of the day or return to their parcels when the heat was less intense. At first I thought that Sabaneros did that because their farm plots were closer to their houses than in the case of Montaneros. After assessing the actual distance between the place of residence and the parcels, I found that my assessment did not hold true. Let me illustrate this with the following example. I remember seeing several Sabaneros who went to their potreros before dawn, took the cattle to the nearest spring, moved them back to the enclosures, and returned to their houses by noon to eat together with their relatives. One of those Sabaneros was my friend Octavio, who had to walk for nearly an hour before reaching his enclosure. From there, he rode on horseback for nearly three hours altogether, took his cows back and forth to the nearest salt spring, and was back in his house around noon. I saw fewer

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387 Montaneros doing that. Instead, the typical scene in Blue Mountain during those difficult days was a rancher going into the common lands to see whether his cows were still alive. Just finding them in the wilderness was a tremendous job that took a significant amount of time, sometimes two hours. 23 There are extreme cases in which some Montaneros spend practically from dawn to sunset taking care of their cows. As of 1990, 1 saw that many Montaneros began to realize that their method of stock rising was not the best choice. In fact, as I will discuss in the next chapter, planting pasture is becoming increasingly important in Blue Mountain. 24 Let us now look at a significant event that might help us to better understand the role of culture in Sabaneros' and Montaneros engagement with social change. I think it is a fair statement to say that the way human beings act after a disaster is an indication of both our inner self and our attempt (conscious or otherwise) to keep or regain our psychological balance. That praxis, however, is not just addressed to ourselves individually. It is also a gesture toward the others, insiders and outsiders, friends and adversaries. When hurricanes like Ines hit villages like Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, there is hardly a Because of these different ranching methods, Montaneros are usually accompanied by trained, skinny dogs that assist them in rearing the cows in the dry forest. Montaneros often carry with them several robes and a basket ( macuto ) made with woven palms. Sabaneros see that basket as a sign of backwardness. I realized that when I moved from Blue Mountain to Green Savannah. Whereas in the first village my macuto was appreciated as a sign of mdustriousness, in the latter the opposite was the case. 24 This trend has increased in part because of the higher number of vehicles circulating across the main road. A second factor is that that road, which began to be re-paved in 1988, by January of 1991 was a modern road. Prior to that, cows came out of the common lands to drink the water accumulated in the thousands of holes formed on the road. In 1988 I saw dozens of cows drinking that water. During the 1989-90 period fewer were doing that. After reconstruction of the road, that resources was gone.

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388 dimension of survivors' life that remained unaltered by the experience of seeing crops, animals, persons, symbols, possessions, gone, fast, for good. In peasant villages, so my argument goes, crops are simultaneously a source of material security and meaningful symbols. Those symbols are manipulated by peasants for instrumental and communicative purposes alike. Within this conceptual framework, crops are social constructions. They are embedded in a cultural milieu in which I, the other, we, find self-identity as well as mutual recognition. Hence, in their multidimesionality, crops may also serve as a source of ontic and ontological security in the face of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Ines. Throughout my fieldwork, I paid special attention to the symbolic meaning of crops and animals in the two villages. Based on what I saw people doing and saying, my interpretation is that many Montaneros have constructed meaningful symbols through their long-lived experience with wild animals, hogs and birds in particular. In the next chapter I will discuss how some of those symbols have become part of Montaneros' ideology. All in all, yucca and pigeon peas or guandules seem to be two "traditional" crops that represent a symbol of resistance to adversity as well as an emblem of security for Sabaneros and Montaneros alike. There are good objective reasons for such an appreciation of these two crops. Indeed, peasants know that they can prune ("podar") the yucca plants when some pests attack the crop, or when drought is too severe. When they see the plants regenerating, growing healthier after a serious menace, they say; "se arreelo la vnra " (literally, the yucca roots fixed themselves). With guandules. the advantage is that its harvest period could last for a couple of months. Hence, peasants can count on that crop longer than on most crops they grow. No wonder that one

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389 finds these two crops in most multi-cropping farming systems across the Dominican countryside. It is based on the above premises that I consider relevant to take a look at what Montaneros and Sabaneros planted immediately after Hurricane Ines. Perhaps from here we can begin to understand what they did when sorghum cultivation was promoted by the new government in 1978. Figure 11 shows the way thirty-three males from each town answered my questions dealing with the crops they planted immediately after Hurricane Ines. Rather than doing an exhaustive statistical analysis, my goal is to take these data as an instrument of reflection, as phenomena to be understood rather than as facts to be measured. I selected these specific crops after seeing the way Montaneros and Sabaneros valued them in daily life. When we went to work together on their conucos. I paid close attention to what crops received more attention. Of course, in the more than two decades since the hurricane, peasants' priorities have most likely changed. That change notwithstanding, the utility of the present interpretation holds true. In objective terms, what we see here are two significantly different choices of what to grow for the households' self-consumption and for the market. It is significant to note that roots (yucca and sweet potato), maize, and peanuts were planted by nearly 70% of the Sabaneros that responded to my questionnaire. A significant number of Montaneros, nearly 65% of my sample, also planted roots during the same period. However, one sees that in Blue Mountain only a few peasants (nearly 20%) planted peanuts, and fewer (about 4%) decided to grow beans. It is relevant to note that those nearly 65% of the Montaneros who planted roots said that they did so thinking in primarily in self-consumption of the crop. By contrast, nearly 70% of Sabaneros said they wanted to do both, sell the crop and supply the

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Percentage Percentage 390 household's demand. While interpreting these data, we should bear in mind that roots, maize and peanuts were already cultivated for both selfconsumption and the market before Hurricane Ines. 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 I" 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 L ROOTS PEANUT Green Savannah I ill B 3ANS | .MI plantain! Home Only Market Only Both N=26 Figure 11. Destination of Selected Crops After Hurricane. Green Savannah and Blue Mountain, 1966. Looking at beans and plantains, we see that fewer peasants from both villages planted the two crops. It is worth noticing that about 20% of

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391 Montaneros decided to plant plantains for self-consumption. A similar percentage of Sabaneros said that they planted beans thinking in terms of both the market and self-consumption. I think that, in addition to showing the differences between the two villages, these sets of data show that up to 1966 production for self-consumption was important in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Other crops not included here were also grown for selfconsumption (see Figure 10). To complement the previous information, it is significant to note that whereas nearly 16% of Sabaneros cultivated the same conuco they had before the hurricane, about 61% planted again their previous conuco . More important, after the disaster nearly 69% of Sabaneros made a new conuco. whereas about 52% of Montaneros made that choice. These data might be better understood if we notice that for nearly six months after the hurricane the Dominican Government and other national and international agencies provided free food to both villages. Both Sabaneros and Montaneros told me that during that period they had all the food they needed. They also told me that people from other villages moved into the area to take advantage of the food available. What I want to stress in this situation is that peasants from the two villages had, so to speak, a free subsistence fund available to them to start all over their new life as husbanders. I think that without that food security recuperation would had been significantly harder. Let us turn to a major social consequence of the hurricane. I mentioned earlier that when Blue Mountain became a municipio in 1957, a new social category of public employees arose in the village. Likewise, I indicated how the post-Trujillo era was characterized by the consolidation of that trend. Crucial in that shift was the transformation of the hitherto private cotton plantation into a public industry. Social stratification in the village was

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392 greatly influenced by the degree of contact with the central government; the closer your contact was, the more power you had. Though some people benefited from that situation, I hesitate to characterize pre-hurricane Blue Mountain as a village with a ruling class based on either the possession of means of production or the access to the market as such. 25 Whatever ruling class was there at that time, it was in its early stages of constitution, accumulating a social capital, knowledge and contact with the larger society in particular. That weak social class became actually and symbolically "dominant" only after both relocation and the further articulation with the national economy took place. For instance, in 1966 very few of the present-day wealthy families actually monopolized land. Further, some locals who had relatively large herds were not perceived as " gente rica " (rich people). Though economically they were "rich," most of them lacked formal education, did not have contact with the outside or were seen as unsophisticated. Members of one particular family that had a large herd were seen as haitianados" (Haitian-like) because of their darker complexion and because their apparent or actual practice of witchcraft. All in all, merchants involved in retail sales (two of them outsiders) seem to have been at the higher layer of the social structure. As the following example illustrates, the power of those merchants did not pass unnoticed to some Montaneros. Even though I did not plan to talk to Mirian about her experience with the hurricane, one day she told me something that apparently she has not told to many Montaneros. When the natural disaster occurred, she and her 25 Space limitations make impossible to discuss even the basic issues dealing with the theories of social class, particularly the classical debate between Marxists and Weberians. On this, see Resnick and Wolff (1987) Saver (19911) and Wright (1985). y v ''

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393 husband owned a rather prosperous business in town. Though both of them were outsiders (" forasteros "), they felt at home in a village whose inhabitants were decent and friendly. According to her account, a rather large number of Montaneros had an open credit line at her place, and all of them were punctual in paying back the money they owned to her. When their business was totally destroyed by the high winds, Mirian and her husband had to find shelter at the municipal palace. There, in the only cement building in the area, the tragedy made all villagers share what they had regardless of social status. To Mirian' s surprise, however, it was in such a context of shared loss that she understood how some locals perceived her status as a "rich" person. In fact, while she was still in the process of internalizing the experience of seeing everything gone, a local woman told her: "Now we are all equals." Although Mirian and her husband still have a good opinion about most Montaneros, thereafter they decided not to have any other business in town. When relocation began in 1967, the subtle class structure of Blue Mountain took a defined shape. The new town was divided in four main sectors. Some houses were bigger, better designed, more carefully built. Further, those few better houses were built on both sides of the main road, locally called La Avenida (the avenue). Even today, when the accumulation of wealth through sorghum cultivation and politics have significantly restructured the local power structure, those who reside alongside the wide avenue retain part of their social prestige. To a great extend, it was there, in 1967, that the history of modernization began in Blue Mountain. In 1968 the headquarters for the police and the army were built alongside La Avenida. The two-story municipal palace was inaugurated in 1969, representing the new political and social hierarchy. The new building for the Catholic Church was also built in

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394 that period by the government. As time went by, electrical power arrived in 1971; the first office of the Ministry of Agriculture was opened in 1974; running water was installed in 1975; the high-school was made official in 1975; finally, in 1975 the Agricultural Bank began financing the cultivation of manioc and guandules only. Concomitant with the stronger presence of the state came the formation of peasant organizations. Extension agents worked together with Montaneros in formulating plans for community development. The stage was set in Blue Mountain for the new wave of modernization that was about to come, in 1978, when a new chapter of Dominican history began. Whereas all those changes were taking place at Blue Mountain, Green Savannah remained a seccion of the former. The new houses did function here in the same way we saw among Montaneros. Just a few Sabaneros became public employees. Class structure here was far more diffused than in the other village. Since most locals were either from El Cibao or the adjacent town of Petit Trou, they did not feel part of the modernization that was taking place just next door. They were loyal either to their places of origin or to Petit Trou. 2 ^ Less impacted by politics, Sabaneros saw in husbandry their real hold in life. The new Catholic parish, in charge of which was a Spanish priest, became an important symbol for Cibaenos. Contrary to what occurred in Blue Mountain, here the new building was built by the priest himself and locals who felt that that was their moral responsibility. 6 This loyalty to Petit Trou instead of Blue Mountain was heavily influenced by religious beliefs. Indeed, whereas in the former the main religious emblem is Virgin Anna (Santa Ana), in the latter it is Saint John (San Juan). In general, in the Dominican Republic Saint John is perceived as a symbol of the

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395 In this chapter I have described and interpreted some of the most important events that took place in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during the 1958-1978 period. Section one focused on some of the structural and intersubjective processes that occurred when Cibaenos and Surenos met for the first time. Section two examined some of the local impact of the national changes of the post-Trujilo era, including politics, the civil war, and Hurricane Ines. Using a comprehensive model of the system of production in the area of study, I outlined how the interconnected processes of production, distribution, and consumption occurred before Hurricane Ines. In the same section I interpreted some of the actions taken by Montaneros and Sabaneros after 1966, as a way to enhance our understanding of the role of culture in their engagement with modernization. Finally, the second section concluded with a brief characterization of the processes of social stratification associated with the relocation that began in 1967.

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CHAPTER 7 SORGHUM, MONEY, AND PEOPLE If it is agreed that man may be defined as a being having freedom within the limits of a situation, then it is easy to see that the exercise of this freedom may be considered as authentic or inauthentic according to the choices made in the situation. Authenticity, it is almost needless to say consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate. Sartre ([1948]1965:90; stress in the original) The appearance of sorghum in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah was mediated by the interplay of national priorities and local expectations. Both the official claim for a new form of progress and Montaneros' and Sabaneros' belief in the benefits of modernization found in the public sphere a context for their mutual signification. In that situation, politics and development, utopias and ideologies, structures and human beings, provided the foundations for the occurrence of two closely interconnected processes: first, capital accumulation; second, social recognition. In other words, in that context political economy and social ontology (the interrelation of I, the Other, We) were concurrent as well as equiprimordial. Instead of preventing Montaneros and Sabaneros from seeing all the consequences of sorghum cultivation, their practical engagement with the socio-natural world, their praxes in time and space, provided them with both the phronesis and aspiration they needed to make a rational decision regarding the preservation or abandonment of their long-lived system of production. While revealing new possibilities to them, ideology and utopia 396

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397 way how many peasants from each village accepted or rejected the new cash crop, in this chapter I will utilize concrete data to illustrate a changing situation that peasants are facing with authenticity, phronesis, and imagination. Hence, I have deliberately placed the quantitative and qualitative data in the flow of daily life, seeking an understanding of phenomena instead of a calculation of production and distribution as such. I have done this in accord with the epistemological, methodological, and ethical stances I explained in Chapter 3 of this narrative. This chapter contains four sections. Section one is a characterization of the role played by national priorities and local expectations in the arrival of sorghum in the two villages; it also discusses some of the major economic ramifications of sorghum cultivation at the local level; finally, that section characterizes the relevance of the shift from cotton to sorghum taking place at the state-owned cotton plantation. The second section is a discussion of the most significant data dealing with the acceptance or rejection of sorghum as well as with the preservation or abandonment of the traditional conuco: it also includes two other major events related to Montaneros' and Sabaneros' ideology during the 1978-1990 period. The third section is an interpretation of some of the myriad socio-economic and cultural consequences of sorghum cultivation at the local level. Section four describes and interprets some of the ways peasants from the two villages act out their ideological constructions to defend themselves. Politics, Development, Utopias, and Ideologies in a New Social Space During the 1971-1977 period most of the Dominican countryside was impacted by an enormous process of land occupation carried out by impoverished peasants who, led by political parties, propelled by hunger, saw in land monopolization the main cause of their tribulations. Nearly every

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398 month, machete in hand, usually accompanied by their children, peasants broke the wired fences of some large farm. Intervention by the police was common. Incarceration was almost certain. Pervasive and important as it was nationwide, that movement did not touch the Deep South at all (Eusebio 1982). Neither did Sabaneros and Montaneros feel the effect of the rather politically progressive agrarian laws issued by the government in 1972. 3 Moreover, Blue Mountain and Green Savannah did not see the dams, irrigation canals, and roads built during that period as part of a development strategy focused primarily on the urban sector and tourist areas in the northern and eastern geographic regions (see Aleman 1975, 1980). The implementation in 1974 of a modest sisal plantation west of Blue Mountain was, to the best of my knowledge, the most important agricultural scheme that impacted my area of study in the aftermath of Hurricane Ines 4 Once the villages were rebuilt, the new power structure set, their names literally disappeared from the media as well as from the official list of priorities. The emotional scars left by the natural disaster were, at least on the surface, covered by the coats of bright red, blue and green paint utilized to adorn the new, symmetrically arranged, cement houses. Material loss was faced with hard work. Montaneros and Sabaneros alike, each with their own 3 Challenged by both peasants' struggle and a severe economy crisis. President Balaguer proposed in 1972 a controversial set of agrarian laws. Some of those laws aimed at dividing some latifundios crossed by irrigation canals built by the government, as well as latifundios utilized for stock raising. On this see Dore y Cabral (1979), Fernandez (1983), and Gutierrez-San Martin (1988). 4 Although the 4,000-tareas sisal plantation did not have a major economic impact on the area, in 1979 it played a central ideological role in the struggle of a group of Montaneros that asked the government to give them a portion of the plantation s land to cultivate sorghum in a collective project. On this, see section three of this chapter.

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399 experience and expectations, literally locked themselves up in their conucos and common lands with the intention to rebuild their lives. The sense of remoteness so deeply felt by Surenos and fronterizos was not altered even by the new road built in 1967-68. Travelling on that serpentine road in 1978 was a lonely journey. A that time the hot pavement was crossed once in a while only by a couple of trucks loaded with charcoal, perhaps a few iguanas, and certainly the skinny cows of Montaneros walking slowly, thirsty, begging for a drop of water. Poverty, silence and dryness epitomized that corner of the solitary Deep South in 1978. That was the geographic region that a friend of mine, the new Minister of Agriculture, told me I was responsible to redeem as the regional head of SEA. He, a genuine believer in social justice, found the right words to touch my sensitivity, if not my ego. Though I was not and have never been a proponent of PRD, the winning party, I was a member of a generation that saw in President Antonio Guzman a symbol of democracy, freedom of expression, and development as well. He, we will recall, had acted in 1963 as the head of SEA during Bosch's short-lived administration. He also was a negotiator during the 1965 civil war. Hence, when Guzman's political party chose the slogan "The Shift" ( "El Cambio ") to promote his candidacy, a utopia was revitalized in the country at large, with some degree of regional specificity we need not discuss here. Many members of my generation found in that catchword a recognition of our value as individuals. It was partially because of that social recognition, so I argue, that political consensus was made possible during the 1978-1979 period. In my case, perhaps naively, that utopia became a concrete invitation for constructive action when Guzman, a Cibaeno himself, was promoted as " el presidente agricultor " (the president

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400 farmer). It was in that spirit that I headed south in late August of 1978, excited with my new job as developer of the poorest Dominican region. With the new government came a higher expenditure in agricultural development as well as a genuine agrarian populism. A policy of decentralization enabled regional officers like me to expand the agricultural frontier knowing that money was available. Aleman (1982:31) provides information that illustrates how significant was the shift in priorities brought by the new administration. He reports that whereas in the 1976-1978 the government spent only 2.4 % (forty-five million pesos altogether) of the national budget to promote agricultural development, during the 1979-1980 period that figure was 23.4% or one-hundred seventy-seven millions. With regard to peasant participation, it is worth noticing that whereas in 1978 there were eleven-hundred peasant associations nationwide, by the year 1979 that figure nearly doubled (Chalas and Encarnacion 1981:291). Montaneros and Sabaneros, who in the early 1970s had begun forming local associations, took advantage of the new trend of rural organization stimulated by the government. Their spirit of solidarity was revitalized by the state recognition of their entitlement to the redistribution of wealth, made explicit by Guzman's himself. It was in that context that the peasant association named The Experience became the leading institution in Blue Mountain. In accord with the principle of distributive justice inherent to the new official policy of agricultural development, my attitude as developer was to support local projects of different scales, ranging from a small-scale irrigation canals to more ambitious as the one we are discussing here. During my twoyear directorship money was available to finance all projects of small and medium scale proposed by technicians, peasants and ranchers. On more than one occasion we even built some physical infrastructure (e.g., bridges.

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401 latrines) requested by peasants. Hence, when Jorge, the agronomist working at Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, solicited financial support to promote the cultivation of sorghum, he was provided with what he asked for. With genuine enthusiasm, we went together to the solitary plains, met with a handful of Montaneros, and decided in a few hours that the project was sound. No a single written document was utilized to formalize the agreement we reached with peasants. Having total freedom to act, I send tractors, money, and encouragement to Jorge, Montaneros, and Sabaneros. With that, a new world began for the Deep South, Jorge, and myself. Notwithstanding the overt, genuine democratic intention of the official initiatives in the rural sector, there were less visible political and economic implications of agricultural modernization (see Mejia 1978, 1980) that neither Jorge nor I realized or cared about. What this means is that though he and I made the technical decision to promote sorghum cultivation in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, we were unconcerned about (rather than ignorant of) the class interests behind the government support of sound initiatives like ours. As developers sharing a utopia of progress and social justice, we did not pay much attention to the fact that at the same time that our well-intended action was going to represent an economic profit for Montaneros and Sabaneros, it was also helping to significantly increase the material wealth of people who saw the Deep South as just a new source of capital accumulation. Indeed, now I can say, there was a social class for whom sorghum was a vital raw material needed to reduce the cost of production and raise economic profit in the meat industry. Let me illustrate my argument. Following the recommendation made in 1966 by E.D. White and his fellow consultants regarding the socio-economic and political advantages of sorghum cultivation (discussed in Chapter 6), the government actually

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402 promoted the new cash crop in different geographic regions. Special programs, financed by USAID, were set at SEA to make credit available to sorghum growers. We need not repeat here how that was actually carried out. Instead, what calls for our attention is that by the year 1971 the cereal was seen by official technicians and planners as one of the best solutions to increase national production of meat, beef and chicken in particular (SEA 1971:3). As reported by Malkun (1979:66-67), during the 1966-1977 period the poultry industry increased its annual production of chickens from nearly four million units in the first year to more than thirty and a half millions in the latter. A similar increase is observable in the production of eggs. The exportation of beef was also on the rise during that period. Such a significant change in the production of meat and eggs needed a constant supply of raw material for the manufacturing of animal feed. Corn, the grain hitherto utilized for such purposes, was not profitable enough for Dominican peasants to grow it in their small parcels. Also, imports made through the PL-480 (U.S. Public Law 480) did not satisfy the increasing demand of corn. Hence, to promote sorghum cultivation became a priority for the individuals whose capitals were invested in that prosperous industry. Those entrepreneurs were part of the state, if not of the government itself. As may be seen in Table 5, whereas the importation of corn increased at an annual rate of nearly 20% during the 1973-1983 period, the national production of corn remained stagnant during the same period. By contrast, the national production of sorghum increased so significantly that by the year 1982 it had become nearly equal to the production of corn. While examining these data we should bear in mind that maize was already cultivated by Tainos before 1492, whereas sorghum is a crop of recent introduction to the

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403 Dominican countryside. In countries like the Dominican Republic, such a substantial increase in production is nearly impossible without direct official involvement in the myriad activities supporting production and distribution, including technical assistance. 5 Rather than the work of an invisible hand (Adam Smith's claim), what we see here is the state apparatus inducing the cultivation of a particular crop to be utilized as a source of economic profit by specific capitalists, many of whom were Cibaenos. This is just an indication of what I term the political economy of sorghum cultivation in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. Notwithstanding the relevance of the foregoing objective data for our story, the actual acceptance of sorghum by Montaneros and Sabaneros involved more than politics and economy. Likewise, the insertion of the new cash crop into the "traditional" peasant system of production encompassed far more than a structural adjustment. Essential in our narrative is the ontological dimension, the existential sphere of peasants' perception of the official initiative as well as the intersubjective experience they had with Jorge, the immediate state representative. It is this facet of my narrative that I term social ontology. 6 Let me explain what I mean by social ontology in relation to sorghum cultivation in the Deep South. It is primarily because of the inherent class nature of this involvement that I reject Schultz s (1964:144) supply-and-demand model of agricultural transformation. In my view, he overlooked the political economy as well as the asymmetrical power relations of agricultural modernization. Although I think that peasants expectations are essential to the insertion of development in rural areas, I disagree with any decision-making model that ignores the power structure sustaining agricultural modernization. This is one of the points I share with Ortiz's (1973) excellent examination of peasant rationality. 6 In addition to the phenomenologists I discussed in Chapters 2 and 3, my concern for social ontology has been influenced by the work on recognition done by Williams (1992). I became acquainted with his work while writing this chapter of my dissertation. &

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404 We will recall my earlier interpretation of the existential meaning of being Sureno (Southerner) and fronterizo (from the frontier) in the Dominican Republic. Contrary to the rather florid image projected by El Cibao, the Deep South was in 1978 an obscure geographic region inhabited by human beings who felt distant from the "center," Santo Domingo, the place where policies are formulated. With its population representing in 1986 less than one percent of the national population, as of 1990 my area of study has not been particularly important for politicians who are after the peasant vote. 7 Moreover, most of the soils in that area, including those where sorghum is currently planted, were classed as not suitable for agriculture (OAS 1967). The presence of economic enclaves extracting raw materials from that area (e.g., cotton, bauxite, salt, and coffee) define a social space in which two closely interwoven phenomena occur: first, the objective uneven development "as an expression of the relation between capital and labour [sic]" (Smith 1990:83); second, the subjective perception of the relation between the I (local dwellers), "the other" (larger society), and We (public sphere, h la Habermas). In the context of that double social construction of reality (objective underdevelopment and subjective sense of remoteness) Montaneros and Sabaneros faced in 1978 a paradoxical problematic. First, because of the power structure in which recognition by the state takes place, its impact could be either favorable or unfavorable to the local interests, depending on the system of authority at the local level and the uneven terms of exchange 7 For instance, during the 1990 presidential elections, when a few votes could make a difference, not a single national or regional political leader visited Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. One often hears locals saying that "we are too few and too little for a candidate to come down here and talk to us."

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405 between the villages and the larger society. Second, without recognition from that center dwellers of the two villages were unable to make any significant move to overcome (or mitigate) poverty. Hence, “the other" in that situation could represent either a better life or sharper impoverishment. Speaking in existential terms, in their encounter with the new government, Montaneros and Sabaneros could find either affirmation or negation. My argument is that they faced that ambiguous situation with authenticity, in Sartre's terms. In order to better understand what occurred with sorghum, it is worth summarizing what the two villages looked like in such a crucial historical moment. Blue Mountain in 1978 was just a southern village where nearly 50% of its adult inhabitants were making a living as either charcoal makers in the common lands or wage laborers at the cotton plantation. Almost 25% of the children were also working at the plantation, primarily picking cotton during the period December-January. According to my estimates, as many as onehundred adults were working as permanent public employees in the different official agencies such as the municipal palace, post office, the plantation itself, and so on. Then as now those jobs were likely given to partisans of the wining political party. However, family ties also determine whether one receives a public job or not. Though sorghum was planted in a small sector of the state-owned plantation (nearly ten kilometers east of Green Savannah), neither Montaneros nor Sabaneros were directly involved with the new crop. As mentioned earlier, ranching “ en el sitio " as well as gathering and hunting were more important in Blue Mountain than in Green Savannah. A few peasants were planting peanuts at that time. Most farming was done for selfconsumption. The official agricultural bank was just making its first loans for the cultivation of beans only. Because of the risks involved in planting

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406 without irrigation, the bank was reluctant to lend money to peasants. Except for the few TV sets owned by the well-to-do locals, in 1978 there was nothing in Blue Mountain that resembled the modernization to be initiated by sorghum. Table 5 Sorghum and Corn Production and Importation of Corn, 1973 1983 Year Sorghum Production (M.T.) Corn Production (M.T.) Corn Imports (M.T.) 1973 9,205 51,864 53,318 1974 15,273 59,045 66,638 1975 16,364 43,682 32,364 1976 15,591 82,045 57,318 1977 17,729 61,590 100,954 1978 18,409 49,455 105,045 1979 23,059 38,318 110,363 1980 25,136 45,500 185,545 1981 34,214 39,000 165,682 1982 34,580 37,182 192,000 1983 40,477 53,627 226,474 Source: Caraballo (1985:311) Even though peanut cultivation for commercial purposes was more significant at Green Savannah than in the other village, one can hardly characterize the life of Sabaneros as free from the drudgery that epitomizes the daily life of most peasants worldwide. When the new government was inaugurated in August of 1978, Sabaneros from El Sur and El Cibao were actively cultivating the land, ranching, and once in a while working as wage earners either on the cotton plantation or in the harvest of peanut. Taking advantage of the rather relaxed political ambience of the Deep South, they had already managed to occupy and enclose a significant proportion of the

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407 land belonging to the large latifundio that Trujillo ordered them to cultivate in 1956. Partially because they were the dwellers of a seccion rather than of a municipio, Sabaneros had little expectation to become public employees. Further, most of them, still loyal to President Joaquin Balaguer, voted against Antonio Guzman. Here the tierra de maza was in hands of land cultivators who planted as many as ten different crops, ranging from peanut to yucca. They sold more agricultural products to the market than most Montaneros did. As mentioned earlier, Sabaneros raised cattle using fenced enclosures ( potreros) rather than the common lands. In the context of the new social space made possible by the utopia of "the shift," agronomist Jorge and what he represented was Montaneros' and Sabaneros' ontological other. His recognition of their existence as potential sorghum growers was a precondition for the arrival of any form of state expenditure to support husbandry. Rather than an impersonal state apparatus against which peasants were struggling, what they saw was an agronomist who, in spite of being from Santo Domingo, was showing an unusual ability to cope with the hardships of daily life in a region with no running water, little rain, a great amount of dust in the air, and a caribe sun. 8 In addition to testing Jorge's accommodation to a rather hostile physical environment, Montaneros and Sabaneros took that situation as an opportunity to act out their solidarity with a " forastero " (stranger) as well as to explore the opportunities brought to their villages by the new government. 8 Though the aqueduct was inaugurated in 1975, by 1978 it was out of order. According to Montaneros, the water does not reach town because people from the place where the water head is located block or break the pipelines. That has been a source of serious confrontation in recent years.

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408 Because Jorge's endurance was close to the Montaneros' ethos of personal courage, he was seen with respect. Sabaneros, on the other hand, perceived him as a hard worker who also knew a great deal about farming. I often heard Sabaneros saying that Jorge was "an indefatigable person who worked hard even on Sundays." Indeed, he, a man of extraordinary energy, was training them in the use of new techniques, advising the local peasant organizations, helping them to take advantage of the new situation, and, most important, recognizing their entitlement to the material wealth being redistributed by the government policy. They also knew that he had the contact with the larger society that was necessary to bring forth "the strong arm who can help us." He was indeed an ambiguous symbol of personal courage on the one hand, and power on the other. Their attitude toward him was ambiguous and authentic, meaning that they took his message of progress with caution as well as with optimism. For instance, when Jorge told them the economic profit they could make from the new crop as well as sorghum's tolerance to drought, they were eager to explore the new situation. However, when he mentioned to them all the tasks and resources involved in sorghum cultivation, they thought that it was unthinkable that the government was actually willing to make that kind of commitment to help "little peasants like us." Preparing the land for planting sorghum was an activity that involved an immense use of labor as well as extraordinary display of new symbols. To begin with, most Montaneros had either tierra de hueso planted with peanuts and other crops or uncultivated land covered with secondary vegetation ( botao ). Since sorghum is planted and harvested using machines that work better when the soil if flat and stoneless, it was necessary for them to use huge chain tractors (provided by SEA at no cost other than buying the gasoil, in

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409 1979 only) as well as remove an incredible amount of stones from the soil in order to, so to speak, make tierra de maza from tierra de hueso . Using fire to burn the vegetation eliminated by the tractor (habite) , dealing for the first time with hybrid seeds and mechanical planters, seeing their conucos transformed into parcels in a matter of days, making the projection of an unprecedented economic profit, all of that came together into peasants' existence with the presence of the developer. At the same time that such an enormous display of industriousness increased the level of aspiration, it was also too much stimulus for some peasants to take without feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable. Let me illustrate what that new situation was like. "When Montaneros saw the sites where they used to grow food suddenly ready to plant a crop they knew little or nothing about," says agronomist Jorge, "some of them did not want to plant it. They argued that they could not eat sorghum and also that nobody was interested in purchasing it. I had to act almost like a soldier. I told them that we could not disappoint the authorities." Here we see the first indication of peasants' ambiguous attitude toward modernization interplaying with power and ideology. To be sure, there were extreme cases of resistance to plant the new cash crop, as the case of Manolo, a Montanero who told Jorge in a rather stubborn way that what he really wanted to plant on his farm was beans instead of hybrid sorghum. The agronomist, convinced as he was that the new crop was good for peasants, decided to plant that particular parcel at night, while the skeptical Montanero was in bed. When Manolo went to his farm the following morning, it was already planted with sorghum. 9 Of 9 It is worth noticing that, because of both relocation and the monopolization of land by the cotton plantation, most Montaneros reside far from their farms. In some extreme cases, the distance between the two sites could be of several kilometers. At least half of Sabaneros also face the same situation.

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410 course, when the agronomist acted that way he knew that that particular peasant was struggling with a serious doubt. Contrary to what one might expect, the peasant said nothing to Jorge. They just laughed together, accommodating to each other's relative power, coping with ambiguity. Though sorghum was planted in a few hours in the parcel of that skeptical peasant, the existential insecurity it signified did not disappear overnight. Fortunately, rains were good in 1979. In a few weeks after planting, what used to be empty masses of reddish soil became fields of strikingly green, homogeneous sorghum plants. Thereafter, that was the topic of conversation in every house. Economic projection was made. The aspiration was more certain. Yet, using their common sense knowledge, peasants kept waiting, still skeptical. It was still too early to celebrate. Three months latter the parcels depicted an image of abundance, prosperity, progress. Greed, aspiration, dreams, were at their highest point at that moment. Now the challenge was to harvest the new crop, to face a new reality. When they saw the panicles full of healthy grains, Montaneros, who hitherto had not seen a mechanical harvester on their farms, felt more anxious than ever. All of the sudden some "invisible hand" put written messages under Jorge's door, at night, telling him that he had better make sure the harvesters were there in time. The significant point of that event was not who actually wrote the messages. Instead, what needs our attention is the anxiety expressed by that gesture, the extreme vulnerability signified by the interplay of concrete risk and a collective memory of remoteness from the center. Beneath the apparent aggressiveness of those messages threatening Jorge's life in the event of a total failure, there was the inner self of peasants walking through the threshold of modernization.

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411 The tension grew larger when unexpected rains came right the same day that the green, impressive harvesters began working on the fields, packing the brownish grains into plastic sacks. There, at that moment, everything was at risk, including Jorge's prestige and the utopia of progress. But sorghum, as we saw earlier, was needed in Santo Domingo to manufacture animal feed. Thus, the National Institute for Price Stabilization (henceforth INESPRE), the official agency responsible for purchasing the grain, immediately sent a huge grain drier out to Blue Mountain, to save the raw material from an almost certain fermentation. I still remember seeing that display of state power in a region whose inhabitants felt distant from the center. The machine was so tall that it was necessary to utilize all kinds of tricks to pass it across some of the steel bridges. Of course, though there was an economic interest behind those unprecedented official actions, there was also a commitment to increase peasants' income. All of that effort was perceived locally as a recognition by the government of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' entitlement to a better life. In that context, the notion of "the strong arm who can help us," showed its gentle side. There, "the other" was not an antagonistic force, at least not this time. Thereafter, money, new ideas, symbols and expectations began circulating in the Deep South. A new process of social differentiation was also inaugurated on that day. That we will see in a moment. Let us now look at some of the economic ramifications of this turning point in local history. When the sacks containing sorghum were loaded onto the INESPRE trucks and taken to Santo Domingo, the center, sorghum growers from Blue Blue Mountain already knew that their economic situation had changed. So many sacks filled with healthy grains, so many machines, they thought, had necessarily to end up providing something they had not witnessed before.

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412 They were right. As may be seen in Table 6, the first harvest of sorghum brought to the village over one-hundred thousand pesos (at that time the rate of exchange was roughly one peso for a U.S. dollar), which was an amount of money that only the cotton plantation had produced before in one harvest. Table 6 Sorghum Production and Circulation of Money, Blue Mountain, 1979 1987 Year Production (QQ) Price ($) Total Money Circulation ($) 1979 19,007 5.50 104,539 1980 15,300 5.85 89,505 1981 52,720 5.85 308,412 1982 93,784 7.00 656,466 1983 72,000 7.45 536,400 1984 105,000 14.00 1,470,000 1985 160,000 17.00 2,720,000 1986 136,000 19.80 2,692,800 1987 105,345 82.33 8,673.054 Source: Secretaria de Estado De Agricultura, Blue Mountain. The actual profit peasants made from the first sorghum harvest becomes more apparent if one bears in mind that they did not have to borrow money from the bank. As mentioned above, for the first harvest Montaneros only had to purchase the gas oil used by the official tractors, pay for the hybrid seeds, and spend their labor gathering the stones and burning the fell vegetation. Of course, I hasten to say, that labor they devoted to clearing the land was diverted away from other activities. Using the formalist notion of opportunity cost, we may conclude that a cost-benefit analysis will show that peasants made the best use of a limited resource. Locally, though, when

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413 Montaneros want to express what they did together in order to plant sorghum, they say that " una mano avuda a la otra v Dios avuda a las dos " (literally, one hand helps the other hand out, and God helps both of them as well). What that metaphor indicates is that the concrete human beings who made an economic profit did not separate the notion of solidarity from the process of production. In academic parlance, they were talking about a lived experience rather than about a technical matter. 10 Taking a closer look at the data depicted in Table 6, what one sees happening in Blue Mountain during the 1979-1987 period is a profound change in production and distribution. Indeed, from being an unknown crop in 1978 sorghum in the year 1987 was responsible for the circulation of nearly nine million pesos. At that time, that represented over one and a half million dollars. Altogether, during the 1979-1987 period, the circulation of money generated by sorghum was over seventeen million pesos, or nearly two million per year. Using an average rate of six Dominican pesos by one U.S. dollar, we are talking roughly of two and a half million dollars. Though it is beyond my competence to do a thorough economic analysis of these figures, I think it is obvious that such a high amount of money circulating in any peasant village had major social and cultural consequences, some of which I will discuss below. To mention but a few at present, at least thirty Montaneros bought houses in Santo Domingo, others sent their children to obtain a college education, and nearly all purchased new home appliances and furniture. Let us continue our account of the economic repercussions of sorghum cultivation. 0 My interpretation of this and other metaphors dealing with economics has being significantly influenced by Stephen Gudeman's (1986) excellent work on economics as culture.

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414 In addition to SEA and INESPRE, sorghum brought to the peasant system of production the direct presence of the Agricultural Bank (henceforth BAGRICOLA). Table 7 depicts BAGRICOLA's participation in financing the new crop in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah during the 1980-1989 period. It is worth noticing that up to 1987 the number of sorghum growers increased nearly every year, while in 1989 it declined significantly. Further, the area planted with sorghum began decreasing in 1988. Based on what I saw during my fieldwork, there are two reasons for those major changes. First is that there are actually some peasants from both villages who are making the decision not to continue sorghum cultivation. I will explain in a moment the evidence I have to support my argument. The second reason, closely related to the former, is that BAGRICOLA has made tougher its conditions to lend money to peasants. That I will demonstrate below. If one compares the data shown in Tables 6 and 7, then it becomes apparent that the amount of money actually circulating in both villages is significantly high. This is clearly discernible from subtracting the amount financed by BAGRICOLA from the total sum of money circulating. From that simple calculation one finds that only in 1987 at least five million pesos were added to the peasants' income. While doing that comparison, let us bear in mind that Table 6 refers to Blue Mountain only, whereas the second table includes both villages. A piece of information from Table 7 that calls for our attention is that the percentage of payback (" recuperacion "). meaning the number of peasants who actually paid back their loans to the bank, has increased from 40% in 1980 to 95% in 1989.

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415 Table 7 Sorghum Production Financed by the Agricultural Bank. Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, 1980 1989 Year Number of Cultivators Area (Tareas) Total Amount ($) Percentage of Payback 1980 106 6,258 401,700 40 1981 141 9,032 560,100 45 1982 191 14,844 852,500 55 1983 316 59,680 1,404,200 60 1984 332 37,246 1,742,700 60 1985 311 52,185 1,697,000 35 1986 354 38,635 1,851,400 75 1987 360 41,144 1,869,200 85 1988 347 31,726 2,883,900 85 1989 276 24,846 3,243,900 95 Source: Agricultural Bank, Personal Communication. The explanation for that increase in the number of peasants paying their loans back is twofold. First, in 1989 B AGRICOLA replaced INESPRE in the commercialization of sorghum. With that move, the former gained full control over the entire system of production and distribution. I will examine m a moment some of the consequences of that centralization for Montaneros and Sabaneros. The second reason for this high percentage of payback to the bank is that no other agency (public or otherwise) is involved in financing sorghum cultivation. Up to 1988, La Manicera, the peanut firm, was purchasing sorghum only. To the best of my knowledge, it never financed the cereal. Moreover, in 1989 the private firm closed down its operations in the Deep South because most peasants, realizing that peanut cultivation was not the best economic choice, decided not grow it. What this means is that Montaneros and Sabaneros had necessarily to deal with BAGRICOLA as both a money lender and a buyer of the commodity. Hence, paying their credits

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416 back was not a choice they made freely. Bluntly put, the bank had a total control over their harvest. We will see more of this in a moment. Despite the recent decline in the proportion of sorghum financed by BAGRICOLA in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah (Figure 7), the Deep South continues being a major supplier of the national demand. Both Tables 8 and 9 show some of the national, regional, and local trends of sorghum cultivation. In the first figure we see that the sorghum planted in my area of study represented in 1987 nearly 43% of the regional production, in contrast to the 14.5% in 1980. 11 It is significant that such a trend occurred at the same time that the entire southern region (including the provinces of Pedernales, Baoruco, Independencia, and Barahona) is producing less (33.4% in 1987) of the total national than in 1980 (61.5%). The explanation for the rise in local production is found in the process taking place at the cotton plantation, to which we turn now. Indeed, as may be seen in Table 9, since 1980 there has been a sharp decline in the area planted with cotton at the nearby plantation. In contrast, one see a significant increase in the cultivation of sorghum. In fact, the nearly thirty thousand tareas that the plantation devoted to sorghum cultivation in 1989 marked the beginning of the end for cotton in the Deep South. According to what officers of the plantation told me in 1990, their plan was to eliminate cotton cultivation for good. Their argument was that neither Montaneros nor Sabaneros wanted to pick cotton. These data depict more Because I am using data provided by different sources, some incongruities might be found throughout this overview of sorghum production. That in my view, does not rule out the utility of our examination. The case would be different if were trying to do a sophisticated economic analysis.

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417 than an economic phenomenon. We see an indication of the further meaning of this situation by noticing (Table 9) that the cultivation of sorghum began earlier on the plantation than in Montaneros' and Sabaneros' parcels. Let us take a closer look at the social and symbolic phenomena signified by such a major shift in production strategy made by the persons running the plantation. We will recall that most Montaneros, females and males, children and adult alike, initiated their life as wage earners picking cotton precisely in the same plantation that now is replacing cotton by sorghum. Likewise, we saw the significant economic and ontological role played by the plantation in Cibaenos' encounter with their existential "other" in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Both factually and symbolically, cotton brought modernization to the area. It also taught Montaneros and Sabaneros the meaning of selling their labor. As discussed earlier, even though Montaneros publicly told me that they saw the presence of the plantation as beneficial to their village, the children with whom I worked in picking cotton expressed their anger at the same plantation when they taught me to act as a maroon (marronear) . In my view the children's conduct depicts the repressed, perhaps unconscious, hate and horror they feel after seeing the immense wealth that they themselves and their relatives have contributed to creating while remaining poor. Rather than trying to define whether this comportment is an indication of "true" or "false" class consciousness, I consider more relevant to understand its meaning in Montaneros' ideological engagement with the new situation created by the shift from cotton to sorghum.

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418 Table 8 Area Planted With Sorghum (in Tareas) Year National Regional % Local % National Regional 1980 82,937 51,009 65.5 7,400 14.5 1981 142,200 55,682 39.1 13,180 27.7 1982 124,235 72,293 58.2 33,446 32.4 1983 251,038 107,273 42.7 28,800 26.8 1984 250,189 76,753 30.7 30,000 39.1 1985 234,852 68,129 29.0 32,000 46.9 1986 260,383 87,149 33.5 34,000 39.1 1987 246,522 82,226 33.4 35,115 42.7 Source: SEA, Planes Operativos, 1980 1987. Table 9 Cotton and Sorghum Planted by the Cotton Plantation at Blue Mountain and Green Savannah, 1976 1989 Year Cotton Sorghum (Tareas) (Tareas) 1976 41,552 3,140 1977 28,729 10,038 1978 NA NA 1979 NA NA 1980 29,719 15,180 1981 21,391 16,871 1982 20,800 12,073 1983 19,645 13,167 1984 22,216 11,529 1985 NA NA 1986 NA 25,000 1987 11,970 25,177 1988 8,462 28,870 1989 9,293 29,598 Source: Instituto Nacional Del Algodon, Personal Communication

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419 Even though prior to 1978 cotton was harvested by both adults and children, in 1990 it was picked primarily by children age from eight to fifteen. I also saw a few women from Blue Mountain doing that job. For men, cotton picking has become synonymous of humiliation, a child-like job. This is due in part to the fact that, whereas cotton is paid by weight, sorghum is paid by bulk. 12 Because of that difference, harvesting sorghum is economically more advantegeous than picking cotton. For instance, when I picked cotton I only made seven pesos in a six-hour period. By contrast, while working the same amount of time as a sorghum harvester, I made about twenty three pesos. Since both crops are harvested about the same time (December-January), officers of the plantation do everything possible to prevent children from harvesting sorghum so that they had to pick the cotton. For instance, when hard rains menaced the cotton harvest in 1989, the administration closed the nearby sisal and aloe plantations so that women working there had to work on the cotton fields if they wanted to earn some money. 1 3 With the elimination of cotton and the mechanization of sorghum, the jobs available locally are significantly fewer. If my interpretation is correct, what the government is expecting is that Montaneros will move to work at the state-owned sisal and aloe plantations located about ten kilometers west of Blue Mountain. On that account, Montaneros would repeat with sisal, aloe and sorghum the experience they had with cotton beginning in 1957. 12 The sorghum I am referring to is whatever is left by the mechanical combine on the ground. The manual harvest of that sorghum is crucial for increasing the grower's economic profit. In some extreme cases, that could represent 5% of the total production. The average, though, is 3%. 13 The three plantations are owned by the Institute Nacional del Algodon. As of 1990, about one-hundred women from Blue Mountain worked at the sisal plantation. To the best of my knowledge, no woman from Green Savannah was doing that job on a permanent basis.

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420 Whether that situation will actually occur or not is impossible for us to predict. Meanwhile, what we need to notice is that the sorghum planted by the plantation is having a unique ideological impact on local sorghum growers. That ideological phenomenon I term, for the lack of a better expression, "ambiguous aspiration." Let me explain what I mean by this. In addition to credit, the key for a successful sorghum harvest in the Deep South is to be able to plow the soil in time as well as control any pest attacking the tender grains. Since dry land tillage is the only method practiced by both Montaneros and Sabaneros (1990), taking advantage of the increasingly uncertain rain is crucial. Ideally, one should do the first ploughing ( corte) in early August, wait until the first rains are about to come (usually in early September), plow again (rastra) . and plant with the first aguacero (hard rain). Provided that it rains normally, the next big challenge is to control the tiny fly locally known as mosquita blanca . That insect can literally suck all the tender germ out of the grain in a few hours, and leave you with nothing but a huge debt to pay back to the bank. The difficulty with that situation is that most peasants lack all the resources necessary to perform each of those tasks in time. Partially because of the quasi-paternalist way in which sorghum arrived in the two villages, and in part because of the ideology of "the strong arm that can help us," most peasants depend on the public agencies (primarily SEA, BAGRICOLA and the Institute for Agrarian Reform) to receive credit, tractors, harvesters, and the like. 14 It is precisely 14 Even though the presence of the government in Green Savannah is weak, the settlement still maintains its status as a " colonia agricola ." Because of that, the Instituto for Agrarian Reform (henceforth I AD) has (1990) an office in the' village and provides land preparation at a tariff lower than the one charged by the owners of tractors. In the third section of this chapter I will explain how this dependence is reinforced by the interplay of ideologies and utopias.

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421 because crop failure often occurs due to water deficiency during critical moments of vegetative growth, that having those resources at the right time can make a difference between a good harvest and a total failure. It is in that context of permanent uncertainty that the cotton plantation plays a central ideological role. Let me first outline how peasants usually react to the constraints they face in their farms. The second step will be to describe what occurs at the cotton-sorghum plantation and how that affects peasants' ambiguous aspiration. One often hears Montaneros and Sabaneros (more the former than the latter) saying that "this is the last time I plant sorghum" or "from now on SEA will have to plant sorghum in its own land." Personally, I heard that rather convincing, radical discourse at least from fifty Montaneros and about five Sabaneros. During the 1988-1990 period I paid close attention to peasants' complaints regarding the lack of resources needed for a good harvest. With the help of a friend of mine from Blue Mountain I kept track of those who told me that they were determined to return to their old-lived system of production. To the best of my knowledge, just a couple of them did actually stop planting sorghum in their farms. The situation one witnesses in the Deep South is that whereas most peasants are struggling to obtain in time the resources they need to plant sorghum, they see that the plantation starts preparing the land early, has its mechanical planters and the hybrid seeds ready for the arrival of rain, has its small airplanes to control pests and even to apply foliar fertilizer, and owns the sacks needed to harvest the grains at the right time. Of course, because of such an incredible system of support, it is nearly impossible for the plantation to have either low yield or crop failure. For instance, in 1989 the plantation harvested nearly four quintals of sorghum per tarea whereas most peasants

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422 harvested less than half of that amount. For some peasants the yield per tarea was lower than one quintal. When peasants compare their rather meager yields with the plantation's, they are faced with a difficult situation involving all the feelings Sartre refers to (pride, humiliation, horror and hate). The ambiguous aspiration surfaces in the form of two desires. The first occurs when some of them, realizing that their profit is on the decline, wish they could find an alternative crop as profitable as sorghum. The second appears when they see that the plantation is able to have a good profit under the same natural conditions they are obtaining low yields. I do not wish to imply that peasants ignore that the plantation has resources they lack. Nor do I argue that their aspiration is based on what they see happening at the plantation rather than on the events taking place in their own parcels. What I mean instead is that, partially because of the local ethos of personal courage, partially because of aspiration (discussed earlier), they perceive the plantation's productive success as something they themselves could do if they have the same resources. That ambiguous aspiration makes them keep on trying each year, doing what they call "tirar el ultimo cartucho " (firing the last bullet), hoping to have a good harvest against all odds. Technically speaking their reasoning is correct, meaning that if one has the means to do what is necessary at the right time is it possible to have a good harvest. Indeed, I know of at least one Cibaeno whose parcel is in The Valley that manages to obtain excellent yields using the same resources available to all sorghum growers. What makes the

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423 difference here is his personal knowledge, if not the rather artful way he deals with nature, other human beings, and God. 15 The foregoing discussion of the events taking place during the 19791990 period has depicted the major economic repercussions of sorghum cultivation in the Deep South. We have also seen in general terms how the interplay of national priorities and local expectations contributed to the arrival of sorghum in Blue Mountain and Green Savannah. By looking at the role played by agronomist Jorge in those processes, we have characterized some of the intersubjective phenomena accompanying the political and economic spheres of the promotion of the new crop by the government. Before we turn our attention to the similarities and differences of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' engagement with the cash crop, let me mention that Jorge remained living in Blue Mountain until August of 1990. One of the events I will interpret in the fourth section of this chapter is how peasants acted when the agronomist who brought modernization to their parcels and a high economic profit to their pockets decided to run for a position as deputy ( diputado) in the national elections held in May of 1990. That particular event will shed some light on peasant ideology. Becoming Wea lthy, Remaining Safe: Preserving and Abandoning In Chapter 1 of this dissertation I argued that instead of looking at Montaneros' and Sabaneros' engagement with sorghum as a dichotomous situation involving acceptance or rejection, it would be more appropriate to see it as a complex, changing ideological process in which ambiguity plays a major role. My epistemological position was that attention should be paid not 15 This peasant plants only one-hundred tareas of sorghum each year. To the best of my knowledge, as of 1990 all of his ten harvests of the grain had been excellent.

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424 only to what peasants change (or abandon) under the impulse of modernization, but also to what they try to preserve from their old-lived system of production. It is by looking at the larger context in which the signification between these two processes occurs, I argued, that one is able to achieve a holistic understanding of peasant ideology in modern times. I also indicated that the way peasants accept or reject modernization is an indication of how they pursue the preservation of their location (in Heidegger's terms, discussed in Chapter 2). A core element of my earlier assertion was that whereas culture provides peasants with the norms and values necessary to preserve or abandon certain elements of that location, the combination of ideology and utopia gives them the justification and aspiration needed to face situations like the one created by the arrival of sorghum cultivation in the Deep South. The quote by Sartre I placed at the beginning of this chapter reaffirms my commitment to interpret Sabaneros' and Montaneros' ideological conduct as a changing process in which their perceptions and feelings are essential elements of a situation they face as more than a technical choice between natural objects, and certainly with more flexibility than any static analysis can measure. I hasten to say that my quantitative data dealing with twenty six peasants from each village is insufficient per se to comprehend the complex dynamics taking place in the daily life of Montaneros and Sabaneros. An indication of the insufficiency of "hard" data to interpret this ambiguous case is that in 1990 I witnessed peasants acting in ways that contrasted sharply with what they answered to the persons who administered my questionnaires in 1988. Still more significant, there were peasants from both villages who told me one thing at the beginning of my fieldwork, when they did not trust me enough, and a few months later, when they realized that I was a " buena

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425 persona, " told me that the information the had given to me earlier was totally wrong. Hence, in my view this exercise with quantitative data is useful only if it is accompanied by an interpretation of the events taking place in the quotidian existence, the Lebenswelt of Montaneros and Sabaneros. I shall proceed in two steps. First, I will present and discuss the quantitative data from my sample dealing with the acceptance or rejection of sorghum, followed by a description of the size of the farm on which the new crop was planted as well as an assessment of whether sorghum growers sold cattle as part of their decision to become modernized peasants. This first step will conclude with a couple of qualitative illustrations of Montaneros' and Sabaneros' views on the economic choices they have made. Second, I will carry out an interpretation of two major events that took place in the 19791983. The two events I will interpret here are the promotion of a development scheme using waste from the U.S., and the implementation in Blue Mountain of a collective agrarian project to plant sorghum. Our examination of those events will help us to put in a broader ideological context Montaneros engagement with the cultivation of sorghum proper. The actual planting of sorghum began in Blue Mountain on Sunday, September 29, 1979, exactly thirteen years after Hurricane Ines obliterated the village. The persons who made that revolutionary decision, to be sure induced by the state as well as by their own aspiration, were seventeen Montaneros. Only one of them, born in El Cibao, was considered stranger ("forastero"). The others were Surenos. According to local standards, none of those pioneers was poor. In fact, most of them had planted peanuts before and all of them were also ranchers. Nearly half of the land they devoted to sorghum was previously devoted to the cultivation of peanut, beans, and some yucca and sweet potato. The other half was in fallow (botao). Altogether,

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426 they planted five thousand tareas, which means that the mean area per sorghum grower was of nearly two-hundred ninety-five tareas. in 1979. As may be seen in Table 10, forteen Montaneros (53.8%) who answered my questionnaire said that they planted sorghum for the same time in 1979, while five of them (19.2%) indicated that they became sorghum growers in the second year. Altogether, they represent 73% of my sample, or nineteen peasants. It is worth noticing that none of the respondents said that he began planting the new crop during the 1984-1986 period, whereas only one peasant (3.8%) indicated that his first experience with sorghum was in 1987. It is based on both the criteria I utilized to select this sample and my personal observation that I am making the inference that these figures are representative of the overall trend in Blue Mountain. These twenty six Montaneros represent 12.7% of all the sorghum growers (two-hundred and four) from the village in 1988. Table 10 First Year Planting Sorghum (%) N=26 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 Blue Mountain 53.8 19.2 7.7 11.5 3.8 — — — 3.8 Green Savannah 3.8 7.7 11.5 53.8 7.7 3.8 11.5 Whereas sorghum cultivation started in Blue Mountain in 1979, in Green Savannah that process was initiated in 1980. According to agronomist Jorge, that difference in time is due to his decision to concentrate the resources he had (e.g., tractors, mechanical planters) on one location instead of trying to work in both places at once. On that account, there is nothing

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427 mysterious about the nearly absolute lack of sorghum in Sabaneros' parcels in 1979. However, as Table 10 shows, only two (7.7%) respondents said that they planted sorghum in 1980, whereas just three (11.5%) indicated that they became sorghum growers in 1981. What this means is that whereas in the 1979-1981 period 80.7% of the respondents from Blue Mountain became sorghum growers, during the same period only 23% of the respondents from Green Savannah followed that path. Most important, we see that it was in 1982, three years after the launch of modernization, that the majority (53.8%) of Sabanero respondents made the decision to plant the new cash crop. If this dissertation were structured as a straightforward hypothesistesting exercise aimed at making a parsimonious statement regarding peasants' acceptance of sorghum, I would be inclined to say at this juncture that I had partially succeeded in proving the validity of my theory about the role of culture in Montaneros' and Sabaneros' acceptance or rejection of sorghum. Within that framework, my next step would be to find dependent and independent variables and run a formal statistical analysis. However, since this is a narrative aimed at showing how ideology (as part of a multidimensional experience lived in time and space) is utilized by concrete individuals to achieve ontic and ontological security, these quantitative data, important as they a