Images of the Caribbean : materials development on a pluralistic society [thesis]

Gloria Gordon
1982
10 5* Students will learn of the differences and similarities of Western and non-Western cultures. This would be a curriculum based on the comparative study of peoples, and would include the interrelationships of geography, economic and social systems and cultural values. 6. Students will broaden their factual knowledge about the major areas of importance in the non-Western world. These would probably include India, China, Sub-Sahara Africa and South America. The emphasis would be on building a
more » ... factual base from which generalizations would be made. The disciplines used would include economics, geography, political science and demography. 7 . 13 the late nineteenth century and more recently the bankruptcy of the British invention of the West Indies Federation of the 1960's. 29 *odey in spite of the mass media, nothing has been able to create among Caribbean peoples, the idea that not withstanding their racial and cultural differences, they all share a partial common history rooted in the colonial past and also share similar economic problems derived from tne common exploitation pattern of the different colonial metropoles Inese societies have lacked both an adequate communication system and strong common economic ties that would allow them to create a regional frame of reference through which they could understand themselves. At the top of these societies were always the colonial elites for whom cultural excellence and economic prosperity lay in the metropolis. Regardless of the year of national independence -1804 , or 161+4 or 1 903 or 1962 or laterthese elites have remained attached to the metropolitan cultural outlook and have been associated with extraregional economic interests through their participation in the banking business, in mining and manufacturing industries, sugar estates, oil companies, tourist investments, fruit plantations, insurance companies and real estate development projects. Meanwhile the education systems still perpetuated the continuation ol colonial values and attitudes. The one exception was Cuba. Before independence, interisland and intraregional 63 the Negro but the Indian. The Indians rapidly succumbed to trie excessive labor demanded of them, the insufficient diet, the white man's diseases, and their inability to adjust themselves to the new way of life. Accustomed to a of liberty, their constitution and temperament were ill-adapted to the rigors of plantation slavery. As Fernando Ortiz writes: "To subject the Indian to the mines, to their monotonous, insane and severe labor, without trioal sense, without religious ritual, .. .was like taking away from him the meaning of his life.... it was to enslave not only his muscles but also his collective spirit ." 23 The visitor to Ciudad Trujillo, capital of the Dominican Republic (the present-day name of half of the island formerly called Hispaniola), will see a statue of Columbus , with the figure of an Indian woman gratefully writing (so reads the caption) the name of the Discoverer. The story is told, on the other hand, of the Indian chieftain, Ratuey, who, doomed to die for resisting the invaders, staunchly refused to accept the Christian faith as the gateway to salvation when he learned that his executioners, too, hoped to get to Heaven. It is far more probable that Hatuey, rather than the anonymous woman, represented contemporary Indian opinion of their new overlords.
doi:10.7275/7get-vy19 fatcat:f5gv7pwgxjbh3oqkwlxwfsdpzi