Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, by Peter Hulme

By Peter Hulme

Europe encountered the US in 1492, a gathering of cultures graphically defined within the log-book saved via Christopher Columbus. His tales of peaceable savages and harsh "cannibals" have shaped the matrix for all next descriptions of that local Caribbean society. The come across itself has obsesssed colonialist writing. It reappears within the early seventeenth century within the tale of John Smith and Pocahontas, and at the Jacobean degree within the figures of Prospero and Caliban. within the 18th century, over 200 years after the eu discovery of the Caribbean, the assumption of a pristine come upon nonetheless permeated eu literature via Robinson Crusoe's emblematic rescue of the Carib he known as Friday. The final model - the tremendously renowned story of Inkle and Yarico - used to be modern with the ultimate army defeat of the remainder local Caribbeans within the 1790s. Peter Hulme's specific analyses of those tales convey to gentle the suggestions used to provide inside colonial discourse a "savagery", that may be denied definitely the right to own in legislation the land that it cultivated. This e-book will be of curiosity to undergraduates and teachers within the fields of Renaissance, 18th-century literature and post-colonial feedback.

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But in each case there has grown up haphazardly o ver the years a con ventional nomencla ture that overlaps with certain terms used as ethnic self-ascriptions. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the 'C aribbees ' of the Lesser An tilles referred to them­ selves b y some version of that name. 'Carib' had been the first ethnic name reported to Europe from the N ew W orId . Breton CARIBS AND ARAWAKS had researched his magnificent Carib /French di ctionary on Dominica. T he material culture of the island Amerindians was similar to that of the mainland C aribs and there appeared in the seventeenth century to be political ties between the two groups.

Western) o bserv ers. Also permissible is the extant non-li terate society. preferably with a single reliable informant to act as mediator. In all these cases 'native' interpretations are, at 56 COLONIAL ENCOUNTERS worst, minimal. Little inlerferes with the clear anthropological vision of the subj ect-matter. Writing is kept as much as possible as the defining characteristic of western culture, the pinnacle of human achievement, with non-phonetic scripts disparaged. and non-western scripts, when unavoidably recognjzed as such, usu­ all y seen as beyond the ken of their cultural descendants.

Arawak' does not appear at all as an ethnic name in the early chronicles. It is fust foun d in 1540 when Fray Gregorio Batela, Bishop of Ca rtagena, gave his opinion on what should be done to occupy the provinces of Caura, Guiana and the mouth of the Orinoco, and mentions by name the Aruaca Indians (as well as the C aribs). Four or five years later Rodrigo de Navarrete wrote an account of ' the Provinces and Na tions of the Aruacos, who inhabit tbe coast of T ierra-Firme two bW1dred and mo re leagues from the island ofMargari ta '.

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