A Pepper-Pot of Cultures

Aspects of Creolization in the Caribbean


The terms ‘creole’ and ‘creolization’ have witnessed a number of significant semantic changes in the course of their history. Originating in the vocabulary associated with colonial expansion in the Americas it had been successively narrowed down to the field of black American culture or of particular linguistic phenomena. Recently ‘creole’ has expanded again to cover the broad area of cultural contact and transformation characterizing the processes of globalization initiated by the colonial migrations of past centuries.
The present volume is intended to illustrate these various stages either by historical and/or theoretical discussion of the concept or through selected case studies. The authors are established scholars from the areas of literature, linguistics and cultural studies; they all share a lively and committed interest in the Caribbean area – certainly not the only or even oldest realm in which processes of creolization have shaped human societies, but one that offers, by virtue of its history of colonialization and cross-cultural contact, its most pertinent example. The collection, beyond its theoretical interest, thus also constitutes an important survey of Caribbean studies in Europe and the Americas.
As well as searching overview essays, there are
– sociolinguistic contributions on the linguistic geography of ‘criollo’ in Spanish America, the Limonese creole speakers of Costa Rica, ‘creole’ language and identity in the Netherlands Antilles and the affinities between Papiamentu and Chinese in Curaçao
– ethnohistorical examinations of such topics as creole transgression in the Dominican/Haitian borderland, the Haitian Mandingo and African fundamentalism, creolization and identity in West-Central Jamaica, Afro-Nicaraguans and national identity, and the Creole heritage of Haiti
– studies of religion and folk culture, including voodoo and creolization in New York City, the creolization of the “Mami Wata” water spirit, and signifyin(g) processes in New World Anancy tales
– a group of essays focusing on the thought of Édouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, and the Créolité writers
and case-studies of artistic expression, including creole identities in Caribbean women’s writing, Port-au-Prince in the Haitian novel, Cynthia McLeod and Astrid Roemer and Surinamese fiction, Afro-Cuban artistic expression, and metacreolization in the fiction of Robert Antoni and Nalo Hopkinson.

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Illustrations Introduction Ulrich FLEISCHMANN : The Sociocultural and Linguistic Profile of a Concept Articles CREOLITY, GENERAL REFLECTIONS Leon-François HOFFMANN: Creolization in Haiti and National Identity Antonio BENÍTEZ-ROJO: Creolization and Nation-Building in the Hispanic Caribbean Mervyn C. ALLEYNE: The Role of Africa in the Construction of Identities in the Caribbean CREOLlTY, LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY Armin SCHWEGLER: The Linguistic Geography of ‘criollo’ in Spanish America: A Case of Enigmatic Extension and Restriction Anita HERZFELD: Language and Identity in a Contact Situation: The Limonese Creole Speakers in Costa Rica Eva Martha ECKKRAMMER: On the Perception of ‘Creole’ Language and Identity in the Netherlands Antilles Emilio Jorge RODRÍGUEZ: Creole Transgression in the Written / Oral Discourse of the Dominican / Haitian Borderland Ulrich FLEISCHMANN & Alex-Louise TESSONNEAU: African Fundamentalism in the New World: The Case of the Haitian Mandingo Frank MARTINUS: Creole Identity through Chinese Wall: Affinities between Papiamentu and Chinese SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND SOCIAL PROCESS Jean BESSON: Euro-Creole, Afro-Creole, Meso-Creole: Creolization and Identity in West-Central Jamaica, c. 1660-1999 Marián BELTRÁN NÚŇEZ: The Afro-Nicaraguans (Creoles): An Historico-Anthropological Approach to their National Identity Jeannot HILAIRE: Haiti: The Creole Heritage Today Bettina E. SCHMIDT: The Presence of Vodou in New Vork City: The Impact of a Caribbean Religion on the Creolization of a Metropolis VALORIZATIONS AROUND EDOUARD GLISSANT Andrea SCHWIEGER HIEPKO: Creolization as a Poetics of Culture: Edouard Glissant’s ‘Archipelic’ Thinking Helmtrud RUMPF: Technological Orality as Promoter of Social Change in the Caribbean Realm Sabine HOFMANN: Against Monolinguism: Roots, Rhizomes and the Conceptualization of Creole Language J. Michael DASH: Anxious Insularity: Identity Politics and Creolization in the Caribbean Kathleen GYSSELS : Maryse Condé on créolité CASE STUDIES: FOLK CULTURE Alex van STIPRIAAN: Watramama / Mami Wata: Three Centuries of Creolization of a Water Spirit in West Africa, Suriname and Europe Pascale DE SOUZA : Creolizing Anancy: Signifyin(g) Processes in New World Spider Tales CASE STUDIES: LITERATURE AND ART Sylvia M. SCHOMBURG-SCHERFF : Women Versions of Creole ldentity in Caribbean Fiction: A Cultural-Anthropological Perspective Marie-Jose N'Zengou-Tayo: lmaginary City, Literary Spaces: Port-au-Prince in Some Recent Haitian Fiction Ineke PHAF-RHEINBERGER: Creole tori, the Waterkant, and the Ethics of a Nation: Cynthia McLeod and Astrid Roemer on Suriname Christoph SINGLER: Guido Llinás’ ‘Black Paintings’; Afro-Cuban Aesthetics and Abstraction CASE STUDIES: NARRATIVE METACREOLIZATION Bénédicte LEDENT: Creolization in Robert Antoni’s Blessed is the Fruit: A Linguistic Analysis Gordon COLLIER: Spaceship Creole: Nalo Hopkinson, Canadian-Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Linguistic/Cultural Syncretism CLOSING DISCUSSION Marketplace Wayde COMPTON: Culture at the Crossroads: Voodoo Aesthetics and the Axis of Blackness in Literature ofthe Black Diaspora Augustine H. ASAAH: Gender Concerns in Calixthe Beyala’s The Sun Hath Looked Upon Me List of Contributors Notes for Contributors Books Received