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#443: Taino re-settling Hayti, : a comment

From: scoupeau <scoupeau@gte.net>

Re: Taino resettlers and the local population.

In response to comments made regarding possible insensitivity of the tainos
regarding the sense of ownership of the local population of La Gonave, I
felt it was appropriate to make the following comment.  I have met with some
of the important figures of the taino community in Haiti and my sense is
that the claim of La Gonave as an ancestral site is not associated with a
sense of exclusion of the local population.  Many of the Tainos have applied
and are in the process of receiving Haitian nationality.  Inclusion rather
than exclusion seems to be the basis of conduct.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Date: Thursday, September 09, 1999 7:12 AM
Subject: #426: Taino re-settling Hayti, and koulev (fwd)

>From: J. David Lyall <dlyall@cruzio.com>
>>From: J Barnes <jbarnes@massed.net>
>>The second idea is that believe it or not, their is an Indian tribe
>>on LaGonave from Canada.  They are building something that they are
>>a Health Village.  They are claiming to be creating a place where one can
>>come an be healed with traditional remedies.  They said that in their oral
>>history they are related to the Indians of Haiti and they are returning to
>>their homeland.  I really wouldn't  know how to get in touch with them
>>except that there may be organizations serving LaGonav who have email such
>>as Fonkoze, Limye lavi.  They may know about how to get in touch with this
>>group.  Maybe the Canadian Embassy knows about them.
>I met someone last April at St Josephs Guesthouse who had spent
>a month on La Gonave working with the teaching project that
>whatsername (the 'asian american' womans project) has.
>The new acquaintance was a woman teaching various art techniques.
>Anyway, she mentioned the Taino settling on La Gonave. It was rumoured
>that the locals were somewhat apprehensive about the way that the
>indios were saying that La Gonave was their ancestral homeland.
>I got the impression that the new settlers (from canada) were perhaps
>not being sensitive enough to the locals sense of ownership.
>The Haitians have suffered quite a bit to obtain their current
>One thing that was mentioned is that the indios are building traditional
>organic houses and letting the grass grow up around the sides of the house.
>I didn't get a full picture of this practice, but it apparently is part of
>construction method.
>The locals (reportedly, by a native of La Gonave) regard this as
>creating homes for koulev and thereby, a very bad idea, making
>for bad neighbors.
>I have noticed that protestants in Haiti are afraid of snakes.
>Has respect for snakes, for  koulev, been cast as a djiab practice,
>as voudou? The idea of snakes living in the attic, as reported
>by Katherine Dunham in the 1930's is horrific to my traditional friends
>in St Marc. Apparently this is so on La Gonave as well.