Smithsonian Latino Center Hosts Second Symposium Exploring Indigenous Roots of Caribbean Culture

Beyond Extinction II: Caribbean Indigeneity, Updates from the Field

July 9, 2012

The Smithsonian Latino Center will host a second symposium on Caribbean indigeneity Friday, July 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Room 4018 on the fourth level of the National Museum of the American Indian. The event is free to the public but seating is limited.

As a follow-up to the first symposium, which was held in August 2011, presenters will share new findings from the field in the disciplines of archeology, history and genetics and will also explore themes from national iconography to rural traditions throughout the Caribbean. The goal is to explore the myriad ways indigenousness, particularly the consciousness of Taíno, is manifested in the Caribbean, where growing numbers of people of native descent are reclaiming their ancestral heritage.

The symposium will also feature a poster session by the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras archeologisty Osvaldo Garcia-Goyco, who is conducting two months of research in the Caribbean archeological collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. This program is part of the Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project, a collaboration of the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Latino Center.

“The circle has grown and there is a lot to discuss,” said José Barreiro, assistant director for research at the National Museum of the American Indian. “Previous participants have new research, and we are expanding with representations from Haiti, Jamaica and Belize.”

Symposium presenters include Joseph Palacio (Garifuna), retired professor from the University of the West Indies; Juan Martínez Cruzado, professor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez; Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, independent scholar; Lesley-Gail Atkinson, archaeologist at the Jamaica National Trust; Alejandro Harmann city historian and director of the Museo Matachín de Baracoa; Lynne Guitar, historian; and Barreiro. 

An exhibition and public program series on Caribbean Indigeneity is currently under development in collaboration with scholars from the United States and the Caribbean. For information call (202) 633-0925 or visit www.latino.si.edu

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SI-325-2012


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