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Protecting Heritage in the Caribbean

Peter E. Siegel

Publication Year: 2011

Heritage preservation is a broad term that can include the protection of a wide range of human-mediated material and cultural processes ranging from specific artifacts, ancient rock art, and features of the built environment and modified landscapes. As a region of multiple independent nations and colonial territories, the Caribbean shares a common heritage at some levels, yet at the same time there are vast historical and cultural differences. Likewise, approaches to Caribbean heritage preservation are similarly diverse in range and scope.
This volume addresses the problem of how Caribbean nations deal with the challenges of protecting their cultural heritages or patrimonies within the context of pressing economic development concerns. Is there formal legislation that requires cultural patrimony to be considered prior to the approval of development projects? Does legislation apply only to government-funded projects or to private ones as well? Are there levels of legislation: local, regional, national? Are heritage preservation laws enforced? For whom is the heritage protected and what public outreach is implemented to disseminate the information acquired and retained?
In this volume, practitioners of heritage management on the frontline of their own islands address the current state of affairs across the Caribbean to present a comprehensive overview of Caribbean heritage preservation challenges. Considerable variability is seen in how determined and serious different nations are in approaching the responsibilities of heritage preservation. Packaging these diverse scenarios into a single volume is a critical step in raising awareness of the importance of protecting and judiciously managing an ever-diminishing fund of Caribbean heritage for all.
Todd M. Ahlman / Benoît Bérard / Milton Eric Branford / Richard T. Callaghan / Kevin Farmer / R. Grant Gilmore III / Jay B. Haviser / Ainsley C. Henriques / William F. Keegan / Bruce J. Larson / Paul E. Lewis / Vel Lewis / Reg Murphy / Michael P. Pateman / Winston F. Phulgence / Esteban Prieto Vicioso / Basil A. Reid / Andrea Richards / Elizabeth Righter / Kelley Scudder-Temple / Peter E. Siegel / Christian Stouvenot / Daniel Torres Etayo

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Series: Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Preface: Intersecting Values in Caribbean Heritage Preservation

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pp. vii-xi

Dictionary definitions of heritage include: “1: property that descends to an heir; 2 a: something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor: Legacy, Inheritance; b: Tradition 3: something possessed as a result of . . .

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1. The Bahamas

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pp. 1-8

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas became a nation independent from Great Britain in 1973. At that time the main source of Bahamian cultural heritage expression was Junkanoo (a parade with African roots held . . .

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2. Cuba

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pp. 9-14

Studies of the native archaeological heritage of the largest island of the Antilles have been marked by characteristics commonly shared in the region: the absence of the native ethnos in the current national . . .

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3. United States Naval Station, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

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pp. 15-25

This chapter describes the cultural resources requirements at the U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), with a primary focus on archaeology. Since 2003 the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, . . .

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4. Jamaica

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pp. 26-34

Jamaica is one of four islands in the Greater Antilles, which include Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Repub lic), and Puerto Rico. The original inhabitants were the Taínos. Christopher Columbus first arrived . . .

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5. Dominican Republic

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pp. 35-45

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of Hispaniola island, which it shares with the Repu lic of Haiti, from which it separated in 1844 when it attained independence. Originally, this territory was a Spanish . . .

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6. Puerto Rico

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pp. 46-57

Puerto Rico is the easternmost island of the Greater Antilles and includes Vieques, Culebra, and Mona Islands within its jurisdiction. Politically, the island is considered a commonwealth of the United States. . . .

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7. U.S. Virgin Islands

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pp. 58-64

The late ceramic- age prehistory of the U.S. Virgin Islands is closely linked with that of Puerto Rico (Righter et al. 2004). It is an accident of history that during the twentieth century both the U.S. Virgin Islands and . . .

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8. St. Kitts and Nevis

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pp. 65-72

The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis lie within the Lesser Antilles chain of the eastern Caribbean. Officially known as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis these islands constitute the smallest country in the . . .

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9. Antigua and Barbuda

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pp. 73-79

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin- island nation in the Leeward Islands. Radiocarbon dates indicate that both islands were settled by Archaic age peoples as early as . . .

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10. French West Indies

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pp. 80-89

The French West Indies consist of the Guadeloupean archipelago (Basse- Terre, Grande- Terre, les Saintes, Marie- Galante, and la Désirade), Martinique, St. Martin, . . .

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11. Saint Lucia

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pp. 90-95

Saint Lucia is located between 60° 50′ W and 61° 5′ W and between 15° 10′ N and 14° 5′ N, and belongs to the group of former British colonies known as the Windward Islands. Saint Lucia is now linked . . .

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12. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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pp. 96-105

The survival of a people depends, to a large degree, on the protection of its heritage. Without some recognition of a culture’s values and belief systems, and the conscious nurturing and husbanding of such sentiments, that . . .

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13. St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Recent Efforts in Protecting Heritage

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pp. 106-111

Reginald Murphy probably conducted the first true cultural resources management (CRM) work in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The work consisted of a transect survey across the island in . . .

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14. Barbados

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pp. 112-124

The contemporary state of cultural resources management (CRM) on the island of Barbados will be discussed in this chapter. Included is an examination of the existing legislation and its enforcement . . .

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15. Trinidad and Tobago

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pp. 125-133

Cultural resources management (CRM) deals with the recognition, description, maintenance, security, and overall management of cultural resources. Objectives of CRM are to ensure protection of the . . .

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16. Netherlands Antilles

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pp. 134-142

The Netherlands Antilles consist of five islands in the Caribbean archipelago. Curaçao and Bonaire (Dutch Leewards) are located off the coast of Venezuela, while in the northeast are St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Maarten . . .

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17. Patrimony or Patricide?

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pp. 143-151

. Our title is purposely provocative, and our targets are diverse. We are reminded on a daily basis that oil is a finite resource, and that providing clean water is a major problem in much of the world. Thanks to . . .

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18. Protecting Heritage in the Caribbean

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pp. 152-162

One might reasonably ask why are things of the past important to protect, conserve, manage, or consider when things of the present are increasingly dire wherever we look. Like one of the . . .

References Cited

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pp. 163-188


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pp. 189-193


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pp. 195-202

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780817383909
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817356675

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1
Series Title: Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Caribbean Area -- Cultural policy.
  • Cultural property -- Protection -- Caribbean Area.
  • Historic preservation -- Caribbean Area.
  • Caribbean Area -- Antiquities.
  • Monuments -- Conservation and restoration -- Caribbean Area.
  • Museums -- Caribbean Area.
  • Historic preservation -- Economic aspects -- Caribbean Area.
  • Caribbean Area -- Economic conditions.
  • Economic development -- Caribbean Area.
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