Impacts of European Colonialism on Caribbean Indigenous Populations
The colonialism by Europeans of the Caribbean resulted in devastating and severe impacts on the indigenous people. They were dispossessed of their land, exposed to European diseases that were new to them and had to be involved in violent conflicts, which resulted in the death of so many indigenous people. Their lives and those of their future generations were changed forever. As the settlers arrived in the Caribbean, they came in with epidemic diseases from Europe, among them smallpox, chickenpox, influenza and measles (Lang 273). The indigenous populations of the Caribbean had not acquired immunity to the unfamiliar diseases, and just within weeks, the population of indigenous people started experiencing rapid declines in their numbers, more especially in the areas that were densely populated.
As European settlers arrived in the Caribbean, they took possession of the fertile lands that previously belonged to the indigenous people and started large scale farming on the lands. The indigenous people found themselves in situations in which they had to provide manual labor to the Europeans in order to earn a living. Having been thrown out of their lands, they had no source of income and to survive they had to work for the settlers. The indigenous people had to work long hours on the farms and as a result, they had no time to do small scale farming on their small pieces of land that was necessary for them to get food. As a result, they were affected by famine due to lack of sufficient food (Heuman 8). Under so much stress, some of the indigenous people ended up committing suicide. Those who survived had to work under forced labor in their own lands...
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...ef in gods, sorcery, polygamy and medicine men.
Stuart Hall, Imagined African Community
By “imagined African community”, Hall means the need by African slaves to have an identity by tracing their roots together (Davis 186). By living together and associating with one another, and through their physical appearance, the slaves traced their roots to a common ancestry in Africa, and this gave them a sort of imagined community which they could associate with.
Culture as a Resistance
Culture as resistance is evident in the African aspects that slaves carry with them, even when they are in a foreign land. They stick to their music, for instance Jamaicans retain their reggae music. Other Africans stick to their cultural beliefs like polygamy, sorcery and their religious beliefs in their gods. They use culture as a way of resisting their oppression from their masters.
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