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AUTHOR Sunshine, Catherine A.; Menkart, DeborahTITLE Teaching about Haiti.INSTITUTION Ecumenical Program on Central America and the
Caribbean, Washington, DC.; Network of Educators onthe Americas.
REPORT NO ISBN-1-878554-10-7PUB DATE 93NOTE 33p.AVAILABLE FROM Network of Educators on the Americas, 1118 22nd St.,
N.W., Washington, DC 20037 ($1).PUB TYPE Guides Classroom Use Instructional Materials (For
Learner) (051) Guides Classroom Use TeachingGuides (For Teacher) (052)
EDRS PRICE MF01/PCO2 Plus Postage.DESCRIPTORS Colonialism; *Cultural Background; *Cultural
Education; Cultural Influences; Folk Culture; ForeignCountries; *Latin American Culture; Latin AmericanHistory; Learning Activities; Nationalism; ReligiousFactors; Secondary Education; *Social History; SocialInfluences; Social Studies
IDENTIFIERS Caribbean; *Caribbean History; *Haiti
ABSTRACTDeveloped for secondary students to place political
situations in context, this document uses essays, interviews, songs,literature, and prose to present the culture of Haiti and the historyof colonialism, neo-colonialism, and struggles for independence.After a historical overview, a chronology provides key dates inHaitian history. Maps of Haiti and the Caribbean precede twofolktales that blend African and European folklore to become part ofthe cultural heritage of the Haitian people. The tradition of workexchange by the rural Haitians originating from West African roots isexplained and illustrated by a story. After describing voodoo and itsdevelopment as a resistance force in Haiti, data on conditions inHaiti provide statistics on such topics as population trends, lifeexpectancy, illiteracy rate, and infant mortality rate. Six storiesillustrate Haitian daily life. Music plays an integral role in thesocial and religious activities, and four songs and discussionquestions provide opportunities for student participation. Seventeaching ideas provide further information on activities. A list of12 organizations and journals and 26 sources (including videos) forfurther information on Haiti concludes the guide. (CK)
Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made* from the original document.***********************************************************************
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Teaching About Haiti
In the last few months, Haitian refugees havefrequently been a lead news story. But the mediaseldom provides enough background to help studentsdevelop an educated opinion about the roots of thiscrisis.
Teaching About Haiti was developed to givesecondary school students the information they needto place the current political situation in context.Haiti's history and culture are presentedthrough essays, interviews, songs,literature and prose.
This publication is an in-troduction to Haiti. On theinside back cover, we haverecommended books andvideos to further yourstudy of Haiti, the firstBlack republic in theAmericas.
As the Haitian literacy primer says, "Reading andwriting are only one step toward knowledge." What'sthe next step? Listen to Haitian music. Invite a speakerto your classroom. Write letters to the editor aboutwhat you have learned about Haiti. Organize a pre-sentation during Black History Month. Get involvedin the national campaign to restore democracy toHaiti. Visit Haiti. And more.
The editorswelcome feed-
back from teach-ers and students
who have used thispublication. Which
sections proved mosteffective? Whatshould
be modified, deleted oradded to future editions?
Please contact us at theNECA address below.
Knowing how to read and write is one step toward knowledge.From the Goute &JO-este of Salt Mission Alpha Literacy Primer, 1986.
A production of the Network of Educators on the Ameri-cas (NECA) and the Ecumenical Program on CentralAmerica and the Caribbean (EPICA) as part of theCaribbean Connections series for the Haiti SolidarityWeek Coordinating Committee: Americans forAristide, American Friends Service Committee, Chi-cago Coalition for Democracy in Haiti, Clergy andLaity Concerned, Pax Christi USA, Quixote Center/Haiti Reborn, and the Washington Office on Haiti.
Introductions, history, and editing by:Catherine A. Sunshine and Deborah Menkart
Research and editing: Erica Gilbertson
Photographs: Mev Puleo/lmpact Visuals, Donna De Cesare/Impact Visuals
Desk-top publishing: Deborah Menkart
Special assistance with layout: Jim Reese
Cover photo of young boy at the Missionary Brothers ofCharity Home for Young Boys, aid Soleil. Courtesy ofMev Puleo/Impact Visuals, 1992.
Assistance with research, critiquing, typing and proofread-ing: Marx Aristide, Jennifer Bauduy, Judith Bauduy, DanBehrman, Serge Bellegarde, Lily Crat, Veronica Fern,Erica Gilbertson, Matt Grossman, Doug Hess, George Jacobs,
Laurie Richardson, Minor Sinclair, Nicole Smith-Leary, BeaRief, Frances Nolting Temple, Claudette Werleigh. Manyothers assisted along the way. Thank you.
1993, the Network of Educators on the Americas (NECA)and the Ecumenical Program on Central America and theCaribbean (EPICA)
Readings and photos separately copyrighted.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted with-out prior permission of the publishers, except by instructorsfor the specific purpose of classroom use.
This publication funded in part by the Arca Foundation.
Additional copies of Teaching About Haiti can be requestedfrom NECA, 111822nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037,(202) 429-0137 at minimal cost. Call for prices.
Additional information on the Haiti Solidarity Week Cam-paign available from: The Quixote Center, PO Bol5206, Hyattsville, MD 20782, (301) 699-0042.
Order an organizing packet on Haiti and other materials from:Clergy and Laity Concerned, 340 Mead Road, Decatur,GA 30030, (404) 377-1983.
Haiti in HistoryOnce a land in which all its inhabitants were well-
fed, Haiti is now the poorest country in the WesternHemisphere. One out of five children die before the ageof five. Life expectancy is 54 years. Human rightsabuses against those who criticize the government areunimaginably cruel. Why are people suffering? Howare the people of Haiti trying to change these condi-tions? How can we help ? Haiti's history of colonialism,neo-colonialism and the struggles for independencecan help you to explore these questions.
Haiti and its next-door neighbor, the DominicanRepublic, share the second-largest island in the Car-ibbean. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the islandwas a homeland of the Tafrio Arawak, a native peopleoriginally from South America. They called it Ayiti,Or "mountainous land."
Ayiti, also called Quisqueya, was a center ofTamil() Arawak culture in the Caribbean. It was dividedinto live main cacicasgos or kinship nations. TheTams lived in small villages along coastal areas andriver deltas. Each village was governed by a cacique,or chief, who could be a man or woman.
The Tainos' f(xxl came from hunting, fishing andagriculture, and the population was well-fed. Every-one in the society worked, even the caciques. Coop-eration and sharing were basic to the Tainos' way of
life. Each village had a centralplaza called a baley, used forfestivals, ball games, and re-ligious ceremonies.
If you had visited Ayitijast prior to the Spanish con-quest, you would have seen alush and fertile land. The is-land was covered with for-ests teeming with plant andanimal life. There were somany birds that flocks flyingoverhead would darken thesun.
The ConquestColumbuF landed on Ayiti in 1492 and claimed
the island for Spain. He renamed it. La Isla Espaola(Hispaniola). It became the first Spanish settlement inthe Americas.
Columbus and his sailors hoped to profit fromtheir "discovery." They mistakenly believed goldcould be found in abundance on the island. Thesettlers fOrced the Tainos to labor in unproductivegold mines, and massacred them when they tried toresist. The persecution of the Tams was cruel in theextreme. A Spanish priest who accompanied Colum-bus, Bartolom de las Casas, reported that "the con-quistadors would test their swords and manly strengthon captured Indians and place bets on the slicing offof heads or the cutting of bodies in half with oneblow."
After initially welcoming the visitors, the Talnotried bravely to defend themselves. There were manybattles in which the Talno routed the Spanish, butEuropean cannons, steel swords, horses and dogsfinally overwhelmed the Tafrio resistance. Diseaseslike smallpox also killed many of the native people.Within 50 years of Columbus' arrival, the TainoArawak population of Hispaniola had been virtuallydestroyed