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Experiential CaribbeanCreating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic$
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Pablo F. Gómez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630878

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630878.001.0001

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(p.16) 1 Arrivals
Experiential Caribbean

Pablo F. Gómez

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes the larger historical and social context in which Caribbean epistemological transformations concerning the natural world and human bodies transpired. These transformations directly resulted from encounters that occurred between the thousands of people who arrived in the Caribbean from all over the globe during the early modern period. Most of these immigrants were of African descent, and by the end of the seventeenth century they had transformed the Caribbean into a cosmopolitan place where a new type of blackness was normative—one that used African inspirations to invent new realities. The chapter shows how Africans’ appropriation of the social and cultural landscapes of the Caribbean depended not only on the population of the realm of the living, but also of the underground. Otherworldly colonizers, the dead, represented powerful forces in Caribbean locales where cultural and social mores shaped by people of African descent were normative.

Keywords:   Urban Caribbean, Social conditions, African Diaspora, Amerindians, Otherworldly colonizers, Migration, Demography, European migrants

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