Culture And Customs Of Haiti / Edition 1

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Overview

Culture and Customs of Haiti begins with an overview of the mountainous island that seemed forbidding to European colonizers. Historical periods, including French colonization, U.S. occupation in the early 20th century, Independence and the Duvaliers' reigns, until today, are reviewed and provide the framework for the volume. A chapter on the people and society details the pride of the black state that managed the only successful slave revolution in history. The extremes of society from the elite to the peasantry and slum dwellers are depicted, along with Haitians in diaspora. Religion in Haiti, with the strong amalgamation of Roman Catholicism and vaudou, a West African import, is then explained. A Social Customs chapter notes the joy that is found in such an economically depressed culture. The media and literature and language chapters necessarily unfold in the context of Haiti's political history. A section on writing in Creole is especially intriguing. Finally, chapters on the performing arts and visual arts evoke the energy and color of the people in such forms as vaudou jazz and dance, contemporary rara rock, and the folkloric influence on Haitian painting. A chronology and glossary supplement the text.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Largely unstudied and usually misunderstood, Haiti is a puzzle for most North Americans, especially now as the small Caribbean country rapidly modernizes. Historical Haitian apprehension towards attempts to interpret their culture had previously limited attempts at comprehensive social studies. Recently, though, Haitians have adopted more modern and open attitudes toward foreigners. Dash (French, New York U.) has attempted to take advantage of this trend in his book, which includes a historical overview of the country; an examination of the religions, social customs, literature and language as well as the emerging art (performing and visual), architecture, mass media and cinema; and a b&w photo essay. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

J. MICHAEL DASH is a Professor of French at New York University, and is a specialist of Haitian culture and literature.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword ix
Preface xi
Chronology xv
1 Context 1
2 The People and Society 29
3 Religion 51
4 Social Customs 75
5 Mass Media and Cinema 81
6 Literature and Language 95
7 The Performing Arts 119
8 The Visual Arts and Architecture 135
Bibliography 153
Index 157
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