By Marilyn McKillop Wells
In 1980, clinical anthropologist Marilyn McKillop Wells chanced on herself embarking on an “improbable trip” whilst she was once invited to the world to do fieldwork with the additional problem of showing the “real” Garifuna. Upon her arrival at the island, Wells was once warmly embraced via a neighborhood relatives, the Diegos, and got to work recording lifestyles occasions and indigenous views on polygyny, Afro-indigenous id, ancestor-worshiping faith, and extra. the outcome, as represented in Among the Garifuna, is a lovingly intimate, earthy human drama.
The relatives narrative is equipped chronologically. half I, “The previous Ways,” comprises vignettes that introduce the kinfolk backstory with discussion as imagined through Wells in line with the kinfolk historical past she was once informed. We meet the kin progenitors, Margaret and Cervantes Diego, in the course of their courtship, event Margaret’s discomfort as Cervantes takes a moment spouse, witness the loss of life of Cervantes and resulting mourning rituals, stick with the go back of Margaret and the youngsters to their past domestic in British Honduras, and detect the emergence of the children’s personalities.
In half II, “Living There,” Wells maintains the tale while she arrives in Belize and meets the Diego little ones, together with the main protagonist, Tas. In Tas’s loved ones Wells learns approximately meals and manners and watches relatives squabbles and reconciliations. In those mini-stories, Wells interweaves cultural details at the Garifuna individuals with first-person narrative and transcription in their phrases, assembling those into a charming slice of existence. half III, “The Ancestor Party,” takes the reader via a desirable postmortem ritual that's enacted to facilitate the adventure of the spirits of the venerated ancestors to the ultimate supernatural.
Among the Garifuna contributes to the literary genres of narrative anthropology and feminist ethnography within the culture of Zora Neal Hurston and different ladies writing tradition in a private method. Wells’s portrait of this Garifuna family members could be of curiosity to anthropologists, Caribbeanists, Latin Americanists, scholars, and common readers alike.
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Among the Garifuna: Family Tales and Ethnography from the Caribbean Coast by Marilyn McKillop Wells