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The latest issue of the New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Volume 94 (3 & 4) is now available at Brill’s.

This issue starts with “The Power of the Illegitimate” by Teruyuki Tsuji on the history of La Divina Pastora, the Madonna of Spanish origin, in colonial Trinidad. 

He focuses on how the spirituality and materiality of two statues of this Marian image intersected, competed, and reinforced each other: a fair-complexioned La Divina Pastora in northern Trinidad, created and patronized by the Catholic central authorities, and a dark-skinned, miracle-working La Divin/Sipari Mai in Siparia. The author utilizes a holistic approach in order to appreciate why and how the Madonna at Siparia emerged and thrived as a shared empowering object, despite the colonial obsession with racial-cultural purity. He explains how the incessant interactions between Catholics and Hindu devotees in Siparia led to the combination of their originally divergent practices and worldviews and the transformation of the dark-colored Madonna from La Divina Pastora to La Divin/Sipari Mai, an alternative spiritual construction that represented various maternal/female bodies, each conforming to distinct religious traditions.

The second article by Anthony Wayne Keane-Davis explores the remaking of the Catholic Church in Santo Domingo, arguing that Haitian reforms of the Church in Santo Domingo created a new power dynamic that incorporated local communities with these secular and religious institutions. Using correspondences, pamphlets, and petitions the author links the impact of the Haitian Unification on the Church in Santo Domingo and Haitian diplomatic negotiations over sovereignty in the Atlantic world. The article discusses how different relationships between Church and State in Santo Domingo and Haiti resulted in conflict after Haiti’s annexation in 1822. It then focuses on the clerics’ responses to Haitian rule and the impact of Haitian reforms on local communities particularly their relationships with their priests.

In a research note Amy Johnson presents a quantitative analysis of data sets from 1810–20 related to Maroon “slaveholding” which have been published in the Journals of the House of Assembly of Jamaica. Colonial officials in Jamaica identified some Maroons in the Charles Town and Moore Town census records as slaves or slaveholders. The data provide important insights into how bondage may have functioned in Maroon settlements. The data, in combination with an analysis of nontraditional slavery, suggest that slaveholding practices among the Maroons may have been influenced by West African cultural norms and opportunities that emerged on Jamaica.

In addition, there are a review article on Bernard and Phyllis Coard and the Grenada Revolution by Jay R. Mandle and Joan D. Mandle, plus 50 book reviews by specialists on the Caribbean region.

New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Volume 94 (2020): Issue 3-4 (Nov 2020)

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