19 April 2016

New Book: Narratives of Amerindians in Trinidad & Tobago, by Selwyn Cudjoe

Another new book to have come out this year is Selwyn Cudjoe's Narratives of Amerindians in Trinidad and Tobago; or, Becoming Trinbagonian, published by Calaloux Publications. As I wrote in my commentary/endorsement of this volume: "Thanks to Selwyn Cudjoe's intimate knowledge of the history of Trinidad and Tobago, he provides the reader with a fascinating compendium of key documents on the narration of the Amerindian presence in Trinidad. There is much to be learned here, by both the novice and those with an advanced knowledge of the country. Professor Cudjoe has a keen eye for what is unique, central and foundational, coupled with great skill in bringing to light that which is little known at present. I would not want to begin, or continue, a study of the narrative history of Trinidad's Amerindians without the aid of this wonderful resource. In addition, this work is a testament to the efforts undertaken by Trinidadian scholars in deepening and broadening national self-knowledge, in redefining what Trinidadian means, and in revealing the deep roots of the nation". The book brings together a wide range of materials, from poems to plays, stories, and autobiographical essays that directly relate to the Amerindian presence during the end of the 1800s and the start of the 1900s, as well as providing some critically important colonial historical documents.

New Book: The Indigenous Peoples of Trinidad & Tobago, by Arie Boomert

This year has seen the publication of a comprehensive new study by Dutch archaeologist, Arie Boomert, titled The Indigenous Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago: From the First Settlers until Today, published by Sidestone Press, and available for free reading online. The book covers the many changes experienced in the lives of the Amerindian peoples who lived or still inhabit the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, from the earliest occupants, ca. 8000 BC, until at present. Using archaeological, ethnohistorical and linguistic data, it discusses the social, political, economic, and religious development of indigenous society through the ages. The Amerindian struggle with European colonization is chronicled in detail, following centuries of independent existence during pre-Columbian times, as well as the survival of the current people of indigenous ancestry in the twin-island republic. The text has also been endorsed by Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, Chief of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community in Arima, Trinidad: “This book is a welcome addition to the literature we are now seeking to inform our work here at the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, as it brings to light important aspects of our buried history. Of particular interest is the information on the involvement of the Dutch in the struggles of the First Peoples, and the connection with Hierreyma, our great Nepuyo Chieftain. It is an inspiration to those of us who are currently engaged in efforts to secure the rightful place of the First Peoples of this land – Kairi.”