I've lived as a legal resident in the Dominican Republic since 1997, having fallen in love with the people, place, and culture back in 1984, during my first visit--I was in love with its history long before that. Today I feel like a tourist in the U.S. Even though I was born there, I've now lived longer in Canada, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic than in the U.S.
Administrator, cultural guide, teacher, writer.
M.A. and Ph.D. in Colonial History (with Anthropological focus) from Vanderbilt University in 1998. Fulbright scholar to the Dominican Republic in 1997. Two simultaneous B.A.s (History and Anthropology) from Michigan State University in 1992, with a Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
LGuitar@ciee.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
Phones: Except for June and July, 809-481-4656 cell, 809-580-1962 Ext 4466. Home phone year round: 809-582-6147.
Taino history and culture, slavery and sugar in the 1500s, Colonial Hispaniola, Dominican popular culture from its origens with the Tainos through the additions of African, European and Asian elements across time (especially gender and ethnicity, and aspects of domestic culture such as language, music, religion, artisanry, child bearing/rearing, food, and home medicine/healing).
Too many to list here, but most important are the chapters titled “Ocama-Daca Taíno (Hear me, I Am Taíno): Taíno Survival on Hispaniola, Focusing on the Dominican Republic,” coauthored with Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate and Jorge Estevez, for Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean: Amerindian Survival and Revival, Maximilian C. Forte, ed. Peter Lang, New York, 2006; and “Boiling it Down: Slavery on the First Commercial Sugarcane Ingenios in the Americas (Hispaniola 1530-1545),” in Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America. Jane Landers, ed. University of New Mexico Press, 2006.
Am currently working on an illustrated Taino ABCs book that can be used to expand knowledge about the Tainos as well as to teach English, French, and Spanish as foreign languages; an historical novel about the "encountner" between the Spaniards and Tainos, told from the indigenous viewpoint; and the chapter on the Spanish-indigenous encounter in the Caribbean for a new Illustrated History of the Caribbean edited by Francisco Scarrano and Stephan Palmie, the latter to be published by the University of Chicago Press. Still seeking a publisher for the first two books.
Co-Founder and Anciana of Guabancex, Viento y Agua; CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange); Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink
Comment Wall (14 comments)
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A friend sent me an Internet copy of your work: "the
Taino and birds". "I have translated the text in French, would you
interested in this French translation? If yes, I'll
pass by mail.
Marie-Line Mouriesse Boulogne, French anthropologist from Martinica.
Ruben, I think no male contribution into modern day taino deccendants is "exucuse my french" a pile of crap.
I have personaly met folks who are half caucasion and half north american indians. And anthropology speaking dont have any of my amerdian feautres. I get confused for asian alot too. If you look at certain members of my family you would think they are from a reservation. I have met full blooded natives who look just like members of my family. Jorge Estevez is a good example. And this is just in kiskeya. I have met cubans and many borikens that have strong ameridians featue. I will say this. I have met more puerto ricans that clearely are ameridan that cuban and dominicans. Recent dna in the islands kinda explains that.
Hey Ruben, I know people dont think that there could be tainos that can be pure or atleast very close to pure. I think that its very ignorant to think this way. In the east side of the dominican republic. There are dominican that look very african. They look like they have no or very little euro admixture. They still speak there african language. They perform there african gaga ceromonies. A afro-dominican friend was telling me things about that side of the island that i was not of aware. So what not to say that there are domnican in the secluded part of the cibao regoins. I am talking about the mountain areas. Where they have no running water etc. As a matter of fact my many of these folks still drink rain water. Cause they have no running water. To see some of my grandparent. You have to go up a mountain. No car can pass. There were folks that even lived further uphill. Whats not to say that these folks could be close to pure. At one point I use to think that my grandparent and many of my family were pure blooded or atleast very close too. You know I went to my parents village 8 yo ago. After not being there for almost 15 yo. I looked around. I thought to myself is this DR or south america.
Hey Lynn, I apologize for the little test I was trying. I was not aware I was going to offend anyone. You see Ruben had asked me to pair taino with north american indians. So I paired family members, with north american indians from diffrent tribe. So when he picked 5 out of 7 wrong. Meaning he picked my family as being north american indians. I got a bit excited and wondered how others would do. So I apologize and I deleted all the pictures. I will be posting an apoligy to other.
Also I was deleting post asking for you participation. But I deleted old posts.
Nice to "meet" you, Juan, albeit electronically. Jorge is a MARVELOUS person, isn't he? And it's so important that he continues to spread the word that you don't have to look like Sitting Bull in a U.S. western movie to be Indian. The American Plains Indians looked very different from Tainos. Truth is, though, while facial features and color are among the first things everyone looks for in order to pigeon-hole people into "racial" categories, physical features are the least reliable indicators of anyone's genetic background. Your family's deep knowledge of their Taino inheritance is far more important--besides which, I agree with Jorge that you and most of your family members have indigenous features. Those eyes! Cheekbones! Hair!
Hey Lynne, This is a treat for me.I was not a aware that you were a memeber here. Jorge Esteves who I met here in the native american musume in NY. Invited me to this panel I have read a few of your article's. Very good read. Thank you for your work.
I lived in DR for 3 years between the ages of 9 and 12yo. Before that we had gone back and forth. Anyway I had alway known of my native roots. Even my parents passports had them as indio. But when we came back to the states I had picked up my first taino book. I read in it that the taino were wiped out, I actually threw it out and didnt finish reading it. I never accepted that. Cause even though I dont think I look indian. Both my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins etc. Have very strong ameridian looks. After that I abbonded anything that said taino. I mostly kept up with north american tribe. Even buying any movies that had indians. Even though indian were the bad guys of the movies. I was alway cheering for them.
My intersted in researching my taino roots restarted when I had 4 individual tell me I have native features. 3 where american indians from diffrent tribe. I told jorge that one of them was from arizona. He was visiting NY. He pulled out his wallet to show me that I looked like I could have been his sons twin. I was stunned. The guy actually looked like me excpet he was a few shades darker. The part that surprised me more was that his wife was also a full blooded native american. The other person was a african. I forgot what part of africa. He went on to explain to me that I was a mongloid. And native american are of the mongloid race. Threw this research I found Jorge Estevez. Like in my profile says he has confirmed what I new was taino. But he has actually confirmed alot more that I had no clue were taino.
Also I would appreciate if you go to my page. I have 14 pic of my family. I am intersted in you thoughts.
I appologize for the long comments. Thanx you in advance.