By Marilyn McKillop Wells
In 1980, scientific anthropologist Marilyn McKillop Wells discovered herself embarking on an “improbable trip” while she used to be invited to the realm to do fieldwork with the additional problem of showing the “real” Garifuna. Upon her arrival at the island, Wells was once warmly embraced through a neighborhood kinfolk, the Diegos, and got to work recording lifestyles occasions and indigenous views on polygyny, Afro-indigenous identification, ancestor-worshiping faith, and extra. the end result, as represented in Among the Garifuna, is a lovingly intimate, earthy human drama.
The kin narrative is prepared chronologically. half I, “The previous Ways,” comprises vignettes that introduce the relatives backstory with discussion as imagined by means of Wells in accordance with the family members heritage she used to be informed. We meet the family members progenitors, Margaret and Cervantes Diego, in the course of their courtship, event Margaret’s soreness as Cervantes takes a moment spouse, witness the dying of Cervantes and resulting mourning rituals, stick with the go back of Margaret and the youngsters to their past domestic in British Honduras, and discover the emergence of the children’s personalities.
In half II, “Living There,” Wells keeps 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 relations 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 lifestyles. 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 commemorated ancestors to the best 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 approach. Wells’s portrait of this Garifuna kin could be of curiosity to anthropologists, Caribbeanists, Latin Americanists, scholars, and normal readers alike.
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Among the Garifuna: Family Tales and Ethnography from the Caribbean Coast by Marilyn McKillop Wells