J. Michael Dash

Culture and customs of Haiti

Greenwood Press

Westport (Conn.), 2001

bibliothèque insulaire
       
Haïti
bannzil kréyòl

parutions 2001

Culture and customs of Haiti / J. Michael Dash. - Wesport (Conn.) : Greenwood press, 2001. - XVII-161 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
ISBN 0-313-30438-X

DESCRIPTION : Haiti is the only country that is considered Latin American but has a language and culture that are predominantly French and a population that is primarily of African descent. It is also the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and a country of extremes. Culture and Customs of Haiti fleshes out the evolution of this diverse society through discussions of the Haitian people, history, religion, social customs, media, literature and language, and performing and visual arts. This much-needed resource gives students and other readers a balanced picture of a Caribbean nation known in the United States mainly for its «boat people,» the Duvalier dictatorships, and « voodoo ».

Culture and Customs of Haiti begins with an overview of the mountainous island that seemed forbidding to European colonizers. Historical periods, including French colonization, U.S. occupation in the early 20th century, Independence and the Duvaliers' reigns, until today, are reviewed and provide the framework for the volume. A chapter on the people and society details the pride of the black state that managed the only successful slave revolution in history. The extremes of society from the elite to the peasantry and slum dwellers are depicted, along with Haitians in diaspora. Religion in Haiti, with the strong amalgamation of Roman Catholicism and vaudou, a West African import, is then explained. A Social Customs chapter notes the joy that is found in such an economically depressed culture. The media and literature and language chapters necessarily unfold in the context of Haiti's political history. A section on writing in Creole is especially intriguing. Finally, chapters on the performing arts and visual arts evoke the energy and color of the people in such forms as vaudou jazz and dance, contemporary rara rock, and the folkloric influence on Haitian painting. A chronology and glossary supplement the text.

J. Michael Dash is a Professor of French at New York University, and is a specialist of Haitian culture and literature.
CONTENTS
  • Series Foreword
  • Context
  • The People and Society
  • Religion
  • Social Customs
  • Mass Media and Cinema
  • Literature and Language
  • The Performing Arts
  • The Visual Arts and Architecture
  • Index
COMPLÉMENT BIBLIOGRAPHIQUE
  • « Jacques Stéphen Alexis », Toronto : Black images, 1975
  • « Literature and ideology in Haiti, 1915-1961 », Totowa (N.J.) : Barnes & Noble, 1981
  • « Haiti and the United States : national stereotypes and the literary imagination », New York : St. Martin's press, 1988, 1997
  • « Edouard Glissant », New York : Cambridge university press, 1995

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