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A different religion

Interview with a Santeria Priestess
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 5, 2013 - 9 comments

A taster of the Tropical Discotheque vibe

The original discotheque DJs of the 70s weren’t restricted by genre – they mixed up soul, funk, rock and experimental music to create the nascent disco sound. The Sofrito sound starts from the same point but draws from the tropics - combining bassline soukous, cosmic highlife, stripped-down drum edits, raw carnival rhythms, Manding vibes, scratchy calypso and modern productions that continue in the grand tradition of the discotheque, from Abidjan to Detroit via London, Paris and beyond...
posted by Tom-B on May 13, 2013 - 11 comments

RAW, LIVE, DANCEFLOOR WINNERS ONLY!

Very obscure and super rare selection of cumbias, gaitas, mapalé, charanguara, musarana, charanga and guarachas for your ultimate enjoyment! [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Apr 28, 2013 - 11 comments

The Shuls with Sandy Floors

There are only five functioning Jewish synagogues with sand floors in the world, and four of them are in the Caribbean. How has the tradition been maintained for hundreds of years? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2013 - 5 comments

Hat palm palm hat

How to make a palm hat, in two parts. (No audio, but hypnotizing video.)
posted by cthuljew on Jan 10, 2013 - 9 comments

like the most beautiful slum ever

This NYT slideshow of Cuba photographs does an excellent job of portraying Cuba's mood: "like the most beautiful slum ever." [more inside]
posted by univac on Sep 20, 2012 - 22 comments

Les Mains Noires: Tempero Brasileiro

Tempero Brasileiro (mp3) is a collection of rare Brazilian tracks originally issued on 7″ vinyl. Compiled by Edson Carvalho, one of the top São Paulo crate diggers. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on May 26, 2012 - 10 comments

Navassa Island

Navassa Island is a small uninhabited Caribbean island 74 km off the coast of Haiti. Both the US and Haiti claim sovereignty over the island, though Haiti claims it in it's constitution. Discovered in 1498 and explored in 1504 as part of Columbus's expedition when he became stranded on Jamaica and sent a canoe to Hispaniola; the canoes ran into the island on the way and two Spaniards and several Indians who arrived on the island drank contaminated water killing most of the group. The island was avoided until 1857 when it was claimed by the US as part of the Guano Islands Act despite an earlier Haitian claim. Working conditions were very harsh on the island, manually moving over a ton guano from mines via rail cars to the landing point at Lulu Bay which sacked the guano for transport on the S.S. Romance. In 1889 the workers started a rebellion that killed several supervisors and lead to a series of court cases that affirmed the constitutionality of the Guano Act. The island was abandoned in 1898 during the Spanish-American war forced the operator, Navassa Phosphate Company of Baltimore to file for bankruptcy. In 1917 a lighthouse was built since the island posed a hazard for ships entering the newly built Panama Canal. The island has remained uninhabited, save a few Haitian fishermen that camp now and again, though it is highly coveted by amateur radio operators seeking a DX call-sign of KP1. The island has been bounced around several federal agencies until 1999 when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service cataloged it as a National Wildlife Refuge. In 2009 NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science launched an expedition to catalog the flora and fauna of the reefs of the island, including a few feral cats roaming on the island.
posted by wcfields on Apr 5, 2012 - 21 comments

Carnaval — what else besides samba?

Tira o pé do chão! A non-samba mixtape for Carnaval 2012. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Feb 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Portia Nuh Play

"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 8, 2012 - 8 comments

A Shrew On the Edge of Existence

This species was around seventy-six million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the continents were splitting.  The impact of a colossal space rock wiped out the dinosaurs but did not finish them off, even though their habitat was close to 'ground zero'.  They survived the super-hot "greenhouse Earth" of the Eocene, major changes in global ecosystems, and the Ice Age (take that, Scrat).  They have grooved teeth which inject venom into their prey; very strong limbs which end in long sharp claws.  They have only three native predators.  However this 'living fossil' called the Solenodon could soon be wiped out by mongoose, people and wild dogs. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Jun 2, 2010 - 9 comments

Jared Diamond on Haiti

Jared Diamond on the unique cultural and geological challenges Haiti has faced since its colonial days. Diamond shows how these reasons have caused the nation to fare considerably poorer than its neighbor, The Dominican Republic. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 28, 2010 - 35 comments

Latin American Science

History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean [flash required] – the history of science from a Latin American perspective.
posted by tellurian on Sep 2, 2009 - 6 comments

So good you could eat them;

Gingerbread Houses are the embodiment of Caribbean architecture, though many are now threatened. Enjoy this wonderful photoset from Roseau, capital of the tiny island of Dominica; and this exquisite set of Boissiere House in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Then there is this little gem in Martinique.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 2, 2009 - 4 comments

Middle East Travel Photography

Momentary Awe ― travel photography from more than 20 countries by Catalin Marin. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 26, 2008 - 10 comments

mobile homes built without nails

Chattel houses were very small houses, built by freed slaves or plantation workers, that could be dismantled quickly and moved in the event they were fired or unable to pay property tax to the plantation owner on whose land the house stood. Examples in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad l Sunday 25 March 2007 marked 200 years to the day that the British Parliament passed an Act to outlaw the slave trade in British colonies. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Mar 9, 2008 - 4 comments

Great Caribbean coral die-off

The great Caribbean coral die-off. "The 2005 die-off is bigger than all the previous 20 years combined".. magnitude never before-seen.. sea surface temps worst in the 21 years of satellite monitoring. NOAA preliminary reports with cool graphs to left.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 31, 2006 - 39 comments

The Kingdom of Redonda

The Kingdom of Redonda. In 1865, a Caribbean trader laid claim to a small island near Antigua, and declared himself king. His son, M.P. Shiel, was an author of fantasy fiction. When Shiel died in 1947, he left the island to a young poet, John Gawsworth, King Juan I of Redonda.
posted by steef on Mar 24, 2006 - 7 comments

Why are we not talking more about Haiti?

Why are we not talking about Haiti? "No one has asked questions about the wildly partisan officials in U.S. State Department now running U.S. policy in the Caribbean and Latin America. These include such Blast-from-the-Past supporters of Reagan era highjinks in Central America as Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams, and (before his ignominious departure last summer) John Poindexter."
posted by j-urb on Aug 10, 2005 - 13 comments

chutney music

Chutney Music :"For these people, Chutney was more than just music (.asf files), it was their life, it was their culture. For a people twice removed from their native land, Chutney was their connection to the traditions they might have otherwise never known." [via]
posted by dhruva on May 29, 2005 - 6 comments

Blow the wind

Official 2005 Hurricane season is almost upon us. This years predictions from US National Weather Centre. Easy tracking showing the first hurricane of this season is already up and running and a Caribbean site with observers sending in local reports; Be sure to check some of the island reports 2004.
posted by adamvasco on May 19, 2005 - 4 comments

Guidelines for Low-Impact Tourism Along the Coast of Quintana Roo

Guidelines for Low-Impact Tourism Along the Coast of Quintana Roo "Conserving the natural landscape and enhancing the scenic beauty of tourism development contributes to the high quality of coastal habitat, one of the area’s principal attractions." Warning: PDF format!
posted by johnnydark on Jan 3, 2004 - 6 comments

Vodou

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. 'Vodou is Haiti's mirror. Its arts and rituals reflect the difficult, brilliant history of seven million people, whose ancestors were brought from Africa to the Caribbean in bondage. In 1791 these Africans began the only successful national slave revolt in history. In 1804 they succeeded in creating the world's first Black republic: the only one in this hemisphere where all the citizens were free. Their success inspired admiration, fear and scorn in the wider world. Cut off from Euro-American support, Haitians managed to created their own dynamic "Creole" society-one rooted in Africa but responsive to all that was encountered in their new island home.' History, theology and religious art.
Related :- an essay on the Vodou concept of soul, Voodoos and Obeahs on sacred-texts ('required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development').
posted by plep on Jan 2, 2004 - 10 comments

Whose criminals are they?

Whose criminals are they? Canada and the U.S. are deporting immigrant criminals back to the Caribbean -- criminals who were born there but, in many cases, raised in North America. Whose problem are they? Virtually every Caribbean country feels the burden of the deportations, especially from the U.S., which, in 1998, deported 55,500 "aliens" on criminal grounds, 3,700 to the Caribbean. Defenders of the deportations say Canada and the U.S. are just getting rid of bad apples, many of whom shouldn't be here in the first place. But The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says that, frequently, the deportees have little more than place of birth to connect them to the region. In most cases these deportees have no money, little education, few relatives or friends to whom they can turn, and many are truly violent and lawless. The culture of drugs and guns that many carry back to their native lands is wreaking havoc in nations that receive them in substantial numbers.
posted by orange swan on Nov 17, 2003 - 32 comments

Cheer up

At some point in 2001 one of my favorite bands got it's own website and I didn't notice until just now. I mention this not because it's particularly mefi worthy just because I like it, but because I have four of their albums and they never fail to cheer me up when nothing else will. It's the steel drums I'm sure. Alas, doesn't look they will be playing near me anytime soon, but there are still many other steel drum bands out there and if this one isn't coming your way either you can probably find one that is.
posted by wobh on Feb 20, 2003 - 6 comments

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