Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this new book to our attention.
Lina María Díez Bermúdez, a professor at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, has launched a new book–La Vieja Providencia and Santa Catalina: Visions of some islands in the Caribbean. The publication coincides with a moment of consequence for the archipelago, when Colombia’s sovereignty over this territory is being questioned following the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague concerning the dispute with Nicaragua over jurisdiction over the archipelago.
The book is the fruit of deep ethnographic research and seeks to offer a history and description of these islands in the archipelago of San Andrés. The history of these islands is disproportionately intense given their small size. Their Caribbean landscape is tinged with legendary stories of pirates, settlers and sailors–English, Scottish, Irish and Dutch, Spanish, Miskitos from Nicaragua and Tule-Kunas, great men of sea and black slaves from Africa, who brought the cultural influences of their countries of origin to blend in the crucible of time into a culture of immense significance and diversity.
The richness of these islands is invaluable from a historical, cultural, linguistic and ethnic point of view. The particular Creole language, exquisite cuisine, music, dances, religious diversity, vernacular architecture, added to its unique history, natural wealth and tourism make Providencia and Santa Catalina a privileged place, a territory with a great geostrategic, political and economic value, and all this is what this book describes in depth.
It was brought by the English Puritans who colonized the United States and several Caribbean islands in the 17th century. She merged with the African accents of the black slaves to give rise to what we now know as broken english or caribbean english, the dialect of the natives of Providencia, Santa Catalina and San Andrés that is also spoken in Jamaica and other islands of the Sea Caribbean.
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