At the Core of Creolization: The Work of the African or the Africanization of Insular America


  • Hanétha Vété-Congolo Bowdoin College



The Caribbean, as it is known today, is arguably the very last world born in the history of humanity with practices and physiological and spiritual characteristics that singularize its peoples and presents novel and original ways of being. The latter has always intrigued, bewildered and raised an ontological issue within and without its geographical boundaries. Is it a pale replica of Europe or a worthless extension of Africa? The question arises due to the particular history that started with conflicts engaging the notion of race, with one self erected as pure and supreme to the detriment of the other, conflicts founded on the severe depreciation of humanity, but which has nonetheless involved mankind. This may be the most recent case in the history of mankind showing how groups of people originally recognizable through determined referents become others, in a new place and under specific circumstances, with different ontological referents while remaining, through some of the referents, very close to their ascendants. One certainty is that the result of this particularly complex history is equally complex, and the ways and mindset of the individuals springing from it show such a high level of intricacies that they can be said to be ‘implexe-complexes’. The literary term ‘implexe’ refers to a very complex intrigue and enigma. Adjoining to the word ‘implexe’ the very term ‘complexe’ reinforces the idea of complexity I would like to stress concerning Caribbean identity.