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Caribbean Islanders

José F. Blanco

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Caribbean immigrants have contributed greatly to the multicultural and multilingual diversity of the United States and Canada for a number of years. Often grouped either with other Hispanics or with African Americans, Caribbean people are actually part of a complex mosaic of cultures, languages, and dress practices. The Caribbean, named after its main pre-Columbian inhabitants, the Carib, has been shaped by the encounter of several cultures, including native groups such as the Puerto Rican Taínos

Book chapter

Christopher Columbus encountered the island of Borinquén in 1493 during his second voyage to the New World. Columbus claimed the island for the Spanish crown by right of discovery and named it San Juan Bautista. After 1521, the capital came to be known as San Juan and the island as Puerto Rico. For the next 400 years following Columbus’ “discovery,” Puerto Rico was neglected under the control of the Spanish regime. It was under a cloud of disenchantment with the Spanish government that Puerto Ric

Visualizing Difference: The Rhetoric of Clothing in Colonial Spanish America

Mariselle Meléndez

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Walter Mignolo observes that the lack of writing along with the lack of clothing and cannibalism constituted three crucial elements often used in the construction of Amerindian images: “Not having it yet or having it in excess were two cognitive moves used by Europeans in constructing the identity of the self-same by constructing at the same time, the image of the other” (Mignolo 1992: 312). Written as well as visual texts usually contrasted the nakedness of the indigenous people with the presenc

Dress and Dance in Puerto Rico

Raúl J. Vázquez López

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Puerto Rican dress is the result of a confluence of cultures: the native Taínos, the colonizing Spaniards, and the African slaves. From the Taínos, the early inhabitants of the island—formerly known as Borikén—to its current population—self-described as boricuas—music and dance have enjoyed a privileged position, a popularity that no other art form (i.e., theater, fine arts) has enjoyed; thus, a description of Puerto Rican dress must not ignore dance. The origins of some music styles considered P

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