Creolization as Cultural Creativity

Creolization as Cultural Creativity

Robert Baron and Ana C. Cara

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617031069

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Global in scope and multidisciplinary in approach, this book explores the expressive forms and performances that come into being when cultures encounter one another. Creolization is presented as a powerful marker of identity in the postcolonial creole societies of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southwest Indian Ocean region, as well as a universal process that can occur anywhere cultures come into contact. An extraordinary number of cultures from Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the southern United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Suriname, Jamaica, and Sierra Leone are discussed in these essays. Drawing from the disciplines of folklore, anthropology, ethnomusicology, literary studies, history, and material culture studies, essayists address theoretical dimensions of creolization and present in-depth field studies. Topics include adaptations of the Gombe drum over the course of its migration from Jamaica to West Africa; uses of “ritual piracy” involved in the appropriation of Catholic symbols by Puerto Rican brujos; the subversion of official culture and authority through playful and combative use of “creole talk” in Argentine literature and verbal arts; the mislabeling and trivialization (“toy blindness”) of objects appropriated by African Americans in the American South; the strategic use of creole techniques among storytellers within the islands of the Indian Ocean; and the creolized character of New Orleans and its music. In the introductory essay, the editors address both local and universal dimensions of creolization, and argue for the centrality of its expressive manifestations for creolization scholarship.

Table of Contents


Robert Baron, and Ana C. Cara

Monde Creolé

Nick Spitzer

Ritual Piracy

Raquel Romberg

Africa’s Creole Drum

Kenneth Bilby

Creole Talk

Ana C. Cara

Villes, Poèmes

J. Michael Dash

About Face

Roger D. Abrahams