chapter  44
19 Pages

Indigeneity

The quest for freedom and self-determination in the circum-Caribbean is full of heroic and incredible stories. In anglophone Caribbean literature and history, the indigenous presence has been characterized in two critical ways. First, Caribbean natives have been represented as noble and uncorrupted, but extinct forerunners of Caribbean nations; and second, as problematic minorities at the edges of emerging nations. Indigenous people of the Caribbean have been through many incarnations as they and their Caribbean neighbours come to terms with belonging to postcolonial states. While the common belief about the Caribbean’s indigenous population is one of extermination and erasure, Amerindians as a community, along with creative writers and scholars are intervening in this ‘fallacy of extinction’ (Forte 2006: 9-15).