The place where Christopher Columbus First landed in the Americas...
Is located next to the Country of Haiti ...Originally a part of the Spanish crown It was was turned over to the French after a Treaty between the two countries ...
After the successful war of independence, fought between Haiti and the French, the Island changed hands once again...In the 1820's.. The Spanish community that occupied the Western half of the Island succeeded in gaining there Independence from Haiti....It, eventually with the help of Spain became a Free and Independent State composing mostly of Mulattos, Spanish and the few remaining Taino Indian Tribes...
A Map of The Dominican republic...Click on map to enlarge
In many ways, Dominican
society reflects a social system shared by many other Caribbean
islands all experienced the early extermination of native peoples,
followed by a repopulation by white European landowners and
black African slaves.
In socioeconomic terms Creole societies
share a common plantation heritage, along with the subsequent
social stratification which continues to divide the population.
As in most Caribbean countries, in the Dominican Republic, the
possession or nonpossession of various physical attributes determines
a person’s stratum, and consequently his/her access to
power, wealth, and land.
As a result, even this late in Caribbean
history, large segments of every island’s population remain
unintegrated and share no common ideology.
Original Creole culture is consonant with
slavery. During the early days, there was a constant inflow
of slaves into the Caribbean. For those slaves imported to work
on Caribbean sugar plantations, life was even harsher than for
slaves on American cotton plantations.
Given the harder, more
physical nature of sugar plantation work, Caribbean plantation
owners saw no reason to purchase the less-hardy female slaves,
who generally produced less work and died earlier than the males.
With this sort of policy in effect, islands soon had few women
and almost no black women.
show most islands with upwards of 75% male populations. At times,
the power of imported women proved even stronger than the power
of armies, as in the surge of the French in the 16th century
The French advanced their takeover of the western
and of Hispaniola by sending women to the island to turn the
buccaneers into farmers and family men. Likewise, the British
advanced their colonization of Jamaica when Oliver Cromwell
sent 1,000 Irish women to the island (involuntarily, I might
With this kind of male/female imbalance,
what few dark women there were quickly became an acceptable
alternative for white men. Throughout the history of the Caribbean,
reports filter out about this activity, which caused concern
in the courts of Europe.
But there were simply not enough eligible
women in the Caribbean for island residents to quibble about
race. Then, especially in Spanish colonies, free blacks began
to make up larger and larger portions of the population. Some
were former slaves who had accumulated enough capital to buy
their freedom in the wills of appreciative masters. Likewise,
it was considered good form for a master to free the children
of his slave mistress.
As blacks and whites came to share a culture, members of this
growing mulatto presence began to live a more normal life, partly
because there were more and more mulatto women to go around.
White men took mulatto wives because they were readily available.
Mulatto women themselves were usually open to white lovers,
thinking that this would lighten their children and thus improve
their lives. Black males also wanted mulatto women, to lighten
the color of their own children.
Mulattos continued to rise in Caribbean
society until about the late 18th century, when whites began
to fear their emerging power and numbers. In many countries,
including Jamaica and Haiti, whites passed strict racial laws
placing limits on what mulattos could inherit and the amount
of property or slaves they could own, and even banning mulattos
from certain professions.
The most absurd and ridiculous of
these racial laws were adopted by the French colonies, especially
Haiti, which attempted to categorize people by fractions of
blood, down to a dozen subclassifications.
But even British Jamaican law had its racial absurdities, defining
class, privilege, and legal entitlement strictly by blood. The
Dominican Republic never had strict racial laws on the French
model, though its traditions remain distinctly Creole, giving
credence to racial categorization in subtle and influential
the Caribbean, the goal of many mulattos was to move their descendants
upward through the racial social scale by making white offspring.
This constant seeking by many mulatto women for white heirs
sank many inheritance laws into a quagmire, because many children
were born out of wedlock.
Some colonies like Cuba and Suriname
had administrative boards that decided who could marry whom
and under what conditions, granting or refusing marriage to
interracial couples in the hope that the race would lighten
as it went along.
Perhaps the most infamous of all “race whiteners”
was Rafael Trujillo, who was notorious for using pancake makeup.
He was just a shade too dark for his own taste and in his later
years would chase away photographers when his makeup began to
crack under hot lights or midday heat.
Nevertheless, despite a number of typical Caribbean characteristics,
the Dominican Republic differs from most its island neighbors
in several ways. For one thing, blacks do not constitute a majority
in the Dominican Republic one of the few Caribbean countries
in which this is true. The Dominican population is instead largely
mulatto. While this fact has helped make Dominicana a unique
Caribbean culture, it has also shaped racial attitudes in unfortunate
first thing that Trujillo did in racial terms was turn his
attention to the Haitians. For years, Haitians had gone across
the border to the Dominican Republic in order to cut cane
on plantations. Many stayed on and intermarried with Dominicans.
Haitians were darkening the Dominican people, or at least
so Trujillo sent his soldiers to the border regions to “trap
a Congo,” as he put it, instructing the soldiers to
carry a sprig of parsley, which in Spanish is perejil.
the language of the Haitian peasant, has no Spanish “j,”
which is pronounced hard against the back of the throat, nor
any specific “r,” which in Creole is pronounced
like “w.” In that year alone, Dominican soldiers
killed 20,000 peasants who could not pronounce the word for
Visitiing the Dominican Republic
The Dominican republic is Truly a Nation of Mulattos..
.I've had the pleasure of visiting the Island several times and indeed it is well worth the trip..It contains some of the Oldest Churches , Museums and buildings in the New World ...
The colonial part of the city is built within the walls of a 16 th century fort and the grave of Christopher Columbus , which cast a beacon of a cross across the City is there for you to visit...The music ( Merengue) is everywhere and good to hear...The cost of living is very reasonable and The palace of Hernand Cortez, which is now a Historic Museum is quite fascinating to see...
The food is very similar to Our Louisiana Food and The Mulatto/Creole people are everywhere....It is truly a Pleasurable place to visit..Not only will you feel quite at home but believe me you will get a chance to visit sites and Historic wonders that few people will ever get see in a lifetime...
Even today, some Dominicans,
though surely not all, are slightly obsessed with Haiti and
Haitians. The words “Haitiano” and “Negro”
have become interchangeable. Many Dominicans, believing that
Haitians threaten the national culture, avoid intermarriages
and oppose Haitian immigration.
As late as 1983, President
Balaguer published a book called La Isla al Reves (The Island
in Reverse), in which he produces a paranoid picture of Haiti
as bent on cultural conquest.
In the book, he argues that
Haiti wants a “pacifistic penetration of Dominican territory”
and that Haitians, as blacks, are a threat to Dominican culture
because blacks have a “characteristics fecundity.”
As if that weren’t enough, Balaguer identifies Haitians
as the carriers of many dangerous diseases, such as malaria
and syphilis, and presents them as barbarians who are “morally
deformed.” The book, reprinted five times, never created
a stir in the country or negatively affected Balaguer’s
As a practical matter,
Dominicans avoid calling themselves mulattos. If they have
“white features” and reasonably “good hair,”
then they’re white. In fact, “good hair”
is one of the most prized natural attributes in the Dominican
Sometimes, a person will be termed an indio if his hair is
a little suspect. If the skin is very dark and the hair very
wiry, the term is likely to be indio oscuro, dark Indian.
Dominican officials still use these labels sometimes, and
there are places on Dominican passports where these denominations
still show up. In Haiti, on the other hand, whites are so
rare that the word blan means both white and foreign.
Another reason that
the Dominican Republic is not typically Caribbean is Rafael
Trujillo himself. Before Trujillo, the country was just another
traditional, segmented Caribbean society; class lines had
fixed boundaries. Then Trujillo came on the scene, bringing
his mulatto heritage with him. During his long dictatorship
he conducted, in effect, a controlled social experiment in
which the political structure did not change but the underlying
social and economic elements were shuffled about willy-nilly
(all to serve Trujillo, of course).
A mulatto middle class
of businessmen, industrialists, and military officers was
created, and both the church and the notion of the extended
family were challenged. It was a cruel irony that while the
society itself was mixing, political control was not. When
Trujillo, then, was finally assassinated, it left the Dominican
Republic in turmoil-with a society and culture profoundly
mulatto but a power structure that was entirely elitist. It
was a formula for confusion.
Perhaps the most important
way in which the Dominican Republic differs from its Caribbean
neighbors is that Dominicans boast the purest Spanish traditions
in the Western Hemisphere-far purer than those found in, say,
Mexico. Almost all Dominicans are practicing Roman Catholics,
and Dominican family structure and values further reflect
Spanish culture. Consequently, no matter where you go in the
Dominican Republic, save for those areas characterized by
what I’ll call “international tourist culture,”
the predominant feeling is of being in provincial Spain.
"Dominican Republic Handbook"
by Gaylord Dold
The population of Dominican Republic in 2007 was estimated by the United Nations at 9,760,000, which placed it as number 82 inpopulation among the 193 nations of the world.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, the ethnic composition of the Dominican population is,
As elsewhere in the Spanish Empire, the original Spanish colony of Hispaniola employed a social system known as casta, wherein Peninsulares (Spaniards born in Spain) occupied the highest echelon. These were followed, in descending order of status, by: criollos, castizos, mestizos, mulattoes, Indians, zambos, and lastly, black slaves.]The stigma of these social strata persisted for many years, reaching its culmination in the Trujillo regime, as the dictator used racial persecution and nationalistic fervor against Haitians.
According to a study by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, about 90% of the contemporary Dominican population has some African ancestry. However, most Dominicans self-identify as being of mixed-race rather than "black" in contrast to African identity movements in the United States. A variety of terms are used to represent a range of skintones; these include "morena" (brown), "india" (Indian), "blanca oscura" (dark white), and "trigueño" (wheat colored), among others.
Many have claimed that this represents a reluctance to self-identify with African descent and the culture of the freed slaves. According to Dr. Miguel Anibal Perdomo, professor of Dominican Identity and Literature at Hunter College in New York City, "There was a sense of 'deculturación' among the African slaves of Hispaniola. [There was] an attempt to erase any vestiges of African culture from the Dominican Republic. We were, in some way, brainwashed and we've become westernized."
However, this view is not universal, as many also claim that Dominican culture is simply different and rejects the racial categorizations of other regions. Ramona Hernández, director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College of New York asserts that the terms were originally an act of defiance in a time when being mulatto was stigmatized.
"During the Trujillo regime, people who were dark skinned were rejected, so they created their own mechanism to fight it" She went on to explain "When you ask, 'What are you?' they don't give you the answer you want . . . saying we don't want to deal with our blackness is simply what you want to hear." The Dominican Republic is not unique in this respect either. In a 1976 census survey conducted in Brazil, respondents described their skin color in 136 distinct terms.
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