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Gurabo, Santiago 1805 Slave Rebellion

Throughout the history of the colonization of the island of Hispaniola(Quisqueya-Ayiti) there have been Maroons, both African and Native. This fight for freedom never ceased as the island, specially during the first 250 years of Spanish colonization where Maroons where numerous in all of the territory. Most of these maroons where brought down via peace treaties and in exchange for guaranteed freedom and to be "left alone". Most of us hear of the famous rebellions such as the Upper West African (Senengambian) Maroons in 1521, the famous Congolese Lemba of hte 1540s, and a myriad of others such as Juan Vaquero, Diego de Ocampo and the hundreds if not thousands of un-named women who where instrumental in these rebellions and maroonage.

Rebellion of Gurabo 1805
In the Valley of Gurabo, Santiago Late 1700s to Early 1800s, Don Marcos Mendez along with some of his relatives had many agricultural projects which where powered by the work of enslaved Africans and creoles. According to…
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Indio Demystified: Do we use it to deny our blackness?

In minds of many it would seem that Dominicans use an evasive term to Negro/Moreno called "Indio" which in the United States circles has become a bit of a justapoxing story. An island of very black Afro-descendants who say they are native-americans (Indios). This couldn't be further from the truth. I came to this realization one morning in Los Minas, Santo Domingo. Talking to my grandmother and when asking her about her heritage she said one of her lines was "Guajiro, gente de raza India" (Native-looking of the indian race). So I couldn't help but ask "Is this the same as being called indio" she said NO! "color indio, y raza india son dos cosas diferente" (Indian color and Indian race are two different things)

The Origin of the term Indio:

Indio at the begining of colonial times was used as a racial term, and over time it evolved into only being attached to color, when this happened exactly is not well documented however there are colonial…

Black Spaniards In the Colony of Santo Domingo

When we think of our blackness or Africanity we often think of our ancestors coming directly from the mother continent or other colonies in the new world. While these are the major sources, there are exceptions to this norm.

The black presence in Iberia dates back to the time of the moors in which both the ruling class and the enslaved class had black-African individuals. These Iberians of African descent where numerous both in the free, servant and enslaved classes and many traveled out of their free will as well as accompanying their patrons.

These individuals and families would have brought with them in some cases an Afro-Iberian culture that would have then melded into the Afro-creole culture of the colony of Santo Domingo.

Quick Facts:

Spain:
Sevilla, Spain has the oldest Afro-catholic brotherhood which was founded in 1399 (La Cofradia de los Negritos de Sevilla)Has living descendants of these African-descendants who have been in Spain for centuries such as the Perez family in Huel…

Moren@: Language of Resistance

It is often that Dominicans come to mind when it comes to self-hate or anti-blackness. "Dominican's don't like to be called black"- is a common term. I remember back close to a decade ago I watched one of my first afro-dominican documentaries "Congo-Pa-Ti" which featured the community of Villa Mella in North-Santo Domingo and although one part featured the outstanding traditions of the people, the other almost in mockery asked residents of villa mella what they considered themselves as far as "race", some respondents said yellow, cinnamon and where quite precise with their color. The ones that said "moren@" where translated in the subtitles as "mixed black" or "light skin black". In the end it seemed to illustrate for the English speaker that Dominican's don't use the term "negro" "black" and therefore use other terms to avoid it. Growing up as a person who gets called "moreno" by…

Confirming African Matches: Abuelo's Peul(Fula) Relatives

As African-descendants in the new world its probably the most asked question. Where from? Whom from?

The first thing to know is there is no such thing as static identity, Ethnic groups in all corners of the African continent have been moving, mixing, adapting at and endless rate. We in the new world often romanticize that we come from "a place" where "our people" live, but it will always be many peoples and many places and not just in the now but in the before as well.


Case #1 My maternal grandfather:

Paternal: Half his fathers family is from Tamboril Santiago and the other half Camaguey, Cuba.
Maternal: San Francisco de Macoris all the way to late 1700s on every single line

Most numerous ethnicity of his African relatives: 4 Fulani Relatives

Location of relatives: Most with connections to or from Fouta Djallon, Guinea, but some with parentage in Senegal, Gambia and Niger.

Match Strength: This is determined by CM (Length) and SNP (Density) the longer and more dense the hi…