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Accepted Paper:

'You can't jump from yesterday to tomorrow without going through today': contested notions of essence and identity in the Eastern Caribbean  
Mark Powell

Paper long abstract:

This paper considers notions of indigeneity in an Eastern Caribbean context, notions that link local understandings of belonging to claims of origin in other lands and people of the Atlantic seaboard. These claims are important for understanding individual notions of belonging and the contested ongoing creation of local identity. Drawing on ethnography from the Windward Isles, the paper will question prevailing concepts of indigeneity by examining individuals' oral recollections of kinship and diverging understandings of the past. Narrated personal genealogies appear to be static, but they constantly shift to accommodate and reflect the dynamic quality of everyday social relationships. While local perceptions of indigeneity might appeal to ideas of essence and a static, fixed past, closer examination reveals these ideas to be creative and flexible, prompted by judgements about others in relation to the daily practices of local life.

Panel W027
Indigeneity in western Atlantic intersystems
  Session 1