CREOLIZATION AS MODEL FOR TRADITION IN PLURAL SOCIETIES: THE CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE

Effumbe Kachua

Abstract


Creolization is a cultural theory that seeks to explain and redress the cultural diversity in multi-ethnic communities. It makes for desired unity and harmony towards the achievement of the sense of wholeness and identity for a disparate people. The theory was developed by Kamau Brathwaite to describe the process through which Old World (African) life forms became indigenous in the New World (Americas). Today, in the era of globalization, the term is used as synonym of hybridity and syncretism to portray the process of seamless cultural mixture in plural societies. Creolization is also adjudged and likened to the old “melting pot” hypothesis which conceives of new cultural unity from diverse original ones, thus, it is used as a metaphor for Caribbean unity. The Caribbean society is a multi-ethnic community of peoples who were forcefully taken away from their homes, mostly from Africa as slaves. The term is interpreted to mean being Caribbean – ‘Caribbeanness’ – and goes beyond identification with one race and one place. In their distinct and separate national identities as Europeans, East Indians, Amerindians and Africans, Caribbean territories could not achieve any socio-political and economic stability, but Creolization offers endless possibilities for socio-cultural, economic and political fulfillment as a plural society.

 

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creolization, tradition, plural societies, Caribbean experience

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References


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