The Caribbean is a world of great historical and cultural importance. It has produced numerous literary, artistic, and musical works and has significantly influenced life in the United States. Folklore is central to Caribbean culture. It draws upon the oral traditions and experiences of the Caribbean people and colors their daily life and creative endeavors. At a time when the Caribbean is gaining increasing importance to the curriculum, this book provides a concise but thorough overview of the folklore of that region.
Written for students and general readers, this volume offers a broad survey of Caribbean folklore. It begins by classifying and defining the area's many types of folklore. It then provides numerous examples and texts and looks at related scholarship and criticism. In addition, it comments on the role of folklore in literature and contemporary Caribbean culture. The book closes with a glossary and a bibliography of print and electronic resources suitable for student research.
This new edition looks at how Santiago Atitlán has fared since the expulsion of the army. Carlsen explains that, initially, there was hope that the renewed unity that had served the town so well would continue. He argues that such hopes have been undermined by multiple sources, often with bizarre outcomes. Among the factors he examines are the impact of transnational crime, particularly gangs with ties to Los Angeles; the rise of vigilantism and its relation to renewed religious factionalism; the related brutal murders of followers of the traditional Mayan religion; and the apocalyptic fervor underlying these events.