Arima Born: Revealing the History of Arima and its Mission through the Catholic Church’s Baptismal Registers, 1820–1916

in #trinidad9 months ago (edited)

Was Arima’s mission an Indian Mission after all? Was the mission established “for the good” of the Amerindians? How many Indigenous people lived in the Arima Mission, and in Trinidad as a whole? Who counted them? How were they counted, and why? Were the Amerindians segregated from other races? Why did Arima come to be seen as a centre of Indigenous culture in Trinidad? Exactly how did the Amerindians “vanish” from the Mission? Did the mission help to perpetuate Amerindian social and cultural forms in Trinidad, or did it promote their dissolution? Did the Amerindians gladly convert to Catholicism and adhere to an austere lifestyle of obedience and service in the mission? What explains the alleged “decline” in Trinidad’s Indigenous population? Did the Arima Mission have a secret side?

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