Nueva Perspectiva Histórica: Transformando la Propiedad

La Profesora Sarah Aponte agradece a Dra. Julie Cheryl Franks por personalmente donar su nuevo libro a nuestra biblioteca.



Franks, Julie Cheryl . Transformando la propiedad: la tenencia de tierras y los derechos políticos en la región azucarera dominicana, 1880-1930. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Academia Dominicana de la Historia. Volumen CIV, 2013.


Este libro es una investigación acerca de las transformaciones experimentadas por la sociedad dominica­na a partir del la revolución azucarera de finales del siglo XIX, y muy pronto derivó hacia el estudio de la transformación de sistema tra­dicional de tenencia de la tierra basado en los terrenos comuneros.  La obra que es una traducción de su tesis doctoral plantea un repaso de la evolución histórica del régimen de propiedad rural dominicana a través de los períodos colonial y en el siglo 19, con el argumento de que las relaciones sociales incorporadas en tenencia de la tierra comunal fueron la base para una popular subjetividad política, colectiva en el período de la independencia. Su trabajo de investigación con documentos de registros locales de la tierra, los registros notariales y registros de los tribunales locales refleja  la magnitud de actores locales en participación del progreso de los mercados de tierras en la región azucarera y la persistencia de prácticas populares para asegurar los derechos la tierra, incluso dentro de la expansión de  plantaciones modernas.


El libro es un recurso para los estudiantes, investigadores y público en general interesados en la evolución histórica de la agricultura en la República Dominicana, el proceso de formación del Estado en la República Dominicana, Industria azucarera y la sociedad dominicana.


Jhensen Ortiz


Library Intern

Greetings from Japan! Mika Miyoshi donates Dominika Kyouwakoku wo shirutameno 60 syou / the 60 chapters to understand the Dominican Republic

DSC01336Prof. Sarah Aponte would like to thank Dr. Mika Miyoshi, Researcher at the University of Tokyo for donating her recent publication on Dominican Republic which is part of a book series titled Nations in the World.

Dominika Kyouwakoku wo shirutameno 60 syou/the 60 chapters to understand the Dominican Republic. Tokyo, Japan: Akashi Syoten, 2013. Series editor: Iyo Kunimoto. 

This book, under the well-known series Nations in the World, covers the history, society, culture, politics and economics of the Dominican Republic for the first time in Japanese. The book contains material that will help students better understand the Dominican Republic and the Dominican diaspora. It also supplies information and interpretation on the Dominican community in New York City and an insight to the cultural locations and characteristics of the Dominican people.

Dominika Kyouwakoku wo shirutameno 60 syou / the 60 chapters to understand the Dominican Republic is an important resource for researchers, students and readers who are interested in finding general information about Dominican Republic and introduction to Dominican immigration to the United States.

Jhensen Ortiz

Library Research Intern

Silvano Lora: His legacy lives on

Silvano-Lora-artistaPhoto courtesy of Taller Público Silvano Lora

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Silvano Lora (1931-2003) who left behind an immense and exquisite body of work that is still as relevant as ever before. Ten years later, the legacy of this non-conformist artist and social activist is being celebrated and re-assessed in the media, art venues as well as academic institutions by intellectuals, artists, friends and relatives marked by his unique, interdisciplinary artistic vision and towering personality.


Silvano Lora and Pachito stage a protest in opposition to the official celebrations of the 500th Centenary of the conquest of the Americas[Photo courtesy of Taller Público Silvano Lora]

In June, for example, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and the Association of Constitutionalist Combatants [of the 1965 revolution and civil war] held a ceremony to pay tribute to both Silvano Lora and Jacques Viau Renaud, the Dominican-Haitian poet and educator and one of the martyrs of the armed conflict. Another tribute and re-assessment of Silvano’s legacy was his first posthumous individual show (on display from July 25-September 10, 2013) at the Galería Nacional de Bellas Artes [Bellas Artes National Gallery] in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The show won praise not only from art critics but the general public.

Crossing the Ozama River in remembrance of the 500 years of indigenous resistance in the Americas [Photo courtesy of Taller Público Silvano Lora]

 Sivano Lora: un arte combatiente [Sivano Lora: A Combatant Art] encapsulated the artist’s approach to art and life by showcasing a series of paintings, collages, assemblages and even texts penned by others who knew him. Among the items on display was a raft canoe built in collaboration with the craft artist Pachito. In 1992, on the eve of the official celebration of the 500th anniversary of the conquest of the Americas—known with the anachronism of “discovery”— both artists sailed the Ozama river to bring attention to the plight of indigenous people not only in Dominican Republic but also throughout Latin America. This retrospective was organized by the Taller Público Silvano Lora [Silvano Lora Public Workshop] in conjunction with the Bellas Artes National Gallery under the direction of art critic Marianne de Tolentino.

The 1992 protest staged by Silvano Lora overshadowed the official celebrations of the 500th Centenary of Columbus arrival [Photo courtesy of Taller Público Silvano Lora]

In Santiago, the second largest city, Centro León organized a panel on Silvano Lora which included among other panelists, his daughter, the historian Quisqueya Lora Hugi, Marianne de Tolentino, and the art critic and author Danilo de los Santos.

An aesthetic of rebellion

Trained in the school of Western classical painting, Silvano Lora eschewed academicism, idealism and tradition, embarking in what later became an ongoing artistic search for experimentation that lasted a lifetime. And while his art took cues from the latest trends within the international avant-garde, he was able to develop a true aesthetic of rebellion. In fact, his art was not only grounded in theory but in concrete reality. This was personified in the concrete reality of the barrios in the post-dictatorial era; overcrowded urban spaces that lacked both basic services and political freedoms. The Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961) has left the country in shambles as many political exiles like Silvano Lora could attest. (He was exiled in Paris, France for a while. There he took part in the Algerian anti-colonial struggle).

RevolucionariosA scene from the 1965 revolution [From the book Historia gráfica de la Guerra de Abril (1981 edition) by Fidelio Despradel]

In the early 60s, Silvano Lora was instrumental in bridging the gap between art and politics in a time when students, intellectuals and ordinary people pushed forward for more democratic reforms and freedoms. Like his peers, Silvano took part in poetry recitals, self-publishing and collective art-making as well as exhibitions that brought art to the masses: First, as a member of the Arte y Liberación [Art and Liberation] group, and second, as one of the leading members of the short-lived but far-reaching cultural action committee known as Frente Cultural Constitucionalista [Constitutionalist Cultural Front].

[From the book Historia gráfica de la Guerra de Abril (1981 edition) by Fidelio Despradel]

During the 1965 popular uprising that opposed the 1963 coup, the Frente Cultural made posters, organized art exhibits and published a collection of poems entitled Pueblo, sangre y canto [literal translation: People, Blood and Song]in which poets expressed their unconditional support to the revolutionary cause. A statement signed collectively by Frente Cultural in support of the ideals and goals of the revolt first saw the light of the day in the first edition of that book. According to Juan José Ayuso, a poet, historian and former Frente Cultural member, “the book appeared in September of 1965”. In 1985, a second edition published by Autonomous University of Santo Domingo was released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the revolution.

[Click here to read the English translation of the Frente Cultural 1965 statement and here to read the original version in Spanish]


Poster by the Frente Cultural circa 1965 [From the book Historia gráfica de la Guerra de Abril (1981 edition) by Fidelio Despradel]

PosteruasdA mural by Silvano Lora at UASD university

After the revolution, a twelve-year semi-dictatorial regime imposed terror in the streets. Combatants and unionist were murdered. Others like Silvano Lora were forced to go into exile. But he never became disengaged from his place of birth, denouncing the state terror facing Santo Domingo whenever he went. At the same time, Silvano continued to produce art in places like Panama where he gave talks to artists and young people and collaborated with plastic artists to create participatory art spaces such as murals.

Scene from the Bienal Marginal [Photo courtesy of Taller Público Silvano Lora]

Upon his return, Silvano continued his social art practice. Some of his long lasting contributions are a film festival, a rural museum in Baoruco province as well as the Bienal Marginal in Santa Bárbaraa working-class neighborhood located in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo which showcased work produced by ordinary people, among others.


La inmensa humanidad de Silvano (2003)  by Alberto Lara available for perusal at the DSI Library

The artist, writer, filmmaker, revolutionary combatant, activist and father remained committed to social change until the end. What was truly admirable was that at no point in his prolific career, his art was driven by the dehumanizing desire to accumulate lucre but instead, it was driven by a collective desire to change the status quo. Ten years later, his work remains vital.  Never a pessimist, Silvano Lora was— in the words of his friend Marianne de Tolentino — “an untamed artistic rebel who never believed in lost causes”.

Amaury Rodriguez/Guest contributor

The Faces Behind the Dolls /Los Rostros Detrás de las Muñecas

Prof. Sarah Aponte would like to thank Mary Ely Peña-Gratereaux for donating her important documentary The Faces Behind the Dolls /Los Rostros Detrás de las Muñecas to our Dominican library.


The Faces Behind the Dolls /Los Rostros Detrás de las Muñecas. Cayena Publications. Directed by Freddy Vargas. New York, 2012. Spanish/English. Color; 75 minutes. DVD.

This film is an acknowledgment to the immigrant labor workers in New York City, especially those at the Madame Alexander Doll Company.It illustrates the lives of Dominican women and their labor experiences with Madame Alexander Doll Company.The film also features the work and history of Madame Alexander Doll Company that has charmed children and adults all around the world from Queens, businesswomen, and actresses to world leaders.The documentary also highlights the uncertainty of the women as they strive for a better live for their families. Their voices and stories are a focus of the larger narrative of globalization and the effect it has on the lives of immigrants as they incorporate themselves into the U.S. Labor market.   

The Faces Behind the Dolls is an important resource for researchers, students and readers who are interested in the Dominican labor experiences in the U.S., Globalization, and Dominican immigration.

Jhensen Ortiz

Library Research Intern

Videoteca Chango Prieto: preserving Dominican oral tradition

Videoteca Chango Prieto [Chango Prieto Video Library] reflects on the continuity of African arts, customs and social life in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region as well as the new creole culture that emerged out of the uninterrupted interaction of slaves, freemen and laborers in the sugar plantations and other spheres of society molded by both pre-capitalist and modern-day capitalist modes of production.  But this online resource also reflects on the interactions between the islands--Haiti, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Jamaica, Cuba, and Dominican Republic--and the transnational nature of anthropological studies in the Dominican Republic whose center of gravity shifted  from the study of the Taínos indigenous people to the living and breathing legacy of Afro-Dominican people. Following that line of thought, one of the major contributions of the Chango Prieto Video Library is the preservation of oral tradition, an endeavor that took off in the1970s with the birth of the Convite research and musical group.  Founded in 1994 by anthropologist and author Soraya Aracena, Video Chango Prieto is not only an innovative resource, but it is also the first of its kind. According to its web site, the collection is comprised of more than 350 unedited videos.

The audiovisual collection, compiled by Aracena over the years as part of her ethnographic fieldwork research into Afro-Dominican culture, showcases the work of a number of artists, cultural animators, filmmakers, musicians with little or no access to commercial media and financial resources. Shot in cinéma vérité, these digital videos cover the following subjects: musical genres and dances from a diverse ethnic heritage that includes Haitians, West Indians, Cubans and descendants of slaves in the Dominican Republic (wild Indians, gagá,  bomba, , jazz, salves); carnival celebrations, death rituals; harvest celebrations— a legacy of freemen community from the U.S that settled in what is today known as Samaná Province in the northeast; folk medicine, fashion, art, children’s games, body decoration and much more.  

This video library and web site is recommended viewing to students, researchers, anthropologists, folklorists, musicians, plastics artists as well as the general public.  Some of the key research areas are: The Caribbean region, Latin America, colonial history, linguistic differentiation in the Caribbean, afro-Caribbean music, carnival celebrations, funerary rites, syncretic religion systems, sugar production, and West Indian and Haitian laborers in the Dominican Republic.

Amaury Rodríguez/Guest contributor


New publication on the portrayal of Dominicans in the International Press by Sully Saneaux and Dr. Ramona Hernández

Prof. Sarah Aponte would like to acknowledge the donation and recent publication of Columnist Sully Saneaux and CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Director Dr. Ramona Hernandez.

Prensa extranjera001

Saneaux, Sully, and Ramona Hernández. La República Dominicana Y La Prensa Extranjera Mayo 1961- Septiembre 1963 (Desde La Desaparición De Trujillo Hasta Juan Bosch). Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña, 2013. Print.

The authors analyze the relationship of the Dominican Republic and principal international news organizations from May 1960 to September 1963. The authors were interested in finding what false pretenses and inaccurate information was being publicized during this time period. In addition, it was crucial for them to detect the accuracy of the news, the propaganda, and subjectivity from the reporters in the news media. They examine articles from news organizations in Portugal, Italy, and China, to name a few.

The book will definitely resonate with Dominicans who were affected by the political instability following the five years after Trujillo's death and provide readers an understanding of the perceptions in the news coverage relating to political events in the Dominican Republic during this time period.

La República Dominicana Y La Prensa Extranjera is essential reading to political science and history students as well as researchers working in the fields of Cold War studies, Media Communications, Journalism, Dominican History, Dominican Politics, Juan Bosch, and U.S. foreign policy.

Jhensen Ortiz

Library Intern


Five social science resources by Juan Bosch


In an effort to disseminate social and political thought from the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, we are glad to present five distinctive social science publications written by Juan Bosch (1909-2001) and  available at our Dominican Library. These sources were published at different intervals of his life and provide insight into colonial history in the Americas and Europe, eighteenth and nineteenth century Caribbean history and twentieth century contemporary history. During the twentieth century, few writers in the Dominican Republic were as prolific as Juan Bosch. An educator, political organizer and former president, Bosch’s impact on politics, literature and the social sciences cannot be overestimated. The five publications below were a product of heated intellectual and political polemics with other writers while others were written with the explicit aim to educate the general public on important issues of the day by looking at the past with a critical eye.  All publications listed here are in Spanish unless otherwise indicated. (The DSI library has an extensive collection of literary and political works authored by Juan Bosch. In addition, we have a growing collection of literary criticism, political essays and audiovisual material that examine his life, work and legacy. To find more resources on Juan Bosch at DSI Library and other CUNY schools we recommend you to search the CUNY+ catalog).



De Cristóbal Colón a Fidel Castro: el Caribe, frontera imperial. Santo Domingo [From Cristopher Columbus to Fidel Castro: The Caribbean, an Imperial Frontier], República Dominicana: Alfa & Omega, 1988.

Drawing in part from the work of non-traditional scholarship as well as his own, this 738 page book is one of Juan Bosch’s most ambitious works. De Cristóbal Colón a Fidel Castro depicts the Caribbean region as a dynamic place moving history forward. Like many passionate writers and artists, Bosch does not shy away from contradiction. In Bosch’s writing, which reveals his political thinking at the time, traces of historical materialism co-exist side by side with positivist ideological formulations. Nevertheless, Bosch writes from a critical perspective that examines European colonialism in the Americas and its “imperial frontier” in the Caribbean erected over a period that lasted five centuries. Subsequent wars of independence, however, led to its demise to be later reconstructed by the United States as its expansionist policy took hold over time. Further, Bosch argues that a new historical period unlike any other opened up with the defeat of U.S-trained mercenaries who invaded Cuba in 1961 (Bay of Pigs or Playa Girón invasion) as it marked the demise of the imperial frontier set up by the United States. The book first saw publication in 1970. It has a bibliography and an index.

This publication is essential reading for students and researchers working on colonial history in the Americas, European wars, Caribbean societies, mercantilism and slavery; the Haitian revolution and inter-capitalist rivalry; Wars of Independence in the Americas, US foreign policy in the Caribbean, the Cuban revolution and Latin American nationalist movements. 


33 artículos de temas políticos [33 political essays]. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Alfa & Omega, 1988.

This is a collection of essays first published in the 1980s in Política: Teoría y Acción [Politics, Theory and Action], the long defunct journal of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). This book was published at the time when Bosch publicly embraced a Democratic Left/National Liberation political outlook. Bosch writes about the Nicaraguan revolution, the Reagan presidency and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Furthermore, Bosch’s essays touch upon both historical and ideological issues such as Latin American independence hero Simón Bolívar, the Russian Revolution, labor struggles in the United States, the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, political strategies and tactics as well as the role of the political leader. (We thank the Latin American and Caribbean Information Center (LACIC) for this donation).

This publication is essential reading for those studying Juan Bosch’s political and theoretical thought, populism as well as center-left and national liberation parties in the Americas.


El Napoleón de las guerrillas [The Napoleon of the Guerillas]. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Alfa & Omega, 1986.

First published in 1976, this book is a brief survey of the military campaigns organized by Dominican General Máximo Gómez (1836-1905) during Cuba’s War of Independence known as the Ten Year War (1868–1878). In this book, Bosch examines General Máximo Gómez’s social and political thought while looking at its impact on the course of the war to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule. The title of the book comes from a piece in The London News that recognized General Máximo Gómez’s tactical insights by comparing him to French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) hence the name “The Napoleon of the Guerrillas”. As an aside, the book cover provides insight on the solidarity efforts of other Latin American nations with the Cuban people by reproducing the front page of the Buenos Aires-based Cuba Libre newspaper published on January 23rd of 1897.  (We thank Luis Feliz for this donation).

This monographic study is essential reading for students and researchers conducting research on the Cuban war of independence, General Máximo Gómez, Antonio Maceo, José Martí, the Mambises, Afro-Cuban soldiers, Dominican solidarity with Cuba, military tactics as well as guerilla warfare during wars of independence and Antillanismo ideology.


Pentagonism: A Substitute for Imperialism, New York: Grove Press, 1968.

This is perhaps Juan Bosch’s best known political essay. In a nutshell, the author’s elaborates further on the “military-industrial complex” thesis in an attempt to denounce US interventions and coups—particularly his own experience as the first democratically-elected president of the Dominican Republic post-dictatorial period who was overthrown in a military coup in September of 1963. Translated into several languages, the book was the love child of a tumultuous epoch (the Cold War) in which world powers (the US and the former Soviet Union) competed for political, military and economic hegemony around the world. The backdrop to this book and similar publications at the time were the April of 1965 Constitutionalist revolution in the Dominican Republic and U.S military invasion; the anti-colonial wars in Africa; the Chinese revolution; the Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam war conflict (1955-1975); the civil rights movement in the U.S. and finally, the worldwide student revolts that shook the Western world. This publication is available at the DSI library in English.

This book is essential reading to political science and history students as well as researchers working in the fields of Cold War studies, U.S foreign policy in the Americas and Asia, modern warfare, the post-dictatorial period in the Dominican Republic, Juan Bosch, and the 1963 military coup in the Dominican Republic among others.


Hostos el sembrador [Hostos The Sower]. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Alfa & Omega, 2003.

This is a biography of positivist educator and political activist Eugenio María de Hostos (1839-1903). Originally born in Puerto Rico, Hostos left a profound mark on Dominican and Spanish-speaking Caribbean culture and letters.  The first edition of this book appeared in Cuba in 1939. This ninth edition (2003), published under the auspices of Fundación Juan Bosch to commemorate the one-hundred anniversary of Hostos’s death, presents a young Bosch working as a researcher for a living while laying the foundation for the study of Hostos’s extensive body of work and legacy. Consequently, Bosch’s work was fundamental in rescuing Hostos from the dustbin of history.

This biography is a secondary source material for those working on the intellectual history of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Eugenio María de Hostos, Puerto Rican writers and thinkers, Puerto Rican Independence movement, Puerto Rican writers in the Dominican Republic, Dominican-Puerto Rican solidarity ties, educational system in the Dominican Republic, cultural production in the Dominican Republic, modern political philosophies of the Americas, Antillanismo, Hostosianismo and Positivism, ideology of progress as well as Juan Bosch’s political and social thought.

Amaury Rodríguez, Library Research Assistant
















Monograph on freed U.S. slave emigrants of 1824 to Dominican Republic. Samana

Prof. Sarah Aponte would like to thank Dr. Dona F. Minaya for donating Freed U.S. Slave Emigrants of 1824 to Dominican Republic, a new addition to our growing collection of bibliographical materials. (To find more resources on Samana at DSI Library and other CUNY schools we recommend you to search the CUNY+ catalog)

Minaya, Dona F. Freed U.S. Slave Emigrants of 1824 to Dominican Republic. Samana, Dominican Republic: Samana College Research, 2012.

Published by the Samana College Research Center, this research monograph provides a comprehensible overview of the 1824 freed U.S. slave emigration to Samana province in the Dominican Republic. The author reconstructs the unique U.S. free slave emigration experience to Samana by looking at primary sources dating back to the 19th century as well as the 1871 Report of the Commission of the Inquiry to Santo Domingo published during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). This study covers some of the most important social, economic and cultural aspects of this historical event whose implications still resonate today. Among some of these are U.S interests in Samana, the role of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), cultural identity of U.S freed slaves, racism, religion, gender and family structure, modes of production, government and political structure, modes of transportation, health and education, the court system and legal disputes, revolutionary upheaval in Dominican Republic, Dominican military leader Gregorio Luperón (1839-1897) among others.


Illustration in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 28, 1871. Original caption read: "Santo Domingo Commission. Address by Frederick Douglass to the negro colonizers from the United States, in the city plaza of Samaná, before the alcalde. January 28th. From a sketch by James E. Taylor, our special artist accompanying the expedition". (Public domain text and image from Wikipedia)

This publication is of interest to those working on the Monroe Doctrine, U.S. foreign relations. U.S Latin American relations, U.S annexation plans of Samana Bay, annexation treaties between the U.S and the Dominican government, African-Americans in the Dominican Republic, the Haitian Revolution and its geopolitical impact Jean Pierre Boyer, Protestantism in the Dominican Republic, African-American Spirituals, morphology of Spanish language in the Dominican Republic and Anglicism in the Dominican Republic.

A PDF version is available here.

Amaury Rodriguez, Library Research Assistant




Some resources on archaeology at DSI

The island of Hispaniola (shared by both Haiti and the Dominican Republic) is a repository of a rich wealth of information that can shed light on human settlements in the Americas that date back to prehistoric and colonial times. This archaeological record has been the subject of study for a long time. In the 1970s, a group of Dominican archeologists and their international counterparts in American universities and publications produced a considerable body of work that still has not been surpassed to this day. We are glad to present some of that seminal bibliographical material available to the general public at our library. (If you would like to find out more information about the state of the field of archaeology and colonial studies in the Dominican Republic contact CUNY DSI Assistant Director and Historian Anthony Stevens-Acevedo  P: 212-650-7496 E: Contact Prof. Sarah Aponte for further information on library resources T: 212.650.7170   E: To find more bibliographical resources on archeology in the Dominican Republic at other CUNY schools we recommend you to search the CUNY+ catalog).  

Ortega, Elpido J. (Volumen I) Compendio general arqueológico de Santo Domingo [Volume I, A General Guide of Archaeology in Santo Domingo]. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana, 2005.


Published under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences, this first volume of A General Guide of Archaeology in Santo Domingo is comprised of nine sections that cover the pre-Columbus period in what later became the Spanish Santo Domingo colony (what is today known as the Dominican Republic).  The study of the first inhabitants of the Dominican Republic coalesced in the 1970s. In fact, that tumultuous decade saw the emergence of new institutions and publications funded by both public and private sectors. Further, there were 300 excavations during that time, according to the introduction. By 1973, the newly built Museo del Hombre Dominicano [Museum of the Dominican Man], had acquired enough pieces to display both the Mesoindian and Paleolithic exhibits. This ambitious guide presents a well-detailed overview of archeology in the Dominican Republic by providing maps, charts and information on archaeological sites; methodology and concepts to study the pre-historical period; and finally, historical sources (in English, Spanish and French) as well as archaeology field surveys and excavations, tracing one of the first archaeological reports to the 19th century written by the British Consul Sir Robert Shomburgh*. The guide has a bibliography.

This general guide is of interest to archaeologists, amateur archaeologists, historians, students and researchers working on human settlements, pre-capitalist societies and socio-political formations in the American hemisphere.

Vega, Bernardo. Los cacicazgos de la Hispaniola [The Indigenous Chiefdoms of La Hispaniola] . Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Museo del Hombre Dominicano, 1980.


Published during the heyday of the Museo del Hombre Dominicano [Museum of the Dominican Man], this research monograph –filed under Investigaciones antropológicas No.13 [Antropological research No. 13]—investigates the indigenous chiefdoms (cacicazgos) that existed before and after the Spanish conquest in the island of Hispaniola shared by what is today Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The research draws upon history, geography, cartography and linguistics in order to demystify the traditional historiography on indigenous chiefdoms in the island. The book comes with a map insert.

This research monograph is of interest to those researching some of the following topics: Pre-Columbian societies, pre-historic cave paintings, Caribbean indigenous people, social and political organization of the Taíno people, the Taíno language, Meillac pottery, the impact of colonization on indigenous people and colonial maps.

Ortega, Elpidio. Arqueología colonial de Santo Domingo [Colonial Archaeology of Santo Domingo] . Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Taller, 1982.


This book is a collection of five archaeological reports on historical monuments from Santo Domingo City and La Vega or Concepción de la Vega municipality (Cibao region) dating back to the colonial period. Additionally, it has a study on ceramics and Spanish colonial coins. The first part of this book looks at the following religious and government sites: the Convent of Saint Francis, the Convent of the Dominicans, the Chapel of the Third Order of the Franciscans, the Square of the Priests and the Colón [Columbus] Park, the House of Diego Caballero, The Mercedes Church, The San Miguel Church, The Chapel of San Andrés, a colonial house (No.85) located in Isabel la Católica Street. Further, there is a section on colonial coins. Ceramic art from the pre-Hispanic period in the Antigua Concepcion de la Vega [The Old City of Concepción de la Vega] in what is today La Vega is the focus of the study of the second report. During the colonial era, Concepción de la Vega became a boomtown due to the proliferation of gold mines. The third report covers excavations at La Casa del Cordón, a stone house built in 1503. Its owner was Francisco de Garay, who was a servant to Christopher Columbus.  (Garay would become Columbus’s notary public as well). The fourth report is on Casa de Gonjon; the Casa de Gonjon was founded as a school in 1558 by Hernando Gonjon, a wealthy sugar mill owner. Over the years, Casa de Gonjon housed a university –called Santiago de la Paz—which flourished for a while until the island was invaded by the pirates hordes led by Francis Drake. The expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 marked the end of the institution of higher learning. The fifth and last report is on Parque Independencia [Independence Park], San Lázaro Church and Santa Barbara Fort and Church.

This publication is of interest to researchers working in the following areas of study: Spanish colonial monuments, religious orders in the Americas, Spanish colonial coins, pottery in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, colonial pottery factories, schools in colonial Santo Domingo, indigenous people in Santo Domingo, colonial cities in the Caribbean, colonial government buildings and gold mining towns in the Americas.

Maggiolo, Marcio V. Arqueología prehistórica de Santo Domingo [Prehistoric Archaeology of Santo Domingo]. Singapur: Mcgraw-Hill, 1972.


This seminal book is an ambitious attempt to provide a general overview of pre-historic archaeology in the Dominican Republic.  The book is divided into six chapters. Chapter one looks at the state of prehistoric archaeology in the 20th century by surveying some of the most important historical sources available to the author in Spanish, French and English. Chapter two examines the physical geography of both the country under discussion and the rest of the Antilles islands. By doing so, the author sets out to prove his thesis of a shared past among the inhabitants of the island of Hispaniola (present day Dominican Republic and Haiti), the Caribbean islands (Cuba) and South America (Venezuela). The main aspects under discussion in this chapter are geology, climate, orogeny, hydrography, vegetation, flora and fauna, ecology and population. Chapter three examines both pre-ceramic and ceramic cultures. With the aid of ethnology, the author attempts to reconstruct the ciboney culture for the reader. The chapter highlights the main characteristic of ceramic art produced in the island as well as archeological sites. Further, it offers a typological summary of relational databases that comprises Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. Chapter four discusses pictographs and petroglyphs. The last two chapters focus on the indigenous people.  Chapter five presents a historical and cultural sketch of the island of Hispaniola. This discussion highlights the following: food diet, geophagia ,fishing, hunting, agricultural practices, domestication of animals, food preparation, beverages, drugs and hallucinogens, rituals and sports, division of labor, textile art, taíno art, weaponry, utensils and so on. Chapter six examines the belief system and the society of the indigenous people including customs, games, rituals, musical instruments, marriage arrangements, political and territorial divisions, war, life cycle (infancy, adulthood, death), funerary rites, religious rites (idols and cemies), trigonolitos (three-cornered stones), purification rituals, masks and ceremonial canes and walking sticks. The book includes an appendix, maps, illustrations, photographs, documents produced at the time of the research and a bibliography.  

*Other sources identify him as Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk (1804-1865).

Amaury Rodríguez, Library Research Assistant