This article investigates the way in which Cuban literature reflected on indigenous people during the early half of the nineteenth century and uses the symbol of the Amerindians to demonstrate a moral disjuncture between them and the colonizer. In this article, I call attention to the way Cuban independentists and Spanish nationalists used this figure to support their views and thus created a split in the Cuban creole imagination. I start by pointing out that these appropriations started at the end of the 18th century when historian José Martín Félix de Arrate, and poets such as Miguel González and Manuel de Zequeira y Arango spoke about them. But my focus would be José María Heredia, given that he was the most important Cuban poet at the time, and his interpretation of Cuban Indians served as a counterpoint to Zequeira’s. To guide my discussion, I rely on Stuart Hall's approach to analyzing postcoloniality.

Bio Note

Jorge Camacho is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at USC. He has published more than 100 articles in top refereed journals and scholarly collections such as Iberoamericana, Hispanófila, and the Oxford Literary Cultures of Latin America. In addition, he is the author of 14 books, 5 of them with more than 80 previously known and uncollected texts written by José Martí, Rubén Darío y Mercedes Matamoros.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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