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Los Culimochos: Africanías de un pueblo eurodescendiente en el pacífico nariñense.

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Author(s): Jaime Arocha | Stella Rodríguez Cáceres

Journal: Historia Crítica
ISSN 0121-1617

Issue: 24;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: cultural anthropology | ethno-history | afro-american cultures | inter-ethnic relations | inter-ethnic coexistence.

ABSTRACT
This article is based on ethnographic and ethnohistorical research about the “Culimochos”, the name given to a most unusual people of Spanish ancestry. Unlike other groups of similar origin, the Culimochos did not leave the southern Pacific coast of Colombia after slavery was abolished in 1851. Instead, they continued living on the beaches of Mulatos and Almarales on the northern coast of Nariño. They claim to have descended from Basque navigators whose ships were supposedly shipwrecked upon those shores one hundred years before Columbus reached America, and from whom they learned the art of shipbuilding they still practice. They also allege to forbid marriage with black people and to despise black customs in general. Nonetheless, they are highly knowledgeable regarding the Afro-Colombian culture of Nariño, more so than they are about the culture of the “whites” (the Hispanic-American mores) of the region. Furthermore, they give “black” names to important landmarks within their territory (e.g. “Mulattos”) and, in Bogota, Culimochos displaced by economic modernization or by the ongoing war identify themselves as “Afrocolombians”. Increasing Africanization of local and urban identities is of interest to those who study the formation and changes of ethnicity, as well as to those concerned with the effects of armed conflict on Afrocolombians.
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