Please reload

Archive

© 2018 | Jaime Gómez

A journey into domestic settings and practices as tools for socialization and acculturation.

La Guajira

Colombia

July 29, 2018

Luis remembers how his legs were “almost shaking” the day he was sent to Nazareth’s Indian boarding school in 1963. He was thirteen or fourteen; he doesn´t remember well. He had seen the new building from the distance while in its early stages of construction, but had never been inside. He also had seen the Capuchin monks when his mother would send him to Nazareth, the small town that grew around the school, to exchange goat’s meat and leather for coffee beans and panela (1). The bear...

June 2, 2018

Ligia, a palabrero's wife and the mother of one of the teachers of Nazareth’s Indian boarding school (Colombian case study), lived in the school during the years it was moving to the building it occupies today (1). She experienced both buildings, which caught my attention. I knew about her while talking informally with her son. During the conversation, he offered to take me to Ligia’s home immediately and, although I wasn’t prepared for an interview, I couldn’t resist the offer. Once...

April 28, 2018

Originally an intrepid attempt by Capuchin monks to plant the seed for the "civilization" of Wayúu Indians, the Internado Indígena de Nazareth (Nazareth´s Indian Residential School), located in the northern part of La Guajira region, would become a central piece in the development of its surrounding area (see image 1). The humble buildings that held the school when it was founded were built on a piece of land owned by the Indians, which the Capuchin monks got in exchange for food...

March 20, 2018

On a certain afternoon in La Guajira, two girls, students of one of the Capuchin order's boarding schools, were overheard by a monk while talking about how happy they were at the school and how their life had changed for good after they had moved there. The girls were also puzzled because they didn't understand why some people spoke badly of the boarding schools the Capuchin monks had built with so much effort to help the Indians. This conversation, likely fictitious, was published in...

March 13, 2018

In every Indian community where the government's Indian Affairs Division had personnel, there was at least one "home improver." I found reports from the 1960s and 1970s where different home improvers described their activities. One report that caught my attention was written by Lupe Lozano Asprilla in 1971, describing the activities she expected to do in La Guajira region (see image). In her account, Mrs. Lozano explains that one of the activities she expects to do is to "demarcate fe...

February 15, 2018

Information from different sources suggests that in mid-twentieth-century Colombia some sectors still saw the Indian as a socially and culturally backward person in need of transformation. In his speech delivered at the First Convention of National Territories (1) held in 1966, for example, the president of the Colombian Congress labelled the Indian as "innocent in his ignorance." The Colombian president, in his turn addressing the convention's participants, praised the Catholic churc...

February 12, 2018

In 1961 the Colombian government hired father Lino Rampón to assess the results of the Catholic missions' actions to "catechize, instill literacy, and culturally improve” the Indians of La Guajira region. Father Rampón sent his report in 1962, after spending one month in the region. One of the places he visited was the Internado Indígena de Nazareth (Nazareth’s Indian Residential School), one of the institutions my dissertation focuses on. In his report, father Rampón mentions the 400...

January 9, 2018

I will start posting in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, please make sure to read the section labelled "More Info" (click here to read) to get an idea of what this website is about. Please be aware that although I will try to post as frequently as I can, there will be periods where you won't see much going on. Lack of access to internet in the places where I will be doing fieldwork, of time, or material may result in long silences.

Please reload