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Haitians, Magic, and Money: Raza and Society in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands, 1900 to 1937

  • Lauren Derby (a1)
Abstract

Sitting on the banks of the shallow riverine waters separating the northern border towns of Dajabón of the Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe of Haiti, one can see children wade, market women wash, and people pass from one nation to another. They are apparently impervious to the official meaning of this river as a national boundary that rigidly separates these two contiguous Caribbean island nations. Just as the water flows, so do people, goods, and merchandise between the two countries, even as the Dominican border guards stationed on a small mound above the river watch. The ironies of history lie here, as well as the poetics of its remembrance. This river is called El Masacre, a name which recalls the 1937 Haitian massacre, when the water is said to have run scarlet red from the blood of thousands of Haitians killed by machetes there by soldiers under the direction of the Dominican dictator, Rafael M. Trujillo (1930–61).

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1 The name actually dates from the colonial period, when a labor dispute erupted into a legendary slaughter of Taino Indians near the river. For the most complete treatment of the 1937 Haitian massacre, see Turits Richard, “Histories of Terror and the Perils of History: The 1937 Haitian Massacre in the Dominican Republic” (unpublished manuscript, 1989). Other works include: Bemardo Vega, Trujilloy Haití, vol. 1 (19301937) (Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1988);Matteis Arthur de, Le massacre de 1937 ou un succession immobiliére internacionale (Port-au-Prince: Bibliothéque Nacionale D'Haïti, 1987);Castor Suzy, Migracióny relaciones internacionales (el caso haitiano-dominicano)(Santo Domingo: UASD, 1987); José Israel Cuello H., Documentos del conflicto dominico-haitiano de 1937 (Santo Domingo: Ed. Taller, 1985); Castillo Freddy Prestol, El masacre se pasa a pie, 5th ed. (1973; Santo Domingo: Ed. Taller, 1982); Lespés Anthony, Les semences de Ia colére (Port-au-Prince: H. Deschamps, 1949; Editions Fardin, 1983); and Juan Manuel Garcia, La matanza de los haitianos: Genocidio de Trujillo, 1937 (Santo Domingo: Ed. Alfa y Omega, 1983). For studies in English see Roorda Eric, “Genocide Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy, the Trujillo Regime and the Haitian Massacre of 1937” (Paper presented at Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Charlottesville, VA, 19 06 1993); Fiehrer Thomas, “Political Violence in the Periphery: The Haitian Massacre of 1937,” Race and Class 32:2 (1012 1990), 120; Malek R. Michael, “The Dominican Republic's General Rafael L. M. Trujillo and the Haitian Massacre of 1937: A Case of Subversion in Inter-Caribbean Relations,” Secolas Annals, vol. 11 (03 1980), 137–55.

2 For more ort official anti-Haitianism, see Derby Lauren and Turits Richard, “Historias de terror y los terrores de la historia: la matanza haitiana de 1937 en la República Dominicana,” Estudios Sociales, 26:92 (0406 1993), 6576. Turits confutes the interpretation of the massacre following a straight line from either popular or official anti-Haitianism in his “Histories of Terror and the Perils of History: The 1937 Haitian Massacre in the Dominican Republic” (Unpublished manuscript, 1989).

3 Katz Friedrich, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, The United States, and the Mexican Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 5, 720.

4 Evidence of this taxonomy may be seen in the Dominican passport application in use in 1932. It listed the following as identifying features: name, age, race, color, eye color, civil status, birth marks (Consulado General de la República, Puerto Principe, Haitf, exp. asuntos varios, leg. 10, 27 Sep. 1932, Archivo General de la Nación, Santo Domingo, hereinafter AGN). In this usage, raza is synonymous with nación, which in the 1920s meant “the collectivity of persons who have the same ethnic origin and, in general, speak the same language and possess a common tradition” (The Dictionary of the Spanish Academy [1925 edition], cited in Hobsbawm E. J., Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990], 15). “Color” is the internal taxonomy (not synonymous with raza) used to differentiate between Dominicans of different shades, i.e., Dominicans are all one raza, but of different colores and hair textures (i.e., “pelo malo,” etc.). A few Dominican elites, however, did use raza as synonymous with color. Since the popular Dominican notion of race hovers somewhere between the United States notion of race and ethnicity, I have chosen here to use the term, race, when discussing ideology and the term ethnicity when discussing labor regimes and kinship structures.

5 Febvre Lucien, “Frontiére: the Word and the Concept,” A New Kind of History: From the Writings of [Lucien] Febvre P. Burke, ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), 208.

6 See Mahach Jorge, Frontiers in the Americas: A Global Perspective, Phenix Philip H., trans. (New York: Teacher's College Press, Columbia University, 1975), 16, 26.Sahlins Peter, in Boundaries: The Making of France and Spain in the Pyrenees (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), explores the process by which national identities became articulated along the border of France and Spain. Although his concern is primarily with the development of popular notions of identity on the border, the historical process of the development of official French and Spanish borders was exported to their colonies and can be seen as a kind of colonial mimesis in the history of the Haitian-Dominican border.

7 Lauren Derby and Richard Turits, “Historias de terror.”

8 For more on civilization and barbarism in the Latin American imagination and its utility for justifying state violence in borders, see Coronil Fernando and Skurski Julie, “Dismembering and Remembering the Nation: The Semantics of Political Violence in Venezuela,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 33:2 (04 1991), 288337; Baretta Silvio R. Duncan and Markoff John, “Civilization and Barbarism: Cattle Frontiers in Latin America,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 20:4 (10 1978), 587620; Alonso Ana Maria, “Gender, Ethnicity, and the Constitution of Subjects: Accommodation, Resistance and Revolution on the Chihuahuan Frontier” (Ph.D. Disser., Anthropology Department, University of Chicago, 1988, vol. 1, 2425); and Derby Lauren, “Histories of Power and the Powers of History in the Dominican Republic” (Unpublished manuscript, 1989).

9 The United States Marines occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and the Dominican Republic from 1916 to 1924.

10 For more on this, see Richard Turits, “Perils of History.”

11 For another discussion of Haitian-Dominican border culture, see Turits Richard, “Perils of History.” For more on borderland cultures, see Renato Rosaldo, “Border Crossings” in his Culture and Truth: The Remaking of social Analysis (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 196–217.

12 This prejudice is why anti-Haitianism as found in the capital, Santo Domingo, and in most parts of the country is often treated as mere racism, an explanation which neglects the nationalist valence of anti-Haitianism and fails to distinguish between attitudes towards Haitian cane cutters and those of other occupational groups, as well as between perceptions of Haitians and black Dominicans. For more on the shocking treatment of Haitian cane cutters in the Dominican Republic, see Lemoine Maurice, Bitter sugar: Slaves Today in the Caribbean [Sucre amer: Esclaves aujourd'hui dans les Caraïbes] (Paris: Nouvelle 1981: Chicago: Banner Press, 1985). For an example of the literature which treats anti-Haitianism as racism, see Loewenthal Meindert Fennema and Troetje, Construcción de razay nación en República Dominican (Santo Domingo: Editora Universitaria. 1987).

13 Dominguez Virginia, People as Subject, People as Object: Selfhood and Peoplehood in Contemporary Israel (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), 12.

14 I want to stress, however, that even given these tensions there was a tightly knit Haitian-Dominican border community. Thus, I disagree with Box and de la Rive's assumption that a “racial frontier” divided the two nations and peoples before the massacre, particularly at the local level of the border communities. For their argument, see Box Louk and BoxLasocki Barbara de la Rive, “Sociedad fronteriza o frontera social? Transformaciones sociales en la zona fronteriza de la República Dominicana (1907–1984),” Boletin de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 46 (06 1989), 4969, especially 52.

15 Rosaldo, Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis, 216.

16 Sabean David Warren, Power in the Blood: Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 3233.

17 Pratt Mary Louise, “Bordertalk” (Presentation at conference on Narrative Strategies and Cultural Practices, University of Notre Dame, 04 1990). See also her “Linguistic Utopias” in The Linguistics of Writing: Arguments between Language and Literature, Fabb Nigelet al., eds. (New York: Methuen, 1987), 56–60.

18 Jackson Michael, Paths Towards a Clearing: Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic Inquiry (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 122–28.Jackson develops Pierre Bourdieu's notion of habitus, elaborated in Outline of a Theory of Practice, Nice Richard, trans. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). For perspectives that assign a central role to language in the construction of racial-cum-ethnic boundaries, see Gates Henry Louis, “Introduction: Writing ‘Race’ and the Difference It Makes,” in Race, Writing and Difference, Gates Henry Louis, Jr., ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1986), 6. In this view, language is the primary sign of race. To a lesser extent, this perspective is shared by Sollers Werner. See his “Introduction: The Invention of Ethnicity,” in The Invention of Ethnicity, Sollers Werner, ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), xx. On the links between language, racism and nationalism, see Balibar Etienne, “The Nation Form: History and Ideology,” in Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities [Race, nation, classe; les identitiés ambigües] (Paris: Editions la Decouverter, 3d ed. 1988; New York: Verso, 1991), 86–106.

19 For one contemporary observer's view, see Mery M.L.E. Moreau de St, Description topographique, physique, civile, politique et historique de la partie Française de I' isle de Saint Domingue, vols. I and II (Philadelphia: np., 1797); and his Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingue, vols. I and II (Philadelphia: np., 1796).

20 See Demorizi Emilio Rodriguez, Guerra Dominico-haitiana: Documentos para su estudio, vol. II (1944; Ciudad Trujillo: Impresora Dominicana, 1957); Joaquín Balaguer [the current president of the country and a close ally of Trujillo's], La realidad dominicana: semblanza de un pat's y de un régimen (Buenos Aires: Imprenta Ferrari Hermanos, 1947); and Perez especially Angel S. del Rosario, La exterminación anorada (Ciudad Trujillo: np., 1957). This latter text is rumored to actually have been written by Balaguer. One of the most important anti-Haitian ideologues of the regime was Manuel Arturo Pella Battle (see González Raymundo, “Pella Battle y su concepto histórico de la nación dominicana,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos [Madrid], vol. XLVIII [1992], 585630).

21 Tambiah Stanley J., “Ethnic Conflict in the World Today,” American Ethnologist, 16:2 (05 1989), 335–49; Wilmsen Edwin N., Land Filled with Flies: A Political Economy of the Kalahari (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989); Comaroff John L., “Of Totemism and Ethnicity: Consciousness, Practice and the Signs of Inequality,” Ethnos, 52: 34 (1987), 307–8, 311–2.

22 See Bentley G. Carter, “Ethnicity and Practice,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 29:1 (01 1987), 2455 for a different application of Bourdieu's notion of practice in a discussion of ethnic identity. Kevin A. Yelvington's critique of this model argues that “the activity of 'ethnic others'” is a crucial factor in the social construction of ethnicity. See his “Ethnicity as Practice? A Comment on Bentley,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 33:1 (01 1991), 158–68. Clearly, in the Haitian-Dominican case, national, ethnic, or racial identities arose dialectically, particularly in the borderlands.

23 Silié Ruben, Economía, esclavitud X población: ensayos de interpretación histórica del Santo Domingo Espanol en el siglo XVIII (Santo Domingo: Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, 1976), 35, 24. For more on the cattle economy, slavery, and land tenure, see Capdequi José M. Ots, El régimen de la tierra en la América Espanola durante el periodo colonial (Ciudad Trujillo: Editora Montalvo, 1946); and Deive Carlos Esteban, La esclavitud del negro en Santo Domingo (1492–1844), vols. I and II (Santo Domingo: Museo del Hombre Dominicano, 1980).

24 Lundahl Mats, “Haitian Migration to the Dominican Republic,” in his The Haitian Economy: Man, Land and Markets (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), 112–3.

25 The only case parallel to the Dominican Republic may be parts of Brazil, particularly along the southern frontier with Uruguay, where cattle ranchers did employ slaves. Bahia also had a cycle of cattle ranching combined with the use of slave labor, but several factors rendered this experience distinct from the Dominican case: Cattle ranching was practiced only at the margins of the dominant sugar economy (while in Santo Domingo, it was the central activity); it occurred in an area of high population density; and ranching was never highly capitalized because it was for the domestic market. See Andrade Manuel Correia de, A terre e o homem no nordeste (Sao Paulo, 1963), 135–45.

26 Silié Ruben, Economía, 2629. See also Deive Esteban, Esclavitud, vol. I:103–54, 341–67 and vol. II:545–98. For information on border hato production, see Palmer, “Land Use.” On Haitian social structure, see Nicholls David, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

27 Lundahl states that the Dominican population was reduced by nearly 50 percent in the first three decades of the nineteenth century, then nearly doubled by mid-century, largely through Haitian immigration. See Lundahl, “Haitian Migration,” 116.

28 See Baud Michiel, “The Origins of Capitalist Agriculture in the Dominican Republic,” Latin American Research Review, 12:2 (1987), 135–54, especially 143.

29 For more on turn-of-the-century economic changes and their impact on regional economies, including the border, see Baud Michiel, “Transformación capitalista y regionalización en la República Dominicana, 1875–1920,” Investigación y Ciencia, 1:1 (0108 1986), 1834; Hazard Samuel, Santo Domingo Past and Present; with a Glance at Haiti (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1873; reprint Santo Domingo: Sociedad de Biblíofilos, 1974), 246. For more on the development of sugar plantations, see Calder Bruce, The Impact of Intervention: The Dominican Republic during the U.S. Occupation of 1916–1924 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984); and Castillo José del, “La inmigración de braceros azucareros en la República Dominicana, 1900–1930,” in Cuadernos de CENDIA (Santo Domingo: Universidad Autónoma, No. 7, nd.).

30 Sahlins Marshall, Stone Age Economics (Chicago: Aldine, 1972).

31 “Párrafos de las memorias presentadas por D. Emiliano Tejera en su calidad de Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de la República en los anos 1906–1907 i 1908” (Reprinted in Clio, LI (1942), 13). I would like to thank Raymundo González for bringing this text to my attention. (All translations are my own.)

32 Abad José Ramón, La República Dominicana: rese?a general geográfico-estadistica (Santo Domingo: Imprenta de Garcia Hermanos, 1888), 288, see also 260–73, 286–88.

33 Clausner Marlin D., Rural Santo D⊙mingo (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1973), 142, quoted in Mats Lundahl and Jan Lundius, “Socioeconomic Foundations of a Messianic Cult: Olivorismo in the Dominican Republic,” in Agrarian Society and History: Essays in Honor of Magnus Mörner, Lundahl Mats and Svensson Thommy, eds. (New York: Routledge, 1990), 201–38.

34 I am grateful to Richard Turits for this idea. The argument that border residents used national identity for instrumental purposes is also a central argument in Sahlins, Boundaries.

35 Baud, ”Transición capitalista,” 34.

36 Gobernación de Monte Cristy 21 (1919–1921), 10 Jan 1920, AGN. I have used the now-standardized spellings for Haitian and Dominican place names in my own text (and in the map), although I have left the archival versions as I found them. For more on border contraband and frontier resistance to state penetration, see Baud Michiel, “Una frontera-refugio: Dominicanos y Haitianos contra el estado (1870–1930),” Estudios Sociales, 26:92 (0406) 1993, 3964.

37 See Lugo Américo, “El estado dominicano ante e1 derecho publico” and “Sobre politica,” in Américo Lugo: Antologia, Duran Vetilio Alfau, ed. (Ciudad Trujillo: Libreria Dominicana, 1949); see also Roberto Cassá, "Teoría de la Nación y Proyecto Politíco en Américo Lugo” (Unpublished manuscript, 1993). Although liberalism as dominant ideology clearly met its demise with the Trujillo regime, many of its assumptions continued to shape trujillismo, including the “civilizing” role of the state.

38 I am drawing here upon Cohn Bernard and Dirks Nicolas, “Beyond the Fringe: The Nation State, Colonialism, and the Technologies of Power,” Journal of Historical Sociology, 1:2 (06 1988), 224–29; and Corrigan Philip and Sayre Derek, The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985).

39 See Fennema and Loewenthal, Raza y nación; and Bernardo Vega, Trujillo y Haiti.

40 Ministerio de lo Interior y Policia, 216–217, March 1906, AGN.

41 The passport requirement was introduced August 8, 1930 in the Dominican Republic, although Haiti only required a visa for certain categories of travellers.

42 Ministerio de lo Interior y Policía, 18 Jul 1903, No. 154, Gobernador de Azua, AGN.

43 Gobernación de Barahona 6(1896–1903), 24 Mar 1896, No. 1117.

44 Ibid., 20 Oct 1902 and 28 Oct 1902, AGN.

45 See Gonzalez Nancie L., “Desiderio Arias: Caudillo, Bandit and Culture Hero,” Journal of American Folklore, 85:335 (0103 1972), 4250.

46 The full text of Article 10 of Immigration Law No. 95 excluded the following: “a Persons with repulsive, dangerous or contagious diseases, or epileptics; b Persons with physical or mental defects or with diseases that seriously affect their ability to make a living; c) Persons predisposed to become dependent upon public welfare, indigents, beggars, peddlers, or those with other detriments; d) women who travel alone and who cannot prove to the satisfaction of the civil servant in charge that they can comply with this law, that have a good reputation [que gozan de buena reputatión]” (Inspección de Inmigración de Monte Cristy, Paq. 1, Leg. 5–8, 22 Feb. 1941, Correspondencias, AGN). This law was based on an earlier, similar version which also excluded “anarchists and those who profess doctrines that could be considered dangerous,” “idiots and crazy people,” and minors unaccompanied by their parents (Ley #739, interior y Policía, 14 June 1937, “Cronológico,” AGN).

47 I analyze official anti-Haitianism in detail in my essay, “Histories of Power.” My analysis of the cultural categories of “lowness” and pollution metaphors draws heavily upon Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (1966; London: ARC Paperbacks, 1988); Stallybrass Peter and White Allan, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (Ithaca: Comell University Press, 1986); and Bakhtin Mikhail, Rabelais and his World, Héléne Iswolsky, trans. (1965; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984).

48 Gobernación de Monte Cristi 21 (1919–1921), 8 Oct. 1920, No. 1313, AGN.

49 Ibid., 21 Aug 1920, No. 1281, AGN.

51 This is from one article of the 1920 Ley de Sanidad (Calder, Impact, 46).

52 Legación Dominicana en Cabo Haitiano, Haití, Correspondencia, 1935–6. Leg. 2, 2 June 1936, AGN.

53 Gobernación de Monte Cristi 21 (1919–1921), 15 Mar 1920, No. 1442, AGN. This document mentions police uniforms as it refers to the need to do away with a gallera, or cock fight arena, in Gurabo (later renamed Restauración).

54 Gobernación de Monte Cristi 21 (1919–1921), 10 Mar 1920, No. 1441, AGN.

55 Usually pigs and chickens, the “bank accounts” of the peasantry; cattle were primarily the property of the upper strata.

56 “La ley y e1 reglo sobre certificaciones para el traslado de animales, de cueros y de carries de los mismos,” applying only to those animals being sold or killed, took effect 28 Oct 1936 (Ministerio de lo Interior y Policia 1937, Cronología, 20 Jan 1937, AGN).

57 Crime records do not exist for all border provinces for every year. This statement is based on a survey of all extant records from the border provinces of Barahona (1896–1925), Dajabón (1933–37, 1940) and Monte Cristi (1906, 1936, 1938–39). See, for example. Alcaldía de Dajabón, exp. penales, leg. 46–49. 51–52, AGN.

58 Alcaldía de Dajabón 45, Exp. 1 (January-March 1933), 19 Jan 1933, AGN.

59 Alcaldía de Dajabón 46, Exp. 3 (June-October 1933), 29 Sept. 1933, AGN.

60 See “The City: The Sewer, the Gaze and the Contaminating Touch” in Stallybrass and White, Politics and Poetics. The connection I am making here between the state project to sanitize and render visible is also made by Nicholas Thomas in his “Sanitation and Seeing: The Creation of State Power in Early Colonial Fiji,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 32:1 (01 1990), 149–70.

61 Gobemación de Monty Cristi 21 (1919–21), No. 1126, 12 Feb. 1920, AGN. The report goes on to complain that “the new system implanted in the country is absolutely foreign to it's [the Dominican Republic's] idiosyncracies and laws.” There were also protests over other icons of modernity, which to some were synonymous with the United States. Defending the patria meant keeping out roads and prisons, which were seen as unnecessarily costly, “repressive,” “a great immorality” and like other aspects of the occupation must be challenged “for honor and duty” (por decoro y por deber) (Gobernación de Barahona 24 (1924–25), February 5, 1925; May 19, 1925; February 4, 1925, AGN).

62 Stallybrass and White, Transgression, 30.

63 These writers argue that the Haitian caco guerilla war against the United States Marines during the occupation, combined with the upheaval caused by the imposition of the corvée, or forced labor, system and peasant land dispossessions created a new migrant stream to the Dominican border in the 1920s. See LaTortue Paul R., “La migración haitiana a Santo Domingo,” Estudios Sociales, 18:59 (0103 1985), 45; and Castor Suzy, La occupación norteamericana de Haiti v sus consequencias 1915–1934 (Mexico City: Siglo XXI), 1971.

64 This point is important because, by the Dominican constitution, all those born on Dominican soil are Dominican. If this population was primarily migrants, then they were Haitians, thus making it easier to justify the slaughter. However, our findings indicate that they were legally Dominicans, even if culturally defined as Haitian, since they were of Haitian origin. This statement is based on life histories collected by Richard Turits and myself in 1988, in a series of visits to the agricultural colonies formed in Haiti in 1938 by President Vincent to accommodate the Haitian escapains, or survivors, of the 1937 massacre. In the North, these colonies lie between Ouanaminthe and Cap-Haïtien and include Dosmont, Tenier Rouge, and Grand Bassin. In southern Haiti, we interviewed in Port-au-Prince, Thiote, and Savane Zombi. Palmer reports that the cemetery of Macasia has Haitian gravestones from the mid-nineteenth century (Palmer, “Land Use,” 101).

65 I am here diverging from the standard Dominican literature which gives primacy to the “overpopulation” of Haiti in explaining Haitian migration to the Dominican border provinces (for example, Joaquin Balaguer, La isla al revés: Naiti y el destino Dominicano [Santo Domingo: Libre Dominicana, 1987]). For more on Haitian land tenure, see Castor Suzy, “Algunas consideraciones sobre la estructura agraria de una sociedad postesclavista: el caso de Saint Domingue,” Avances de Investigación, 29 (Mexico: Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos, 1978).

66 Palmer, “Land Use,” 71.

67 Box and de la Rive, “Sociedad fronteriza,” 52.

68 Our interviews indicate that much of the northern border lands were state lands, with a higher proportion of terrenos comuneros (communal lands) in the central and southern regions (from Loma de Cabrera southward).

69 The United States Government was confounded by the “peculiar” system of communal lands (see the Report of the Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871], especially 234 and 278). For more on terrenos comuneros, see Rodríguez Aura Celeste Fernandez, “Origen y evolución de la propiedad y de los terrenos comuneros en la República Dominicana,” Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos, 9:51 (1112) 1980, 546; Clausner Marlin D., Rural Santo Domingo (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1973), 121–24; and Pons Frank Moya, “The Land Question in Haiti and Santo Domingo: The Sociopolitical Context of the Transition from Slavery to Free Labor, 1801–1843,” in Between Slavery and Free Labor: The Spanish-Speaking Caribbean in the Nineteenth Century, Fraginals Manuel Morenoet al., eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), 181214. For Spanish parallels, see Vassberg David E., Land and Society in Golden Age Castile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

70 Hoetink H., The Dominican People 1850–1900: Notes for a Historical Sociology. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), 4.

71 See the Libro de Registro de Actos Judiciales “B” 1929 (1929–1949), Archives of the Ayuntamiento, Dajabón. These documents record numerous legal property transfers to Haitians (both those born in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti). Interestingly, we found land claims as late as the 1940s by Haitians in Haiti trying to reclaim land to which they held title but lost when forced to flee the Dominican Republic during the 1937 Haitian massacre. From the scant information available, it appears that the terrenos comuneros form of ownership was a uniquely Dominican practice, particularly as, over time, shares were frequently sold out of the family. The Haitian system of communal land tenancy, the lakou, was family based and was practiced on Dominican soil, for example in the mountainous central frontier. We have no evidence of ethnic mixing in these two land tenure systems.

72 Interview, Pedernales, Dominican Republic; Palmer, “Land Use,” 103.

73 Unlike Tambiah's model of ethnic incorporation on the basis of labor market segmentation, see Tambiah. “Ethnic Conflict.” 345.

74 I am grateful to Richard Turits for this idea.

75 See Pons Frank Moya, “Haiti and Santo Domingo: 1790-c. 1870,” in The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. III, Bethell Leslie ed. (New York: Cambridge, 1985), 257; and Bruce Calder, The Impact of Intervention, 102.

76 Restauración, called Gurabo Haitiano in the 1930s, remains Gurabo to the older residents of the area today. It was renamed Restauración in the 1940s, after the 1865 Independence War of the Restoration against the Spanish. A nationalist monument was also constructed on the mountain overlooking the town. (The Trujillo regime built monuments in other areas of the border as well. A large obelisk marks the entry to Dajabón, for example.) As part of the nationalist, anti-Haitian thrust of the Trujillo regime after the massacre, many border communities were renamed so as to erase the memory of the Haitian presence and symbolically integrate these areas into the Dominican nation, such as Téte á L'Eau, which was renamed Cabeza de Agua; L'Eau Noir became Aguas Negras; and Banans, Banano. This attempt to rewrite history was not entirely a success, however, as many border residents continue to call these townships by their older names. And the obelisk in Dajabón has lost its original significance. People today say it is a fetish protecting the town from vodoun.

77 For more on the Haitian lakou, see Larose Serge, “The Haitian Lakou: Land, Family and Ritual,” in Marks A. F. and Romer R. A., eds., Family and Kinship in Middle America and the Caribbean (Leiden: University of the Netherlands Antilles and the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology, 1978), 482512.

78 However, these stereotypes tend to be directed at the Haitian cane cutter in the abstract; most Dominicans who live and work in the sugar sector do not share this view. See Pons Frank Moya et al., Batey El: estudio socioeconómico de los bateyes del Consejo Estatal del Azucar (Santo Domingo: Fondo Para el Avance de las Ciencias Sociales, 1986), 130.

79 After the massacre, Trujillo called for the “Dominicanization” of the frontier which entailed building schools, churches, colonies and military posts along the border as well as white immigration to finalize the process of defining the border (which began with the 1936 border treaty and the 1937 Haitian massacre). On the policy of “Dominicanization,” see Roorda, “Genocide;” and Vega, Trujillo y Haiti. Pena Battle was responsible for revaluing the frontier from a territorial issue to one of the organic unity of the nation (see Raymundo González, “Pena Battle”).

80 Even today Haitians are perceived to “monopolize” İn the Dominican Republic the highly valued black market product of imported French perfumes, which hold far higher status than the cheap American colognes readily available legally. Working-class Dominican men, particularly those of the barrios surrounding Santo Domingo, will pay Haitian market women exorbitant prices to secure the perfumes for themselves and their girlfriends. The link was sought perhaps out of terror. Chicho, still prominent today, has been a military favorite since the 1930s of both the Trujillo and Balaguer regimes for his prowess as an assassin. This contrasts sharply with the work of Paul Friedrich, who demonstrates that the more egalitarian Tarascan Indian villagers did not seek out rich or powerful compadres to form vertical links but, rather, sought ties which bound political blocks together horizontally. See his The Princes of Naranja: An Essay in Anthrohistorical Method (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 108–14. I would like to thank Paul Liffman for bringing this point to my attention.

81 Ducoudray F. P., “Los compadres en la frontera,” Ahora!, 858 (5 05 1980), 14.

82 Smith R. T., “Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society,” in Gender and Kinship: Essays Toward a Unified Analysis, Collier Jane Fishburne and Yanagisako Sylvia Junko, eds. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987), 163–96.

83 A crucial issue is what share of the harvest Haitian co-wives were allotted, but this will have to await further research.

84 See Lowenthal Ira P., “Labor, Sexuality and the Conjugal Contract in Rural Haiti,” in Haiti-Today and Tomorrow: An Interdisciplinary Study, Foster Charles R. and Valdman Albert, eds. (New York: University Press of America, 1984), 1533; and Simpson George Eaton, “Sexual and Familial Institutions in Northern Haiti,” American Anthropologist (New series), 44:4 (1012 1942), Part I: 655–74.

85 A crucial issue is whether these Haitian-Dominican households inherited on the basis of Dominican or Haitian patterns, as Haitian families apportioned inherited land on an individual basis, on an equal basis among all siblings (thus women owned their own property); while Dominicans appear to have given priority to the first son, or sons (if the wife of the patriarch was deceased), and family land was inherited as an undivided unit of communal property. The issue of whether or not Haitian co-wives inherited the land they worked is also one which we hope to clarify in future field work. The pattern of inheritance is critical to Goody's distinction between co-wives and concubines. I am using the term “co-wife” because my understanding is that co-wives did inherit, as in Haitian plasaj. This would distinguish the border conjugal system from that of concubinage, the form practiced in wider Dominican society. See Goody Jack, Production and Reproduction: A Comparative Study of the Domestic Domains (London: Cambridge Studies in Social Anthropology, 1976).

86 We heard of a few examples of Haitian men marrying Dominican women, although there were many Dominican prostitutes in Haitian bordertowns. There also were Haitian-Dominican marriages, primarily of small cultivators and coffee producers, which were monogamic. One such couple we interviewed fled to Haiti during the Haitian massacre.

87 This section derives primarily from interviews we conducted during a series of visits to the Dominican border in 1988, including Monte Cristi, Dajabón, Santiago de Ia Cruz, Loma de Cabrera, Restauración, Pedro Santana, Pedernales, Duvergé, Neiba, and Barahona (we also interviewed in Haiti but that material is treated elsewhere). All the interviewees chosen were mature at the time of the massacre in an effort to capture images of Haitians formed during the pre-massacre period. I have not cited specific interviews (except in a few cases in which the stories were specific to particular oral informants) both to protect the identity of informants and because the images reported here derive from stories that all elderly border residents repeat and that form a part of the collective imagination of the Dominican frontier.

88 Haitian currency and the U.S. dollar were used until the Dominican Republic established its first national currency in 1947, although there was a brief but failed attempt to do so under the Heureaux regime. However, Haitian currency was more common in the border provinces.

89 This argument renders the Haitian-Dominican case closely parallel to that of Jews in Nazi Germany. I am indebted here to Moise Postone's article, “Anti-Semitism and National Socialism,” in Germans and Jews Since the Holocaust: The Changing Situation in West Germany, Rabinbach Anson and Zipes Jack, eds. (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986), 311.

90 Luhrmann T. M.. “The Magic of Secrecy,” Ethos, 17:2 (06 1989), 137.

91 This equation of femaleness with invisibility derives from Evelyn Fox Keller, “Making Gender Visible in the Pursuit of Nature's Secrets,” in Feminist Studies/Critical Studies, Laureeis Teresa de, ed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 6777, especially 69. See also Robert Damton, “Worker's Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint Sévein,” in his The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York: Vintage Books, 1985), 75106 on the cat as a symbol evoking femininity and domesticity, as well as the hidden dangers of sexuality, witchcraft, and the taboo.

92 Brown Karen McCarthy, “Systematic Remembering, Systematic Forgetting: Ogou in Haiti,” in Barnes Sandra T., Africa's Ogun: Old World and New (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 67. Pages 66 to 70 have an excellent discussion of the difference between the Rada and Petwo spirits. George T. Simpson, however, who worked in northern Haiti, claimed that he found no distinction between the Rada and Petwo classes of Haitian lwa. See his Religious Cults of the Caribbean: Trinidad, Jamaica and Haiti (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1980). An outstanding source on Dominican vodú is Martha Ellen Davis, La Otra Ciencia: el vodú dominicano como religion y medicina populares (Santo Domingo: USAD, 1987).

93 The Cult of Mary is common in Latin America and is generally considered a Catholic rite. However, in the Dominican border, it was called “Mariani,” was defined as a Haitian religious phenomena, and followers went on pilgrimages to Haiti to worship it.

94 Simpson George Eaton, “Sexual and Familial,” 668–9.

95 Note the sexual innuendo in the very term, montar (Spanish) or monte (Haitian Kreol) for possession. Although both women and men are mounted in vodoun, the idea that only Haitians could be mounted reflects the female gende?ng of Haitians in the Dominican imagination. Haitians are notorious in the anti-Haitian literature for their extraordinary procreativity as well. See Joaquín Balaguer's La isla al revés, in which he describes Haitians as multiplying “like vegetables” (Balaguer was implicated in the 1937 Haitian massacre). And the sexual skills of Haitian women are a stock theme of Dominican lore.

96 Zora Neale Hurston devotes a chapter to Arcahaie in her Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (1938; New York: Harper and Row, 1990, 139–78). As she states, “Archahaie [sic] is the most famous and the most dreaded spot in all Haiti for voodoo work. It is supposed to be the great center of the Zombie trade” (p. 177). For more on the Zonbi phenomenon, see Davis Wade, Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988).

97 This story is fully described in F. P. Ducoudray, “Los secretos del Vodú,” Ahora!, 854 (7 April 1980), 10. For more on the baka (bocá, in Spanish), see Davis, La Otra Ciencia, 111–2.

98 For more on similar folk theories of capitalism, see Michael T. Taussig's classic The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980). Associations linking the ethnic and racial Other with some form of nefarious, extrapowerful or black magic appears to be common in plural societies. For example, Nancie L. González reports that Hondurans believe that the economic success of Arab immigrants is due to pacts with the devil. See her “The Christian Palestineans of Honduras: An Uneasy Accommodation,” in Conflict, Migration and the Expression of Ethnicity, González Nancie L. and McCommon Carolyn S., eds. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989), 79.

99 Ducoudray, “Secretos del Vodú,” 10.

100 Occasionally an elderly border Dominican will mention that Haitians are darker in skin color, but this is rarely a primary motif of difference. A more common biological trait noted is that Haitians have small ears.

101 This is similar to Stanley Tambiah's argument about the “objectification of charisma” in amulets. See his The Buddhist Saints of the Forest and the Cult of Amulets (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

102 Stallybrass and White, Politics and Poetics, 9; Bakhtin Mikhail, Rabelais and his World, 2025.

103 Knauft Bruce M., “Bodily Images in Melanesia: Cultural Substances and Natural Metaphors,” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body, Part III, Feher Michael ed. (New York: Zone Books, 1989), 223.

104 Hurston, Tell My Horse, 171. The particular rite she describes was for the consecration of a new Ounfró, or vodoun, temple. For a rich treatment of blood and money symbolism in another context, see Coronil Fernando, “The Black El Dorado: Money Fetishism, Democracy, and Capitalism in Venezuela” (Ph.D. disser., Anthropology Department, University of Chicago, 1987).

105 The idea of the Other as stingy also appears to be a common trope of difference. See González, “Christian Palestineans,” 80. Brackette Williams writes that Guyanese of African descent often believe that the seemingly improvished Portuguese or East Indians have a hidden cache of funds saved away for future use. See her Stains on My Name, War in My Veins: Guyana and the Politics of Cultural Struggle (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), 173.

106 See Laqueur Thomas W., “The Social Evil, The Solitary Vice and Pouring Tea,” in Fragments For a History of the Human Body, Part III, Feher Michael, ed. (New York: Zone Books, 1989), 340.

107 Alonso argues this for the northern Mexican frontier community of Namiquipa, Chihuahua. See Ana Maria Alonso, “Constitution of Subjects” for a highly suggestive treatment of popular nationalist ideology and gender.

108 Goldberg David Theo, “Racial Knowledge,” from his Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (London: Basil Blackwell, 1993).

109 Brown, “Remembering,” 68. I am clearly indebted to Taussig's The Devil and Commodity Fetishism here; one key difference, however, is that in Dominican and Haitian border culture, the petro spirits are not glossed as the devil in the Christian sense. They are seen as highly dangerous but not necessarily evil.

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
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