‘Myths and Realities of Caribbean History’ Book Launch

Event Date(s): 27/04/2009


Dr. Basil Reid, Lecturer in Archaeology in the Department of History will be presentinga public lecture and launching his latest book Myths and Realities of Caribbean History at the following locations in the Caribbean:

April 27, 2009:

The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, St. Ann’s Gate, Garrison, St. Michael, Barbados.


May 5, 2009:

Seville Great House, St. Ann. This event is being organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust as part of its Taíno Day observation.


 Myths and Realities of Caribbean History, published by the University of Alabama Press, seeks to debunk eleven popular and prevalent myths about Caribbean history. Using archaeological evidence, it corrects many previous misconceptions promulgated by history books and oral tradition as they specifically relate to the pre-colonial and European-contact periods. It informs popular audiences, as well as scholars, about the current state of archaeological/historical research in the Caribbean Basin and asserts the value of that research in fostering a better understanding of the region’s past. Contrary to popular belief, the history of the Caribbean did not begin with the arrival of Europeans in 1492. It actually started 7,000 years ago with the infusion of Archaic groups from South America and the successive migrations of other peoples from Central America for about 2,000 years thereafter. In addition to discussing this rich cultural diversity of the Antillean past, Myths and Realities of Caribbean History debates the misuse of terms such as “Arawak” and “Ciboneys,” and the validity of Carib cannibalism allegations.  Copies of the book will shortly be available in the UWI Bookshop.