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6 - Investigating the Caribbean’s African Past

Kokomakaku Stickdance from Curaçao

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 September 2022

Nanette de Jong
University of Newcastle
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This chapter introduces kokomakaku, a stickfight ritual from the Dutch island of Curaçao. Documenting its evolution and development, the chapter shows how music can be used to reconstruct a possible historical, social and cultural timeline of an island. Kokomakaku embodies the cultural encounters and conflicts that mark Curaçao’s past and present, its development, likewise, representing localised struggles for status and self-definition.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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Further Reading

De Jong, Nanette. 2007. ‘Kokomakaku and the (Re)Writing of History’. Afro-Hispanic Review. 26, no. 2, 87101.Google Scholar
Desch-Obi, M. Thomas J. 2008. Fighting for Honor: The History of African Martial Art Traditions in the Atlantic World. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Gerstin, Julian. 2004. ‘Tangled Roots: Kalenda and Other Neo-African Dances in the Circum-Caribbean’. New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids. 78, nos. 1–2, 541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, Robert Farris. 1987. ‘Black Martial Arts of the Caribbean’. Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas. 20, no. 37, 44–7.Google Scholar

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