A tale of two 'others' : Remembering the Garifuna indigenous voice in Belize's Toledo district

Gough, Alex (2022) A tale of two 'others' : Remembering the Garifuna indigenous voice in Belize's Toledo district. Journal of Caribbean Studies, 50 (2). pp. 3-45. ISSN 0008-6533

[thumbnail of A tale of two others AAM]
Text (A tale of two others AAM)
A_tale_of_two_others_AAM.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (776kB)


For the past twenty-five years, Belize’s Toledo District has been the theatre for one of the world’s most recognised indigenous rights cases as the Toledo Maya have sought tangible recognition of their customary rights over their ancestral lands. It has been a battle fought through both domestic and regional courts, gaining notoriety for the first domestic invocation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the legal judgement. However, recent events have reminded that this contested land, one naturally dominated by Maya narratives in recent decades, is home to two indigenous peoples. This piece adopts the indigenous lens to the Toledo Garifuna—the Afro-indigenous people who settled in Toledo following their exile from St Vincent. Despite receiving significant scholarly attention in Belize and beyond, the Garifuna role (or lack of) in the Maya land rights case is conspicuous by its absence in academic discourse. After outlining both peoples’ shared indigenous history in Toledo, the focus turns to discussing the reasons why the Garifuna did not join the Maya in their legal challenge, before finally considering the surge in Garifuna advocacy in recent years, one that must be welcomed with both hope and caution.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Caribbean Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
?? belizeindigenousgarifunamayano - not fundednomedicine(all) ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Aug 2023 10:45
Last Modified:
06 Mar 2024 10:45