Some serious racist crazy....
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This newspaper clip titled, “St. Louis Priest’s Eight Years Among Witch-Worshipping Carib Indians”, is a copy of an article in the Sunday Magazine of the St. Louis Post of January 9, 1916. The gives a detailed report by Fr. Louis J. Fusz about his life in PG around that time. Fr. Fusz, was stationed in PG from 1907-1914 before moving on to St. John’s College.
As part of his missionary duties in the district, he also traveled to remote Maya communities for church services. My grandfather who was the Principal of San Antonio RC School beginning in 1907, also worked with Fr Fusz.
This newspaper article shows the priest’s perspective about the “natives” that he was serving. (It is better to enlarge and read this on a computer.)
In the article, the priest reported about “witch-worshipping Carib Indians” with whom he interacted in PG. He also described PG “Carib Indians” as “ex-cannibals of British Honduras whose men speak one language and the women speak another and who in lieu of Christmas turkey regale themselves with boil cat and rice.”
He also reported to his people that “the Caribs are greatly addicted to boiled baboon.” He described the people of Toledo as “semi-civilized Maya, Carib and Kekchi Indians”.
He also described how the “Indians” of San Pedro Village in the Sarstoon were “paralyzed with fear” as “they were certain that there was a devil in the motor” when they first saw an outboard motorboat, and how they were “terror-stricken” when they saw a phonograph. Father Fusz reported that he “found all of these Indians to be extremely docile and peaceable to live among.”
Interesting that while the natives saw the missionaries as representatives of God, the missionaries also had their own perspectives of the people whom they served. These perspectives are born of their own cultural formation and experiences as well as the influences of the times. These are all part of the history of Toledo.