Threshing rice with a wooden pestle and mortar, San Antonio in 1955. Also history about the old "Indian Reservations."
Vicenta Chiak, an 18 year old girl, threshing rice with a wooden pestle and mortar. Also the same tool is used for crushing the cohune nuts to make oil. Excellent food processor. That rice is called sweat rice cause it sweats in the pod. Then there was the winnowing in what seemed like a huge wooden bowl, which ladies seemed to lift and throw up effortlessly without losing the rice. Workouts and organic food were the norm! See how the chickens get the spills!
The image was originally labeled "Daily Life on the Maya Indian Reservation of San Antonio in British Honduras."
That's called a Mata. We would pick our rice from the field then beat it to separate the husk then we would put it in a big circular stuff, I think its was called a shoul made of onion bag and titie...we then throw it lightly up so the breeze blows away the separated husk.
I did beat rice inna mata wid mata stik as we called it bak den! Di pestle sung more like wah hassle!!!! lol
Land Reserves in Belize is fraught with confusion.
The “Indians” and “Caribs” were not allowed to own land until the Crown Lands Ordinances of 1872, 1877 and 1886. Interestingly, it was not until 1888 that ‘reserves of land” were set apart. The Indian Reservation at San Antonio was approximately 2560 acres with about 100 families that were allowed to cultivate the area at a rate of $1 per family a year.
We also had a “Stann Creek Carib Reserve” but after a report that no difference between the “Caribs” and the "negroes" existed anymore, they tabled the Stann Creek Carib Reserve Ordinance of 1913. In so doing the Garifuna reserve was open to other people. There were maps referring to a “Carib Settlement” in Toledo and it was not Cero. The argument that the Crown seems to have made was that the Garifuna had possession but not ownership as The Brits made laws to deny Garifuna of land they lived on before colonialism, they already owned the land and the Government made laws to give away what they already owned.
In 1857 the Maya and Garifuna had to apply for leases. Now that is when the magic happened because while the lands were deemed by the Proclamation to be Crown Lands the Garifuna and the Maya mi di knock deh own thing because they managed it in accordance with their own systems of land tenure. "Captains" Garifuna and Alcalde Maya.
Upon enactment of the Crown Lands Ordinance in 1872 the Indian and Carib Reserves were established in the Toledo District and the Coast of Griga. BUT it's IMPORTANT to say that the land remained vested in the Crown. They play this control game where occupants had to obtain the permission of the Crown.
The superintendent asserted de facto sovereignty over Belize in an 1817 Proclamation declaring all unclaimed land as Crown Land. Almost all the land that vested in the Crown by virtue of the
1817 proclamation lay within the parts of Belize settled after 1798, the Sibun and
Sarstoon. The claim to crown lands was rooted in the 1817 Proclamation issued by the Superintendent of the settlement.
One would imagine from the action of the crown that the intention was not to confer upon the indigenous people any entitlement to the land but instead to limit where they can occupy.
The crazy play of the 1913 ordinace was that it gave secure titles to individual Garif BUT gave the crown the right to depose of lands not occupied by Garif. The Carib Reserves were ultimately de-reserved in the 1930s.
Colonialism used Garifuna and Maya to gain terra nullify, then after they gain it using them wah throw dehn off land dehn mi own. Look like Garifuna gone from owning the land to occupying the land so that someone else can own the land. Watta rass!
Another factor to consider is that they were using this to assert control over the territory ahead of the 1859 treaty. Under the colonial system it was always about control. None of the systems in place was a result of any effort to acknowledge indigenous identity and rights.
In northern Belize the Maya (Yucatec Maya ) could not own land either because all the land was already owned by the British companies. The land which we where staying was being rented to us and taken from us when they wanted to. Plus Maya villages were burned down by the British in 1866 and 1930's in northwestern Belize as a way to destroy our autonomy.
Mateo Ayuso ( Simply Belize: The Yucatec Maya): "At the very beginning, the Maya Yucatecos concentrated on the small ranchos like Louisville, Saltillos, and in Orange Walk District—which at that time of course, there was only one district, the Northern District. There were about 10 or 11 English companies that actually had already taken over the whole lands of Belize, of British Honduras then. So they controlled all the lands. When they found out that the Maya Yucatecos could produce sugarcane here in the North, they took away, in other words, the lands that they were renting to the Yucatecos - to the Maya Yucatecos - were taken over by the English companies and then they began producing now at a far more...eh...well, large amounts of sugar ...which eventually about 1868 or so they exported. They exported sugar to England."
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