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Documentaries regarding Amerindian Heritage on Hispaniola

Two short documentaries by Till F. Sonnemann highlight the work conducted by Leiden archaeologists on Hispaniola as part of the Nexus1492 project.

In La Ruta de Colón – Historic Importance and Heritage archaeologist Jorge Ulloa Hung explains the significance of the Indigenous knowledge when Columbus and his crew conducted first expeditions into the interior of the island of Hispaniola. The Spaniards would have passed close by El Flaco, Nexus1492’s current excavation directed by Corinne Hofman and Menno Hoogland. Dominican participants share their thoughts on what investigating this Amerindian settlement means to them.

The second documentary Living on Heritage – Amerindian Presence in Haiti follows the research and was done together with Joseph Sony Jean, PhD student at Leiden University, who investigates the changes of the historic landscape Haiti’s Northeast, the province adjacent to the focal region of the Nexus Project in the Dominican Republic. The area is particularly interesting for its abundance of archaeological evidence of the different cultures who occupied the region in the last millennium. One aspect is to find out through interviews how Haitians in this region connect to and understand this multicultural heritage.

The idea to record the work by camera came after drone flights to map Amerindian settlements revealed spectacular video footage of Hispaniola’s landscape, and the realization that short films on heritage in the local language would give Haitians and Dominicans an opportunity to connect to the work archaeologists are doing on the island. All video footage shown was recorded in 2015.

La Ruta de Colón – Importance and Heritage (10min, Spanish with English subtitles)

Living on Heritage – Amerindian Presence in Haiti (9 min, Haitian Creole with English subtitles)

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