After one week of interviews and 40+ hours of transcribing, I am nearer to answering my questions. And the answer may well be that there is no one answer. History is selective. Ask any Native. And narratives are also selective in what they reveal, but the people I have spoken to in and out of my research interviews each provide their own piece of the puzzle. As exhausting is it can be, I look forward to learning more, seeing more, and hearing more about identity in the Caribbean, indigenous islanders, and prospective research endeavors.
As I begin busting the black box of racial categories, indigenous identity is becoming important in the argument for cultural rather than racial or blood- linked categories. History did not begin in 1492, or 1498 in Trinidad’s case, and race does not start or end with my research, but I have to explore an immense terrain of literature and perspectives in order to understand where Trinidadian identities come from and where they are going.