Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationTexas, Austin, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9460
Approve DateApril 25, 2017
Project TitleGonzalez, Christina M., U. ot Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Be(com)ing TaÃno: Transnational Puerto Ricans and the Making of a Resurgent Indigeneity,' supervised by Dr. Circe Sturm
CHRISTINA M. GONZALEZ, then a graduate student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received a grant in April 2017 to aid research on ‘Be(com)ing Ta’no: Transnational Puerto Ricans and the Making of a Resurgent Indigeneity,’ supervised by Dr. Circe Sturm. This project examines the politics and conditions involved in the ethnogenesis of a Caribbean Indigenous People in the 21st century from the lived perspectives and experiences of Ta’no-identified Puerto Rican individuals, families and organized groups in New York City — a critical site for the emergence of the Ta’no resurgence movement and hub of the transnational Ta’no community. For a people not often imagined and framed through the lens of indigeneity, this research investigated the logics and processes involved in how and why diasporic Puerto Ricans are increasingly re-orienting their self-concept, ways of living and relating, and senses of belonging as Ta’no. Not only does this work analyze why people are ‘becoming’ Ta’no, it illuminates the value ascribed to ‘being’ Ta’no, cultivating and actualizing Ta’no worldviews and lifeways, and forging Indigenous kin and peoplehood in a context where the tribe as a social organizing principle did not survive colonization. Through multi-sited research throughout New York City, in Puerto Rico and over social media, the findings of this project suggest the intersectional workings of multiple indigeneities, discourses of race, cultural memory, spirituality/religiosity, connectivity to space/place, and the utilization of technologies, such as DNA ancestry testing, in the making of Ta’no people(hood) today.