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Image / Villagers carrying containers, San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, 1977

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Villagers carrying containers, San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, 1977
Cross, Richard, 1950-1983
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
California State University, Northridge
Contributing Institution
California State University, Northridge
Richard Cross Photographs (Bradley Center)
Rights Information
Use of images from the collections of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center is strictly prohibited by law without prior written consent from the copyright holders. The responsibility for the use of these materials rests exclusively with the user.
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Two women and a young man walk along a trail with vegetation on both sides. They carry containers as they walk in the village of San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia. The mountainous landscape allowed the inhabitants to surveil their lands from the higher ground, giving them time to prepare for any intrusion from outside parties. The various plants and trees in Palenque were also crucial to the survival of its residents. Among the most popular were: anubias, bay cedar, gliricidia, kapok, macondo and palm trees. These natural resources were often used for its fruit, wood, and medicinal Basilio de Palenque, a town located 31 miles from Cartagena, is considered the first community to officially free enslaved people in the Americas because, on August 23, 1691, the Spanish King Charles II signed a royal charter recognizing the freedom communities in the María Mountains. Local authorities, however, did not sign a treaty with the communities of free slaves until January of 1714 acknowledging their freedom and ordering the establishment of the town of Palenque San Basilio Magno. People in San Basilio de Palenque speak a Spanish-based creole language known as Palenquero. According to local public records, in 1975 the village had 2,400 residents (mostly farmers or day laborers) and 388 houses. Colombian anthropologist Nina S. De Friedemann had been studying the Afro-Colombian community of San Basilio de Palenque since 1973 for the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and Richard Cross joined her to do work as a visual anthropologist in June 1975. This image illustrates Cross’ anthropological category: Inventory of male–female work roles.
Dos mujeres y un muchacho caminan por un sendero con vegetación en ambos lados. Ellos llevan recipientes mientras caminan en el pueblo de San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia. El paisaje montañoso permitió a los habitantes vigilar sus tierras desde las tierras más altas, dándoles tiempo para prepararse para cualquier intrusión de partes externas. Las diversas plantas y árboles en Palenque también fueron cruciales para la supervivencia de sus residentes. Entre los más populares estaban: anubias, cedro bayo, gliricidia, kapok, macondo y palmeras. Estos recursos naturales a menudo se usaban por sus frutos, madera y beneficios medicinales. San Basilio de Palenque, un pueblo ubicado a 50 kilómetros de Cartagena, es considerada la primera comunidad en liberar oficialmente a las personas esclavizadas en las Américas porque, el 23 de agosto de 1691, El rey español Carlos II firmó una carta real que reconoce las comunidades de libertad en las montañas de María. Las autoridades locales, sin embargo, no firmaron un tratado con las comunidades de esclavos libres hasta enero de 1714 reconociendo su libertad y ordenando el establecimiento de la ciudad de Palenque San Basilio Magno. La gente en San Basilio de Palenque habla una lengua criolla en español conocida como Palenquero. Según los registros públicos locales, en 1975 el pueblo tenía 2.400 residentes (en su mayoría agricultores o jornaleros) y 388 casas. La antropóloga colombiana Nina S. De Friedemann había estado estudiando la comunidad afrocolombiana de San Basilio de Palenque desde 1973 para el Instituto Colombiano de Antropología y Richard Cross se unió a ella para trabajar como antropóloga visual en junio de 1975. Esta imagen ilustra la categoría antropológica de Cross:Inventario de roles laborales masculino-femenino.
black-and-white negatives
35 mm
Blacks--Colombia--San Basilio del Palenque
San Basilio del Palenque (Colombia)
Richard Cross Photographs
California State University Northridge. University Library. Special Collections & Archives. Tom & Ethel Bradley Center

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