Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African American Studies


Smith, Danielle Taana


African Traditional Beliefs, Barbados, Heartman, Western Imperialism

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | Caribbean Languages and Societies | Folklore | Latin American Languages and Societies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The Heartman: The Impact of its Evolution on the Barbadian Cultural Landscape, examines the impact of cultural evolution on the Barbadian cultural landscape, using the folkloric belief of the Heartman as the point of focus. This thesis seeks through the analysis of newspaper articles, novels, graphic novels, short stories, and informal interviews to provide the historical and cultural backgrounds of Barbados, and to provide insight into the evolution that has taken place within society and how it is reflected within the minds of the Barbadian populace. In other words, how has the evolution of the Heartman affected the ways in which the Barbadian populace conceive of the shifts in the cultural landscape of Barbados? Using qualitative research methods, I suggest that the shifts in culture are the results of external influences such as globalization and western imperialism which have contributed to the evolution, and in some cases erasure, of some cultural traditions of Barbados. These shifts have affected the cultural landscape, as seen in its reorganization which forced the indigenous culture to become submerged to protect itself from the negative effects of globalization and western imperialism. The use of Creolization theory in this thesis assists in the analysis of the dynamic within the Barbadian cultural landscape. The theory aids in providing an explanation for the evolution of the cultural landscape of Barbados. The theory not only interrogates the characteristics of Barbadian culture, but also centers the discussion, using the Heartman, to showcase how the influences of globalization have resulted in the evolution of the cultural landscape through not only the erasure of the physical landscape but also the ruptures that force African-centric aspects of Barbadian culture to become submerged.


Open Access



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