Haiti Ethnographic Research

Decent Essays
In the spring of 1942, I had the advantage to pass a wonderful week in Haiti. I was accompanied by Leslie R. Holdrige a young engineer and a botanist. Unfortunately the journal that has my detailed notes and observations was lost in the airplane that was transporting me from Haiti to Puerto-Rico, or probably was confiscated. However it was possible for me to give this observations and show some photographs concerning the beautiful forest of Pins des hauts plateau of Morne des Commissaires. The notes and photographs may have scientific interest, for very little is written on the phytography of the Hispaniola island. EKMAN, who have fully traveled the island, has not written a “Journal de Route”, and died with all its secrets. To get to…show more content…
Bois Trompette (Cecropia peltata L.) become abundant, as well as the Plumeria of diverse species. The palms trees are not numerous, not even the Cocothrinax which is found everywhere in Cuba. Here and there a Latanier (fig.2) (Cocothrinax scoparia Becc.), is seen coming out of the broom factory (fig.3) The relative rarity of palm trees in Haiti is from human impact, in particular on the construction of houses. In the island of Cuba, the palm trees, especially the Palmier Royal [Roystonea regia (H.B.K.) Cook], is the material use to build the “bohio”. In Haiti, twigs from various plants and dry mud are use for the covering of house frames (fig. 4). As a traveler, I observe that, in the mountain, the Haitian case is remarkably different from the base of the mountain! independent of the authority of plumb line! (fig. 5). Haiti’s highlands, towards 1500 to 2000 meters, is occupied by a vas forest of Pinus occidentalis Sw., species generally considered as endemic in the island Hispaniola, but seems to be encountered sporadically in the east of Cuba’s mountains and accompanies by Pinus cubensis Griseb. The P. occidentalis (fig. 6) is a pine of three leaves, while the P. cubensis is a pine of two…show more content…
Pringsheimii Urb.), and a shrubby Lobelia measuring one or two meters, the Lobelia assurgens L., which is found but rarely in Cuba and in Jamaica were blooming. The plant in Haiti closely resembles the Cuban’s (var. santa-clarae McVaugh) than the Jamaican’s (var. jamaicensis Urb.). Their stem leaves are large and membranous… The flowers are dark red and flat (fig. 10). Pines in the forest of Morne des Commissaires is often distorted because of Loranthacee parasite. The parasite is endemic to Hispaniola, l’Arceuthobium bicarinatum Urb. (fig. 11). Even though the plant is being parasitized, it keeps its height and gives an excellent wood. Currently, the pines wood is being exploited in abundance for the need of the “Shada” war (society Haitian-American of agriculture
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