Anthropology: Aruba Art, History, and Culture

Island view in Aruba

Aruba is an island nation and is the dominant country of the Dutch Empire in the south-south of the Caribbean Sea about a mile 29 (18 mi) north of the Venezuelan peninsula of Paraguana and 50 miles (50 mi) northwest of Curacao. Measure 32 miles (20 mi) in length from its northwest to south-east and 10 kilometers (6 mi) across its widest point. In partnership with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba formed a group called ABC islands. Together, these and three other major Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often referred to as the Dutch Caribbean, Aruba, which accounts for one third of the population.

Aruba is one of the four states of the Dutch Empire as well as the Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries are all Dutch citizens. Aruba has no administrative divisions but for the purpose of census, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.

Unlike most of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and is a dry or desert area, with cactus flowers. The climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can certainly expect a warm, bright sky all year round. Its land area covers 179 km2 (69.1 sq mi) and is densely populated, with a population of 101,484, as in Census C 2010. Current population estimates are 116,600 (July 2018 est.) It is located south of the typical hurricane area [6] but two were affected in their first stages in late 2020.

Aruba in 20th and 21th century

The first Aruba oil refinery was built in 1928 by the Royal Dutch Shell. The center is located west of the capital Oranjestad and was often referred to as the Eagle. Shortly after this, another refinery was built by Lago Oil and Transport Company in the area now known as San Nicolas east of Aruba. These refineries processed crude oil from Venezuela’s major oil fields, bringing great prosperity to the island. The Aruba filter grew into one of the largest in the world.

Aruba Map and History

During World War II, the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1940, oilfields in Aruba came under the control of the Dutch government in exile in London, which led to the German invasion of 1942. In August 1947, Aruba introduced its first constitution, constitution as the position of Aruba as an independent province within the Netherlands and inspired by the efforts of Henny Eman, a prominent Aruban politician. In 1954, the Dutch Charter was introduced, which provided a framework for relations between Aruba and the rest of the State. This created the Netherlands Antilles, which united all the Dutch Caribbean colonies into a single administrative structure. Many Aruba residents were unhappy with the arrangement, however, as the new policy was considered to be under Curacao’s rule.

In 1972, at a conference in Suriname, Betico Croes, an Aruba politician, proposed the formation of the Dutch Commonwealth of four countries: Aruba, the Netherlands, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles, each with its own nationality. With the support of his newly formed party (Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo), Croes sought greater independence in Aruba, with the long-term goal of self-determination, using the obstacles of an independent state in 1976 with the construction of the flag and national anthem. In March 1977, a referendum was sponsored by the United Nations; 82% of participants voted for complete independence from the Netherlands. Tensions escalated as Croes stepped up pressure on the Dutch government by organizing a general strike in 1977.

Ethnic Relation in Aruba

Emergence of the Nation: Indians settled in Aruba before the discovery of Europe. Between 2000 B.C.E. and about 850 B.C.E. , the island was dominated by early Indians. About 850 B.C.E. , Caquetio Arowaks of western Venezuela moved to Aruba, presenting pottery and agriculture.

Ethnica Culture in Aruba

The Spaniards found Aruba about 1499. Due to the lack of metals Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao were called the Islas Inutiles (Useless Islands). In 1515 the inhabitants were exiled to Hispaniola to work in the mines. After the unsuccessful attempt of colonialism by Juan de Ampies (1526 – c. 1533), the island was used for cattle breeding and wood cutting. Small numbers of Indians from the continent moved to Aruba. The Spanish clergy in Venezuela tried to make them Christians.

The Dutch West India Company (WIC) took over Aruba in 1636, two years after the Dutch conquest of Curacao. Indians from the continent continued to migrate. Colonization of the island was banned until 1754. In 1767, the colony had 120 families, 12 of whom were employed by the WIC. One hundred were Indian families. After the dissolution of the WIC (1792) and two English interregnums (1801-1803 and 1806-1816), a difficult colonization began. The elite was heavily involved in agricultural trade, trade, and illegal trade with South America. Farmers remain dependent on small-scale agriculture, fishing, and labor migration in the region. Slaves did not exceed 21 percent of the population (1849). Slavery was abolished in 1863, when 496 slaves were liberated. In the absence of a growing economy the culture of farmers arose. Colonials, Indians and blacks mixed to form the traditional Mestizo-Creole community.

The oil industry arrived in the 1920’s and brought with it the rapid modernization and migration of industrial workers, traders, and civil servants from the Caribbean, Europe, America and China. Aruba became a multinational community of more than forty nations. Afro-Caribbean immigrants outnumber indigenous people of economic status and cultural respect. The position of former officials as commercial traders has been taken over by Lebanese, Jewish, Chinese and Chinese immigrants and foreign trade companies.

Political life

Government. Aruba has been an independent part of the Dutch state since 1986. The governor of Aruba is the head of the Aruba government and the local representative of the Dutch king. The Dutch Council of Ministers has a Dutch cabinet and two powerful ministers, one representing Aruba and the other the Netherlands Antilles. The council is responsible for joint foreign policy, defense and justice, and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Aruba Political Parties

Leadership and Political Officials. Aruba is a parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system. Elections are held every four years. Since acquiring Status Aparte, the government has relied on a coalition between one of the largest and smallest groups. The main parties are the Christian-democracy Arubaanse Volkspartij (People’s Party of Aruba) and the democratic organization Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo (Peoples Electoral Movement). Democracy operates at a certain level of governance and nationalist expression. Political parties tend to have a single strong leader who carefully selects candidates from a wide range of social, economic, and racial backgrounds.

Public Management Issues. Other labor disputes occur, but these have never led to serious threats to job security or economic instability. The increase in petty crime is a major concern for many citizens. Serious cases are rare even though armed robberies have increased in the past five years. Alcohol abuse and drug abuse are major concerns. Drug addicts, chollers, are irritated. Local social control is provided by the legal system. Aruba has its own legal powers but shares the Commonwealth Court with the Netherlands Antilles. The Supreme Court is located in the Netherlands.

Military Service. There has been no military operation on or near the island since 1942, when a German submarine attacked the Lago and Eagle refineries. Part of the Dutch Forces Caribbean is in Savaneta where there are about 270 Dutch and Aruban navy. Their main task is to protect the island and its waters. The Coast Guard of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba began operating in 1995 to protect islands and local waters from drug trafficking. In 1999 the Maritime Interdiction Division of the United States Customs Service began testing foreign waters for drug trafficking.

Religion & Socialization

Aruba churches & Religions

Religious Beliefs. Eighty-six percent of the population is Roman Catholic, but church attendance is low. Dutch Reformed-Lutheran Protestantism, a traditional elite religion, was adopted by less than 3 percent of the population. The migration of the 20th century led to the emergence of small groups such as Methodists, Anglicans, evangelists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, and Confucians. The number and participation in religious movements and movements is increasing.

Religious Workers. A popular traditional notion of supernatural is called brua. Although the name is derived from the Spanish word bruja (witch), the bruua is not equated with witchcraft. It includes magic, fortune-telling, healing, and thinking of all that is good and bad. Magic is practiced by hacido di brua (brua doctor) and can be used beneficially and dangerously. Belief in brua is often not confirmed due to the low social status associated with it.

Traditions and holy places. Aruba has eight Catholic churches and churches as well as a growing number of churches. Alto Vista Church (founded in 1750) is the most famous church. The Dutch Reformed-Lutheran community has three weeks; some Protestant denominations have places of worship. The Jewish community (ashkenazim) has a synagogue in Oranjestad. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish cemeteries are located in Oranjestad. The site of the small free cemetery is close to this. Public cemeteries are located in San Nicolas and Sabana Basora, in the center of the island.

Theories about death and the afterlife are in line with Christian teaching. The traditional awakening, called Ocho Dia (eight days), is a time of mourning, during which relatives and friends participate. On the last night of mourning the altar is removed, the seats are turned upside down. Windows are opened to ensure that the spirit of the deceased is able to escape the house. The wake, with its Spanish medieval origins, is becoming increasingly popular. Parenting and Education. Social interactions occur mainly in the family and at school. As a result of the growing number of divorces and women’s participation in the labor market, the nuclear family is declining. A growing number of children are going to childcare centers before entering the education system. After school care is provided by the private sector and the government supports the Tra’i Merdia project (afternoon). Education is based on the Dutch system. When four-year-olds go to kindergarten and after six years go to primary school. Twelve years later they enroll in high schools or vocational schools. After high school many students went to Holland to continue their studies. In 1988 a major project was launched to restructure the education system at all levels and was directed at reviving and improving the Dutch-based Arubanizing program.

Art culture

Street art in Aruba

The artistic life of Aruban can be divided into two categories: commercial and one focused on tourism and local recreation. Many artists work on both. Lack of funding and clear government policy is creating tensions between the arts trade to benefit tourism and to enable local talent to be developed for non-commercial purposes. Disclosure is strictly maintained in banks and ateliers. Plans to open a national arts museum are under discussion.

There has been strong development and popular growth in various fields and styles since about 1986. Aruba’s history, culture, and nature inspire many artists, who translate it in a modern way. In recent years many artists have worked with individual perspectives. Overseas training, workshops and exchanges with foreign artists residing in Aruba, as well as participation in international exposures keep the art community in isolation. The writings focus on poetry and the writing of young people. In the 1980s interesting novels, plays, and poems by Aruban writers were published by the Charuba publishing house. It is currently publishing a small-scale workshop. Many writers publish their work. Attempts to revive Charuba have not been successful.

The art of art. The land of Aruban is a source of encouragement to many professional and entertaining artists. The drawing is not very widespread. The popularity of traditional art and three-dimensional art is growing. After the economic recovery the number of graphic art studios has increased since 1988. Most studio artists work as commercial designers. As an art form, the drawings are still unknown.

Performing art. Aruba has theater groups, of which Mascaruba is the oldest and most popular. Foundation Arte pro Arte (FARPA, Art for the Arts) promotes local cultural and art projects, especially theater. The Aruba Dance Foundation organizes international festivals and workshops. Several dance and / or ballet schools focus on youth. The theater, Cas di Cultura, is located in Oranjestad. Aruba hosts dance festivals and theater twice a year. The artists make a living by performing in the tourism industry and the local audience. A new generation of Aruban artists incorporates traditional Aruban and Caribbean music styles, with modern hip-hop and reggae influences. The Carnival Festival is the highlight of the year. Aruban School of Music offers instrumental music lessons. A large number of choirs are present on the island.






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