Lost White Tribes: Journeys Amongst the Forgotten

Lost White Tribes: Journeys Amongst the Forgotten


By (author) Riccardo Orizio, Preface by Ryszard Kapuscinski, Translated by Avril Bardoni


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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 149mm x 214mm x 19mm | 203g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099289466
  • ISBN 13: 9780099289463
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations, portraits
  • Sales rank: 408,200

Product description

Over three hundred years ago the first European colonialists set foot in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean to found permanent outposts of the great empires. This epic migration continued until after World War II when these tropical outposts became independent black nations, and the white colonials were forced, or chose, to return home. Some of these colonial descendants, however, had become outcasts in the poorest stratas of the society of which they were now a part. Ignored by both the former slaves and the modern privileged white immigrants, and unable to afford the long journey home, they still hold out today, hiding in remote valleys and hills, 'lost white tribes' living in poverty with the proud myth of their colonial ancestors. Forced to marry within the tribe to retain their fair-skinned 'purity' they are torn between the memory of past privileges and the present need to integrate into the surrounding society. The tribes investigated in this book share much besides the colour of their skin: all are decreasing in number, many are on the verge of extinction, fighting to survive in countries that alienate them because of the colour of their skin. Riccardo Orizio investigates: the Blancs Matignon of Guadeloupe; the Burghers of Sri Lanka; the Poles of Haiti; the Basters of Namibia; the Germans of Seaford Town, Jamaica; and, the Confederados of Brazil.

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Review quote

"Like Chatwin, Orizio has a knack of following hunches and finding good people to talk to. He also does his research and provides a history, as well as a social anthropology, of those he visits...sensitively observed, vividly told and irresistibly exotic." -"Sunday Times"

Editorial reviews

Orizio's lost tribes are the descendants of white colonials living as outcasts in the outposts of the former empires - the Burghers of Sri Lanka, the Poles of Haiti, the Basters of Namibia, the Blancs Matignon of Guadalope, the descendants of German Slaves in Jamaica and the Confederados of Brazil. They find themselves betwixt and between cultures, too white for some but too native for others. An intriguing investigation of forgotten peoples. (Kirkus UK)