MAPPING DEFORESTATION AND AFRO-CARIBBEAN DRUM-MAKING TRADITIONS
My research project tracks the effects of deforestation on African diaspora drum-making traditions in the Caribbean. I focus on the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic). Forest resource scarcity on these islands creates new challenges for the continued practice of centuries-old traditions from the African continent. Using the ESRI Story Maps platform, I will combine geospatial data on drummakers’ source materials with prose, oral history excerpts, photos, and audio-visual recordings. This multimodal approach contributes to recent scholarly work on the cultural impacts of climate change. The project is a continuation of my ongoing research on folkloric music in the Dominican Republic, and it forms the basis of my MLS digital humanities capstone project.