Global Integrative Studies, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Anthropology and Archaeology (December 2019) 7(2): 1-14.

DOI: 10.15640/jaa.v7n2a1

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Copyright 2019, the authors. Used by permission.

Published by American Research Institute for Policy Development.


While the impacts to the infrastructures in Barbuda and Puerto Rico by Hurricanes Irma and Maria have received attention in the news media, less has been reported about the impacts of these catastrophic events on the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of these Caribbean islands. This report provides an assessment of the impacts on the cultural heritage by these storms; tangible heritage includes historic buildings, museums, monuments, documents and other artifacts and intangible heritage includes traditional artistry, festivities, and more frequent activities such as religious services and laundering. While the physical destruction was massive, the social contexts in which these islands existed lessened the resiliency of the people to respond and rebuild after the storms. While change may be inevitable for Barbuda and Puerto Rico, disaster capitalism is threatening the cultures of the people, and may result in the loss of local knowledge and practices.