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Mayas of Belize and Conservation: The Need to Protect Maya Lands in the Toledo District

Mayas of Belize and Conservation: The Need to Protect Maya Lands in the. Toledo District The Maya Indians owned and occupied by aboriginal right the territory that is now Belize for thousands of years before European settlement. Although there was no formal act of annexation or confiscation, British settlers and the colonial government in the nineteenth century gradually dispossessed the Mayas of…

Kayapo Choices: Short-Term Gain vs. Long-Term Damage

Kayapó Choices: Short-Term Gain vs. Long-Term Damage. In August, 1993, Kayapó leaders made headlines in Brazil when they went en masse to the national capital to lobby the federal government. They attracted considerable attention on the Ministerial Esplanade by performing traditional war dances in formal attire-face and body paint, father headdresses, shell necklaces, bright woven armbands and…

Vestiges of the Ottoman Past: Muslims Under Siege in Contemporary Greek Thrace

Vestiges of the Ottoman Past: Muslims Under Siege in Contemporary Greek. Thrace Embraced by the expansionist Greek nation in 1920, the overwhelmingly agricultural Ottoman Muslim population of Western Thrace came under the tutelage of secular and religious officials appointed by the international treaty, these so-called "Greek Muslims" have faced an array of bureaucratic barriers to social and…

The Macedonian Minority of Northern Greece

During the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia, world attention has focused quite understandably on the horrors of the killing and the ethnic cleansing which have been taking place in Croatia and Bosnia. By contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to Macedonia; in large part, I suspect, because the situation there has, until now at least, remained so peaceful. Historically, however,…

The Balkan Vlachs: Born to Assimilate?

The Vlachs are a Romance-speaking Balkan population once characterized by a transhumant lifestyle. Among their many other characteristics, one must count an uncanny way of making those who study them question their most fundamental notions about ethnic groups and cultural survival. It all begins with their genesis: The Romans conquered Macedonia in the second century B.C., intermarrying with the…

Serbian and Croatian Nationalism and the Wars In Yugoslavia

The creation of Yugoslavia as part of the reordering of Europe after the first world war made a great deal of sense. In geopolitical terms, it helped accomplish the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, removing Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Hercegovina and Vojvodina from Austrian or Hungarian control. At the same time, the creation of a Land of the South Slavs, or Yugoslavia (…

Producing and Annihilating the Ethnos of Bosnian Islam

The war in Bosnia is a tragic testimony to the political and ideological abuse of religious differences in a society whose historical integrity is embedded in their mutual acculturation. Despite the succession of different indigenous and extraneous rulerships in the nine centuries of its history, Bosnia has managed to preserve religious and cultural pluralism. Why is this pluralism now in…

Persecution and Politicization: Roma (Gypsies) of Eastern Europe

Roma, the largest ethnic minority in Eastern Europe, are perhaps the region's most misunderstood, most persecuted, and maligned minority. Since their migration from India approximately six hundred years ago, Roma have suffered economic, political and cultural discrimination at the hands of both communist and capitalist and both democratic and totalitarian societies. The post-1989 transition in…

Nationalism in Eastern Europe: Nations, States, and Minorities

In An Agenda for Peace, issued in June, 1992, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali describes one of the fundamental challenges facing the United Nations with these words: The sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of States within the established international system, and the principle of self-determination for peoples, both of great value and importance, must not be permitted to…

Kosova, the Quiet Siege

In the late 1980s this struggle reached a climax as Slobodan Milosevic, now President of Yugoslavia, played the Kosova card in his rise to power in Serbia. He turned the eyes of the Serbs to the south, to their medieval heartland, and fueled the fires of nationalism with a call for a return to Serbian hegemony over Kosova. His ideological campaign climaxed in March of 1989 when a new constitution…

Ethnic Identities in the Making: The Case of Bulgaria

The population of Bulgaria includes several different groups which can be identified according to the criterion of ethnic self-ascription. The most important of these are the Bulgarian Turks, the Bulgarian Gypsies, the Pomaks and the Gagauzes. According to a National Statistical Institute survey of December, 1992, in a state of 8,472,724 citizens, 85.8% declare themselves Bulgarians, 9.7% Turks,…

Czechs and Slovaks: The Failure to Find a Decent Past

Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 on the democratic ideals of Thomas G. Masaryk. It recovered from World War II and survived more than four decades under communist rule, yet it started to collapse shortly after liberty had been restored in late 1989, and it died at the end of December 1992. Some explanations of the break-up focus on the Slovaks' need to continue their development as a nation and…

"Northern Epiros": The Greek Minority in Southern Albania

I After decades of political isolation, Albania burst suddenly onto the international scene in the summer of 1990. Five thousand Albanian citizens, inspired by televised dissidence elsewhere in Eastern Europe, stormed the foreign embassies in Tirana and requested asylum and emigration. Albanian security police blocked access to the embassies but did not begin to stem what quickly became a flood…