Mestizaje: Afro-Caribbean and indigenous Costa Rican children’s narratives and links with other traditions

C. Nicholas Cuneo, Allyssa McCabe, Gigliana Melzi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study examined the relationship between children’s narratives and anumber of diverse social and cultural influences in one Dominican American and four Costa Rican Indigenous communities to explore Spanish narration in areas of linguistic and social contact. Of the total number of narratives collected, 30 were from 17 Costa Rican children (7 girls, 10 boys) of Indigenous or Afro-Caribbean descent and 36 were from 12 children (6 girls, 6 boys) from the Dominican Republic living in the United States. All children interviewed were native speakers of Spanish between the ages of 6 and 9 years (M age = 7;1). Personal narratives were isolated from recorded conversations, transcribed, and scored using both highpoint and story grammar analyses. When compared to a number of other ethnic groups both inside and outside of Latin America, the Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean narratives gathered in this study differed considerably and suggest that – whereas many distinct ethnic minority groups are absorbing national languages and traditions – vestigial cultural elements are being retained in children’s narrative structure and content. Results are discussed relative to the narrative practices emerging from cultural and linguistic contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpanish-Language Narration and Literacy
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Cognition, and Emotion
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780511815669
ISBN (Print)9780521883757
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Afro-Caribbean
  • Children
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Indigenous
  • Narratives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mestizaje: Afro-Caribbean and indigenous Costa Rican children’s narratives and links with other traditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this