Recent Publications of William V. Davidson

Honduran Studies: Reference Works

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Ethnic Geography of Honduras, 2001 (2011)

In 2001, for the first time, Honduras attempted to report ethnicity at the most detailed geographical level. For the first time, the census posed the question (F5): “A qué grupo poblacional pertenece?” and residents were offered nine choices. Eight well-known ethnic groups: Lenca, Misquito, Garífuna, Chortí, Negro Inglés, Tolupán, Pech, and Tawahka were listed, along with “Otro,” the “umbrella” category, which referred primarily to the Ladino majority.

The purpose of this document is to focus attention on the modern geographical dimension of ethnicity in Honduras. To see quickly the locations, sizes, and proportions of minority population at all regional scales, census information has been reorganized into maps and tables at the national, department, municipio, and local levels.

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Honduras Census of 1916, reorganized by departments, municipios, and settlements (2012)

The document presented here is the third census of Honduras reorganized by the author and sponsored by the Honduran Academy of Geography and History. The first, for 1895, was produced from manuscripts found in the Honduran National Archives in 1994 (Davidson 2002). The second, for the national census of 2001, emphasized ethnic populations and was derived from the on-line records of the INEH (Instituto Nacional Estadística de Honduras) (Davidson 2011a, 2011b). The current compilation is from the national census of 1916 and was produced from the rare copy of the census housed in the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago (Honduras 1918).

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Honduras Indígena, vol I: Historical Gazetteer of Honduras (updated, October 2019)

This volume is a reference work to aid the place-specific study of the minority populations of Honduras. The primary intent is to list the locations occupied by the six well-documented aboriginal people, with citations that direct readers to sources of information chronologically. Groups include the Chortí Maya, Lenca, Mískitu, Pech, Tawahka, and Torrupán, plus the Garífuna-speakers, a more recent migrant community. The places in this publication, over 7,000, include many alternate spellings of the same location. The attached bibliography includes a list of maps that, for the most part, was printed in the atlas of historical maps by Davidson (2006).

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Honduras Studies: Recent Works

“Ethnogeography of the Patuca River, 1895: Settlements, Ethnicity, Migration, and Demography” (October 2019)

Among the several un-cataloged and difficult-to-locate documents housed in the national archives of Honduras in Tegucigalpa is a 13-page census manuscript entitled “Pliegos Complementarios del Padrón de la Mosquitia - varios caserios y aldeas con 364 [sic] habitantes.” At the time “La Mosquitia” was a part of the Department of Colón, one of the 15 major subdivisions of Honduras (Fiallos 1980). The document is not dated, but for two reasons it is obvious that it is an isolated part of the unpublished third national census of 1895: 1) the questions posed and ordered in the manuscript are identical to the printed questionnaires used in the census of December 26, 1895 (Davidson 2002: 2a) and 2) the ten settlements reported in the manuscript are not found within the collection of other 1895 census records for La Mosquitia and Colón (Davidson 2002: 1). The incorrect number of inhabitants given in the title is due to a simple arithmetic error -- 339 names, not 364, are listed. As one indication of how remarkable this census is note that the previous census of 1887, and the later ones of 1910 and 1916, did not include six of these villages (Aguasdaban, Crata, Gualpatanta, Pau, Pimienta, Wankibila).

This census is important beyond the new basic settlement/population information. Within are indications of widespread regional migrations and demographic characteristics of the different culture groups. For this period, in an out-of-the–way area of Honduras, such insights are rare.

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Ethnogeography and Ethnohistory of Honduras, An Anthology, English edition (10 of 22 papers finished) (2019 –

1 Historical Geography of the Bay Islands, Honduras: Anglo-Hispanic Conflict in the Western Caribbean
William V. Davidson
(Abstract of doctoral dissertation, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1972; Dissertation Abstracts International, vol. 37b, no. 7, January 1972: 3131-B)
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2 Honduras
William V. Davidson
(Compton's Encyclopedia, vol. 10: 225-227. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1989)
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3 Honduras: Historical Profiles of Major Cities
William V. Davidson
(Chapter 13, Latin American Urbanization. Historical Profiles of Major Cities, edited by Gerald Michael Greenfield, 313-330. Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1994)
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4 Not Always Oriented: Honduran Plaza-Church Locational Relations
Benjamin F. Tillman and William V. Davidson
(Oral presentation by Davidson, “Plaza-Church Relationships in Honduras,” 90th annual meeting, Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, April, 1994; essay by Tillman, Ethno- and Historical Geography of Latin America, P. Herlihy, K. Mathewson, and C. Revels, editors. Geoscience and Man v. 40: 177-92. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Geoscience Publications)
5 Dual Nature of Internal Migration in Honduras, Central America
James R. Samson, Scott A. Brady, and William V. Davidson
(Oral presentation, 92nd Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers, Charlotte, North Carolina, April, 1996)
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6 Wandering Toponyms in Honduras: The Case of Sula
William V. Davidson
(Oral presentations, induction ceremony, Academia de Geografía e Historia de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, April, 1998 and Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, Austin, Texas, January, 2000)
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7 On The Tegucigalpa/Taguzgalpa Toponym, and its Regionalization
William V. Davidson
(Selections adapted from “La Costa Caribe de Honduras, su geografía, historia y etnología,” Colón y la Costa Caribe de Centroamérica, por Jaime Incer B., 61-106. Managua: Fundación Vida, 2002; also, Yaxkin XXIV (1) 2008: 14-65)
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8 Los Cristos Negros de Honduras
William V. Davidson
(Selections adapted from chapter 5, Los Cristos Negros de Centro América. Managua: Fundación Uno, 2009)
9 Geography of Minority Populations in Central America
William V. Davidson
(Adapted from Chapter 3, Latin America: Case Studies, R. G. Boehm and S. Visser, editors, 31- 37. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company, 1980)
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10 Mapping the Distribution of Indians in Central America
William V. Davidson and Melanie A. Counce
(Cultural Survival Quarterly 13 (3) 1989: 37-40)
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11 Etnohistoria Hondureña: la llegada de la Garífuna a Honduras, 1797
William V. Davidson
(Yaxkin VI (1-2) 1983: 88-105)
12 Ethno-historical Geography of the Honduran Garífuna Enclave at Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua
William V. Davidson
(Adapted from Ethnohistory 27 (1) winter 1980: 31-47)
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13 The Garífuna in Central America: Ethnohistorical and Geographical Foundations
William V. Davidson
(Chapter 2, Black Caribs. A Case Study in Biocultural Adaptation. Volume 3 of Current Developments in Anthropological Genetics, edited by Michael H. Crawford, 13-35. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1984)
14 Coastal Imperative Lost? : Village Abandonment among the Honduran Garífuna
William V. Davidson
(Actes du XLII Congrés International des Américanistes [1976], VI: 576-81. Paris: 1979)
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15 El Padre Subirana y Las Tierras Concedidas a Los Indios Hondureños en el Siglo XIX (Padre Subirana and the Indian Land Grants, Mid-19th Century, Honduras)
William V. Davidson
(América Indígena [México] XLIV (3) julio-septiembre, 1984: 447-459)
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16 Geografía de los Indígenas Toles (Jicaques) de Honduras en el Siglo XVIII
William V. Davidson
(Mesoamérica [CIRMA, Antigua] Año 6, No. 9, 1985: 58-90)
17 Lenca Geography of the 16th and 17th Centuries
William V. Davidson
(Oral presentation, 86th annual meeting, American Anthropological Association, Chicago, November, 1987)
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18 Delimitación de la región habitada por los sumos taguacas de Honduras, 1600-1990
William V. Davidson and Fernando Cruz S.
(Yaxkin XI (1) 1988: 123-36; Mesoamérica [CIRMA, Antigua] 29 (junio de 1995): 159-165)
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19 Geographical Perspectives on Spanish-Pech (Paya) Indian Relationships, Northeast Honduras, Sixteenth Century
William V. Davidson
(Chapter 9, Volume 3, Columbian Consequences, The Spanish Borderlands in Pan-American Perspective, 205-235, edited by David Hurst Thomas. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1991)
20 Etnogeografía Histórica y la Arqueología de Honduras: un avance preliminar de la investigación
William V. Davidson
(Yaxkin VIII (1-2) 1985: 215-226)
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21 Jucap: A New Linguistic Region in Colonial Honduras?
William V. Davidson
(Oral presentation, Association of American Geographers, Meeting of the Southwest Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October, 1998)
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22 Indigenous Settlement Relocations in Central America
William V. Davidson
(Adapted from oral presentations, “Recent Indian Relocations in Central America,” Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, Ottawa, Canada, September, 1984; “Civil War and Recent Population Movements in Central America,” International Geographical Union, Barcelona, Spain, September, 1986)
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La Costa Caribe de Honduras, su geografía, historia y etnología” en Colón y la Costa Caribe de Centroamérica, V Centenario, 1502-2002, pp. 61-106. Editado por Jaime Incer B. Managua: Fundación VIDA.

Algunos estudiosos han sugerido que la naturaleza, es decir, la geografía física, determina los parámetros iniciales para el desenvolvimiento de los asuntos humanos. La naturaleza establece el escenario en el cual se desarrolla la historia de la humanidad. El entorno en que se desarrollaron las aventuras de Colón en 1502, a lo largo de las áreas costeras de la moderna Honduras, jugó sin ninguna duda un rol importante en las actividades de los primeros españoles que alcanzaron la tierra firme de Norteamérica.

 

Some scholars have suggested that nature, i.e. physical geography, determines the initial parameters for the development of human affairs. Nature sets the stage in which human history unfolds. The environment in which Columbus' adventures took place in 1502, along the coastal areas of modern Honduras, undoubtedly played an important role in the activities of the first Spaniards to reach the mainland of North America.

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The Lost Towns of Honduras (new publication, forthcoming)

In Recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Honduran Myth of Ciudad Blanca – The last of the “great lost cities” that never was.
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The Black Christs of Central America, The Lord de Esquipulas and others (English edition, forthcoming)

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Pilgrimage in Central America (December 2019)

Pilgrimage in Central America, large and small: Esquipulas in Guatemala and Guancascos in Honduras.
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Ceiba Chronicles

book cover The “Kapoks” of Key West, Florida, 2018 (May 2018)

A brief reconnaissance of Key West in April 2018 uncovered eight ceiba trees in six sites. Locally, the Ceiba pentandra tree is known by its Indonesian name, “kapok.” Seven of the trees seem to be about 100 years old; only one seems to be of private origins. Given the history of the Key as a military stronghold, hosting navy and army bases during the period of World War II (and before), it might be reasonable to expect the ceiba to be called “kapok” because of the U. S. military’s use of the term for the silk-cotton fibers surrounding ceiba seeds that were used in the water-repellant life jackets used by the military.

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Silk Cotton Trees of Nassau and Vicinity, The Bahamas, with the results of a brief field trip, April 2019 (June 2019)

Silk cotton trees (Ceiba pentandra) are a major, but often overlooked, component of the cultural landscape of New Providence Island, in the Bahamas. These trees represent a rich tradition, particularly in areas occupied by Afro-Bahamians after Emancipation in the nineteenth century. One particularly notable tree — a large, ancient silk cotton surrounded by public buildings in the center of Nassau — became famous as probably the most illustrated and photographed ceiba in the world before its demise in the mid-1900s.

Geographer William Davidson and his wife Sharon, who have studied extensively the ceibas of Central America and Yucatán, report herein their April 2019 field reconnaissance of Nassau and its environs, including the history and legacy of the iconic Nassua silk cotton tree.

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Yaxché: Ceiba pentandra in Yucatán, a Cultural Geography (September 2019)

Based on landscape observations, this book explains the distribution and significance of yaxché-ob (ceibas, Ceiba pentandra) in the State of Yucatán, México. More than 2,500 ceibas can be found in a wide range of settings, including villages and cities, at churches and cemeteries, at cenotes and haciendas, along highways and at rancho entrances, and even at modern tourism facilities. However, in the ceiba landscapes of a few special places — Yalcón, Xocén, Maní, Muna, Cholul — evidence of the ancient Maya geographical cosmos can still be seen.

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Ceibas of Central America (forthcoming)