In the Caribbean, the practice of getting dressed matters because it is a practice of attending to the body. Under a colonial regime, black bodies were ill-treated and selves were negated. Clothing played an instrumental role in the abuse of bodies and the stripping of a sense of well-being.
Few of the foreign tourists enjoying the US $250-a-day luxury of the Casa de Campo resort on the Dominican Republic’s south coast will be aware of a different minority in the vicinity of their hotel complex. A few miles from the hotel stand some of the Dominican Republic’s hundreds of bateyes, clusters of concrete barracks or wooden shacks, home to the country’s poorest people: those who cut cane on its sugar plantations.