Open Source Archives

We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of progressive and  participatory research methods, with the goal of generating tangible, durable changes in the way research about Haiti is conceptualized, implemented and applied.


Research Hub & Open Source Archives

EKO HAITI Research Hub is a research and knowledge mobilization platform focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and associated research-based learning. We aim to become the intellectual “home” for research about Haiti by creating and providing open access to the largest crowdsourced research archive dedicated to Haiti, by fostering cross-disciplinary research and innovation, and by providing support for progressive research in the form of contextual expertise and training.

“The trees fall from time to time, but the voice of the forest never loses its power. Life begins.”

Jacques Alexis, Les Arbres Musiciens (Paris, 1957)
Haiti is the birthplace of a rich literary heritage that deserves more attention. Haitian authors open a window into this Caribbean nation’s vibrant culture and tumultuous history.

EKO HAITI collections include all works, published and unpublished by Anthropologists Gerald Murray, Glenn Smucker and Timothy Schwartz
Dedicated to the late great, Kreyolicious (Katheline St. Fort), our photographs archives holds a large collection of images dating back to the late 1800's .
40 years of development reports, evaluations and survey databases many of which are not publicly available, are buried in drawers, closets, private libraries of NGOs and government donors.


Oral histories are a powerful tool in developing historical understanding

Oral history offers an alternative to conventional history, filling gaps in traditional research with personal accounts of historically significant events or simply life in a specific place and time. Oral histories do more than provide charming details to dry historical accounts. In fact, oral histories help others recapture lived experiences that are not written down in traditional sources.

> Transcripts archive

" Bwa pi wo di li wè lwen, men grenn pwomennen di li wè pi lwen pase l "

The tallest tree says that it sees far, but the seed that travels says that it sees even further.



As an independent institute, we rely on crowdsourcing and donations to continue expanding the depth and scope of our archives.  Your contribution enable us to provide open access to a vast collection of ethnographic and research material which in turn aims at fostering further research and contribute to a better understanding of the country.

In the southeastern Dominican Republic, a festive, carnivalesque Easter procession featuring music, dance and ritual is widely performed by small local troupes of mostly poor rural workers and working-class residents of local mill towns. The procession is called, in Spanish, el Gaga, and originates in Haitian Rara brought by Haitian immigrant laborers, especially those who have travelled to the region to work in the sugar cane industry. A number of interest groups participate in this performance, across boundaries of language, nation of origin, race, ethnicity, class, age and gender. I utilize a composite name, Rara/Gaga, to honour the participation of Haitian immigrants, Haitian Dominicans and Dominicans who claim no Haitian ancestry in this performance and to evoke its dialogism and hybridity. In this work, the performance is examined in the light of the historical context of Haitian Dominican relations, as well as global geopolitical forces.

Most of my fieldwork was undertaken in a sugar cane village and other locales in the southeastern Dominican Republic in the mid 1990s, with research also conducted in urban centers of the Dominican Republic, in New York City and in Haiti. My approach is informed by prior studies in New York City of music/dance/ritual practices that demonstrate Central African influences, especially AfroCuban traditions; Central African influences in Rara/Gaga are also explored in this work. I examine the overlap between Rara/Gaga and AfroHispaniolan ritual called Vodou in Haiti and Vodu in the Dominican Republic. I argue that, for participants in the Dominican Southeast and along a transnational social network that includes Haiti and diasporic locales such as the United States, Rara/Gaga is viewed by participants as a healing community that incorporates music, dance, ritual and procession along the Haitian Dominican cultural border.