I interviewed One Love in St. Thomas in May 2001. When I asked him where he got the idea
to make his living in this way, he responded that ‘‘Jah’’ (the Creator) had inspired him through
a dream (One Love 2001).
Generally, ‘‘kissing teeth’’ or ‘‘sucking teeth’’ refers to a sound made when air is drawn through
the teeth in contempt (Holm 1982).
In the nineteenth century, potentially fatal diseases like malaria and yellow fever were not so
much associated with mosquitoes or infections, as they were viewed as maladies of tropical
landscapes (Redfield 2000, 193). On the association of the West Indies with death and disease,
see Curtin 1989; Arnold 2000; Stepan 2001.
Cuba, along with Jamaica and the Bahamas, began to pursue a tourism industry in the 1890s.
The War for Independence on the island, however, interrupted the development of the in-
dustry in Cuba at the turn of the twentieth century. For more on the beginnings of tourism
across the Caribbean consult Taylor 1993; Pérez 1999; Rosa 2001.
Aparicio and Chávez-Silverman (1997, 1) use the term tropicalizations in their edited volume
of the same name to characterize ‘‘the system of ideological fictions with which the domi-
nant (Anglo and European) cultures trope Latin American and U.S. Latino/a identities and
cultures’’ and to refer to the transcultural exchange between Europe and the United States
and Latin cultures and peoples. Although they focus on Latin American and Latino/a cul-
tures in the United States, Aparicio and Chávez-Silverman recognize that the Caribbean
was also ‘‘overdetermined’’ by tropicalization. The meaning I attribute to tropicalization also
draws on Michael Dash’s (1998, 21–42) discussion of ‘‘tropicality.’’ Dash calls attention to the
tropes—the basic units of discourse—used to invent the ideal of the tropics. Quoting Hay-
den White, Dash explains, that ‘‘tropics is the process by which all discourse constitutes the
objects which it pretends only to describe realistically and to analyze objectively’’ (26). This
characterization is especially pertinent to this investigation of photographic tropes of tropi-
cality, which tourism promoters purported to be realistic representations of the islands when
ideals of the tropics had long transformed, indeed constituted, the environment featured in
the photographs.
For further elaborations on the creation of the idea of ‘‘tropical nature’’ see Grove 1995;
Stepan 2001; Casid 2005; Tobin 2004.
Most official agencies for tourism promotion assumed that would-be travelers were white. In
the 1950s local blacks publicly appealed to tourism promoters to extend advertising to black
clienteles. M. J. Thompson, a letter writer to the Tribune newspaper in the Bahamas, for ex-
ample, complained in 1952: ‘‘Despite many humble requests the Development Board still re-
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