Neotropica 2







The Banana Chronicles
A special Neotropica treatment of the fruit that steered history.

A Visit to the Banana Lands
by Carleton Beals
Travel experiences in lands of the banana barons in the 1930s.

Anchuria Republic of Bananas
Excerpts from O. Henry's story that first named Central America "banana

Samuel, Agonistes
by Stephen Duplantier
Samuel Zemurray, Banana Man extraordinaire, and his exploits in Central

The Legend of Z
by Stephen Duplantier
Who was that masked man? Zemurray, explained.

Doctoring the Tropics
by Patricia Spinelli
Adventures of a tropical medicine physician on the banana plantations of
the 1920s.

Tristes Tropiques-- Neglected Tropical Diseases
by Stephen Duplantier
Tropical diseases you may not know about and don't want to catch. Plus a
surprising account of the worst tropical disease of all.

El Cristo de la Bananera
by Salvador Dalí. Improvements by Stephen Duplantier
Surreal Homage to the Workers of Banana Land.

A Perfect Day for a Banana
by Umberto Dávila
A fictionalized story of a banana worker's day.

The Weeping Heart of a Banana
The mythic origin of the banana heart. The inflorescence of a banana
plant produces a heart-shaped bract on a stalk. Commercial banana
growers prefer heartless bananas. A pictorial essay.

The Great Banana Strike of 1934
by Carlos Luis Fallas (Translated by Stephen Duplantier)
Was Carlos Luis Fallas the greatest Costa Rican ever? Costa Rican
workers probably think so. This is a translation of a speech by Fallas
that gives a history of the grievances of the banana workers against the
transgressions of the United Fruit Company, the notorious El Pulpo (the
Octopus), also called Mamita Yunai by Costa Rican workers.

A Working Class Hero
by Stephen Duplantier
An appreciation of the place of Carlos Luis Fallas in Costa Rican history.
The Costa Rican of the 21st Century Award
It's only 2010, but if the winner is announced early maybe some trends
can be set. Anyway, Fallas should have gotten it last century, so this is

La Huelga Bananera
por Leo R. Sack
La huelga bananera desde el punto de vista de los jefes de Mamita Yunai.

The Massacre in Ciénaga
by Stephen Duplantier
What happened in Santa Marta, Colombia in 1928.

by Gabriel García Márquez
Excerpts from the fictional account of the massacre from 100 Years of

The Neotropica Faux Gabriel García Márquez Write-Alike Contest
Summary of the Nobel Acceptance speech of Márquez.

by Darlene Olivo.
The winning entry in the Write-Alike Contest.

Passion and Death--The Chemistry of Corporate Power
What happened when two journalists from the Cincinnati Enquirer
investigating Chiquita Brands spoke truth to power, and power won.

Banana Follies Playbill and Banana Erotics
by Stephen Duplantier
The doctrine of signatures as it applies to bananas was not a sign from
God, but a sign from the United Fruit Company inserting bananas
into the popular consciousness in a big, big way with an explosion of

Dancer, Expat, Singer, Spy, War Heroine, Josephine Baker broke barriers her
whole life
by Elaine Kelly
The story of an amazing woman and how she did so much more than
dance with a banana.

Bronze Venus
Images of a great woman, La Baker.
Carmen Miranda ––a special section on the woman with bananas in
her hat. An exploration of the life and meaning of the art of Carmen
Miranda. The origins of her famous hats, how the samba developed
from Afro-Brazilian women carrying loads on their head, and the
music and lyrics of Brazilian samba.

That Tutti Frutti Hat
by Elaine Kelly

The Woman who Mistook Herself for a Hat
Imitation of Self
The Tutti Frutti Hat and the Samba
Aquarelas do Brasil
by Stephen Duplantier

Watercolors of the Brazilian Market Women
Pictorial section

The Botany of Desirable Bananas
by Charles Garratt
How the banana plant got to be the way it is, and what will be its fate.

Bananas in New Orleans
New Orleans was the first and most important port for the entry of
bananas into the U.S., the hometown of Samuel Zemurray, and the city
where the Bananas Foster dessert was created.

A Bunch of Banana Books
Editor's choice of the must-read banana books. To understand Central
America, follow the banana.

Everyone knows how to eat a banana. These recipes tell you what to do
with the other parts of the plant, especially the heart.

Graphic art by Stephen Duplantier

Good Dictator, Bad Dictator––The United Fruit Company and Economic
by Mario Bucheli
An analysis of the complex connections between the banana giant and its
client nations.

Human Resources Announcement: Employment Opportunity Dictator
The job requirements for a dictator sound suspiciously like the traits of
a paranoid criminal psychopath listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders.

Cultural Memory: Bananas as Icon
by Valeria Baker
A thesis on the iconicity of bananas in popular consciousness.
Photographs by Carlos Reyes-Manzo

Photograph by Ann Mandelbaum

La United Fruit Co.
The famous poem of Pablo Neruda.

Gargantua Eating his Salad and a Peasant: An Allegory of Capital and
Labor; Text on Neocolonialism
by E. San Juan

The Periphery and the Core
by Emile Rishty
A primer on how the world, unfortunately, works.

A Poet named "Banana Plant"
Japan's most famous poet is named "banana plant." Find out why.

Sloth Food--The Next Revolution
by Roan St. John
Meet Ernesto Spinelli of San Ramón, a chef and artist who discovered the
glories of "slow food" long before it was trendy.

Why Are They Killing the Rivers of Costa Rica?
by Gene Warneke, Carol Cespedes, and Bruce Melton
Unbelievably, Costa Rica gives permits for mining gravel in pristine rivers
in the Osa Peninsula.

Mining a River --It's as Bad as it Sounds
by Carol Cespedes and Bruce Melton
You won't believe what happens when the riverbed miners start working
on a natural stream.

Time to Say Good Bye
by Jack Ewing
The river otters of Costa Rica, which have frolicked here for nine million
years, are at risk of extinction because of river mining.