Arboreal Historical Anchors: Sacred Forests and Memory Making in Southern Benin, West Africa

Author(s): Neil Norman

Year: 2013

Summary

The Bight of Benin region is well known as a locale filled with poignant places associated with the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved individuals. This paper follows recent efforts in the region aimed at writing landscape features into deeper historic narratives and exploring them in terms of broader political and economic processes.  In so doing, it pushes beyond coastal points of loss and into dynamic cosmopolitan interior places.  It argues that the historical and archaeological arc of Atlantic Africa must be understood alongside oral histories anchored to individual trees and larger sacred forests, which are heavily imbricated in memory work and place making.   

Cite this Record

Arboreal Historical Anchors: Sacred Forests and Memory Making in Southern Benin, West Africa. Neil Norman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428420)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 697