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A Yard and It’s Belongin’s: Archaeological Research of Laborer Houseyards on the Morne Patat Estate, Dominica

Author(s): Khadene Harris

Year: 2017

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Summary

Caribbean ‘yards’ and their associated structures have long been of interest to archaeologists determined to understand how the domestic spaces of enslaved laborers both embodied and reflected kinship ties, labor arrangements, and socio-political shifts. Often regarded as an elemental feature of Caribbean society, houseyards are the spaces where the repeated acts of daily life took place, as a result, understanding how enslaved laborers utilized and altered their domestic space over generations, offers key insight into the conditions of enslavement and subsequent freedom. In this presentation, I explore and discuss the defining characteristics of houseyards, using archaeological evidence from the Morne Patat Estate in Dominica. First, I situate each houseyard within a plantation-wide chronology using ceramic and other diagnostic data. Then, I discuss the shifts in material and spatial practices that occurred, linking the actions and choices of the enslaved to wider trends in plantation archaeology.


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Cite this Record

A Yard and It’s Belongin’s: Archaeological Research of Laborer Houseyards on the Morne Patat Estate, Dominica. Khadene Harris. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431073)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15504

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America