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Objects past, objects present: materials, resistance and memory from the Le Morne Old Cemetery, Mauritius

Author(s): Krish Seetah

Year: 2015

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Summary

The body of literature on slave artefacts and consumptive waste highlight the nuances and complexity of slave life-ways. Despite this, these represent small concessions traded against much greater losses, with the notion of ‘social death’ poignantly expressing a slave’s inevitable disconnect from ancestral practices. Allied to this, but fundamentally different, is the development of numerous syncretic belief systems that have their origins in a marriage between African and European faiths. Thus, burial practice in the past, and syncretic belief today, both represent manifestations of resistance.

This presentation focuses on the Le Morne Old Cemetery, Mauritius. It centres on two material assemblages, both representing resistance but in markedly different ways and at different times. It also introduces a new regional comparative of African religious syncretism, longanis, a belief system that developed within slave communities, and offers both insightful similarities to Atlantic counterparts, as well a unique features in its own right. 


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Objects past, objects present: materials, resistance and memory from the Le Morne Old Cemetery, Mauritius. Krish Seetah. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433906)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 598

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