Catholic Parishes and Colonization: A Frontier Parish in Grand Bay, Dominica

Author(s): Steve Lenik

Year: 2015


The Catholic parishes that were established as units of ecclesiastical jurisdiction are among the range of institutions, including chartered companies, missions, and military installations, deployed by nation-states in the Americas to exert control over the daily lives of African, European, and indigenous peoples. As administrative units in the colonization of newly acquired territories in the Caribbean islands, parishes introduced administrative boundaries and religious personnel who intended to assert and maintain social power. Parishes also had material manifestations in chapels, crosses, presbyteries, and material culture, which leave residues that can appear in the archaeological record. The role of parishes in colonization is explored in a study of a parish founded by French Jesuits in Dominica in the late 1740s, by reconstructing the spatial extent of this parish in the frontier landscape and recording the free and enslaved people who are documented in the parish register.

Cite this Record

Catholic Parishes and Colonization: A Frontier Parish in Grand Bay, Dominica. Steve Lenik. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434223)


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 191