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Popular Plates, Personal Traits: The Biry House and a Ceramic Analysis from Castroville, Texas

Author(s): Erin Whitson ; Rebekah Montgomery ; Zachary Critchley

Year: 2016

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The 1840’s witnessed an influx of immigrants flocking into the United States in search of economic opportunity and stability. The Biry family, along with several other Alsatian families, followed suit in 1844. They established the town of Castroville, Texas and continue to celebrate their Alsatian heritage today. While they did find opportunities within Texas, they were also forced to engage in negotiations of national, ethnic, and class identities. This paper reflects on these negotiations by looking at the ceramic component of the Biry family property. With ceramics from about the turn of the twentieth century, we explore themes tied to class, ethnicity, gender and consumerism. We aim to better understand how one family, within a community of immigrants, participated in larger consumer patterns and sociopolitical systems. The key point of this paper will be to address how the Biry’s mediated tensions between the forces of heritage and nationalism.

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Popular Plates, Personal Traits: The Biry House and a Ceramic Analysis from Castroville, Texas. Erin Whitson, Rebekah Montgomery, Zachary Critchley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434738)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 537

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