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Social and Spatial Dimensions of a Pre-emancipation Village: Preliminary Analysis of Material Culture at Morgan’s Village, Nevis, West Indies

Author(s): Marco Meniketti

Year: 2014

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Summary

Throughout the British Caribbean emancipation for enslaved Africans came in 1833. Many lived in clusters on Estate lands, some of which transitioned to ‘Free Black’ villages. On the island of Nevis, in the eastern Caribbean, a village is depicted on an 1871 map in association with the Morgan estate. The possible pre-emancipation scope of this village, however, offers the greatest potential for reconstructing the lives and social dimensions of enslaved Africans who labored in the agro-industrial sugar plantations in the early years of the colonial system, yet managed to carve out semi-autonomous communities and unique identities out from under constant oppressive surveillance. Preliminary findings from Morgan’s Village suggest Euro-African cultural norms, a close-knit community, and abandonment rather than expansion of the village following emancipation. This paper will address possible scenarios for life in this village based on spatial and artifact data drawn from the first season of excavations.


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Social and Spatial Dimensions of a Pre-emancipation Village: Preliminary Analysis of Material Culture at Morgan’s Village, Nevis, West Indies. Marco Meniketti. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436593)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-6,01

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