Action, Compromise, and Transformation: Mortuary Genealogies and Social Change in the Virgin Islands and Barbados

Author(s): Helen Blouet

Year: 2014

Summary

This paper interprets documentary data, material remains, and landscape histories for St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (formerly part of the Danish West Indies) and Barbados (part of the British Commonwealth) to examine how Caribbean Moravian congregations enacted, compromised, and transformed burial and commemorative practices through social and spiritual interactions. I identify historical variation in burial site materiality and spatiality to understand how burial grounds reflected and informed changes in policies and relationships within disparate congregations and the larger societies in which Moravian settlements existed. Through an examination of connections between changeable mortuary practices and social identities within shifting relationships of political power before and after the end of slavery, I highlight the significance of burial sites and commemorative practices to dynamic processes of Moravian community building, maintenance, and transformation within culturally diverse and complex societies.

Cite this Record

Action, Compromise, and Transformation: Mortuary Genealogies and Social Change in the Virgin Islands and Barbados. Helen Blouet. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436846)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-32,05