The Origins of the Caribbean ‘Diaspora’: Archaeological Signatures of Forced Transfer of Indigenous Peoples in the Early Colonial Caribbean

Summary

This paper focuses on the enslavement and displacement of indigenous peoples in early 16th century Caribbean. Historical sources mention the transfer of Amerindian and African enslaved peoples between different areas of Spanish Caribbean since Columbus’ landfall in 1492. Important sites of destination were the gold mines around Concepción de la Vega (Hispaniola) and the pearl fisheries of Nueva Cádiz (Cubagua), where colonial multicultural societies were created. Intercultural encounters developed in these spaces have led to changes in material culture repertoires. In this paper, we assess movement of people in space through transformation, appropriation and imitation observed in ceramics. Styles and techniques of ceramics made in late precolonial times are compared with their counterparts from early colonial period and data from historical sources is tested against the archaeological evidence. These analyses offer new insights on the mobility of peoples in the region and the dynamics of early 16th century intercultural interactions.

Cite this Record

The Origins of the Caribbean ‘Diaspora’: Archaeological Signatures of Forced Transfer of Indigenous Peoples in the Early Colonial Caribbean. Marlieke Ernst, Andrzej Antczak, Corinne Hofman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441756)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 679