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Resistance in the Diaspora Three scales of resistance –Day to day James Scott: Weapons of the Weak, Arts of Resistance Malingering, foot dragging, work.

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Presentation on theme: "Resistance in the Diaspora Three scales of resistance –Day to day James Scott: Weapons of the Weak, Arts of Resistance Malingering, foot dragging, work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Resistance in the Diaspora Three scales of resistance –Day to day James Scott: Weapons of the Weak, Arts of Resistance Malingering, foot dragging, work slowages, joking, gossip, folktales, songs, use of anonymity and ambiguity Attributed to pre-industrial African background in which labor is not alienated/alienable but tied up in social relations

2 Resistance in the Diaspora Three scales of resistance –Petit Marronnage Absences and running away short term used as a bargaining chip to negotiate better conditions Angolan woman drawing in Jesuit priest on threat of running away (T. p. 279) Slaves often took advantage of colonial conflicts to escape Would offer military or other services in exchange for being taken in/freedom (Rev war)

3 Resistance in the Diaspora Three scales of resistance –Grand Marronnage Permanent escape and the creation of new communities Based on separation rather than overthrow of planter society Sometime in alliance with Native American communities, sometimes Natives returned runaways to gain advantage Most maroon settlements therefore were African founded and derived, though at times there were alliances with Indian and other outcast communities Runaways were most often African born Usually one-village communities, however, few were larger, the largest being Palmares in northeast Brazil

4 Resistance in the Diaspora Plots and Rebellions –Common occurrence in Diaspora history, most pronounced was the Haitian Revolution, –Commonly organized on African national lines Coromantee in Barbados 1675, New York 1712 Vesey in South Carolina 1822

5 Resistance in the Diaspora Thornton argues that African background of resistance is most pronounced in military organization and tactics –Autocratic leadership: Often formerly African aristocrats –Military rule and Value of military skills –Wolof in Hispaniola 1522 Gained equestrian and battle skills from the wars following collapse of Jolof empire –Angolan Imbangala: open rank military system re- invented at Palmares

6 Ft. Mose

7 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida

8 First African American town in the United States, 1738 Runaway slaves from South Carolina Enticed by freedom in exchange for Catholic conversion Occupied , : 67 people in 1759 census Walled town with moat Originally destroyed by Oglethorpe from Georgia Finally abandoned in 1763 after British occupation of Florida

9 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida Race politics: Deagan and Landers describe protracted effort to gain local support People did not believe/were not interested in the African American history of the site, –Competing with Military history from War of 1812 –And belief that all African Americans were slaves Accused of fabricating evidence Archaeological effort became vital to combating modern power structures

10 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida Spanish treated Mosé as a village of “new converts,” like Indian communities Received situado rations from Spanish crown, through Franciscan priests Residents served in Spanish military, established to protect northern boundary of St. Augustine Francisco Menéndez was appointed cacique, military leader of the community Polyglot community grew through time to incorporate Africans from many backgrounds, as well as those who had escaped directly from English plantations or who had lived for a while in Indian communities to the north

11 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida Archaeology produced very few artifacts (110) with secure association with Mosé occupations Still showed variation from neighboring St. Augustine and Native American sites in interesting ways Ceramics –Higher proportion of British to Spanish wares, British wares were cheaper, could indicate supply chain with less value placed on goods sent to Mosé –Lower proportion of Indian to European ceramics Suggests less interaction with/isolation from Indians, also Indian ceramics may predate Mosé era

12 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida Reitz: Faunal remains –Suggest a large degree of self-provisioning –Documents describe fields, livestock, grinding tools, guns, nets, boats Animal remains in comparison –Spanish in St. A. focused on domesticated mammals: cow, pig –Native Americans had no domesticates –Mosé falls in the middle

13 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida

14 Element evidence shows that Spanish in St. A. had better cuts of meat (domestic and wild) than at Mosé Mosé residents could have been hunting/herding to sell catch to wealthier Spanish for the income and keeping less desirable cuts for themselves Mosé assemblage also compares well to slave assemblages from Georgia coast: –especially in terms of locally caught and gathered estuary fish/shellfish Reitz suggests this makes the local conditions rather than ethnic background a more relevant factor in explaining variation

15 Fort Mosé, St. Augustine Florida Conversion –Faceted amber and blue beads and chain link rosary fragment indicate Catholic conversion –Handmade St. Christopher’s medal with compass rose (cosmogram?) on reverse may suggest syncretism

16 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil

17 Fugitive slave settlement in mountainous inland region in state of Alagoas Founded ca. 1600, destroyed 1694 Home to as many as 20,000 runaways and allies living in ten or more villages Interpreted as an African state in Brazil Martyred last “king” Zumbi is a culture hero in modern Afro-Braziliam communities

18 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Africanisms Hierarchical military state based in kinship and alliance Elite Polygamy Slave-ownership Zumbi, may come from Ganga/Nganga Zambi/Nzambi a term commonly found in Central Africa used to refer to leaders as “lord divinity”

19 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Palmares was in constant state of conflict: –“Foremost enemies of the colonizers are revolted Negroes … in some mountainous areas, from where they raid and give much trouble” Father Rodriguez 1597 Archaeology shows that sites built on Serra de Barriga faced southward to have a clear view o of the River Mundau, the main approach into the area

20 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Charles Orser: Global scale archaeology One archaeological view of Palmares considers its role in the larger Atlantic system of slavery and resistance Orser sees Palmares as founded on the premise of resistance and rebellion He also considers Palmares a cultural mosaic based on the ceramics

21 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Pottery reflects Mosaic Native South American tradition European trade and innovative local production

22 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Orser suggests the mosaic reveals underlying networks or power. Palmarinos were active traders with Moradores, poorer white settlers: –1678 Zumbi declared he would return runaways in exchange for peaceful trade with Moredores Moredores, as “citizens”, were bitter with their position, an alliance with Palmarinos was likely in their interest as well Tupinamba were coastal Brazilian Indians who were displaced by the sugar plantations Tupi were captured in siege on Palmares in 1644 Buried urn possibly used for Indian burial May also have been grain storage vessel, based on Angolan analogy

23 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Palmares was the result of the active construction of difference and its resistance in the global system It represents an exaggerated example of how to view maroon settlements as within and against the slave system

24 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Scott Allen: Palmares as example of local ethnogenesis: the making of a new community and social identity Further excavations corrected and deepened understanding of the sites at Serra de Barriga Four strata –I. Topsoil –II. Historic layer: European and local ceramics, few lithics, iron scraps –III. Pre-historic layer: local ceramics and lithics –IV. Sterile

25 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Allen establishes the Indian origins of Palmarino ethnicity. Original settlement Serra de Barriga was Indian, the burial urn was found to be one of many, and to date to before the founding of the Quilombo This community was displaced by the disruptions of the plantation system. Palmares settlements were likely the resettlement of the area by local Indians along with other non-local Indians, runaways, and other non-conformists

26 Palmares Level III pottery was entirely Native South American following local Aratu traditions

27 Palmares, Quilombo in Northeast Brazil Level II pottery not only included European wares but a much greater diversity overall Including coastal Tupinamba styles and Papeba handled varieties similar to indigenous traditions from the northeast

28 Pilaklikaha, African Seminole Ethnogenesis in Central Florida, Terry Weik African Seminole community formed during 18 th century likely included escaped slaves from South Carolina who also evaded Ft. Mosé Dynamic context in Revolutionary era also put British allied Seminole together with British-allied escapees After the Revolutionary War, Seminole fled south to Spanish Florida, likely that allied escapees fled with them and then in Florida met up with other escapees and created new African Seminole communities

29 Pilaklikaha, African Seminole Ethnogenesis in Central Florida, Terry Weik Seminole Wars –Starting in 1790 (Treaty of New York), and intensifying after 1812, US Military engaged in regular campaigns against maroon Seminole communities in Florida –In part they aimed to break up African Seminole communities and capture and re-enslave escapees Three wars brought African and Indian Seminoles into close alliance. –After second war in 1842 the US initiated formal campaign of Seminole removal to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) –Third Seminole War in 1855, following regular skirmishes since 1842, officially conquered the Seminole who were reduced to a few bands in the southeast –African Seminole identity erased in Florida (Texas)

30 Pilaklikaha, African Seminole Ethnogenesis in Central Florida, Terry Weik

31 History suggests that African and Indian Seminoles were integrated politically, but maintained distinct communities African Seminole town of Pilaklikaha, or Abraham’s Old Town, excavated by Terry Weik First settled in 1813 and occupied until 1836 when it was destroyed during second Seminole war Farming community, fields, livestock, likely wooden structures, Chickees, for homes

32 Pilaklikaha, African Seminole Ethnogenesis in Central Florida, Terry Weik Artifacts include several European/American made goods Pottery assemblage dominated by local Indian brushed pottery varieties Triangular punctuate rims may reveal local maker and/or clan affiliation for Pilaklikaha community Kinship was likely the main organizing principal, a vital factor during the Seminole War period as tribal membership could not guarantee friendly alliance


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