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Presented by Jordon Campbell Form 45
Table of Content Acknowledgement Introduction Religion Dress Food Medicine Family Life Gender Race Class Conclusion Bibliography 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 15 16 .
to Ms.Manderson.Acknowledgement It is a matter of great privilege for me to present this project in which I have put a majority of my faculties to use to complete. information and opinions. I offer my heartiest gratitude to my family members and fellow students for their selfless blessings. Jordon Campbell 1 . I express the greatest of thanks to my teacher for the information she has given me for the preparation of this project.
Introduction This intention during the creation of this project is to give the reader an idea of the treatment of the African enslaved and how they retained their culture even though brought to a foreign land. 2 . Also this project is to enlighten the reader of how the African societies and peoples were seen in the eyes of the Europeans and also how the culture of the Africans was seen by the European enslavers.
on the day of the wake. The sacrificing of a hog and making a portion of it into a soup which was then put in a calabash and waved three times this practice would be accompanied by the playing of the drums. Earlier. The soup was sometimes placed at the head of the corpse and rum at the feet of it and then the grave was filled with dirt. dancing and drum beating. During the wake. The practice of the ceremony called a wake. hymn singing. wailing. this ceremony consists of many activities taking place on the first night of the death. These activities would include traditional games. It was believed also that the soul of a departed family 3 . Death was a common thing on the plantation more enslaved died that there were babies born therefore there were many death rituals some of which are. These activities take place in the house where the deceased is ‘laid to rest’. the body of the deceased is washed and prepared by the family. She/he is then dressed in his/her best clothing and laid out on the bed. prayers. friends and relatives file past the bed to have a last look at the departed person before the burial takes place during the following day.Section 1 Religion The African enslaved retained many of their beliefs from their previous society and these manifested greatly in their lives as enslaved. Africans had a strong belief in life after death and reincarnation it is said that many did not fear death and that some of the enslaved who were actually being executed laughed in the faces of their executioners or sang farewell songs.
due to this belief parents would withhold naming their child until their saw any semblance of that relative in that child if there was this would mean that the relative’s soul is I the child the parent would then name them after the relative. Africans like the Kalinago believed in the forces of good and evil. Africans believed there was a constant struggle between the two. potions etc. 4 . Both involved the use of herbs. fertility and lightning and therefore had a strong respect for mother earth. health and success. These magics were deemed illegal in all Caribbean and if one was caught practicing them they were punishable by death. The use of two types of magic: Obeah which was used to inflict hurt or harm and Myalism used to promote life. oils. Africans also believed in the gods of nature: rain. thunder. They also believed in the spirit world of duppies (ghosts). love.member would manifest in a newborn baby.
The slaves’ clothing was usually very rough and inadequate.Dress The African enslaved were given either two suits of clothing per year or the equivalent yards of osnaburg. then they started wearing clothes. These clothes were often made from osnaburg (commonly called “Negro cloth”). Male and female children wore only a shirt until they were grown. Women wore tie heads with was a piece of cloth wrapped around the head. The female slaves had a similar number of dresses in dull colors. Men commonly had only two trousers and two or three shirts to last the year. Osnaburg is a heavy course cotton of the kind used today in feed sacks or drapes. A specimen of male enslaved A sample of osnaburg 5 .
Food The slaves had to prepare their own meals. They continued their culinary skills when preparing these crops for eating and these skills were passed down from generation to generation. especially the African enslaved women who were experienced in the production of food and crops. were allowed to grow their own provisions meant that they were able to choose what to grow for example yam. Trinidadian slaves had the luxury of beans and palm oils as they would have had in Africa. coco. dasheen etc. They did it the way they were taught back home in Africa. Also the fact that they. 6 . Foo-foo this is an African dish made by boiling and pounding startchy root vegetables and making them into balls to be eaten with stews or in soups.
The patient then falls into a trance and is presumed dead by the viewers. such as the use of hymns from the Sankey Hymnal. After having conveyed his/her problem to the Myal-Man. Myalism although thought by the enslaved to be generally good it was outlawed in most Caribbean countries and was punishable by death. Myalism is a classic African-Caribbean mode of religious expression. The circle of members then dances around the patient once more after which he/she then miraculously comes to life. By the end of the 19th century Christian elements were apparent. Also a variety of tropical plants were found by the Africans to be medicinal and they used these to make elixirs. the patient is placed within a circle consisting of the Myal-Man and his assistants. in that it syncretizes African belief systems and behavior. the members of the circle dance around him/her. 7 .Medicine Myalism is a communal practice which involves a group of persons performing a unique dance ritual with the central figure being the Myal-Man or ‘Doctor’. returning with several herbs from which he squeezes the juice into the mouth and eyes of the patient. He/she is then given a drink brewed from herbs and sprinkled with a special type of powder after which. tonics and poultices. The Myal-Man then goes into the bushes. and borrows from observed Christian worship.
a male enslaved would most like not want to also have relations with her.Section 2 Family life The enslaved Africans brought to the Caribbean were stripped of any family they might have had in Africa the only thing they had brought with them is their culture. In some countries where a ‘breeding’ of the enslaved effort occurred children were produced on an average of four children per couple on a plantation in Barbados. this affect family life in the sense that if a woman were having relations with the plantation heads consensual or not. This however was a tragedy as 8 . However by the 18th century a majority of planters realized that it would create a more stable society if the enslaved formed households thus cohabitation was a more common occurrence but it was still seen as a privilege and could still be revoked by the master. Sexual exploitation was also a large thorn in the side of family life as enslaved were seen as property without rights therefore the women were prone to sexual exploitation by the masters or any other plantation heads. The act of marriage was not formally recognized by the masters of the plantation and if the enslaved were married and this was discovered by the enslavers there were severe penalties therefore the act of marriage and/or being married had to be furtively kept among the enslaved or only to the couple. more often the latter. At times though some masters allowed their slaves to be married if they showed obedience and worked hard but these allowances could be taken away on a whim of the master and therefore slaves had to work hard to maintain this. The enslaved had to try really hard to establish any relationships with the other enslaved on the plantations as those who might have come from the same area were separated.
Only the most organized. closely bonded and obedient families were able to make anything out of what slavery threw in their faces this is seen in the family of Old Doll who was a retired house keeper in a Barbadian plantation. Enslaved family 9 . she was able to make it so that her children were able to gain outstanding positions on plantations using her family connections.the infant mortality rate was quite large.
Most of the artisans recorded are male artisans such as coopers. Female enslaved were not excepted from field work like men they also had to work in the fields as the masters did not see them as delicate and they were sometimes needed to make up for the 10 . harvesting of sugarcane. the household of the master. they had to take care of the Greathouse. carpenters and blacksmiths. transport of sugarcane. wheelwrights. Women were also naturally responsible for the reproduction of the labour supply but as the infant mortality rate was so high most masters preferred to replace enslaved with purchased ones seeing that ‘breeding’ slaves was so inefficient. Women were responsible for family life as children took the domestic status of the mother most children born to enslaved were naturally enslaved but the time which most mothers had to look after their children was scarce. as the enslaved females coming from Africa were used farming this was not much of a challenge.Gender Men on the Plantation Males on the plantation were expected to do most of the manual labour on the sugar plantation from the cutting of the trees for fuel. the master and his family’s clothing and the master’s children if he had any. boilermen. Women on the Plantation Enslaved black women played an important role in production of food for the sugar plantation. working the machines and stirring in the boiling house. Women were the core of the domestic services provided on most if not all plantations in the Caribbean. the planting. weeding.
absence of men from the field as men were used in a variety of non-field occupations. 11 . Women in some Caribbean countries also went to the markets to sell the food they produced.
and prosecuted former slaves from venturing into plantation areas if they were not plantation workers. the black ex-slaves were denied credits and loans to go into more lucrative selfemployment and business ventures.Race During the slavery period. the colonial authorities instituted a tax on land. 12 . To this end. diverted water supplies from black living areas. in order to set an example for the rest. and browns were subordinated to white control. the system routinely dehumanized Amerindian and black labor through a regime of constant brutality to ensure absolute obedience. for it was thought to be necessary for the very survival of the system as a whole. and often public. lighter-skinned ethnicities were given more favors and facilities by the colonial office to succeed in wealth creation. Such ruling-class violence defined the very nature of plantation life. planters destroyed fruit trees and provision grounds. blacks. Unlike the lighter-skinned indentured servants. Caribbean social structure was basically a hierarchical one in which Amerindians. while every opportunity was taken by the planter classes to force blacks back into plantation labor. In addition. These measures were meant to keep blacks from living independently of the plantations. Compared to blacks. Levels of brutality meted out to disobedient or rebellious slaves were extreme. While the lighter-skinned (Mulatto) classes were generally spared the more ‘backbreaking’ plantation work as is seen when the more lighter skinned women have more of a chance of getting a job in the master’s household.
Class The class of each enslaved would naturally depend on what job each enslaved is able to procure for himself/herself. The free colored and free blacks were a rung under the whites and they are separated from each other by race and law. artisans and praedial enslaved. 13 . These people were free to do what they wanted and would soon grow jealous of the increasing wealth of the colored. The enslaved consist of domestic enslaved. Some were born in Europe others born of European parents in the colonies. Most of these free colored and free blacks abandon their enslaved brethren and most are restricted by a set of law such as the Code Noir and Siete Partidas. the colored (mulatto) had an edge over the black enslaved. These people had political power and if they did not own a plantation they had good positions on one as an employee such as an accountant or overseer. They are not enslaved but still do not have the firm foothold on society the whites have. These people may be wealthy and educated or either and some mey own enslaved persons. Like slaves even though they are closer to in than them the free colored and free blacks want to be on the same footing as whites. The enslaved are beneath the free blacks and free colored and are separated by from the whites by law and color and are separated from the free blacks and free colored by law only. The artisans were considered to be the most valuable enslaved on the estate because of the importance of their job in converting the cane to the export product known as raw muscavado sugar. Of the highest class were the whites. This group of slaves worked in the workshops and factory. Also as race was a major factor in the selection of an enslaved for a job.
Domestic enslaved would most likely be chosen from the colored enslaved and these enslaved had to do less onerous work out of the sun in the great house. Enslaved gang toiling in the fields under the watch and whip of the a overseer. A nanny with a white child Then praedial enslaved are on the last rung and have the hardest jobs especially during harvest times during which these enslaved must wake up really early. 14 . This rung consists of both male and female enslaved both of which have to perform daily tasks on the plantations.
Also as is seen with religions they were able to blend their African culture to that of the European faiths and created a mixture of the two for example Pocomania. Many of these practices are retained in our culture and are still performed this very day practices such as wakes. The enslaved conducted their own funeral ceremonies therefore they managed to practice their funeral rites when this time came. 15 . Also the African culture is still strongly present in the food that is now cooked in the Caribbean. kumina dances and even the act of obeah are still present in today’s society. Slaves would practice certain things in secret late at night.Conclusion There are many tactics which were employed by the enslaved to keep their culture alive so that we are able to experience it today. Also many of the religions which were hybrids of both African and European religions are still practiced in modern society like the spiritual Baptists. Also the enslaved were given some leniency at Christmas time so they were able to practice some of their ceremonies without having to worry about persecution. the means of cooking still remain such as jerking foods and also the spices or seasonings used on foods.
htm Date created: 03/2004 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘Gimme Plantains & Friendship Breads’-http://www.html Date created: 07/2009 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘History of Caribbean Food’-http://www.wikipedia.Bibliography ‘Death and the Afro-Caribbean peoples’-http://www.uk/history.html Date created: 05/2008 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 Beckles.com/notes/syllabus/viewer/824african-cultural-forms-in-the-caribbean-up-to-1838 Date created: 06/2009 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘Negro Clothing Osnaburg’-http://bquiltin.org/articles/pages/6040/Caribbean-RacialFormations.org/wiki/Wake_(ceremony) Date created: 03/2012 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘African Cultural Forms in the Caribbean up to 1838’-http://www. Hilary et al Liberties Lost The Edinburgh Building.tasteslikehome.org.shapworkingparty.co.jrank.org/2007/09/gimme-plantains-friendshipbreads. Cambridge CB2 8RU.blogspot. 2004 16 .caribbeanfoodemporium.com/2009/07/negro-clothing-osnaburg.html Date created: 07/2009 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘Caribbean Racial Formations’-http://encyclopedia.notesmaster.html Date created: 09/2005 Date retrieved: 25/3/2012 ‘Wake (ceremony)’-http://en. UK.uk/specialedition/2_lashley.