Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora / Edition 1

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This volume sets out a new paradigm that increases our understanding of African culture and the forces that led to its transformation during the period of the Atlantic slave trade and beyond, putting long due emphasis on the importance of Central African culture to the cultures of the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Focusing on the Kongo/Angola culture zone, the book illustrates how African peoples re-shaped their cultural institutions as they interacted with Portuguese slave traders up to 1800, then follows Central Africans through all the regions where they were taken as slaves and captives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an exemplary collection of essays, presenting new information and interpretations that fundamentally revise and deepen our understanding of the slave trade and the African diaspora." American Historical Review

"[T]he overall architecture of this book is strong and telling. Graduate students and faculty." Choice

"This path-breaking volume is a long overdue illumination of Central African influences on the slave cultures of the Americas and a refreshing reassessment of the transmission of African ideas, beliefs, and rituals...the essays represent an important launch pad for the debates that will no doubt shape slave studies well into the future. For those engaged in slave studies, this book will be indespensable." Transforming Anthropology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521002783
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Central Africa: Society, Culture, and the Slave Trade
1 Central Africa During the Era of the Slave Trade, c. 1490s-1850s 21
2 Religious and Ceremonial Life in the Kongo and Mbundu Areas, 1500-1700 71
3 Portuguese into African: The Eighteenth-Century Central African Background to Atlantic Creole Cultures 91
Pt. 2 Central Africans in Brazil
4 Central Africans in Central Brazil, 1780-1835 117
5 Who Is the King of Congo? A New Look at African and Afro-Brazilian Kings in Brazil 153
6 The Great Porpoise-Skull Strike: Central African Water Spirits and Slave Identity in Early-Nineteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro 183
Pt. 3 Central Africans in Haiti and Spanish America
7 Twins, Simbi Spirits, and Lwas in Kongo and Haiti 211
8 The Central African Presence in Spanish Maroon Communities 227
9 Central African Popular Christianity and the Making of Haitian Vodou Religion 243
10 Kongolese Catholic Influences on Haitian Popular Catholicism: A Sociohistorical Exploration 265
Pt. 4 Central Africans in North America and the Caribbean
11 "Walk in the Feenda": West-Central Africans and the Forest in the South Carolina-Georgia Lowcountry 289
12 Liberated Central Africans in Nineteenth-Century Guyana 319
13 Combat and the Crossing of the Kalunga 353
Index 371
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