Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links

Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links

by Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

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Overview

Enslaved peoples were brought to the Americas from many places in Africa, but a large majority came from relatively few ethnic groups. Drawing on a wide range of materials in four languages as well as on her lifetime study of slave groups in the New World, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall explores the persistence of African ethnic identities among the enslaved over four hundred years of the Atlantic slave trade. Hall traces the linguistic, economic, and cultural ties shared by large numbers of enslaved Africans, showing that despite the fragmentation of the diaspora many ethnic groups retained enough cohesion to communicate and to transmit elements of their shared culture. Hall concludes that recognition of the survival and persistence of African ethnic identities can fundamentally reshape how people think about the emergence of identities among enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas, about the ways shared identity gave rise to resistance movements, and about the elements of common African ethnic traditions that influenced regional creole cultures throughout the Americas.Enslaved peoples were brought to the Americas from many places in Africa, but a large majority came from relatively few ethnic groups. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall traces the linguistic, economic, and cultural ties shared by large numbers of enslaved Africans, showing that despite the fragmentation of the diaspora many ethnic groups retained enough cohesion to communicate and to transmit elements of their shared culture. Hall concludes that recognizing the persistence of African ethnic identities can reshape how people think about the emergence of identities among enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas, about the ways shared identity gave rise to resistance movements, and about the elements of common African ethnic traditions that influenced regional creole cultures throughout the Americas.—>

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807876862
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/05/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall is senior research fellow at Tulane University, professor emerita of history at Rutgers University, and International Advisory Board Member of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora at York University, Toronto. She is author of several books as well as a CD and website database on Afro-Louisiana history and genealogy.

Table of Contents

Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas:

Restoring the Links

by Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

The University of North Carolina Press

Chapel Hill

[copyright page]

© 2005 The University of North Carolina Press

All rights reserved

Manufactured in the United States of America

The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Jerome S. Handler for facilitating the use of illustrations from the website "The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas," http://hitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/Slavery, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

ISBN 0-8078-2973-0 (alk. paper)

09 08 07 06 05 5 4 3 2 1

—>

Contents

Preface: Truth and Reconciliation

Acknowledgments

1. Gold, God, Race, and Slaves

2. Making Invisible Africans Visible: Coasts, Ports, Regions, and Ethnicities

3. The Clustering of African Ethnicities in the Americas

4. Greater Senegambia/Upper Guinea

5. Lower Guinea: Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, and Slave Coast

6. Lower Guinea: The Bight of Biafra

7. Bantulands: West Central Africa and Mozambique

Conclusion: Implications for Culture Formation in the Americas

Appendix: Prices of Slaves by Ethnicity and Gender in Louisiana, 1719-1820

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Illustrations, Figures, Maps, and Tables

Illustrations

Nok-Sokoto Culture, Nigeria, "Head of Court Figure"

Women warriors parading before the Dahomey king and European men

Mozambique Africans in Brazil

West Central Africans in Brazil

Different African "nations" in Brazil

Men and women from Benguela and Kongo living in Brazil

Africans taken as slaves in eighteenth-century Senegal

Wooden collars used in the slave trade

A slave coffle coming from the interior in Senegal

Poster advertising the sale of Africans from Sierra Leone in Charleston, South Carolina

Revolt aboard a slave ship, 1787

Phillis Wheatley

Job Ben Solomon

Abdul Rahaman

Akan Peoples, Baule Group, "Spirit Spouse (waka snan)"

Edo Peoples, Benin Kingdom, "Hip Ornament in Form of Mask"

Edo Peoples, Benin Kingdom, "Head of Oba"

Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua

Seventeenth-century musical instruments from the Gold Coast

Olaudah Equiano

Chokwe Peoples, School of Muzamba, "Seated Chief-Musician Playing the Sansa"

Kongo Peoples, "Magical Figure (nkisi)"

Bantu women cultivating the soil with hoes

Princess Madia

Maps

1.1. Almoravid Dynasty, 1090-1146

2.1. African Ethnicities Prominent in South America, 1500-1900

2.2. African Ethnicities Prominent in North America and the Caribbean, 1500-1900

4.1. Greater Senegambia/Upper Guinea, 1500-1700

5.1. Lower Guinea West, 1500-1800

6.1. Lower Guinea East, 1600-1900

7.1. West and East Central Africa: Bantulands, 1500-1900

Figures

3.1. Clustering of African Ethnicities in Louisiana Parishes, Spanish Period (1770-1803)

3.2. Clustering of African Ethnicities in Louisiana Parishes, Early U.S. Period (1804-1820)

4.1. Atlantic Slave Trade Voyages to South Carolina (1701-1807)

5.1. Mina in Louisiana by Gender (1760s-1810s)

6.1. Atlantic Slave Trade Voyages to Maryland and Virginia: Coasts of Origin over Time (1651-1750)

7.1. Kongo in Louisiana by Gender (1730s-1810s)

Tables

2.1. Origin Information for Slaves in Louisiana Documents

2.2. Africans with "Nation" Designations Sold in Cuba, 1790-1880

2.3. Africans with Ethnic Designations Recorded on Cuban Sugar and Coffee Estates

2.4. Eighteen Most Frequent Ethnicities by Gender in Louisiana, 1719-1820

2.5. Distribution of African Names among Louisiana Slaves by Origin

3.1. Transatlantic Slave Trade Voyages Bringing Enslaved Africans to Rice-Growing Regions

3.2. Spanish Custom House List of Slaves Arriving in Louisiana from Caribbean Islands during 1786

3.3. Birthplace or Ethnicity of Slaves Arriving in Louisiana by Ship from East Coast Ports of the United States, 1804-1809

3.4. Mean Age of Africans in Louisiana, 1800-1820

4.1. Length of Slave Trade Voyages Arriving in Cartagena de Indias, 1595-1640

4.2. Voyages to Cartagena de Indias with Known African Provenance, 1595-1640

4.3. African Region of Origin of Peruvian Slaves Calculated from Ethnic Descriptions, 1560-1650

5.1. Transatlantic Slave Trade Voyages from the Gold Coast to British Colonies

5.2. Major Ethnicities from the Bight of Benin in Louisiana by Decade

5.3. Gender Balance among Major Ethnicities from the Bight of Benin Recorded in Louisiana Documents, 1760-1820

6.1. African Ethnicities from the Bight of Biafra in Guadeloupe, Louisiana, and St. Domingue/Haiti

6.2. Enslaved Africans Shipped from the Three Major Ports of the Bight of Biafra

6.3. African Ethnicities from the Bight of Biafra on British West Indies Registration Lists, 1813-1827

6.4. Africans from the Bight of Biafra Sold Independently of Probate in Louisiana, 1790-1820

7.1. Voyages to Cartagena de Indias and Veracruz from Identified African Coasts, 1595-1640

7.2. West Central Africans in the British West Indies

A.1. Slaves Sold Independently of Probate in Louisiana, 1770-1820

A.2. Mean Sale Price of the Five Most Frequently Found African Ethnicities in Louisiana

A.3. Mean Price of Slaves by Ethnicity and Gender Inventoried on Estates in Louisiana over Time

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This is a work of major importance. Its breadth of comprehension and depth of research put the entire subject on a new empirical foundation. Gwendolyn Hall is truly a national treasure.—David Hackett Fischer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing

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