Baskets of Rice: Creolization and Material Culture from West Africa to South Carolina’s Lowcountry

Baskets of Rice: Creolization and Material Culture from West Africa to South Carolina’s Lowcountry

Author: 
Turner, Matti
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2019
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
African and Black Diaspora: an international journal
Source: 
African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Volume 12, Number 3, 2019, PP. 320-336
Abstract: 

Beginning in the 1670s, enslaved Africans' knowledge, technologies, and labour made the rice plantations of the South Carolina 'Lowcountry' incredibly rich. As a result, the transplanted West African 'rice culture,' underwent a fascinating creolization process. By examining the creolization of material technologies, especially Lowcountry baskets, this paper challenges Sidney Mintz' assertion that creolization is completed by the first generation in slave colonies. Instead, creolization extends through time, driven by both disruption and continuity. Both the immediate disruption of enslavement and the ongoing disruptions of shifting economic imperatives--of African subsistence agriculture, the plantation economy, and post emancipation subsistence--drive creolization. Geographic similarities between West Africa and the Lowcountry and the autonomy achieved in provision grounds and the slave-domestic provided continuity. Exemplary of this process, contemporary Lowcountry basket sewing, creolized through the disruptions of slavery and preserved in the slave-domestic, grants practitioners a means of communication with their history and ancestors.

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CITATION: Turner, Matti. Baskets of Rice: Creolization and Material Culture from West Africa to South Carolina’s Lowcountry . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2019. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Volume 12, Number 3, 2019, PP. 320-336 - Available at: http://library.au.int/baskets-rice-creolization-and-material-culture-west-africa-south-carolina’s-lowcountry