Low-fired earthenwares in the African diaspora: Problems and prospects

Mark W. Hauser, Christopher R. DeCorse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Local earthenware associated with enslaved African populations in the Americas, variously called "Colono-Ware," "Afro-Caribbean Ware." "Yabbas," and "Criollo ware," has received considerable attention from researchers. What unifies this disparate group of ceramics is not method of manufacture, design and decoration, or even form and function but the association or potential association with African diaspora populations. The ceramics incorporate some skills and techniques possibly brought by African potters to the Americas, as well as skills reflecting European and Native American traditions, and local adaptations in form, function, and manufacture. Analogies linking African ceramic traditions to American industries have at times been employed uncritically and have relied on generalized characteristics to infer overly specific meanings. With particular reference to low-fired earthenwares from Jamaica, this paper examines the historical and cultural context of these ceramics and the methodological and theoretical problems faced in their interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-98
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archeology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

Keywords

  • Caribbean ceramics
  • Cultural continuity and change
  • Low-fired earthenwares

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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