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About this product
- DescriptionBased on historical research and more than 30 years of anthropological fieldwork, this wide-ranging study underlines the importance of Caribbean cultures for anthropology, which has generally marginalized Europe's oldest colonial sphere. Located at the gateway to the New World in the plantation heartlands of the Americas, the settlement of Martha Brae, Jamaica, has witnessed the unfolding of two distinct yet interrelated histories. Exploring the significance of Martha Brae as a European Caribbean slaving port in the 18th century, Jean Besson simultaneously uncovers the neglected tale of Martha Brae's gradual appropriation by ex-slaves and its transformation into an African-Caribbean free village, bringing the story right up to the beginning of the 21st century. Central to this transformation is the system of family land , which interrelates with kinship, community, ecomy, cosmology, gender, oral tradition and state law. Besson shows that this customary land tenure is t a passive legacy for either Africa or Europe, as conventional theories contend, but a dynamic creole institution created by Caribbean people in response to European-American land mopoly and cultural dominance. This perspective advances debates on African-American cultural history and the anthropological study of culture.
- Author BiographyJean Besson, a Jamaican, is a senior lecturer in anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
- Author(s)Jean Besson
- PublisherThe University of North Carolina Press
- Date of Publication31/10/2002
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Place of PublicationChapel Hill
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintThe University of North Carolina Press
- Content Note20 illustrations, 5 maps, 1 table, notes, bibliography, index
- Weight603 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Foreword bySidney Wilfred Mintz
- Edition Statement1st New edition
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