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Honoring Ancestors in Sacred SpaceThe Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century African-Bahamian Cemetery$
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Grace Turner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400202.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.140) 7 Conclusion
Source:
Honoring Ancestors in Sacred Space
Author(s):

Grace Turner

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9781683400202.003.0008

The goal was to assess the extent to which an African-influenced cemetery landscape was visible through time. Much of the archaeological context was destroyed so details were unavailable about the treatment of individual graves and burials. An objective was to understand how this cultural landscape intersected with the lives of the community that created it over time. Artifactual evidence suggested the Northern Burial Ground was contemporary with Centre Burial Ground, just across the street. The Northern Burial Ground was a highly visible space on the main street into the town. So contemporary Bahamians of European descent were aware that Africans memorialized their dead quite differently than did Europeans. The cultural action of placing personal items on graves was discontinued by the mid-1800s, likely a social impact of full emancipation in 1838 when former slaves could chart their own social destiny. A change in public expressions of an African-derived cultural heritage was deemed necessary because such cultural behavior was not valued by the larger European-dominated society. However, less public aspects of an African-derived cultural heritage, as language, remain intact almost 200 years after emancipation.

Keywords:   cemetery landscape, cultural landscape, African-derived cultural heritage

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