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9. Charms and Spiritual Practitioners: Negotiating Power Dynamics in an Enslaved African Community in Jamaica

Edited by Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula S Indiana University Press ePub

Paula Saunders

In recent times, the focus of African Diaspora archaeological research has moved to examine the spiritual-based practices of people of African descent throughout the Diaspora (see, e.g., K. L. Brown 1994, 2001, 2004; Fennell 2007b; Russell 1997; Stine et al. 1996; Wilkie 1997, on spirituality and ritual paraphernalia). The results of these studies often produce more questions than answers, and demonstrate the many complexities involved in examining such places of ritual activity, as well as the impossibility of creating standardized theories and methodologies to deal with such complex sites. As a result, archaeologists are still attempting to find ways to address the use of spirituality as one of the means whereby oppressed women, men, and children in the Diaspora negotiated power, resistance, and discourse inherent within the colonial state, as well as how these practices may be seen in the archaeological record.

This chapter presents some findings from the enslaved village at Orange Vale coffee plantation, located in Portland, Jamaica. This research applies an interdisciplinary approach by combining documentary, archaeological, and oral sources. In addition to information on daily living conditions and settlement patterns within the enslaved African village, additional findings include (1) the recognition of various levels of power negotiation, and (2) clues to the enslaved people’s ritualized spiritual practices through their use of charms. Further, this research underscores the importance of including descendant communities throughout the archaeological process, as well as the need to engage oral traditions in the interpretation of past societies, particularly for marginalized groups excluded from “official”—that is, written—stories of the past.

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Medium 9780253006776

5 A Victory for Democracy, 1949–1952

Adam R. Seipp Indiana University Press ePub

For the second time in fifteen years, the hill above Wildflecken swarmed with workers and construction crews. In the snows of January 1951, a tent city grew in the Franconian uplands. Where a shrinking but sizable DP population still hung on in the IRO camp, they were joined by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, specialists, and German contractors. There was a lot of work to be done, repairing buildings, paving roads, and installing the necessary accoutrements of a military installation. Years later, Brigadier General Carl McIntosh recalled his arrival at Wildflecken with the 4th Infantry Division. “The best I can remember of Wildflecken was there had been displaced persons housed there . . . they had burnt down about half of the post and cut down all the trees around there just trying to stay warm . . . they nearly froze to death up there because there wasn’t any heat, and nothing was supplied to them. So, we were building a road, setting up rock crushers and building ammunition pads . . . for the future needs of a post, camp or station there.” With more than six hundred German workers on the site, living space ran short. Many lived in tents until summer, no doubt a miserable existence in the cold of the Rhön. There was also fun to be had, with contractors building canteens “staffed by husky, friendly German girls” who worked to keep laborers fed. As a Corps of Engineers inspector later wrote, “Naturally wherever troops were stationed near construction work these canteens became a favorite of the troops and caused both Commanding Officers and the Construction Engineers considerable headaches.”1

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9: Some Kind of Masochist? Fieldwork in Unsettling Territory

Fran Markowitz Indiana University Press ePub

Joyce Dalsheim

Here we are, standing on the corner of “Walk, Don’t Walk.” You look away from me, tryin’ not to catch my eye, but you didn’t turn fast enough, did you? You don’t like my raspy voice, do you? I got this raspy voice ’cause I have to yell all the time ’cause nobody around here LISTENS to me.

—Trudy

HANNAH’S VOICE IS not yet raspy like Trudy’s, the bag lady in Jane Wagner’s 1985 play, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Standing at her own intersection of “Walk, Don’t Walk,” Hannah is being quiet, busy listening and observing. About to cross into dangerous territory, she feels the fear rising up inside of her.

Hannah has come from a beautiful, sunny place where it rarely rains; a place where people are committed to growing crops in sandy soil. They raise grains, fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowering plants. Working long hours, they devise all kinds of creative methods to grow fresh produce in conditions that many thought would make cultivation impossible. She has come from a place where people are building a community for themselves, their children, and generations yet undreamed of. They are building a future, a community based on caring, sharing, and hard, honest work. Hannah is about to cross over into a place that everyone tells her is dangerous, and she insists on going there anyway. They tell her the people who live there are immoral. They have lost their way. They’ve placed too much value on material concerns and have lost sight of what matters most.

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9 More Changes

J. Parker Lamb Indiana University Press ePub

Two alternative modes of transportation appeared during the postwar period. Expansions of America’s highway and airway systems would soon sweep away the centurylong monopoly of rail travel, resulting in a steady decline in passenger train service. Additional financial underpinning for such trains was removed with the cessation of mail-hauling contracts as well as railway post office (RPO) service by the nation’s postal department. As the number of daily trains decreased steadily during the 1950s, the cavernous waiting room at Meridian’s 1906 Union Station fell silent for hours on end. Indeed, the beginning of the end of the city’s passenger train era was the 1960 destruction of the old station. A smaller replacement was rebuilt from one of its single-story wings, while passenger sheds were removed from boarding platforms, leaving a strange, denuded atmosphere suggestive of an empty yard. Although such downsizing was repeated countless times throughout the nation, it was even worse for many towns and villages. For them, neither the service nor any replacement structures were left in the aftermath of this sea change in American travel.

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Four: Transcendental Reflection: Interpreting the Amphiboly via §76 of the Critique of Judgment

Avery Goldman Indiana University Press ePub

FOUR

Transcendental Reflection:
Interpreting the Amphiboly via
§ 76 of the
Critique of Judgment

I. Transcendental Reflection

Having demonstrated the need for an explanation of the conception of experience with which Kant's analysis begins, we must now pursue such a question within the confines of the Critique of Pure Reason if we are to avoid claiming that Kant was initially blind to the presuppositions of the critical enterprise. In §76 of the Critique of Judgment, Kant announces the possibility of addressing the critical conception of possible experience, but it is not clear that such an account can be located in the epistemological structure of the first Critique. Those who have interpreted the Critique of Judgment as initiating great changes in the critical project argue that such a search is pointless.1 They appear to have support in that the only section that develops the claim that critical epistemology depends upon something beyond its finite limits is the Refutation of Idealism; and the ambiguity of its conclusion seems to raise the possibility that even in 1787, with the inclusion of this section in the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, and certainly in 1781, with the work's original publication, Kant did not conceive of the regulative dependence of the critical analysis of cognition.

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