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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists   
Type: Paper
Paper Title: DRINKING DEBTS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND COSMOLOGICAL EXCHANGE IN THE BIGHT OF BENIN REGION, WEST AFRICA
Author: NEIL NORMAN (The University of Virginia)   
Date/Time: Fri., 4:15 PM
Co-Author(s): NEIL NORMAN (The University of Virginia) 
Abstract: During the Atlantic era, the exchange of people for trade items is well documented along the West African coast. Instrumental histories of the region explore the impact of trade items on regional political economies, as well as the human contribution of African kingdoms to the emerging Atlantic World. This paper uses recently excavated archaeological material to explore the circulation of trade items in local spheres of exchange. It argues that once on the African coast many of these goods entered divergent regimes of value in which exchange networks focused on defraying debts accrued to cosmological actors. It further argues that central to exploring the materiality of these debts is a consideration of the items used in commensal ceremonies at which drink was exchanged and social and political status was negotiated.

Program Number: 3-0830
Session Title: MATERIALIZING AND EMBODYING DEBT
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): CHARLES COBB, MARK HAUSER (Northwestern University) 
Chair(s): ANN STAHL (University of Victoria)  
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