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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students  Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE CIRCULATION OF COMMEMORATION: CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN ST. JOHN'S GRAVE MARKERS, 1718-1917
Author: HELEN BLOUET (Utica College)   
Date/Time: Thu., 8:15 AM
Co-Author(s): HELEN BLOUET (Utica College) 
Abstract: From 1718 to 1917, St. John was a Danish colony that struggled to produce sugar, cotton, and provisions. Until 1848, the year of slave emancipation, the island’s population consisted of European and Creole colonists, enslaved Africans and their descendents, and a small yet autonomous community of free Afro-St. Johnians. In the post-emancipation era, Afro-St. Johnian subsistence farmers, artisans, maritime traders, and land owners primarily populated the island. When St. John’s residents passed away during the Danish period, survivors created respectable burial practices and grave markers. Islanders built markers on their own, hired builders, or obtained markers from Virgin Island, Caribbean, and Atlantic markets. This paper explores the diachronic nature of masonry markers or those built from brick, stone, and mortar. While masonry markers consisted of a variety of forms throughout the Danish period, evidence suggests they were more diverse in earlier years than in later ones. In this paper, I suggest that grave markers changed through social, economic, and political shifts brought on by the island’s transformation from a plantation slave society for European profit to one of free subsistence farming and wage labor for Afro-St. Johnian gain.

Program Number: 2-0060
Session Title: HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE NEW WORLD: POWER, DIASPORA, ARCHITECTURE, AND CIRCULATION
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division