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Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India

Series:

Hans T. Bakker

The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.

Pamela R. Willoughby, Katie M. Biittner, Pastory M. Bushozi and Jennifer M. Miller

Abstract

During the 2010 excavations of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania, a single rifle bullet casing was recovered. Analysis of this casing found that it was manufactured in 1877 at the munitions factory in Danzig for the German infantry’s Mauser 71 rifle. This casing is thus directly linked to the period of German colonization of Tanganyika, during which Iringa was a key centre of anti-colonial resistance. Mlambalasi was the location of the last stand of Chief Mkwawa of the Hehe people, and this bullet casing provides a tangible link to his uprising during the 1890s. In light of this colonial context and our ongoing research at Mlambalasi, this find is used to illustrate that a single artifact can reinforce multiple narratives about the past and the significance of an archaeological site.

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Edited by Sarah Joan Moran and Amanda C. Pipkin

Women and Gender in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500-1750 brings together research on women and gender across the Low Countries, a culturally contiguous region that was split by the Eighty Years' War into the Protestant Dutch Republic in the North and the Spanish-controlled, Catholic Hapsburg Netherlands in the South.
The authors of this interdisciplinary volume highlight women’s experiences of social class, as family members, before the law, and as authors, artists, and patrons, as well as the workings of gender in art and literature. In studies ranging from microhistories to surveys, the book reveals the Low Countries as a remarkable historical laboratory for its topic and points to the opportunities the region holds for future scholarly investigations.

Contributors: Martine van Elk, Martha Howell, Martha Moffitt Peacock, Sarah Joan Moran, Amanda Pipkin, Katlijne Van der Stighelen, Margit Thøfner, and Diane Wolfthal.

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Martijn van den Bel and Gérard Collomb

Abstract

During the 16th century, the Amerindian population of the Guianas was already aware and in contact with the Spanish settlement at Margarita. The Aruacas, the privileged allies of the Spanish, relied on their large socio-political (trade) network to obtain victuals and commercial goods from the Guianas but also raided Caribe villages to assure red slaves for the Spanish plantations and mines in the Antilles. The first encounters between the Amerindians of the eastern Guianas and the English, Dutch and French show fear of the Spanish and their allies but this arrival is taken by the local population to wage war against the Spanish and Aruacas but this time also accompanied by a North European force. These encounters took place mainly in the embouchures of rivers along the Guiana Coast, establishing a ‘zone franche’ or socio-economical free zone populated by Europeans and Amerindians which was dominated by the latter, notably the Yao of the Oyapock estuary, who controlled this coastal area through access of interior beyond the falls. In this contribution we will focus upon the Amerindian policies and alliances in these encounters, dubbed the ‘Yao Connection.’

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Marlieke Ernst and Corinne L. Hofman

Abstract

Placed within the context of the ERC-NEXUS1492 research, this paper focusses on transformations in indigenous social and material worlds in Early Colonial Hispaniola. The initial intercultural encounters in the New World have led to the creation of entirely new social identities and changing material culture repertoires in the first decennia after colonization. The incorporation of European earthenwares in the indigenous sites of El Cabo and Playa Grande will be contrasted with the presence of indigenous ceramics and new manufacturing traditions in the early Spanish colonial sites of Cotuí and Concepción de la Vega. The transformation processes in ceramic repertoires will be assessed through a multi-pronged approach using theories of gift giving, appropriation and imitation combined with archaeological and ethnoarchaeological studies of the operational sequence (chaine opératoire) of ceramic manufacture. The paper presents new insights into the dynamics of Amerindian-European-African interactions, mutual influences and resilience at the onset of colonial encounters in the Americas.

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Mary Jane Berman and Perry L. Gnivecki

Abstract

During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the Bahama archipelago functioned as a colonial frontier impacted by Spanish policies and practices. European objects, which made their way there through numerous pathways, were easily incorporated into the indigenous (Lucayan) economic and cultural systems due to the precedents set by the Lucayan’s familiarity with non-local items and peoples through trade, exchange, and raids. Additionally, the Lucayans found European objects to be analogous to materials they knew, understood, and valued, and so they were easily assimilated into their material repertoire. The absence of direct colonial control, the sporadic and intermittent duration of direct contact experiences with the Spanish, and the manner in which the Lucayans were removed from their homeland are determined to be the reasons why we find little material evidence of Spanish encounters, minimal to no alteration of European objects, and to date, no incorporation of Spanish artifacts or elements into indigenous artifacts.

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Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L.P. Hoogland, Arie Boomert, and John Angus Martin

Abstract

During the colonization processes vast webs of social relationships emerged between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans in the Lesser Antilles. The intercultural dynamics which materialized during this period were likely contingent on local and regional networks of peoples, goods, and ideas which had developed in the Caribbean over the previous 5000 years. This paper focusses on the impacts of colonial encounters on indigenous Carib societies by studying transformations in settlement pattern and organization, material culture, and network strategies. Recent excavations at the early colonial sites of Argyle, St. Vincent and La Poterie, Grenada have revealed the remains of indigenous villages and a set of material culture evidencing the first Amerindian, European and African interactions in the southern Lesser Antilles. In this paper, we will advance novel perspectives on intercultural dynamics in colonial encounter situations and contribute to discussions of indigenous resistance, cultural transformations, and cultural diversity in an ever globalizing world.

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Shea Henry and Robyn Woodward

Abstract

In June 1503, Columbus and his two battered ships were run aground in the sheltered harbor of St. Ann’s Bay Jamaica, 1.4 kilometers from the village of Maima. After spending a year marooned there, the Spanish left with the knowledge of the people and resources of the area. Six years later in 1509 the Spanish returned to found the Jamaican colonial capital of Sevilla la Nueva. By the time Sevilla la Nueva was abandoned in 1534, Maima was deserted. Historical records kept by the colonists indicate that the villagers were brought to the colony and made into laborers and wives. The material culture and dietary practices at Sevilla la Nueva reflects this through the presence of colonoware and Taíno adapted European goods. At Maima, very few European goods and domesticate animals were found. This, and the presence of traditional material culture and diet throughout the site, indicates continuity of a traditional way of life until their final act of resistance, abandoning Maima. This paper will discuss the adapted European/Taíno material culture and faunal remains found at both Sevilla la Neuva and Maima, illuminating, in some way, the ultimately devastating impact of contact and colonialism.

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Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

Abstract

Northeastern Cuba, particularly the modern-day province of Holguin, is one of the areas of the Caribbean with the largest number of indigenous sites yielding European objects. In the sixteenth century, most of these sites maintained direct or indirect links with Europeans, while others were transformed into permanent colonial spaces by the Spaniards. The study of European objects found at these sites suggests that some of these items were acquired through exchange or as gifts. However, the largest collections of objects appear to have originally functioned as tools or other items used by both Europeans and Indians for mining and agricultural labor. We believe this pattern was established as a result of a process of conquest and colonization specific to Cuba, during which European colonizers rapidly managed to control the local population, thus limiting the indigenous capacity for negotiation.

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Jaime J. Awe and Christophe Helmke

Abstract

Researchers who have focused attention on Maya – Spanish interaction along the Belize colonial frontier note that the relationship between these two contrasting cultures was anything but amicable. As consequence of this bellicose relationship, some authors suggest that few material goods of European origin were actually traded or integrated into frontier settlements. They also contend that whereas ethnohistoric reports describing the missionizing efforts of Spanish priests provide us with important data on Maya life during the early colonial period, the Spanish entradas provide precious little information about the material goods they gifted to the Maya, and even less about how the Maya utilized these foreign goods. In this chapter, we discuss how the ethnohistoric record actually offers us considerable information concerning the consumption of European objects by the Maya, and that archaeological discoveries in Belize, Guatemala and Yucatan provide increasing evidence to suggest that a variety of objects of European origin were integrated into Maya material culture. The archaeological record also indicates that objects of European origin were used as status symbols by the Maya elite, that they sometimes served mundane purposes, or were deposited in caches and offerings in sacred places where they were ritually decommissioned.