Abstract

This article describes the transformation of an image depicting an unnamed, enslaved African man wearing a metal facemask, a common form of punishment in colonial Brazil, into the iconic representation of the martyred slave Anastácia/Anastasia, the focus of a growing religious and political movement in Brazil. The authors trace the image to an early 19th century engraving based on a drawing by the Frenchman Jacques Arago. Well over a century later, Arago's image increasingly became associated with a corpus of myths describing the virtuous suffering and painful death of a female slave named Anastácia. By the 1990s, Arago's image (and variations of it), now identified as the martyred Anastácia/Anastasia, had proliferated throughout Brazil, an object of devotion for Catholics and practitioners of Umbanda, as well as a symbol of black pride. Cet article décrit la transformation de l'image d'un esclave Africain inconnu, portant un masque de métal, une forme courante de punition dans le Brésil colonial.Cette représentation iconique de l'esclave martyr, Anastacia/Anastasia est devenue le noyau d'un mouvement politique et religieux d'importance croissante au Brésil.Les auteurs font remonter cette image à une gravure du début du 19ème siècle, fondée sur un dessin du français Jacques Arago. Plus d'un siècle après, le dessin d'Arago a été graduellement associé à un corpus de mythes décrivant les souffrances, la vertu et la mort douloureuse d'une femme esclave appelée Anastacia. Vers 1990 l'image dessinée par Arago (et ses variations), à présent identifiées à la martyre Anastacia/Anastasia était répandue dans tout le Brésil, l'objet de dévotion de la part de catholiques et de fidèles de l'Umbanda ainsi qu'un symbole de la fierté noire.

In: African Diaspora

Describes the medical beliefs and practices of Barbadian slaves. Author discusses the role of supernatural forces in slave medicine, the range of beliefs and practices encompassed by the term Obeah, and how the meaning of this term changed over time. He emphasizes the importance of African beliefs and practices on which Barbadian slave medicine fundamentally rested. In the appendix, the author discusses the early use of the term Obeah in Barbados and the Anglophone Caribbean.

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Disputes the idea that Barbados was too small for slaves to run away. Author describes how slaves in Barbados escaped the plantations despite the constraints of a relatively numerous white population, an organized militia, repressive laws, and deforestation. Concludes that slave flight was an enduring element of Barbadian slave society from the 17th c. to emancipation.

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Seventeenth-century reports of the suffering of European indentured servants and the fact that many were transported to Barbados against their wishes has led to a growing body of transatlantic popular literature, particularly dealing with the Irish. This literature claims the existence of “white slavery” in Barbados and, essentially, argues that the harsh labor conditions and sufferings of indentured servants were as bad as or even worse than that of enslaved Africans. Though not loudly and publicly proclaimed, for some present-day white Barbadians, as for some Irish and Irish-Americans, the “white slavery” narrative stresses a sense of shared victimization; this sentiment then serves to discredit calls for reparations from the descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States and the former British West Indies. This article provides a detailed examination of the sociolegal distinctions between servitude and slavery, and argues that it is misleading, if not erroneous, to apply the term “slave” to Irish and other indentured servants in early Barbados. While not denying the hardships suffered by indentured servants, referring to white servants as slaves deflects the experiences of millions of persons of African birth or descent. We systematically discuss what we believe are the major sociolegal differences and the implications of these differences between indentured servitude and the chattel slavery that uniquely applied to Africans and their descendants.

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids