Reconfiguring African trade beads

Wood, Marcus (2016) Reconfiguring African trade beads. In: Bernier, Celeste Marie and Durkin, Hannah (eds.) Visualising Slavery and Reimaging Memory: Art Across the Black Diaspora. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. (Submitted)

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The greatest cultural historian of beads Lydia Sciama dramatically instructs us that: ‘One cannot over-emphasise the importance of glass beads in the European colonization of a vast portion of the inhabited world.’ True words, and yet beads have been and continue to be shamefully and wilfully neglected within international slavery studies. Beads, whether of African, Asian or European manufacture remain peripheral, scarcely studied and hardly seen, let alone recognised as a unifying cultural entity within slavery studies, and indeed within the officially sanctioned sites for the memory of slavery. This chapter teaches us that how a culture now moves around beads and memory can tell you a lot about its creative health, its perceptual vigour, its aesthetic virtue, its artistic democracy, and its ability to understand slave aesthetics and art.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Africa brazil trade beads suncretic religion
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Marcus Wood
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 11:08
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2015 11:08
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