Facing society : A study of identity through head shaping practices among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean in the ceramic age and colonial period

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Facing society : A study of identity through head shaping practices among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean in the ceramic age and colonial period

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Facing society : A study of identity through head shaping practices among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean in the ceramic age and colonial period
Author: Duijvenbode, A. van
Issue Date: 2017-05-16
Keywords: Cranial modification
Head shaping
Caribbean archaeology
Identity
Embodiment
Indigenous identities
Abstract: A mere day after his first footfall in the Americas, Columbus notes the broad foreheads of its inhabitants. These cranial shapes are deliberately created by applying pressure to the infant’s head after birth. Facing Society studies indigenous identities through head shaping practices against the backdrop of broader social developments in Caribbean communities before and after 1492 through a multi-disciplinary approach combining archaeology, (ethno)history, anthropology, and sociology. The first evidence of intentional cranial modification comes from the Early Ceramic Age, however by the Late Ceramic Age it was found across the Caribbean. Different regional patterns emerge in conjunction with diverging social developments. For example, the relatively homogeneous pattern of cranial modification seen in the Greater Antilles indicates a collective identity fostering social cohesion in expanding communities and connecting distant villages within the interaction sphere. The Early Colonial Period was transformative for indigenous communities and identities, and consequently caused a decline in head shaping practices. An unexpected revival was seen among the Black Carib, a community of free African descendants on St. Vincent. Traces of head shaping practices can still be found to this day demonstrating the lasting importance of indigenous social practices in the cultural mosaic of the current Caribbean.
Promotor: Supervisor: Corinne L. Hofman Co-Supervisor: Darlene A. Weston
Faculty: Archaeology
University: Leiden
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/49749
 

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application/pdf Title page_Contents 278.8Kb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 1 184.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 2 603.5Kb View/Open
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application/pdf Chapter 9 232.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf References_Appendices 895.7Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary 144.7Kb View/Open
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