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Slavery in AfricaArchaeology and Memory$
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Paul Lane and Kevin C. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264782

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264782.001.0001

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Slaves without Shackles: An Archaeology of Everyday Life on Gorée Island, Senegal

Slaves without Shackles: An Archaeology of Everyday Life on Gorée Island, Senegal

(p.147) 8 Slaves without Shackles: An Archaeology of Everyday Life on Gorée Island, Senegal
Slavery in Africa

Ibrahima Thiaw

British Academy

This chapter examines how slavery was imprinted on material culture and settlement at Gorée Island. It evaluates the changing patterns of settlement, access to materials, and emerging novel tastes to gain insights into everyday life and cultural interactions on the island. By the eighteenth century, Gorée grew rapidly as an urban settlement with a heterogeneous population including free and enslaved Africans as well as different European identities. Interaction between these different identities was punctuated with intense negotiations resulting in the emergence of a truly transnational community. While these significant changes were noted in the settlement pattern and material culture recovered, the issue of slavery — critical to most oral and documentary narratives about the island — remains relatively opaque in the archaeological record. Despite this, the chapter attempts to tease out from available documentary and archaeological evidence some illumination on interaction between the different communities on the island, including indigenous slaves.

Keywords:   slavery, material culture, urban settlement, transnational community, indigenous slaves

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