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Week 3 Notes-Part 1

by: Lily Taffet

Week 3 Notes-Part 1 LAST1010-03

Lily Taffet

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About this Document

Encounter The Atlantic Slave Trade
Introduction to Latin American Culture
Amy Medvick
Class Notes
African, slave, trade, Latin, America, Maroons, Revolts, Brotherhoods, nations, colonial, caste, system
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lily Taffet on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LAST1010-03 at Tulane University taught by Amy Medvick in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Latin American Culture in Latin american studies at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
9/13/16 The Atlantic Slave Trade  Long before the beginning of Atlantic Slave Trade, there was much contact between African and Europe, especially the Iberian peninsula o Pretty mutual o There was a brood trade of goods o The Moorish rule of Iberia o Limited slave trade-mainly just personal trades to work in Home o Plenty of Africans working in Europe prior to 1492  African Slave Trade (brazil and Caribbean are main places o Slavery was already a well established practiced in African and the basis of its economy o Most slaves were war captives o In Europe you became wealthy through ownership of land. In Africa, wealth was accumulated through the ownership of people and the products of their labor. o Began with the arrival in Africa of Portuguese merchants in search of gold o Portuguese began trading in slaves for use at home and later in American colonies o Portuguese dominated slave trade initially and provided slaves to Spanish colonists. o Eventually British, French, and Dutch also established their own slave trades which ended up pushing the Portuguese further down the coast and into the interior and eastern/southern parts of the continent o Enslaved individuals came from a variety of cultures, located primarily along the “Gold Coast” and from a few interior regions as well. Many languages, religions, cultures, etc. Their cultures were all mixed up when they came to the Americas.  Ways slavery was different in African compared to Europe o Not lifelong-you could gain freedom o Children of slaves were rarely born into slavery o Not associated with a low status. Slaves had the opportunity to become officials and administrators. This was just hard because they were still “owned” and this restricted their mobility and choice of occupation o Not really a buy and sell trade, it wasn’t really through the buying of people so much as the spoils of war  The middle passage o Word we use to describe the journey through the Atlantic o Slaves were transported in horrible conditions-little food or water. o 1 million people died during the journey o Most of these ships would arrive in the Caribbean and then salves would be sold and redistributed. They usually had to endure horrible land journeys to reach non-coastal regions.  Arrival o Experiences of slavery differed greatly in various regions o Most of the enslaved were taken to the Caribbean and northern Brazil to work on Sugar plantation o Others would be used in urban slavery in other regions of Latin America (much smaller percentage of slaves).  Rural slavery-most prominent in Caribbean and northeastern brail and southern part of united States o Worked on plantations, performing unskilled manual labor o Restrictions on mobility-couldn’t run away o Infrequent ability to gain freedom o Harsh living conditions (sometime slave holder would be expected to provide basic resources for slaves to live off but some slaves were expected to provide for themselves) o Difficult to survive o Paradoxical “intimacy” with Masters due to isolation and proximity. Slaveholders would have their kids hearing African language and eating African foods. There is this huge mix of cultures. Very intimate but not necessarily equal. Complicated cultural relationship  Urban Slavery-cities all over Latin America and in Spanish colonies were there were fewer plantations-Mexico, Peru, Venezuela etc. o Worked as servants or tradespersons such as ironworkers, bakers, and carpenters (many slaves came to NOLA and were trained in ironwork) o Often skilled labor-more specific o More mobility-they often lived separately from their master. They could rent their own apartment o They had to give some of their earnings to their master. Still a lot more flexibility in urban slavery o Frequent manumission (ability to buy freedom) o Better living conditions because their skilled practices were so specific and needed resources o More distance from masters-intimacy was between lower classes and slaves  Free People of Color o Because of manumission and the custom of taking enslaves mistresses and having children with them (these children were sometimes granted freedom). This lead to a large population of free people of color, predominantly in the cities o Free people of color could attain a relatively high degree of social status and wealth (still somewhat limited-kind of a middle class.) o There were some free people of color that came into Latin America and worked. o Free Africans showed their pride of being African in the context of the colonies o Many free people of color would establish trade in goods with West African merchants and maintain economic and cultural ties with African continent. o Some free people of color tried to help abolish slavery and help lead rebellions, others really bought into the system and bought slaves themselves. It was a very complicated system.  Nations and Brotherhoods o In cities, enslaved and free people of color would create organizations such as “nations”(organized by different ethnicity) and lay Catholic brotherhoods. o Acted as community bases and forms of social aid. o These groups helped maintain cultural continuity and developing new cultural practices. They could maintain their language, music, and cultural practices and develop new ones. o Often encouraged by Masters in order to keep the enslaved pacified. Their were kind of advantages to some Masters.. Expect, sometimes though they were the breeding grounds or organized resistance.  Revolts and Maroons o The enslaved often organized revolts and rebellions-usually unsuccessful. o Most were ultimately unsuccessful, with the major exception being the Haitian revolution in which the enslaved overthrew the entire system of slavery, expelled slave holders and established the first black independent nation and the second nation in the Americas. All of the slaveholders that were fleeing Haiti moved to Cuba or Veracruz in Mexico or came to the US and brought slaves with them. A lot of free people of culture chose to leave Haiti at this time as well (this is why we see the infusion of Haitian culture.) This terrified all of Latin America, especially Cuba because they didn’t want this to happen. The abolition movements that followed in that century were a response to this. o After these revolts, escaped slaves would go to runaway communities in remote inaccessible communities (forests/mountains). They were organized communities of runaway slave that would fiercely defend their territory. They were tolerated because the cost of pursuing them wasn’t worth it. As long as they didn’t challenge the planation system they were kind of left alone. But sometimes they would preform raids. o Zumbi, leader of the Palmares Quilombo in Brazil-symbol of resistance.  Colonial Caste System o As racial and cultural mixing continued and many slaves gained freedom, colonial societies were developing these elaborate hierarchies and classification systems that were eventually legalized in order to determine privileges and rights of individuals. o Elaborate system that was based on family lineage with attention to education, clothing, and wealth. The caste system was not based on race or socioeconomic class. o You could buy legal “whiteness” o Caste paintings were used to classify people. Example (Morisco con Española=Chino). There were really leborate systems and tons and tons of terms in order to make sense of it all. Then it just simplified to white, black or mestizo or mullato.  Transculturation o Describes the intermingling of previous discrete cultures o Chasteen uses this as an academic term, but it was used in nationalist movement to promote an embrace of this mixing. o In Latin America, transculturation is viewed as a process of cultural influence between indigenous, African, and European inhabitants of Latin America. o With respect to religion, transculturation is often called “Syncretism”-the combination of religions that have a similar structure.  Latin American Syncretic Religions o Catholicism was the religion of the elites and was forced upon indigenous and African Latin Americans o Indigenous and African Latin Americans would combine elements of their own religions with Catholicism-these mixtures kind of went hand in hand. Religions weren’t all that different. o Afro-descended Latin American syncretic religions are most common (voodoo, santería, etc.) o The people that practiced these religions were often devout Catholics and really believed in that religion and an alternate version of their religion but also would practice their own syncretic religions more privately. At the same time though, most were just practicing Catholicism to avoid repression. o Sometimes these religions would be violently repressed and it was associate with negative stereotypes of “Black magic” and “Evil.” A lot of elite anxiety. o Ongoing debates about these religions  Are they a re form of resistance through subverting Catholic practices and maintaining ties to traditional culture?  Are they a concession the dominant ideology of Catholicism?  Chasteen argues that transculturation, such as in religion, can go hand in hang with hegemony-an acceptance of that overarching catholic ideology.  At the same time, Vodou played an integral role in Haitian Revolution. Brazil and Africa Reading Homework Who wrote it? A Brazilian. They obviously want to best represent Brazil. What kind of power do they hold, or lack? Trying to emphasis that Brazil has a debt they owe to Africa Tone? Sincere, Optimistic.


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