Jean-BaptisteCarpeaux, PourquoiNaîtreEsclave?, 1868 Study for figure of Africa, patinated plaster, 25 ¾’” highART 299 VISUAL CULTURE GLOBAL CONTEXTWEEK 12 AFRICAN DIASPORA
You can tell the story of human history as one of settlement or one of migration.You can emphasize permanence, or you can emphasize change.You can focus on continuities, or developments.
We are presently at a moment in world history where there is more contact between cultures than ever before.This contact is physical—facilitated by modern transportation technologies—and virtual— facilitated by the modern mass media and the postmodern, interactive medium of the internet.
Premodern(piracy), modern (supertanker), and postmodern (cellphone videosinstantly uploaded on Youtube) collide.
We live, work and write in this reality.At the moment, we have become more interested in telling storiesabout how traditions evolve and change through cultural contact.
Terms Hybridity (hybrid—adj.) Syncretism (syncretic—adj.) Creolization (creolized—adj.)These are all essentially synonyms, pointing to cultural situations that are of hybrid origins, mixing together elements of two or more traditions.
Bantu Migration•Begins around 100B.C.•Continues until thethird or fourth centuryA.D.•One of largestmigrations in humanhistory.
Bantu migration:West Africans movedacross the center of thecontinent where theysurrounded the Pygmies,then continued intoregions of the east andsouth originally inhabitedby the San people.Pushed southward intothe territory of theKhoikhoi, the Sanintermarried with them soextensively, these peopleseventually became one,known as the Khoisan.
The Bantu migration took place over several centuries. Similarly, the re-location of millionsof Africans to the Americas as workers and slaves during colonial times occurred overperiod lasting from 1501 to 1868.
The Yoruba Diaspora The Yoruba created a vivid andAfricans from many nations distinctive presence in the Newwere exported as slaves. World.
The Yoruba have a concept of diaspora and believed, well before slavery, that their culture would spread throughout the world. They were to prove massively influential in the creation of the “African Atlantic.”
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs &Steel European invaders of the Americas brought with them potent military technology, and deadly germs. A significant percentage of the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas perished quickly. For Europeans eager to exploit the rich natural resources of the Americas, this created significant labor shortages.
In Jared Diamond’s view ofworld history, geography isdestiny. In green type are place names; in black type are tribal names. Based upon this map, which tribes would you expect to find dispropor- tionately represented in the New World?
3 key New World destinations 1. Brazil 2. The Caribbean 3. North America
During theslave trade,these werePortugueseterritoriesthat laterunited to formthe modernnation of
Enslaved Yoruba peoplesWere imported to Bahia Were imported to Rio de Janeiro
Some unique culturalcharacteristics of Bahia Candomblé: Basis is Orixà religion of the Yoruba (gods like Ogun, Shango, Eshu, Yemanja) incorporating a variety of other African faiths, including Fon, and Bantu elements, as well as recognizably Catholic aspects such as worship of saints (Known in Cuba as Santeria) A highly “syncretic” faith! Capoeira: martial art based in Yoruba dance forms
3 examples of syncretism in NorthAmerica Watercolor painting known as The Old Plantation, c.1800 “Vernacular” architectural style known as the “Shotgun house” The evolution of Seminole beadwork
Anonymous, The Old Plantation, c, 1800, watercolor, 11 ¾ x 18 inches
African traditions survived in the New World despite deliberate attempts to stamp them out. Characteristic art forms of West Africa are present here, including: •styles of dress and self- presentation •music and dance •specific musical forms • Drums and stringed instruments brought from home • Precursor of the banjo •women dancing with strips of cloth •dance is called the “juba”Anonymous, The Old Plantation, c, 1800, watercolor, 11 ¾ x 18 inches
Thomas Coram, View of Mulberry House and Street,1805, oil on paper, 4 1/16 x 6 11/16 inches
Elements of shotgun style What are the features of this kind of construction?
Elements of shotgun style Community Small lot size (tax advantage) Front porches
Elements of shotgun style Portable (can be picked up and moved as needed)
Elements of shotgun style Inexpensive and easy to build
How do these different styles relate to the street and theneighborhood? Where would you rather live and why?
"This house type is one room wide, one story tall and several rooms deep (usually three or more) and has its primary entrance in the gable end. Its perpendicular alignment breaks with the usual Euro-American pattern, in which the gables are on the sides and the entrance is on the facade or long side. Although gable-entry houses occur in some parts of central Africa, the shotgun house is a New World hybrid that developed in the West Indies and entered the United States via New Orleans in the early 19th century." — John Michael Vlach, Americas Architectural Roots: Ethnic Groups that Built America. (Washington, D.C.: The Preservation Press: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1986), 43.
The form of the house: Derives in part from the West African “long house.” Derives in part from Arawak building types in the Caribbean. Derives in part from French techniques of frame construction imported to the West Indies. The name of the house derives from the Yoruba word “togun,” meaning “place of assembly”.
House in Haiti, present day, showing entrance on the gable end.
Plan of a shotgun houseWhat key features do you notice?
Plan of Shotgun House•No hallways • maximizes usable space • Great for ventilation • Less privacy•Utter simplicity • Keeps costs low • Simple carpentry means you can do-it- yourself
WHO ARE THE “SEMINOLE”INDIANS? •They are Creeks, who fled Georgia to Spanish-controlled Florida to escape English rule and attempts to enslave them. •The Spanish called them “Cimarrón” (wild, unruly, untamed). •In English, this became “Seminole.” Runaway slaves seeking freedom frequently joined them in the Everglades to escape capture. They became known as “Black Seminoles.”
Is this history visible in therepresentation of the FSU mascot?What is the relationship between theactual Seminoles and the FSU“Seminoles”?