Linstead market before linstead? Eighteenth–century Yabbas and the internal market system of Jamaica

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Abstract

The analysis of local pottery offers distinctive lenses to the cultural experience of enslaved Jamaicans, the scales of its expression, and the historical forces that shaped it. These unassuming clay objects were one of many traded in eighteenth-century Jamaica. Beyond demonstrating the material wealth of the enslaved, these goods are emblematic of the commercial and social relations that extended beyond the houseyard and plantation boundaries for the enslaved. By determining the circuits of exchange through an analysis of their distribution across the island and a determination of potential clay sources through an examination their chemical and mineralogical constituencies we can begin to reconstruct these social relations and loci of interaction. This paper attempts to establish the likelihood of the presence of Linstead Market in the eighteenth century. The data suggest that the market existed prior to emancipation and most likely in the eighteenth century. Archaeology with its focus on complementary sources can be used to reshape past cultural and archaeological landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-111
JournalCaribbean Quarterly
Volume55
StatePublished - Jun 2009

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