ERROR LOADING HTML FROM SOURCE (http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu//design/skins/UFDC/html/header_item.html)

GENDER AND THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004840/00001

Material Information

Title: GENDER AND THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Parks, Ashley
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2013
Publication Date: 2013

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Gender
African Burial Ground
Anthropology
Archaeology
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the African Burial Ground in New York. In the analysis I consider burials that were associated with items of adornment and shells, coins, and other items in the time periods from the 1760s to 1794. Through the application of queer theory within a Black feminist archaeological framework, I hope to open up new understandings of gender during this time period. The analysis focuses on the gendered aspects of burial good associations as well as how two burials, Burials 259 and 332, challenge the conflation of sex and gender in archaeology, as well as the notions of sex and gender as binaries.
Statement of Responsibility: by Ashley Parks
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2013
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Baram, Uzi

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2013 P2
System ID: NCFE004840:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004840/00001

Material Information

Title: GENDER AND THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Parks, Ashley
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2013
Publication Date: 2013

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Gender
African Burial Ground
Anthropology
Archaeology
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the African Burial Ground in New York. In the analysis I consider burials that were associated with items of adornment and shells, coins, and other items in the time periods from the 1760s to 1794. Through the application of queer theory within a Black feminist archaeological framework, I hope to open up new understandings of gender during this time period. The analysis focuses on the gendered aspects of burial good associations as well as how two burials, Burials 259 and 332, challenge the conflation of sex and gender in archaeology, as well as the notions of sex and gender as binaries.
Statement of Responsibility: by Ashley Parks
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2013
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Baram, Uzi

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2013 P2
System ID: NCFE004840:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

GENDER AND THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND BY ASHLEY PARKS A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Uzi Bar am Sarasota, Florida May, 2013

PAGE 2

ii Acknowledgments I would like to thank the following people for their support throughout my time at New College and specifically the thesis process: My mom, dad, and sisters for the hands they have all had in making me the person I am today, as well as t he support and care they have given me my entire life. Rachel Roach for her endless positivity and support, Brie McLemore for always listening, Silvia Ulloa for spot on feedback on my drafts, and Travis Small for his optimism and humor. Dr. Baram for tea ching engaging courses that have changed how I view the world, and for helping me through the thesis process. Dr. Dean for providing constructive feedback in the courses I had with her, and for agreeing to sponsor the Women in Video Games and Comics tutori al Spring semester, which a bright spot in my semester. Dr. Fairchild for giving me multiple chances, and for encouraging me to continue studying what I enjoy. All of my friends for their emotional support and willingness to get snacks. Jehan Sinclair fo r helping me through numerous mini crises, listening to me, respecting my opinions, and finding a way to motivate me on even the hardest days. Kortney Lapeyrolerie for giving me her time, letting me cry on her shoulder, and inspiring me with her passion, intelligence, and commitment to equality. Laura Libby for providing me with prospective and helping me with edits. Caroline Reed and all the librarians for helping to make all the resources I needed accessible.

PAGE 3

iii Table of Contents Acknowledgments....... ...........................................................................................ii Table of Contents...................................................................................................iii List of Illustrations..................... .............................................................................iv Abstract..................................................................................................................v Chapter 1: Introduction............................. .............................................................1 Chapter 2: The African Burial Ground, Black Feminist Archaeology, and the Intersection of Gender and Style...........................................................................5 Chapter 3: Context for a Queer Analysis of the African Burial Ground................21 Chapter 4: Burial Descriptions and Analysis........................................................39 Chapter 5: Conclusion........................................................ .................................56 Appendices..........................................................................................................61 Bibliography......................................................................................... ................64

PAGE 4

iv List of Illustrations Figure 1: Photograph showing the archaeological site (Howson et al. 2006:7).....1 Figure 2: The archaeological site within New York (Howson et al 2006: 2)...........2 Figure 3: A comparison of male and female skull s (White 1991: 321).................29 Figure 4: An image showing the differences in a male pelvis (left) and a female pelvis (right) (White 1991:324).............................................................................30 Figure 5: Showing location of Burial 259 (Howson et al. 2006: 99).....................44 Figure 6: Showing location of Burial 332 (Howson et al. 2006: 100)...................45 Figure 7: A Cosmogram (Fennel 2003:6).............................................................49

PAGE 5

v GEN DER AND THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND Ashley Parks New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT This thesis is an examination of the African Burial Ground in New York. In the analysis I consider burials that were associated with items of adornment and shells, coins, and other items in the time periods from the 1760s to 1794. Through the application of queer theory within a Black feminist archaeological framework I hope to open up new understandings of gender during this time period. The analysis focuses on the gendered aspects of burial good associations as well as how two burials, Burials 259 and 33 2, challenge the conflation of sex and gender in archaeology, as well as the notions of sex and gender as binaries. Uzi Baram Division of Social Sciences

PAGE 6

1 Chapter 1: Introduction In 1991, following preparations for the construction of a new federal building an excavation uncovered burials. Situated at 290 Broadway, the African Buri al Ground in New York, New York was the resting place for thousands of both freed and enslaved Africans in the 17th and 18th centuries (See figure 2 for where in New York the excavation site was located). Figure 1: Photograph showing the archaeological si te (Perry et al. 2006: 7). In all, 419 people were removed from the burial ground under the watchful communities.

PAGE 7

2 Figure 2: The archaeological site within New York (Perry et al 2006: 2). This thesis is an extension of a final paper topic I selected for an advanced anthropological course, Method and Theory in Archaeology. At the time I selected the site in part due to its widely disseminated excavation information at the African Buria l Ground website. The publicly available research documents

PAGE 8

3 reflected the stance the Howard University research team took in engaging with public, and they also provided me with enough information to apply a gendered analysis of the burials at the site. I did not go into the project seeking to apply a queer archaeological perspective to a site, however it ended up being advantageous when I chose to expand the project into my undergraduate thesis. I made the decision for expansion not only because I personal ly find the material engaging, but also because I think that New York during the 1700s offers a unique set of possibilities for Black people of that time, particularly in terms of gender and style. e period burials and the ages of the people the items were associated with all reveal a difference in value that is gender based. Additionally, through the incorporation of a Black feminist archaeology I discuss specific burials: Burial 332 and Burial 259. The analysis of these burials opens up different understandings of gender and style fo r Black people in New York during the 1700s. In Chapter 2: The African Burial Ground, Black Feminist Archaeology, and the Intersection of Gender and Style, I contextualize the rest of the chapters through and examination of relevant literature. In Chapte r 3: Context, I outline topics that have influenced the frameworks I am relying on for my analysis, such as the history of feminism within anthropology, previous scholarship on the definition of gender, the history and methodology of bioarchaeology, and th e

PAGE 9

4 intersection of race and gender. In Chapter 4: Data and Interpretation, I describe the burials and material goods I consider and make my analysis. Chapter 5: Conclusion, rounds out the thesis through discussing the limitations of the methods I used as we ll as offering suggestions for future scholarship.

PAGE 10

5 Chapter 2:The African Burial Ground, Black Feminist Archaeology, and the Intersection of Gender and Style In this literature review I will provide context for this thesis through the examination of rele vant texts divided by three themes: the African Burial Ground, Black Feminist Archaeology, and Gender and Style. Each theme covers a number of articles, selected for their pertinence. The African Burial Ground features Michael Blakey, in part due to his le adership in the project and extensive writing on its significance. Conversely, Black Feminist Archaeology is a new scholarly endeavor, and thus the theme features two of the most well known out of the limited authors on the subject. For the connection of g ender and style to archaeology, I turn to Judith Butler and H. Martin Wobst. African Burial Ground Literature Two texts which have been influential in understanding the African Burial rican co authored by Michael Blakey, who was a part of the Howard University research team that ult imately gained control over the African Burial Ground Project. site, including a description of the aftermath and what at the time were the continuing struggles with the site. Additionally, they (1997: 84) explain how the

PAGE 11

6 which transcend urban archaeology, physical archaeolog y, or concerns of any In 1991, excavations of what is now known as the African Burial Ground began. These excavations carried through to 1992 and uncovered over 400 revela tion that struck a deep chord among many people of African descent in recognize the significance of the African Burial Ground to the descendant communities, continuing to disinte r people amid wide spread objections. Through the actions of people in power, as well as demonstrations by concerned citizens, the excavations came to a halt. La Roche and Blakey (1997) note that journalists, religious leaders, and artists among countless other community members, organized in protest of the continued excavations. Eventually, Congressman Gus Savage, along with New York City Mayor David Dinkins, ultimately put a stop to the continued disinterment of bodies. Control of the site switched hands to a research team at Howard University, a historically Black college. This team actively collaborated with the descendant community to develop new research questions. In the end, the questions ended up focusing on the specifically African origins of the people, their quality of life, what modes of resistance were identifiable, and what this site contributes in looking at the transformation of identity from African to African American. La Roche and Blakey (1997: 87) explain that this new research plan,

PAGE 12

7 tegrates the most contemporary scientific approaches and African American Previous research plans had ignored the significance of the site to Black history and instead focused largely on the potential to establish baselines for interpretations of the site based on morphometric analysis became increasingly This concern was not un white superiority and black inferiority. La Roche and Blakey(1997: 89) provide the t population beyond the grave, then Roche and Blakey (1997: 89) also point out the constraints on the usefulness of ts an identity that is culture less, history Also critiqued are the difficulties members of the African American community had in dealing with the governmental agencies previously in charge of the research process. They (19 current, day to day problems of racial discrimination being played out on a small mpts were made [by the GSA] to ignore After excavation, the Office of Public Education and Interpretation (OPEI)

PAGE 13

8 was created. Headed by Sherrill D. Wilson, the OPEI spearheaded public education p rograms regarding the African Burial Ground. La Roche and Blakey (1997) contrast this with how information regarding the African Burial Ground reached the public during the excavations, which was largely through asking the GSA for information directly, wor d of mouth, and the distribution of a grassroots newsletter. Wilson took a vindicationalist approach in these public education answer pejorative allegations, and criticize so cal led scientific generalizations 108). Wilson Michael Blakey continued his vindicationalist scholarship on the African Ground as well as explores the epistem ology and ethics behind the African Burial Ground and community and public engagement. remains were reinterred at the site after a six city week long ceremony named the Rites of Ancest became a US National Monument four years after that. Similarly to the research design surrounding the African Burial Ground, these actions incorporated descendants in the processes. Johnson (2010 descent population in the United States

PAGE 14

9 easy to see how broad an impact these gestures could have on the descendant communities. Blakey describes the conflicts surrounding the handling of African Burial Ground by highlighting the ethics behind anthropological concept of community l Services Administration (GSA), a large national governmental agency constructing a 34 storey office tower on the site, public input meant they were University research team engage the descendant community and only proceed with research that was approved by the Steering Committee and which included input from the community. Blakey describes the Howard University research te explaining that it was informed by the tradition of activist scholarship found in eginning, our research team acknowledged the right of African unusual approach at the time, he explains. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed only a few years beforehand, and it ordinarily forced the hand of the anthropologist into taking this approach with the Native American community. However, Blakey notes, this was

PAGE 15

10 rarely a default strategy for anthropologists at the time. It was an even more rare strategy for communities outside of Native American ones. He (2010a: 63) further explains considering input from the descendant justified by the ethical mandate to d elevated the descendant communities to the same level of client, just as the GSA was a client. However, they framed these communities a the difference in whether or not archaeologists and other profession als will do That this distinction enabled the research team to fully engage with the questions than we could have devised witho (Blakey 2010b: 63), is one aspect of the African Burial Ground Project that has historically garnered much attention. The cooperation involved in this project can serve a model for future anthropological endeavors to follow. T hese two articles exemplify an activist approach to the archaeology, and a vindicationalist approach to the history at the African Burial Ground. They provide context in terms of the history of the archaeological site and its excavation, touching on the hi storically situated difficulties which replicated themselves in discussions regarding the site (for example, how the legacy of

PAGE 16

11 scientific racism affected everyone involved, to be discussed more fully in Chapter 3: Context for a Queer Analysis of the Africa n Burial Ground ), as well as some of the main epistemological and ethical concerns the African Burial Ground highlighted and the approach taken by Blakey to generate new ethics for Anthropology. Black Feminist Archaeology Black Feminist Archaeology is a n approach that acknowledges the anthropological and archaeological legacies of racism, sexism, and classism and their effects on the present. Two of the important texts that deal explicitly with the explanation and application of Black feminist archaeolog Black Feminist Archaeology by Whitney Battle Baptiste (2011). considers the substance of a Black femi nist archaeology within the context of objective is to discuss how US historical archaeologists, taking a cue from a Black feminist paradigm, might alternatively frame their qu estions and archaeology is one that acknowledges that these structures are interlocki ng. In other words, the oppressive structures are not separate entities to be combined, but overlapping and connected. For example, fully challenging sexism is not

PAGE 17

12 possible without also challenging racism, classism, hetero sexism, among other oppressions, and this is actively promoted in a Black feminist paradigm. Additionally, a Black feminist paradigm is concerned with representations of Black histories and heritages. Franklin (2001: 114) recognizes the importance the public consists of individuals varying in their knowledge of Black history, each of us with at least a preconceived notion of what it meant to be Black in the past that ultimately informs their perceptions of Black feminist archaeology has the potential to shape these notions of Black history through the interpretation of feminist research is dedicated to revealing and understandin g the many ways and means that Black women have struggled to elevate themselves and to serve remembering of Black women figures, whose contributions and labor are frequently devalu ed, is another component of a Black feminist archaeology which Franklin puts forth. This component is one way to combat the oppression of Black women by asserting that they are legitimate subjects for intellectual inquiry and consideration. Franklin puts forth another strategy for combating the oppression of Black whelmingly White field of

PAGE 18

13 These strate gies are important as Franklin situates them within the history of anthropology. She (2001: 116) writes, The history of anthropology is one tied to neo colonialism, imperialism and the marginalization and oppression of women and minority groups, and the s ubfield of historical archaeology potentially shares in this tradition. For without our concerted efforts to transform our discipline through strategies of inclusion and responsibility, we in effect reinvent this highly problematic standard of Western acad emic scholarship. She hopes that through the adoption of a Black feminist paradigm and the use of the strategies discussed above that anthropology can break away from its problematic history and produce more vigorous, productive, and liberating scholarshi p. Black Feminist Archaeology (Battle Baptiste 2011) outlines what a Black feminist framework in archaeology entails, illuminates the benefits of using such a framework, and applies a Black feminist framework on a few case studies. According to Battle B culture studies, Black and African descen dant feminisms, and critical race and race, and class within archaeology. Battle the material past a meth od to positively enhance the texture and depth of how we

PAGE 19

14 understand the experiences of captive African peoples and further creates an archaeology that can be directly linked to the larger quest for social and political justice in the United States and beyo particularly clear in her example of delving into the family dynamics of captive ooked for a deeper reading of the captive African family in history and literature, I immediately uncovered a huge on popular understandings and conceptions of the subject, some of which is damaging and oppressive. With this in mind, Battle Baptiste sets about where we can subconsciously carry perceptions of the African Diaspora that begin with a comfortable placement of Eurocentrism in our understanding everything from language, religion, and family structure to social and cultural move forward in regards to the fam ily structure of captive African people, and it can be achieved through the utilization of a Black feminist methodology. Battle simplistic notions of overbearing Black women and ab thesis deals explicitly with archaeological inquiry into the lives of freed and enslaved Black people of the 1700s with a particular focus on gender. In this respect, I find the scholarship of these women essential. Both works focus on

PAGE 20

15 understand the lives of Black people of past and present, and what we consider valuable academical ly, specifically calling for scholarship to take seriously Black women. A common element between the texts is the focus on social justice and its articulation with a Black feminist approach to archaeology. Again, this frames my point of view going into this thesis, for I intend for this inquiry to be congruent to social justice ideals such as equality. ness of inquiry into the lives of Black people of the past, it is my sincere hope tha t work colonialism, imperialism and the marginalization and provide a rich and challenging perspective. Gender and Style One key component of a Black fem inist archaeology is the inclusion of multiple facets of identity. Gender is one such facet, which is of particular concentration in this analysis. Therefore, a more critical examination, combined with a focus on materiality therefore has the potential to strengthen a Black feminist archaeological analysis. A perspective on the performance of gender and its connection to style from Judith Butler as well as the functional aspects of style in materiality from H. Martin Wobst provide this framework. Judith But ler is a philosopher known in part for her contributions to queer theory, although she is also known for her work regarding feminism, political

PAGE 21

16 in Phenomenology and Feminist Th alternative understanding of gender through the consideration of phenomenology, merely a status or identity to an understanding of gen der that is temporally and socially situated. Butler (1988: 519) explains a phenomenological perspective on gender: proceede; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time an identity instituted through a stylized repetition acts makes a distinction between her understanding of gender and other phen omenological models which take the gendered self to be prior to its acts, I will understand constituting acts not only as constituting the identity of the actor, but as constituting that identity as a compelling illusion, an object of (italics in t he original) (Butler 1988: 520). In other words, it is the actions that make the identity of an actor, and there is no essential identity prior to the actions which compels them. str ategies or what Sartre would perhaps have called a style of being or Foucault, styled, for living styles have H ere she makes the connection between gender and style, as well reiterating the

PAGE 22

17 social and temporal constraints for them both. To counter concerns over this possibilities that ar e embodied are not fundamentally exterior or antecedent to surrounding the performativity of gender in the physical. This distinction aids in clarifying her argument. One ven ue for gender performance is through materiality, such as clothing. Materiality in particularly lends itself to archaeological inquiry in that it is more likely to be preserved, as opposed to actions for example, which are ephemeral. However, actions can b e reflected in materiality, and thus can provide some insight into gender performance. Loren (2001:175 176) supports the idea that dress and embodiment are related to facets of identity and illustrates this through a quote from Entwistle, a sociologist who se work focuses on fashion and presentation of the self and is so closely linked to identity that these three dress, the body, and the self are not perceived separately but simultaneously, as a One way to further consider materiality and choices regarding clothing is to consider Wobst. In this article, Wobst discusses some of the flaws in previous theories on style in archaeology, gives an explanation on how he views style as functional, and provides examples. Alternate theories, Wobst explains, tended to separate the function of an artifact and its stylistic elements, implying that the stylistic

PAGE 23

18 e lements have little or no function. However, Wobst (1977:317, 321) writes that all those communicat ion events in which a message is emitted or in which a He also explains how energy put into stylistic information exchange is weighed against the frequency of the message, as well as the complexity and variability of the message (Wob st 1977: 323). For example, a message that changes frequently would have a high energy cost to maintain in the form of an artifact compared to verbal information exchange. Messages that are too complex for artifact stylistic information exchange risk being misread, and messages that are infrequently emitted likewise require a high energy cost to produce. stylistic messaging decreases the closer emitter and potential receivers are acq family potentially already knew o r could acquire quite easily by other means. To a stranger, however, the uniform transmits the information quite efficiently. This underlines his point that the target audience for artifact stylistic information exchange is the socially distant. Either peo ple who are near the emitter (like the too distant (people who will never see the nurse, or would not

PAGE 24

19 have had the cultural knowledge to decode the message) do not receive the messages well or efficiently. With this in mind, Wobst illu strates the ways in which stylistic information stylistic messaging derives from the fact that it makes social intercourse more predictable: it reduces the stress inherent in first does this in part by its ability to signal things such as class, social identity, or adherence to certain ideologies, values, or religions. Wobst also points out that stylistic information exchange helps with social integrat ion. Wobst finishes this article by using an ethnographic example of hats and ethnic identity in Yugoslavia to illustrate his points. Both of these articles draw connections among gender, style, and embodiment. Although Wobst never mentions gender, he does address the part style has in signaling social roles and identities, which is applicable to gender. Likewise, although Wobst is not explicit in mentioning examples of embodiment, I believe stylistic information exchange can take place through the body as well, hair styling being an example. Butler is useful in clarifying an understanding of gender and performance. temporal constraints help to illuminate the items associated with bur ials in the African Burial Ground. By considering the specific socio cultural and temporal contexts for these items, their meanings can be better understood. These contributions are beneficial for considering clothing and burial

PAGE 25

20 goods as well as gender in my analysis of the African Burial Ground. The application of the information in these articles is what in part molds my understandings of the artifacts and people involved. A Black feminist framework guides my analysis towards what I intend to be an anti oppressive and activist understanding of gender and race, while Butler and Wobst provide my analysis with a means to further explore the performative aspects of gender through the material remains of clothing. All of this is situated in the specific concer ns raised within the history of the African Burial Ground.

PAGE 26

21 Chapter 3: Context for a Queer Analysis of the African Burial Ground This chapter covers topics that contextualize a queer analysis of the African Burial Ground. While this approach is a radical one, topics such as the history of feminism in anthropology and archaeology, the distinction between sex and gender, the history of bioarchaeology, as well as the intersection of race and gender help ground the approach in previous strides in understanding the complex history for the people buried at the cemetery. Feminism in Archaeology and Anthropology Feminist theory is important to archaeology, and anthropology more broadly. The progression of feminist theory in archaeology is frequently explained usi biological determined and exclusive participation of men in the public realm, the patriarchal rules whic some of the heterosexism of the second wave and stressed the diversity of sex and gender. Spencer development of feminist theory is often simplified these three waves do not capture the full range of diversity in feminist theories or Wood in conjunct ion with Allison method for introducing the topic of feminism in archaeology to provide the

PAGE 27

22 theoretical basis for this thesis. Prior to the emergence of feminist theory, gender wa s largely left out of anthropological analyses. Women and their contributions to society were ignored in the field, and critical examination of gender and how it shaped people and their lives was nonexistent. Wylie (2010: 237) describes a famous example fr om Claude Levi day in about thirty canoes, leaving us alone in the abandoned houses with the people to the anthropologist and ultimately had nothing significant to contribute to the village society in which they lived. The complete absence of women in anthropological inquiry was lat women to their research. This ultimately led to (more) sexist theories about women and gender because, as Alison Wylie points out (201 continued to reproduce conventional understandings of gender. The first wave of feminism brought attention to the roles of women. For example, one of the major contr sexist stereotypes of a biologically determined universal dominance of men in Wood 2006: 66). This wave emphasized the value of women's domestic work. Within archaeology, the firs t wave of feminism took form as scholarship highlighting evidence of women in public roles, such as the

PAGE 28

23 involvement of lower class women in employment. The second wave of feminist theory in the United States started with the publishing of Feminine Mystiqu e analyzing how patriarchy, as a culturally constructed ideology and societal Wood 2006: 73). In archaeology, scholars began to examine material representati ons of patriarchal rule, and material remnants of resistance to this rule. But the second wave has been critiqued for its exclusive focus on the concerns of white, straight, middle class women. Whitney Battle Baptiste (2011: 58 in conflicts was the dissatisfaction of Euroamerican women who did not agree with the primacy of race over issues of gender discrimination. The tensions led to an increasingly contentious relationship between these groups that would ensure the marginal pos ition of race and women of African descent in the larger According to Spencer Wood (2006: 76), in the 1980s the third wave of ialist second wave feminist theory that constructed actual gender practices as a the diversity of sex. Another central contribution of third wave feminism is the connection of sexism to both racism and classism as interconnected oppressions. Third wave feminism opened the door for queer theory. Queer theory seeks to critically interrogate and deconstruct categories of sex, gender, and

PAGE 29

24 sexuality. Dowson (2010: 163) explains it through Halperin, who is a cofounder of GLQ: A journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and a gender studies and material whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers considered deviant or pathological; but rather multiple positions within many more possible positions n umerous possibilities for understanding the lives of people past and present. The use of queer theory is not without fault, however. The theoretical position has been critiqued for, similarly to second wave feminist thought, accounting primarily or exclusi vely for white people. In addition to a lack of critical attention to racialized sexualities, queer theory has been disputed for its omission of engagement with materiality. Queer archaeology has the potential to address this critique. Within the field of archaeology, Dowson (2010:164) describes how this Feminist ideas are important for anthropology, archaeology, and people or their diametric opposites feminist researchers can investigate the actual diversity that exists in Wood 2001: 98). This fa lls directly in line with the ideals of anthropology, which is the study of human diversity. Ignoring women in analysis, disregarding how race and class are connected to gender, and maintaining/reifying a gender and sex binary are all

PAGE 30

25 detrimental to greate r understanding of human diversity, and therefore to a robust anthropology. Feminist research also has the potential to undermine (cis )sexist, racist, and classist ideas which state that oppression is natural and unchangeable by demonstrating how our idea s regarding race, gender, and class have changed through time. Sex and Gender The definitions and differences between gender and sex, while important, are complicated and difficult to articulate in an encompassing and clear way. With this in mind, I am s etting out to establish the definitions of sex and gender that are guiding my analyses, yet they are not without flaws. It is my goal to provide accessible information, and as much as I appreciate the complexities and detail to arguments surrounding what c onstitutes gender and sex, it is not my intention to replicate that here. The definition of sex I will be using comes from West and Zimmerman agreed upon biologically criteria fo This determination can be made based on a number of factors. For example, in the contemporary United States, sex is most typically determined through the presence (or absence) of gonads, although chromosomes and hormones also play a part. The definition of gender can be nebulous. Broadly speaking, gender can constitute a performance and/or a social structure. For this definition I turn to West and Zimmerman (1987), Butler (1988), Risman (2004), and Martin (2004).

PAGE 31

26 Gender is a performance. According to West and Zimmerman (1987:127), and Zimmerman make th e distinction between sex and sex category. While sex is the socially contingent designation, sex category is the application of that designation. For example, upon seeing a stranger someone typically is not privy to the status of their gonads, hormones, o r chromosomes, however they still place the stranger into a sex category category. For example, someone with a female sex category wearing a dress with a male sex category wearing a dress would typically be viewed as failing to perform well as a man. Judith Butler (1988: 519) alters this definition slightly, by writing t hat through repetitive behaviors and actions, and is not a stable or stagnant category. A component of these actions, according to Butler, are the actions taken through emb Another aspect of gender is that it is a social structure. In reference to 04) on gender as a social institution, Risman (2004: 431)

PAGE 32

27 Risman seek to clarify how gender is not o nly the management of behaviors and appearance, but also a force that shapes what is expected of these behaviors and appearances. So, in our previous example with the dress, gender would be the social structure which dictates that it is appropriate for wom en to wear dresses and inappropriate for men to wear dresses. While some academics like Judith Butler utilize queer theory as an anti essentialist approach to understanding gender, not all academics have embraced these concepts. Bioarchaeology has histor ically used an essentialist approach to determine the sex of human remains. Bioarchaeology and Sex Classification can be seen as the blending of methods and data from skeletal biology and category in anthropology, which intersects with the sub fields of physical anthropology and archaeology, bioarchaeology examines human remains in order to help answer questions about disease, diet, health, race, power, gender, and inequality, among many other topics (Armelagos 2003: 29). Armelagos (2003: 34) stresses, bioarchaeology should, like the other fields of anthropology, be relevant to contemporary life. He also says that, w that incorporates an interdisciplinary biocultural approach with a cross (Armelagos 2003: 27). While the potential for bioarchaeology to contribute to anthropology and academic and popular understandings of the past and present is g reat, the field has received critiques.

PAGE 33

28 The classification of sex from osteological evidence is based largely on assumptions of what a female skeleton ideally looks like, and what a male skeleton ideally looks like. The accuracy of the classification can be increased by examining a skull and/or pelvis for traits that are typically male or typically female. Sex determination by skull is based upon the following guidelines: Male crania typically display more prominent supraorbital ridges, a more prominent gl abellar region, and heavier temporal and nuchal lines. Male frontials and parietals tend to be less bossed than female ones. Males tend to have relatively large, board palates, squarer orbits, larger mastoid processes, larger sinuses, and larger occipital condyles than do females. Male mandibles are characterized by squarer chins, more gonial eversion, deeper mandibular rami, and more rugose muscle attachment points when compared to female mandibles (White 1991: 322). This can be seen in Figure 3, where th e upper portion of the image is a male skull and the bottom image is a female skull.

PAGE 34

29 Figure 3: A comparison of male and female skulls (White 1991: 321). Sex determination made through consideration of the pelvis is based upon these tendencies: The sacr um and os coxae of females are smaller and less robust than those of males. Female pelvic inlets are relatively wider than male ones. The greater sciatic notch on female os coxae is relatively wider than the sciatic notch on male bones. Females have relati vely longer pubic portions of the os coxae, including the superior pubic ramus, than males. The subpubic angle, formed between the lower edges of the two inferior pubic rami, is larger in females than in males. The preauricular sulcus is present

PAGE 35

30 more often in females than in males. A corollary is that the auricular surface is more elevated from the female ilium than from the male ilium. The acetabulum tends to be relatively larger in males (White 1991: 323). These differences are illustrated in Figure 4. Figure 4: An image showing the differences in a male pelvis (left) and a female pelvis (right) (White 1991:324). White (1991:306) also makes the distinction between accuracy and an estimate conforms to reality; precision is the degree of refinement with which an

PAGE 36

31 precision of osteological estimates will be contingent upon many variables. The age of an individual, White notes, can be more difficult to determine after a set period of time and the long bones s top fusing. Some bones are more suited to providing information about a certain characteristic than others, for example a femur can provide some information about stature, but less about age or sex. st is forced to identify isolated individuals by means of age or sex standards derived from other estimation will change depending upon the methods the osteologist uses to make th ask. example of oversimplifica tions wrought from a narrow conceptual commitment to arise in these studies, including the conflation of gender and sex, as well as binary classifications for sex noting th variation is represented as strictly dimorphic, despite awareness that skeletal either left unclassified or assigned to the sex they closest resemble (male or female).

PAGE 37

32 sorting of races hierarchically. While this legacy of scientific racism should not discredit the framework as a whole, it has has created barriers for public engagement. Through intentionally addressing this legacy, however, the bioarchaeologist has the potential to overcome the barriers created for non white professio nals and members of the public. Scientific Racism It can be difficult for people of African descent to see the value of archaeology, because they have never seen themselves reflected in the makeup of the practitioners or in those being served by the out come of the research Baptiste 2011: 70). The sentiment from Battle Baptiste is one that situated within a long history. In regard to the research agendas of archaeology inquiry, the sentiment is a response in part to the use of scientific methods to support racism. The use of the African Burial Grounds for racist ends is one salient dilemma the team avoided in part through descendant community collaboration. an d African American past by anthropologists and historians has been a provide historical examples of the manipulation of science and anthropology for racism, like the research of Al anthropology for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. physical anthropology was intended to have practical

PAGE 38

33 che and Blakey 1997: 88). of whites and legitimize slavery and continued racist practices (Blakey 1994: 76). lt time getting Blood inferior to the white participants and that this inferiority is inherent in their biology, a function of their bodies. While those most directly affected by these applications of science were keenly aware of the flaws, those within academia paid little attention t o the concerns of those affected. A large part of the defensiveness of the original CRM firms stems from the fact that the firm was conducting its excavation well within the bounds of what was acceptable for the field at the time. The excavation was techni cally rigorous and within the realm of ethics appropriate, which unfortunately was influenced by a legacy of scientific racism within anthropology and archaeology. Thus, when the firm was confronted with a public sentiment that the excavation was somehow n standards for the field which have been developed in order to lose as little data tion is one that does not reproduce the same scientific inquiry used against them. In this case, for the

PAGE 39

34 happen at all; members of the descendant community wanted the dead to r est in peace. Ethics Driving Research for the African Burial Ground The African Burial Ground is known within archaeological communities for illustrating a major shift in how descendant communities were incorporated into archaeological research. In 1992 Congress halted the excavation of the African 2010b: 525). Fueled by ethical concerns, the team partnered with relevant community members for the research into the African Burial Ground. Michael ideas and questions to which the descendant community was most interested in having answ d by the engagement process were condensed to four major research topics: 1. the cultural background and origins of the population; 2. the cultural and biological transformations from African to African American identities; 3. the quality of life brought a bout by 2010a:528). Clearly, the topic I am engaging is not listed among the selections. While it is difficult to guess why the topic of gender was not highlighted in the

PAGE 40

35 study, it is worth discussing gender and race, specifically some ways in which racism has an impact on understandings of gender. Race and Gender The intersection of racism and sexism has produced a number of oppressive stereotypes and caricatures. It is not my go al to list every one in detail, however I do think it would be productive to address a couple of them as they relate to this thesis. The first is a persistent stereotype of black woman as unfeminine, crude, and unattractive. This stereotype became popular in antebellum era United States, and it is still present in the minds of people in the United States today. bell hooks (1981: 71) traces back to the origins of this stereotype, which she says frames black women as "masculinized sub ng with white male slave women possessed unusual masculine like characteristics not common to the female speci popular media even today. Examples of this stereotype are pointed out by Patricia Hill Collins in Black Sexual Politics. wo men as being like men (also, a common representation of Black lesbians) has long been a prominent subtext in the routines of Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, how

PAGE 41

36 these comedy routines continue to play into portrayals of Black women as aggressive, unattractive, and masculine. Media such as these comedy routines are a reflection of cultural values and ideas, and it also serves to perpetuate them. These ideas about black women limit them in society in numerous ways. tough, and self reliant. This role, whether internalized or encouraged through s ocial pressure, can create barriers to physical and mental health for Black women, because seeking medical professionals can be seen as violating the reliant. Beauboeuf (2003: 89) recounts Meri Nana Ami Danqua had forgotten the therapeutic aspects of religion and the cultural legacy of to seeing a therapist. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009: 11 12) life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to care access between Black women and White women, I think that this trope (fueled in part by the racist stereotype of hyper masculinized Black women) is one of them In this way, the lives of Black women in the United States are limited by this stereotype in that their lives are literally cut short, limiting the time they

PAGE 42

37 have on Earth. In fact, the idea that women being unfeminine or masculine is a negative or inf erior thing rests on (cis )sexist assumptions. These assumptions are also oppressive. The ideas that gender is binary (someone is either a man or a exclusive qualities or trait s are common but ignore and marginalize trans* identities, people who are intersex, and people who are not heterosexual. These ideas also limit women more broadly by asserting that women are kind, generous, and best suited to caring for others, and that wo men who are assertive, analytical, or interested in doing well in a career are abnormal by these standards. This creates a barrier for women who wish to exceed in careers, and eno ugh, among other things. Significantly, this helps to legitimize the violence and oppression people who deviate from gender norms face. If the racist notions embedded in the stereotype of black women as unfeminine did not rest in part on these (cis )sexis t ideas, they would lose some of their stigma. These (cis )sexist ideas and the racist stereotypes they support are the ideas I am attempting to help dismantle in my examination of gender at the African Burial Ground. Barbara Little (2007:149) writes tha t archaeology can be useful in that revelation may come about through creating a more inclusive history and one gnored

PAGE 43

38 possibilities within archaeology, the potential to challenge dominant historical or, more accurately, how we view and use the past then, is an important part of our modern life. Wha t we learn from history, whether documentary or archaeological, can shape our attitudes and relationships. It has the potential to inspire us as well g that the way that the past played out was neither 2007:149 150). By leaving possibilities open regarding gender during the 1700s in New York, I hope that possibilities op en for people now and in the future.

PAGE 44

39 Chapter 4: Burial Descriptions and Analysis Ba ckground According to the National Park Service website for the African Burial Ground, From about the 1690s until 1794, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6 After excavations in 1991, Perry et al (2006) took on the task of sorting all 419 uninterred burials into temporal phases, which include Early, Middle, Late Middle and Late periods. These periods correspond to t he time periods in which individuals were buried. The Early period encompasses 1690 to 1735, the Middle and Middle Late periods are 1735 through 1760, and the Late period spans the 1760s to the end of the use of the cemetery. The rationale for dating a bur within the cemetery, artifacts associated with the burial, the coffin type, and stratigraphic relationships to other burials (Perry et al 2006: 105). Those who placed the burials in their respective temporal ca tegories are quick to note that these placements are not perfect, and that there are issues with the relative dating techniques. For example, the Late Middle period has an odd gap in adults are under might actually belong in the Late Middle Group were buried in, above, or near distinguishe

PAGE 45

40 I have chosen to look exclusively at the Late Middle and Late periods only because the entire scope of the 400+ burials unearthed in the African Burial Ground is too hefty a task for this thesis. These periods start at the 1760s and range until the end of use for the cemetery. This coincides with a number of historical events, most prominently the Revolutionary War. By temporarily narrowing the selection of burials, it allows me to focus in on a more specific historical context as opposed to a more broa d one (which could span back to Dutch control of the colony, for example). pronoun when referencing someone whose gender is unknown to me, particularly in regards to Burials 259 and 332. While grammatically incorrect, this choice in pronoun is intentional because it allows for an ambiguity that I wish to a specific pronoun choice for many people and not a catch all for those whose gender identity is unknown or ambiguous. Burial Information I have gathered information from the African Burial Ground archaeological adornmen volume report is available online at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/249941. There are 28 burials liste d in this chart in total, 14 of which have been identified

PAGE 46

41 as male, seven of which as female, and seven of which were unable to be s compared to 18.4% of females. Of the people buried in the African Burial Ground during the Late Middle and Late time periods, male burials are more likely to be associated with grave goods than female burials. Additionally, of the individuals with grave goods, males comprise half, which is double the percentage of females among those with associated goods. Burials of males were associated with a wider variety of objects than burials of females. In fact males had more than double the types of objects than females did (see Appendix B). Along with the disparate number of options regarding grave goods for males and females, the types of goods themselves were gendered. Females, with a few exceptions, tended to be buried primarily with items that are considered feminine, such a jewelry and beads. Items associated with the female burials include beads, rings, tacks, copper coins, and buttons. Males were often associated with buttons, cuff links or parts of cuff links, and in one instance a knife. The implication o f males having buttons and cuff links while females did not is that males were being buried in their clothes while females most likely were not being buried in clothes. All items found with male burials include coral, copper alloy button(s), copper coin(s) mica schist, copper alloy rings, pins, pipe materials, cuff links and/or cuff link parts, a knife, a peach pit, a shell, and an earring. Items associated with burials of undetermined sex include ox shoe fragments, metal tacks, pipe materials, an iron obj ect, beads,

PAGE 47

42 and a quartz disc. Exceptions to females being buried with items that expressly reinforce their femininity include two females who were buried with copper coins. The copper coins were found roughly by the head, presumably placed originally over the eyes. Two males were also associated with copper coins. The age ranges of the females were 40 50 and 55 40 and 45 55. These three facets of gendered burial distribution, the variation in the types of goods, the discre pancy in their overall distribution, and the differences in the ages of the males and females possessing similar items all illuminate a familiar difference in value and power among sexes. However, there are a few burials that do not fit into both biologica challenge (hetero and cis ) sexist assumptions that have been embedded in bioarchaeology in the past. These burials are Burial 259 and Burial 332. Burial 259 is a person who was put in a 17 19 age range and tentatively classified as female. They is associated with 18 buttons. Their location within the burial ground can be seen in Figure 5. Burial 332 is a person with an age range of 35 40, and who was tentatively classified as male. They is associated with a curved metal object found near their neck and which is potentially an earring. Their location within the burial ground can be seen in Figure 6. These two burials are the focus of the Black feminist approach to style and gender for this thesis. They will be analyzed fo llowing a discussion of general burial item distribution and gender within the

PAGE 48

43 burial ground.

PAGE 49

44 Figure 5: Showing location of Burial 259 (Howson et al. 2006: 99).

PAGE 50

45 Figure 6: Showing location of Burial 332 (Howson et al. 2006: 100).

PAGE 51

46 Distribution ove rview The number of female burials compared to the number of male burials that have grave goods, the ages of the females and males who have grave goods associated with them, and the types of goods given to different people all reveal as gendered among those using the African Burial Ground in the Middle Late and Late time periods. Burchell (2006: 253) points out the importance of incorporating interpretation of mortuary patterning, ethnographic and ethnohistoric literature is used cautiously to examine how gender was expressed historically, and may have been projected into mortuary treatment. The incorporation of historic information into archaeological data assists in the interpretation of how social theoretical orientation is based on the premise that the energy investment in mortuary ritual and quality o f grave goods is the primary means by which status theories fail to adequately explain gender based differences in mortuary goods, I think that in this case the energy put into ob taining and selecting grave goods for burials is reflective of gender based value or status in the African Burial Ground during the Middle Late and Late period burials. The number of female burials compared to the number of male burials that

PAGE 52

47 have grave goo ds is a reflection of differential value men and women held in society. bell hooks (1981:15) explains how the patriarchy would have definitely sexism that is, patriarchy f ormed the base of the American social structure of the black female slave experience, sexism looms as large as racism as an ooks 1981:15). The age of the individuals with grave goods also reflects a difference in societal value. Taylor (2012: 180 community, in keeping with African traditions that valued the elderly, respected them for thei explains that emphasis was placed on the knowledge elderly women had accrued throughout their lifetime, however this was contrasted with their often times decreasing efficiency in menial la bor such as agriculture. This is further contrasted with the respect men possessed at a younger age than women, who had the potential to age into a position of respect. One type of item, a coin, illustrates this point. Coins are found in both male and fema le burials, and as noted above, the range of estimated ages for the male and females differ. For the females, age estimates are 40 50 and 55 65, whereas for the males they are 30 40 and 45 55. In order for females to earn a similar level of status as males which resulted in being buried with a coin, they had to be considerably older. Aside from the tacks and pins, which are likely present due to coffins and shrouds, the types of items associated with burials also reflect a gender based

PAGE 53

48 difference in societ al value. Female burials are likely to be buried with items that reinforce their femininity. The exceptions to females being buried with items (rings and beads) that expressly reinforce their femininity include two females who were buried with copper coins and the one female burial that was associated with buttons. I will go into further detail on the latter in the next section. Male burials are associated with items that convey either their value or masculinity, or items that are primarily spiritual in nat ure, with few exceptions. Burying money along with the deceased demonstrates their value, while items such as buttons, cuff links, pipes, and knives reinforce their masculinity. The presence of buttons and cuff links suggests that these males were buried f ully clothed. While this in and of itself is not particularly masculine, it is in contrast to the female burials, which presumably were not wearing clothes when buried, that their significance becomes more apparent. This difference is a reflection of the a ssociation of women with their physical bodies, and the association of men with intellect and abstract thought. This cultural association is product of the fusion of at least four socially constructed dualities: female/male, woman/man, nature/culture, body /mind. and a man with the disembodied intellect. While these binaries are not without problem, they do inform societal and

PAGE 54

49 cultural understandings of gender within the United States. The pattern of female burials being buried unclothed while male burials were buried with clothes is an valued for other things, and thus are buried fully clothed. The coral, mica schist, peach pit, and shell are all potentially items of religious or spiritual importance. Some people from the BaKongo region used a religious symbol called a cosmogram (F igure 7 ). Within this image, the horizontal y line between the supreme God and the lesser spirits, and also the boundary between the land of the living and is a metaphoric image, and the mirroring flash of water and other reflective surfaces invokes this Figure 7: A Cosmogram (Fennell 2003:6). Although not all people were forcibly taken f rom the BaKongo, it is not unlikely that these people or their family members would be among those in the African Burial Ground. The beliefs associated with the BaKongo cosmogram, as

PAGE 55

50 explained by Fennell, may provide some insight into some of the grave goo ds seashells, quartz crystals, and mica or mirror fragments were metaphoric for the case, the m ica schist as a metaphor for the boundary between worlds, make sense as an item to be found by a burial. The coral piece might also be interpreted as an item representing a connection to the water boundary, and the sheen of the blade on the knife could als o be a connection. Additionally, provide an explanation for the peach pit and shell that again make s sense in the context of a burial. A potential earring and copper alloy rings were also items associated with male burials. These are more unusual items for a male burial in this time period, and they will be discussed in more detail when considering Buri al 332. Items associated with burials of undetermined sex include ox shoe fragments, metal tacks, pipe materials, an iron object, beads, and a quartz disc. These represent a mix of items that are typically associated with male burials and typically associa ted with female burials, including jewelry, spiritual items (such as the quartz disc), and pipe materials. While these burials have the potential to problematize the gendered and sexed distribution of burial items, their undetermined sexes probably have mo re to do with the limitations of osteological sex determination than with ambiguity. Burials 259 and 332 offer clear examples

PAGE 56

51 to challenging these patterns and open up assumptions of gender at the African Burial Ground. Burial 332 A queer analysis of Bur ial 332 opens up possibilities previously unconsidered. The burial contained a person classified as a probable male and who was most likely in the age range of 35 40 years old upon their death. Burial 332 also contained shroud pins, a lock of hair, as well as what is potentially an earring, but also perhaps a curved pin. They were buried in a hexagonal coffin, e top of the coffin. the context of the Late Middle and Late period burials within the African Burial Ground, it was not unusual for males or men to wear earrings during this tim e period (Smith 1973). One potential explanation for this lies in what is considered jewelry is a gendered item. While earrings are considered jewelry today, it is possible that during the 1700s earrings were distinct from, say, a necklace, in that an earring is for a piercing, which involves body modification. This distinction could have made earrings more acceptable for males and men and distanced earrings from the category However, the ambiguity of the sex of Burial 332 and the fact that women,

PAGE 57

52 too, wore earrings problematize the assumption that this is what is reflected in the burial. If the archaeologist stops forcing Burial 332 into rigid categor ies, the potential for other performances and identities can be acknowledged. Burial 259 Burial 259 contains a person classified as a probable female and who was most likely in the age range of 17 19 years old upon their death. They were buried in a hexa gonal coffin made of pine and cedar woods at the northern part of cemetery. Their burial was later partially obscured by a later burial, Burial 278. Inside the coffin of Burial 259 was a relatively well preserved skeleton along with 18 buttons. These butto ns were found along their abdomen and clustered on the waist and knees, strongly suggesting breeches. Additionally, later it was determined that some fabric was attached to buttons, and it was wool, strengthening the inference that they were wearing breech es. buried in breeches, are multiple and intersecting. This burial calls into question the presumption of sex as binary, the conflation of gender and sex within archaeology, gender perfor mances, and the presumption of gender as binary. When discussing the identification of sex on skeletal remains, White appears to be an analogous [to human/nonhuman] either/or deci sion, only a few skeletal characters allow the osteologist to make this choice. Furthermore, the other characteristics discussed in this chapter, individual age, stature, and

PAGE 58

53 ancestry, do not lend themselves to such easy and simplistic divisions as human/n easy, I believe the ambiguity of the sex determination for Burial 259 demonstrations that sex categorization c an be anything but simple. White acknowledges that when determining the sex of any given skeleton, it must be done with the consideration of its population. For example, a skull with as populatio is on a continuum. cha llenged by Burial 259. In many cases, archaeologists make the assumption that a female skeleton represents a woman. Burial 259 problematizes this the archaeologist make of thi s? Is Burial 259 a misidentified male and man, When give proper consideration, it is clear t hat Burial 259 disrupts the conflation of sex with gender in the archaeological record.

PAGE 59

54 Perhaps more radically, Burial 259 also calls into question the assumption onsidering the performance of gender above, it is performance is not that of a man or a woman. Loren (2001:184) writes that dress g different social, political, In the end, the individual of Burial 259 was not the one who decided how they would be buried. If their performance was upsetting or jarring to the people who buried them, those people would have had the power to alter their clothes. This suggests that the performance was deemed credible at least by those charged with the burial of the individual of Burial 259. What possibilities, then, open for someo the late 1700s? The last periods for the African Burial Ground coincided with the Independence profoundly disrupted the New York City was occupied by the British, and saw an influx of people who :191). Black people were put to work by the British (re)building parts of the city, and as guards and spies among other occupations. One potential possibility, then, might be greater access to the jobs offered by the British.

PAGE 60

55 This time period opened up po ssibilities for Black people in New York. If archaeologists let go of fitting Burials 259 and 332 into strict sex and gender binaries, it can be possible to illuminate more about social relations.

PAGE 61

56 Chapter 5: Conclusion Twenty one years ago excavation s began on the African Burial Ground of New York, New York. Since then, the site has become one of the primary examples for inclusion of descendant communities in archaeological research and scholarship. 419 people were uninterred over the course of the ex cavations, and that coupled with the research direction of the original CRM firm sparked outrage and mobilized descendents. Eventually, the Howard University research team took on the project, analyzed the evidence, and celebrated the repatriation of the a ncestors, now commemorated by a National Monument. The burial ground itself was in use from 1690s to 1794, however the information examined in Chapter 4: Burial Descriptions and Analysis was restricted temporally to the Late and Middle Late time periods, which correspond to from the 1760s to 1794. The categories of burial items were also restricted to items associated with clothing and to items previously considered also considere d within the context of the estimated ages and sexes of the people they were associated with archaeologically. Analysis of these materials considered Black feminist scholarship, as well tions from Michael Blakey, Cheryl La Roche, Maria Franklin, Whitney Battle Baptiste, Judith Butler, and Martin Wobst provide context for the analysis. Within the temporal and spatial limitations considered, and through a Black feminist archaeological lens I argue that the burials of the African Burial

PAGE 62

57 Ground and their associated items demonstrate the gendered nature of burial good distribution. This argument was made through the examination of a few topics, such as the number of female burials compared to the number of male burials that have grave goods, the ages of the females and males who have grave goods associated with them, and the types of goods given to different people. Additionally, a few burials such as Burial 259 and Burial 332 problematize ass umptions regarding sex and gender within archaeological inquiry. Burial 259 is that of a probable female, who was 17 19 years old upon their death. Burial 332 is a probable male, who was 35 40 years old. Both of these burials challenge hard and fast male/f emale distinctions made via osteology in that they were categorized as in some way ambiguous. Burial 259 and Burial 332 were also associated with items which were atypical for the items found with burials of their tentative sexes. Burial 259 was associated with buttons which suggest they were buried in breeches, while Burial 332 was associated with an item that might be a understandings of gender in New York during the 1700s. This queer a rchaeological analysis within a Black feminist archaeological framework is important not only in its contribution to a more robust anthropology, but also for people alive today. Through challenging popularly held assumptions regarding gender, sex, race an d class a queer archaeology has the potential to more fully acknowledge human diversity. This acknowledgment enables a richer anthropological inquiry

PAGE 63

58 which is closer to its ideals of studying the diversity of humans through space and time. By placing this analysis within a Black feminist archaeological framework, this acknowledgment of human diversity has the ability to transform from anthropological scholarship for a primarily academic audience to anti oppressive A Black feminist archaeology has its roots firmly planted within scholarly activism, as well as a reliance on drawing from multiple facets of identity in order to deconstruct oppressive institutions such ered unless intersecting oppressions themselves are eliminated, Black feminist thought supports broad Acknowledging that there is the potential for Black people during the 1700s to fit into what today existence of queer Black people today is hardly acknowledged at all. This analysis problematizes the binaries of sex and gender while discussing their connections to race. This destabilizes long held, popula r rhetoric surrounding not hen this analysis also opens up queer possibilities for all people. Moving Forward Potential pitfalls of this approach in some ways mirror the criticisms of

PAGE 64

59 queer theory more generally. One example is the critique that queer theory has the potential to d econstruct to the point of implosion, a time at which instead of the deconstructing adding to understanding, understanding and meaning are lost. Within archaeology, one critique could be that a queer archaeological analysis renders any sort of gender based analyses impossible. While I am sympathetic to these concerns, I do think that a queer archaeology has merit. An archaeologist using a queer archaeology does not have to deconstruct everything to shades of unknowable grey, in fact such deconstruction is c ounter to a Black feminist framework in that it has been historically used to silence marginalized voices. Battle Baptiste (2011:62) critiques this when discussing intersect It is still possible for an archaeologist using queer archaeology to come to the conclusion that someone is a particular sex and they were likely performing a particular gender that was in line with the ideals for that gender at the time in some ways, and was not in line in other ways. Instead, I think a queer archaeology simply encourages an archaeologist to abandon their culturally and temporally situated assumptions regarding gender and sex when doing archaeology. So, instead of not being able to make these inferences, a queer granted. Once these inferences are no longer taken for granted, a queer archaeology a llows for more nuanced analyses of gender in archaeology, including the ways in which navigating performances would shape opportunities

PAGE 65

60 for people in the past.

PAGE 66

61 Appendices Appendix A that some sort of ambiguity is present. Source: Appendix C: Basic Burial Data and Appendix E: Inventory of Non Skeletal Material from Graves and Grave Shafts (Perry et al 2006) Burial Age Sex Associated Items 6 25 30 male (?) 8 buttons (5 copper alloy 2 with an anchor motif) 10 40 45 male 13 copper alloy buttons 15 11 18 unknown metal fragments from an ox shoe 71 25 35 female ring 107 35 40 female bead 115 25 30 female ring 135 30 40 male 2 copper coins, mica schist fragment 138 3 5 unknown 4 m etal tacks 147 55 65 male 7 small copper alloy rings and 4 pins 158 20 30 male gilt copper alloy cuff links with round shape, pipe bowl fragment 165 unknown pipe stem and bowl 181 20 23 male 7 buttons, cuff links 186 0 0.17 unknown glass and w ire ornament, iron object (nail?) 187 1.5 4 unknown 22 beads 197 45 55 female 5 tacks

PAGE 67

62 211 male (?) 1 turquoise enamel cuff link face 214 45 55 male coin, knife 217 17 19 male peach pit 230 55 65 female 2 coins (one with a textile fragment att ached) 238 40 50 male 2 pairs of octagon shaped copper alloy cuff links 242 40 50 female paste ring, 2 coins 259 17 19 female (?) 18 buttons (11 copper alloy, 2 wood) 289 5 9 unknown quartz disc 313 45 55 male 2 coins 325 25 35 male 1 gilt copper all oy button 332 35 40 male (?) curved copper alloy object (earring?) 352 male shell with iron object 376 45 65 male coral

PAGE 68

63 Appendix B The number in the parenthesis indicate how many burials had the item, not how many of that item there are in t otal. Source: Appendix C: Basic Burial Data and Appendix E: Inventory of Non Skeletal Material from Graves and Grave Shafts (Perry et al 2006) Items associated with males Items associated with females Items associated with people of undetermined sex C opper alloy button(s) (4) ring (3) ox shoe fragments (1) Copper coin(s) (2) bead (1) metal tacks (1) Mica schist (1) tacks (1) pipe materials (1) copper alloy rings (1) Copper coin(s) (2) iron object (1) pins (1) button(s) (1) beads (1) pipe materials (1) quartz disc (1) cuff links and/or cuff link parts (4) knife (1) peach pit (1) earring (1) shell (1) coral (1) Bibliography

PAGE 69

64 Armelagos, George J. 2003 Chapter 3. Bioarchaeology as Anthropology. Archeological Papers of the Ameri can Anthropological Association 13(1):27 40. Baker, Lee D. 1998 From Savage to Negro : Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896 1954. Berkeley: University of California Press. Battle Baptiste, Whitney 2011 Black Feminist Archaeology Walnut Creek, Calif: Left Coast Press. Beauboeuf Lafontant, Tamara 2003 Strong and Large Black Women? Exploring Relationships between Deviant Womanhood and Weight. Gender and Society 17(1):111 121. Blakey, Michael L. 2010a African Burial Ground Project: Paradigm for Cooperation? Museum International 62(1 2):61 68. Blakey, Michael L. 2010b An Ethical Epistemology of Publicly Engaged Biocultural Research. In Contemporary Archaeology in Theory : The New Pragmatism. Stephen A. Mrozowski and Robert W. Preucel, eds. Malden MA: Wiley Blackwell. Blakey, Michael L. 1994 W. Montague Cobb (1904 1990): Physical Anthropologist, Anatomist, and Activist. American Anthropologist 96(1):74. Burchell, Meghan 2006 Gender, Grave Goods and Status in British Columbia Burials. Canadian Jo 271. Butler, Judith 1988 Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. Theatre Journal 40(4):519 531. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2 009 The Power of Prevention. Dowson, Thomas A. 2000 Why Queer Archaeology? an Introduction. World Archaeology 32(2):161 165. Fennell, Christopher 2003 Group Identity, Individual Creativity, and Symbolic Generation in a BaKongo Diaspora. International Jou rnal of Historical Archaeology 7(1):1. Franklin, Maria 2001 A Black Feminist Inspired Archaeology? Journal of Social Archaeology 1(1):108.

PAGE 70

65 Geller, Pamela L. 2009 Bodyscapes, Biology, and Heteronormativity. American Anthropologist 111(4):504 516. Hill Co llins, Patricia, 2005 Black Sexual Politics : African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge. Hooks, Bell 1981 Ain't I a Woman : Black Women and Feminism Boston, MA: South End Press. Little, Barbara J. 2007 Historical Archaeology : W hy the Past Matters Loren, D. D. P. 2001 Social Skins Orthodoxies and Practices of Dressing in the Early Colonial Lower Mississippi Valley. Journal of Social Archaeology 1(2):172. Ortner, Sherry 1972 Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture? Feminist S tudies 1(2):5. Perry, Warren R., Jean Howson, and Barbara A. Bianco 2006 T he New York African Burial Ground: Unearthing the African Presence in Colonial New York Risman, Barbara J. 2004 Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism. Gende r & Society 18(4):429 450. Roche, Cheryl J. La, and Michael L. Blakey 1997 Seizing Intellectual Power: The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground. Historical Archaeology 31(3):84 106. Smith, H. C. 1973 Jewellery Spencer Wood, Suzanne M. 2006 Fe minist Theory and Gender Research in Historical Archaeology. In Handbook of Gender in Archaeology. Sarah M. Nelson, ed. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. Spencer Wood, Suzanne M. 2001 What Difference does Feminist Theory make? International Journal of Historica l Archaeology 5(1):97 114. Taylor, Courtney Moore 2012 Life Cycle. In Enslaved Women in America : An Encyclopedia. Deleso A. Alford and Daina Ramey Berry, eds. Pp. 176. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood. West, Candance, and Don H. Zimmerman 1987 Doing Gend er. Gender & Society 1(2):125 151.

PAGE 71

66 White, T. D., and Pieter A. Folkens 1991 Human Osteology San Diego: Academic Press. Wobst, H. Martin 1977 Stylistic Behavior and Information Exchange. For the Director: Research Essays in Honor of James B.Griffin:317 3 42. Wylie, Alison 2010 Good Science, Bad Science, Or Science as Usual? In Contemporary Archaeology in Theory : The New Pragmatism. Stephen A. Mrozowski and Robert W. Preucel, eds. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.


ERROR LOADING HTML FROM SOURCE (http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu//design/skins/UFDC/html/footer_item.html)