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Negotiating African-American Ethnicity in the 17th-Century Chesapeake

Colono tobacco pipes and the ethnic uses of style

J. Cameron Monroe
Publication Year:
106pp, Includes 22 figures, drawings, maps, 2 Appendices.
ISBN 10:
BAR number:
Sub-series name:
The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, 16
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In this, the 16th issue of The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, the subject matter returns to the east coast of the USA, last visited by the Chesapeake Bay volume (Number XII). A new, extended, typology for Colono pipes is presented, along with a detailed analysis of their chronology. A study of the archaeological evidence at these sites, together with a comparison of the stylistic elements present on the Colono pipes with examples from Mali in West Africa and from elsewhere in the African Diaspora outside North America, strongly supports previous arguments for an African ethnicity for the Chesapeake finds. The author links the increasing social hostility towards Africans in the area, as the century progresses, with changes in the styles observed onthe pipes “investing them with…a symbolic content…as a method of communicating cultural survival and ethnic solidarity.” The work is of particular significance to prehistorians who lack the means of studying past societies using historical sources.