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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Scarification and identity in the Liberated Africans Department register, 1814-1815
Author:Keefer, Katrina H.B.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2013.832337
Abstract:This research intersects with ongoing efforts to understand the identity of enslaved Africans entering the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Methods of reading scarification, along with its close analogue tattooing within the African context are a fundamental starting point for the study. Evidence was found in the Registers of Liberated Africans, which are held at the Sierra Leone Public Archives at Fourah Bay College and at the National Archives in Kew. These documents, created between 1808 and 1862, provide data for nearly 100,000 Africans removed from vessels and holding pens which would have sent them to the Americas. Considered in light of anthropological theories of identity and the marked body, this data can be unpacked to find hidden meanings. The study employs a new approach to understanding origins, by translating body modification to understand the information conveyed through the skins of individuals. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]