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Author Topic: Tradition From The Slave Days  (Read 438 times)

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Offline buencamino3

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Tradition From The Slave Days
« on: February 20, 2018, 06:29:45 PM »
There is a village south of Jamundí at the southern edge of Cali named Quinamayó where the residents are mostly Black and regard themselves as a population from the slave days. They celebrate the Christmas ritual in February rather than December 24 because their masters at the time told them they had to work and to pick a different day. In their celebration they use a Black baby Jesus and perform a shuffling dance that imitates the shuffling walk of their slave ancestors in chains. I never cease to be amazed at the obscure celebrations one can find in the hinterlands of Colombia.


Link (in English): http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-43126495
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 05:16:38 AM by buencamino3 »
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Offline robert angel

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 08:14:23 PM »
There is a village south of Jambundi at the southern edge of Cali named Quinamayó where the residents are mostly Black and regard themselves as a population from the slave days. They celebrate the Christmas ritual in February rather than December 24 because their masters at the time told them they had to work and to pick a different day. In their celebration they use a Black baby Jesus and perform a shuffling dance that imitates the shuffling walk of their slave ancestors in chains. I never cease to be amazed at the obscure celebrations one can find in the hinterlands of Colombia.


Link (in English): http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-43126495

https://www.cnn.com/2012/12/07/world/africa/gullah-geechee-africa-slavery-america/index.html

The above link is a very thin, almost vanilla description of a culture that up until about 40 years ago, existed on the South Eastern Atlantic coastline.

A lot of the same as what is also dwindling in parts of S. America,  was relatively common along the barrier islands that make up the coast of S. Carolina and Georgia's Atlantic coastline. The 'Gullah' Culture.  After 35 years here, I've known families--still do really, who can speak the African/English Gullah--Geechee dialect, speech typically decribed as a mix of English, with bits of various African languages, sort of a Creole that's diificult for most whites and African Americans today to follow.

It's not to be confused with the speech of some really super rural whites, typically poor subsistence farm families in isolated areas, who have what we call a 'Geechee accent'-- speech that's also pretty odd to the uninitiated ear. Makes those hill billies in n the movie 'Deliverance' sound like city slickers, LOL.

But the Gullah people were the descendants of freed slaves, left to live on barrier islands, places that 'civilization' had no interest in building concrete bridges to get to, nor in sending ferries to and from. They remained a largely unknown 'primitive curiosity'. Nobody on the 'mainland' gave much thought to these overgrown, 'buggy' off islands.

After all, the federal govt never, unlike today, paid millions of dollars a year to replenish the sand that the hurricaines, lesser storms and tides washed away. The islands' geographical form changed all the time.  As such, the people there were left to 'their ways' for close to a hundred years.

But their ways, the Gullah language, is dying out fast, and we're trying to record it before it's totally gone. They say worldwide, at least one language/dialect dies each day. TV, internet, smart phones and 'land development' is exposing most of the world to common languages, in places once quite isolated. As were the barrier islands of the S. Eastern USA above Florida.

Hell, fifty years ago, trained regional linguists used to be able to listen to a few minutes of speech from someone from say, N. or S. Boston or from one of the 5 boroughs of NYC and tell you from their speech, exactly where they lived within a few blocks. Like fingerprints. Not anymore...

But for the former Gullah people, their former island homes are now expensive places like Hilton Head Island. If the whites couldn't out right buy whole groups of families off their land--their farms,  they picked one family amongst the group of families and offered them such an astronomically tempting amount of money for their land that 'family unity' collapsed and they sold.

Then the 'developers' would build something, usually a large group of very expensive homes, and call the development a 'plantation'. The taxes on the land, and on the mansions, were such that those poor black farmers remaining didn't stand a chance of being able to hold onto the land, even if they could afford modern farm equipment and had bumper crops.

After all, they lived off the abundant seafood and grew just enough food to get by happily--that is until outsiders came in and relatively speaking, paradise --an entire way of life, was lost.

But before then, the culture was vibrant, with the black magic, superstitions, the music, arts and crafts--all kinds of customs not found on the 'mainland' ---it was all pretty far out for this white 'cracker' boy, anyway. I remember some of the last islands to be taken over, me taking my boat and camping 'over there'---where, as the late great author Pat Conroy and South Carolina author said, the people described their live's from those of the rest of the world by saying: "The water is wide".

Conroy, a very nice person and gifted writer, actually was one of the first white Teachers on one of the undeveloped, 'unattached' islands and HE couldn't get to them, leaving before too long.

But however unlike me, they were very, very nice people and to a one, were kind to me. The older ones who had to move off the islands, most of them, still are nice, pretty amazing people, but their kids, all adults now, don't care much for Gullah ways anymore. Some got caught up in the inner city, public housing, drugs, alcohol and violence. Sort of a different version of what happened to the Indians, but with inner city 'public housing' not 'reservations'.

But before their homeland turned into homogenized developments of homes costing millions of dollars apiece --even homes some distance from the sea cost millions of dollars, the elders showed me where the indigenous people who lived there  before them, the Indians, had lived, the oyster shell circles, the 'middens', that marked their population centers and they also told me where I might find great artifacts--tools, projectile points and a LOT of pottery pieces--the oldest pottery found in N. America in fact.

I have given crates of the that and stone artifacts to schools and museums. My wife was going crazy with me having a whole room in our house AND a two car garage full of that stuff-- 'rocks' she called them, LOL!

One day, a couple months after she came here, before she could work, I came home and saw she had taken my rarest pieces, very high grade, top museum quality projectile points, axes, celts, drill bits, pottery, stuff and more, pieces that were PERFECT, not 9.8, not 9.9 on museum grading platforms, but perfect 10 grade artifacts and dumped them into shoe boxes. Chip, chip, crack, crack.  I about broke down and cried. She looked at me and said: " Honey--they're just rocks" Argghhhh....


I have some megalodon shark's teeth as big as a dollar bills, up to five inches long, with serations all along their edges.  I got them from scouting, following extreme tide, storms and digging there as well. No, I did not leave messes, no empty holes and I never dug up graves or took anything ceremonial--that's a federal crime even if I were so inclined...

The 'developers'? They didn't give a rat's ass about preserving a damn thing. They went in wholesale with bulldozers, laying monolithic concrete slabs if they weren't going for the occasional elevatated structure. I even told the so called Federal'Govt' Preservasionists ' and 99 out of 100 times, it never even slowed them down, even digging up bones, burial grounds didn't stop them.

But it is still amazing that especially amongst an all too quickly dwindling, elderly population, right here in the USA, are the remnants of a people, a culture, that had very strong everyday African cultural characteristics.

You don't hear much about  them anymore, because like in the rest of the world, it's typically the rich and powerful who write the history books.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 09:55:14 PM by robert angel »
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Offline vikingo

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 05:30:09 AM »
Actually during the Atlantic slave trade a small percentage, I believe it was 6% where sent to North America, the great majority to Brazil and the Caribbean. The Portuguese and the Spaniards claimed the natives where not suitable to work the plantations all day long in the hot sun.
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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 05:30:09 AM »

Offline robert angel

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 07:45:53 AM »
Actually during the Atlantic slave trade a small percentage, I believe it was 6% where sent to North America, the great majority to Brazil and the Caribbean. The Portuguese and the Spaniards claimed the natives where not suitable to work the plantations all day long in the hot sun.

Just another one of countless misconceptions, ommissions of truth or outright lies.  99% of USA citizens believe Colombus discovered America, but he didn't  get past Puerto Rico--2191 miles distance away.

While on a more fact based look it would seem the Spaniards, notably Amerigo Vespucci have a more valid claim. the Spaniards were clearly told by the indiginous people, the "Indians" that long before, on several occasions, surly white guys with red beards, had visited, 'had their way' and left. Vikings, almost certainly, as no one navigated the seas as they did in olden times..
Meanwhile, the USA will forever be painted as far and away the biggest purveyor of slavery.
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Offline benjio

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 09:54:56 AM »
Just another one of countless misconceptions, ommissions of truth or outright lies.  99% of USA citizens believe Colombus discovered America, but he didn't  get past Puerto Rico--2191 miles distance away.

While on a more fact based look it would seem the Spaniards, notably Amerigo Vespucci have a more valid claim. the Spaniards were clearly told by the indiginous people, the "Indians" that long before, on several occasions, surly white guys with red beards, had visited, 'had their way' and left. Vikings, almost certainly, as no one navigated the seas as they did in olden times..
Meanwhile, the USA will forever be painted as far and away the biggest purveyor of slavery.


I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the U.S was one of, if not the last "modern" country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery. That, and the fact that it took a 4 year war and around 600,000 lives to get it done (I'm well aware that the question of slavery wasn't the only reason for the Civil War but it was definitely the primary cause). I will say this however...after seeing black poverty in Latin America I think we're much better off here as the descendants of slaves in the U.S. compared to somewhere like Brazil. There have been steps taken in the U.S. to "even the playing field" per se. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Affirmative Action, HUD, etc. And I'm not someone that believes in socialism. I hate it actually. I believe no government can look after a man better than he can look after himself. But in a lot of countries in LA, where slaves were pretty much told, "Okay...you guys can go now." With no education, no money, no means to improve upon themselves or their situation, I have to appreciate the fact that at the very least, the opportunity exists in the U.S. to change your situation and improve upon your quality of life.




Offline robert angel

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 10:27:40 AM »

I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the U.S was one of, if not the last "modern" country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery. That, and the fact that it took a 4 year war and around 600,000 lives to get it done (I'm well aware that the question of slavery wasn't the only reason for the Civil War but it was definitely the primary cause). I will say this however...after seeing black poverty in Latin America I think we're much better off here as the descendants of slaves in the U.S. compared to somewhere like Brazil. There have been steps taken in the U.S. to "even the playing field" per se. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Affirmative Action, HUD, etc. And I'm not someone that believes in socialism. I hate it actually. I believe no government can look after a man better than he can look after himself. But in a lot of countries in LA, where slaves were pretty much told, "Okay...you guys can go now." With no education, no money, no means to improve upon themselves or their situation, I have to appreciate the fact that at the very least, the opportunity exists in the U.S. to change your situation and improve upon your quality of life.

True. So many people think with Lincoln's 'Emancipation Proclamation " that the slaves were freed all but instantaneously.  The whole sordid, bloody tragedy was, still is, so much more complex.
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Offline buencamino3

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 07:34:58 PM »
Brings to mind San Basilio de Palenque near Cartagena considered the first free town in the Americas established sometime in the sixteen hundreds where a Bantu Spanish mix is still spoken.
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Offline vikingo

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 07:45:57 PM »
When you think about it, every European country which colonized the New World imported African Slaves. The first where the Portuguese, then the Spaniards, then the British and the French and last the Dutch. No other European country was involved in the slave trade.
But the true Slave masters where the Arabs. They enslaved Africans long before any one knew the Western Hemisphere existed. they were the ones who rounded up strong and healthy men, women and young girls and killed the rest of them. Attractive young women and girls where sold to a sheikh or a rich merchant for his harem.
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Offline ignorante

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »
I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the U.S was one of, if not the last "modern" country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery.
  Brazil abolished it 23 years later, 1888. 


Cuba - 1886


Other South American countries abolished it around the same time it was becoming a bitterly divisive issue in the US, in the 1850s.

Offline benjio

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 12:55:37 PM »
  Brazil abolished it 23 years later, 1888. 


Cuba - 1886


Other South American countries abolished it around the same time it was becoming a bitterly divisive issue in the US, in the 1850s.


I don't know enough about Cuba but slavery never ended in Brazil. I've seen it. They just started calling it share cropping.


« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:57:47 PM by benjio »

Offline robert angel

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Re: Tradition From The Slave Days
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 03:56:18 PM »
When you think about it, every European country which colonized the New World imported African Slaves. The first where the Portuguese, then the Spaniards, then the British and the French and last the Dutch. No other European country was involved in the slave trade.
But the true Slave masters where the Arabs. They enslaved Africans long before any one knew the Western Hemisphere existed. they were the ones who rounded up strong and healthy men, women and young girls and killed the rest of them. Attractive young women and girls where sold to a sheikh or a rich merchant for his harem.

Those Portuguese really got around. To think they didn't give their colony of Macau back to China until 1999. Much of the archtecture there is heavily Portuguese influenced and now their swank Chinese gambling casinos today generate more business than all of the USA's put together.

Hell, I looked at a great, vintage, late 1970's safari shirt jacket I have from the Mill Valley, California original Banana Republic store--(quonset hut inside for shoes, a real bush plane hanging from ceiling, old but new military clothing inside),  just a wild store back then-- from way before the GAP bought them. The label reads: "Made in the British Royal Crown Colony of Hong Kong". I'll wear out before that shirt does. I have a couple of old HK handmade dress suits that are killer too.

Boy oh boy, a sh!t load of HK money left HK right before the Brits gave it back to China in 1997 in the "great handover"!!

In the course of twenty years, a lot has changed...

Today in the UAE--United Arab Emirate countries, slavery still exists. Particularily in the biggest cities, where 3rd world workers have their passports disappear. They recently found the body of a Filipina in a freezer in one of the wealthier citizen's home. Very few Arabs actually do any work and those workers brought in from the 3rd world to do the work that aside from oil basically keeps the place running, often work under two year contracts for obscenely low money, 12 hours a day, 6 or more days a week. Even nurses, RNs from 3rd world nations, who end up in places like Dubai--which as the UAE cities go, is arguably a little better, have to be very careful.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 04:11:53 PM by robert angel »
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