chapter  7
8 Pages

Putting flesh on the bones: History-Anthropology collaboration on the New York City African Burial Ground Project

This chapter explains some issues relating to African ethnicity in Brazil through an archaeological case study: Palmares, the seventeenth-century rebel polity. It deals with the mixed features of Brazilian society and then shows how archaeological theory and praxis is linked to politics, and finally turns attention to Palmares and its ethnic identity. Brazil has the largest number of people of African descent outside of Africa and archaeology plays a special role in the rescue of African values. Archaeological theory is particularly important, if everyone aim at empowering subordinate groups, as Hodder proposes. Palmares was a runaway settlement established at the beginning of the seventeenth century in the northeast of Brazil and was able to grow for almost a century. The Hill was declared a National Heritage Monument in the 1980s and Palmares and Zumbi were considered as strong symbols against oppression: At Palmares, there was an organized slave uprising, and the result was a multiethnic society strongly anti-colonial in outlook.